Things to do this weekend

Things that I want to get done this weekend..

-Clean the house a little bit (good thing no one is coming over – but maybe I should start having guests so I will actually have incentive to clean)
-Get hair cuts
-Go to the bike store
-Clean out camping gear
-Go for a bike ride
-Light a bonfire (ok, no problem if we don’t)
-Make Pizza
-Mow the yard.  At least part of it
-Go on a hike with the dogs
-Work on finishing Ben’s room
-Install the new stereo in the car

I’ am sure I had more on the list, but that is what I can remember this am.

We will see how much I get done…

Stories from the Road (part 2).

I’ve only had two glasses of wine tonight… I should wait.  I’m pretty sure I’m much funnier after more than two glasses of wine.  Or 3 or 4 margaritas.

Things I learned while on travel in San Diego:

– It is much more fun to be on shore than on the submarine (sorry Ryan).
– It is much more expensive to be on shore than on the submarine (you’re welcome, Ryan).
– If you are going to go to old town with the girls and chaperone them while dress shopping, make sure to not be the designated driver.
– It is not a difficult goal to complain less than C (again some names changed to protect the not so innocent) while chaperoning the girls dress shopping in old town – even if you are the designated driver.  An iPhone is good for that.
– To get to the Gaslamp Hilton from 5th street, you do NOT walk to the end of the street (thanks to the many times S pointed that out – and no I didn’t learn that while I was there).
– Do not argue with S if she is giving directions.  She is almost always right.  And if she is not, it still isn’t worth arguing.
– I talk a lot when I drink.  Ok.  Not a new lesson learned.
– B has the funniest stories (see part 1 of Stories from the road).
– Bumper cars are really for the 8 year old kids.
– The Gaslamp Strip Club is, well, a steak place.
– That C’s version of the golden rule is something like, “Don’t pee in the cup you drink from.”  I’m not sure where he went to Sunday school.
– If you think you should have Pi tattooed on your arm, you really did study too much math at college.
– The pack a day smoker doesn’t think it is as funny as the rest of us whenever you turn a corner on the trail and see another long up hill.  Then again, we only thought it was funny because of the smoker.
– I do not look good in a large sombrero with “Mexico” written on the brim.
– “Hanna” is a strange movie.
– San Diego is still cheaper than San Francisco.  And no, that story doesn’t need to be told.
– There is a store in Old Town that sells voodoo dolls.  Pretty cool.

I’m sure I have forgotten a few.  I’ll just have to blame it on being old and not having such a good memory.  Or just too many margaritas.  I will leave it to the kids to add anything I missed.

Stories from the Road

Again… the names are changed to protect the not so innocent.

True story by B.  From his last trip to San Diego.   The evening started at the Gaslamp Tavern.  As it almost always does. He had been drinking a little at the tavern, but went back to his room early and went to bed.  He got up around midnight to go to the bathroom, but instead of opening the bathroom door and going into the bathroom, he opened the front door and stepped into the hall.  He didn’t realize (i.e. wake up enough) what happened until the door shut behind him.  There he is in his shorts only without a key.  Or ID.  He has to go to the front desk to get a new room key.  And they give him trouble… he asks, “Do I look like a vagrant?”  Of course he does.  In the lobby, nothing but shorts.  At midnight.  And the Hilton is still busy at midnight.  And he still has to go to the bathroom.  But he gets his key.

Of course he told me the story while sitting at the Gaslamp Tavern.  I laughed so hard I almost fell off my chair.  And that is why I put the chain on my door at night in a hotel.  Not to keep people out, but to keep me in.  Now that he told the story, I’m sure somewhere in my unconscious it will be sitting there telling me to open the hall door instead of the bathroom door.

Getting Old

A quote from Facebook:

Carrie: Things you don’t want to hear come out of your plumbers mouth: Oh wow.  That’s really old.  We might have to replace everything.  Let me call someone and ask them.

Aidan: Or your gynecologist.

Home at last (and work of course)

Old Town
Old Town San Diego

I didn’t buy the hat.  One gets a little silly after walking around Old Town for an afternoon while the girls go shopping for dresses.  I was the driver so I couldn’t even drink.

At least I had my iPhone.  And the Mexico hat.  And I let them take a picture of me.

Well, I’m back home.  Finally.  It is good (and bad) to be back home.  I get to see the dogs.  Of course Tucker decided to pee on the bed last night.  He gets stressed whenever I travel.  Luckily I caught before it soaked the comforter.

It is also strange to have breakfast, lunch and dinner by myself.  For a whole week I almost never ate alone.  Maybe lunch once or twice.  I could get used to breakfast at the brickyard cafe.

I did find some cool toys (if you can call them toys – maybe miniature statues) in Old Town (see, it wasn’t really all dress shopping).  I got two little warrior figurines made out of welded nuts, bolts and various machine parts.  Now to make sure that Will and Ben don’t throw them at each other.

I finally got a canoe today.  A 17′ red canoe by Mohawk.  It is huge.  Big enough for a week long trip.  But it is light, only 65 lbs or so.  And it matches the Jeep.  Not that it is important.

I’ve also been looking at getting some sky lanterns for this summer.  I have an idea… hopefully I can find an evening without too much wind to let them float up.

