Wednesday, September 28, 2016

More Grape Talk

We did some more work on the wine tonight. I pulled the mesh bad out of the must and let it continue to drain. We managed to get about 1 1/2 gallons of juice.

I'm going to go by Jim's Home Brew today and get some yeast and see if there is some sort of container I can get to use as a fermenter for this juice.

I may have to add some grape juice to this to bring it up to an even two gallons. The only problem will be that it will become too grapey. Too Concord Grapey. 

There is some activity going on in the neighborhood from Washington Water Power (Avista), our local utility. Apparently, they are switching out the old Mercury Vapor street lights to new high tech L.E.D. lights. I've been hearing complaints since they started installing these lights that they are waaaaaay too bright.

I haven't had a problem with them so far but I haven't been able to compare them to the light we have next to the house.

It also looks like they are going to replace the power pole in the alley. I've noticed all this painting on the alley pavement that looks like a prelude to replacement.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


We made a little more progress in the bathroom last night. I finished getting the baseboard cut and in place. It doesn't seem like a major step forward but it is another step towards putting in a bathtub.

The final step before the tub get installed is to cut and paint the wainscot cap.

Another step in progress last night was making some really home made wine. I picked the grapes off our Gewurztraminer vine and our Concord vine last week. I got a lot more Gewurzt than Concord so I'm going to blend them and see what we get.

The fun part was actually stomp the grapes. Since I didn't have a whole lot of them, it didn't take very long and produced a good amount of juice. I'm hoping I'll have close to two gallons but it is hard to tell at this point. I'll have a better idea tonight.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Another Visit with Captain Dumbass-Home Repair

After I finished all the jobs I was doing in the bathroom, I turned my attention to the kitchen sink. The faucet has an intermittent leak that we find most annoying.

We bought a very high end faucet a couple of years ago from a kitchen showroom our friend Mark works at. We paid 50 bucks for this Kohler Kitchen Sink faucet. It's easily $350 or more retail. But it had a problem. It was missing a clip and an O ring. Without it, the faucet was useless. 

I went back to the showroom a couple of weeks ago and they got Kohler to send a whole new hose assembly. It's a major part of the guts of the thing.

The installation was difficult and I don't think it went very well. But, I took the faucet into the bathroom and hooked it up to the connections for the bathtub and got it to work properly.

So I went about the task of removing the kitchen faucet. It involved removing all the crap under the sink and disconnecting all the hoses and connections from the old faucet.

I had to go out and buy new valves for the pipes. When I finally got everything hooked up and turned on, I got nothing from the faucet.

I checked it nine ways to Sunday and nothing I did made it work.

By then, it was late so I called it a night and pledged to pick up where I left off in the morning.

Susan is not a big fan of the new faucet because it is so big so we decided to put the old leaky faucet back.

However, this project was overseen by Capt. Dumbshit who lost two very important parts of the sink within the span of overnight.

We therefore decided to go to the General Store and buy the cheapest kitchen faucet they had and go with that for now.

So that is where we are at this point.

In the bathroom, I got the trim for the door and window up.
Next, I get to finish the baseboard and the wainscoting cap.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Church & Home

I started the morning bright and early (7AM) and got myself to church for a Men's Repair Day. My project was to loosen the screws on a row of pews and move the pew three inches forward. We are trying to create some legroom for a more inviting liturgical experience.

That whole process went surprising fast and not a single screw was difficult to remove.

Now I am home and ready to get some work done on the bathroom. I picked up the new lights yesterday and installed the overhead. 
Looks great, don'tit?

My first project is to get a coat of primer on the door and window trim.

It has been five hours since I put the primer on the door trim and it is still tacky. I fear my primer might have turned. It had a hard skin when I opened it and stirred it. It coated kind of streaky too.

I got the sconce lights up as well.

They look good too. We are still waiting on the glass but I may move the glass from up above to the sconces.

My next project is to get baseboard in this area.

Okay! Success!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Equinox of Autumn

We are heading into a big weekend. It's big because I want to accomplish some bathroom stuff. Once that stuff is accomplished, we can move on to the BIG accomplishment of installing the bathtub. So you can see why it's such a big least for me.

The things yet to do in the bathroom are finishing up trim on the door and window, laying the last of the baseboard, and getting the cap on the wainscoting.

It's not all that much to do but it does involve ME doing it. I was too sick last weekend. While I am not back to 100% (or even 57%, where I usually operate) I'm going to get this stuff done!

