Friday, September 30, 2005



When installing floor and ceiling trim, it’s important to get very accurate measurements. If you are not really good at reading a tape measure when it’s bent into a corner (or if, like me, you are not wearing your Wal-Mart special magno-granny glasses), here’s another way.
Cut a block of baseboard trim to a known length (say 4”) and measure to that, then add it to your final measure. This same block can be used on outside corners as well as they can be tricky to eyeball.
You can also use your block to jot down your measurements.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

bit of a storm blowin' in

If you read me at all – you know I am a bit of a homebody, and I have alluded several times to my RainMan like tendencies…
Today, right now, while I am at work, there is a storm blowing in. I love the whole ‘storm blowing in’ thing, for those shell shocked out there… I don’t mean a Katrina-type storm – just your run of the mill, gonna be rainy and windy, probably a good idea to take in the lawn chairs sorta storm.

I just got back from a walk and it was fantastic. The wind is warm and strong, strong enough where you tend to lean into it a bit, there is a drop every once in a while and the sky is alive with motion The real rain has not started yet – but is imminent. This is really the best part.

The RainMan part is … well, I like to be home when a storm is coming. This is not fear. It’s a desire. I enjoy storms and like to be home when they come. I am familiar with their trek across our sky there. My brave wife and I will often sit on the covered porch (not screened Suzanne), which faces in the direction of most incoming weather. For us, most weather approaches us from the west-northwest. My wife is brave because if lighting strikes too close I scurry inside, while she remains out there laughing in the face of danger (we have seen this behavior before in her)
As I said… I like to be home in a storm. And I mean ‘like to’ in the strongest sense of the word that is just shy of ‘need to’.
So while I do love a storm, and as I type I can hear that the strong rains have come, I will be a little tense this afternoon, a little uneasy, a little out of step… just until I get home.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Blinded by the light

On my way into work this morning, at 7:05 to be precise, I was driving up a hill, following, but not to closely, a short line of cars and suddenly we found ourselves pointing in just he right direction, at just the right angle and pitch so as to completely and utterly BLIND us by the sun as we were nearing the crest.

So what does the person in front do... stop. Just stop.
Which is fine, its probably smart to stop when you can't see ...except for the fact that the cars behind the stopped car are also blinded, and therefore cannot see the stopped car.

It is a miracle no one got rear ended.

I wonder if I were to write to the public works department about this situation if they could come up with a creative solution.

Until then.. I think I need to adjust my travel time accordingly.
I will of course need to take into account the everchanging orbit of the earth and its axis tilt so that I can stay ahead of or behind its continual season adjustments.
hmm - this will require some internet research, I will need to synch up with the atomic clock, I may need a spreadsheet and a quadrant, a compass....

Monday, September 26, 2005


My wife has a way of helping me to notice and embrace balance in my life.

We got our first heating bill of the season this weekend.
Yes, it’s astronomical.
Panic began to set in… with bills like this and gasoline so expensive … it’s going to be a hard winter….

That same day I received NORMAL results on my latest mammogram. Not that I was expecting any abnormal results. But who does really. And …that’s the point. Be thankful even when you are expecting good results.

Friday, September 23, 2005



This is in honor of all those folks evacuated/ing. [Especially E and Max]

Keep a small fire safe box. The kind with a handle that is small enough to grab and take with you. In it, keep your most important papers (will's, birth certificates, passports), and wad of cash.
This box will be small enough to grab if you have some time to gather things, or if disaster should strike without warning - it will be safe until you can locate it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

candles, wrapping paper, popcorn tins and cream pies

Enough with the fund raising all ready.
Is it 'That time of year' at your office too?

We are inundated with brochures for Bobby's Cub Scouts or Sally's Soccer Team, and Joey's third grade class trip to Europe... even the Pre-Schools are jumping into the game.

The public schools are already getting my tax dollars.
Back in the day - going to public school was free because you paid taxes.
Now we pay fees on top of the increasing taxes we are already tossing into the system - there are sports fees for refs and equipment, fees for clubs, fees for parking (yup... a parking pass at our high school costs $75). Then there are fees to attend the event. You can't even go sit in the gym to watch a wresting match without paying a cover charge, not to mention the bake sale or concessions. And then ...they want us to buy wrapping paper. Someone else is gonna have to foot this bill.

Monday, September 19, 2005

are you ready for some Football?

I am wearing this shirt today, at the office.

I just love it when people as who Weese is.
I tell a different story each time. Usually along the lines of...
Um, duh..the best running back the Saints ever had.

Go Saints!
Tune in tonight to watch them kick some Giant butt.
7:30 e.s.t.

The Saints-New York Giants game, originally scheduled for the New Orleans Superdome on Sept. 18, will be played on Monday night, Sep. 19, at Giants Stadium beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. ABC will televise the Saints-Giants game until the 9 pm ET start of the Washington at Dallas game. At that time, the Saints-Giants telecast will switch to ESPN in most markets. The New York, Louisiana and selected hurricane-affected areas will see the Giants-Saints game to its conclusion on ABC before joining the Washington-Dallas game.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Afternoon Update

Might be one of these days.

