Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday at Miller Park*

Yesterday I enjoyed my first trip to see the Brewers play at Miller Park.  The park has only been open for a decade or so, so I guess it was time, eh?  Normally I prefer to stay away from places where there are that many thousands of people, and it was sold out so that's about 45 thousand in one place, but not having to be the driver and only being able to just be a follower to my friends made it pretty easy on me.  We did get to see some good baseball, and the Brewers were ahead when we left around the beginning of the seventh inning, but on the drive home we listened to the opponent come back and win in extra innings - an all too common occurrence with this team lately.  No matter, I had a lot of fun!  I guess Lambeau is next, but that's even more people.  Sigh.

Well, there were more photos that I wished to upload, but it seems my Picasa photo album is 100% full and I do not wish to buy more storage.  I've never dealt with Picasa except for this blog, and I don't deal with it then, that's just where Blogger puts them when I upload them to this blog (Google owns both Blogger and Picasa - plus Gmail, Youtube, etc.  Basically everything I use on the internet it seems).  So until I figure out how to get into my album and delete some old pic dumps or something there will be no pics.  Fear not, I'll probably have time to get to this on the weekend and I already have the next pic dump ready to go to be posted in a couple days.  PTFO

*Edit 8/2:  I can't post photos yet but I can embed videos.  2 vids of conversation and some plays on the field at Miller Park after the break!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Finishing the Compost Bin

Well, finishing this main part of it.  The compost bin has shaped up well and looks rather nice, I think.  A new friend, Mike, came over this morning to help me finish it and turned out to be the best help I could ever ask for.  He just assisted in every way and let me go about it as I wanted, it was very nice to have a second set of hands all day.  We worked right up to 4 o'clock, longer than I had planned - but I do admit to a leisurely pace.  So far, it has turned out exactly as I had intended, almost.  I still have to figure out how I want to do the doors in front.  That will be the next thing I do, sometime in the next few weekends.  For now it is in the garage waiting for a coat or two of water seal this week.  Late in the week I will have to go back and clean up the corner so we can drop it right in place next weekend. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Plans

Well, a week has gone by now since my vacation.  We had mandatory overtime this week (and next) so my time has been taken by other things than blogging.  I have not worked on the compost bin since my last post, but tomorrow a friend is coming by early to help out.  It may take until mid afternoon to finish (at my pace, anyway) with a lunch excursion at some point.  My hope is to have it done tomorrow so Kate (who will be on the lake tomorrow, lucky her!) and I can put a coat or two of water seal on it during the week before moving to the back yard with help when we have people over next Friday. 

Sunday I am going to visit Miller Park to watch the Milwaukee Brewers play some baseball.  Unfortunately they are in a free fall, having lost 7 games in a row going into tonight's game.  But it is Bob Uecker bobblehead day and I am going with Jerome and another friend from work so it should be a real fun day!  I will take my camera so I'm sure I'll be posting pics of the park and, uh, stuff. 

We have finally gotten some rain over the past week or so.  While many plants are lost, my lawn is coming back well so far.  There are still some areas that may need some seed.  Okay, that's all for now, I'm pooped.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Vacation, Day Five

Once again, although I got up early I didn't really do anything until 10:00 or so.  I was a bit sore from all the hours I worked on the compost bin yesterday so I didn't plan on much today.  I was able to get the front built and I used a sealer around the edges of the screen on all the pieces.  By then it was after two in the afternoon and getting hot so I thought it was a good time to clean up and go in and turn on the air conditioning. Here are the pieces I have finished so far kind of mocked up to visualize a bit better.  The front piece is in back leaning against the ladder.  My feeling now is that I will assemble it in the garage, it will be much easier to square up.  I'll just have to round up some friends to help me move it to the back.

Now, since I've finished early, maybe I'll take my first nap of this vacation.... if the kittens let me!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vacation, Day Four

We got another 1.5 inches or so of rain last night, so while today was overcast and much cooler, it was also very humid.  Still a lot better than stupid hot, but that will be back in a couple days.  While I got up early I dawdled for a bit before I began constructing the compost bin.  I got off to a great start but then had to stop because I had plans to go out to lunch with my friend, Jerome.  He started working second shift a few weeks ago so we don't have the opportunity much anymore.  It was nice to see him, but after that I went right back to the task at hand.

