Sunday, April 30, 2006

Workin' on the chain gang . .

We checked out of the duplex yesterday and the landlord said it looked great, besides the carpet which he was already planning on replacing so he ignored it. This probably saved us a full 8 - 12 hours of cleaning because it was in pretty bad shape. We did plant some flowers last Sunday at the old place for the new tenants, of course then it snowed on Tuesday but they looked pretty good yesterday except for the pansies. A few of those blossoms had wilted some from the cold.

After getting checked out of the old place yesterday morning we started on our own yard. First up was getting the dead grass raked out of the front lawn and getting the leaves from last fall picked up. Now the yard, in the bed of ivy and the south side of the house all look much better and I have a good pile of dead grass and leaves to start a compost pile with. After getting that done it was time to finish up putting the pavers in to make a path from the driveway to the front sidewalk. I had buried a few of them the weekend we painted but the progress was slow since I was doing the work with a hand trowel. The newly acquired shovel from Lowe's made a world of difference and now they are all nicely burred and do not stick up to catch the mower.

Today's agenda was to get the inside of the house looking presentable in case we have dinner guests tonight and this week. My folks are going to be staying with us for Mother's day so the storage bedroom needs to turn into a guest bedroom in the next two weeks. The galley kitchen is much less of an obstacle course now that there are not two dozen boxes in it either. This week we will get the sprinklers turned on, fertilize/seed the lawn, get the wire mesh put up for the compost pile, get the grill put back together (hmmm pork chops), mow, and maybe, just maybe get some of the redwood chips from the back yard into the front yard under the trees.

Finally I need some help. What plant/flower is this? I have been told it might be Day Lily but I'm not real sure.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Politics win over doing the right thing

Yesterday the President decided he better step into this whole energy prices soaring thing and try to shore up some approval points for the upcoming midterms, I don't know about you but if I was a congressional candidate in a close race I wouldn't want somebody with a 33% approval rating coming through town to try to get the undecideds. I digress . .

So the President has a plan, my comments are in italic;

Bush's plan

President Bush's proposals probably won't have a major immediate impact on gasoline prices.

The proposals include:

Cease filling up the nation's emergency oil reserve this summer. That would provide a little more oil to the market, which could lower crude prices slightly. - Not a bad idea considering we're only 40 million barrels short of the full 727 million, the pay back is from when the strategic reserve was used after the hurricanes last year, wait doesn't that season start soon?

Investigate whether there is price manipulation or gouging. That could spur some companies to lower prices, but oil companies have been investigated dozens of times and never charged. - Might wanna get Cheney and his energy commission in on this one, they might know something.

Open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. The Senate has blocked that several times. Even if passed, oil likely would not flow for a decade. - This is the crux of it, if people perceive a problem they'll be happy to give up ANWAR for an extra million barrels of oil a day, in a decade. Of course the Bush administration is blaming Clinton for this.

Waive fuel requirements that create a patchwork of gasoline blends throughout the United States. That could reduce prices and possibly prevent a price spike to a region unable to obtain its own blend of fuel after a pipeline rupture or refinery fire. - I appreciate that in order to save ten cents a gallon we'll all be breathing in more toxic fumes and run up further health care costs because of it, ok I can't prove that but you get the gist.

Remove $2 billion in tax incentives to oil companies to purchase equipment or drill in deepwater areas. That might save taxpayers money but it wouldn't lower gasoline prices. - hold on a minute, did the Energy Task Force approve this?

OK so to prove I'm not one of those people who just bitches and has no original ideas to bring to the table how about this;
  1. Take the bus or car pool to work one day a week.
  2. Write to your elected officials asking them to support increased fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, power plants, etc.
  3. Get your house energy efficient to save you money, that's right, you can save money and save the world.
OK enough ranting on that subject.

So my camera phone sucks for anything farther away then like 5 feet. I rant about that now because I really wanted to post a picture of the old timey bike I saw outside Starbucks this morning. Oh well, it's the second time I've seen it in the neighborhood, I'm sure you'll see a picture of it yet.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Moving Day

We loaded, drove over and unloaded the truck all in about 5 hours with a break for lunch. There
is some stuff still at the old place and hardly anything unpacked at the new place but all the big stuff got moved over thanks in huge part to Jack, Rob, Nate, Manda, Betty, Kristie and of course my amazing wife. Enough about that, here's a picture of our gnome!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Brain Dump

So much going on, so little time to blog about it lately.

