Friday, April 30, 2010

Shall I say it was a great day?

Today was filled with sloppy joes, and finishing up the vent piping. What a pain that was. But well worth the effort and fun at the same time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I like 'em extra sloppy!

Today I ventured out to re-discover a childhood favorite. I started my journey at the local meat market not one mile from my home. There I gathered three pounds of raw 15% ground beef. I then went to the local market and gathered some anaheim peppers; red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers; and a yellow onion. I then went home and slowly cooked the meat as to just achieve doneness but as not to brown it at all. I then removed the meat and added the vegetables, cooking them to a nice softened state. At this time I poured myself a cup of coffee; it was after 8pm. Now I added brown sugar and cayenne powder. Cooked this for a bit, though again not burning it. Then I added the meat back in and added a secret brown sauce to it. I then thought something was wrong and found out what it was via the internet. I had confused the cayenne powder with paprika. Oh well, so it was a little spicier. I then remembered to add the worcestershire sauce. Now that I added the paprika and Worcestershire sauce to the pot; I let it simmer covered for over an hour so to combine all the flavors. Now, the house smells of greatness. And the flavor so far was outstanding! Now, it has to sit till tomorrow to settle to perfection!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What is it?

Today has been a long awaited day in our home. It was the day that we found out the sex of our baby. The baby is 18 ½ weeks along. Morgan has been feeling movement for a couple of weeks now. And it did not let us down in the room. Under the camera it did numerous movements back and forth as if it was playing peek-a-boo. Here I am; I’m gone; nope I’m back! Also it had its hands covering its eyes for a lot of it; confirming the peek-a-boo theory! We looked at the baby head to toe. Started at the head, we looked at the brain symmetry and skull size. Then went to the torso and measured its circumference also and seeing the heart, bladder, and umbilical cord. Everything was looking great. Then he measured its femur. All normal! With this information he told us the baby was normal size and weight. It weighed in at a staggering 2/3lb. Now on to the most coveted words: “Gentlemen, start your engines!” Oops! I mean: “It’s a girl!” The doctor confirmed it by saying “looks like a taco not a turtle.” We are very excited to have a healthy baby and can’t wait till she arrives! Then I can…..

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What to say?

Today, I finally hit my wall. Now I am climbing over and going on. Oh look! No more wall!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The rain is coming!

I spent the day tidying up the outside of my house in preparation for the coming rain tonight. I finished vacuuming up the extra sand. Yes, I vacuumed up two wheelbarrows of sand from the left over pile. Now it is not in the ground but ready for the ditch. I also patched the window and put a trash bag covered board over it so the water stays out. Also cleaned up the boards lying around, ect., ect., ect… Now it is raining and this forces my hand to do the wiring and finish the plumbing. Fun.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Todays Hella Track race went off like a bang! I was so impressed by how Nick can think up and make happen such a succesfull event. This world has all kinds of people in it and Nick is defenately a tallented promoter that is going to go far in his life. No he may not be bill gates but the fun and meaningfull things that he will do in his life to promote family orientated things will be remembered long after others. So I just wanted to dedicate this days blog to Nick and all he does. Look up "Hella Track" and you will find video and pics of a great day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why most hate plumbing.

If you walk through the local hardware type stores and talk to homeowners and ask them what they would not try or hate the most. Most of them would tell you two things: plumbing and electrical. Now Electrical is understandable because most are afraid of what they can’t see or smell. Without my volt meter, I can’t see electricity either. But many will also say plumbing. But plumbing is easy. There are two things that you must know. First is that water leaks are BAD and second is that S#!+ always runs downhill unless pumped. Now how hard was that? Well, you know it is harder than that. But there’s one area that is made harder by most homeowners due to improper equipment. This is soldering pipe. Of course it does take hours of practice to be able to solder anything at any angle, in any hole, and any light. But even the joint right out in front of you in a vise at proper height may be made harder. If you asked most homeowners to get a torch to solder with they will bring you one full of Propane. Now this is great if you are going to cook a hotdog; but if heating the copper to the proper temp. and in a timely manner is what you want then Mapp Gas is what you will need. It burns at a hotter temperature and thus it makes the job easier, faster, and cleaner. And believe me when you are under a house, in the corner, pipes in the way, and a earthquake hits; you too will want the Mapp Gas to get the pipe up to temp., soldered and get out without the house burning down.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Thursday, April 22, 2010

No window?

I demolished my window wall today in the bathroom. I got it mostly framed back in; but yet there is no window! That is right. Who needs a window when you have a exhaust fan with a jet engine of a fan. So now it is time to finish the day watching "The Endless Summer II". Oh yah.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Almost didn't make it.

I fell asleep and almost missed my daily blog! Today I finished up a lot of little things and measured out my layout for the electric and plumbing in the wall. Now tomarrow holes and 2X4's will be drilled and cut.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It’s alive!

