Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Asthmatic Weasels

(originally written 3-10-11)

*I am about to explode from a massive, unresolved case of Spring Fever. Oh, and did I mention that it might snow tomorrow?
*Closing in on one week left till I need to have the St. Mary's tiki completed. Need to wander over to Menard's and find the stain I want to use. Something low odor would be nice, since I won't be able to work on it in the garage. Maybe a gloss. Haven't decided yet. Could just slap a coat of tung oil on it, for that matter. May also have to scratch the necklace idea unless I have a sudden burst of insight on how I can do it.
*Sheri's newest addiction: 'The Closer'. Seems like every few days a new season's worth of episodes getting delivered to the house.
*Will I be able to master the technique of the Tiki of the Twelve Cuts? Only time will tell....
*Ginger brandy: disappointing. Applejack: disappointing. Getting another dud bottle of Xtabentun: disappointing. Having to retool your cocktail list mere days before a party: disappointing.
*I need a MAME cabinet like I need multiple parasitic infections and open weeping sores. Doesn't keep me from wanting one though.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grumpy Sponge Finger Stuffing

*After Sheri told me that Al had cut down part of a tree in his yard, I found myself compelled to pay him a visit. I managed to walk off with a nice pile of freshly cut maple logs for my efforts. More than likely gonna be more than I can possibly carve before they dry out, but there's nothing like working with wet stock. Chisels breeze right through it and it smells pretty darn good too. Plus, I managed to hack out a complete, if simple, tiki in a mere 2 hours. May just do the same thing again on Tuesday.

*I should try to find some stropping compound.

*Almost time for the next gathering in the Blue Moai Room. I don't know why this one seems to have snuck up on me. And, as usual, there's another FOM related event on the same weekend. Oh, well. Guess I'll have to go to Racine some other time. Wound up with more than one cocktail list this time around, so I just need to decide which one to use this time. I still think that putting an actual cocktail on the list might not work. Still, never know until you try it. Got a couple of drinks that may fall off the list just because I can't find the ingredients locally. Ginger brandy, cherry brandy, and falernum are at the top of that ingredient list right now. Xtabentun is also becoming an iffy thing, since we actually got a bad bottle last time around. There is a place in the 'burbs that I can buy it by the case, though. Be just my luck that I'd but a case of it and then they'd stop making BLL. Not that I have any problem with drinking it straight.

*Tax appointment tomorrow. Blech and double blech. Maybe we'll go out for lunch afterwards and I'll make the enchiladas for lunch on Tuesday.

*Vegas trip is booked. At the moment, I find myself oddly unexcited about going. The on and off spring weather is doing an excellent job at dampening my spirits. Need to get some more sunshine into my diet and get my brain functioning again. I am also thinking I may need to carve a travelling tiki to take with. Kinda like the gnome in the commercials. Something that I can take pictures of next to the general weirdness that is Vegas. Maybe I just need to take Baby Monkey with me. I bet the TSA would hassle him though.

*Beer bottle lights. Not a very original thought, but it could be a fun project.

*Still no official word from the dermatologist. A nurse at the office told me that she thought she remembered seeing the report and that it came back benign. Still, I think something a little more concrete would be a tad more comforting to hear.

*Carving styrofoam is proving to be a bit more challenging than I thought it would be. I still don't have quite the right blade for it. Maybe I do have the right blade, but my technique is all wrong. Either way, something just isn't quite right. Cut depth is another issue as well. But, since I have a basically unlimited supply of the stuff thru work, I'll keep working with it. To what end, I have no idea.

*Artificial sun is now installed in the studio. 160 watts of 6450K light with a CRI of 94.1. If that doesn't help, nothing will.

*Am I the only one who still writes things longhand anymore?

Monday, March 21, 2011

No Creamy Filling

*Found out while browsing around on the computer last night that if we stay at the Mirage when we go to Vegas, there's a tattoo parlor right in the hotel. Mind you, it's a big, fancy world renowned one (supposedly), which in my book translates into ridiculously high prices. Still, the thought of getting some more work done has a degree of appeal to it. But, at the same time, you're wearing someone else's art until you die. It may be your idea, but it's their technique and execution. So, I'm on the fence about whether or not I'm going to get another one while I'm there. Then again, I'm on the fence as to whether or not I'll be getting another one at all. Especially depending on what I hear from the dermatologist. But, now that I mentioned getting another one at all, Sheri was asking if that was what I wanted for my birthday. So, if I say no, I have to figure out what else to have her get for my birthday. But that's another story. Another good thing about the Mirage that I discovered was that the pool(s) are heated. Yippee! Of course the definition of 'heated' can vary greatly. Still, I'm hoping to spend some time splashing around in the water under the desert sun. I should probably see what the average temp is there for that time of year. Found out that tickets for the original Cirque production are $183. Per person. Sheri was not happy to hear that. Don't know if she's still going to want to see it, though. Nothing really on my radar as far as shows go this time around. Should probably check and see what's playing, just in case. And, as usual, our visit just misses a slew of other events that we'd be interested in. Lewis Black, Steve Martin, burlesque weekend, and the rockabilly festival will be things that we're gonna miss by anywhere from a day to a week on either end of our trip. Mind you, that won't stop me from going to Frankie's. I may need to drown my sorrows and round out my mug collection a bit, you know.

