Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bathroom Remodel And Foul Odors

 Progress on the upstairs bathroom remodel is turtlesque. Slow, but its moving so thats a good thing. I used an epoxy kit from Rustoleum to change our avocado colored tub to basic white. The kit works well enough but plan on having good ventilation. The fumes are terrible and thats coming from someone not usually annoyed by foul odors, including those produced by a certain coworker that once released an odor so vile that it was mistaken for a terrorist act.
 We had some problems with loose tiles and decided to just slap a tub surround over the walls. It will be cheap and easy enough while being completely hidden from view with the frosted shower doors closed. Hey, this ain't the Ritz so its all good. The rest of the tiles that are still visible are in good shape and will be left alone. Years from now someone will tear into this bathroom and wonder what heck I was thinking by doing it this way but I won't care. I'll be drooling on a checker board in an old folks home telling stories about bike rides or how when I was a kid we had to walk ten miles to school uphill both ways in the dark.

  This is where the project stands right now. I could have done the panel on the left but I just didn't feel like it last night. The panel on the right can't be done till I buy the faucet and shower head. I suppose I also need some non-slip strips for the bottom of the tub. Should I go with ducks or a nice fish motif?


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Somewhere Different

 Thats been the theme lately. We like to get out to different places to dine and anytime we get a recommendation my wife and I will try it out.
 One such recommendation led us to Jimmies White House Inn in Butte des Morts. The town is small but we've learned a long time ago that some of the best food and service comes from these small establishments.

 When we pulled up it was obvious this place had been here a long time. Upon entering you step into a bar area which is the case in many older bar/restaurant establishments around here. There was a hostess station but no hostess. A "wait to be seated sign" had us standing there for a couple awkward minutes with no greeting from the bar tender and just some glances from the locals.

 I started checking out the decor which turned out to be a civil war collection but I could see in my wifes face that we were just about to walk out when the hostess hurried up front to greet us. I believe it was simply a case of us being a bit earlier than the rush and her having something else to do. She asked if we'd ever been here and when we replied no she confidently informed us we would enjoy the visit. As it turns out she was right. I had prime rib and I forget what cut of meat my wife had but I sampled it and thought it delicious. The food and service were both good once we were seated. My wife likes to handle the tipping so I don't even always look at the bill as was the case last night. She did mention that it was cheaper than expected.

 "Cheesecake to go" is always taken if available. These two monster sized pieces of orange dreamsicle came home with us. I was only able to get through half of my piece and am looking forward to finishing it up tonight.
 Don't judge whats on the inside based on appearance and location. The White House Inn offers casual dining, good food and service at a reasonable price. We'll go back.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019


 Monday turned out to be a beautiful day when afternoon temps rose to the lower seventies. When I walked out of work I was thinking how nice it would be to go for a bike ride. I had the bike out once already so I knew it was good to go. On the way home I couldn't help but notice the abundant sunshine was starting to be blocked by a small dark cloud. The closer I got to home the more I realized that cloud was dang near over my house. My plan for an extended ride was reduced to just chasing dinner and the chosen take out restaurant was about a fifteen mile round trip. Not much of a long ride but it was more about not missing an opportunity to get out on the bike than how far I could go. As I backed the big Ultra out of the garage a bird shit on my head. At least thats what I was hoping because the alternative was rain. Sure enough it was starting to rain but I refused to accept that. Not on my parade, not today.
 My destination was away from the incoming droplets and I quickly out drove the moisture. By the time I reached the restaurant I had forgotten about the pending gloom and went inside to order. This wasn't a fast food joint so I had time for a refreshment and to catch up with social media on my phone. I noticed my buddy JT the Barber was doing some podcasts and made a note to check them out later. John got me started in blogging and if it weren't for him you wouldn't be reading any of this gold. Anyway, during my surfing session my wife had texted me to inform me of heavy rain and lightning. I told her it was only seven miles home and if a little rain was gonna stop me then I needed to turn in my man card. Soon they brought my carry out food to the table and thats when I looked out the window. My man card was in jeopardy. The rain was coming down so hard it was bouncing back up as if some unseen force was rejecting it. This is not how I wanted to start out the 2019 riding season but I also knew I was heading to the comfort of home so a little discomfort wouldn't last long.
 The worst part about riding in the rain is the time spent not moving very fast. This includes walking in the parking lot and riding at city speeds. Just getting on the bike sucked because as quickly as I wiped the seat dry, it flooded out. I couldn't get the thing swiped dry and swing a leg before a puddle formed on the seat. I knew the restaurant patrons would all be looking out the window at the knucklehead getting on his motorcycle in the pouring rain so I did my best not to cringe as I sat down. The resulting hydrosackosis was a little more discomfort than I had imagined.
 The thing about riding a motorcycle is that it cures whatever is ailing you. Once at hiway speed I had a great ride despite mother natures attempt at force feeding me a shower. It actually ended too soon although the drop in temperature would have probably caught up with me. Maybe this year won't be that bad. Mileage in 2018 was at a twenty year low and I'm hoping that was just a fluke, not a trend.


