Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Or: "Me on a Black tar-papered Roof in 90 degree weather". Fun stuff.
.... I'm still working on de-leaking the porch roof. Today it was putting on the galvanized steel drip metal. I'm up there, kneeling on a towel and nailing long sheets of metal down. (Yes, I really should just buy some knee pads, but I keep forgetting every time I go to Home Depot.) Then to keep the water from getting under the metal, and under the tar paper, I had to seal the seems with roofing tar. (Gearheads - thanks for the offer, but it was only $10 a gallon and it was right there.) The stuff is kind of cool, it comes out of the can looking exactly like chocolate pudding, same color, same texture. You goop it on, spread it smooth and then it dries black and looks & feels exactly like dry tar. Oh, but it doesn't clean up exactly like chocolate pudding - I had to scrub it off my leg (yes, I did use gloves, so my hands were clean.)
.... Anyway, black tar roof, 90 degrees and in direct sunlight. It was hot. I'd work for about 15 minutes, go down and spend 10 minutes under the swamp cooler vent drinking water, head back up and do it all over again.
.... All I know is that if the thing leaks so much as one drop next time it rains I'm gonna end up in a rubber room with a wrap-around jacket.

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Monday, June 29, 2009


Music neighbor is still playing only Michael Jackson music.

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Back in the saddle again.

The master plan was: Take out student loans, get Master's degree, get pay raise thanks to Master's degree, use raise to pay for student loans. Good plan, except for the economy going FLOP! Since the Legislature eliminated 5.5 teacher professional development days, we're all gettinig a pay cut instead. It's yet to be seen, but I'm hoping the increase for the new degree will at least balance out that cut. Regardless, it leaves me with deficit spending, which is why I am now working at the Chevron again. I like having something to get me out of bed during the summer, so I wanted a job anyway, and after the last 2 years of school, a couple of days a week at the Chevron won't be bad, even when school's back in. And he started me at the same wage I was making when I left 2 years ago (at least if we remembered correctly), which is more than I expected. Jess (the manager) called me this morning to see if I could come in, fill out papers, figure out the schedule and work a couple hours to get back in the groove. Like riding a bicycle.
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iosepa to near-death experience.

Ok, so one of the nice things about the wet weather is this rainbow over my garage.
I decided to get out of the house today, 3 days of going nowhere other than the Home Depot gets a little old.  So, I gassed up the BattleCruiser and headed out west.  First thought was Stansbury Island.  Been there, done that, wanted something different.  So drove past it, all the way to Delle (one gas station and closed motel).  Nothing there to see so I headed back towards SLC and when I came upon the Dugway* exit decided to see what was up that road.  The first town on the sign was Iosepa, so I decided that was where I'd go and then head on back.
There I am on the old I-80 headed out towards the Great Salt Lake.  It runs parallel to the new I-80, but is a hell of a lot more fun to drive in these big old cars.  Makes me feel like I'm in an episode of "Route 66"
The back side of the Iosepa sign.  Very, very Native American, which begs to ask......
Why "Aloha"?  Whatever, Iosepa was was even smaller than Delle.  Clump of trees, house and a barn.
The picture says it all.  that's the fire station on the right hand side.
Ok, so I did get a little dirt-roadin' in on this trip.  Went to what is called "Lone Rock", because it's, well, a lone rock out in the middle of the valley. 
Utah, famous for a whole lot of nuttin'.  This is what surrounds Lone Rock.
BattleCruiser on the hill in front of Lone Rock.  It looks a lot steeper when you're in the driver seat trying to get the thing down the hill.
Lone Rock, all alone.
And, of course, there were mud puddles left over from the recent rains, and I had to have a little bit of fun with them.  Car got a bit dirty, but it's not like it's the first time I've run a '72 Country Squire through huge mud puddles, right Gearheads?
And finally - the near death experience. 
Q - You're driving along a section of the freeway that is under construction.  You get to an exit that is closed, without any previous warning.  You:
.......... a) continue on your way to the next exit.
.......... b) ram the barriers and exit anyways, or
......... c) come to a complete stop in the middle of the freeway while you figure out what to do.
A - if you are a taxi cab in Salt Lake City, you choose "c".  Which means the car behind you has to side swipe the barriers to keep from being slammed into from the back end by a huge '72 Ford wagon, and said wagon, as the driver's (me) bladder is letting go**, swerves half way into the middle lane, praying no one is there, to avoid slamming either of the previously mentioned vehicles into next week.  Thank God, no one was there and an accident (vehicular, that is) was avoided. 
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*as in the Dugway proving grounds, where they test bombs and the latest bombers.  Not as exciting as Area 51, but a laugh nonetheless.
** of course the wagon is the only LTD I have with cloth seats.  It couldn't have been the convertible, which has naugahyde seats - they're impervious to everything, even baby vomit.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

A good thing about new windows.

