22 hours ago
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Today I took my last load of rubble to the dump. It weighd in at 1420 bounds. It consisted of the crate from the tub and all the plaster and framing from the bathroom. I have a little bit of things left that will come out and over the next two weeks will throw away in the trash that I already pay for. So now my next hurdle is to get the heavy cast iron tub that is in there out! But fortionately things are going well and soon this will all be done.
Posted by littlejim at 11:00 PM
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Today I tore out the rest of the walls. I used my Makita angle grinder with diamond tile blade. This blade was a $5 dollar on sale blade from Harbor Freight. It and the Makita have cut more tile, concrete, and any other rock things than one can ask for. Today I am sad to say that I have lost them both to natural causes. I can say no more.
Posted by littlejim at 11:08 PM
Monday, March 29, 2010
When I was born my parents started a college fund for me. Well, as most of you know I am pregnant. Ha, of course Morgan is the one pregnant, but I am still showing more than she is. So anyway, I would like to also start a college fund for our child. When I was born my family pitched in a little money and the pot was building. From what my mom tells me, this is how it grew: good grades, birthdays, graduations, and any time there was extra money. Throghout the years the money sat in a CD and gained interest and extra deposits. I did not really care about it growing up because I was a kid and it wasn't my money and what is college? Of course when she told me she put money in it I was excited but forgot about it the next minute. But when I turned 18 and was given the money to use for colleg, you bet I was very greatfull. As some of you know I spent many years going to Shasta College back when it was cheep and even a couple of classes at National University at a cheap price. I did not spend a lot of money on college and all said and done used the rest of the money for Morgan and I to get into our home. Now that we are having a child I am very excited to open a account for it when it is born and putting in money for the future. My mom gave me a savings bond that she purchased in 1991 for me, and this was very special to me and made Morgan and I think about how someone cares about there child even when they dont show appreciation for it. So now Morgan and I have started the caring, and of course the child does not. Ah a parents life.
Posted by littlejim at 10:50 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Today with the help of some very generous neighbors I managed to get my double slipper cast iron tub safely into the living room. It is made in Portugal, weighs in at 425 lbs and is a nice and thick porcelain clad cast iron. It has a 14” water depth and sits on a all metal base. Now after sitting in the crate in the garage for just over two years, it is sure nice to see it in all its glory. Now I just need to make room in the bathroom for it to fit. Oh, and how fitting is this Portuguese model in a Portuguese tub, huh?
Posted by littlejim at 2:42 PM
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Today was one those days that when you wake up you know it isn't going to go like you planned. It all started last night when my cousin chatted with me on facebook. I am new to the whole thing and it was the first time I was on live chat. It was cool. I ended up going to bed a little later than I wanted too; no big deal. When the alarm went off, I felt like I had been hit with a truck. Of course I laid there for about 45min going in and out of consciousness. Then I finally got up and got a cup of coffee and off I went. The first stop was to help my grandpa buy a trailer. Then I dumped my trailer load to get it ready for the neighbor to use it. He took it and ended up losing motivation in his project and brought it back an hour later. I then had lunch and went to work around my house. I suddenly felt the impending need for a nap. Once I hit the chair I was out. The rest of the day I was very groggy and mildly productive. So now I am off to bed to get a good nights sleep to have a good day tomorrow.
Posted by littlejim at 10:49 PM
Friday, March 26, 2010
Today was a long day filled with more demo, demoing, destruction, tearing down walls, demoing... And through all this dusty and messy work, I mannaged to bbq this top sirloin today. I have had it merinating for about a day in a recipie that makes Morgan sick. Pregnent women! Anyway, I put it on this shallow pan and rack and bbq'ed it at about 275F for about four hours. Yes it is well done, but it is still resonably juicy. What I like most about doing it this way is it makes the outside like tender jerkey that melts in your mouth. Everything seems to carmalize and just take on such a great flavor and texture. Most of all it went great as a sandwich for lunch. Well, happy weekend. See you tomarrow.
