Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturdat Questimentations

What should we do today?

It's almost noon and it is raining in our world. Susan is on Day Four of a crazy 5 day work schedule. I'm trying to create a space of calm and contentedness for her. 

That's not working out so well.

Anyway, we are going to hang out, take it easy and enjoy the benefits that the Madness of March provides and watch some basketball.

In particular, the Bulldogs of Gonzaga, a school located in Spokane, will be playing in the second round against an team called the Nerd Stormers of Northwestern...or something like that.
Additionally, we have a major advancement in main floor bathroom completion. Phil has finished basic construction on the bookshelf alcove for the stairs. 
It is going to require some tweaking to make it work to our satisfaction. I need to place a couple of blocks on the wall that will give the cabinet some support and prevention from falling into the stairwell. It is very tall and wobbly so those block should help immeasurably to support and stabilize. 

It of course needs to be painted but I'm not ready to do that until we figure out a couple of things. You will notice the mouse hole that is the entry into the cat box for Oscar. So far, he's not using it. We've had to remove that panel and he resumed using the box. It's much smaller in there than we anticipated. Just another item on the punch list that we need to work that out.

4:56PM: Gonzaga has made it through Round Two. On to the Sweet 16.
There is Coach Mark Few going through the line after the game.

I managed to capture a rather controversial play that led to a blown call that would have gone for Northwestern.
You can see the Gonzaga defender, Number 32 going up with his hand inside the basket. That should have been a goal tending call which would have made a three point game with about a minute and a half to go. That could have changed the outcome. 

The Northwestern Coach was pretty gracious about it. He said he appreciated the apology from the ref's and "it made him feel great!"

I managed to finish another little task today.
Susan got us this solar powered motion light and I finally got it installed. You can see the light on the corner and the solar panel on the West facing side of the porch. It remains to be seen if this does any good at lighting the area up when Susan comes home late at night.

The rain has taken a break and my knee is feeling pretty good today. So, I'm going on a walk to the Hub Tavern. They better have a nice glass of Merlot on hand.

9:56PM: They did! The wine was delightful. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

Elton John Review in Spokaloo

I have decided against the extra large font featured in the last post. It's too crowded looking and it just doesn't help. You know what? If you can't read it, wait for the movie.

Elton John was Captain Fantastic.

He opened with "Funeral for a Friend" and closed with "Crocodile Rock". In between, we heard, "Daniel", "Your Song", "Have Mercy on the Criminal", "Bennie and the Jets", "Philadelphia Freedom", "The Bitch is Back", plus a couple of new songs that I could not possibly give you the titles to.

Mr. John plays a piano with the ease of someone riding a bus. It looks and seems so effortless. 

He played a very jazzy inspired instrumental that eventually turned into "Rocket Man". "Levon" concluded with a 5 minute rock and roll jam very reminiscent of  "Freebird", with a couple of Beatles riffs thrown in for good measure.

I nearly cried when he played "Tiny Dancer". Damn, I love that song!

We were located upstairs in section 224, right at the start of the bend of the horseshoe. We were quite a ways back and binoculars would have been helpful. However, they had two screens on either side of the stage, not to mention a stage wide video screen behind the band that, along with an intricate system of lights and lasers added visually to the concert. 

By my sketchy count, he played 22 songs which ended up costing us $2.23 per song. I think that is more than a fair price to pay to watch a legendary Rock and Roll Icon perform some of his little ditty's that made up so much of my musical world growing up.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Sunday with Sir Elton

I think it might be time to change my font size in this blog to accommodate my deteriorating eye sight. I'll try it this time and see how it comes out. 

It is Sunday around the homestead and we are having a lazy afternoon prior to going to see Sir Elton John at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena tonight. It has been a good 17 years and one marriage since I have seen him and I am really looking forward to it.

I have Elton going in the background and hoping he will play the one song I really want to hear, Tiny Dancer. He skipped it when last I saw him. 

Before the concert, we are going to dinner at Tecate, a local Mexican restaurant. We shall be joined by Kim and Gary Gardell and Karen and Randy Lewandowski. We are buying dinner for the Lewindowski's because they insisted on paying for the tickets. I think we got the better end of the deal unless they are planning on eating $98.00 worth of Mexican food. If they do, I don't want to sit near them.

Phil came over earlier and he and I went shopping for construction supplies for the shelf I want him to build in the bathroom.

We got most of what we needed but there are a couple of items that can wait until we make some progress on the main framework of the shelf. 

Initially, I couldn't decided whether I wanted the shelves to be adjustable. Now that I have thought about it, why wouldn't I want them to be adjustable. And not just for about whomever comes after us.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Early Morning Phone Call

It was 5:07 when the phone started ringing. It took me a few rings to realize what was going on and reach for the phone.