.... So, you've probably heard by now that Michael Jackson is dead.  I won't comment on his impact on American music and the video scene, his personal quirks or plastic surgery.  I'm just going to comment on his impact on my back yard work today.
.... I'm guessing that one of my neighbors in the apartment complex next door is a huge Jackson fan.  All day they have been playing his music over and over and over, with their window open and loud enough for me to hear it over my drill.  I'm still feeling a little down from my cold yesterday, so I've been going in and out, getting a little bit of work done here and there.  Every time I go out the door I'm hit with Jackson's music.  I've heard "Billy Jean" at least 3 times.  Now, I'm not saying I hate his music.  There's quite a bit of it that I do like a lot.  But replaying over and over again gives me images of a 20-something girl, laying on her bed in the relative dark, holding a picture of Jackson and crying the day away listening to his music.  I could be wrong.  She or he could be cleaning the apartment or telecommuting to their job, whilst listening to it over and over.
.... The good part is that I don't hear it at all inside the house.  I may still have to clean them, but the new windows rock.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer solstice, summer sickness.

.... Started feeling it last night. Which should have, but didn't, stop me from taking a late night ride on the motorcycle.  New seat, perfect temperature outside, I couldn't resist. 
.... Summer colds suck.  I woke up this morning feeling like crap, nose all plugged up, mouth all dry.  It's past noon and I just barely got up out of bed.  I was going to work on the house today.  Put the roof back on the porch before it rains again this weekend.  But nooooooo. At least I don't have to drag my sorry butt all the way down to school to get someting together for a substitute.
.... Well, back to bed, little more rest and see if the green tea I just drank does any good.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New matress and a new seat.

.... Thanks to my sister-in-law, the female half of The Gearheads, I got a new mattress today.  A nice, firm, king sized, pillow-top Kingston matress, for a grand total of $400.  That includes tax and delivery.  One of the Utah Nissans clan works for a mattress wholesaler ("Never buy retail, always buy wholesale, Dan" - Ed Conner), and voila - goodbye backpain, I'm gonna sleep tonight!
.... I also got the seat to my foster motorcycle re-upholstered.  The old seat made the whole bike look kind of dumpy.  The leather was ripped at the seams, cushioning hanging out.  Looks a lot better and even has more padding in the seat.  Way cool.  And I only had to pay half of the cost, the bike's real father (male half of The Gearheads) paid for the other half. 
.... Overall, a great day.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The problem with new windows....

...is that when they get dirty cleaning them actually helps. Old double-paned windows with broken seals don't look any better when you don't clean them, which gives you a good excuse for not bothering. My new ones, none of the crap is between the pieces of glass, so I just KNOW they would look a lot better if I cleaned them. Yeah, it was great having an excuse. But now that I spent the entire day cleaning the house, [2 loads of dishes - 4 loads of laundry - a full recycling bin of papers that were laying around], I'm just going to have to fix it so the dirty windows don't stick out like a sore thumb. Which means cleaning them. Bleah!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Working on the back porch again.

.... I've actually got a bit of work done on the back porch this weekend.  When I first built it I had no intention of closing it in, so the roof wasn't build waterproof.  Then I screened it in and retro-fitted some roofing to keep out the water.  Didn't work so wonderful, leaks here and there making sitting out in the rain not as much fun.  So, I tore off all the decking on the roof and I'm going to plywood, tar paper and re-deck it so it won't leak anymore.  Got it all torn apart, now just have to put it back together.
.... I also added a little art work to the inside of the porch.  It's called a Tapa Cloth.  Made from the bark of the Mulberry Tree.  At the end of last week I got together with the other 2/3 of the Triumphant Trio of the IDET program (the two I went through Master's program with).  I met them up in Layton (pronounced "Lay-n"), where Leilani lives, and we went out to dinner at this great little Italian dive called Paisano's.  Seriously, we thought about leaving as soon as we walked in (only one elderly customer there at 5:00, tacky Pizza-Hut-turned-Italian decor, sticky tables and a waitress that looked 12 and a half).  Ok, maybe 14.  Anyway, we decided to stay and were glad we did.  The food was great.  I won't go into details, just try it if you're ever in Layton. 
.... So we get back to Leilani's apartment and she had this huge painted cloth hanging on the wall, and I commented on how cool I thought it was.  Turns out she made it herself, smashed the cloth out of Mulberry tree bark into this huge piece of cloth and then hand painted it.  I think the piece she had on the wall was used in her wedding ceremony in Tonga.  So she asked me if I wanted a piece, and I said sure, figuring on a one foot square.  She pulls out this huge roll of the stuff and hacks me off a 5.5 foot by 2.5 foot piece.  Way cool.
.... I thought and thought about where to put it, realized it was just about the right size for one of the pieces of glass I harvested from the old storm doors I replaced a few years ago, and that I had a bunch of clear plastic contact paper laying around the house.  So I cleaned up the glass, taped the cloth to it, put enough contact paper on the back to keep it protected from what little weather it will get and hung it up inside the back porch.  Looks good, if I do say so myself.
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P.S. Leilani, thanks again for the Tapa Cloth!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More rain, please.