So first up we're moving this weekend, oh joy. I was a horrible husband and didn't get on the packing in March bandwagon and so we'll be up late packing tonight and be moving alot of stuff next week, totally my fault.

We did get a Dyson as a "Happy house warming/memorial day/anniversary/birthday/labor day gift to each other" last night at Lowes. I know what you're thinking, $400 for a vacuum, but if it picks up all of my wife's hair it is so worth it, and it does, we tested one out and they actually work! And it's yellow.

I finished reading The Truth with Jokes earlier this week. That was a great book. It is full of actual facts about how somebody is screwing up the country with proof of how things are going wrong. I did try to read it with a grain of salt and I realize you can dig up studies about how Clinton screwed up the country too and was a horrible President so don't go there. All in all it reinforces my belief that everyone should get involved in Government and be informed about the issues. By Government I don't mean politics, I mean email your elected officials when you have a problem with something, there are tons of tips out there on how to including why not to snail mail them anymore. *that last link is just for all my Republican friends out there*

Ok what else . .

Going to the Crush game tonight with PBED and Eckoe, it's eckoe's bday this weekend so we're gonna get him drunk. I mean . . wasted.

Well I guess that is about all I got for today, happy weekend.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Temporary Post

We've been at the new house till at least 10pm every night since last Thursday so I have not had a chance to get all the photos uploaded and things written about the process of fixing up the new house.

I do have part of a monster post written up and I am hoping to finish that up tomorrow and add in the pictures.

In the meantime here is a sneak peek at a before and after shot of the living/dining room.

*The picture on the left is before, on the right is after, yeah we choose those colors!

Tape, Primer and Paint Oh Boy!

Who's up for a recap of the weekend!?

I took off from work around 4:30 on Friday, yes that is early for me, and hopped the bus south to the new house, a quick hour and a half later I was standing in my new living room admiring the job my inlaws had already done taping up the trim. Not until later in the weekend would I really understand how much that job had probably sucked but how important it was to the paint job turning out looking so good.

My first duty on Friday was to put down masking tape and paper in the new TV Room. This fun little task involves jamming the carpet down as far as you can and getting the tape as close to the wall as possible to ensure you paint as much trim and as little carpet as you can. After getting the first layer of tape down it was then time to tape newspaper over the top of it, sounds silly but this lets you slip a dropcloth down under the newspaper; it works out to be a really slick little system of carpet protection. Upon getting the seal of approval on my works as a master tape and newspaper layer I was assigned to opening the 5 gallon bucket of primer and pour it into the paint pan. Let me just say right now I am horrible at pouring liquids other than coffee and even that gets iffy so my wife deciding I was the best candidate to pour a 5 gallon container of primer must have been based on the fact that 5 gallons of primer weighs about 65 kazillion pounds, ok not really, let's try 40.

I did pretty well on the pour thanks in large part to Kristi sacrificing her hand to scoop primer, thanks Kristi!

Now that primer was in a paint pan it was time to arm myself with a roller and start in the living room. Then the dining room, ok that's cheating the living room and dining room are just one big room, then the master bedroom and bathroom. Only two walls of the living room got the white primer as we had tinted primer for the walls getting the Merlot. All that priming got done around 11:30 that night, not bad for 5 hours of work that's for sure.

Fast forward 8 hours to Saturday morning and you find two very tired new homeowners, only 2 full days into it, this bodes well eh?

Saturday morning started with primer in the bathroom which was the only room that started with actual color, so what are we doing with it, painting it white, completely logical. The final walls that needed primer were the ones getting the merlot. I learned something on Wed, when you are painting walls shades of red or green **my wife informs me it is actually for dark or bright colors** you should buy primer that you can tint. Before tinting the paint is grey, after tinting it turns, gray.

The first walls getting color on Saturday were the big walls in the dining room/living room, Bermuda Sand, aka one of the 400 shades of tan that Olympic sells. Somebody somewhere will have in their obit that they were the inventor of Bermuda Sand, the single biggest selling tint of tan that Olympic sold in 2006, trust me, I never make stuff like this up.

Next up was the master bath getting a lightish blue, I actually helped with the painting in this room! The master bath has black trim on the floor and the tile has black in it but this turned out to look really good actually.

