Monday, October 24, 2016

Working Bath Tub

I stayed home from work this morning because I had to wait for the plumber to show up. I was given a window of 8 to 10 and he showed up about 9:30. 

I made use of the waiting time by raking the leaves in the front yard. I managed to rake up 90 gallons of leaves in very little time. That's three big leaf bags. There is also a lot of chestnuts in those bags.

Once the plumber showed up, it took him $184.25 to get the bathtub connected. That's a little over an hour plus some parts.

That is money well spent as far as I am concerned because now, for the first time in 17 months, we have a working bath tub in the house. Susan will be bathing tonight.

I spent yeasterday working with our wine (Hence the yeasterday), bringing Halloween stuff down from the Carriage House, and preparing my flying ghost display. 

Let's take these in order. We have a shit load of grape juice. Our 100 something pounds of Sangiovese grapes has finished with the primary fermenting and is ready to start aging. We have well over 6 gallons in the primary fermenter and the possibility of two more gallons draining from the mesh bag full of grape skins.

Susan came up with the great idea of adding that excess Sangiovese juice to the Concord/Gerwurtztrameiner blend we have going.

We started hauling down some of the Halloween booty we have stashed in the Carriage House. We brought down most of the stuff that required batteries.

Next I got to work breaking out the various items I need to construct the flying ghost display. I had to go out and purchase a new sledge hammer for $35.00. I got a nice ten pound hammer with a fiberglass handle.

The ghost display involves pounding these sleeves into the ground that accept my 12 foot posts. The posts have the bicycle wheel attached to a bracket that I string the fishing line to.

I attach one bracket to the huge chestnut tree because I want at least one very secure, non-moving structure.

I got everything set up and running but the ghost and fishing line kept falling off the wheels. I need to secure a cable of some type to my drive motor post. That seems to be the spot where the ghost falls off.

The good news is that now, when the ghost falls off, it doesn't drop into a leaf covered lawn.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Major Award

We have received our prize money from the Interstate Fair for our award winning 2016 wine entry's.
As you can see, we now have the funds to party for quite some time.

In preparation for Halloween, we both went to the store separately yesterday and purchased a bunch of candy and 10 pumpkins. For my part, I spent about $50.00. I presume Susan spent an equal amount, plus assorted foods, ointments and salves. (Editor's Note: Beer qualifies as an ointment and a salve)

In Bathroom Progress News: We installed the towel bars and are happy with them. I started to install the shower head and handle but quickly realized a problem. I have to cut away some of the tile around the shower handle fixture. The handle cover will not sit flush to the wall until I do. In the meantime, I attached the handle just to see how it worked and to see how the new shower heads works. The water came out brown at first and then cleared. 

The problem I have is that the faucet does not turn completely off. It continues to drip drip drip and I find that quite annoying. I have the detachable shower head hanging all the way to the floor to mitigate the drip noise.

I have a plumber scheduled for first thing Monday morning. He will be hooking up the bathtub and additionally, I will have him check out the drip.

In the meantime, Susan has planned a lovely dinner for Mom and a few of her friends for Tomorrow evening. That means it is going to be very tense around the house starting at 5PM and lasting for about 27 hours.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


It is 9:11 in the evening and I am here at the typing machine ready to recount the day. I have a Gin and Tonic at my side, the Washington State Cougars are playing UCLA on the TV and I am about to recount the activities of a fabulous day.

I selected today to move the bath tub. I have been very anxious about this cuz the thing is heavy and large and really really heavy.

I would like to thank Mark, Ted, Lou, James, Ron, Kelly and me for making it all happen. I would like to thank Susan for taking all the Bath-tabulous pictures.

I should point out that the tub has been sitting in the garage for about a year. As you know, it is heavy and large and really really heavy. Plus, it takes up a tremendous amount of space in a small garage, It is as if I could put a car in there now.

Once we got it into the house, we realized we would have to remove the legs. Fortunately, that procedure was pretty easy.
Then it was just matter of moving it into place.

I was able to put the faucet together and get it installed but the connection to the water and drain is a little beyond my expertise. We decided it would be best to hire a plumber and have him hook it up.