I was very pleased that things have turned out exactly as I planned so far.  I was able to insert the hardware cloth into the rip cut with little difficulty, but it is apparent I will have to use some kind of sealer so water doesn't sit in there.  There's not a whole lot holding the sides and middle parts together but the hardware cloth, but when put together with the back, and then the front, it will be more than solid enough.  I'd like to put it together here in the garage but then weight would be an issue.  I'm using a pallet on top of the trash bins as a work table, the height works out nicely for my back.

Once more, I was late to remember the camera so I only got a few shots when I was almost done for the day, shortly after my wife got home.  I completed the back, both sides and the middle piece.  I still have no plans for the front doors, I'm thinking of something solid, but I just haven't thought about it too hard and probably won't until I have it in the back yard.  I will have to have a top in place because I'll need to have the hinges attached before it is placed in the corner.  The top will look much like the back, I believe.  All the hardware cloth will eventually be faced with trellis, for form and function, except the interior piece.

It is now 69F degrees (but 81% humidity) and we are about to open the windows for the first time in ages.  I'll have to have them shut again probably by midday tomorrow for who knows how long again.  Whatever happened to moderation?  Why does everything have to be so extreme these days?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation, Day Three

The only thing to note is that it was finally raining when I woke up.  We got over an inch of rain from one of those "isolated showers" they always tease us with on the news.  Still, less than an inch and a half since the beginning of June.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grandmas and Vacation, Day Two

Grandma L, 93
Grandma W, 86
My wife and I went to see my grandmothers on Saturday.  I'm late posting about it but it slipped my mind with all the projects I was looking forward to this week.  They are both very old, 86 and 93, and wondering what they are still doing here.  Kind of sad, but we were happy to spend time with them when we could on Saturday.  Love you both, Grandmas!

Now on to day 2 of my vacation.

This is morning it was already over 80F degrees and humid, but the show must go on.  I went about removing the old edging by neighbor Dave's fence.  It was hot, but I had shade on my side, at least until noon or so.  I went at it slowly, to not overheat and being very mindful of my back.  I forgot to take any 'before' pics, but I found some old pics from my photo album that kind show the way it looked (,thanks a lot OCD).  Most of this job was very low to the ground and with my back and knee I opted for dragging a chair along with me everywhere.  I'm a bit tired and sore now, but it was worth it.

The fenceline requires some kind of edging due to the ground level being a few inches above the sidewalk on neighbor Dave's side.  The old edging was, well, old, and over the years has been pushed around by whatever forces to resemble somebody's terrible, uneven teeth. 

Here are a couple old pics of the fenceline in the background, sorry I forgot to get better ones today.

For blogger's slideshow click on the pic, for full size, right click and open in new tab or window.

And the new look fenceline today, below.  I'm not sure how Dave will like it but I don't think he's worried about it too much.  To prevent the buckling and leaning this time, I dug down trying to find the edge of the sidewalk so I could insert a 2x4 ripped in half along that edge and then the edging would have support and hopefully remain much straighter. Well, sidewalks sink and tilt, but generally it worked out. All the dirt I dug up was bone dry. I was able to put some back as fill along the new edging, but much was distributed wherever I could around the yard.

Now, I did find a use for much of that old edging.  In the back corner of the yard where Kate started some cone flowers last year, there is the same edging along the back several feet of the fence.  I was able to extend it along the fenceline and up and around the front of the area to make it look like a proper flower bed.  At right is how this area looked on June 2 (note: we've only had about 1/3 and inch of rain since this pic was taken).  Below is how it turned out.  I think, considering the age and condition of the edging, it looks rather well.

This post is longer than I usually like on my front page, but, well, I guess it's my blog and I'll post what I want to!  All the pics I took this morning are dumped after the break.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation, Day One

Today was my first real day of vacation after the weekend.  It was productive enough considering how stupid hot it is outside, 100F today, with humidity.  I got up early and went to the home improvement store for odds and ends and some lumber.  When I got home I got right to work putting together another, slightly different, stand for my dual monitors at work.  I built one a couple months ago that works well enough, but I found that a shallower one will work better for me and my work space.  I also built a small stand to go over my adding machine that I don't use more than a couple times a day, but all day it takes up valuable desk space and now I'll be able to put some stackers above it and utilize that space much more efficiently.

