Friday, May 25, 2007

Our new roof (lots of photos)

Well, it's about half-way done, but it's looking nice so far. Mike (and his helper Billy) built the shed for us and we liked his work so much we invited him back to replace our roof (shingles, tar paper, and any curled plywood underneath).

So, here's the shingles on the rear ridge (and a god look of what the old shingles looked like).

And here you can see the tar paper down (this is after one day of work).

The next day they had the new shingles up (leaving the edge exposed to install metal later).

The other end of the house.

The third day they replaced some venting and solved two problems at once. The bathroom exhaust was just venting to the attic while the sewer was venting fine, just leaking and collecting water. So now there are two sewer vents.

And two vents for the bathrooms.

Inside you can see where one of the sewer vents leads to the roof. The old set-up had a large up-hill climb for any water that came in the vent.

Plus the water would sit in a idiotically installed 4-way connector with a cap on the bottom.

A view of the bathroom vents.

And a general view of the attic center-line.

And, let's not forget the head foreman for the job.

Mustang Paparazzi

Quick shot on the way to work. Sorry for the bad quality, it's from my phone.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I live in a war zone

Yesterday (and this weekend) our house and property has been the target of terrorists. They continually attack from the air and let it be known that they do not approve of our kind. The side of our house, our roof, our back porch, our cars, our driveway, everything outside is subject to these evil-doers. Even Elizabeth's swing set has been a target. I do not believe they have ties to any militant religious groups, but they do flock together.

What the hell am I talking about?

The birds taking a shit all over the place.

Even the side of the house.

Figures I just washed it.

On a positive note, Mike and Billy showed up this morning to start work on replacing our roof. Yeah!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Save Jericho!

I'm upset that CBS has decided to cancel Jericho. I had heard the rumors, but frankly didn't want to believe the sad news.

And now I'm venting on Blogger.

The only thing left is this cartoon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Large Photo Update-edited-

Apologies to those on dial-up, but this post will have some photos.

First, we have some pictures of the recent landscaping we've done around the house. I think I've dumped about 50 bags (3 cubic feet each) so far and removed about 350 square feet of sod. Not easy work, but it looks nice. Here's the finished swing set area (where most of the work took place):

Then we have the pipe under the driveway. I have no idea what it's made of, but it was a nightmare to cut. Thanks to Dad for spending the time on it:

And finally, the dent that magically appeared on my car:

Okay, not as many pictures as I expected.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Heroes - Season 1

So Heroes nears the end of Season 1. Next week will be the season finale and I'm glad to hear it's been renewed for next year. But I'm a bit skeptical that it will spawn a spin-off called Heroes: Origins. Spin-offs don't always work, and this may be too soon.

So last night's episode brought about the death of the bad guy (who's name escapes me), Linderman (the healer), Ted (radioactive man), and D.L. (walk-through-walls guy) was left with a belly wound. Sylar is on the loose, Petrelli won by a landslide, and the "Walker" system of tracking the Heroes is a little girl. And let's not forget that Hiro is on his way to save Ando.

Quite a nice, tidy package. I'm very glad to see things are getting cleaned up.

And let's not forget the back-story NBC has going with their graphic novels. The latest of which had some interesting plugs.

The Corinthian:

Vote Petrelli:

And the Helix:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vote Petrelli

Just got a bizarre marketing call from Nathan Petrelli (aka NBC). Caller ID came up as (660) 833-4191 (a Google search brought up this thread). I won't re-hash what they said over there, so check it out to see what the message said.

Which makes this a pointless thread.

Except I followed the advice of Mr. Petrelli and checked out his website ( Turns out Hana Gitelman (aka Wireless) "hacked" the mainpage to look like this:

Friday, May 11, 2007

Kurt R. A. Giambastiani

* Kurt, I hope you don't mind me posting this, but there are fans out there that may want to know. Feel free to let me know if you want me pull or edit the post. *

Kurt R. A. Giambastiani, author of the Fallen Cloud Saga, recently suffered a mild stroke. He is recovering and doing well, with only some damage to his sight.

Kurt (also known as "k" or "KRAG") recently removed his Timepaths blog. It was because of a new post here that I began to worry his account had been hacked. After getting an email back from, a rogue hacker became the least of my worries.

In the years I've known Kurt, he's always been a great person to talk to. He's very knowledgeable and has traveled the world. Living in the Seattle area, he personified the "artsy" type by writing. He has numerous works available to read, from poetry to short stories and from essays to novels.

Of his novels, the Fallen Cloud Saga is the most widely known and easily found. Without giving too much away, it's essentially the story of Custer's son living with the Plains Indians and eventually attacking Custer (who becomes President). The catch to this alternate history story is the Indians travel and attack on dinosaurs. I only ask that you don't knock it until you read it.