I said "Hello" and was met by that silent gap you get when some tele-marketer is using an automatic dialer to make calls.

With a semi heavy accent, the guy said," Hello, this is Larry from the Microsoft Windows Call Center. How are you to today?"

I responded with, "It's five o'clock in the morning you Asshole!" 

At that point, Larry hung up.

I then laid there in bed for the next 45 minutes until my alarm went off ruminating about all the different scenarios I could have used to keep him on the phone and waste his time.

I've been called with this scam before where I am informed my computer may have been infected with a virus or is in danger of being infected. I'm not sure how the scam works because I've never let it get to the point where they are making me open my computer or ask for a bank account or something. 

Anyway, Larry got me because I'm still thinking about it. By now, he's called 75 other people and totally moved on from our encounter.

I just hate those parasites!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ramping Up for the Designated Snow Removal Area

The snow forecast has been backtracked from up to eight inches to between two and four inches. As I sit here at my desk at work and eat my lunch, it is snowing. 

However, we seem to have the same conditions as yesterday. The snow is falling but it's not sticking to streets, sidewalks or parking lots. That pleases me greatly as I do not necessarily want to break out the snow blower and take a swipe at my D.S.R.A.

9:06PM: I am home now and the threatened snow has never materialized. However, the snow here at the house did a better job of sticking to the walk than the snow out at Liberty Lake.

I still have not cleared it though. I'm becoming a horrible steward of my D.S.R.A.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Academy Award Snowy Sunday

Weatherwise, today is a counter balance to the lovely spring like warm conditions we had yesterday. 

We woke up to a thin layer of snow on the ground and more falling. The newspaper said we can expect up to eight inches by tomorrow night. I took this picture with the flash on in order to try and capture the snow.
It continues to snow but it is not sticking, at least on the sidewalks. That is good because it means I don't have to break out the snow blower quite yet.

So today we are expecting Phil to show up and continue work on the bathroom projects.

I will show him my drawing of the shelf and see what he thinks of it.
I made beer last night, a clone of Alaskan Amber while watching Gonzaga lose and it is percolating away this morning. It is a recipe I have made it before and it is quite tasty. I plan for it to be ready for Easter. So I'm way ahead of the game.

I feel compelled to state here that we have just watched a historic presentation of the Academy Awards. It appears the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse has screwed the pooch concerning the 2016 Best Picture of the Year.

I suppose that by now (as you read this waaaay off in the future) you are aware that this turned out to be a landmark event that triggered the start of WWIII.

But here, having had it just occur, we still do not understand all the ramifications of what has now been irrevocably set in motion.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Taskeria

Okay, I admit I made up the word Taskeria, featured in today's headline. Taskeria: (tas-KER-ee-ah) Verb :to do tasks.

You may recall that back on February 16th, I took this picture of the accumulation of snow on our neighbors garage.
Here is how it looks today, just nine days later.
So we have lost a lot of snow cover in a little over a week.

Still, the front yard has a healthy covering of snow. At least a good 10 inches.

Phil is coming over today to continue the tasks in the bathroom. 

One of the tasks being taskulated on is new shutters in the window. shutters to us. Susan found them in Des Moines  at an Antique Mall years ago knowing that they would go in the bathroom. 
Now we are faced with the project of making them work. She has already spent $30.00 on hinges that we can't use. One of Phil's tasks is to shave them just a little to make them fit in the space.

One of our discussions is how to attach them. We have been up to my Mom's house which is very shutter intensive, and they have a piece of trim attached to the window trim to which the shutters are attached.

Additionally, I have finally worked out a drawing for the shelf that will fill the space that is the entry to the old back staircase.

I am hoping Phil and I can go to the local large box store and buy the appropriate construction material to make this project happen and get Susan off my back...which is the guiding principle of my life.

2:03PM: Phil is not coming over today. He thought he said Sunday. I thought he said today. It's no problem because I'm flexible.

So I went off to the store to buy some beer making supplies and send a letter off to my son, Scott.

Now I'm going to do something else productive. Check the next paragraph to find out what it will be.

3:33PM: Susan and I have just returned from a walk around the park. It's the first time we have done it since before the snow flew. That's way back in November, probably.

I have also been vacuuming. I am done with the upstairs and am about to continue with the stairs and then the main floor.

5:43PM: I have finished with the stairs and a little of the main floor. I still have to get the living room and dining room, and probably the kitchen needs a once over as well. That may have to wait until tomorrow. 

I've got to get ready for Gonzaga's final regular season game. Mark is coming over with Pizza. I'm going to start brewing a new batch of beer while the game is on.

It's a home game and it's going to be historic if they beat BYU. They will finish their season as the Number One College team in the nation and undefeated at 30-0.

