Monday, December 28, 2009

Every "Kiss My Ass" begins with Kay

*Do not do business with Kay Jewelers. An attempt to do spomething nice for me turned into a nightmare for Pinklady when the Powers That Be of Kay Jewelers ducked into the bunker of corporate policy and refused to even consider the notion of customer satisfaction. So, don't do business with them, unless you have a masochistic streak...

*I think it would be accurate to say that there is more snow on the ground right now than there was at any point during the last winter. Suffice it to say, this does not amuse me in the least.

*Giftmas took waaaay too long this year. Apparently Zella and the MIL need to start unwrapping things in the last week of November to keep things moving along.

*Some people call it decor. In certain cases, I can agree with that label. Other times it's just endless amounts of crap stuck into every available space for unknown purposes.

*Brake pads, new rotors, valve cover gaskets, tires....and all I thought I was going to get her was the stupid remote start for her car.

*If you're gonna get to be good at it, you have to put the time in. Period.

*The $40 vintage bar is gonna cost me at least that much in materials to do the rebuild/rehab/refinish work. But it does look like it belongs with all the other things I've collected.

*If anyone else offers me a cookie or some other type of sweet treat, it is highly possible that my pancreas will leap out of my abdominal cavity in an exhausted frenzy and beat them up in a most savage manner.

*It's my own fault. I realize that now. I have nobody to blame but myself for the fact that Bones has been playing non-stop on my TV since the 18th of December. I knew she liked the show, which is why I got her the DVDs. I even like the show. But I don't think I could put the first four seasons on an endless loop and just keep watching it over and over again. Oh, well. If nothing else, it's keeping her entertained. Now if I could just get that stupid theme music out of my head...


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


*I have hit another series of weird and vivid dreams. The one from Sunday felt like it just went on and on and on. And just who was the Asian girl?? Monday night found me back at the Family Fountain, or some altered form of it. Makes me wonder if there's something going right, or maybe wrong, with my medication levels.

*Of course if you get repeatedly poked in one of your internal organs with a little piece of plastic there's going to be some blood as a result.

*I forgot how fast freshly opened logs dry out in this kind of weather. Got to work a bit faster on that project before that log ends up ruined. Grind time can wait.

*I gave in and bought yet another new game. Did it pretty much without even thinking, too.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tubes of Glittering Seafood Paste

*A week of vacation time came and went before I knew it. Of course, I had my usual gargantuan list of things to do, and of course I got very little of it done. I'm not sure if I had finally caught a sample of whatever it was that had gotten the wife ill, or if I was in a depressive episode, or some of both. Whatever it was, I allowed it to burn through my vacation time without consequence. Could be a sinus infection. I'm a bit stuffy, but just on one side of my head. Doesn't hurt when I tap on my face, though. This whole whatever it is made me miss my holiday get-together with Jeweltiger, which I still have yet to be able to reschedule. The Pirate Queen also remains a rather vague notion on my calendar of events. And I still have no idea when Boots is going to have her appointment. I did get to meet some of the folks from the DRPGG, and it looks like that could be an amusing group to hang around with. Helm is already on the calendar, and I may fish for interest from others for tomorrow night.

*The people in my high school graduating class need to stop having birthdays. Right freakin now.

*Kittyluv dropped some good news on me, and hope things keep moving in a positive direction for her!

*While I admit that I have no idea why my pillow smelled like cookies, I do know why my scrubs smell like coffee.

*I had forgotten what an interesting, yet difficult, material bone is to work with. Makes me think I should go find where it is that my mini-hack drifted off to. Still, I intend to see what it is that I can do with some standard (read as: easily portable) hand tools before I go looking for new methods.

*It may not yet be the OFFICIAL HOLIDAY, but the wife and I got all of that nonsense out of the way on Friday. After 17 years (amazing as that is), we have managed to streamline the process a bit. This year I opted to increase the % chance of success of my gifts by increasing the overall number given, as well as doing all my shopping the same day the gifts were given. In an unusual turn of events, I somehow ended up with a 100% approval rating across the board. At the exact other end of the spectrum, the wife opted to go for one gift, which was chosen months ago. Unfortunately, also on the other end of the spectrum, I'm not at all sure if I like it. Given the amount of money tied up in it, it makes no sense to keep it if it won't get used (which is what I'm thinking the case may be). The flip side of that would be, I have no suggestions for a replacement gift of a similar magnitude. At the moment, I have no idea what to do.