Posted by littlejim at 10:53 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Today I took the final measurements and made sure I had all the vital things written on paper. I then took out the hammer and started pounding holes in the wall to tear down the spaghetti board and plaster walls. One bucket at a time I hauled out the debris. I shut the doors to the three bedrooms and the hall closet; but the rest of the house was left open. I had the door shut while making a mess in the bathroom, but when transporting the debris outside I had no choice but to open the door. Unless I had a full ET Haz-Mat corridor from the bathroom to the trailer there is just no way to easily prohibit the dust to accumulate on the rest of the house. Oh well, when demo is done the house will get a good cleaning. More demo tomorrow.
Posted by littlejim at 11:48 PM
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Today I gave my front lawn a hair cut. To say front "lawn" is funny if you know my lawn. It is not lawn at all but a beautiful array of different types of weeds from clover to something that resembles basil. I started the high wheel mower out on the tallest setting and only took a half of a pass at a time. Now with this endeavor my green waste was half full. I then set the mower down to its half way setting and made another pass. And then down another level and a pass; and finally put the mower as low as it goes to give it a buzz cut. At the end of my lawn cutting the green waste can was now filled to the brim and heavier than I cared it to be. Now I have succeeded in going from the greenest lawn in the neighborhood to having a nice mixture of green and brown dirt blanketing my front yard. At least it does look cleaner. Also today I got the cleanest and smoothest shave yet with my duel edge razor. It went smoothly and with only one nick where I put my Styptic pencil to use; I found baby smooth skin with great success. I chock this day up to another day well spent.
Posted by littlejim at 8:17 PM
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Well, for those of you who have a Wii, you will know what I am talking about. When you have Wii Fit and you turn on your board, it will then ask you to stand on it. At this time it will state "measuring" several times. This is what I felt like today. Doing a remodel all on your own is just asking for crazy amounts of measuring. You have to be all the different types of contractors at once. When the plumber comes in he is only concerned with what he has to put in and if things are in order. I found that a outside wall stud is right where I want to put my tub fill valve and spout. But fortunately the shower valve and head fit right between two studs. Yet as I think about it, it is unknown to me where the stud will fall for the toilet supply until I demo the shower. Also today I found that the vent fans will fit perfect next to the ceiling trusses. I am not complaining as I am enjoying this and am saving a lot of money. But this is just some examples why the so called DIY'er gets into so much trouble. They don't have the experience and may think things are going to be easy but have overlooked the typical unknowns. I'm not saying that I know it all, but my experiences sure do trigger some of those key questions and direct me to look into areas of the unknown. Oh, just came to me! Got to go measure/pre-plan the electric plug for under the sink! Almost forgot, for real! See ya tomorrow.
Posted by littlejim at 11:40 PM
Monday, March 22, 2010
Midlife crisis is a term coined in 1965 by Elliott Jaques and used in Western societies to describe a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some individuals in the "middle years" or middle age of life, as a result of sensing the passing of their own youth and the imminence of their old age. Today a friend of mine went through just this. He sold his truck to pay off his debt and then bought a 2008 Ford Mustang GT with a V8 and 5Speed tranny. Was this a wise thing? Maybe, he went from a big unused truck to a slightly more economical car. Some believe that midlife crisis is not a real thing, but an excuse to get/or do something in ones life. So with that said, congrats on your midlife crisis!
Posted by littlejim at 9:22 PM
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This weekend was a racers weekend! It had the greats: Bristol’s Nascar, 12Hours of Sebring, Supercross in Texas, Australian V8 Supercars, and a great Legends Race! Man if only I could be at all of them. And today with high definition and great tv’s, you actually have better coverage than actually being there. But without smellavision and real audio and vibration, it will never be the same. For now it will just have to do. Now onto a week of demolition!
