mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
For the last several weeks, I've been in "production mode." In general terms, this means that I've been focused on a particular project or two that isn't necessarily creative but nonetheless needs to get done. This has been the case at both my day job and Seamlyne.

As a result, my creative side is going out of its mind. I've got a project in mind, an animated short film, and I've found a software package that will allow me to create it (AnimeStudio, if you're interested). I set myself to an hour a day working through the tutorials and it looks awesome; the learning curve isn't terribly steep, but as usually happens something came up. Several somethings, actually. Many tights orders and a huge project at work. So much for learning time.

On the subject of Seamlyne, I've grown increasingly frustrated there. It's making next to no money, and what money it is bringing in is being pulled out for personal bills. That's its purpose, I know, but there's nothing left in the business account to actually, you know, run the friggin' business. I've twice had to put the "sorry, long turnaround time" message on the website knowing that, should an order actually come in, we'd have to wait for the deposit to clear to buy the fabric for it. Seamlyne's only line of credit is burned up, too.

Frustrating.

Tax season is officially behind us, but we only filed last week, and it's a tax bill we can't pay. We'll have to apply to have this year's taxes rolled into the payment plan from last year. Lowe's won't get their payment until late, and it's getting later every month. Yes, our money situation sucks mightily. We're more behind than we have been, and it isn't likely to get better soon, if at all.

Hurts to type those words. I've never said it "out loud" before. Signs of the times, I guess.

Victim to this also is the Front Porch Project. I've got everything but the wood, which I had planned to buy at Lowes, but we haven't made a payment there so the account is closed for business. Yet another hole in the house, and though this one at least doesn't let the bugs in, it is right in front where it is plainly visible and unattractive. I imagine we'll have to save (if we can) and buy our lumber at The ReStore. It won't be treated lumber, but porches were built with untreated lumber for centuries.

Let's see...I don't want to keep whining about money, but that's what I've got just now. I need to get to work, so we'll just let it go for now.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
4" x 10' black, corrugated pipeDear dad,

I found your pipe. No no, not the one in the picture of you smoking outside your barracks door at Fort Bragg before shipping out to Okinawa. I'm talking about the pipe you buried - that 4" x 10' long black corrugated pipe you put in the ground to drain water away from the foundation. That pipe.

When I was putting in the new patio by the deck, I had to dig away quite a lot of dirt to prepare the site and I found the pipe. Digging it out took a lot of effort since it had long ago filled with dirt through the drainage holes in the sides making, for all intents and purposes, a very long and very heavy dirt sausage.

I mused as to your mindset when you buried it, digging the long trench by hand with the old tile shovel. Filled with dirt, the pipe was no longer fit for drainage, though I know for a fact that drainage was your intent. The proper use of this stuff is to surround it with gravel to allow water (but not dirt) to pass into the pipe and thence downslope. There was no gravel, and thus the pipe filled with dirt. It was probably wasted effort within just a few years.

I love you dad, and miss you, but more than once I have paused to say, usually out loud, "Dad, what were you thinking?" The more I find, the clearer the picture gets.

As I was growing up, you were always rushing somewhere to do something. Many times you were running away from something else: running away from debtors to bring your family to Missouri; running from the Aviation World News and your partner Ron to try your hand at Amway and Nutrilite Vitamins: fleeing that to start Medical Information Services with Norm. Shortcuts were a habit. To stretch the analogy, you always wanted to build the building without bothering with the foundation or, for that matter, the roof.

You applied the same philosophy - or, non-philosophy - around the house, too. So, here's what I think.

The back of our house, as of May, 2009Your favorite home improvement book was a large paperback volume the size of a Chicago phone book, with a blue cover and black and white pictures, published in 1970 or so. I still have it, though it's in the pile to go to Goodwill. I'm willing to bet  you looked at the chapter on "Drainage" and saw a picture of a 4" black corrugated pipe sitting in the bottom of a shallow trench. The heading and picture were all you needed. You were off off to Sutherland Lumber Company to buy the pipe as fast as our Ford Pinto could carry you.