*All the tile is in the master bath. No grout yet, but the tile is in. Looks like the arrival of the vanity may be the next thing that hangs up the progress of the work. The toilet and other fixtures we have already on site, but it turns out the vanity is going to arrive (possibly) a week later than we had been told it would. This has proved to be yet another annoyance for the wife, who is already aggravated about being displaced to the guest room by the construction.

*It was interesting to be right there when the Candyman finally achieved his long time dream. Just goes to show that if you don't put the time in, you won't get anything out.

*I may have found a bar for the tiki lounge. And for a mere $45!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Delayed Jell-o Gratification Muffin Clusters

*OK, folks, it's December. Actually, it's late mid December. Furthermore, it's late mid December in northern IL. Just gotta love those double digit sub-zero wind chills. But yet, there are people out there who seem surprised by this occurrence. Some are even seem to be amazed that the pajama pants they're wearing aren't doing much to keep them warm. I think the whole lot of them should go lick a metal pole outdoors. And then, while they're stuck there, they should be nibbled on by hordes of overly enthusiastic deer. Maybe then every other sentence out of their mouths wouldn't be about how cold it is outside.

*That new blonde on Mythbusters that's taking Kari's place-with her I'm not too thrilled so far. There's just no hot science geek vibe happening there.

* Had to go to Menard's today to get the new vent fan for the bathroom. It's always just so damn amusing to drive around town the day after a burst of winter weather hits. Anyway, I get to the store, and was getting ready to get out of the car. I pull on the handle to open the door, and it just freakin snaps off in my hand. Well, crap. Wasn't expecting that to happen at all. Fumbled around for a few minutes until I came to the conclusion that it was basically impossible for me to get out of the car from that door unless I rolled down the window and climbed out. And I can tell you that that wasn't going to be happening. So now, I can get into my car from the driver's side, but if I want to get out of the car, I have to pick another door. Lots of fun climbing over the gearshift and parking brake in full winter gear. Called Motor Works when I got home to see just how much this was gonna cost me to get fixed. If I want the nice silver Mazda brand handle that matches all the other handles in the car, that's $110 (just for the part). Got that? A plastic door handle is $110. But, if I get the Ford Escape (which is basically what my car is) black plastic door handle, that's just $55. Go figure. Looks to me like I'm gonna have one mismatched door handle.

*The remodel of the master bath is coming along quite nicely. Having to be up at 0800 every day to let the contractor in is annoying. The notion that it may be painted and ready for tile by the end of the day Friday makes those kind of things a little easier to take.

*I have come to discover that even the hardest of wood is pretty easy to carve when you get into it while it's still wet inside. The downside is that it checks (splits) like crazy when it dries out. Good thing I like the way the finished product looks when that happens.

*I am in the process of adjusting my eating schedule. Since I come home every night from work and dive into the fridge (as the weight I've gained will testify), I am probably going to stop eating breakfast. Before you go and spout all kinds of nutrition nonsense to me, hear me out. When I get up at 0900, I'm rarely hungry. So, if I have breakfast when I get up only to turn around and have lunch at noonish, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Seems more reasonable to have a smaller meal type thing when I get home form work, and start the day with just some coffee or juice or something like that. Plus, I need to get back on the treadmill for the winter. Actually, I need to excavate the treadmill from the creeping pile of crap that has engulfed it, then I need to get back on it.

*It was right there. A mere click of the mouse away. Tempting me. Teasing me. One push of the finger, and it could have all been mine. A nearly complete collection of HeroScape items (with free shipping!!). And all I could do was watch it go by. CURSE YOU E-BAY FOR SHOWING ME SUCH LOVELY THINGS!!!!!!!

*The wife is making a slow comeback from whatever bug it was that has kept her ill for the past 10 or so days. Just as a point of interest, I have noticed today that my throat is becoming rather persistently scratchy. If I end up getting sick right before my vacation starts, or being sick over the course of my vacation, I shall be most put out.

*I swear that Lucy is going to make me shovel a patch of the yard just because she won't hunker her furry little butt down and do her business in the deep snow. Don't even bother telling me how spoiled my dogs are.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Sans Sulfurous Soda Sludge

*Turns out I missed seeing BMG lighting the Las Vegas city Christmas tree on GMA this AM. Guess that's what I get for not being more vigilant about checking my FB notifications.

*First bits of wispy dry snow came down overnight, and some of it is still hanging around. Guess that means I can't deny the fact that winter is here. The weather guys are saying a 6-12" snow could be on the way next week. That means I need to make sure I have gas for the thrower so I can see if it starts. And runs. I also need to get all the demolition trash out of the garage so Pinklady can get her car in there.