After the bathroom came the green walls in the dining room, at this point I was back to observing and ordering lunch duty, no painting. That suited me just fine and Pizza Hut was soon on the way for the brave and valiant painters!

After a quick lunch it was back to work toiling in the dining room with the Sweet Anne, olive green, kinda. The color goes pretty well with the other two walls in the living/dining room, we will have to see how it goes with the furniture and china settings to really see how it all works.




Finally to the master bedroom we go, Kimono Blue with white trim. After the first coat it was a little faded denim blue but a second coat cleaned that up to where the room looks really good, at least I think so and I sleep there not you! Except for you who's reading over my shoulder right now, you sleep there too honey.

So that's it. That's 15 hours of painting, wrapped up in like 500 words, probably alot less. We spent Sunday and Monday evenings doing the trim in the dining/living room, TV Room, master bedroom and master bath. Tonight my wonderful wife got all the tape, newspaper, and trash cleaned up and the house looks great. We're ready to move in on Saturday and if you're reading this you've probably been invited to help, see ya Sat!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Washing Walls


Home improvement started last night, *scratch that, two nights ago*, with the washing of the walls. TSP (Trisodium Phosphate as it is called by smart people who probably would never actually use the stuff) comes in two sized boxes at Lowe's, a little and a big, we had walls and cupboards to wash, we got the big. Turns out we probably did not need the big but now we are stocked. So I was a little worried about cleaning with a detergent that says on the back "Wear suitable clothing and eye protection. Keep away from skin and out of gloves. Any foliage near where TSP is to be used should be soaked with plain water prior to the application of TSP, and rinsed down afterward. Be sure to read and follow all warnings on the product's packaging.", yeah that is real reassuring, might as well say "don't touch it or it'll hurt, it'll hurt bad".




So once you get the walls washed you have to put down tape, paper and tape. It sounds pretty easy, LIES! I learned that you have to get the tape squished down somehow between the carpet and the baseboard. I cheated and used a putty knife, worked much easier.

So that was the first night of home improvement at the new house. I should get a post and pictures up about priming and painting up tonight, ok probably tomorrow. Back to the house we go, two walls to prime and 5 rooms to paint!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

All Grown Up


Today my wife and I are closing on a house. We're not the first in our group of friends to make the big purchase and probably not the last. It seems like I should be more excited about buying a home but for some reason I do not have that Christmas morning anxious feel. I am excited about getting to work on the new place, infinately more so than I am about packing the current place that is for sure. The other thought that crosses my mind is who the hell would loan over $200K to two 26 year old kids 2 years out of college? Are these people nuts!

**Update**
They are nuts. We closed, bought paint at Lowes and are now on the way to clean the walls and change the locks. We'll be painting this weekend, I'll be sure to include some photos of before and after.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Podcasts!

I heard a great podcast today from a Slate article and I figured I would write about the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.

Most of what I listen to is political but there are some others thrown in for fun.

So the podcasts that update once a week are;

Washington Week
- I usually start with this on Monday morning, it's the first of the weekend shows so it's the first peek at what will be talked about on Sunday morning. The roundtable is always pretty good but the show is only 22-25 minutes.

Newsweek On Air - A good wrapup and usually a good piece on something that wasn't major news during the week. The interviews almost sound like they take sound bites from other interviews and script questions for the hosts that fit.

This Week - Always a big name guest, I usually really like the roundtable, without the visual the Sunday Funnies bit is sometimes lost with the Podcast.

Meet the Press - The Cadillac of the Sunday Morning news shows, it's been on the air forever. They recently switched up the format to match This Week, Russert interviews the headline guest and then there is a roundtable. I like the switch.

Face the Nation - I just started listening to this one, last week the round table was two people, the host and a newspaper columnist, how is that a round table?

Security Now - I started listening to this almost 6 months ago to answer a question for my brother in law and ended up continuing to listen, some weeks it's good, some weeks it's fun to listen to what Steve Gibson is freaking out about now.

the ones that update daily are;

Hardball - Sometimes it is an interview, sometimes it is a story that leads into an interview, without the interview. I just wish Chris Matthews was more like they write him on SNL, now that's good TV.

Newshour - Usually 3 bits each day, why they don't just slap it into one long podcast I'll never know, I don't watch the show when it's on though so I don't know the normal format. Regardless it is usually really good stuff.

