Wednesday, May 31, 2006

As Of Yesterday House Update


Prepping the front for rock and stucco.


Light poles are going in around the neighborhood.


Tustin has a dignified sound to it. But... We live on DYNAMITE!


Detail of the front work. Below white line will be rock and above and including the white will be stucco.


Glass doors headed to the computer room and this is what replaced it. This is shot from inside the Living Room.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Idaho House Plans


General plans for our house in Idaho.


Things that vary from the plans are: Lower left hand room (living room) has a fireplace and built in book cases on the far left wall. Upper right hand room (family room) has the fireplace in the upper corner on a diagonal. Upper left hand room (kitchen) will not have an island but a peninsula.


Things that vary from the plans are: Lower left hand room (master bath) the shower and sinks are swapped.

Deb Gets Her 15 Minutes

Hot Tub For New House Has Been Purchased

If you need me I'll be in the slot on the left!

We have this going in on the back patio out in the open so we can see the sky. This means when you all visit, please bring you suit. No one gets in the hot tub without a suit... ewwww!

Coin Count Update & Clues!

$49.11 - $210.00 - $115.40 - $347.28 - $101.34 - $686.59 - oh, and $3.25

These are the guesses so far! I have had some questions about the 'Coin Count' game and here are the answers:

Q: What is the prize?

A: A $30 dollar gift certificate to Best Buy or Starbucks (your choice)

Q: How many guesses do I get?

A: As many as you want. I will take your last guess just before the close of the competition

Q: When is the deadline for the last guess?

A: Saturday, Midnight, June 3rd, 2006

Q: When are we going to get some more clues?

A: Right now. Six of the seven guesses above are $100 dollars or more away from the actual total.

Q: Is that a clue or a tease?

A: A tease. Here is a real clue. The actual amount is above $200.00 and below $500.00!

Well, it looks like more than a few of you need to think again on your total!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Enjoy Your Morning Coffee!

Fun With Alkali Metals!

Idaho House Latest Photos


Here is how it looks right now.


Pocket door in master bath.


These doors belong on the entry to the computer room! They will be moved and colum accents added in their place. This is why I visit the house every chance I get.


Crown molding in the master bedroom.


Fancy ceiling in the living room.


Molding going up around all of the windows.


Sheetrock and texture is complete in the house now.


Window in the theater room. Note the recess in the ceiling for the drop down screen.


Orange lines on the floor indicate where the carpet and the hardwood will start and stop.


Shoe bench by the garage door.


Exterior accents are complete on the house. Now we have to pick out the paint colors.

Las Vegas At Night!

Here are some shots from Las Vegas, The City That Never Sleeps!










I however, went to sleep shortly after these photos were taken!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Pile Of Change Contest!

Yesterday I did it! Collected all of the change from all of my secret hiding places and hauled it all in to the bank. I started thinking to myself that just about everyone has a stash of change, and like me wonders, "How much do I have here?"

Well people, I know. The pile below was turned into paper money and now it is your job to guess how much money it was. There will be a prize of course for the person who comes the closest. I will reveal the prize and the guesses start getting posted.


Here is your first clue: This pile of change required me to pick it up in a bag with both hands and walk it stiff legged to move it around.

Second clue: It is more than you think!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Xbox 360... I Had To Get One!



I originally planned on getting the Xbox 360 for Christmas, but supply problems tossed that idea straight out the window. Then rumors of power supply issues, and problems with the units overheating started coming out daily. So, I decided to sit back and wait for all of the above to be fixed... Hoping that it could be fixed.

Well, time has passed and the issues have been remedied. All I can say after hooking it up the 65 inch HDTV and 5.1 Surround System is... WOW! Jaw dropping graphics and sound along with wireless controllers and slick interface make this toy a fun one. I have not even hooked the thing up to the internet yet, as the one game I bought with it kept me busy all night! I must go now and save the world from evil, click.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back From Las Vegas!

Deb and I are back from our mini get-away in Las Vegas where we saw Celine Dion at The Ceasars Palace Coliseum. The show was great, and made a memorable 42nd Birthday gift! It is getting late but I will post other photos from the trip in the next couple of days.