Car wax has many household uses - use it on sticking doors, or apply to the runners of sticking drawers. Also, try it on your shower doors or tiles to keep water spots away. (do I need to tell you NOT to use it on floor tiles or the shower floor... geez I hope not)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

3rd day of the Confirmation Hearings

It seems Roberts will spend a 3rd day sidestepping any real answers to the ‘hard’ questions posed to him regarding some of the most important if not controversial issues of the day. Democrats trying desperately to get a feel for his position on these key issues while Roberts nimbly deflects… In my opinion… ok ok – just kidding, relax, start giggling – there is no way in hell I am going to give a political commentary here. You know me better than that. Oh sure, I should care cuz I am a [shhh] homosexual... and we [shhh] homosexuals are lacking in certain basic rights… and we need to be advocates for change and blah de blah de blah… the real news of the day is moisture. We had RAIN last night. Real rain – things got wet. We are very excited.
This is particularly timely as my clever wife is making some big gardening changes this week.
We have been in our house for about 18 years now. When we first moved in, the yard was a blank canvass for my wife who loved to garden. And garden she did. Creating colorful vistas from every vantage point – our yard blossoms all season. Ah..but with this beauty comes responsibility. And this responsibility has become daunting. So we are downsizing. Moving to a house with a smaller yard was under consideration – and still may happen. But this year – it’s the gardens that are being scaled back. To be replaced by mostly grass. This moves large parts of the yard from her area of responsibility (beautification) to mine (maintenance). Creating more grass simply means for me that I sit on my big orange tractor for a little longer – no biggie. Plus she caringly creates gentle curves and easy to maintain borders and edges that make trimming almost non existent.
It’s probably a 3 weekend (plus a bunch of weeknights) project.

Here is the garden this spring…after my exhausted wife spent quite a few days cleaning it up for the season.

Here is an in progress pic – the large dirt areas will soon be lawn. And there is much perennial transplanting going on…thus the timeliness of the rain

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


With all of our attention focused on Katrina’s devastation, crazy gas prices and the cost of living rapidly rising – I forgot about what’s happening right here in our own backyard.

And, I mean that literally… the backyard. We have been having a drought here and it wasn’t until this weekend that I really began to notice just how serious it has become.
There is no hope for the lawn at this point. But we are trying to save a couple of our trees that look particularly bad.

Here is our lawn in May.

And here is our lawn today.


Monday, September 12, 2005

CT United Ride

Over 3000 motorcylces roared through our town yesterday in a tribute to 9-11.
This year each cyclist was also asked to bring a Katrina relief bag as well.

My patriotic wife and I tailgated in the convertible festooned with American flags. The event, at least in our town, was not that well advertised. So when we pulled out the lawn chairs flags and sandwiches - people stopped to ask us what the heck we were doing.

One couple who had just stopped for ice cream parked next to us and asked why we were there. When we told them - they pulled out a small American flag and stood with us waving and cheering on the riders for the near 40 minutes it took for them to pass. After the last stragglers passed the couple having ice cream came over and the woman said how wonderful life was -- that by chance they saw us, stopped to chat, and got to experience this -- mentioning her husband was a Vietnam vet so they always have flags in the car. Both my wife and I shook his hand and thanked him.

Friday, September 09, 2005



With gas prices soaring through the roof, here’s a tip to save money.
Instead of gassing up tonight on your way home, stop at the liquor store. While the price per gallon of your favorite cocktail may be higher than gas, you get better mileage.
Remember, don’t drink and drive – as that defeats the whole purpose of trying to save money.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Do you read?

What a silly question isn’t it? Of course you do, you are now. Whenever I am asked that question I usually answer “Not really.”
Most of the reading I do is to gather information. News magazines, manuals, How To books and papers…etc. Of course being a reformed news junkie – my reading material is not much to speak of.

So we are trying something new.
Turn off the TV.
I know, I know… this is no revelation, and I am not saying to stop watching television (yet). But we have decided to watch it…when there is something on we want to see. No more channel surfing until an ‘acceptable’ show is found. No more watching 2 or 3 shows because none of them are really very good.

And so – now we are reading. I am actually reading books… just for pleasure. They are not teaching me anything or spawning new DIY projects either (the plus part of that is I don’t need to go buy new tools as a result… how can you help it reading the handyman type rags).

I am a discerning reader, and will put down books that are not written well (according to my own twisted standards) that said – I have to admit, that right now I am hooked on vintage Lesbian Pulp Fiction novels from the 50’s. We saw a documentary on them and decided to pick up a bunch, as a joke, to bring on our PTown vacation this summer (what is better than smut on the beach). But now…I am hooked. They are just horrible really, and yet I cannot stop reading them. Might I recommend the Ann Bannon series – it’s a hoot.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

When FEMA Calls

Good luck and God speed to Bubba, my big brother and fire captain at a local volunteer department here in Connecticut.
He, and some of his firemen buddies are being airlifted to New Orleans tomorrow morning to do what they can... to do whatever is needed.
He was told he will be there for 30 - 45 days, and to expect no services. Basically, be ready to fend for yourself. I believe he is spending this afternoon triple bagging a carton of Marlboros (well... he is a fireman).