9:34PM: Denied! Gonzaga lost! They were in the lead by as much as 16 points at the start of the game and then it all just fell away.

That will be the end of their number one ranking but they will still be the number one seed in the WCC Tournament. If they win that, then they will be the number one seed in the West Division of the NCAA Tournament.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Nous Allons Skier

Well, here we go! 

It's our first day up on the ski hill. It is raining here in town but apparently snowing heavily up on the mountain. I'm actually starting to see some breaks in the clouds and sun. I'm sure it will be foggy at Mt. Spokane. In fact, here is the webcam shot for 8:26AM.
I'm no meteorologist but I'm going to call that foggy.

In any event, I shall report back here upon our return and lay out all the steamy details.

Mark is late so we haven't left yet. I just updated my mountain info and got this picture.
It might be a decent day up there. Now if only Mark would show up.

Later that day: It turns out that Mark and I had a miscommunication. I thought he was coming here and he thought I was going there. It turns out that it made a lot more sense for me to go there, and I might have figured that out in a while.

Anyway, we got on the mountain at 11:00. It was kind of foggy but not so bad that it wasn't skiable. Being our first time up for the year, it was pretty apparent that we were not prepared for a long day of skiing.  I was having issues with my gout knee and being short of breath. But the good news was that there was no chest pain. Just a very very out of shape fat man. We skied four runs before going in for lunch.

After lunch, Mark and I decided we had to get in a couple more runs but Susan had had enough. By then it had started snowing but we needed those two runs.

So the manly men ventured out into the winter. It turns out we only needed one run but we got the two in. When I pulled up at the lodge, I knew I was done! 

We were pretty beat by the time we got home. We didn't even go to the Hub for beer. Instead, we limped into the hot tub. I commented that being in the hot tub at that time made it worth the other 350 days of the year that we didn't use it.

I think I'm going to be paying for this ski day for a while.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Punch List

I have been dawdling on the finishing pieces of the bathroom so Susan has suggested we get Phil to come in and finish things up, 

Phil is coming by in about 15 minutes to go over the following list.

1) Finish trim around door
2) Finish trim around window
3) Build window sill in window
4) Install shutters on window
5) Build cabinet/shelves in stair space

Susan and I are going to knock heads on the cabinet because I want it on hinges so it opens like a door and she thinks it will be fine on casters.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday @ Home

It is another sunny day so we shall be expecting the melt to continue.

I suddenly realized I never showed the end result of the new faucet. 
It came out fine but I have two problems that I need to deal with. 

The first problem was that I was not happy with the water pressure I was getting out of the tap. This turned out to be easily solved by removing the aerator and checking to see if it had a flow restrictor. 

It did not but just the act of pulling the aerator, letting the water run for a minute or so and reinstalling it was enough to markedly improve the water flow at the tap.

My other problem is simply an ascetic issue. The nice braided water lines I bought to supply water to the faucet are a little bit too long. I measured and figured for an 18 inch hose. Unfortunately, my choices were 20" or 16". I chose wrong.

So, at some point, I'm going to purchase 16 inch hoses and replace. If I was smart and frugal, I would do it today and return the 20" hoses. However, I am neither smart nor am I frugal. Additionally, I'm a heart patient. 

One of the drugs I take makes me very dizzy when I lie on my back and look up to work on something. I discovered this years ago when I crawled under a truck to change the oil and discovered I was getting nauseous from doing the work.

I felt the same effect yesterday and just don't feel like experiencing it again.

So today is a lazy Saturday with me doing little nothings around the house while Susan is preparing treats for tomorrow's Valentines Day celebration at church.

I am going to take a moment to pat myself on the back. I used the new shower this morning and while standing under the shower and looking out onto the new bathroom, I have to say that I am very happy with the results. 

Susan will be pissed off when she reads this because, technically, the bathroom is not finished. We still have to finish the trim around the window and door. We still need to build a little shelf under the window and we still need to place the shutters and remove the horrible cheap shower curtain that is presently serving as a curtain.

We also have a giant cupboard to build to hide the old stair space.

Even so, I am very pleased with the result. The bathroom is so much better than what we had. If you doubt that, look back to entries I made back in May of 2015.

On a totally different subject, I have a picture that is a good illustration of the amount of snow we have.
This is my neighbors garage and it clearly shows a snow depth of about 18 inches. I'll try to monitor this and use it as my snow gauge.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday @ Home

I am home today, recovering from my surgical ordeal from Wednesday. I am pretty much recovered and should have gone to work today but I am waiting for the CenturyLink Technician to show up and fix the phone.

So I'm going to putter around the house today and see what I can get done. I have already shaved, showered and dressed so I am ready to face the bright sunny day that lays before me.

