Friday, May 29, 2009

Close Encounters...

... of the skunk kind! Last night while taking out the trash I ran into my little friend Pepe Le Pew. I was on the front porch with two bags of trash in hand and headlamp on head. There was some russling in the ivy on the side of the house next to the driveway. At first I thought it was a deer because it was slow sounding and if it were a cat it would have taken off. But then I shine the light in the direction and catch a glimspe of black, oh and white too!

So the smart thing to do would be to back away. Nope, not me I needed confirmation that it was a skunk. I walk down the steps thinking I would see it walking away down the driveway. Well, I guess Pepe is a brave little !$@! because as I get to the bottom of the steps and shine the light down the driveway, there he/she is! Two eyes shining from the light and one black and white tail raised in the air! It was just standing there staring me down. I would say we were about 30 ft apart and didn't stay there too long to test its spray range.

From what I read online they turn their butt to you and raise their tail to spray so I guess I was lucky it was looking at me rather than turned around ready to strike. I always thought they sprayed from the tips of the tails like a scorpion would attack with its stinger. Seems more glamorous than just walking away and basically farting on your enemy.

At any rate, this thing has to be taken care of, I'm tired of being scared to walk around my own forest (I mean yard).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Above: Yes, Mrs.Forest does exist and took time out to pose for this picture.

Above: It's actually in thinset!

Above: Looking good at 2 am!

Above: Little bastard next to the hole in the widow sash. Not sure why it's dead, maybe the female kills the male after mating.

Above: Sawdust from the carpenter bees, we thought it was pollen at first.

A Productive Weekend...

...or should I say, weekday. We laid the floor tile yesterday (Memorial Day), or should I say last night, no I mean this morning ('til 2 am!). Actually, my wife laid the tile herself with cutting help from me. The field is done and all that remains to be completed is two wall edges and the toilet area. We worked late into the night and surprisingly the kids didn’t wake up while we were covered with mortar.

The big pain in the arse part was to get the layout lines square to something that would work. It took a few tries but finally worked out and I’m very excited that this portion of the project is nearly done (props to Mrs. Forest!). I really needed this morale booster as we noticed on Sunday that we have carpenter bees tunneling in the bathroom window.

I tell you this stuff never ends, what’s that saying again, “One step forward, 2 gazillion steps back?” Now to figure out the best way to get rid of those little bastards! (yes, I'm a Buddhist)

Stay tuned for pictures...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yup, it's confirmed...

...I'm INSANE!

Yes, I made a to do list for the weekend and as usual it didn't get done. But in my defense we did have an 8:45 am wedding to attend (yes 8:45 am) and a school fair on Saturday and I went into the office on Sunday.

I did try to get the lawn mowed Saturday early evening though. I had just enough time (about an hour) before dinner and figured I should get it done before town maintenance sent their "friendly" letter to us. So I start with the front strip between the street and sidewalk which should take about 10 minutes. Well, 10 minutes turned into an hour and here's why.

The front strip is angled up from the street to the sidewalk and as usual the mower sometimes has half the wheels on the street and half on the grass (no curb). Halfway through I hit something as I'm going from street to grass and "BANG!" And then "BANG - BANG - BANG - BANG - BANG!" Great, I figured I bent the blade and didn't have the time of the desire to go to Home Depot (what? yeah, I wasn't feeling well) So, I look under the mower and see that the blade is hitting the front metal cover/guard but doesn't seem bent.

To make things worse as I'm looking under the mower a little girl across the street is heckling me. "Ha, ha, something broke off," she yells continuously out the window. "Shut the..." I yelled back. Just kidding, I didn't yell back but believe me it took a lot for me not too. I was fuming at this point and decided to push the mower away from view of the little BRAT, I mean girl. All I know is that if it were my daughter yelling out of the window she would be in trouble. No, scratch that, my daughter has the manners to know better (ok, enough with the parent talk).

At this point I decide to finish off the front with the weed whacker and call it a day. What a pain that was. Good thing I had my ear protection on because when I finished I could hear the little girl yelling something else but just ignored it this time. I know I said enough with the parent talk but - "Is anyone paying attention here?"

Here's to many more hours of yard work to come. It's going to be a long summer...

Friday, May 15, 2009

The weekend (insanity) approaches, again...

Sometimes it feels like I'm stuck in the movie "Groundhog Day", where the same day happens over and over again. But for me it's the weekends. I always make grand plans on Friday to get things accomplished on the weekend and then, on Sunday night, end up wondering where the weekend went. Of course with very few items scratched off my "to do" list.

