Archive for Random Musings

What my wife did…

Yesterday I was getting ready to clean the garage when she stopped me. She said it looked like rain and we needed to go get something to eat anyway and she didn’t want me to empty the garage into the driveway right then. We also needed to hang around and wait for our babysitter to come get her coat. This is the person who normally watches the baby during the day while my wife works.

Anyway, we’re hanging around in the house and I’m wondering if I should sneak a beer before dinner when our sitter gets there. She’s carrying a pizza box and has her dog with her. I must have looked confused, because when I turned around my wife has this grin on her face and gives me a card she wrote. In it she said a few mushy things and tells me that we’re going on a date. Obviously, the sitter is there to actually babysit. I get sent upstairs to change into some clothes that she had laid out for me.

So we drive into Charlotte. She won’t tell me where we’re going until we’re about there, and it’s a hotel and not a restaurant. I’m thinking she wants to park there and walk, but instead she tells me that there’s a bag packed in the trunk and our date is going to be an overnight one. I take our stuff (there’s a cooler too) upstairs and we go out to eat. Then we hit a bar and play some foosball and pool, and then go back to the room for champagne and stuff.

This morning we got to sleep in, and we had a nice breakfast together without having to worry about the kids. I was so happy with all this, I took her to get hot dogs for lunch at Haps.

Apparently she’d been planning this for weeks, and a ton of people I know knew about it as did my entire family. After the stress of year-end and rolling out the new year’s plans at work (at one point I had three project meetings a day), I really got a lot out of a simple weekend away with my wife.

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Observe, orient, decide, act

Bill Whittle has must posted another must-read essay, Forty Second Boyd and the big picture.  If you want to know why the surge in Iraq was successful by any military standard, read it.  If you want to improve your ability to compete in business, read it.  If you want to do better at that FPS internet game, read it.  It’s a great lesson in how battles are often won with brains more than brute force.

In other news, the garage needs to be cleaned.  It will be there soon, a lot of clutter had accumulated over the holidays and I cleared that out yesterday.  I hope to order the wood at some point, but have resigned myself to the fact that I probably won’t be sailing this spring.

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At war with spam

I’m getting about 20-30 comments per day urging me to buy drugs.  I finally figured out that Wordpress has post-level settings that determine whether you can comment on them or not.  My default was on, and that’s how they kept appearing.

The bathroom still isn’t done–I had to put a support in the wall to hold the sink.  That should be all done, patched, and painted this weekend, and the dining room needs skimming and painting.  Once I get all that, it’s all about shoe molding and then I think I might be done with the downstairs.  We’ll need to get the hall and office repainted, but my wife can do that.  I want to get busy enough to have a boat next spring. :)

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A more extensive update

Well, I’m ready to order the wood. I probably won’t though, not until mid to late November. Frankly, I need a break from everything that’s been going on lately. Here are some of the things that have been going on which serve to be major distractions in my life.

Start with work. I’m the system manager for variable compensation at a large (> 100K employees) company. We use Callidus TrueComp to calculate the pay, and it’s about the buggiest software package I’ve ever seen. In addition, we’re horribly understaffed in my department. Well, over the summer we’ve been attempting a platform upgrade which hasn’t gone well. Did I mention that TrueComp was buggy? Anyway, I got lucky and was able to hire someone in August who started in September, and just got another req approved so I’ll get another person this December. That should provide the relief needed for me to relax a little more when I’m away from the office.

On to home, I finally finished the flooring downstairs and got some painting done. Well, finished if you don’t include the shoe molding, that is. Our house is in a neighborhood where nothing stays on the market for more than a couple of weeks. Ours was on the market for a few months, and I believe it was because it never got real maintenance. It’s just a great place and we love it, but LORD does it need some TLC. Before we even moved in my wife wanted the kitchen done, and that required new tile replacing the linoleum (which was on top of linoleum). Then I did the den in hardwoods (3/4″ red oak), and now I’ve finished the dining room, hall, office, bathroom, and closets. I still need to put shoe molding down, but I think I’ve done enough home improvement to buy me some serious hobby time. We also painted two rooms upstairs and the den, and are working on the bathroom now. The house is looking great!

Finally, I’m the proud father of a four week old baby girl! That’s been a pretty big distraction, so I can’t feel too bad about not getting started yet.

So, we’re starting to get a little sleep here, and the 2007 renovations are done, my finger is almost healed (stupid tablesaw!) and the only distraction I have going on is football. I’m looking to start getting in shape, I’m going to order wood, and I’m going to publish my football articles here as well as on the site for which I write them. In short, there should be some content starting to flow around here again.