Had you read the chapter, you would have gotten the rest of the story. The gravel, and the dry well or bubble outlet at the far end. I think you did that on a number of projects.

Is there a point to all this? No, dad, not really; I just want you to know I'm doing my best with what you gave me, genetically and practically, and, sorry Pop, I hope I'm improving upon it.

Love,

 - Wm

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
4" x 10' black, corrugated pipeDear dad,

I found your pipe. No no, not the one in the picture of you smoking outside your barracks door at Fort Bragg before shipping out to Okinawa. I'm talking about the pipe you buried - that 4" x 10' long black corrugated pipe you put in the ground to drain water away from the foundation. That pipe.

When I was putting in the new patio by the deck, I had to dig away quite a lot of dirt to prepare the site and I found the pipe. Digging it out took a lot of effort since it had long ago filled with dirt through the drainage holes in the sides making, for all intents and purposes, a very long and very heavy dirt sausage.

I mused as to your mindset when you buried it, digging the long trench by hand with the old tile shovel. Filled with dirt, the pipe was no longer fit for drainage, though I know for a fact that drainage was your intent. The proper use of this stuff is to surround it with gravel to allow water (but not dirt) to pass into the pipe and thence downslope. There was no gravel, and thus the pipe filled with dirt. It was probably wasted effort within just a few years.

I love you dad, and miss you, but more than once I have paused to say, usually out loud, "Dad, what were you thinking?" The more I find, the clearer the picture gets.

As I was growing up, you were always rushing somewhere to do something. Many times you were running away from something else: running away from debtors to bring your family to Missouri; running from the Aviation World News and your partner Ron to try your hand at Amway and Nutrilite Vitamins: fleeing that to start Medical Information Services with Norm. Shortcuts were a habit. To stretch the analogy, you always wanted to build the building without bothering with the foundation or, for that matter, the roof.

You applied the same philosophy - or, non-philosophy - around the house, too. So, here's what I think.

The back of our house, as of May, 2009Your favorite home improvement book was a large paperback volume the size of a Chicago phone book, with a blue cover and black and white pictures, published in 1970 or so. I still have it, though it's in the pile to go to Goodwill. I'm willing to bet  you looked at the chapter on "Drainage" and saw a picture of a 4" black corrugated pipe sitting in the bottom of a shallow trench. The heading and picture were all you needed. You were off off to Sutherland Lumber Company to buy the pipe as fast as our Ford Pinto could carry you.

Had you read the chapter, you would have gotten the rest of the story. The gravel, and the dry well or bubble outlet at the far end. I think you did that on a number of projects.

Is there a point to all this? No, dad, not really; I just want you to know I'm doing my best with what you gave me, genetically and practically, and, sorry Pop, I hope I'm improving upon it.

Love,

 - Wm

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
If we could be said as parents to earn "stripes", then let it be said that today, I earned a biggie: I changed out a tire tube on my child's bicycle. Not that it's any sort of amazing mechanical accomplishment - when I was growing up I did all my own maintenance - but it is the first one since becoming a father. Call it a milestone, if you wish. It's something daddy's do.

Snipped for length )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
If we could be said as parents to earn "stripes", then let it be said that today, I earned a biggie: I changed out a tire tube on my child's bicycle. Not that it's any sort of amazing mechanical accomplishment - when I was growing up I did all my own maintenance - but it is the first one since becoming a father. Call it a milestone, if you wish. It's something daddy's do.

Snipped for length )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Mr. Director)
Quote for the day:

Using Linux gives me a satisfying sense of “sticking it to the man,” although at times I get the feeling that the person I’m sticking it to ends up being me.
 
Amen, bro.  My Linux box stopped connecting to the network this weekend, and I have no idea how to begin to fix it.
Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Mr. Director)
Quote for the day:

Using Linux gives me a satisfying sense of “sticking it to the man,” although at times I get the feeling that the person I’m sticking it to ends up being me.
 
