Saturday, October 22, 2016

Caturday! with Basil and Hamish

I promised a Caturday post earlier, so here it is!  Featuring our favorite cats that thankfully agree to live pretty much peacefully with us, Basil and Hamish!  I could have taken photos from old albums but I wanted to only post new, so here is what I came up with over the last week:

DSCF5189 b

I came home early on Tuesday because I did not feel well.  All I needed to do is go to bed, but I waited a couple hours until I had to move them.  They take over the bed in the morning hours after we leave, it's where they sleep most of the day when we're at work, I believe.
If they're not enjoying their main cat tree in the living room they are usually enjoying their first cat tree out on the back porch, while weather permits, anymore.  They are lucky kitties with fine, tall cat trees that are kitty corners of the house with full windows!  Their summer days home alone, well, if I could only do what they do for one day....


Hamish usually occupies the upper part of their cat trees but Basil gets up there sometimes.

They are brothers but so different in body types, I think it's just more comfortable for the bigger Basil to stretch out on the larger lower levels of the newer cat tree in the front of the house.  The older cat tree that's now on the porch was absolutely perfect for the first few years, (I highly recommend it for it's height and steps for kittens,)  Basil has just outgrown it now, I think.  Hamish still hangs in the crow's nest often, when the porch is open.  It is not a heated porch but the sun helps nicely this time of year.

There's more pictures from earlier this week through tonight after the break, and captioned for my pleasure!

Also, at the end is one of my favorite cat stories, as told by George Clooney on Dennis Miller Live years ago.   It's worth it, really.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October This-And-Thats Part II

I've had more thoughts recently, so I decided to list some ideas over the last couple days and now is where I start typing about them and see what happens.  Let's go!
  • I've gone https!  Since the blog needed an overhaul recently, I just made the switch, though I had to lose a few things I liked in the sidebar.  You do not need to update your link, the http site now redirects.  I have some of my lists rebuilt in the sidebar, but they are still a work in progress.  There may be a few more changes in store, too, but nothing major.  I still like the overall look of the website and template.  Email readers - you should stop by the actual site more often, the link is at the bottom of your email!
  • I'm off the nasal spray, and I did it without some 12 step program.  Allergies kicked my ass early this summer and I turned to a medicated nasal spray to breathe.  But I kept using it, and became dependent on it.  When it wore off I became more stuffed up than ever, even partially stuffed up was hard to deal with when the spray was so easy and made my sinuses so free and clear.  I had my last spray over a week ago on Friday morning before work.  I made it through a stuffy weekend and haven't used it since.  Kids, don't do nasal spray.  Snort some coke like we did in the old days.  jk!
  • Remember my 'Sammi' story?  Well, she contacted my wife through farcebook a few weeks ago.  She said something like how the messages we sent got filtered and she never saw them.  My wife thinks it's possible, I'm much more skeptical.  I told my wife to simply not respond.  You can read the whole story about me and Sammi here, she was my best friend some time ago.  Like I said there, I left my contact information.  The message she responded to - after more than a year - has my contact information in it, my phone number and this blog address.  She can easily contact me if she's serious.  From what I've seen her post on her farcebook page though, I don't know if I should look forward for that or not.  What I miss is what we had, way back when.  I've grown a lot since then.
  • Autumn, wow.  A couple weeks ago, literally, almost all the trees were fully green.  Now winter isn't that far off and most of the trees are colors other than green, and falling to the ground and blowing around.  This seemed to really sneak up on me this year.  It's like the whole month of September I enjoyed as summer and totally blocked out that October and cooler weather was just about to happen.  We had our first frost last week, albeit very light one at our home.  I've put away summer clothes and brought out the winter clothes, jackets, long underwear and long sleeve tee shirts.  Damn.  I spend all summer never wearing socks or long pants unless I'm at work.  Now I'm having to wear both - in the house!  Yes, we have turned the heat on occasionally, recently, though more off than on so far.
I wrote most of this over the weekend and although it's another short one I figured I best just post it before it gets outdated.  I also need to remind myself to post some pictures of the cats, Basil and Hamish.  They've not made an appearance on the site in quite some time.  I'll keep the camera handy this week for maybe a Caturday post!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October This-And-Thats

You know the drill.  Sit, type, see what comes out.  Here we go!