Originally I planned on starting sometime in November, but early on things seemed to go so quick that I thought I would have a frame now at least. Well, I don’t but it’s all good, I still think we’ll be sailing this summer. :)

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Be careful what you ask for…

I took a new job recently, really kind of a small promotion at the company where I work.  We haven’t hired my replacement yet so I’m stuck doing both jobs, and looks like I’m heading into my second 20+ hour weekend in a row.

Sucks to be me, but it’s only temporary. :)

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Tragedy!

No, this isn’t about the Bee Gees. I broke my thumb this weekend so it’s going to be four to six weeks before I post another long missive.

I hate being in a cast.

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Arooo?

So in another post I told you why I haven’t bought my wood (I’m broke) and that I’m going to be more frugal. There’s another way though. Meet Mr. Badass Saw.

badass-saw.jpg

This is what I would have bought if I had decided to continue spending my car money on the boat project. I initially figured I would probably spend between two and three thousand dollars on tools. Well, I didn’t.

Still, you can get nice tools if you try. I’ve been looking at Craigslist religiously, and am fairly sure I’ll be able to get a good collection of used tools there. You can also get tools by doing household projects by yourself. I did that with our den, my wife wanted hardwoods. So, we could have spent a couple thousand on labor or she could get me a good saw and I would do it myself. We took the latter approach, and that’s how I got a great saw with household money.

To be honest, I also think my craftsmanship on the floor is as good or better than what we would have gotten and it really looks great. Making all the precise cuts and having them turn out so well was also a nice confidence booster. Not that I’m looking forward to doing the rest of the downstairs though…

Anyway, I’m gonna post more now that I don’t have to give a reason why I haven’t bought wood yet. :)

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Once upon a time…

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess living in an apartment in a city far, far away…

When I met my wife I wasn’t exactly in the best of places. I had been separated for about seven months and was still giving my ex most of my paycheck. I was driving a beat up old pickup truck (which I still drive, actually). I was living with MOTHER. Quite a catch, huh? Well, she took a risk on me anyway. We fell in love almost at first sight and I asked her to marry me after knowing her only five weeks. Not to cast aspersions on her judgment, I have to report that she said yes.

So, there I was, still married and ready to be divorced and get married again (hey, I was single for almost three days!). I had no money and no assets aside from an old jaguar convertible that I had from the first marriage. I told her that if I sold it I would get her a ring, but no one bit when I put a sign in the window. So when we did get married she got a very nice looking platinum band with diamonds in it to wear. No solitaire, but then again we’re both older and both had been married before.

Anyway, fast forward to the present. I want to build a boat, and she is very supportive of this. I clear out the garage, sell the jag (priced it a little low I think), and commence buying tools. I offer to give her some of the money for the house and she wouldn’t have any of it. I tried buying dinner, I wanted to pay a bill or two, but she was adamant that the money from the jag was for my boat. Being the selfish sort, I decided that it wasn’t for the boat per se, it was for my enjoyment. Having made that rationalization, I decided that I would enjoy getting her the diamond she deserved.

So happy birthday to my wonderful wife (belated here). I spent my boat money on a really nice ring that just looks great on her finger. I love making her cry like that! ;)

Does this mean my dream is over? Not at all, it just means I have to make deals and be frugal, which is fun to me anyway. I have enough cash to get started, and if I make my purchases piecemeal I should be able to leisurely buy and build over the next several months and still have my boat by the late spring.

Life is good. :)

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I’m glad I don’t have a tight schedule…

When I decided to do a pilot project I set Spring 2008 as my goal for finishing. Then I got started on things and found myself prepared quick enough that I was mentally entertaining late Summer 2007 as an end date. Well, here it is, almost in July and no wood. I would have gone this weekend but they’re closed on weekends. I would have gone yesterday but had a Dentist appt. I would go today but I have to help my wife with the kids this afternoon. I think tomorrow that my mother wants to do something in the afternoon, but I’m not sure yet. It’s bound to be something though…

In the meantime news of my workbench has reached my extended family, and I already have a project taking up space. A chair needs it’s rocking platform lowered, and of course it needs a bench to to it right. Now I’m not saying that it could have been done it on the floor just as easy, but if you want to think that it’s ok with me. I’m sure this is just the beginning, but I’m still very very happy to have it.

Another nice thing about taking my time is that tools don’t have to be purchased right away. I’m following the local Craigslist and have seen some nice bargains posted. I think I’m going to get a power planer tomorrow, and will spend $60 for a rather nice Makita. Who cares if it’s a little used? I hope to get some good tools this way.

Anyway, what with the holiday next week nothing is likely to be accomplished anytime soon, but I hope I get the wood at least. I still need to find a local source for 1/4″ marine plywood but I’m not too worried about it. After all, I have time… :)

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I’ve done NOTHING

I haven’t order my wood.  I haven’t exercised.  I haven’t studied my plans.  I haven’t ridden my bike.

I’ve done nothing.

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