Amen, bro.  My Linux box stopped connecting to the network this weekend, and I have no idea how to begin to fix it.
Courtesy snip... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Busy night last night, going to be a busy day.  In summary:

To start with, I'm back on my own computer.  I found a dual-head video card at home and brought in to see if it still works.  Apparently it does.  It's a cheap-ass Matrox and probably won't last without having to reboot after while, but I can limp until the replacement gets here.  I had one just like it a while back and the memory went bad: it would give you an hour's worth of clean video and then go all wonky.  I don't know if this is the same video card or not.  We'll see.

36 ears is a lot of corn to put up. 
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Busy night last night, going to be a busy day.  In summary:

To start with, I'm back on my own computer.  I found a dual-head video card at home and brought in to see if it still works.  Apparently it does.  It's a cheap-ass Matrox and probably won't last without having to reboot after while, but I can limp until the replacement gets here.  I had one just like it a while back and the memory went bad: it would give you an hour's worth of clean video and then go all wonky.  I don't know if this is the same video card or not.  We'll see.

36 ears is a lot of corn to put up. 
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
For the second morning in a row, I've come awake with a headache bad enough to make me doubt the advisability of having a head.

The spring projects are starting to gel.  They include:

  • A decorative fence at the south-east corner of the property, along which will be arranged our many, many peonies.  This has to be done in the next few weeks.  Any later and we can't move the peonies.  Michelle called DigRite yesterday.  I want it about half the length that Michelle does.  We'll see how that goes.
     
  • A garden/tool shed in the back yard, which, I hope, will be built for us.  If not, I have a few ideas.  I've always thought a backyard shed that looked like a train depot would be fun.  Give it a nice 18-24" soffit with gingerbread at the corners and a schedule board on the wall.  A little sign on the end that says "OSAGE ACRES - ELEVATION 1033 FEET".  That'd be cute*.
     
  • A new front porch, ASAP.  Will we have to move the gas meter?  I don't know.  If we move the front door we will.
     
  • A new wall by the garage to stop the slow erosion of the southwest corner...although if it erodes enough maybe that corner of the garage will sink, level the floor, and the garage will stop flooding every goddamn time it rains.  Hmm...
     
  • An arch-y-thingy to replace the walk-in gate to the backyard.  What are those called...Oh!  Yeah, arbor.  That will hopefully tie in somehow to the new garage wall and not look weird.  As if.
     
  • A raised bed for the four-o'clocks.
     
  • A raised and fenced bed for a vegetable garden.  Not my idea, I like Del Monte.

Is that it?  I think so.  I hope so.  Anybody out there enjoy digging post holes?  We could use the help.

* Is that the real number?  According to city-data.com it is.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
For the second morning in a row, I've come awake with a headache bad enough to make me doubt the advisability of having a head.

The spring projects are starting to gel.  They include:

  • A decorative fence at the south-east corner of the property, along which will be arranged our many, many peonies.  This has to be done in the next few weeks.  Any later and we can't move the peonies.  Michelle called DigRite yesterday.  I want it about half the length that Michelle does.  We'll see how that goes.
     
  • A garden/tool shed in the back yard, which, I hope, will be built for us.  If not, I have a few ideas.  I've always thought a backyard shed that looked like a train depot would be fun.  Give it a nice 18-24" soffit with gingerbread at the corners and a schedule board on the wall.  A little sign on the end that says "OSAGE ACRES - ELEVATION 1033 FEET".  That'd be cute*.
     
  • A new front porch, ASAP.  Will we have to move the gas meter?  I don't know.  If we move the front door we will.
     
  • A new wall by the garage to stop the slow erosion of the southwest corner...although if it erodes enough maybe that corner of the garage will sink, level the floor, and the garage will stop flooding every goddamn time it rains.  Hmm...
     
  • An arch-y-thingy to replace the walk-in gate to the backyard.  What are those called...Oh!  Yeah, arbor.  That will hopefully tie in somehow to the new garage wall and not look weird.  As if.
     
  • A raised bed for the four-o'clocks.
     
  • A raised and fenced bed for a vegetable garden.  Not my idea, I like Del Monte.

