Monday, May 23, 2005

Stairs of Death: Revisited

So one of our many projects around the house is Childproofing. And we have a lot of stairs. We also have the Stairs of Death Dun Dun Duuuuuuun!

They're bad. Not only can the little one get his head through the posts but the stairs themselves are a night mare, if he were to fall down them he could potentially miss all the stairs and just plummet directly to the cement floor below.

Yeah, I'm scared of the Stairs of Death, I fell down them when I was pregnant, our friend fell down them. They are scary.

Scott rigged the stairs with baby gates, firescreens and wire. The Buddy looks on. He is fascinated by this whole procedure and it quickly becomes his favorite toy depository.

Another Weekend Well Spent

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Gardening has become a guilty pleasure for me - time I could be spending on rennovating the house. I know I should try to balance fresh air and sunshine with gypsum and wood dust, but its still a guilty pleasure.

For photos, click here

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Random Fan Pic

Last night we went to the Masthead for one of their Hawaiian burgers (m-mm, that is a tasty burger..) and then to the Triangle Theater to see Episode III. Although I purposely avoided reading and critiques of the film before going, I had heard a few things - namely that the Third Episode was more violent than any preceding and that the actors still seems wooden and disconnected.

I thought it was a good deal more violent than the first three movies and a bit more than those Episodes I and II but I thought that actors were a bit more animated that previously (especially Yoda). There was the usual really bad script writing (Oh Ani, kiss me like you used to, before there was this war, or any separatist movement…). Yes it was more violent but not more so than what you will see any night on the boob tube and it was Star Wars violence as opposed to Sopranos violence. I find Wookies getting zapped by lasers just isn’t as applicable to what might happen to me and mine as are thugs in NJ working some poor guy over. But I digress. Anakin decides to go to the dark side. He does some really heinous crimes and gets painfully scourged for it. Then he puts on the last suit he’ll ever wear and becomes Darth Vader. Would you really want that Universe transforming process to take place without pain and violence? Should Anakin have gone down to his local library to research the dark side of the force, done a cost/benefit analysis and then said, “Gosh, Willikers! Why not give it a try?”

The pan shots, special effects, species and technological development were on a new level of amazing. The fight scenes were enjoyable. The dialogue and interpersonal interactions were survivable. I found myself agreeing, at least in spirit with the little boy in front of us, who when the credits rolled jumped up from his seat and yelled, “That was so awesome! When does Episode IV come out?”

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Tool Every DIYer Should Have

Man! How have I made it this far without one of these? I'm getting one on my lunch break.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

- Planted 20 more potatoes in the rain. Gonna do 20 more tomorrow if I have anything to say about it.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Not Every Saturday Can Be About Home Renno

For my dad's 61st birthday, my mom got him two tickets to a three hour cruise on one of two historical interpretations of sailing ships. On the cruise the two ships were to stage a mock battle. He and I drove down to Ilwaco yesterday for the event.

Lady Washington and the Lynx moored in Ilwaco.

Both of these ships are operated by separate non-profit foundations and don't usually operate together but they were both headed up the West Coast at the same time to go to the same tall ships gathering and decided to do come cooperative money making and educating along the way.

Lady Washington in the distance.

My dad and I got on board the Lynx, a re-creation of an 1812 Square Topsail Schooner - a slightly longer ship that the brig Lady Washington, who operates out of Aberdeen, WA. The Lynx home ports in Portsmouth, NH.

I just finished the fourth Patrick O'Brian novel, Mauritanius Command last night and plan to read the other sixteen in the series, popularized recently by the movie Master and Commander, starring Russell Crowe. Going on board the sailing ship really helped me to understand some of the terminology and descriptions of sailing rigs, etc. that I have been reading about.

The Lynx normally crews eight people but for that cruise the cook and the First Mate were left on shore. Those of us willing got to help sail the ship. I got to haul the main sail, work the jib sheets for about two hours, and haul clew lines when we were headed back into port. Again, the opportunity to pepper the crew with incessant technical and terminology questions was irrestistable.

They rake our stern.

About 3/4 of the fify or so people who came aboard for the cruise were Boom Pirates. I never really got it straight what the boom pirates are all about, but I think it involves a lot of dressing in pirate clothes and partying and drinking rum and also renn fairs.

Hat Overboard!

At one point I was talking with one of the crew and the gentleman in the green coat and hat pictured above. The conversation somehow got around to Burning Man, and while none of us had ever been we all agreed that it sounded like it might be fun. I said that some of my favorite pictures I had seen were of people who had recreated the costumes and vehicles from Road Warrior and were driving them around out in the dessert. Green Coat said, "Yah, I don't know... Theres' a lot of strange people in the world..."

I had to agree with him.

more boom pirates

According to their website, you can see pictured here Ferdinand and Dreamie D'Avanzo...

Not So Rolling Broadside with her single three pounder.