Aside from that, he's also written the Ploughman Chronicles, a duology set in ancient (circa 880 AD) Europe. This set was a bit of an odd one for me as I had never read or heard about ley lines. And if you're interested in something shorter to read, something to give you a taste, check out Carp. That did a number on my head.

So, in the end, I'm sad to hear Kurt has had a rough time recently. He's always been a great author and all-around nice guy to deal with. I've asked for and received signed copies and book plates from him without delay or grumbling.

Kurt, I hope you feel better. You do have family, friends, and fans out there that care about you. Just let someone know if you need anything.

PS - For you fans out there, Kurt said he is still planning on writing Fallen Cloud V.

My nosey daughter

Last night we put her to bed (quite a ritual that's turned out to be - *see more on this below) and she decides to literally put her ear to the wall to listen to us work in the next bedroom (we're cleaning stuff out to make room for the next baby). Catching her red-handed (or red-eared) she looked at me with big eyes, flopped down on her bed, and pretended to be asleep. Very much like her mother has tried to do in the past (pretend to sleep) and she lasted about as long.

I knelt next to her bed and told her she needed to go to lay down in her bed, even if she wasn't tired. It worked, but she's such a ham sometimes. She gave me a kiss but said "I only give you one kiss cuz I haf save some for tomorrow morning."

What a nut.

** The Evening Ritual **
So putting Elizabeth to bed has always been a struggle since she was a baby. We were lucky in that she began sleeping through the night early on, but she has taken a bit of each of her parents. From me, she's taken on the role of a night-owl. She has no issues in staying up until 9 (sometimes later) but will get grouchy if she's too tired. From Yvonne, she's taken on the role of early bird. When she wakes up on her own, she'll be wide awake and full of energy. When we wake her up, she's groggy and grumpy, like me.

Once we finally get her into the "mood" of bedtime (simply saying it's almost time for bed is usually where we start), we need to change clothes. Some nights we'll give her a bath ("get me a bath" as she says). After stripping out of the day clothes, we sit on the toilet. She's progressing quite well with the potty training (several number 2's on the toilet already).

After that, it's time to put on the PJs, jammies, jammers, what-ever the name-of-the-week is. Then the ritual begins. I generally try to leave the bathroom light on as it leaves her room lit at a medium level when we turn out her lights. Then we all go into her room. She'll turn on "Mommy's music" (an Enya CD) and climb into bed. When she doesn't want to go to bed, she'll stop a good step away from the CD player and say she "can't reach it." What a faker!

Once into bed, we pull the blankets up and turn the lights out. There's a little night light next to her bed, so she still has some light in the room. She has Baby (a Cabbage Patch doll), Little Dora (a small, stuffed Dora), and now Diego (a small, stuffed Diego that matches Dora). If any of these are missing, trouble ensues. Most nights, she also needs tissues. Three to be precise. Sometimes the ones already in her bed are fine, sometimes they're too crumpled.

Added to these requirements is the Towel, a Steelers Terrible Towel. This must be laid out on top of her pillow, just like a blanket. One night she even said I put it on wrong and said the tag needed to be on the other end. Oh, and the writing on the towel needs to be facing down too.

So, the kid's in bed, the light is out, the music is playing, and she has her stuffed toys. We each kiss her good-night, sometimes hug her, and sometimes we get a return kiss or hug. Then we say "good night" and "see you in the morning" before leaving the room, which is when I'll turn out the bathroom light.

Sometimes she'll try to be sneaky and say she needs to use the potty, get a drink, or needs more tissues. Generally all after she's been in bed for a few minutes. We have been able to break her of the habit of us turning the music back on when it finishes. She now has to turn it on if she wants to hear it again. And she also knows the number 11, as that's the last track on the CD.

Thus ends the evening ritual.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jericho Withdrawal

I'm sad. Jericho has ended for the season, and possibly forever. This is by far one of the stand-out shows I've watched in some time. I don't consider myself a TV "guru" but I do watch a lot. And Jericho stands up there with CSI. Well, I guess Jeremiah would be a better comparison, but I'd like to hope it will last longer than a couple of seasons.

I was disappointed when Jake's dad died. That was a bit of a surprise, even though I knew someone important would, but I'm still hoping the current Mayor (Gray Anderson) bites it.

Then there's the US Army coming in to save the day (presumably) in the end. God! Why did they have to end it there?! Where's my Season 2!?

Oh well.

While those Jericho fans are waiting for good news about it being renewed for next year, check out these two sites for more info:

Jericho DVD Release Date

Jericho Wiki entry