Posted by littlejim at 11:13 PM
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Today my mom and I spent several hours sitting in front of the computer trying to download a program so we could do my taxes. My computer is only five years old and has been completely re-booted by me a couple months ago. But since I only had Windows XP SP1; I could not use turbo tax and also i-tunes would not work either. The download of SP2 took probably an hour to download. It sat on one task for ever! But all this aside, my mom and I got to spend some time together uncomfortably on some chairs. So that was fun, and she brought some popcorn and soda from the movies, that was sweet! We had fun and got stuff done at the same time. So taxes done and sent, yet again!
Posted by littlejim at 9:43 PM
Friday, March 19, 2010
Today I went and bought a bunch of sewer pipe and went through all the trouble of getting a helper. After all said and done, it was the wrong size. For some reason unknown to me I have had it in my brain that I am using a three inch sewer pipe instead of the preferred four inch. What was I thinking? Well I will find out what my thoughts stemmed from when I pull the floor under my toilet and see a three inch pipe out of necessity. What can you do?
Posted by littlejim at 10:02 PM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Today I was in search of this magnificent bamboo tree. I wanted something that was roughly one and a quarter inches in diameter and at least six feet tall. Also I was looking for a piece that was straight and not twisted. I asked my wise friend were I could find such a breed and he shouted “up on that grassy hill!” So I trekked of into the woods looking for this prized grove of bamboo three inches in diameter and forty feet tall. When I arrived to the destination I found bamboo the size of my pinky. I was so disappointed. With all the eradication as of late it has become impossible to find good sized bamboo. My journey ended today as a failure but tomorrow I have some secret intel on some good locations of some giants. What do I need this bamboo for? Well I have been instructed on stick stretching. It is a form of passive stretching where the stick becomes the stability and or support while the stretching is being performed. It not only will support and balance you as you try to find your centre, but it also lets you reach to new levels of balance. One friend mentioned that a closet pole would work, ha ha ha. But where is the style and grace in that?
Posted by littlejim at 9:45 PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Where are we taking our lives? Are we working for things far beyond what we can see now? Most of us are working for retirement. What is retirement? For some it is a life of luxury and wealth, travel and leisure, relaxation and solitude. For others it is uncertain, painful, expensive, and not a reality. Does this mean that we should all go work for wealth and obtain the dream retirement? This is up to you. I know that the younger you are the more retirement plans are looking bleak. I also know that if you don’t at least try to plan for the future, when it arrives you may have nothing. The past generations have spent there whole lives building things for down the road. How many of them spent time building their lives today. Where am I going with this? There are some things that we should try to plan for: retirement, health, housing, family… But is having a project that takes ten years to complete better than having something enjoyed for those ten years? Instead of wasting time away from family and friends on a bigger something not enjoyed for years from now; how about having smaller things that you can enjoy now and later. So instead of saving for the motorhome to someday go camping; buy the tent and do it now. All this summed up “enjoy the little things.”
Posted by littlejim at 9:21 PM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Growing up around sports does not give me the credentials of an athlete. In fact the closest athlete I have in the family is my aunt and cousin; and they live in Washington! So needless to say, I have not been trained in the art healing minor muscle aches and pains. What do you use: heat or cold? Today I went to the chiropractor and after days of blistering heat and coals to sooth the ach, he tells me to use ice! Ice, that’s not nice. That’s why I live in Redding; to get away from ice. Well after 15 minutes with an ice pack, I had gone through several sensations. First is the initial “ah” of cold. Then you are followed by a “that’s not so bad”. It actually feels good for a few minutes. Then the tingling pain sets in and if you are lucky you will end numb and may accidentally forget about it. What these 15 minutes granted me was reduced inflammation and actually makes it feel a little better. So am I an expert on healing? No, but maybe next time I will throw out the coals in favor of the bag of peas.