  • I've not been posting so much this summer, but I think I hit most all the highlights.  I may have missed a boat trip or a couple fire pits, for example, but not all has to be documented here.  I've also scaled back my commenting on other's sites.  It's just been summer, there have been other things to do, is all.  I also don't want to be the guy that comments all the time and for no particular reason.  I do need to wish Delcatto a happy birthday, however.  I'll jump over there now and return the greetings, be right back.  
  • Besides not writing as much, I've just generally been neglecting my corner of the internet this summer.  I've had a broken counter widget for some time now, over 5 years of a running count, now gone.  And recently all my link lists in the right column have disappeared.  The blogs I read, my other favorite sites and my favorite bands.  Poof.  Gone.  I have all the links either in my favorites or they are easily searchable, but what a pain.  I've looked for where I can try to get some support from blogger but only find articles that do not help me at all.  I don't know why they disappeared but I'm sure my only recourse is to replace them.  Sigh.  I'll get around to website maintenance one of these days, but don't hold your breath.
  • Early this summer I was having issues with my sinuses.  For several years now I seem to have been developing allergies and this was the worst year yet.  I tried a couple things to keep my nose open, eventually turning to a medicated nasal spray.  Now, a few months later, I find myself dependent on that spray to breathe through my nose.  The spray makes my sinuses so clear that I get used to that, then when I'm even partially clogged it bothers me.  Weening myself off the spray has been miserable and, so far, unsuccessful.
  • Speaking of summer, it is now over.  The weather has taken a turn for the cooler and skies have been more gray than blue recently and for the foreseeable future.  We still have much to do in the yard before winter arrives, but there is time yet.  The leaves in the trees are still green, well, for the most part.

Well, a short This-And-Thats post this time but that's all I can think of at the moment.  I notice that I mentioned 'summer' in each of my points above.  That will probably be the last time that happens this year.  Happy Autumn, everybody!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Garage Workbench Redo

As I had mentioned earlier, my project for this vacation has been a redo of the workbench I have in the garage.  Not a huge project, but satisfying - and I only had to buy less than ten bucks of boards, I had everything else I would need.  I do spend a lot of time in the garage and at my workbench in the warmer times of the year and I felt it needed to be better organized.

New and improved!
I first got the workbench as a kit back in 2010.  At the time I modified it to be 10 inches higher to accommodate me and my aching back, and that's when I added most of the shelving in the garage as well.  Other than that it has evolved since by adding tools, shelves, power tools, and eventually the metal pegboard.

The height of everything is built for me, I can reach it all as needed.  The brackets I was using for the shelf above ran on the front of the stud keeping me from raising the pegboard so I just used a 2x4. I also added a lip at the back of the shelf so I can't push anything off the back.  Below the shelf, the pegboard holds some of my most commonly used tools, keeping them all very handy for me.  Raising the pegboard allowed me to build mini shelves between the studs for even more storage.  I had the dozen red bins since I got them for free a long time ago.  They've just been sitting in a box in the basement since.  Now I have tons of spots for all the little clutter.  As of now more than half are still empty - we'll see how long that lasts!  To the right of the little red bins I put all my nail and screw boxes.  Seemed reasonable at the time.  It does have height there that I may use for other things later.

The 'before' picture.
Sitting on the right of the workbench are two box shelves that I built in middle school.  A total of four this size - the other two are on my workbench in the basement - and two larger ones that I still have them all to this day.  A big one on the other side of the garage holds firewood, the other holds painting supplies and such in the basement.  I considered trying to mount these on the wall in the same area but they are not very light.  In the end I decided leaving them where they were, sitting directly on the right supports for the workbench, was still the best option.  Unfortunately, due to the new shelf I built, the gray bin on top for rags doesn't slide into the corner anymore, but I think I can work with it.

The modifications for the workbench included dropping the lower shelf and adding an identical shelf above that.  This gives me a handy area for my growing power tool collection.  The bottom is tall enough to comfortably fit the air compressor and anything I may need the space for in the future.  For now it also holds the fire pit and odds and ends.  The only other thing I added was a 1x4 screwed in along the top so there is no gap in front of the red bins where thing could have dropped.

That's it, that's my new and improved workbench.  I think it's pretty neat.
A few pictures of the process, start to finish, after the break:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Birthdays, Vacations, and Moms

Yeah.  Birthday.  Here we go again - wait, what?  Terry is having a bash out at a place with a bar and big TVs for the first Packer game to celebrate her birthday - on my birthday - and I'm included for nothing?

