Friday, September 25, 2015

Doing Some House Work


Adam finished staining the house on Thursday last, and then took off for a week in Peru. I looked around and decided I'd start work on the deck. First I started cleaning all the old bird seed from between the boards using a spackling knife then the air compressor. (This after Adam had hit it pretty good with the pressure washer!) That took much of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (Okay, not much much of Saturday or Sunday because....FOOTBALL!)

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I hauled out the extension ladder and started on the outside of the deck staining the stiles and rails. There are a boatload of them! More than 100 stiles with top and bottom rails. Each 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 22" stile presents three surfaces to be stained when viewed from the outside. And, since the stiles are screwed on the outside that leaves a small--about 4" wide--pocket between each. And that needs to be stained, too. Very time consuming. Lots of up-and-down on the ladder, too. Good exercise for the knees and thighs!

Thursday and Friday I finished up those stiles I couldn't get because the ladder was in the way and started on the inside where I only had those two rails (top and bottom) and the one surface of the stiles to do. Still, there are well over 100 of them on the 10' x 36' deck and the 8' x 16' covered porch. While I had very limited need for the use of a ladder (just three posts on the covered porch), everything was below the waist so there was a lot of bending over and/or squating. Good exercise for the back and thighs!

Thursday afternoon I was working on the east end of the deck. The sun was shining directly into my eyes and its reflection off the house windows was getting me from the other side. I had to ask Terry to come out and be my portable shade umbrella just so I could see where I was supposed to be putting the stain. I haven't looked closely, but I think I got it where I wanted it.

Any way, I finished all the hard stuff this afternoon around 2 PM. Tomorrow, I'll get to work on the deck itself. I also used up 1-1/4 gallons of stain, so I went and got two more gallons this afternoon just to be safe. If I have extra, it does call for two coats--or there's the front of the shed.

When Adam does return, he won't have too much to do! (Except stain the front door porch, fix the electrical outlets on the deck (they have never worked properly) and touch up a half dozen log ends he missed because they are hiding behind a downspout.)


I mentioned that Terry and I purchased new iPhone 6ses last week. They arrived today. One delivered via UPS and the other via FedEx. From different directions.

Now we have to figure out how to transfer our data/settings from our iPhone 5s to the new phones. I've backed up to the Cloud several times and so has Terry. Maybe tomorrow I'll get around to doing the transfers.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good News, Bad News (again)

Got a phone call last week from Adam K. Seems he didn't forget about the conversation we had back last November.December about pressure washing and staining the Aerie this year. (I did ask his brother, sister-in-law and several nieces to remind him when they were cat sitting early in the summer.) He's been busier than a one armed paper hanger but finally had an open week where the weather looked perfect.

So Adam came out Monday with his ladders and pressure washer. While he cleaned the logs and deck, I drove over to Beaver Mountain in Deposit, NY to pick up two five gallon containers of stain. That took me the better part of the afternoon as it's about 120 miles one way. When I got back, Adam was just wrapping up the gable end of the garage.


Tuesday Adam started in on the staining while I went south to Cabela's in Hamburg, PA with Joe. This was a long ago planned outing to pick up some fishing equipment to replace broken/lost stuff. I picked Joe up at his home outside of Jersey Shore, PA and we eventually got to Cabela's around 11 AM. (It's a l-o-n-g ride--about 180 miles one way when I stop at Joe's.) We shopped for about two hours and got nearly everything we wanted although I was disappointed in not finding the handgun I was looking for (Springfield XD Mod.2). Not too surprising as it's a new release and hasn't hit all the stores yet.

When I got back to the Aerie around 5 PM, Adam had finsished staining the south side of the house and the bedroom dormer.


Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment over at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. I was to have a CT scan of my lumbar spine and then meet with a new neurologist. (The doctor who did my surgery in January has moved on to greener(?) pastures. Dr. Reichert and her PA Tim Rogers were very thorough, friendly and informative. I'm almost sorry this may be the last time I see them as the CT scan showed the screws inserted in my lumbar spine were stable and holding their own. There's new bone growth that's typical of a fusion surgery and everything is progressing well. THe small amount of tingling I still have in my right leg is normal and all I need to do is get more exercise to strengthen the thigh muscles. I was given a clean bill of health (from them and as regards the spine) and told I wouldn't have to return.

Terry had I then went over to Horseheads, NY to visit the Verizon store. I am experiencing swift battery power loss in my iPhone 5 (from 100% to 30% overnight) and wanted some answers. (In contrast, Terry may lose 5-10% of her power in the same time despite getting many more emails.) Instead of answers, we walked out having ordered new iPhone 6ses. Mine will get here around the 25th while Terry, who opted for the new rose color scheme, will get her's on the 30th. We also got new plans that are better suited to our usage.

We then Stopped at the Field & Stream store to pick up a couple things Joe and I couldn't find at Cabela's. I had a $25 F&S cash coupon burning a hole in my pocket that I got from purchasing a Henry Golden Boy (in .22LR) last week. We burned through that $25 coupon like a gas soaked rag as I picked up two boxes of .22 ammo, two boxes of Lightfield slugs, a couple of little stuffed toys, and several packs of the rubber skirts I was looking for...although they weren't the red and white that I really wanted. Those rubber skirts go on the Johnson weedless spoons Joe and I got at Cabela's who also did not have the red and white skirts. We're looking for something that's about 50-50 red and white but all I could find was about 10-90 red and white. Maybe they discovered that just a little red worked better than more? Whatever.

When we got home after putting another 180 miles on the Tundra, Adam had finished the north side and the west side of the house. All he has left is the gable end of the garage and the north side of the garage.