Once again, we are so close to having a tub, and far away.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Wino Weekend

We have returned from Prosser, WA where we picked up 100 pounds of Sangeovese grapes. We also picked up 3 cases of wine along with several bottles of assorted wines.

We have wine. We should not have to buy any wine for quite some time.

We had a great weekend with our friends Karen and Randy who joined us as we stayed at the Sunnyside Bed & Breakfast.

We left Spokaloo on Friday and spent two nights in Wine Country.

One must really learn to pace oneself when one is on a wine tasting weekend. One can only hit so many wineries in a day and half way through that day, one is ready for a nap.

Our goal this weekend was to go to as many new wineries as we could. By new, I mean new to us. I think we could visit the Yakima Valley for the next several years and not hit all the wineries that are new to us.

Now we need to get our grapes processed. For that, I need my John. I will call my John later today and go from there.

Friday, October 07, 2016

War Zone

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I noticed a cacophony going on out front. I walked out on to the front porch and noticed what a war zone it was. It was raining at a pretty good clip and with the added wind, chestnuts and their husks where dropping like...well..chestnuts and their husks. 

The noise I had been hearing was the chestnuts hitting the roof. They really create quite a commotion. At first, I was wondering why someone was unloading lumber.

Oscar was out on his morning rounds but didn't look like he wanted to venture too far from the safety of the covered porch. In fact, even the porch wasn't very safe. There are a few chestnuts that made their way up onto the porch.

Through our neighborhood website, I learned that someone is scrounging for chestnuts. I think they want them to feed to injured squirrels. In any event, I gave them our address and told them to go nuts. Ha! Sorry, that only deserves a small ha.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Boiler Game Finale

The Boiler Game game ended today at about 5:30PM. Fall has come in hard in the last day or so and it looks like it's here least until Winter sets in. I was hoping to make it longer but, oh well.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Boiler Game 2016 Update

If you're playing the Boiler Game with us and you picked October 4th for igniting the boiler, you loose. I still don't know when it will happen, but it's getting very close.

It was a bit on the chilly side this morning when I got up. However, we have the wall heaters in the bathroom and bedroom to help take the chill off. 

Once I was showered and dressed, it did not seem quite as cold. But it is coming. 

It's quite dark in the morning when I head out for work. Add to that the overcast weather this morning, and one can speculate that perhaps it won't be long before the ol' Boiler gets fired up.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Mo Bathroom

I am not at all pleased with my fix on the bad joint.
My next plan of action is to return to Windsor Plywood and see if I can get a 10 foot length of the trim. If I can get that, I can run the piece in one section and be victorious. Susan is thinking she (the Queen of Spackle) can fix it. I'm going to let her try.

Phil came by today to work on the things I don't want to work on. In this case, it is repairing the roof from last October's wind storm.
I'm getting to it in a timely manner. He was not able to finish because it was too hot. He is trying to feather those pieces in under the existing shingles and the heat was making them soft and rippy.

Roctober First Update

I finished the cap on the Wainscot. I am mostly very pleased except for one part.

Here are a couple of before and after shots.

Here is my problem area.
The joint above was planned. I knew from the start that I had no single piece of the cap that would extend the whole length of that wall. I cut the joint at a 45 degree angle and really worked to fit it into place seamlessly. As you can see, it didn't work. I shall have to try and refit it.

On the wall where the toilet is, I blew my measurement and cut the last long piece I had short by seven inches. So I had a have a joint to extend the run. That joint I was pissed about and didn't work as hard to make it look good. However, it is nearly invisible.

You sure can't see it in the picture above.

It seems that the story of my construction life is that the things I agonize over never work out.

Later today, I'll be trying to fix that bad joint and putting up the corner trim.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Roctober First

It's a rainy first day of October, which threatened to derail my plans for working on the bathroom. But because I am resourceful and flexible, I managed to complete my work in spite of the weather.
I am working on the cap for the wainscoting. I cut all the pieces to length and made some very nice custom fits. Above you can see all the various parts that I have painted. I am waiting to get the second coat of paint on.

In the meantime, I took some pictures outside of the changing colors around the neighborhood.
Since it is the first of October, we brought down one of our guests to start out the season of scary. If you look closely, you might notice him peering through the door.

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,