The time is now and it has been a long day. But with the days work done; I can now say that I can run water down the drain in the kitchen sink. This feels so great; you have no idea. Thought it has only been 14 days since I could not run water down the drain; it has felt like an eternity. Now some of you know that know me; know that personal hygiene is not my forte. I hate to admit this (actually Morgan does), I have gone a week without showering. Now this would be fine given my circumstances. But this was before the new year. What can I say? I despise taking showers. Sorry Mom. But I am glad to say that during this drain outage I have had more showers than normal. Now I can’t take a shower but I can do a sponge bath at home and at least wash dishes and clothes!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cleanout done.

I messed around today and all said and done got the outside backfilled. I cut the hole for the toilet drain, and glued all the 4” pipe up under the house. Since my old sawzall died, I got a new one today and it works great. I have put it to use cutting a mistake under the house and even some intrusive roots. Now I can move on to hooking back in to the kitchen sink and laundry room. That means: clean clothes, clean dishes, and no more washing my hands and brushing my teeth outside! I just called Morgan so she could take her Tylenol. She is feeling better and hopefully the kidney stones have passed and no new ones occur.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Glued up to under the house.

Today I got the drain pipe glued up to under the house. I first spent a while cutting/dragging out all the old water and sewer pipes from out of under the house. What a messy and tuff job! Now I have more metal for a scrap run. While gluing the pipe, I had to go fill a prescription of pain medicine for Morgan. Apparently if having a baby wasn't enough; she had to have a kidney stone to pass! She is better last I saw her, hopfully it passed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A little ride on the tandem

Today Morgan and I took a little ride on our tandem over to the car show to see what was going on. What a mess. There were people everywhere, and not a barrier in sight. So we were able to ride around; look at the river and the cars. A lot of fun.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A long day.

Today, I had several fun things happen. I brought in a ladder to get myself higher up in the bathroom. As I was setting it up, I heard a bussing noise. I looked and there was a wasp staring me in the face on its little nest. I went to kill it with a bit of 2X4, but it threatened to fly. I needed something that would either kill it instantly without worning or imobilize it also without warning. I found the arisol glass cleaner that foams when applied. Perfect! I blasted it and before it had a chance to fly it was ingulfed in a foam coat and thusly smashed. The other fun thing I did was ride my bike to the car show cruise and look at a bunch of cars that live in the garage and waste money. I still like cars but, it really was the same ol same ol.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More parts, more cutting, cutting, cutting...

I went on a parts run to the supply house. Then I again cut on that wall. This led me to cutting out old drain and water pipes under the house. I also had the pleasure of killing a beautifull black widow. Well, tomarrow I will have the wall finished cutting and maybie even start digging under the house. And if I find some time, maybie I will ride my Paramount over to the car show cruise that is overly policed and basically a parade minuse the floats. But I still like cars so...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Half-way cut.

I new it was going to be a battle to get the wall cut without some special high dollar tool that only someone who does this all the time would have. It took me a couple different tools of my own to get the cut done. I still need to cut the bottom and top plates. I also need to smooth out the cuts that I made. I also removed the cast iron vent pipe. That was not easy. I beat on it with my framing hammer. It took a little bit to get the first part removed. Then from there it came out pretty easy. Next I wanted to remove the piece below the floor. This took about 20min of constant hammering, prying, and saying good things to it. At the end the pipe came out and I could barely hold the hammer. Well, now you can see the roof through the absent ceiling, the pipe is gone, and I don’t have a plumbers crack. Don’t forget, if you want to see the pictures full sized, just click on them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cutting walls!

I have begun cutting the 2X6 plumbing wall down to 2 ½” thick. I am using my various tools to do this. It is taking my sawzall, skill saw, drill, level, screws, pencil, and my radio. All in all, a good day. A picture will be better taken tomorrow. So the wait begins.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dare I say nothing?

Well, I think I will say at least something about my day that I feel was not very productive. The only productive thing I did today was find my hammer. Saturday was the last day I remember using it. After a hour and a half of going through everything; I almost found it. I had my rain boots on tredging through the muddy wasteland of a backyard. I peeked in the car, the house, and back to the garage. Finally I took off the muddy boots and surched the house, the car, and then the garage fully. As a last ditch idea, I looked in the small gap between my welder and desk; and sure enough there it was!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Artichoke Heavan!

I ventured into a local Holiday Market the other day and noticed giant artichoke’s. I went over too see how much they were and to my surprise they were two for $4! I picked out two that I liked and took them home. Since the artichoke is essentially a type of flower; I placed it in a normal 1 liter beer glass to show off its mass. I have come accustomed to steaming my artichokes rather than boiling them. I find that it cooks faster and more of the nutrients stay in. I also learned that the center of the stem is edible. If you cut the stem in half long-ways; you will see that it looks like a bone. It has an outer layer and an inner layer of “marrow” that is edible and tastes like the heart. This was a epic artichoke feast well worth the effort!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

One ditch filled, one to go; someday.

Last night I ran over to my grandparents and got his tractor. No, it does not have a front end loader, or a backhoe; but it does have blade. It uses weight to apply downward pressure on the earth. It does not work as fast as a dozer would, but a whole lot faster than me and a shovel. I had my helpers from yesterday back over, and we pushed all the dirt back in the hole. Now I must get inside and cut out the floor so I can put the plumbing in under the bathroom, and so on. That’s all for now, I need to go visit Morgan at her parents were she is staying. See you later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Plumb but not level.

