Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My father.

My dad taught me to throw a football. He taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow. He taught me how to drive. He taught me that getting drunk on champagne or red label Budweiser is a one-way ticket to a brutal hangover. He taught me about the four corners offense and how Dean Smith designed the system. He taught me to respect my mother and that because I respect my mother, I should respect all women. He taught me that words have meaning and I should choose them carefully. He taught me that the “00” in James Bond’s agent number meant he had a license to kill. He taught me how to bait a hook. He taught me how to warn approaching cars of a speed trap. He taught me that boys pee standing up. He taught me that it is best to take two steps off of first to get ready for a steal and it’s foolish not to use them. He taught me that family comes before anyone else. He taught me that Fredo was weak and stupid.
As a boy, he taught me that he was my father, not my friend.

He’s both now.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Projects: Adirondack chair

I hate wasting resources. The other week I helped a friend build a fence around his backyard so he would be in compliance with the neighborhood charter.After talking him into skipping on the Mexican workers and just getting a couple good buddies together with a case of beer and putting it up ourselves... A wonderful looking fence was constructed and saved him 1300 dollars! (I just wish we hadn't done it on a day where the heat index was 112) Anyway there were slats of the fence that had to be trimmed to fit perfectly. There were scrap 2x4 boards that were cut short for the stringers.. All of these are pressure and chemically treated for weather resistance. Since they were cut could not be returned to the store and were going to be thrown away.

I wanted something that looked good and would be useful for a while.
Like most of my projects. They all start with a sketch and my little pocket ref book.

First the legs and supports. These are made of really dense support beams that originally were used to carry support the pallets of wood. Super tough! I wanted to never worry about them
cracking and breaking under the weight of a guest. They are really simple. One is slightly higher than the other so that when you rest your ams they are tiled forward. You just have to make one set then make the mirror image with the opposite set.

Next you just have to attach the two sides and add the start of a back brace. If you add glue to each joint as you screw them together it will add significant strength here.
I unfortunately forgot this fact till I was completely done with the subframe. It meant I had to take the frame totally apart and start again. This time taking my time and doing it right.

Time to put on the seat. All you have to do it plank the seat till you are about 3/4 of the way to the back. Again, make sure you apply a layer of glue to the support before you nail.

To make the back rest, screw in a support beam between the two upright struts. If you don't screw it in totally and rest a test board on it you can twist the support beam till it is the correct angle. After attaching the first board at dead center on top, pinch the board with another seat board to make a tight fitting back.

Sorry I got in the groove of working at this point and forgot to take a photo when I finished the back.
Take a measuring tape and using a pinch clamp hold the end to the back support. If you sit in the chair and pull the tape as far front as you feel comfortable with it will give you a proper length for your arm rest. At this point I added some structural supports around the chair. There is a set of beams under the seat and another set at the front of the arm rests to add some strength for when you get up.

Finished! Time to either paint it or pick out a stain and a cushion. At least now I don't feel as much like a hoarder because I kept something that was going to be thrown out.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Zach could not find his razor blades that he himself had "organized" on his bench. Much to his chagrin and my great amusement, I knew where they were and showed him and after showing him the location of something that he had put away I just had to say "You organized it!" This is something he has always said to me when I've lost something after organizing a room and he has always laughed when saying it. Today it was my turn! I smiled. :D


I do not pick. I just point out things.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pace House

I was sent a couple photos of our house while and before it was renovated for the bicentennial back in 1976. Seeing these photos has reinvigorated my love for this house. These past few months have been almost spirit crushing by having the medical problems and tax issues but now that they are almost gone and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel it is time to get back to work.
This house has stood through over half of this countries history and I just want to do it justice in my short time I will be able to call it home.

This weekends project. Wring the wall sconces in the back hall way.


more photos

I was given some photos of the house when the college first renovated it in 1976 today. I thought I would share.

The Queen Ann chairs below are exactly where our reading chairs are now.

This is a dining room now

Back hallway which I had to totally gut and am in the process of renovating from all the water damage.

more photos

I was given some photos of the house when the college first renovated it in 1976 today. I thought I would share.

more photos

I was given some photos of the house when the college first renovated it in 1976 today. I thought I would share.