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Honey Do List-Bathroom Remodel

  Part of our bathroom remodel will be changing the color of a perfectly good bath tub from green to white. I want to get this part of the job done first because if it doesn't turn out the way I want then the tub will have to be removed with a sledge hammer. That could be messy. The epoxy kit I bought seems pretty straight forward but like all painting projects the prep work is the most important part. Removing caulk, hard water stains and some type of textured no-slip material will be the bulk of the work.
 Because the project has now officially started, the ideas are flowing and we decided to go to Menards for some more ideas and to pick up some vinyl flooring. The gal that was helping us with the flooring was a real piece of work. After she was unable to answer a few basic questions she started arguing with me about whether or not the roll would fit in the car. The rolls are 12' long and I requested an eight foot length rolled so that it was only eight foot long rather than the natural 12 feet as it comes off the spool. Its not hard to do and a couple of weeks earlier at a different location another worker did it with carpeting. "Can't you just hang it out the window?" No I said. Does she not realize that the wind at 55 mph will just fold the thin flooring and kink it? Also the hour ride and cool temps made having a window open less than desirable.
 Our rocket scientist then discovers that they are out of the style we chose. She checked back stock and none was left. I pointed at a remnant roll of the style we wanted that was no more than 3' away from where she was standing and said we'd take that if it could be rolled the other way. The roll was clearly marked as being 9.5' long (by the standard 12' width). This lazy bitch had no interest in rolling it the other way and held up her thumb and forefinger stating "It doesn't make sense to roll it the other way it will only save this much room". No I said, It will make it 2.5' feet shorter. I don't think she believed me because she rolled her eyes at me. "Well I don't have enough room to do that". Another load of shit because that carpeting from a couple weeks ago was re-rolled in a four foot aisle. This aisle was easily 12 foot plus. I just told her I'd take the roll and if it didn't fit in the car I'd re-roll it without her in the parking lot. I knew that carpet I hauled turned out to be 8'6" and was butted against the lift gate on one end while the other end was sitting on the center console. This roll at 12' would surely be on the dash, I just didn't know if it would be smashed against the windshield.
 We continued shopping and I just kept getting more upset and may have used the Cword to describe her. Thats out of character for me and my wife didn't appreciate it much especially because I didn't tone down my voice when I said it. Its getting hard to find places where customer service doesn't get people all worked up. I can forgive incompetence if a person is at least trying to do their job. Its laziness that pisses me off. We finished shopping and I was just getting settled down when the nice lady at the check out asked if we needed help loading it. I said no but if we did there was a woman in the flooring department I wanted to come out and help.

End rant.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Stake Puller Wrap Up

 Yesterday I asked coworkers Dan and Adrian to help finish up the stake puller project. Partially because Al and I were swamped with other projects but mostly because I believe if you help build a piece of equipment you will better understand its limitations. Along with that goes pride in workmanship, respect and all that other bs.
 My brother stopped by the shop and spotted the stake puller. He stated he wanted to stick around and see it in action. I gave him  hard time because I thought I had already posted a video on this blog of the unit in action when it was running off the hydraulics of a larger tractor. They needed the unit for a big tent job and it proved its worth by pulling tough stakes through asphalt. I guess I never actually posted that video.
 Now the stake puller is set up with a pto pump and its own hydraulic reservoir. It is a stand alone attachment that can be run off any tractor with a three point and pto which means we always have a backup tractor if needed.
 If yer gonna test a stake puller, first you need to pound a stake.

 The stake was going in hard enough that Dan decided to grab a different tool.

 Heres the video of the puller in action. Everyone agrees we should have enough power for even the toughest stakes. I like overkill.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Honey Done List

 Done. Another suck ass job in the books. My wife asked if I was happy with the outcome. I'm happy its over and that one more project is off our list. Thats all I'm gonna say about that.

 Whats really gonna suck is if I need to take the steps apart to get pieces for the bathroom remodel upstairs. I think the choice of bathroom vanity will be dictated by my lack of desire to disassemble this spiral staircase. The toilet, shower panels and flooring should all make the twist without too much fuss.

 You may notice a couple wires running along the walls. One is ethernet and the other is antenna coax. Both still need an alternate route but thats another project. If you're wondering why I'm not posting about spring motorcycle riding you may notice in the first pic that two of the bikes are still in the living room.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sour Grapes

  This week I'm reliving a personal hell that I endured about twenty years ago when I decided to paint and carpet our spiral staircase. Its all part of our grand plan to remodel this dump one room at a time. I remember what a pain in the ass it was to get a smooth coat of paint on such a pieced together metal structure so this time around I cheated a bit and went with a copper color that dries with a hammered effect.

 The color actually goes well with the other walls it runs against.

  So far I've stretched this paint job out three days and it will for sure need a fourth day because of a separate support structure that stands next to the staircase. I'm planning on putting that off for now because it doesn't need to be done before the carpeting happens. That job will be its own nightmare. Right now I'm just getting along by tipping back a few cool ones and catching a paint fume buzz.

 The carpet gets cut into funny shapes then stapled to plywood that lays on each metal step. The one advantage we found during this paint job was that the cats won't climb the metal steps. If I would have known this before there would have been times I'd have pulled the plywood steps to keep the cats out. It may happen when I start remodeling the bathroom up there.

 In other news, I have made a new personal policy regarding eating grapes that I need to stick to. No eating grapes in the dark. Especially gas station grapes. I bought a cup of grapes for breakfast the other day. A much healthier decision than a cafe mocha and breakfast burrito, or so I thought. It was a dark ride to work and I just popped open the cup, set it in the cup holder and started eating as I drove. Some of those grapes had the consistency of a puss sack and I'm sure that if I had seen what they looked like they would have never gone in my mouth. Part of me said "man up and eat" another part of me spit a few out the window.
 All that morning I had a buzz going. Was it the grapes? Was it the large black coffee? I'm thinking somehow it was the grapes because the next day I bought another large coffee that was labeled as having more caffeine and there was no all morning buzz like before.
 Tomorrow I'm having orange juice and a banana. That seems safe.