P.S. Thank You Everyone For The Great Birthday Wishes!

Trojan Nuclear Plant Implosion

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pumpcast News!

The Other Photos

Loren contacted me and was concerned that I had not really told the "Whole Story" in regard to her photo taking skills. I present the 'other' photos of my ride below...


Loren also explained to me that she was not trying to make a muscle but was instead displaying the 'Hang 10" sign. "You know, like they do in Hawaii!"



I also must note that I really did NOT loose my hat, overheat the engine OR do any damage to the machine... Remember that I am over 40 and all of the really macho things I do happen mostly in my mind.



And, now you can see that actually all of Loren's photos are in focus...



With the record set straight I can now move on in life.

Signed, The management.

Monday, May 15, 2006

90+ Degrees = Waverunner Time!


Ahh, there she sits all ready to go!


I think Loren is trying to make a muscle...


People thought we were a couple and offered to take our photo together. Loren & I both choked back the bile and allowed ourselves to be photographed. The 'hee bee gee bee dance' was done later, and the brother - sister bond was restored.


I got the camera all ready, asked Loren to get some shots of me, I went out there and rode it like a maniac... Pretty much risked my life! I get back, missing my hat, the high temperature engine warning alarm is going off, and I have suffered some slight Fiberglas damage, but I know that she must have taken some great photos! This is the only photo she took. Okay, there were a few others... But this is the only one that was in focus.

P.S. Deb is down in Eugene for a CPA meeting. She is owed one make up run to the lake when she gets back.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bullet Time!

Red Light Runner!

You'll watch this one more than once!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Deb's Last Staff Lunch





Deb is serenaded by her co-workers! Her last staff lunch with her friends at the City of Happy Valley:

From the happy valley they say you are going
We will miss you giant certificate and sweet smile
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our path for awhile

Come and sit by our side in your bubble, Do not hasten to bid us adieu, But remember the City of Happy Valley, And the cowboy's who loved you so true

Won't you think of the valley you're leaving
Oh how lonely, how sad it will be?
Oh think of the fond hearts you're breaking
And the grief you are causing to Cathy

Come and sit by my side if you love me, Do not hasten to bid us adieu, But remember the City of Happy Valley, And the cowboy's who loved you so true

As you go to your home in Boise
May you never forget those sweet hours
That you spent in the City of Happy Valley
An the love we exchanged mid the flowers

Come and sit by our side in your bubble, Do not hasten to bid us adieu, But remember the City of Happy Valley, And the cowboy's who loved you so true

I have begun an investigation into these "Cowboys", and will find out just what did happened "mid the flowers!"

Monday, May 08, 2006

President Bush Impersonation

An excerpt from the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner. President Bush’s presentation included an impersonator, Steve Bridges, who "interpreted" the president's remarks for laymen.

Very Funny!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Idaho House Technology Part 2

Whole House Audio

Music anywhere you want it, at the touch of a button. That’s what you get with a Russound CAA66 Controller Amplifier solution. Classical in the bedroom, rock in the den and salsa in the kitchen. A multiroom system for everyone that delivers music to match your mood, and a cost to fit your wallet.

Adjust the bass, treble, balance, loudness and volume from elegantly designed keypad options for one-touch control of home audio. The system supports up to three keypads per zone, available in five colors, that fit perfectly in any Decora® plate.

The CAA66 can be daisy-chained, easily expanding up to 36 zones for any size home or budget. It includes extensive infrared command codes and learning capabilities, making remote and keypad control of the system as simple as pressing a button.

With advanced features, simplified programming, audio playback adjustments and extensive expandability, the CAA66 is the only choice for affordable excellence in multiroom audio.