Some new/old pictures of the house

I was given some photos of the house when the college first renovated it in 1976 today. I thought I would share to give you some idea the life our house has had.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inspiration comes from the best places

When my mother knew she didn't have long left. She started to write a book for Kirk and I to have so as we would be able to know in her own way that we were part of a great family. I have read my copy of that book so many times that I notices tonight that the pages were starting to wear.
As the book goes on, you can tell from her writing that she was putting her heart and soul into this. Well I know that I won't have the memory that my mother did so I am going to start a new separate blog just for me to be able to do this for my child someday. It will be filled with the stories of my life and things that have shaped me into the man I am. Hopefully I will not need to publish it anytime soon, but I want it here encase


Friday, October 30, 2009

nothing to report-just cant sleep

Once again, nothing really new to post. We haven't really worked on the house while we are dealing with more tax issues. So instead of real issues I am fluffing with a survey from Dismas on Facebook.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Damn I cut the hell out of myself. I need to get a buzz shaver
2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Bore, core, fore, four, gore,hoar, lore, more, pore, roar,sore, snore,spore,store,tore,wore,yore...and how could I forget, as a Winnie the Pooh fan...Eeyore?!
4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Funki Porcini playing The Great Drive By from Love, Pussycats & Carwrecks
6. What are you wearing right now?
Old grey sweater and comfortable jeans
7. Do you label yourself?
All the time. But the labels change every few hours or so.
8. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently own?
Dockers,Reeboks, Red Wings, and Wellco
9. Bright or Dark Room?
10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
She is a fire cracker when the fuse burns in and you are waiting for the explosion
11. What does your watch look like?
mid 1950's gold and silver mens everyday watch
12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
asleep on the couch with Dracula on the TV
13.What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
"I love you"
14. What’s a word that you say a lot?
Rude!!! (Its from the out of the hood program)
15. Who told you he/she loved you last?(please exclude spouse , family, children)
Since we are excluding spouse, family and children.
I would have to go with Buffy the dog. She was just curled up in my lap with her head over my shoulder before I started this.
16. Last furry thing you touched?
See above.
17. Favorite age you have been so far?
18. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Good night. I love you
19. The last song you listened to?
Bah Samba - So Tired Of Waiting
20. Where did you live in 1987?
21. Are you jealous of anyone?
Not any more.
22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Don't know, don't care, either.
23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Phone(might not be charged), keys, ipod
24. What’s your favorite town/city?
Sitia, Crete
25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
In February
26. Can you change the oil on a car?
No, why bother when that's what service stations exist for.
27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
First? 1st grade Charity Holdridge. She came out of the closet and is now a Youth Pastor in Minnesota
28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My left leg always hurts lately
29. What is your current desktop picture?
Eiffel tower in the fall of last year
30. Have you been burnt by love?
Burnt, cooked, charred, toasted, scortched.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I want THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

Purchase a Piece of "Ferris Bueller" History

Now's your chance to own a priceless piece of real estate, made famous in the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The Highland Park, Ill., home belonged to the parents of Ferris' notoriously uptight sidekick, Cameron. For a cool $2.3 million, the 5,300-square-foot, mostly glass house can be yours. Rambunctious sidekick and 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California not included.

What's your favorite Bueller quote?

Cameron: "I'm dying"
Ferris: "Your not dying, you just can't think of anything good to do!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Insomnia is a pain

Anyone who has known me for a while, or who reads my facebook status updates, knows I am an insomniac to the core.It has come and gone throughout my life. My first memorable insomnia experience was in high school, when I learned that USA Up all night with Rhonda Shear was on at 3am. Not sure why I didn't seek help then. I was regularly falling asleep in class.

Throughout my adult life, it has come and gone in spurts, a night here, a few weeks there. That was until February when it reached an apex. Can I explain what brings it on? Not really. What I do know is that I have "pervasive thoughts." The brain, it just doesn't turn, ever. And while I have heard of people up at night with worry, I'm really just up with my head spinning around dumb stuff. "I wonder if I should buy a new hammock this winter while they are on sell", "What is whoever doing tomorrow?" "What will be the next project on the house" Seriously! It's annoying. Here is what insomnia, at it's worse, looks like for me: Lying in bed till 5ish before falling asleep or awakening at the early hours and either not being able to fall back asleep or waking about once an hour until it's time to get up. Either way, in the last three months I have been looking at my alarm when it turns on at least 4 times a week. Total suckage.

