Sunday, May 25, 2008

Home Maintenance

It's spring. Just about summer. And we've actually done some cleaning. I did some carpet cleaning last weekend. Also re-stained the deck, and converted the bird bath over to the summer configuration. In the summertime, I have a modified trash can with a filter basket sitting in a hole in the top ... there's a water pump in the bottom, and I have an overflow with a chute from the bird bath that empties into it. This keeps the water moving in the bird bath to keep mosquitoes from breeding in it, plus it keeps the water filtered and increases the effective volume of water in the bird bath. I even have it hooked up to the automatic watering system on the deck to keep the reservoir full.

I got some hanging plants from Strawberry Hill Nursery, and put the plants from last summer that have been kept alive in "the cave" over the winter out there, plus those that wintered in the living room. Oh, and I got the vegetable garden planted and tarpapered over to keep the weeds down. I need to get the auto-irrigation system all hooked up yet for both the garden and the deck plants.

This weekend we put a sil on the top of the half-wall at the top of the stairs. Vicki touched up paint all over the hallway and kitchen. I repaired one of the hanging lamps in the kitchen, and hacked back the grape vine.

We also managed to squeeze in dinner at Murry's this week with the Williams, and babysat for Trenton Friday night. I think we'll be seeing him again tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be a little happier than he was friday night. The kid was tired but he refused to go to sleep until physiolgoy gave him no choice.

Looking forward to Aunt Pat and Kaity coming to visit tomorrow evening. Going out to Mom & Dad's on Saturday for the Mothers/Fathers day shindig and a general family get-together with Aunt Pat and Kaity. Then Sunday go pick up Cassie & Q to stay here a few days while Mama & Papa go get Grandma Lee from California and move her to Kansas City.

Yeah, it's busy around here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Which of the Four Seasons?

Heard some folks joking around on the radio... someone asking what "Cumin" was, and the reply was "it's a seasoning". "Well which of the four seasons is it?"

Because I'm a bit twisted, I thought "Was it Frankie Valli, Tommy DiVito, Nick Massi, or Bob Gaudio?

I know. Baaaad pun. Shhh. Hey, "C". Big girls don't cry!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Liquid Nails for Shoes

I have repaired shoes many times over the years using lots of different adhesives, including the famous "Shoe Goo".

I repair lots of stuff. I have kind of a McGyver reputation. I hate buying new stuff if the old stuff will do, especially if replacing the old stuff with new stuff requires a significant amount of money.

I have a nice pair of shoes I like, but the sole material kept coming loose, beginning to peel off the softer sole material at the toe. And I cleaned it with alcohol and used Shoe Goo three times trying to fix it.

Each time, within a few days the bond broke down and the peeling started again.

I don't know when I first discovered Liquid Nails for Subflooring. The name itself has a high grunt factor. Subflooring. Something that contractors talk about. It's tough. It's strong. It's not pretty. We cover the sub-floor with pretty stuff like carpet and Pergo and linoleum. (I'll give hardwood a break... it's about as tough as subflooring. But not quite as rough and rugged.)

I've used it to glue boards to a concrete wall to hang tools from. I even used it to attach a board to a concrete wall to attach a hand rail for a staircase. That's what kind of bond you can get with this stuff.

And each time I tried repairing the shoe, I thought "I should be using Liquid Nails for Subflooring."

I'd even looked at Lowes for it, but I couldn't find it.

Well it turns out I couldn't find it 'cause I'm a guy. And guys look for key shapes and colors when they're looking for things. Since all of it is the same shape, I was looking for a color. Not reading the words on the label, really, unless I thought the color was close enough.

Turns out they changed the color on the lablel for the Sub-Flooring mixture to green. I found it last time I looked (after ALMOST giving up).

I bought it. Cleaned the rubber on the shoes again. And applied it.

After it dried, I colored it with a black permanent marker to make it blend in with the rest of the rubber.

That da*ned rubber ain't goin' nowhere. In 10 million years, after the rest of the shoe has rotted away... the Liquid Nails for Sub-Flooring will probably still be there.

Heat Pumpage

The heat pump is officially replaced. I also had a whole house humidifier added. 13 SEER, non-freon, and q-u-i-e-t. Vicki's going to love that last part.

House still smells a little like chemicals. I know it's wierd to get excited about HVAC. But I guess that's part of being an adult. :-/ Hey, it's GOOD to be excited about something you just dropped six and a half grand on.

Indiana Wants Me

Went up to Fort Wayne to pick Vicki's mom up for Mothers' Day, her birthday, and Trenton's baptism.

Pretty uneventful trip. I did notice the old sign for the old Ramada in Effingham from when it was Keller's, discarded out between the hotel parking lot and the gas station parking lot. That was a very significant landmark over the years in our travels back and forth to Indiana, or just meeting in the middle to send the kids to stay with Papa & Grammy for a week or two, or to pick them up after a visit. We used to eat lunch there at Thelma's restaurant.

There were birthday dinners and a birthday lunch during the week. I started riding my bicycle to work again. But Wednesday after work I came out to a flat tire and Vicki had to pick me up. Then Thursday was the guitar lesson. Friday lunch with the Unraths. I fixed the tire. And monday/tuesday this week we drove Mom back home. And yesterday and this morning the new heat pump is being installed. Plus I'm having an integrated humidifier put in for the whole house. That'll be nice.

Kevin came out Saturday evening sans Angela, who was on call this weekend. So I didn't get the big family pic taken. He went out with a childhood friend and hit a few bars that night. Sunday we went down to Warsaw for Trenton's baptism and stayed for a BBQ lunch at the Carletons' place. Nice group of people. We really like them.

Trenton slept through most of the church service until maybe 10-15 minutes before it was time to be doused. He was NOT happy about the dousing. I was struck by the ... church-inappropriate dress that many people wore, and the general lack of control a lot of parents have over their kids. Even the acolite wore dirty old tennis shoes.One young woman who sat in front of us (apparently oblivious to the "reserved" seating for the baptism) had her two kids running all over, making noise, messing with the candle lighter, and just generally being distracting. At one point the mother bent over and revealed the tattoo on the small of her back and the tag of her underwear. It was hard not to laugh. Kevin and I looked at each other. I know... we're supposed to be happy that they're there at all. But I wonder. Are you really "there" if you aren't prepared and in the proper mindset of respectfulness & decorum?

That being said, I'd say the majority of people there were dressed ok and behaved.

Yesterday I took my GPS apart to try to fix it's little problem with horizontal lines across the display. I've been able to "fix" it by rapping it against my hand when it does this for the last few years, but it was getting worse. It seems better except that now the very top of the screen seems to have the problem permanently now. I want an HCX one anyway.... hmmmm.

It didn't help matters that when we were coming back from Indiana, I was apparently whizzing by the airport just a little TOO fast and got pulled over for my second-ever speeding ticket. I'm usually paying more attention than that. This is a wide section of highway -- "Super 70" -- that they've basically made two separate multi-lane highways each way with ample shoulders that handles the traffic there. And NO on/off access in the section we were on. I've seen pretty narrow stretches of 70 where the speed limit is 70. But here, it's 55 for some strange reason. Oh well. Lesson learned. I imagine it's a great revenue source for Marion county.