Is that it?  I think so.  I hope so.  Anybody out there enjoy digging post holes?  We could use the help.

* Is that the real number?  According to city-data.com it is.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (music at the coffee shop 2)
An odd day at work.

Lots of little fires to put out. I'm bouncing from task to task, so without a sense of continuity I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything.

In Home News, the furnace/ac/heat pump/new ductwork are all in. It's a unique experience for me to set a temperature on my thermostat and feel the difference in just a few minutes. I can actually hold my hand over a register and feel air coming out of it. I have to rebuild the closet they destroyed to run ductwork to the attic; I'd been planning to convert it to a linen closet anyway, so no harm no foul.

At the moment it's just important for me to cover the large gaping hole that leads into the bowels of my furnace and sits right beside my two year old son's room. Right now, there's a cardboard sheet that gives the illusion of coverage, but he's a smart kid. I fear he'll discover the façade and start dropping a large portion of Fisher Price inventory into the heating system.

Been walking a mile each morning, and making the effort to drop back down to my fighting weight. (Those that know me well just snerked into their drinks over the modifier "fighting". One wonders why.) I have the goal of 180 pounds by White Hart, easily do-able if I stay on track.

Pregnancy weight isn't just for girls, you know. Neither is weight gain due to stress.

My daughter turned six this morning. She's smart, theatrical, loves me like no other human being ever has, and I'm very proud of how she's getting on.

That's all for now.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (music at the coffee shop 2)
An odd day at work.

Lots of little fires to put out. I'm bouncing from task to task, so without a sense of continuity I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything.

In Home News, the furnace/ac/heat pump/new ductwork are all in. It's a unique experience for me to set a temperature on my thermostat and feel the difference in just a few minutes. I can actually hold my hand over a register and feel air coming out of it. I have to rebuild the closet they destroyed to run ductwork to the attic; I'd been planning to convert it to a linen closet anyway, so no harm no foul.

At the moment it's just important for me to cover the large gaping hole that leads into the bowels of my furnace and sits right beside my two year old son's room. Right now, there's a cardboard sheet that gives the illusion of coverage, but he's a smart kid. I fear he'll discover the façade and start dropping a large portion of Fisher Price inventory into the heating system.

Been walking a mile each morning, and making the effort to drop back down to my fighting weight. (Those that know me well just snerked into their drinks over the modifier "fighting". One wonders why.) I have the goal of 180 pounds by White Hart, easily do-able if I stay on track.

Pregnancy weight isn't just for girls, you know. Neither is weight gain due to stress.

My daughter turned six this morning. She's smart, theatrical, loves me like no other human being ever has, and I'm very proud of how she's getting on.

That's all for now.
mapsedge: (scowl)
The guys from Apple Heating and Cooling are figuring out just what sort of misery I go through every time I try to work on an area of the house I haven't already fixed.

They started at 9:00 yesterday morning. By the time I got homeCourtesy snip... )

Hoping to see more progress today.

Quotes from Mr. HVAC:

The old unit was so tall it was blocking its own ductwork. No wonder you weren't getting any airflow.1

That old furnace didn't even look installed. It looked like they just threw it in.2

1 No surprises there, and it's been that way for more than 30 years. Every ceiling in the house except for the dining room and family room, including the basement, is 9" too short.
2 Pretty much par for the course for anything done to the house since 1956 and before, say, 1985.
mapsedge: (scowl)
The guys from Apple Heating and Cooling are figuring out just what sort of misery I go through every time I try to work on an area of the house I haven't already fixed.

They started at 9:00 yesterday morning. By the time I got homeCourtesy snip... )

Hoping to see more progress today.

Quotes from Mr. HVAC:

The old unit was so tall it was blocking its own ductwork. No wonder you weren't getting any airflow.1

That old furnace didn't even look installed. It looked like they just threw it in.2

1 No surprises there, and it's been that way for more than 30 years. Every ceiling in the house except for the dining room and family room, including the basement, is 9" too short.
2 Pretty much par for the course for anything done to the house since 1956 and before, say, 1985.

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