I have tried a bunch of things to address this issue:

* -tried taking a herbal sleep blend. Impact: nothing
* -tried taking melatonin. Impact: weird dreams and waking up angry
* -no caffeine after 2 PM. Impact: some improvement in falling asleep but woke up at 4am just to see the sunrise
* -no alcohol. Impact: no change at all. I knew I wouldn't keep that one long
* -experimenting with TV/sleep timer. Impact: hard to tell. I don't really watch TV
* -stopped taking vitamins at night. Impact: none nut I could eat breakfast in the morning
* -focus on breathing. Impact: annoyance
* -reducing the temperature in the house. Impact: nothing just got cold in the night
* -cannot do the warm milk thing...just can't do it. I don't like dairy
* -taking an anti-anxiety medication for the racing mind. Impact: made me a zombie, a walking dead zombie, but not asleep
* -taking sleeping pills. Impact: they made me zoned out, slow thinking, and made me generally irritable the next day
* -taking pain pills. Impact: I took these but found out that with a good drink at the end of the night I slipped into a drunken stupor that would let me relax and fall asleep. BUT the opiates in them made me have some of the worst dreams of my life. They might not of all been scary but they were all disturbing to some extent.

So here is where I am at right now. Yesterday, I ordered some noise canceling headphones to see if its the constant droning of the ceiling fans that are almost necessary for a big house like ours.
I talked to a holistic healer that suggested that I try mediating while living in Hawaii. So far it is just a time in the afternoons that I can relax without the constant barrage of requests and irritations.
There will come a time when I go back to the modern day doctor but I want to exhaust all options first. At this point, I have found something that kinda helps but it is not something I can do every night. As much as I wish I could.
If you think I am making too much of this, I am. I sat up last night and watched the sun come above the horizon and could still feel myself internally trying to fight the urge to go to sleep.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DragonCon 2009

Well I had not planned on going to DC this year but Zach surprised me with a one-day pass for Sunday. I did not get to any panels (tried the SteamPunk Costume panel at 7pm but again they put the track in TOO SMALL A ROOM!!!!). Registration seemed fine in the Sheraton but I was disoriented as they moved the comic artist alley. Thanks to my friend Gail though I was able to find things. I ran into her as I was leaving the art show and she helped me find Sanford (coolest comic artist ever!!) and everything else. BTW, Gail had an AWESOME Deputy Jo Lupo costume!!!! She graciously allowed me to watch the masquerade in her room at the Hyatt but I do not know why I still torture myself with doing so other than tradition (Duck Dogers and the 24 1/2 Century!!!!). DC really needs to revamp the Masquerade. We stayed Sunday night to see costumes and while the pickings were again slim (has been for several years) there were some really good ones especially the 9 costume, the SteamPunk Star Wars and the Willie from Indiana Jones. Actually there were a lot of SteamPunk and all of it seemed good to me so I am glad to see that there is still good costuming going on at DC. While my favorite fungus artist was not in attendance at the art show, I did come across a surprising new artist with a print that I bought for my office. The drawing accurately depicted several species of mushroom in a slightly fantastical setting (yes there was a fairy, no she was not naked) done in colored pencil but done very nicely. I even scored some nice swag (pen and cup!) from the Firefly costuming group and I hope to maybe join! Very nice people and I learned a few things about Stargate that I did not know! Thanks guys! Before DC though, Zach and I were visiting my grandmother and we took her to eat at Rusan's again but this time she actually had some real raw fish (Tuna) and she liked it! She also managed to eat some of her dinner with chopsticks. Every time we visit, she surprises me. I also managed to finish the Mary Poppins scarf that I started over a year ago and even though I still have to block it, the hard part is done! Now I need to see if I can knit Zach a scarf with the pattern he wants. I will prevail! Lastly, I have started reading for fun again (grad school, postdoc and the ensuing early years of teaching prevented me from really picking anything up) and I've been racking up the fiction and non-fiction. Books I've read lately include Magical Mushrooms, Mischevious Mold by George Hudler (actually this was for school as I am going to use it as a text for my fungus course but still fun to read), The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson on the London Cholera epidemic of 1854, Fool Moon, Turn Coat and Summer Knight of the Harry Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (hat to the Swensons). Zach also turned me onto a book that I have just requested from the PINES library system here in Georgia called Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi and I plan to see if I can get his new book called The Windup Girl (read the review on I also plan to read "The Red Hourglass: Lives of the Predators" by Gordon Gice which is a non-fiction essay collection on natural predators and how they compare to human society (Thanks Daxton!).

