Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving my loyal readers! (All two of you!, LOL)

Boy am I glad it is Thursday... I didn't think Wednesday would ever end.

My alarm that I have had since I was twelve went off simultaneously with my phones alarm, playing Fox's NFL theme. I 'put my feet on the floor' as Dad used to always say, got up and did my morning business. All pretty typical so far. I got on the road at a good time.

It all started when I pulled up to the Starbucks Drive-Through. My grande almond latte tasted as if it was made of Folgers instant and cardboard. Blech! The time was 6:30 am, the next twelve hours would be much of the same.

At work we have a project that is pouring concrete on the second floor Wednesday and I needed to get the drawings out to our foreman by the end of today if I didn't want work Friday (I didn't). Problem is, I need the drawings from someone else before I can start. Now the anxiety is kicking in. I keep myself busy until I get the drawings around 11. Since I usually take lunch at 11 I decided to get that out of the way so I could pound the drawings out.

I headed over to Whole Foods to pick up the ciopino (fish soup, sublime) that I craved, a mini-loaf of french bread, and a green tea. The place was packed with people getting ready for turkey day. I was in and out without any issues. When I arrived back at the office, everybody was outside. The fire alarm was going off. Great. No worries, there wasn't a fire but you couldn't go in our office as the alarm was bloody loud! I bum rushed our kitchenette and grabbed a spoon and paper towel, turned around and bolted out. Eating lunch in the truck was uneventful, no spills, got to watch big ladder 16 show up and firemen check all the units in full gear (oxygen and all). Finally they shut down the alarm, I was done with lunch, time to get on with it.

What I had to to on these drawings wasn't difficult, it was tedious. Basically, all the pipe we put in a building has to be hung from the ceiling. Before they pour the second floor concrete we drill holes in the metal deck and put inserts through that we can hang the pipe from. Once the concrete is poured, these inserts are securely part of the floor. I have to basically draw (with CAD) each individual insert, just a dot (there are hundreds), and dimension each one so the guys in the field can put them in the correct place. Remember draw by numbers? It is that in reverse.

I forgot to add that today was the day they decided to collect all the leaves around the complex. The blower guy had that thing running full throttle ALL DAY! I elect the drone of a blower as the most annoying noise know to man. As the day went on, my anxiety to finish my project combined with the tedium of doing it and the drone of the blower was winding me into a rage. It took all my strength to keep me from storming out to the guy, ripping the thing off his back and smashing it to bits. Aaargh!

All this is going on when C calls. She asks, "why is there water in the garage where we park?"

I answer, "that is because it has been raining and the cars are wet..."

"uhh, there is a lot of water..."

Crap. Is this really happening today? Sure enough our water heater had given up the fight... Luckily it didn't spray out, it just dribbled. It was fast enough to overflow the pan that I have been meaning to drain to the outside and seep through the wall into the garage. good work by the designers of our house to slope our laundry closet towards the garage or we would be tearing out the carpet today. I hopped in my truck which now stunk of ciopino and garlic. Awesome. C had the water shut off so there was no further damage.

I was now so worked up that my hand was shaking... Not good, Wednesday was beating me.

Anyhoo, to end this long story (at least when typed). With only a bit drama, we went to Lowes, picked up a new heater and parts, removed the old, cut and sweated some pipe, fixed the wiring, filled it up and switched it on. It worked beautifully! I don't know what I would have done if it didn't...

I pulled the truck in the garage and left the windows down to clear the stink.

Since yesterday was a pseudo-Friday we went to Los Margaritas, and I had two of their magnificent ultimate margaritas with dinner. All was well in the world. Before I went to bed I stared at the new water heater installation for a bit. (cue the music) Yeah, the day sucked for the most part but overall it came together at the end and I would consider it a success.


Ten things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving....
(in reverse order)

10. My Cottonelle toiletpaper with Aloe
9. My new water heater
8. My couch
7. My Xbox 360
6. My TV
5. My house
4. My health
3. My friends
2. My family

And coming in at #1 by a mile.....

1. My wife - thank God she puts up with me!

[edit] C just complained that I didn't put her on my list.... She thought it was done with #2....

Hope all you have a happy Thanksgiving, wear loose pants!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Christmas part 1

Christmas is coming, C's glue gun is getting hot...

I type this surrounded by the wife's card making paraphernalia. Oh how I love this season!

The annual battle as to when the Christmas stuff goes up is about to begin. C would have set it up two weeks ago if the tree didn't need me to drag it out of the crawl space. After quite a few years in the home improvement retail industry, which has had it's Christmas stuff out for over a month, I insist on waiting until we are in the month of December. This year we may have to do it Thanksgiving weekend, and I am not happy.

Anybody used the LED lights on their house? One of these years I'd like to reinvest in these for my house lights. Probably would save me a bundle in energy. Right now I line the lower roof line of our house with white C7 bulbs (or C9's, I can't keep them straight) and put colored mini-bulbs on certain plants in the front. Simple, but it looks like I put some effort in it (I did).

Eventually I'd like to rig some computer control to my lights. Nothing too fancy, just enough to make people smile when they see it. The other goal I have is to make my lights easy to put up and easy to take down. My house lights have been modified, making strings shorter and changing the plug orientation. This year my goal is to streamline my power grid. If you couldn't tell, I do enjoy the decorating, just not before December.

[edit] Hopefully this guy doesn't have any epileptic neighbors, they probably would have a seizure in front of this place


No good

Crap! Why do I watch sports?! My Sunday is ruined, at least it gets dark at 5 or so now so I can go to bed in a bit.....

Oh well, C'est la vie.

Carpe Xbox.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Videogame Junkie...

I've been bad.... In the last 2 weeks I have bought 3 video games.... My name is Mike and I am a video game-aholic.

I am currently playing Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Gears of War, and Call of Duty 3. Three very different evolutions of the first shooter I ever played, Castle Wolfenstein 3d.

Splinter Cell is more of a third person (you see your character) stealth game where stealth is the way to go. In fact on many levels you don't even fire a gun( the horror!).

Call of Duty 3 is a pure FPS game, run and gun. All you see infront of you is the tip of your gun and the Germans. It is based around WW2 and the re-taking of Paris. Very intense action!

Gears of War is basically Doom on crack, steroids, and maybe a bit of caffeine. Probably the most amazing looking game I have seen. Creatures coming at you from all angles. Pretty gory, I actually turned it down because I am not big on that kind thing. Also, not a good game to play right before bed as nightmares would probably follow.

...And by the way, before any of you throw a guilt trip towards me saying, "I wish I had the time to play video games...", realize that this replaces TV time. All I sit and watch regularly is The Office and Lost.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


First game!


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