Posted by littlejim at 8:51 PM
Monday, March 15, 2010
Today is my day of cleaning and EMT studies as well as still soar from last week. I did a little figuring and came up with a one week long equation of disaster. It all starts with a grueling cyclocross race which not only plays on the mind but the body suffers greatly as well. Fill the next day with cleaning, wheel building, and studies. Turn the next day into 4 hours of digging and the rest of it planning. Then comes day four: sit on a mini-excavator for 8hrs along with getting on and off. The next day turns into the first of the trailer loads. First is to empty the trailer of 1300lbs of sheetrock and demolition debris. Then come back home and fill it with another ~1000lbs of stumps and bush trimmings and take them out to the grandparents burn pile. Then come back and clean out the ditches and load the trailer with 1160lbs of concrete. Now to the next day, finally. This day was a rainy day and emptying the trailer and researching supplies were all that were done. Now for the seventh day; just clean the house and take a bunch of measurements in the bathroom. This does not sound that bad. But now let’s add in that not much real physical labor has been done in a while, the gym has not been in the daily activities, and bike riding has been hit and miss. Then through in there that you go on a bike ride the day after this disaster week. So this should be a lesson to all of us: “Just because you slim down, and appear to be in decent shape, be aware.”
Posted by littlejim at 1:58 PM
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Today Morgan and I woke up to clear skies and sunshine. I made us my world famous pancake, egg, and sausage breakfast. Then we sharpened a pencil and broke out the tape measure and level. This was were the fun began. We threw around different options of heights, depths, and relationships, attempted to figure out a schedule, and even made the remodel more complicated. With a baby on the way, I better get working. So this picture is one of the last you will see of the old bathroom. Stay tuned for changes to come.
Posted by littlejim at 3:42 PM
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Today I spent eight hours on a mini excavator digging up my whole backyard. I have ditches and holes everywhere. There is roughly 160 feet of ditches ranging from 2 feet to just over 3 feet deep. I have dug the ditch from next to the house all the way straight back to the fence in the alley. This will house my sewer line. I also dug a ditch for power to the garage and for gas to the house. And if ditches were not enough I had 12 tree stumps to remove, one concreted in pole, two concreted in fence posts, and about 15 feet of retaining wall. The trees varied from the ones that I could have kicked out to some real buggers. The last one was a old walnut tree with a stump showing roughly 18” in diameter. This one took several sawzalling attempts at some tree sized roots and a bunch of prying with the bucket. It finally came out and then it was so big I almost got the tractor stuck in place because of it! I also took out the pole that the satellite dish was on; so no tv. But before I took the dish off the pole I took its bearing with my built in electronic compass in my fancy watch. When I pulled the cap off the fence and stuck it up there, I took a reading and lined it up, went inside and to my amassment the satellite worked! Well eight hours on the tractor was probably worth over a hundred or two digging by hand; not to mention I am not soar. Definitely worth it!
Posted by littlejim at 9:20 PM
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Today I started digging my sewer drain line. I dug for a few hours and saw the kayos first hand of our sewer line. When we bought our home we were required to get a video view of our sewer line to purchase the house. When we watched it, it seemed to snake all over the place out towards the ally. Well it does. It runs right, left, right, right, and who knows where. Luckily I am replacing it; this is just waiting to clog. It is all the old Orangeburg pipe (also known as "fiber conduit"). Back before we bought the house the previous owners hired some people to put a new drain line in; but apparently they did not go that far. So after a few hours of digging, Morgan and I decided that we will be renting a small excavator tomorrow and I will be digging all day. Thank God for heavy equipment.