Nightline - another news magazine, by the time I get here I'm usually covered but they sometimes have an interest piece that is . . . uh, interesting.

Slate - I lied, I usually start here with their Friday's Political Gabfest, they drift but it's funny. The articles on slate are great, I had it in my RSS feed but couldn't keep up, I can usually listen to a podcast and work but it's really hard to work and read articles at the same time.

Most of them are pretty good stuff, slightly left leaning if you ask some folks but overall keeps you in the loop on what's up with politics and the news.

In other news . . . we got new phones tonight, picture phones, oh yeah. Expect to see some really stupid stuff up in here soon!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Jefferson County Democratic Assembly

I was a delegate for my precinct at the Jefferson County Democratic Assembly today and took some notes as things went down. The following is just a summary of what happened to the best of my not so great recollection and scattered notes, good stuff. I also realized today I need to start carrying and more importantly using my digital camera more OR get a camera phone. In all actuality I'll probably end up doing both.

First off I gotta say I noticed that the next Jefferson County Young Democrats meeting was listed in The Colorado Statesman list of political events. Great work by our publicity people, hopefully every Young Dem there today saw it and will be coming to this month's meeting!

I didn't start with times on who was speaking and since we didn't exactly stick to the schedule as posted I don't have a time for each speaker and there was a mix of nominations for county candidates and other speakers but I think I have the order pretty close to right, and if not blog it yourself man, let's get going;

First speaker I remembered to write down was Mel, why didn't I write down the last name!, who is running for CU Regent at Large. I feel for these guys because the Regent at large is a STATEWIDE election and they do it with less money than most House District candidates run with.

Next up was Mark Udall. I'll call this one now and say Mark should run for Prez in 2012 or 2016, he'd be great, a senator from a western state would have national pull, at least more than a New England one does.

Up next was the nomination for County Commissioner, only one nominee this year for District 3 and that is Kathy Hartman.

The first contested nomination was for County Clerk and Recorder with Linda Rockwell and Stevens. Vote turned out 470 delegates for Rockwell and 51 for Stevens, well short of the 30% needed to get on the ballot.

Moving right along we got to see the first speech of the day from Ed Perlmutter who was the only one of three candidates to go the caucus and assembly route. Peggy Lamm and Herb Rubenstein are taking the petition road onto the primary ballot.

Up next was Dave Ruchman from the RTD Board of directors with news that the Board had voted to approve the contract the Union had approved the day before. Another woo hoo for the end of the strike from the bus rider! Dave only got a minute or two of talking time before we got the first mandatory break of the day courtesy of the fire alarm.

After the excitement of the fire alarm we heard from House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald who is going to get to run again. Both great speakers and both would have been great candidates for guv.

Next up was the candidate for State Attorney General Fern O'Brien. The State Party webpage indicated there is another candidate who we didn't see today, Robert Johnson. I'm not 100% caught up on the buzz so he may have already dropped out of the race.

Up next was Ken Gordon and his famed video spot, very amusing. He should add a crack about the horse going backwards was the way things are working now not how he wants them to run, it would kill at rallies.

Mark Ferrandino is the State Party Treasurer and was stumping for money, wouldn't be a political event without at least one person asking for money.

Cary Kennedy is running for State Treasurer and gave a quick run down of her qualifications including working in the Budget Office under Roy Romer.

Once county commissioner candidate Bob Moser is now running for County Treasurer.

Rocky Germano is running for County Assessor.

Congressional District 6 Candidate Bill Winter was there.

Bill Ritter ran a little over on time but managed to touch on renewable energy, health insurance, K-12 Education and tied it all together with a theme for the need of leadership in the governor's mansion.

Rounding out the nominations for county positions were Katherin Loughrey-Stemp and *frantic scanning of notes* the other candidate . . crap. Ok if anyone knows who it was please comment and I'll post an update. Katherin was nominated and will be on the ballot in August.

Candidates for the offices of Sherrif and Surveyor will be filled by the vacancy committee.

Finishing up the candidate speaches was Steve Ludwig who had a great speach for CU Regent at Large.

Finishing up the announcements before the late lunch break was a plug for the May 2nd West Metro Fire District election. You can vote at any fire house on May 2nd.