This weekend will most likely be a total loss on progress as we have a wedding to attend on Saturday and on Sunday I plan on catching up on my actual job. I guess if I accept the idea that nothing will get done it will just be a nice surprise if something does get done.

But I have to be a "man on a mission" and get this freakin' bathroom done already, so here's my list:

Friday - Saturday Night:
- Strip window and door trim

Sunday Night:
- Install window and door trim
- Repair window sill

Our realtor and good friend recently told me what the definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. There should be a picture of me next to that definition...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...

...we have light, and...


I was up really late last night or should I say early this morning but I made some good prgress. Connecting the wiring to the switch was very easy, it just took awhile to figure out the correct way to wire it. I knew the Electrical Engineers I work with would come in handy for advice!

The waterproofing (Laticrete WaterTight) was also easy to do, it's more about working with the unknown that takes up time. It has the consistency of Jello Chocolate Pudding and it painted on with a brush and roller. You cut in the corners and edges just like painting and then use the roller for the main area. Wait an hour and put on a second coat. The mistake I made was that my first coat was a little thin so I need to go over some areas again.

I had also wanted to use Laticrete HydroBan for its ability to bond to copper but it wasn't available at Lowe's so I went with the WaterTight. Turns out the wall opening for the tub faucet was too large anyway so the HydroBan would not have sealed the gap.

Isn't it great when things just seem to work themselves out...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SKIL Lithium Ion Combo Kit Giveaway... One Project Closer. What else can I say other than "One can never have enough power tools!"

As always, there would be a boat load of projects where this kit would come in handy. And the lighter weight makes it very attractive, especially for all the plaster repairs I'm planning to do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And the winner is...

GLAZED GREEN! Yes, that's right we have a color for the bathroom walls! But not only do we have a color, we have painted walls!

Did I ever mention that my wife has this thing for paint and particularly, PAINT CHIPS! She decided that one thing she wanted to do on Mother's Day was to go and buy the paint. So we got it and it's on the walls.

Here's a little before and after:

Not taken at exactly the same angles or wth the same lighting.

Now if I could just figure out the wiring for the freakin' vanity light switch I woule be able to scratch the upper walls off my list...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The weekend approaches.

I can't believe the weekend is here again, time just seems to be flying these days. The weeks go by so quickly and the weekends are barely a blink of an eye. No wonder I have zero time to finish my nemesis (aka the bathroom project).

A quick update, I taped all the ceiling corners and the walls are ready for paint. Now just to get the final decision on the color, did I ever mention I hate paint chips...

My hope is to have pictures up when the walls are painted. So maybe in a few weeks...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend update.

I made some good progress this weekend and managed to get half of my goals done.

Past weekend goals:

Friday night
- Apply wall swatches (Done!)
- Scrape off gnats that decided to land on the freshly painted ceiling (Done!)
- Apply 2nd coat of paint on ceiling (Done!)
- Decide on wall color (Almost)
- Purchase wall paint and apply to walls
- Purchase paint-on water proofing (Done!)
- Apply waterproofing to tub walls (Prepwork done)
- Lay-out wall tile (Kind of started)

The main setback was due to deciding on the freakin' wall color! Did I ever mention that I HATE looking at paint chips! We painted three swatches on the walls and they all look the similar to each other (at least to me) but none of them look like the paint chips that's supposed to represent the colors. What is the point?!

My wife, on the other hand, loves paint chips and can look at them for hours. I think we have it narrowed down now, again...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Here comes the weekend again...

...and new hopes for working on the bathroom. I would really like to work on and write about something else but the project is still going.

Updated list:
- Ceiling joints (DONE!)
- Wall joint at tub/shower needs feathering (DONE!)
- Finish sink and mirror supports behind wall (DONE!)
- Paint ceiling (Needs second coat.)
- Paint walls (PRIMED! Decide on wall color.)
- Paint-on waterproofing around tub
- Strip and replace door and window trim
- Tile walls
- Get knee wall top piece
- Tile floor
- Get threshold piece
- Install toilet
- Install sink

Here are my goals:

- Apply wall swatches
- Scrape off gnats that decided to land on the freshly painted ceiling

- Apply 2nd coat of paint on ceiling
- Decide on wall color
- Purchase wall paint and apply to walls
- Purchase paint-on water proofing

- Apply waterproofing to tub walls
- Lay-out wall tile

Maybe a little ambitious but I have to motivate myself. Wish me luck!

I also need to find time to clean up the yard as we have brush pick up next week. The main task is to finish the clean up of a huge branch that fell from our maple last summer.