*I can't deny that I have probably talked to people on the phone while using the bathroom. However, unlike the guy in the employee locker room this afternoon, I have never talked to someone on the phone while taking a thunderously loud pee in a restroom that is nothing more than one big echo chamber.

*I was going to try and have a game gathering yesterday, but opted not to, as the forecasters were calling for some nasty weather and my intent to get a lot of piddly stuff done around the house, neither one of which actually materialized. So, I'm going to try again and shoot for next Tuesday, which is also supposed to be a beastly weather day. I put the notice up on the DRG message board today, and we'll see if I get any responses. My first post garnered all of 2 responses, even though it was been viewed quite a few times. I really am starting to think that the number of people out there who actually play games anymore is quite a bit fewer than the small number I had already thought it to be.

*Our bird feeder is being frequented by a small woodpecker, as well as various other assorted small birds. I saw another feeder I liked in a catalog that would seem to be able to keep the squirrels at bay. Thinking about getting another one just because it's nice to be able to see some signs of life outside when the weather is cold. Plus, Lucy really enjoys eating all the seed that the birds spill. I know it's weird. I just look at as her way of getting some fiber in her diet.

*When a cold makes the wife miserable, it makes me miserable as well.

*Seriously, how could someone in my general age demographic NOT know who Bob and Doug McKenzie are?? That could also very well mean I'm the only one left who remembers Sniglets...

* "Funny People"
Another listing in Adam Sandler's smallish listing of semi-serious film work. I enjoyed it for the most part, but Pinklady said that it reminded her of a male version of "Beaches". As I have no basis to evaluate that comparison, I had to take her word for it. I was also surprised that it clocked in at 2 hours and 15 minutes long. Given the choice, though, I still prefer "Spanglish".

*Have I recently mentioned my fondness of coffee?

*OK, I had to go to the Dr's office this morning. I had an 1100 appointment, so I was there about 10 till. While I'm sitting there waiting, this woman comes in and apparently she had the 1030 appointment, but was late because she said she had a phone call from Sweden or Holland, or something like that. My logic is, she missed her appointment, so she could work in where they could fit her. I was on time, and waiting, so I get my appointment on time. Right? Nope! She gets to go in first, and I got an hour tacked onto my wait time for an appointment that took less than 10 minutes once the doc got into the room. Am I wrong in giving that situation a big huge WTF?


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiled Stumpy Ball Point Bananas

*We were expecting to hear from the contractor about starting the bathroom on Monday, so I got started on demoing the bathroom Sunday afternoon. Bashing my way into walls proved to be as amusing, deafening, and dusty as I thought it would be. The good news was that in the parts of the wall that I managed to uncover, there was no evidence of water damage, mold, insects, or other types of vermin. That's always a good start. It looked to me like there was already a vent from that bathroom, so I'm hoping that part of the job can be skipped. The sink, toilet, and vanity all came out without major incident, and there was no hidden damage that was discovered. The only issue was some minor troubles getting the right type of pipe caps, and needing to decide if I should reinsulate the walls while I have them open. So, after a couple of hours of tearing down drywall, I decided to leave the rest for the next day.

Monday morning rolled around and I once more donned my safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, and dust mask (quite a sexy ensemble) in preparation for yet more deconstruction. On Sunday, I had worked my way around the walls, leaving the shower enclosure and the space where the medicine cabinet was (since that had the only light in the room), so these were the only things that stood in my way of being done. I was thinking I'd be done before lunch. Now, the contractor had told me to use a Sawz-All to remove the shower enclosure in pieces. I thought I could most likely accomplish the same thing with my RotoZip. I was not quite entirely wrong, but pretty close. While it did indeed penetrate the fiberglass pretty easily, it also threw up a horrendously large cloud of very finely ground fiberglass particles in the process. Since I now value my lung function more highly that I did when I was younger, I decided to discontinue the use of that tool. Next, I opted to use a hammer to basically perforate the fiberglass, which I could then rip off in decent sized hunks. This technique, while satisfying in a very base manner, proved to be as inefficient in destruction as it was inversely inefficient at generating sweat. I finally decided to head for the garage and get my Sawz-All. And go figure, it worked like a fucking charm. Zipped right through that fiberglass like it wasn't even there. Three quick cuts, and the whole back panel was out, and.....holy crap, what is that? Is that a drain line? Glad I missed that with the saw. Shit. That's an electrical line for the's even closer to the shower back than the drain line was...I must have missed that by...shit......That was waaaay too fucking close.

