Sunday, September 06, 2009

Gratuitous Trenton Shots

Putting the Labor in Labor Day Weekend

So Vicki's off in Fort Wayne, visiting her mom and starting the packing process for her move down here next spring. And about two Novembers ago, I bought tiles and materials to do our front porch and two bathrooms. Got the front porch and the guest bathroom done, but didn't get to our bathroom by Thanksgiving. And there was no way I was doing it over The Holidays.

So almost two years later, here's the perfect opportunity to do the tiles in our master bath, the bathroom we use every day. I took Friday off, figuring this would work best as a 4 day project. Demolition & backerboard. Tile sizing and cutting. Tile laying. And Grouting. 4 steps. 4 days.

Day 1 went as planned. Of course, I fantasized about getting the tile cut that day as well. But I had a hair cut appointment at 2:00. And Kristin invited me over to their house for dinner ... and I'll not pass up a chance to hang with Trenton. Or them, really. We had a nice time. Kristin made burritos. They were tasty. And we had some margaritas. Played with Trenton. Watched a little TV. And I went home.

Got up, did coffee and breakfast ... and had to do some planning. Mizzou's first football game of the season with Illinois started at 2:40, and I'd invited BriKri & Trenton over to watch it on the big TV. So I needed to make sure we had food. And get all the tile cut by 2:30. Went to the store and bought 4 slabs of beef ribs & some potato salad (hey, no time to make potato salad) ... made a rub, slathered, got the charcoal going in the Big Green Egg (well, mine's a "medium" green egg) and threw the ribs in the little dutch oven (to protect from the radiative heat... cast iron, you know) and poured in the hickory chips and shut-er down to 200.

And started cutting tile. You have to figure out what "square" is going to be... and I wanted to do the brick pattern ... for one thing it helps make the room look bigger, and for another it lessens the visibility of slight errors on the seams. But it increases the number of cuts you have to make.

It started raining!!! There was a slight chance in the forecast, but ... well, we got it. I moved the wet saw back under the eaves and kept going. I mean, it's a wet saw, right? And I literally cut the last tile right at 2:25. Took a quick shower and was changing when Kristin and Trenton showed up. Had the game on the 1941 Philco in the living room (I love that ... old tube set, Mizzou football... feels all traditional and stuff... I grew up listening to the Tigers & the Cardinals on the radio).

Anyway, Brian had called ... Ken had invited them over to watch the game, so he called and asked if it was OK if Ken came along. It was. He showed up, I got the game on the TV downstairs. And we had a good time. Mizzou dominated, eventually winning 37-9. The ribs turned out great. And of course Trenton was a lot of fun. He was having fun with Grandpa Ken and Papa Phil and he really, for a 19 month old ... entertained himself pretty well a lot of the time.

After the game Kristin took Trenton home ... he was sooooo sleepy but too wound up with all the commotion at our house. Brian stayed and we watched the first half of the Oklahoma BYU game.

I was pretty tired by that time. I cleaned up a little and turned in early.

Got up, did the coffee and breakfast. And then mixed up the thin-set mortar and started laying tile. Got done about noon.

I had had to cut the plumbing to the toilet ... there was not enough play to lift the ring up to meet the new height of the floor. So I hit Lowes and bought a new toilet ring and a coupler and another elbow and a wax ring so I can put the plumbing back. Plus I bought some mildew retardant paint and painted the duct-board ductwork under the house. The foil outside has corroded and I suspect it's entraining some moldy air into the house. Might need to do a second coat tommorrow. Pleah.

Had a beer and a pipe, and then came and did this.

Grout tomorrow. Vicki back Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Blame it on Facebook

It has been pointed out that it has been a very long time since my last update.

I'm going to blame much of it on Facebook, which provides a way to give quick updates with little thought and the associated time investment put behind them. But there are others out there in my family and friends fold who are not on facebook ... plus, this makes a nice diary to go back to and see what was going on in my life.