But first, we have the Greek Festival to attend tonight. That is one of those events that definitely signals the beginning of Autumn. We are now a good twenty-four hours into the Autumnal Equinox and I haven't seen any falling leaves...yet. But there has been football,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Puttering Around the House

Susan has to work this afternoon so it's a casual kind of work day around the homestead.

I finished a project with the caps for the wainscoting. We ended up buying base trim and then I cut a notch in the bottom back of the trim in order for it to sit on the top panels.

Next I will cut them to length and then we will paint them prior to nailing them into place.

Then I got to work on cleaning up the trim for the door and window. The window trim is not in as bad of shape as the door trim. I had not planned on striping them down to bare wood but it turned out to be essential. They where coated with sooooooooooo many layers of poorly applied paint that in some places, the paint just peeled away.

I'm pretty much through the two side pieces and I'll get some work done on the top piece tomorrow.

Once I get the cap in place, we will be ready to install the bathtub. That will be a grand day indeed.

By the way, did I mention that we purchased lights for the bathroom? Last Saturday, we went downtown to Revival Lighting. We looked at a number of reproduction vintage style lights and picked a nice sconce style for the mirror times two, and a matching three bulb overhead light. The total was just over $700.00. 

Nope! That's not a misprint. It seems outrageous to pay that much for three relatively simple lights. However, there is nothing else out there of any kind of quality that matches the style we are going for.

I have never regretted paying for a quality product. You only pay once. You forget about it tomorrow.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wall Paper Finale

Summer is winding down but we are in full tilt "Git-Out-Thar-and-Git-Ur-Dunn" mode. (Yeah, we speak stupid when the Summer is winding down.)

Yesterday, Susan made great progress in the bathroom with her wall papering. She expects to finish up today. I'm going to try and place some of my wainscoting panels but I don't want to get in her way. 

Therefore, I'm holding off and working on a couple of other projects which I will show you in the amazing paragraphs to come.

But first, we went to a baseball game last night. The Spokane Indians were playing the TriCity Dust Bastards. As we drove up to the stadium at the end of the second inning, the score was 0-1, the Dust Bastards were up.

By the time we got to our seats, the score was 0-6.

The final score was 9-3 with the Indians losing. But I got some pictures.
Here is one of my pal Jerry, taking pictures from far across the concourse.
Okay, let's talk about today.

Here is one of my many projects for today.
There is supposed to be a post to hold that gate closed.
I decided that I should get a nice coat of paint on it before I replace it,
In between painting, I decided to drain the hot tub. The heat has been off for the last couple of months because we just don't use it in the summer. I have totally neglected it and was very surprised to open it and discover that it had not turned into a thick green slim. All it had was a bunch of leaves and detritus material.

I went across the street and borrowed Lou's sump pump. If I where to attach the hose to the drain nozzle and let it drain that way, it would take hours. With Lou's pump, it takes about half an hour.

It makes quite a mess of the yard though. I kind of flooded neighbor Ted's driveway.

It was a nice warm summer day so I kind of enjoyed cleaning the hot tub. I got in there with my swim trunks and scrubbed the sides with comet. Then I filled it about a quarter way full and drained the water. Another rinse and drain. 

It worked well and the tub is back in service. It will take it a day to get back to temperature but I think I'm going to tone it down to the nineties, at least for the next month or so.

I got the repainted post installed as well.

While I was out in nature, Susan was sequestered in the bathroom finishing the wallpapering.
Here she is laying the last section of wall paper. I think she is mostly happy with the finished product but has some issues with a couple of things. 

One problem is that nothing in the room is square. The wall paper highlights that fact if you look carefully. 

So don't look carefully.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wayne Scott & Tile

Susan continues to fuss over cleaning the tile whilst I am doing a variety of little things here and there...preparing for tonight's' bottling, watering the lawn, stoking the beer cooler with ice, things of this nature.

Frankly, I don't feel very helpful. I think I shall return to my work on the wainscoting. I'm very close to completing it.

Okay, we did okay. I got my five pieces of wainscoting cut, including the two panels that have electrical outlets in them. Next I need to paint them and then nail them into place.

Susan is mostly, sort of satisfied kind of with the shower tile, in a way. She prepped the area around the shower and is ready to wall paper. Unless she's not.

We have now had a delicious steak dinner on the front porch except for the part where Susan likes well done and hers was more like medium rarish.
Next on the menu for the evening is to bottle our Tempranillo. Here we go!
We got 23 bottles out of our re-bottle but, it is now something we both like and can drink without reservation. Plus, we now feel much better about entering it in the fair. Whether or not the judges agree with us remains to be seen. We have 22 days until we find out.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Cost of Bailey's

Despite my dumbassery, the sprinkler is motoring along. I'm happy to have it back.