*Had another good 3rd Saturday at the Chef! The band was great, once they managed to get the sound levels evened out so we could hear the vocals. We got there early to eat, and the parking lot was full. The place stayed pretty full until we left shortly before closing time. Also had the added entertainment of an intoxicated Mexican dancer during the second set. They only had to throw her out twice before it took. The hot and sour soup was way more hot than it was sour this time around, proving once again that it's never the never the same thing twice in a row. It was also nice to be part of surprising everyone with the unannounced appearance of the Tagalongs. And even though we managed to get pretty much everyone in the same place, we seem to have ended up with very little new information about our travel plans for Ohana. But we're going to go ahead and get our passports, just in case we end up returning via the northern route. Most of the rest of it is still up in the air.

*You would think by now that I would have learned to wear a dust mask while sanding. Which reminds me that I need to do my yearly respirator fit test for work pretty soon. Really want to move back out into the garage to work, but I know the second I do that we'll end up with snow on the ground again. So, the coat of dust in the winter studio will continue to grow thicker until the summer studio season starts up.

*I am still waiting to hear back from the dermatologist. Went and got the stitch out today, but the nurse I saw wasn't sure if my report had come back yet. Now it's well past closing time for the office, so I get to sit and wait for at least another day.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Break time's over, boy...

*I am neither Irish nor catholic. I do not need a 'holiday' to officially sanction my drinking. I do not believe that the Irish invented the color green. I don't believe in saints any more than I believe in leprechauns. And I most certainly do not think that Guinness is worth drinking. Therefore, St. Patrick's day is not something I acknowledge.

*The snow may all be gone, but the bolt is nowhere to be found. Luckily, I have zip ties.

*From the window in my kitchen, I can see 3 houses that are for sale in the subdivision that adjoins my property. There is another one I can see that was on the market for over a year and is just now sitting empty. Of those four properties, two of them have pink water shut-off notices taped to the door. Now, if I had to guess, I'd say there are more than a dozen homes total within a 2 block radius of my house that are either for sale or empty. I can practically hear my home value dropping on a daily basis. The only upside is that my next tax assessment should be considerably lower than my previous ones.

*Sure, he may scuba dive and collect guns and like Harry Potter, but can he return a topspin serve? Guess we'll have to find out.

*The last get together at the Blue Moai Room was, in my humble opinion, a rousing success. Of course, that was after the layout of the room underwent a near complete overhaul under the direction of Sheri. It was a much needed revamp, and it proved to make a huge amount of difference in the way the room was used. Aside from me needing a garbage can and a fridge behind or near the bar I think the only thing I really need in the new configuration is a bigger bar. Oddly enough, this is wholeheartedly supported by Sheri. Thus far, finding a commercially made product that will fill this need without busting our bank account has proven impossible. So, it looks like custom construction is on the agenda. And since the bar area has moved to the other end of the room, the plans I had originally drawn up are now pretty much useless. But that's something that most likely won't be happening anytime soon. Even with the small bar, the drinks were good, the crowd was good, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next month. There were some of our regulars that didn't make it, but there were also some new faces in the crowd, so it looks like this event may be starting to gain some traction.

*Out with the gray, in with the blue.

*A recent perusal of eBay has confirmed the fact that I am no closer today to being able to afford a pinball machine than I was 5 years ago.

*Had a 6mm chunk taken out of my face because the dermatologist didn't like the way a mole on my cheek was looking. Now I just have to wait for the path report to come back to find out what the hell it was. Until then, I'm gonna pretend the C word doesn't exist. Apparently 40 is starting to disagree with me.

*As always, before you act, ask yourself, 'What would Baby Monkey do?'

*Take out the tree, or live with the mud? Between the dogs and the shade, grass just refuses to grow under that tree in back. Unfortunately, the rest of the yard is starting to thin out as well. Odd to see an article in Atomic Ranch dealing with that same issue right when we're trying to figure out what to do with the backyard ourselves.

*Skin slips, splinters, and a nose fulla dust? Must be sanding time in the studio. On the plus side, I do seem to be on schedule for getting the St Mary's project done. Then I'll need to get back to work on the Ohana project. I need to do the 80 pass on the back and sides of the St Mary's, and then it will be time to step up a grit or two. I know what the necklace is gonna consist of, but the stain color I'm not sure of yet. May have to go lighter than I usually do.

*Do we take the bed off it's frame so it's easier for the oldest dog to get on and off? Probably.

*Vegas in April? Looks that way. Gotta get moving on those arrangements, though. At the head of the pack for accommodations thus far is the Mirage. On my to-do list for this trip-Frankie's Tiki Room (duh...), the Pinball Hall of Fame, and hopefully some time in the pool. I am also not ruling out getting some ink while I'm there. Sheri wants to see one of the Cirque du Soleil shows and there's a speakeasy in the downtown area she wants to find. Other than that, it would be nice to just be warm for a few days.

*Why the hell are the laces on New Balance shoes always so damn long?

*Got our tix for Ohana in June. I need to decide where, when, and what I want to volunteer for and get signed up for those slots. Also need to touch base with Mel, Dave and the Tag-Alongs to firm up our travel arrangements and accommodations. Depending on the route we take to get there, we may also need to get passports. Some putting practice may be in order, too.

*What to do about Indianapolis.... Is bold and stupid the way to go? Sleeping dogs? Do good things come to those who wait, or does the day need to be seized? Have I missed the boat, or do I head it off at the pass?

*I have crossed over the official BMI index threshold into the 'overweight' category. Yet another example of how 40 isn't agreeing with me. Time to get the bike down and get moving again, I guess.