Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Five Stairsteps

We all get songs stuck in our heads. Today this is mine. The Five Stairsteps singing 'Ooh Child'. It has been on repeat for about most of an hour now. Twice.

Something about the 70s sound, the woman's deep sultry voice on lead vocals, the tight strong backup vocals and I guess the general 'up with people' vibe:

Dining Room Remodel

OK, so I never posted any photos of the work on the living room. Well there is still time I suppose but this seems more relevant. I've put some serious time in this weekend doing a final sanding, touch up plastering and installing some outlets into the dining room. I've tried to stitch together a mosaic to show some of the work.

1) the doorway into the bedroom is now gone (raw sheet rock in center of photo)
2) new ceilings (gone are the acoustic tiles!)
3) new power outlet on the far left floor of photo (run from under the house)
4) new data drop far left floor (OK, I'm a geek alright)
5) removed the light switch in the middle of the room (still need to plaster over hole)
6) roughed in the new light switch location on the right (need to run cables and install box)
7) SO much plaster (over 2 gallons) and sanding, by far the worst room in the house
8) FYI, all those boxes in my storage room (formally the living room) are my new kitchen cabinets

So that leaves a few things that I'm going to try to finish up in the next two weeks:

1) wash all the walls and ceilings with Pinesol / water to get rid of dust
2) 3 coats of primer paint on the raw sheet rock
3) primer paint the entire room in general
4) install new overhead light and electrical box
5) paint the entire room
6) install bookcases (fabricate heating vent and intake)
7) breath and then dive into the kitchen work!

So far, so good.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cardboard Tube Fighting League

OK, so I'm just starting to catch up on my old posts but here was a fun one. I ended up taking the dog up to Corona Heights dog run and watched as people started to show up in these odd outfits. That isn't that uncommon in SF but it seemed as if something was up. Turns out it was a meeting of the Cardboard Tube Fighting League. Silly, playful fun.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tucson Wedding Trip: The Day and Misc.

Tucson Wedding Trip: Damn You Red Worm!

The morning started out with a nice swim and breakfast at Hacienda del Sol. All very pleasant really. I had no idea of the Mezcal insanity to come. Damn you Red Worm (Gusano Rojo)!

We all showed up at the wedding rehearsal at 11 AM, the hot sun pounding us into submission, a pretentious wedding planner pushing us around in her awful faux Channel get up and our group slowly melting into the courtyard's astro turf. OK, maybe I'm more sensitive to the heat than most. We had a good time and a taste of the excitement to come the following day. I just couldn't believe that the time had gone by so quickly, from engagement to wedding day.

Then off to the wonderful Poca Cosa for an excellent lunch sampler. I heard the most comments about the Tamale and the Chocolate Mousse with Mexican Chocolate. Among other things, I enjoyed the Bistec with Chipotle smoky salsa. But the gifts from Ben and Lisa were fantastic. Each one very carefully selected for that person. Obliviously alot of time & thought & money went into each one and it really showed. Thank you!

After lunch, part of the group then went off to a day spa and some went to play golf. I had never tried golfing before and was looking for a great opportunity to give it a shot and this was it. I teamed up with Bob and Betty, both experienced golfers. We were playing in teams of four and playing best ball. So the best shot out of the group each turn would be played by everyone in the group. It made it go much faster. Something I was worried about being the new guy, slowing everyone down. I think out of the 9 holes, 5 shots per hole, I made 5 really good ones. Not bad for a first timer. The last one was one of the best when I had to tee off and clear a dry river bed. It almost landed on the green. Nice.

So the insanity. That started as the group reconverged at Blanco: Tacos and Tequila.
I was shuttling some folks around so I came in on things as they were already in motion, and by motion I mean bottles of Tequila an pitchers of Sangria. I was rehydrating from spending the day in the sun but the guys were pell mell into the madness. Rev. Bryan was 'discussing' how our server needed to be this tall to ride the ride... etc. Needless to say he was cut off from his last round of Mindbenders. It soon became apparent that I was going to have to sort this out as Ben was staggering around crying and telling folks he loved them.