DSCF5118No brainer, right?  Well for me it wasn't so simple, and went from possibly scary and/or embarrassing to a perfect, fun birthday for me.  See, I was first presented with the idea on one of our outings on the boat, it was one of those things where everybody looks at you and says, 'right?' and so you just say 'okay, right,' without being able to think about it much.  First of all, it was to be on the day of the first regular season Packer game.  Second, it was on my actual birth day.  And third, it was at the beginning of my long needed vacation.  I had plans, kinda (hint: this is why OCD is a label on this post).  Certainly not great plans, but still, I do what I do on Packer Sundays (-and noon, Sunday Packer games are prime viewing but becoming less and less common.)  So I went with it at the time.  Later when I was thinking about it more and having a rather fruitless - for me - discussion about it with my wife, it was settled - I was going to someone else's birthday party on my birthday.  Not an accurate way to state it, but the funniest!
It turned out to be a great private room at a local place with our own bar, bartender and buffet.  Not to mention the one huge projection and two big screen TVs to show the Packer game.  We didn't have near enough friends show up to fill the room but plenty of friends were there to have fun with and we were able to spread out as necessary.  Of course, Terry included me in everything even though she planned and paid.  I was very happy for the friends that showed up, all our mutual friends and through Terry and even a few of my own friends were nice enough to show up - and bearing gifts!  Thank you all, and many thanks to Terry, this was a pretty good day!  And the Packers won!

DSCF5128Of course, I guess I was having such a good time still after the game that we stopped off at a local tavern for a few, and then I guess I had even more at home.  The problem with day drinking is night doesn't tell me when to stop, I guess.  I paid for it Monday, like I haven't in years.  I did get the few things done that day that were required, but otherwise I was bottle-flu-boy all day.  Eh, you live, you learn, then you forget and learn again.

Vacation.  As I said, I am on vacation this week.  Thank goodness because I never would have made it to work on Monday (see above).  I like to have one big, main project on my staycation vacations, in addition to a list of smaller things to complete.  This year my main project has been a reset, of sorts, of my workbench area in the garage.  I was going to post about that here and now, but that is worth it's own post, maybe tomorrow, but if I state that it usually takes a few days it seems.

It was supposed to be started on Monday, well, that never happened.  So much of Tuesday and the first part of today went into the garage.  And the thing about tearing up the workbench area to redo it is that once everything was deconstructed I had no idea where the tool was that I needed when I needed it.  I found my way eventually.  Anyway, more to come on that.  Now...

I love my Mom, and I know she loves me, and us.  And the internet.  Thank you for stopping by, Mom, and at 49 years old now but at the risk of sounding like a selfish teenager that gets embarrassed by their parents:  Gawd, Ma, this isn't facebook!  I know you love us, thank you for stopping saying it in every single comment recently, but now you're commenting on almost every effing post.  Back off!  When I need a president for my fan club I'll let you know.  Gawd!

Seriously, I love you but I feel your presence has been great recently.  You texted me, sent a card, and commented for my birthday before I could write about it.  My name is not even on this site, on purpose, let alone my details.  And if the only comments I get now are from my mom I need to seriously rethink doing things here.  Please call me, it would seem we need to get together soon.

Sigh.  Am I a bad son?  Happy Birthday to me.  Gawd!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Another Lake Voyage

It's been a busy week and I've neglected to post pictures of last weekend's venture on Lake Mendota with Terry and her sister, Becky, on Terry's pontoon boat.  Again, it was a beautiful day - sunny but enough clouds to keep you from roasting out there.  It turned out to be a little windy so the adventurous plan of crossing the lake to visit Picnic Point was just not feasible for the boat and horsepower we had this day and with this wind and in this direction.  The waves were a little much, as you may see after the break.

DSCF5082We settled for veering off to the old, standby cove where it is always easy to anchor and relax with other boaters, out of the bigger waves in the middle of the lake and in shallow waters where you can touch the bottom.  Still, I appreciate their willingness to venture out in the boat more this year, even trusting me in the driver seat.  I did grow up around boats a bit when younger and this all reminds me of how I loved the water and boating then, and still do now.

The specialty drink of today's venture was something with vanilla fluff (marshmallow) vodka, orange soda and topped with a floating marshmallow Peep.  A very sweet way to enter the lake!

There was also one very amusing moment when a mutual friend texted Terry by mistake, which led to each of us texting him back different things, trying to give him major hell, of course.  I think he finally got it and understood his mistake.  Thanks for the comedy relief, James!

I will see all these people and more this weekend so I'm sure to post something about that next week.  I'll be on vacation, finally, and I have a project to document, so stay tuned...!

A self-indulgent dump of boating pictures after the break, captioned for my pleasure!