Unfortunately, when you don't sit down soon after a seemingly trival event that is nonetheless the kind of thing life is all about, such as spending time with family and friends -- especially your grandchild :-) ....

you forget those poignant details .... which are really the only things that make this blog interesting at all in the first place. Which is really an argument for updating more often, then, isn't it?

And so here I sit, updating, lacking said details, but offering a summary.

As reported in my last post, or at least implied or suggested, or at the very least cooberatted... I've been riding my bicycle to work as often as reasonable for most of the summer.

The bad news, I haven't really lost any weight to speak of. The good news, I haven't gained any, either, and I've been able to drink higly caloric and tasty beer and eat good food. We've continued to be extremely lucky in getting to see our grandson far more often than probably most grandparents get to see theirs. And it is a joy each time. He's the smiliest little boy in the world.

One time we were babysitting over at their house this summer, and he had something in his eye. It looked a bit like mud to me... which would be bad. But his eye really wasn't red and he wasn't rubbing it ... it strangely didn't seem to be bothering him that much EXCEPT that he was uncharactaristically fussy. We suggested taking him to the doctor the next morning. But (and I can't blame them, if I were the parent I probably would have done the same thing) they couldn't stand it after they got home and ended up removing it ... it was a huge flying bug.

We went to the state fair a few weeks ago and putzed around like we usually do ... only Pam & Grandma Jean were there along with Brian, Kristin, and Trenton. We ran into them on purpose a few times, but mostly ended up on our own. I ended up buying some super glue type stuff and some "Sham Wow" type chamios' in the "Mr. Popeil" buildings, ate the requisite fair food, and had a nice time on an uncharactaristically not very hot day in August.

Thunderstorms moved in about the time we were ready to leave, and we drove Brian back to Columbia while Kristin and Trenton went back to spend another day with her parents.

Two weekends ago, Vicki's cousin Jim and his wife Carol (of Mt. Charleston and North Carolina fame) dropped by on their way from Mt. Charleston (Las Vegas) to Murphy, NC ... for a couple of days. We always have a great time with them. Carol, the pianist, was playing tunes on our little $3.00 Goodwill Special kiddie keyboard. We had our traditional happy hours, sat on the deck... we took them to the Rocheport Winery on saturday for another stunningly lovely August day with low humidity and temperatures in the 70's, where we sat at a table next to Kristin's brother Brian... had a couple of bottles of Norton, and went into Rocheport to look at the antique shops.

I wasn't planning on buying anything.

At Saunders, though, Jim and Carol sneakily bought us an espresso cup set, and I got Vicki a neclace she really liked ... but the most surprising thing was the ginormous clock.

We have had a huge blank wall on one end of our living room over the stairs. And at Saunders, above a fireplace was a huge, 50" iron clock.

Well you know me and clocks.

We have talked off and on over the years what to do with that wall, and just a couple of days before had been saying we need something really BIG.

Well there it was, and the price was pretty reasonable.

Budda bam! Ours.

I wish I would have been here the first time Trenton saw it. Clocks were the first objects he recognized and was able to articulate. I have multiple mechanical clocks in the house, which make the charactaristic "tick-tock" sound, and since he was about a year old, he would point to them, and pretty quickly anything with a "dial" on it and say "eh-ah!".

Well this is the world's largest eh-ah, as far as he's concerned, and he was duly impressed, apparently, according to Vicki. Ask him where the "big clock" is, and he points right to it.

No real words yet from him. "Nana" for Nana ... that's about the closest, and da-da for about any male authority figure. He used to mouth Ma-Ma a long time ago, but I think he's tormenting his mother by refraining from using that. It shouldn't be long now.

Last Sunday I went up north to the public rifle range with Brian and Brian and John. Sighted in my .22 at 100 yards, and John sighted in his 30.06. Those rounds are even bigger than the Monsin Nagant rounds. Big boom. And I found out I suck at 100 yards with the iron sights on the Mosin Nagant. Well... I wasn't hitting the 10" target, anyway.

This has been one of the coolest summers on record this year. The last weekend of August we had highs in the mid 60's, probably close to 25 degrees below normal and just freaking delightful weather.

Not complaining at all!