Sunday, April 23, 2017

We're Alright

I forgot to mention yesterday that we finally got the bathrooms shutters to a point where they were acceptable to Susan to return to the window. Then she worked on the valance she has been saving and got that in place. 
So now the bathroom is really starting to take shape. I'm going to do some work on the door trim and when that is finished and painted, the bathroom remodel will be complete.

We are coming up on the third anniversary of when we started the bathroom remodel.

I'm going to go out now and clean my car. It's a mess!

Later: With as much as we accomplished yesterday, we made today Opposite Day. Oh sure, I went to church and Susan ran a 5K, but beyond that, not much happened here today.

And we're okay with that!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday on the Park - It is not the Fourth of July

8:21AM: I have a lot I would like to get done today and I already feel like I'm running behind. It's always nice to sleep in though and one should do it at least once a day.

My morning has not started well as my coffee grinder broke. 
You can see in the picture that the blade is off the shaft spinning freely and the plastic cap that holds the blade in place has broken. At least it waited until I had my beans mostly shredded. However, a major loss of a good and trusted appliance so early in the day does not offer expectations of a glorious day to follow.

First, I needs to bathe. And so I shall!

8:44AM: Okay, I am clean and dressed and ready to face the horrible day that my coffee grinder says it is going to be. 

My first job is to go out and drain a little of the water out of the overfilled hot tub.
Okay, the water is draining and now I'll have to keep an eye on it to make sure I don't over drain. I want the water level to be about half way down the tile.
But doesn't it look great. It's clean and fresh and ready for our gross oily bodies to defile it. 

Okay, now it's time for some morning sustenance.

9:58AM: We are fed and ready to move on. The hot tub is secure and at a good level. I'll assess that for sure tonight when we get in it.

I am waiting for a text from Mark to meet him in the valley. He is taking his car to a guy who works out of his really nice sizable garage.

While I am out and I going to make a couple of stops. I have drugs to procure form the drug store and a new coffee grinder to purchase.

5:24PM: Wow! It has been a day! I got a new Coffee grinder and my drugs, and then I returned home to wash off the deck, wash off the front porch, cut a couple of mats for Susan's pictures she is going to put in the bathroom, got a final coat of paint on one of the shelves, and

We went out on the front porch and enjoyed a beer. And then Ted and his pal Swany came over and had a beer. And then, our friend Olga was driving by after dropping her daughter off at a birthday party and stopped for a beer.

Because that 's the kind of house we want to operate!

Sunday, April 02, 2017


It does not appear as though the town went too crazy last night. The sun came up this morning and most of the town is still standing. 

I can tell you from personal observation that the falls are a sight to behold. They are raging now like they do every year at this time, but it is always an amazing thing to take in. The power of water is awesome!

Susan has headed off to Costco to get her tires set up and I am here waiting for Phil to show up and put some finishing touches on the shelf in the bathroom.

I am going out to try to start cleaning the Carriage House. It is going to be a multi-pronged attack that will take several days. I'm starting with organization of my tools.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Zags Are At Least Number Two

The Zags have done it. They have beat the GameCocks!

It was a nail biter down to the end after they had been up by 14 points. They won by four, 77 to 73.

They will be playing the North Carolina Tar Babies on Monday night at 6:20 for the National Championship. Can you believe it?! Little Gonzaga from Low Self-Esteem Spokane is playing on the national stage. It's pretty cool. 

It will be interesting to see what sort of mischief goes on around town tonight.


It is Saturday and there is lots we would like to do but everything today revolves around The Gonzaga University Bulldogs and their Final Four competition against the South Carolina Gamecocks. 

The theme around Spokane everywhere is "Go Zags" and "Beat those Cocks".

The game is at 3:09.

In the meantime, we have some stuff to do around the house and the yard. It's cloudy today but no rain so far. I am going to go into the Carriage House and finally get around to stowing the Christmas Decorations. They have been on the main floor and need to go upstairs. 

Now that my knee feels serviceable, I'm going to get that accomplished.

Susan is bathing and considering going to Costco to get new tires. She only has a few days left to get her studded tires off.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wallace Weekend

We have just returned from our second try at a ski weekend. 

We drove to Lookout Pass yesterday morning and arrived about 10:30. The lift tickets I bought on line were honored and we proceeded to ski in Spring conditions.

We skied in fog, snow, sun, snow and sun, and a little bit of wind.

We had a great day that ended after seven runs for Susan. She hit the bar while I decided to go for at least one more run. My knees were not happy with me and I knew I had to take it easy.

Nonetheless, I skied three more runs for a total of ten. That means I brought my ticket price down to about $3.40 a run.

I met Susan in the bar and we have a Bloody Mary and decided where we were going to watch the Big Gonzaga game. We elected to drive down the hill and watch it at City Limits Bar and Grill. We had a couple more nice B.M.'s. 

Gonzaga handily handled Xavier and won by 20 points to finally make it to the Final Four. Next they play South Carolina on Saturday at 3:09.

We spent the night in the Brooks Hotel. We could not get into any of the other places we like because there was a ski race going on so all the rooms got booked up. 

Our room was on the third floor and they don't have an elevator. That would not normally be a problem except for the horrible fatigue in my knees and various other joints.

Our room was really nice. We had a king size bed with a flat screen TV looking down on it and then a little living room with another TV.

We checked in and got settled and then set out to party in Wallace. We first stopped in the bar that was attached to the Brooks, where we discovered $3 glasses of wine out of a box.

We then moved around the block to the Smokehouse. We got in just in time because they were trying to shut down for the night. This was about 8:30.

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.