Posted by littlejim at 9:50 PM
Monday, March 8, 2010
Today I laced up my first bmx bicycle wheel. I had heard that a friend of mine had destroyed his back wheel on his bmx bike. His old rim was black with black spokes. He ordered a chrome hoop for it regrettably, but money was key. Today I was down at the bike shop and saw his bent up rim sitting there waiting to be revived. Then my journey took me to Seely’s Cyclery and what did I find; a chrome bmx hoop. I then got one of my great ideas: put that hoop on his hub! I took that hoop back down there and tore his rim apart. But there was my first hurtle. Noel and I didn’t know if he wanted to reuse his rim tape. So right at the same moment we were thinking this a guy showed up with a destroyed mountain bike rim. He was throwing it away, I asked him if I could have it and there I gained my nipples for the spokes! I then painstakingly pulled out all the spokes and put the new hoop on. I then realized that out of the 36 spokes he only had 24. So I laced in one side normal and found another used spoke in the trash and laced the other side with only 7 spokes. I tensioned the wheel to semi straightness so as to not overload the flange with only 7 spokes in it. Actually it came out pretty strait and Nick could actually maybe possibly get one tail whip out of it without killing himself. Well tomorrow morning Nick will receive his present and unknowingly he is now sponsored by Seely’s Cyclery for parts and littlejim for his mechanic; but in fine print in the contract he must spend at least 25% of his time on either a 26” or 29” mountain bike. Oh, and don't forget your reflector; it could save your life.
Posted by littlejim at 9:53 PM
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Today I set out on a ride on my new Kenda tire on my all around bike. This tire was added to the bike a week ago and had not seen any mileage till today. I felt like taking a little spin over to my old stomping grounds; kids kingdom. When I showed up I realized that there was a great bicycling event called cyclocross or something. I had heard of this from a good friend Noel who has been dominating the elite class. While I was riding around on a hot lap I found Noel and to all of our surprise he was not racing. So to punish him Brooke tied his bike to a tree with extra race banner. I lined up at the starting gate, and since I had gate pick I decided to pick the outside lane. Once the gate dropped we set off. I got the whole shot and lead the first lap with 2nd and 3rd place right on my heals with no-one else in sight. As soon as we came to the first hill I totally hit a wall and was immediately passed. I then found my groove and ended up finishing seventh overall. When am I going to learn that you need to ride and work out on a regular basis to be competitive? One of these days I guess.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
This weekend is a much anticipated yearly event. It is Daytona Bike Week. This is where the motorcycle racing world takes over Daytona. We started with the 69th Daytona 200 AMA Pro Racing SportBike event on Friday night. Also Friday saw the first AMA race on Daytona’s new 1/4mile dirt flat track; this was as action packed as ever! Today we watched Jake Zemke Sweep both American SuperBike Races and then moved on to the AMA Supercross Series. Chad Reed came and practiced after being out with a broken hand and set fast time in practice but opted out of racing to heal for next week at Toronto. Ricky Carmichael designed a great supercross tack just like always. What a action packed weekend!
Posted by littlejim at 10:01 PM
Friday, March 5, 2010
Today I spent my day traveling through the bay area visiting friends and co-workers. I have grown up in Redding and hate its traffic. I always said that I would never live in a big city because of all the people. As some of you know, I work in the bay area and now have become used to sitting in traffic. I even have a Fast Track so I don't have to stop at the toll bridges to pay. But what do you do for all that time in stop and go traffic? I see all kinds of things: talking on the phone, texting, makeup, reading a book, typing on a laptop, eating, and even playing with their kids. I like to spend my time listening to my ipod and talk to everyone on my phone. So next time you find yourself in Redding traffic, just stay calm and tell yourself it could be worse.
Posted by littlejim at 7:05 PM
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This week I have proven that I can keep time. Time is not with us, but against us. It never sleeps, or takes a break. If we don’t use it productively it is gone and we can never get it back. There are a lot of people out there wondering if they are using time to the fullest. Some people are opting out of jobs that keep them from their families, others work themselves to death. I believe in finding a happy medium in life. We all need money whether we like it or not. How much of it is dependent on your lifestyle and needs. No matter what you do, life is expensive these days. Work is a double edged sward; on one hand you are away from your family but on the other hand you are providing money which will keep your family healthy and together. I am seeking comfort and happiness for my wife. As much as I want to do things for myself, I know that I must use my time wisely to make life easier for her and also for my family and friends. We need to make sure that when time runs out, that we used it wisely and accomplished what was needed.