It was touching actually. I just get worried about whatever it is in Tequila that makes you go insane. You'll be fine up to a point and then, BAM, insane. So things got sloppy drunk and I kidnapped Ben and brought him back to the farm for containment, thinking the rest would follow. Most did and Bryan K. showed up with two 30 packs of Miller. Then Cheryl brought out the liquor cabinet and the real descent began. I looked over at one point and Rev B. had the bottle totally upside down and was chugging like it was a 2 liter of Sprite. Serious. I thought he was gonna have an aneurysm or something so I kept an eye on him. But to be honest, he seemed fine. Ken had slipped into a delirium and passed out on his face behind the shed at some point. Then Ben gave in to the evil, vomit squirting out his nose, and called it a night.

Seeing that things were winding down, I headed back up the hill to the always lovely hot tub with two bottles of wine intending to forget some of the night as well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tucson Wedding Trip: BBQ and Beer

The guests began to trickle in Friday morning. We were in good shape; stocked with beer, meat and beer. We had the tent, tables and chairs in place. The sun was beating down on us like an angry nun but as the gathering hour of 6 PM showed up, things settled into a nice simmer. Ben man'd the Alaskan sized Q,

Mark had the bar and the Rev. Block (yes it's official, check out the card issued from the Universal Life Church below) and countless others made side trips for supplies.

Everything went off as planned. Lots of beer, brats and conversation. Kids frolicking about, cupcakes, strangers meeting and of course beer drinking contests. No one was hurt and we all managed to get to bed at a decent hour. Well, I think so at least because at that point I was slumming in the hot tub at my well appointed retreat; the Hacienda del Sol (for photo reference see Beefcake posting)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tuscon Wedding Trip: Hot and Smokin'

Seems like only yesterday that Ben and Lisa announced their June 8th wedding date but here it is right around the corner. I'm playing the part of the Best Man and have been doing my best-est job. I arrived in Tucson Wednesday night with a bit of a dilemma. I had wanted to treat myself a bit on this trip and toyed with the idea of getting a bad ass convertible Shelby GTH Mustang but it would have meant changing my flight to fly into Phoenix, the 1.5 hour drive to Tucson... OK, no Shelby but at the VERY minimum at nice Mustang convertible to enjoy the warm desert nights. Please no Chrysler Sebring... I rolled the dice and booked a car through Hotwire. $300 out the door for what would normally cost about $8xx. OK, so guess what I ended up getting?

Yeah, what a total piece. I took me 10 minutes to figure out that I had to set (and break) the lame trunk divider up to allow the top to retract. Ughhhh.... So Ken says he's headed to Phoenix the next morning to pick his brother up at 9 am. OK, I'll drive us and swap this thing out. We leave at 6 am and will be back at noon. No one the wiser. Got it. We'll it didn't exactly go as planned but I got the Shelby GTH. Just a little sob story but no more $$. Nice. Day 2 and I have a bad ass ride.

This thing is a monster. I took it for a spin at questionable speeds, let's just call it 100+, and it's like driving a slot car. Ben and I took it out last night, racing up Mount Lemon on some tight switchbacks and long straight aways, hanging it out all the way, skittering across the road as the tires gripped and hooked up. It just sticks and goes like hell. The feeling as the rear wheels would begin to slip out from behind you at about 60 in a tight corner, gently ease off the accelerator and feel it tighten up and pull into line again... just breath taking. Dropping your foot hard on the gas, having it down shift into passing gear as you are approach a hill, then the suspension slamming down hard as you hit it and finally the strain of the seat belt holding you in as you crest over the top, the front end of the car getting light and less responsive... not knowing if it's a blind corner ahead or a stalled car. I'd love to have one of these but there is no way I should. I guess I'm in that spot in life where I still like to have stupid, reckless fun but know better. Weird.

BTW, here is the history on the original Shelby GT350 H and the new Shelby GT-H model I was stress testing

Getting ready for tomorrow's BIG BBQ Meet and Greet. Hot sweaty fun!