.... It rained again today. I went up to Ogden for a fundraising car wash with the Utah Nissans Club. It actually was a lot of fun, until it got a little chilly right before we packed up and went home. We washed 2 cars before it started raining, it rained for 15 minutes, stopped long enough to get 2 more cars washed, then rained the rest of the time there. Sometimes heavy, sometimes just a light sprinkle. Five more cars came in to get washed, or probably more just to donate to Shriners, and it was actually quite amusing washing them in the rain. We didn't bother drying them with the shammies.
.... So just to give you an idea of exactly how wet it has been this June, here are some stats for Salt Lake City from the National Weather Service website:
......... Precipitation June 1 to 19, this year: ............... 1.96"
......... Precipitation June 1 to 19, average: ................. .55"
......... Average Total June Precipitation: .................... .77"
......... Number of days with .01" or more, this year: ........ 14
......... Average June days with .01" or more: ................. 5
.... And we still have 10 days left in this month.  Better get the ad for beachfront property ready to sell my house.....
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What did I do today?

Other than lay around and watch SG1?
First I finished putting in the bedroom windows.  The two windows I did today took about 3 hours to complete, about the same time as the first one took.  I learned a lot from that first one.
I still have to do the trim on the inside, but I want to let the caulking cure for a few days before I do that.  I also have to figure out how to do the trim since the windows don't fit quite the same as the old ones.
Then I started to refinish my school desk.  If you missed me mentioning it before, or maybe I didn't, one of the nice things about leaving a school that is closing down is that you get to take a bunch of stuff with you that normally would stay at the school.  Like my desk.  It's a really nice old wooden desk, built back when they were built to last.  6 drawers all together, and they even lock, all but one.  The finish is a little worn down by some 50+ years of classroom exposure, so I decided to re do it.  I got about 3/4 of the way through the sanding when I realized it's 10:00pm on a weeknight and the noise was probably annoying neighbors who have to get up for work in the morning.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One down, two to go..

3 years ago I had new windows put in the house.  All except for three in the bedroom and one in the laundry room.  I had already bought a window for the laundry room, and they wanted $600 extra for the three 2' x 2' windows on the east side of the bedroom.  So, I decided to do it myself.  Up until yesterday when I started the project, they were old 1940's single pane windows that I had covered with a couple levels of plexiglass to help insulate them.  Which meant that although they kept the heat in pretty well, they not only didn't allow me to open my windows in the summer, but they looked like hell too.  I bought three 2' x 2' double paned vinyl windows sometime this winter, and just had to wait for school to get out so I could install them. 
The first one went quite well.  The hardest part was getting the old window out, since I had sealed the plexiglass with silicone caulking it wasn't too eager to come out.  I ended up breaking the glass and demolishing the window frame.  I don't care about the frame, I'd be tossing it whether it was intact or not, but the glass is certainly a pain to clean up.  But that's ok, it went in really easy, and looks pretty good for an amateur, if I do say so myself.
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

I just don't know what to say....

It's 11:00 at night and I've been strolling around the blogosphere looking for something interesting. I found this instead;
(Found on the "On The Front Porch" blog, and just in case you're wondering if this is some sort of joke, it's not. According to Google Maps, Red House Furniture really does exist. I even went to their homepage and they had their own link to this commercial. Go figure.)
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Blogging Quizzes

Yeah, summer has started, I haven't gone to the Chevron to see if they want to hire me, and I've got a lot of free time right now.

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