Late this morning, I had to quit after the first coat or two of paint to shower, I had an early afternoon appointment for a haircut and a massage.  I still have long hair, but I haven't had a trim in maybe a year so it feels nice to get it cleaned up a bit.  This was also my first professional massage.  I thought it would be more awkward and more relaxing than it actually was, but that's not a complaint.  I only got the half hour massage and if I ever do it again I think I will go for the whole hour.  My masseuse was very nice and professional, as was my stylist.  Still, this is a higher-end place so if I treat myself again it will have to be for a special occasion.

By the time I was done it was the height of the heat time of day, so I stopped off at our local fave bar/restaurant for a couple drinks.  Now I'm home, and staying in the air conditioning for the rest of the evening except for the odd trip out to the garage to put a clear protective coat on my new stands for work.  Tomorrow is expected to be much the same but the rest of the week is expected to be a bit milder, only regular hot instead of stupid hot.  I'm not going to adhere to any kind of schedule this week, but there is edging (seen in the upper left of the pic) that I want to get in by the side fence yet and, of course, the compost bin isn't going to build itself. 

It sounds like work, and it is, but I enjoy these projects that improve our home and property.  I'll probably try and get some more done tomorrow morning and then sit out the heat of the afternoon again.  It is my vacation, after all.

On a side note, all my best goes out to fellow blogger, Delcatto.  He has been through quite a bit of training and change at work lately and is feeling a little down right now and is going to take a break from blogging for a while.  Give him a visit at Tears Before Pearls, it may help make him feel a bit better!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Long Days Leading Into Vacation

I have ten hour days every day this week, then my week of vacation next week.  I don't terribly mind the mandated overtime, but the timing could be better for me.  My mind is crispy and my back has been very bothersome recently with overall fatigue building.  My backache is troubling because I have plans for my week off and do not want to be laid up and unable to accomplish anything with my precious time off. 

My main project is to build and install a compost bin in the back corner of the yard near the garden.  These are my ideas written down, as planned out on paper as it will get.  Whether it turns out as planned is yet to be seen.

My premise is that I will be able to insert hardware cloth into a rip cut in the wood and nail it in.  I'm also considering a sealant to keep water out of that groove.  If this doesn't work out then I do have a backup plan.  I just really hope I can get this to work easily.  I plan on building it in the garage in sections that I will assemble in the yard.  Any thoughts?  Good advice welcomed only.  ;-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Fourth of July, Andy Griffith

Happy Fourth of July everyone, tomorrow anyway.  I disappointed my wife by not wanting to go out with friends for a small party and to watch some fireworks.  I'm just exhausted and have started some complex training for a new task at work this week leaving my mind even more tired.  Yes, tomorrow is a day off but there are things I still want to get done despite the 100 degree temps expected and still hopefully have at least half of a restful day.

On a sadder note, I just found out that Andy Griffith passed away.  I like a lot of what he did, including the Andy Griffith Show, No Time For Sergeants and the following obscure video for Vitajex.  Rest in peace, Andy Griffith.

[Edit] I almost forgot about the little known show, Salvage 1, where Griffith is a junk yard owner that builds a spaceship to salvage valuable junk left on the moon by astronauts.  I loved that show as a kid and haven't seen an episode since.  I think I'll go check Youtube right now!...

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Sky Is Falling

But only just a bit.  As I got home from work today I saw something I haven't seen in a long, long time.  Rain.  Of course, it lasted only about 10 minutes and the sun was shining the whole time, so it was just enough to push the humidity through the roof.  It will all evaporate in these temperatures (over 90F every day this week and pushing 100F tomorrow) so I'm sure we'll still have to water the garden tonight.

Speaking of the garden, I'm due for an end/beginning of the month update over at my garden blog.  You can look for that either later tonight or tomorrow evening.  TTYL

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Kittens, Basil and Hamish

When we got these kittens they were less than two pounds each, that was three weeks ago.  They are now 9 weeks old and have grown quite a bit in that time.  Since the internet is a series of tubes, and those tubes are filled with cats, a few more cute kitty pics can't hurt.

Basil, left, is still a bit bigger, he has white arms and color on either side of his nose.  Hamish has 'sleeves' of color down to his elbows and more white in the face.

Much, much more after the break!