Today with the help of my dad and father-in-law, we got a lot accomplished. I started out the morning by digging in the alley one foot to cut the old pipe off at a round point. Now when I say round, I actually mean oval. Luckily the new 4” pvc is slightly smaller than the old pipe and the sewage should flow by nicely. The cutting of the pipe began. I was the “expert” so I was of course the leveler, and used my helpers as “expert laborers.” We put piles of sand every so often, leveled the pipe to ¼” per 1’ fall, and then filled in the sand to the level in the picture. Then I took one last level check; then filled in the sand to ~1” above the 4” pipe. Then we ran into our first problem of the day. The first fitting you see in the picture is called a 4” Combo. I put it in just like the one 60’ down the line. The one down the line is ~10” below grade and the closest one is ~ 6”. Now my dad said we should have put it in at a 45 deg. angle. So I cut it off and have a 4”x2” combo to go in its place. This fitting is only here for if we ever put a sink outdoors to tie into it. All and all a good productive day! The toilet will be here before we know it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We have electricity!

Today I finished digging the trench for the electrical conduit while my dad moved bricks. I then cut and glued it all the way out. After my dad left, I filled in the little ditch all the way. This is 1 ¼” pvc conduit for the future electrical service line to the garage that may be built someday. A lot of work for maybe; right? Well, the ditch is dug, and the pipe is reasonable. So one pipe down, two to go?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I found the hidden treasure!

It has been discovered in recent days that the garden tract area of town between Cypress and Butte streets contain hidden treasures. Since we moved to our home in the garden tract, we have been learning the history of the area. Last week I was talking to a long time resident of the area about the sewer lines. The history reveled: our house was built in 1949, it started with iron sewer pipe to a septic tank, in ~1962 the city dug and installed sewer lines, Orangeburg Pipe was installed from the house to the main, in the 70’s a tree crushed the pipe, asbestos-cement pipe was then used from the house to the fence line, then finally in early 2000’s abs pipe was run from the house to just before the tree. Now you may ask, “where’s the treasure?” Well, with the history of septic tanks in the area, this would be it. On Monday, a UPS semi-truck sunk into an abandoned metal septic tank at the bike shop around the corner, and now I have found mine! It is the little piece of concrete under the cable wire in the picture. Fortunately it appears to be deeper than I need to ever dig, but if I get hold of another backhoe…?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

To dig or not to dig.

Will I dig out into the alley without permission? I have a pipe that is crushed by the strains of rootizm. How far does one go too seek out complete roundness? One will never know at this time.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Do you ever feel confused? Do you ever feel lost? Do you ever feel like you are just crazy? Then come over to see the disaster house and all your feelings will go away! When you see the dust, debree, and the stand alone toilet; you will feel better about yourself. I feel great. So should you. Have a good week.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter has many different meanings to people. A lot of people use this Sunday to go to church the only time per year, and many it is a special church Sunday. Also it seams that Easter Sunday is known/thought by many younger people in school as nothing more than spring break. Whatever it means to you it may have never meant this. Have you ever thought it as a resolution breaker? Now, whether you believe in new years resolutions or not, I believe everyone does. It is such a national and maybe global practice that you at least think about it. But why would Easter be a resolution buster? It is the first day that everyone breaks the good eating habits on a grand scale. Yah Valentine’s day usually yields a nice dinner and maybe some chocolate; but it is on a more normal scale. Easter is filled with in many cases a full on breakfast, thanksgiving lunch, or gallant dinner. Also on top of it you get more candy than one should have in a year! So as much as you try to avoid it, you cannot. This is why Easter is a resolution buster. Maybe next year you might think about it a little differently?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What a day.

Well today I: met with a bike guy, went to ESP bike/kayak swap, ripped up bathroom floor, went to dinner, watched a movie, went to bed. Could not be better.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Oh the little sledge!

My brother-in-law Brett came over this weekend to help me take out my old cast iron tub. I was going to use his muscle, but due to his recent injury I declined. Instead I used the good old sledge hammer. The force from the hammering not only broke the tub but it was hurd in the neighbors house! It took me a few minutes, but soon the 360lb tub was broken into manageble pieces. I then utilized Brett to help haul the pieces out to the trailer and off to the scrap yard for some money. Now I can get to work on the floor.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

(1+1)x(4+1)x(4/4) = X

This is a algebraic equation that I found out the answer today by acting it out in real life. To find out “x” you must first know what the other numbers really stand for. The first set of numbers are my Honda Element added to my neighbors trailer. Then you multiply this by four yards of PG&E Sand added with one shovel. Finally multiply that by four trips in four hours. What “x” becomes is 11,200lbs of PG&E sand. I asked how much it would have been if I had just paid them to haul and dump the sand at my house and he said it would be $60! I only paid $108.24 for the sand; why would I pay more 55% of that towards hauling. So today I came up with another equation; my hourly rate. $60 dollars divided by four hours is $15/hour. Not bad for a days work. Now all that sand needs to make it in the ditches!