San Diego (part 1)

Mission Trails Park
Mission Trails Park, California

I actually made it to San Diego.  After a rough start.  I missed the boat (literally) and had to switch jobs – staying on shore.  Of course it wound up being a week of nothing but waiting, with the events finally getting cancelled late Friday night.  I was there until Monday night for other work, so I got a full week in San Diego, for about 2 hours of real work.  Which makes an expensive trip.

But I had fun – it was nice to get to know some of the people I work with better.

Things I did:
– Walked the 2 miles up to Balboa park and enjoyed some peace and quiet
– Went to an amusement park (definitely something to do again).
– Went on a long hike and nearly lost Steve up the long long hill (on the Fortuna Saddle Trail in the Mission Trails Regional Park).
– Ate at lots of great restaurants (and not just the Gaslamp Tavern – though I visited there a lot – Bob and Charlie seem to live there).
– Had breakfast nearly every day at the Brickyard Cafe (Sarah convinced me one morning to go to Lions Coffee and Steve another to Fields – which was the biggest breakfast I ever ate).
– Went to a dueling piano bar.
– Talked a lot (something I do when I drink).
– Toured Old Town.
– Actually met a useful security guard on a Navy Base (first time for everything).
– Actually did some work (I did really work at least parts of two of the days).

Quote of the trip (but not the story of the trip – that is Bob’s alone):

me: Ryan, I’m on my way to pick you up; Sarah and Michele decided to come along to see the base.

Ryan: What the f*&k, have they never seen a pier before.

Anyway, more stories later (I think).  Here are some pictures of the trip

Sarah and Steve on our hike
Hike in Mission Trails Park

The first part of the hike was down to the old Mission Dam.

Old Mission Dam
Old Mission Dam
Hike in Mission Trails Park

A rough start

The trip seemed to be planned out. All I needed to do was change my return flight once I arrived in Dan Diego. Not expected to be a problem.

Of course, that isn’t how it turned out. I wasn’t able to leave the house early enough to visit Jim. He has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now, and is finally feeling up for visitors. But no worries, we can get together for lunch sometime.

So, Sunday at lunch I drove to T.F. Green airport for a 2pm flight. No problems there. However, we boarded late, waiting for the first officer to arrive. They thought they had one and we were all inboard ready to leave 40 minutes late. Of course, when the replacement first officer arrived, he wasn’t eligible to fly. Do the flight was cancelled. No chance of getting to San Diego on Sunday night.

No problems, I didn’t have to meet the submarine until 5pm on Monday. United booked me on a Delta flight leaving at 6am Monday morning. Plenty of time. I should have checked Delta before I left.

I drove home and woke up at 3am to catch the flight. When I got to the airport, there was no reservation at Delta for me. United had screwed up and didn’t make the reservation.

So, back to the United counter. I was standby to Dulles. Made it to Dulles. Standby to San Diego. No go to San Diego. The flight was well overbooked.

So I’m here in Dulles. I arrived at 7:30 and will catch a 2:30 flight out of here. Oh well. I miss the boat (literally), but Ryan will cover the ride for me. Of course the target has material problems, so it may not happen at all.

A picture of the wildlife in the Dulles airport.


House projects completed

I’m nearly complete with the house projects for the VA loan refinance.   Well, hopefully done.  I have the inspection tonight to ensure I completed all the deficiencies.  Projects done for the refinance:

1. Repaint the dining room.
2. Touch up trim in the kitchen and living room
3. Add hand rails and knee rail to the basement stairs
4. Add hand rail and top rail to the garage stairs (to the second floor)
5. Paint the garage
6. Add hand rail and knee rail to the stairs in the workshop
7. Paint trim on the workshop
8. Scrape and paint the front porch
9. Install hand rail on both sides of steps off the front porch (I paid for that to be done)
10. Install hand rail down stone stairs in front yard (I paid for that to be done)
11.  Install hand rail on open side of back stairs (again paid to be done)
12. Finish hand rail down front stairs (it was scraped, it needed to be finished).  I also still have to add the two balusters – they are in the basement waiting for the paint to dry.  I’ll do that when I get home tonight before the inspection.

Now pictures of what was done:

Newly installed railing for back stairs
New railings on front stairs and painted porch.









I will repaint the foundation one of these days to the proper shade of green.

The barn with the new white paint.

Exterior House Color Ideas

An idea for the exterior color scheme:

This is a color scheme based on the Sherwin-Williams historic Victorian exterior colors.  Concord Buff for most of the house and barns, with Rookwood Dark Green for the trim and Rookwood dark brown for accents.




Here is the house as it stands:

Right now it is white with almost none of the trim painted green.  Get rid of the ugly storm windows, and nicer green wood storm windows.  But what to do with the enclosed porch.  It is pretty ugly.

More house projects

I am slowly getting projects done. I had wanted to finish Ben’s room first – but the requirements for getting a VA loan to refinance the house is making me do a lot of smaller projects first. I have to paint the barn and scrape and paint the front porch. I painted the dining room. I had to add handrails to all the stairs, even those in the barn (which I admit isn’t really a bad thing). It is kind of a pain – the VA doesn’t care if we have homeless veterans, but god forbid that they live in a house with peeling paint on the barn (or front porch).

Dining Room Before Painting
A picture of the dining room prepared for painting
The dining room after repainting