It's another beautiful day with the forecast predicting temperatures to hit the nineties...again. We are planning to do stuff around the house. One of my planned jobs is mowing the lawn.

This will be made extra interesting by the fact that I am wearing a heart monitor. I have to wear it for 48 hours, which expires around 4:00PM today. I thought it would be a good idea to have it record me while active. I have already noted a bike ride on Thursday.
I'm also sitting around this morning doing some ciphering. We always enjoy a bit of coffee with our Bailey's Irish Cream on the weekends and I decided to figure out how much it costs per cup. We go through a 1.75 liter bottle ($42.00) in two weekends. I figured that a 4 ounce pour of Bailey's costs just under $3.00.

My ciphering continues with figuring out my average weight, blood pressure and heart beat over the last 28 days. (I've been keeping notes) That information is over on my health blog,

For now, I need to get some breakfast going and prepare for the many tasks ahead.

10:30AM: Breakfast is finished, Susan has left for a hair appointment, and it is time to mow.

12:58PM: The mowing is in the rear-view mirror and I have survived it with no issues to speak of. I have some lawn watering going and I'm going to go out and try to put some paint on the primed siding. We primed on the 6th so I think it has had time to cure.

3:19PM: I got down the first coat of the green but if you look close, it's streaky. It needs a second coat, which I'm about to go out and put down.

5:16PM: Susan has been working on the shower tile, tidying up the edges so the wall paper will lay cleanly and flatly. 
The second coat of paint went on rather quickly, as you might expect. The unfortunate thing is I used up all the paint and am unsure as to the correct formula for more paint. We shall have to search our records.

After getting the second coat on the siding, I went upstairs to fold some of my laundry. I course of doing so, I discovered that the time had run out on my Heart Monitor and I was Free At Last!

This meant I could have a shower. After all the dust and grime I threw into the air whilst mowing, and having gone 48 hours without a proper cleaning, I was ready. And it felt GREAT!

8:15PM: We have just returned from a delicious meal at the Cathay Inn and we are ready to further adulterate the Tempranillo wine.

Susan purchased three more cans of grape juice. We will be starting by adding half of one can.

Later: We ended up adding the whole can and stopping there. We are now satisfied and this will be as good as it gets.

Bottling is tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tampering with Tempranillo.

We are doing some wine work tonight. We have our 2014 Tempranillo ready to enter the fair. We bottled it about 2 or 3 months ago. We tasted a bottle recently and were not happy.

Last Monday, we uncorked the whole batch, about 25 bottles, into a five gallon carboy. Tonight, we are adding some grape juice concentrate to try and improve the flavor.

The trick is to figure out how much juice to add.

We pulled out one cup of wine and added one tablespoon of juice. That did not seem to do much so we added a second tablespoon. We liked the change. Now we have to extrapolate of numbers into a measurement for five gallons. According to our calculations we needed to add a half gallon of juice. That did not seem right. Susan purchased two 12 oz. cans of Old Orchard Grape Juice. We added one can to the carboy, tasted and added the second. We have decided to add one more but will have to wait until tomorrow because we have to purchase more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Giant Dumbass

I am a Giant Dumbass!

I got a delivery from UPS the day before yesterday from Fiskars USA. It was the stuff I ordered for my Tractor Sprinkler, a new transmission and a new sprinkler rotor.

I have already done this repair once and that sprinkler was stolen shortly chronicled here.

I started the repair for my old sprinkler that has been sitting in the garage for the last three years. This one will not get stolen because I will not allow it to happen.

Anyway, I got my Dremmel Tool out and ground the wheel caps off the axles. That allowed me to remove the wheels. Then I got my power driver out to remove the screws that hold the transmission on the body.

Two came out quite easily. The other three were locked in pretty tight and would not budge. I tried very hard to get them removed and had no luck. 

I went so far as to use my torch to heat up the metal body, hoping the heat would loosen the screws. All that managed to do was melt the old transmission housing.

Here is why I am a Giant Dumbass. I was so focused on trying to find a Phillips Screw Driver large enough to give me enough leverage to budge the screw, that I completely failed to notice that the heads were little bolts that I could put a ratchet to.

When I brought the tractor body in to work today and asked Gary if he had any ideas on how to loosen the screws, he looked right at it and said, "How about using a socket set?"

I'm a giant Dumbass!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Float Day

With all we have to do around the house, we chose to chuck it all and go canoeing on the Little Spokane River. I don't have any pictures other than some cliffs.