P.S. I am also trying to finish that miserable alien shirt from way too long ago. All I have to do is the buttons but I am dragging my feet. I hate buttons! At least on my current machine. Then I can get to my witch costume that I started last year in October. Here's hoping I'll have it ready for Halloween this year. :D

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Busy Weekend (Sunday)

All week I have been fighting with the backdoor by having to slam so hard the wall would shake to properly close. This morning, a little hungover, I finally snapped. Unfortunately waking up Sharon by fussing with an inanimate object at the top of my lungs got her attention a little too early in the morning. (insert fight) We took off to the Home depot and picked up a new door, ceiling fan for the kitchen and a working flood light.
Now I had no idea that we would be doing this today! I promise. But here is is 10:30 at night and I have ripped the old door out and installed a new one better than before, Replaced the mid 70's model fan, and finally got a motion sensor that actually senses motion!
Anyway, everything makes the house a little more homey and a little more toward my goal. Time to take a hot bath and get ready for the work week ahead.

Old beat up back door

New leaded glass beauty

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I thought I would retask one of the house cameras as a webcam to watch the dogs while on road trips. If anyone notices a problem please let me know.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ramblings of an over caffinated insomniac

Davinci's pizza – we knew that it had shut down a while ago but gone totally like wiped off the face of the Earth?????
New Tate center – Geez, we students of the modest Tate gone past are blown away and completely jealous. This is what happens when you graduate and start working. Your tax dollars help build a better student center that you do not get to use. This sucks, I had to share the study/quiet rooms with idiots making out in the corner.
The Women's studies/Old police station gone – why? I liked that building.
Two new buildings downtown near First Baptist Church – one is very modern looking but the other just looks like the church is remodeling
Hodgons moved! - blasphemy
Lunch Paper now a freaking martini bar!!! – the ever revolving door of bar/food businesses that keeps everyone guessing and coming to downtown Athens swings again.
All you can eat Ihop pamcakes. Who is this pam and how does she get turned into cakes that we should all hop for?
Old Mellow Mushroom downtown was turned into a Tokyo sushi bar. I would love to know what Murphy thinks about that.
I am still irritated about the loss of Blue Sky. I just don't care that Starbucks is supposed to be the better replacement. I liked the anti-chain Blue Sky coffee. I miss the funky art and affected holier than thou waitstaff who always served drinks exactly the way you wanted without charging you for the extra cup. And why is it so hard to study in the upper loft? I think its cursed


One of my favorite places in the world has been destroyed! I thought I would share some memories of the Georgia Theater in hopes that typing and sharing them would take the sting away...It was more than a club to me. The whole ambiance from the smells of stale spilled beer and cigarette ash on the floor to the torn and broken ceiling tiles falling from the roof. It was just dirty enough to be unimposing yet had enough history to demand the respect it gathered by all of us.
Unfortunately, due to its age it was grandfathered into not needing sprinklers for safety which ultimately led to its untimely demise.

My favorite memories
1.I got to see David Byrne in concert there, afterward talking and having drinks with him at the GA Bar next door. (One of my favorite memories)
2.I met my one famous girlfriend there. She has a smile that will always cheer me up.
3.80's dance nights in the late 90's with Laura. She looked so happy to be on that stage dancing her heart out and with the lights flashing above us.
4.Walking past the box office every morning on the way to my Jittery Joe's coffee breakfast and saying HI to Jennifer as she left for the night.
5.The REM shows with only 100ish people in the crowd. How could you not love that!