We still have a good solid 12 inches of snow on the ground and we are in the middle of a giant melt. As I said, it is sunny today and the temperature is currently 36 degrees on the iPod and 47 degrees on the StanOmeter 5000. Since the StanOmeter is mounted on the roof, I'm going to take that as a more accurate reading.

Time now for a waffle!

Ahhhhh! That was good. That and my coffee topped with Bailey's. I am satiated!

It's 9:20 and nothing from CentLink. I just went to their website and updated my appointment information and now I have been moved up to between 10:14AM and 11:10AM.

That means I can move on to a project.

Susan bought us a new faucet for the main floor bathroom that is more commensurate with the style of fixtures we already have in there.

We are replacing this
with this.
It's quite obvious that the faucet we originally installed is too modern looking for the space. Just look at the bathtub fixture.
That should be the guide for every other fixture in the bathroom.

So why don't I stop writing and get to work!

Okay! The faucet is in place but I need to get new hoses. The old faucet had hoses built in and this new faucet needs it's own independent hoses. Further, the hoses need to have an 1/8th inch connection at the shut off valve and 1/4 inch connection at the faucet shanks.

I cannot go and get the hoses yet because I'm still waiting for Century Link. It is now 10:14 and I need to recheck the website and see if I'm still on.

Okay the update has pushed me back to between 10:52AM and 11:48AM. 

10:18AM: I just got a call from the Tech. He's going to the box at their facility and another guy with the bucket truck is coming by the house.

10:45AM: The guys are here and the bucket truck guy is up the pole. The one tech told me he didn't think they needed to get into the house but I have unlocked the door just in case.

There is standing water everywhere which is going to be fun if a freeze returns, but so far, I don't think that is in the forecast.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Still No Phone Service

A technician from CenturyLink was indeed scheduled to come by today and fix our phone. The appointment window was between 1 and 4. I left instructions with the Representative that the Technician was to call me a half hour before he was to arrive so I could get home. 

I had absolutely no confidence that the technician would call in advance and had I bet on it, I would have been rewarded handsomely. 

I have just got off the phone to arrange appointment number seven concerning this issue. I told them I would be home on Friday and they gave me an appointment window of 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM. I have never been given such a tight window.

Now it just remains to be seen if they follow through. Since my lack of confidence continues, I have a very low threshold of faith that they will follow through. 

Driving down the street feels like I'm driving through a war zone. There are ruts and potholes and all kinds of obstacles to overcome until one gets to a main street. Then the driving is fine. 

I was surprised to arrive home tonight and see the plows had been by. Even more surprising was to discover my driveway was not plowed in. Usually they leave a berm as they pass that the homeowner then has to dig out. But that was not the case today. 

I think I need to do a little investigating to make sure one of my neighbors didn't clear it for me.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Little Snow, BIG snow

It snowed for most of the day yesterday as well as into the night. It is still snowing right now but the flakes are very very small. I estimate we have six new inches on the ground. 

I need to get out there and fire up the snow blower. The added challenge today is that I am on the downhill slide of an outbreak of gout in my right knee. It's the worst I've experienced in years. More information about my gout is available on my health blog, 
I have been successful with the snow blow of my D.S.R.A. I was out there for about two hours. I did our driveway and the sidewalks on Wall, Cleveland and Waverly Place. I also did half the alley in order to keep it clear for Garbage Pick Up.
They are forecasting more snow tonight. As you can see from the picture above, we got seven inches here at the house. The news has said 7 to 12 inches have fallen.

I was wiped out when I finished and came in for a nap.

Our phone is out again and I'm waiting for a Technician from Century Link to show up. They set an appointment for today from Noon to Four. However, I got an automated call last night about 4:45 confirming the appointment and saying the tech would arrive between Noon and 7:28.

It is quarter after 6 right now and I'm about to call and find out if a tech is coming.

9:56PM: Once again, no technician. The lesson I have learned today is to call on the day of the appointment to ensure they are still coming.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Shower Dedication

The shower has been christened!

Susan seemed a bit annoyed that I was so anxious to try out the shower. She still had clean up to do on the caulking. However, I believe the caulking is fine, everything looks good, and it is time to use it. I mean, we started this project in May of 2015.

Below is a close up of a small section of the edge of the shower and the bead of caulk we had to lay down. It seems to be working well.
My review of the shower is mostly positive. I can tell you that it performed its primary function. It got me wet. It is roomy enough to move around and kind of party in there. It did not appear to leak any water beyond the confines of the surround.

So I call that success!

It seems all is well with the internet connection in the house. I watched some Netflix stuff yesterday and that worked well. I was able to download all my podcasts this morning so that went well.

The only thing that remains to be seen is whether or not it lasts. That is the variable that we've been dealing with for the last week and I am gun shy waiting for the damn thing to drop out.