Can you find the face in the rocks?
How about here?
It was a great afternoon and we are beat.

Good Night!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday Stuff

7:53AM: It's Saturday morning, almost eight o'clock. I have just come downstairs to the smell of coffee. I occurred to me what a wonderful sensation that is. 

It looks like it's going to be nice day and there are a number of things I want to get done this weekend, all the while fitting in some enjoyable activities as well. 

Things planned for today are take Willy to the Vet, do some painting around the house over the priming we did last week, water the lawn, perhaps some work in the bathroom, visit the Garland Street Fair and listen to Sammy Eubanks, take samples of wine and beer over to Jim's Home Brew for an evaluation,and drink some beer. 

How successful I am at accomplishing these tasks will be chronicled here.

But first, off to the grocery to get some eggs...after I get my coffee.

8:21AM: I am back from the store. The hoses are running in the yard and I'm going to settle down and read the paper.

10:25AM: I'm back from the Vet. We felt we needed to take Willy in because he is so boney. He has clearly lost weight but it turns out to be only 1 1/4 pounds. But that can be a lot for a cat.

I had a little trouble getting him into the Cat Carrier. Once he saw it, he knew there was trouble ahead.
There was a little trouble for me as well.

Now I'm off to the paint store with a stop at Jim's Home Brew.

11:29AM: Jim's was very little help in determining what we should do with the wines and beer. That is because we entered them in the fair and they (Bob & Gary of Jim's Home Brew) are among the judges. It just would not be fair. 

We bottled a Tempranillo a couple of months ago. we loved it when we bottled it but are not so thrilled with it now. Our Lemberger is from last years trip to Prosser. We have not bottled it. It tastes okay but we are wondering if there is something we can do to make it better.

They did taste my Shummer Sandy Lemon beer. They both thought it was okay but I told them I'm adding some more Lemon flavor to it. They did not respond either way. We all agreed it is a good drinkable beer.

Next, we are off to the Garland Street Fair which is just up the hill from us. The Sammy Eubanks Blues Band is playing and we love them.

1:35PM: We're back from the Sammy Show and the Garland Street Fair. That has really turned into a great event. They have Garland Street shut down from Monroe to Wall, covered with Vendor Booths and even a couple of side streets.

After listening to Sammy for a while, we walked over to Rick's Ringside pub and had a couple of beers.

Unfortunately, Susan has to work tonight so we left to come back home and give her a chance to decompress prior to going to work. I'm going to do a little painting.

4:03PM: I'm nearly done with the painting. At least, this little bit of painting. The painting I'm doing today is to cover the priming we did last week on the dark green trim around the base of the house. I found the old can this morning and pealed off a half inch cap of gelled paint. There were lots of chunks in there so I went to the General Store and got a couple of cheap strainers. It really slow going. It helps to stir the funnel and force the paint through. There's a certain amount that is just going to go to waste. But I'm trying to use as much as I can.

In any event, I happy with the results.

7:05PM: I'm back again! This time I have been back to Jim's to get s'mor CO2. I needed it for mine beer. My last $17,00 bottle bled away.

Then I stopped at the Hub Tavern for waaaaaaay too long. 

But I'm home now and since I'm on my own tonight, I'm going to cook me some dinner. I purchased a nice piece of meat and I shall throw on the barbecue.

9:09PM: I've had myself a nice dinner and am now trying to settle down for the evening. I was hoping to try and put a little paint on the deck siding but it has gotten too dark. 

I'm planning to get a pit fire going before Susan comes home. It seems like a good night for a fire. In the meantime, I'm watching old episodes of Star Trek on Netflicks and doing a few little chores around the plantation.

10:57PM: There is a burning ban throughout the state of Washington so the picture below must be from my archives, even though I appear to be wearing the same clothes I was wearing today.
In any event, it was a lovely way to wind up the day.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Primer Day

It's been a week now without my Lawn Tractor Sprinkler and I am moving on, but still pissed. I spent $25.00 on one of those wave sprinklers and it is doing an okay job for me. The problem of course, is that I have to attend to it every half hour or so. The Lawn Tractor just moved across the space of the lawn and then turned itself off at the end.

In the meantime, we are still trying to be productive.

Here is our productive work for today.

From this,
to this.
We got a coat of primer on the new siding. Tomorrow we will try to finish up with a nice finishing coat of sage green.

The amazing thing is that it used to look like this.
And while this is not a great shot of the same angle, here is a picture of what we started with.