View the CAA66 Brochure

Idaho House Technology Part 1

The new house is full of technology that I have not seen before in home construction. I will share the new tech as it is added to the house. Standard batting pink insulation? Not if you want an R value of 19 in a 2 x 6 wall. Check out the:

Blow-In-Blanket Insulation Process
(from bobvila.com)

Bob is joined by Mikde Hobson of Westchester Insulation as the crew prepares one of the Mashpee houses for insulation installation. Hobson explains that this is a patented insulation system that uses special fabric stapled and drawn tight across any cavity that needs to be insulated. The crew works with pneumatic staplers to get the fabric in place across all the walls and the joists of the cathedral ceiling. The fabric is not intended as a moisture barrier of any kind and is just there to hold the insulation in place and prevent it from settling. Hobson shows Bob the white fiberglass that will be blown into the cavities. It is white because it is a virgin product, completely free of treatments, binders, or chemicals. Certainteed and Johns Manville both produce fiberglass insulation that is suitable for the Blow-In-Blanket installation. Once all cavities have been enclosed, the insulation contractor cuts a slit in the fabric and inserts a hose through which the fiberglass is blown. The cavity is filled to a density of two pounds per cubic foot which is visible to the eye by a slight bulge in the fabric. At this density, an R-value of 15 is achieved in two-by-four cavities like walls. In attics and ceiling cavities that are two-by-six, an R-value of 38 can be achieved. This insulation is inert and will not support moisture, mold, animals, or insects. It also serves as a sound insulator and can be blown in around drain lines, in interior partitions, and around tubs and showers. Blo-In-Blanket insulation is suitable for new construction or retrofit applications where it is blown in through the sheathing from the outside or through interior drywall to fill wall cavities. Blow-In-Blanket insulation costs about 50 to 60 percent more to install than traditional batt insulation, but offers such energy efficiency that it pays for itself within two to four years.

China Makes Artificial Rain for Beijing

From the article...


Chinese weather specialists used chemicals to engineer Beijing's heaviest rainfall of the year, helping to relieve drought and rinse dust from China's capital, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.

Technicians with the Beijing Weather Modification Office fired seven rocket shells containing 163 cigarette-size sticks of silver iodide over the city's skies on Thursday, Xinhua said.

What Really Saves Gas? And How Much?

From the article...

With gas prices so high, the media is awash with lists of gas-saving tips. Well how's this for a tip? If you listen to us, you can see hybrid-type savings without having to buy a new car.

By changing your driving habits you can improve fuel economy up to 37 percent right away (depending on how you drive). Combine several tips and perform routine maintenance and you will save real dollars, not just pennies.

A miracle? All we did was take several of the most common tips out there and put them to the test over a remote 55-mile route in the high desert of California. Some of them worked like a charm. Some of them didn't work at all. We'll give you the breakdown.

Printable Maps

Do you need a simple prepared map that you can print at home, at school, or in the office? Look below at our expanding list of maps formatted to be viewed, printed, or downloaded.

The National Atlas has prepared reference and outline maps of the United States that you can print or use online. The reference maps display general reference features such as boundaries, cities, capitals, major highways, rivers and lakes, and terrain. Outline maps showing county boundaries, State boundaries, capitals, or other basic features are also available. Maps without labels are included for students and teachers of American geography. The maps are in color, but will also print or copy well in black and white.

Why do we say 'um', 'er', or 'ah' when we hesitate in speaking?

Not everyone says "um", "er" or "ah" when they hesitate while speaking. It depends upon the language.

For example, speakers of Mandarin Chinese often say"zhege" which roughly translates as “this”. In English we say "um", "er", "ah", or other vocalisations for reasons that linguists are not entirely sure about. "Um", "er", and “ah” contain what linguists call "neutral vowel sounds" making them among the easiest sounds to make.

It may be that they can be said without a great deal of thought too. So that may be part of the answer. "Um", "er", and "ah" are what linguists call "fillers". "Fillers" help conversations continue smoothly.

New House Is Changing Fast!
















I was able to get some photos of the house building progress during my last visit to Idaho on Friday. Since my visit of only a week ago many things have happened! The house is now fully wired, insulated, sided, sheetrocked and taped. The house now also sports a partially completed roof and garage doors with electric openers. They have plumbed natural gas to both the upper deck and lower patio as well as adding a 220 volt line for the hottub on the patio. I approved plans for the detached shop that will be placed along the property line on the left side of the house. It will have the same touches externally as you see on the house, so it will blend in and look nice.

Below are some Then and Now photos so you can see the changes.