Got the checks from the closing on the Bolt Hole yesterday and were sorely disappointed on several levels:
  1. They forgot to collect the $700 for the furniture we left behind despite our having reminded the attorney's office several times and being assured that there would be a note made.
  2. They spelled our last name incorrectly on the check. (They used a "V" instead of a "B" in our last name. Lots of people make that mistake but considering they had our name spelled correctly on a dozen or more pieces of paper...well, that's inexcusable.)
We've made phone calls (too late to catch them in the office on Wednesday) and sent emails, but will be making more today. *sigh* Might have to make a drive up there on Friday to get the correct name on a check.
[UPDATE: Our bank accepted the check with the misspelled name, all we had to do was sign it the way it was made out and then with our "real" names. I guess it's now up to the attorney's bank to accept it.]

Adam should finish staining the house today. Then it will be time for the deck. He's leaving Friday night for a week in Peru so, should he not complete the deck, I'll probably be charged with doing that this weekend or so if the weather holds. There's no guarantee that it will be good when he returns and I've got the doctor's word that I'm healing well and in need of exercises that will strengthen my thigh muscles. Going up and down a ladder (necessary to do the rim joists and rails on the outside of the deck) should do the trick.


Today's my birthday!

Last week I bought the Henry rifle, then it was fishing lures and line, and today I bought a new gas grill. Of course, Terry will be the one using it most as she does 99% of the cooking when she's home. She said it was like "buying me [Terry] a vacuum cleaner for my birthday."

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good News!

Got the word today that the closing on the Bolt Hole went without a hitch and that the checks are in the mail. Along with no longer paying town and county taxes (spring), school and library taxes (fall), phone bill, electric bill, and insurance bill, I'll no longer have to worry about mowing the grass, maintenance, rebuilding the garage, repainting the barn and finishing the painting of the roof, or any of the myriad number of things a neglected piece of real estate really, really needs. Which is mainly some TLC.

Yeah, I'll miss it a little. But the extra $$$ and the time will free me up to make some additional trips in the travel trailer to places near and far.


Did some further declutering today making a quick run to the dump with a few bags of assorted trash and half a dozen half empty paint cans. Still sorting through some of the stuff from Terry's Mom and the Bolt Hole. If I ever get around to doing inventory, I might have more stuff in my shop than Mr. Burns had in his hardware store when I worked there 50 years ago. (Some of it might be as old, too.)


I was notified that the ATV--a Yamaha ProHauler--was repaired and ready for pickup. All, that is, except for the tail light cover which is backordered. Okay. I can't pick it up until Monday anyway, how 'bout if I call you Monday morning to see about that light cover? (I've no immediate need to use the Hauler, anyway. AND I've still got to clean out a spot for it in a cluttered garage!)


Mets swept the Nationals in a three game series. They had to come from behind in all three games bit opened a 7 game lead in the NL East. Then they went and beat the Braves to make it a 7 1/2 game lead. Things are looking pretty good for some post-season play!

Oh! And the Jets and Giants open their NFL play on Sunday.


My Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-0) will be playing the Washington State Cougars (0-1...they lost to he Portland State Vikings for crying out loud!) on Saturday at 3:30 PM EDT.

It will be interesting to see how the Scarlet fair in the running game (last week they had something like 280 yards on the ground) and who the quarterback will be. Both did well last week against Norfolk State, but the second half combo of Chris Laviano and receiver Leonte Carroo (three complete passes for 129 yards and three TDs) have earned Laviano this week's starting assignment.

Go R U!


Almost forgot we harvest more acorn squash today. That brings the total to nine. Pretty good considering I didn't plant any. These are volunteers that grew in the compost heap from seeds dumped there last year. Guess I need to distribute the compost to the growing beds of the garden!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Hey, Y'all! Still here.

Egads! Almost three weeks since I last posted?
The Mets are still leading the NL East!?!
And college football has started?

Yeah, I'm still alive and (mostly) well.

We finally got word on the title search for the Bolt Hole. Success! The closing date came and went but the title search folks persisted and came up with a reasonably clean title that seems to have satisfied the buyers' attorney. THe closing is now scheduled for Friday, Septemebr 11th. Our attorney has all the paperwork needed to act on our behalf so I won't have to go up there for any reason.

The Mets have continued to make baseball interesting as the hold on to a five game lead over the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East. There's a little controversy about Matt Harvey pitching only 180 innings (he's currently at 166 or so innings) but he's also got a remarkable low pitch-per-inning count that should allow him to pitch more.

The college football season got under way this week and there are still a couple of games to be played Sunday and Monday. My Rutgers Scarlet Knights had their share of controversy this week, too. Several players were arrested for off campus criminal behavior. (All five have been dropped from the team.) Head Coach Kyle Flood was accused of contacting an instructor to discuss one player's eligibility--a violation of school rules and now a moot point as regards that particular student as he was among the five. And several players were benched for the first half against Norfolk State for breaking curfew and trying to use a false ID to enter an establishment. (Two of them--Leonte Carroo and Chris Laviano connected for three TD passes in the second half.) RU had four passing TDs, four rushing TDs and a special teams TD when Janarion Grant ran the second half opening kickoff back 80 yards for a score. Oh, and the defense allowed minus four (-4) yards rushing.

Pro football starts next week and I'll be cheering on the Jets and GIants (in that order!).

Pro politics continues to amuse/frighten with Hillary Clinton being exposed (finally!) as incompetent, a liar and an incompetent liar to boot. That leaves Socialist Bernie Sanders as the Democratic front runner. (Yeah, he calls himself an Independent but if you listen to him, he's clearly a Socialist.) On the Republican side, Donald Trump is saying the things people agree with. Dr. Ben Carson is too but with less narcissism. And Ted Cruz is smarter than anybody else but has the disadvantage(?) of being a Senator. Anyway, pro politics, especially of the Presidential kind, is a l-o-n-g season.