We put the hull down and let the scurvy dogs plow our slops.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The beans all came up. The corn didn't. Maybe its still too cold for corn to germinate? Its been getting up into the 70s in the daytime and not much lower than the 50s at night. Maybe I'll wait a couple more weeks and then put new kernels in the planters.

One of the many many things in our house that I haven't gotten around to fixing yet are the oversized cuts in the sheetrock, cut for the light switches.

I'm undecided as to whether I should try to just trowel in spackling paste or whether there is a better product. I want to build out from an edge but stop before spilling into the electrical box instead of spanning a gap like I've done in the past when repairing the sheetrock. Maybe some kind of foam that hardens up and can be sanded would be better?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Voted Most Likely to Be An Idiot.

I was reading one of the blogs I read recently, can't remember which one, and the author was venting about some of the ignorant bumper stickers she sees and on the $4000 cars with $15,000 worth of "pimping out" done to them.

Far be it from me to criticize someone for spending their money on a silly hobby but I do shake my head a lot while walking across the parking lot from our building to the rest of the campus. The one that really sticks in my mind is the sticker on back to the truck cab that says, "No Fat Chicks, Truck May Tip Over" I'm going to go out on a limb and assume this truck is driven by a guy and also suggest that he might as well replace the sticker with one that says, "I'M NOT GOING TO GET A DATE.... EVER...."

Take a Picture of Your Desk Day, Part II

My coffee fed succulents

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Scott Loses It Just A Bit..

I put my warm soil crops into seed trays today. These are mostly corn and beans and a few cukes. The rest of the tomatos went outside to sink or swim today as well. The rock garden will just have to deal with being a seed bed for a few weeks.

Over the Hill and Through the Woods

Today, I took a break from the yard work and gardening and walked over the trail that goes from our house over the hill to the house I grew up in and where my parents still live.

First you cross Brit's brick patio...

and go up the steps...

and across the hillside we are slowly but steadily reclaiming from the blackberries...

and across the first bridge...

and past the trilliums, which have big star shaped flowers white with a touch of purple when in bloom. Don't pick them. I've been told they won't bloom again for seven years if you pick them. I don't know if thats true or not but it kept me from picking them more than once as a kid.

...and through the woods...

keep going...

Watch out for gnomes...

After 119 steps, you come down the hill to my folk's place.

I thought the picture would let you see the house peeking back into the woods but I guess not.

Little white flowers that I don't have a name for but have always meant Spring to me.

Watch out for hobbits. They live in these woods. Its true!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A Saturday Like I Like 'Em

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday so today was sort of about doing stuff with him. We got two pickup loads of cedar chips and spread them on the trail that runs back and forth between our two houses. We're headed over there for dinner and a movie in a few minutes. Good times.

After the chips I made one more run back to the garden supply place. They are trying to get rid of their winter stuff and so pickup loads of mill ends (fir) are only twelve bucks right now - thats enough wood to heat our place for two months - six bucks a month when we paid 380$ for one power bill two winters ago when all we had was baseboard heat. Did I say six bucks already?

Question for any home renno readers - laying 2.5" fir flooring in the expansion upstairs to match the original 70 year old floor; do it myself or hire somebody? I've read a few how-to websites but haven't spoken with anyone who has actually done it.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Cousin Steve's New Lawn Update

Steve's New Lawn is coming along.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Full Day Outside

I am the proud owner of many sore spots and tired muscles. We awoke at 7 AM which is reasonably early for us on a Sunday. By 7:45 I was breakfasted, done with chores, and outside. The kid was with me in the backpack. We walked the dogs and then started in on the outside work. I pulled a lot of weeds, hauled water, planted seedlings, filled planter boxes, etc. until about 10:30 AM when I realized that I'd been doing squats and deep knee bends for two and a half hours with a 30 pound kid on my back who was alternately cooing, yelling, singing and hissing in my ear, while pounding on the back of my head, putting his fingers in my ears, nose and elsewhere and occasionally gifting the back of my head with watery sneezes. In short, it was nap time, or so we hoped. I deposited him inside and popped over next door to check on my garden before starting in on the blackberries.

Once over there I determined that the soil had dried out enough for tilling. I got the whole thing (about .75 of an acre) tilled up and all the upper beds planted with peas, carrots, three kinds of lettuce, potatoes, and zukes - everything but the beans. Today I found a use for those particle board shelving units we all probably have several of in the garage. I turned them on their side on the ground and made them into planter boxes. With the exception of a break for lunch soup and a NWN siesta, I worked on the garden until 4:30, took a few half-hearted stabs at the blackberries, and then broke for dinner with the whole family - including some who were visiting for the day from out of town.

As we ate, a thunderstorm rolled in that rattled the picture windows at my parents place harder than I can ever remember. I thought one might actually pop loose. Dogs and toddlers went nuts, the heavens opened up, and I was sure glad I decided to push through and get the tilling done today.

In the garden...