Posted by littlejim at 10:40 PM
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
It has been some 130 years since Thomas Edison’s breakthrough of artificial light. According to the "World Energy Outlook 2009" an estimated 79% of the people in third world countries (the 50 poorest nations) have no access to electricity. This means that the total number of individuals without electric power is about 1.5 billion, or a quarter of the world's population, concentrated mostly in Africa and southern Asia. In 14 nations worldwide, less than 10% of people have the option to use modern cooking fuels, relying instead on wood scavenged from the countryside. All told, about 2.5 billion people globally subsist on wood or charcoal. So what does this mean for us? Absolutely nothing; but we have been so dependent on electricity for generations now that when it goes away, life ends. How many of you have all the necessity things to survive a power outage? Look around your home and think: cooking, lighting, warmth, water supply, ect… The reason I bring this up to you is today this was our predicament. Around 10am this morning a middle aged male was driving down the road and had a seizure. He veered off the road taking out a tree and ultimately a power poll. This shut down power to our little tent trailer among all the other homes and businesses in the area. We were without tv and internet till 11:30 tonight! These things are many peoples main concern in America. But as nightfall arrived, we needed light, heat, refrigeration... Throughout our thoughts of what to do, we found that many ways we thought we could survive, we could not. When was the last time you trained on a true power outage. Think about things beyond the basics of candles and canned food. Do things you have for emergencies still work, fit, and perform like they should? Have things changed in your life and now new needs rely on power? Just purely food for thought. Now get out there and flip that main off and do some homework; or just don’t pay your bill for a month and truly play!
Posted by littlejim at 11:59 PM
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
These days everyone is rushing out and buying up things that are "Retro" or "Nostalgic". Are we just in another fad? Is it because we are not creative enough to come up with a new style; or is the old way really just better? I recently inherited a double edged travel razor from my grandpa. It was bought many years ago before he was converted to the more convenient electric shaver. Since I am away from home I am unable to tell you the make and model, which I will reserve for another day. I have a friend that has recently become fascinated by a straight razor and is likely going to convert. I have no desire to convert to the all out straight razor but am vary interested in attempting to use a double edged razor. I will embark on this journey by first doing a little research on some techniques and places where I can buy supplies. I hope to find razor blades, shaving cream, and a brush locally. Will this give me a better shave? The critics say yes, but at least I can be a conversation piece along the way. And I hope to find that this will not just fall into the "classic" category but truly be something that can be carried far into my lifetime of facial hair grooming.
Posted by littlejim at 8:12 PM
Monday, March 1, 2010
When you say that you are going somewhere, people wonder where you are going to stay. If you told them that you were going to stay in a hotel they would think you are normal right? Well as many of you know, I am not normal. I have made many things my humble abode over my 28 years of existence including: hotels, tents, automobiles, the starry sky, and even a cardboard box in the middle of the redwoods with a glow-stick as a nightlight. This week my home is a tent trailer. Some people would say that staying in a tent pop-up trailer is just ludicrous; but I find it a great compromise. The tent trailer upon first appearance looks ridiculously undersized when parked next to diesel pusher motor homes and Eddies RV. But once the top pops up and the ends are pulled out, suddenly you aren’t that little. And when you stay at a rv park with all the amenities; you have the best of all worlds. We have cable tv, a microwave, kitchen, radio, two queen beds, and a bathroom with no privacy! What more could one ask for? If we pushed the trailer with a diesel truck we could even say we had a "diesel pusher". So though it is not as custom as a cardboard shack, nor does it compare to the Hilton; it does make you feel almost adventurist. Would I ever want to own one? Maybe, or I could just pitch my tent in the backyard and take the door off my bathroom; same thing.
Posted by littlejim at 11:11 PM