I obviously decided to not share this little detail with the wife. Mostly because I knew she'd freak out, but also partly because I didn't want to think about just how close a call it was. So I didn't. The saw went back into use, and the last wall of the enclosure came down without me sawing into the water pipes in the wall. Then all was left was to remove the floor pan. In another burst of genius, I didn't bother to check and see how it was connected to the drain pipe before I tried to pull it out of place. I got it out. Snapped the drain trap in half, but I got it out. After running to Menard's to get another drain plug, it was time to go after the medicine cabinet. Went to the garage and got a trouble light so I could see what I was doing once I shut the light on the medicine cabinet off. Made sure the switch was off, and then started to take the bolts that held it up out of the wall. Got those out and was left with it hanging from the wall by the electrical line. Sooo. Let's see how this is hooked up here. Gotta stand on the stool, since I can't see back there. Hmmmm. Why are there 4 lines coming in from the wall? Should be 2 and a ground, but there's 3 and a ground. Whatever. I need to get this done. Just undo the wire nuts one at a time and then cap off the lines from the wall. OK, why won't this come down? Oh. Cable clamp. Loosen that, and it should come right down. Damn. That's not gonna go through there all at once, not with the wire nuts on the lines. Is the switch off? OK. Guess I'll just pull them through one at a time. Ground first. Now the green one. Need to change my grip. Think I'll just sandwich it between myself and the wall to help hold it up. white one next. Just that black one and I'm done.

Then it felt like I got punched in the throat. I took a quick step backwards off the stool with the medicine cabinet in my hands. In that split second, I understood what had happened. Four wires going into the fixture means that the power goes to the fixture before going to the switch. Since I hadn't killed the circuit at the panel downstairs, the wire nut must have come off while passing through the back of the cabinet, leaving bare end of the LIVE black wire to come in contact with the metal medicine cabinet, which was snugged up against me between my chin and my waist. Oh, crap.

The wife came running from wherever she was in the house asking what I had done. Gracie started going nuts as she asked in louder and louder volume what I had done and If I was all right. I must have been somewhat stunned as I tried to process what had just happened while trying to convince her I was OK. I didn't do a very good job of it, as she was very quickly hustling me into the car and off to the hospital. A three hour stay in the ED, along with all the stuff that goes along with it, showed that I had suffered no ill effects from the jolt, aside from the sting of stupidity every time I had to relate what had happened to me. I was also forbidden to finish the rest of the demolition.

By the time we got home, I had made several admissions of the rather glaring errors I had made in the interest of getting things done in a hurry. That didn't do a whole lot to convince the wife that I should be allowed to remove the last 7-8 square feet of drywall that was still up. Somewhere in the course of the evening, she relented this position without actually saying so, and when I got up Tuesday morning, I finished what I had started AFTER turning off the power at the circuit box downstairs.

In the end, I somehow managed to survive yet another potentially fatal collision with my own stupidity. All I know is that my stockpile of second chances has got to be getting pretty slim. And, to top it all off, we still haven't heard from the contractor yet.

*Coffee is my friend.

*Even though I have a pretty good idea of what to put on the lists of all the people who are demanding lists, I have not actually gone so far as to actually write them down. I need to do that tonight and tomorrow, lest there be socks, gift cards, and underwear in my future.

*No apparent damage to the house from all the guests this past weekend. Just a couple of pee spots and some misplaced game parts. No biggie.

*BlackWednesday made a brief appearance in a dream the other night. No idea why.

*I know what to get the wife for Giftmas, I just need to figure out where to buy it from. What would that be, you ask? Exactly what she told me to get her. Duh.

*In the midst of more pointless Facebook wanderings, I may have actually discovered something of some value. A posting by someone I know, and have gamed with on occasion, indicated that he had joined a DeKalb area RPG club that was on So, I wandered over to that site, found the group, and joined it, hoping that I could expand my contact pool of potential gamers in that manner. Figures that if I can't get a group of my own started just yet, I should at least be in contact with a group that's already going. We'll see what happens from here. I will refrain from getting all tingly just yet.

*I guess it's a compliment when another guy tells you that they had no idea that you were as old as you are. Right?


*In my endless quest to endlessly provide myself with an endless stream of things to endlessly do, I have started peeling a new log, thus bringing the total number of tikis in progress to 4. Of course, that does not take into account all the other stuff still hanging around that needs my attention.

*I have had a craving to start playing Roller Coaster Tycoon again.

*Of course I'd love to take Kittyluv to see BMG! Partly because it means I would get to see them again, too!