Monday, March 26, 2007


I helped Ryan over the weekend. He's installing hardwood flooring over 1600 square feet in their new house. I figured it would be a good way for me to get know-how and experience doing it.... and I was right. We'd like to do our house, and now I have a good idea how much work it is and what the likelihood of screwing it up is... those answers being 1) a lot, and 2) not too bad. It's not hard work. It's just a lot of work.

Knee pads are a must :-)

Brian and Kristin had a "Spring Break" party friday night. We went and stayed past midnight yammering and eating and drinking and generally being merry. Kristin was lamenting the fact that this is the first spring break where she isn't going anywhere. Ha. I went to Rolla for a week one spring break and stayed with Jeff. That's been about the extent of my spring break experience. Not that it wasn't fun, mind you ;-)

As you can see by that last post the flowering pears are flowering. The redbud will probably pop this week. And I'm anxious to see what the Japanese Crabapple will do this year. They say they're slow to bloom. Last year was the first year it had any blooms on it at all. Maybe 10. I'm hoping this year it'll go all out.

Vicki and Kristin and Angela went down to the lake on a little shopping trip. Vicki had never been down to the outlet shopping mania that is "The Lake". Nor have I. But she has now. By all accounts they had a good time. Ok, so I really only have Vicki's account. But, since that's all the account's I have, then hers is all of them.

We definitely have house envy over Ryan and Kristie's new house. (We won't have house PAYMENT envy) It's really nice. 5 acres ... about an acre's worth of a small lake, large, well-planned house. Huge garage. Nice deck. Peep frogs. I heard peep frogs. I love that sound. Ryan pointed out last night back in our neighborhood that you can, in fact, hear them, but they are only part of the larger din that is the city.

At least we don't live in Dallas.

Spring is Here

High Heeled Marathon

Not much into watching people run, but here's a marathon I'd go watch.

Gotta hand it to the German chicks. :-)

update: Here's another thing I'd like to see catch on:

Sunday, March 18, 2007

What's goin' on

Full calendar last week... Tuesday evening we went to the Elks for a while. Wednesday evening we went to the Chancellor's concert at Jesse Auditorium. It was a free concert with the University Singers, University Philharmonic, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. Went to dinner with the Jorgensens at the Berg beforehand. Had a good time. And on Thursday night we went to Osaka's for Angela's birthday with Brian and Kevin ... and of course, Angela.

During the week I also experimented with my new 1.4x Tamron teleconverter. It works much better than the Kenko 2.0x one I got. I took some shots of the engineering building on the quad.

Last night I made a new leather sheath for my ridiculously large sheath knife. It's one about the size of Crocodile Dundee's "that's not a knife... now that's a knife" knife. I also sharpened the heck out of it and managed to slit a bit of the sheath pulling it out. But I took care of that with a bit of superglue.

Got the taxes done last weekend. So that's out of the way.

It was a pretty wild week of weather. We had snow last weekend for another walkabout, but it was in the mid 70's early in the week. Cooled down again Friday. Yesterday morning we got about an inch of snow between 7:00am and 11:00am, and it was gone by 4:00 in the afternoon. The daffodils are blooming. And some of the trees look a bit anxious to bud out.

Fixed a couple of things around the house. Bart's anti-corner flashing and a leaky water valve going to the downstairs toilet.

Ryan and Kristy did their own walkabout today from the Fulton side of Cedar Creek. This afternoon we spent on his lawn -- looking through the Campmor catalog, sharpening knives, drinking beer... we set up my hiker tent I got from Sam's. Pretty cool. But I think I want a piece of tivec to make a footprint for underneath it. The floor doesn't instill me with confidence against rocks & sticks and saturated ground.. It's plenty big for a couple. It's great for one person. Also started a sun fire with leaves from the yard just to prove we could do it.

Heh. I'd better stop before you fall off the edges of your collective seats.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Not a lot

You haven't heard much because not too much exciting has gone on. This past weekend Vicki got a "Gazelle" cardio machine from a co-worker. It'll definitely get your heart rate up.

I loaded some bullets for my Colt -- .38 S&W.... it's about the only economical way for me to keep it in ammo. It's a neat old gun, but ammo for it isn't made en masse, so it runs a good 40 cents a pop. Reloading (once you've bought the equipment) brings that down to about 15 cents a round.

Ryan and I went on walkabout again -- this time on Saturday. We tested his new pocket chainsaw. It definitely works as advertised.

I made a little bowsaw with my pocket saw ... the little cheapie rough cable saw. You use a bit of sapling cut a few inches longer than the cable. It works better than no saw at all, but I wouldn't want to have to cut a lot of wood that way. It is less liable to break from kinking that way.

We figure in a pinch you could carry two or three of those little things for little bit of weight and space they occupy and if one breaks, "eh". They work ok held between two hand with not too great an angle.

The pocket chainsaw, on the other hand -- mows right through logs. It'll give you a bit of cardio exercise, though. I guess the reason it's so fast is it allows you to put a lot of energy into cutting per stroke. It's sturdier, but definitely heavier. All things considered, though, if you need to cut any amount of wood at all, it's probably worth the weight. I think it's less than a pound, especially if you leave the can it comes in behind and use found sticks for handles -- if you even think you need handles. Camp cord works for handles, too.

We got some water from Cedar Creek in the silnylon bag and filtered it -- but I'd never tried the iodine treatment and I wanted to know what it tastes like. Well, you have to let it sit 30 minutes, and by that time the top was starting to freeze over.... so the water itself was pretty close to freezing and it tasted pretty much like ... water. Even without the neutralizing tablets.

We also boiled the hotdog water this time with coals removed from the fire (on a piece of bark) and put under my little pan instead of the alcohol stove. It took longer and about two reloads of coal, but the water boiled and we cooked the hotdogs.

We reeled off a few shots at a target I brought, including my reloads. They worked fine. I did forget the walkabout camera, though. So no pictures this time around.

It was cold and snow flurries fell through the cedar trees most of the time we were there. Quite a nice day, all in all.

Ryan and Kristie took us to dinner at Murry's Saturday night and I had their ribs. They were very good. Sunday we helped out at their new house getting it ready for the painters to come -- we had to clean all of the dust and dirt out and the molding and doors.

Their house is going to be cool. Too bad it's 25 miles away.