From here we broke up into Congressional Districts, House Districts and finally Senate Districts. I'll explain, no is too much, I'll sum up; in CD7 Ed Perlmutter went up to and left the stage to chants of "ED, ED, ED", I'll repeat the popular sentiment that this is Ed's race to lose in Jeffco, Karen Middleton is going to need to win in Jefferson county in order to keep her appointed position on the State Board of Education, in HD 24 Cheri Jahn is once again not going to have to face Republican opposition in November, in SD 20 Moe Keller who is going to face tough opposition in November, was again nominated by acclimation.

So that sums up to the best of my abilities today's Jefferson County Democratic Assembly, discuss among yourselves and let me know what I missed or blatanly screwed up.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Strike . . Over!

Woo Hoo! Initial reports indicate that the union approved the new contract. Bus and lightrail service starts again on normal scheduls on Monday, why not starting tomorrow I have no idea, but also do not much care.

The Rockies are in normal spring form, losing the first home stretch and getting shelled on Thursday 12-5, ugly. I appear to be bringing up the rear in both Fantasy leagues I am in as well so overall baseball has been pretty ugly this spring but we're only 5 days in.

**Update**
Coverage of the RTD vote here, here and here. 9news was reporting that on April 24 the First Transit drivers who operate 26% of the busses may go on strike, they have been without a contract since November.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Like sands through the hour glass . .

I was home sick today, nothing feels specifically horrible but my head, I have never had headaches this intense before.

I must get "well" soon because I cannot handle another day of the lowlights of daytime television. Let us sum up;

5-7 9news
7-7:30 Happy Days
7:30 - 9 was spent flipping channles, something I am very very good at, just ask my wife
9-12 - Reprieve! MythBusters! Older episodes and the myths aren't as big or explosive as they are this season but at least you get 3 of 'em!
12-1 - Knight Rider - Was it this bad in the 80's? VH1 makes the 80's look so much cooler.
1-3 - More flipping channles, napping and calling lenders, appraisers and real estate agents.
3-5 - M*A*S*H quality stuff from the good seasons.

and that brings us to the ever refreshing present; The Simpson's are on and I am happy.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Commuting Blows

I drove today, ugh.

I do not know how people can drive US36 everyday without going nucking futz. The drive in was fine. Basil said it was 6:17am when I pulled out of the driveway, a cup of coffee and the radio on I was good to go. The drive in was smooth, not too much traffic and the weather was fine, at the office by 6:50, day was going well already.

Work was . . work, I could elaborate but really, why?

So at 5:15pm with my brain slightly frazzled from the day it was time to head home, what I had dreaded and waited for since lunch. Dreaded because I knew the drive would be a mess and waited for because my head was aching and I could not wait to get home and eat some dinner.

The trip through town wasn't too bad, typical stop and go at the lights. As I approached the onramp to the turnpike on foothills I saw the backup and sighed the sigh I had been holding in all day. It was the "I knew driving to work was gonna suck and I hope this strike ends soon" sigh, yeah I said it. So as I sit at a standstill I look up at the vehicle in front of me, I say up because he's a Hummer and I'm a Mini. I felt bad about being the ahole who drove a 4 passenger car to work all by himself and then I see this, an H2 with one person in it, super. Behind me is a Toyota Prius, good for them, until she picked up the cell phone and proceeded to chat all the way to Wadsworth where I exited and she kept driving and talking, super duper. The one thing that is the same between driving and bussing is that it takes one half to three fourths of the time just to get from 36 and Wads home, this isn't bad when you are on the bus as you can sleep and ignore the arguing crack heads, that's a different story. In the car on the other hand all I could think about was sleeping on the bus, there's gotta be something wrong with that.

So what is todays moral?

Wheel of Morality turn turn turn...
Show the lesson we should learn!

98.
Q: What's a light-year?
A: One-third less calories than a regular year.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Opening Day!


Great day to be at a ballgame! The Rockies are in a tie for first in the NL West with the Padres, hey technically they are in first, I don't care if the have only played one game.

Traffic was a disaster today with the strike and being opening day. That was definately the biggest crowd I have ever seen at Coors Field, evar.

On a completely different topic, the analysis is still a a little fuzzy but it looks like The Hammer will not be running for Congress again in Texas, boo hoo.

Strike!

For those who need a ride this morning try here or here.


Of course the strike puts a crimp in my plans for the day but I will not be deterred from getting nachos and sandlot!