10-20-17 Update

What I’m been reading
Finished Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple by Robert Waggoner and I’m going back through the last few chapters to complete my notes. Next up will probably be Charlie Morley’s Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dream and Sleep.

What I’ve been watching
Last weekend I found Seasons 3 and 4 of Canada’s Worst Handyman on Netflix. Home improvement and DIY shows usually attract my interest although I often find them disappointing because many of the improvements done on these shows are done by professionals using professional equipment or are projects that are too expensive (usually requiring special tools or a fully equipped wood shop) for me to take on.

On this show they found five of the most inept handymen (and women) in Canada and bring them to a “Handyman Rehabilitation Center” where they are each given a room to fix up, doing various projects to complete that involve carpentry, plumbing, basic electrical work, flooring, and drywall. The host is accompanied by two experts who attempt to teach each would-be handyman how to do each project. The two experts also accomplish each assigned task themselves. Throughout the show, they monitor the contestants on closed-circuit TV to evaluate them. At the end of each episode, they choose the worst handyman and the most improved.

Each episode also has a group project where the most improved person from the previous episode is made the foreman for the project. On the last show of each season the contestants have to complete as many of the projects as they can.

As I watched this show, there were funny moments but I generally felt bad for these people and there were things they did that I found downright frightening. I did learn a few tricks I hadn’t known (from the experts, not the contestants). Having seen this program, I don’t feel quite so bad about my own skills as a handyman. I’m not a great handyman but I’m passable. I get things done (eventually). And I never use a sledge hammer to remove plumbing fixtures.

Projects I’ve been working on
I finally got around to tearing down the old shed in the corner of my backyard. I’m not going to admit how many years I’d been putting it off. I hauled away most of it. I still need to cut down the small forest the cropped up in one corner of it then tear up the floor and whatever remains of the structure. I’ve also got some other junk back there that needs to be removed.

Quotes I’ve been pondering
“Clothes seem like our natural covering, but they aren’t. A lot of the time we don’t need clothes, we’re just conditioned to think we do.” ~ Will Forest, Co-Ed Naked Philosophy

“Everyone needs to strip down now and then, to get naked and let the wind blow across bare skin, so that every last nerve ending feels exquisitely alive.” ~ Jeanette LeBlanc, Get Naked


07-21-17 Update

What I’m reading
I finished Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Conscious in your Dreams by Charlie Morley. I’m interested in learning more about it and reading more books on the subject. I saw references to works by Robert Waggoner and Stephen LaBerge. I’ve also found several interesting YouTube videos. I’ve been trying to use some of the techniques although at this point I’m focusing on remembering dreams. It will come to me. Maybe with more research I might find a technique that works better for me.

Projects I’m working on
I’ve been having trouble with one of my ceiling fans for a while. I was going through a lot of bulbs and after the last replacement, the best it would do was flicker, if it worked at all. I got tired of eating my dinner in the dark so I replaced it. The new fan uses LED bulbs using a standard base. The old one used incandescent bulbs with a candelabra base. My daughter-in-law has gone through a lot of bulbs with the same model fan. That’s what we get for going cheap.

I installed an identical fan for the other side of the room when they’re both lit, the room is much brighter than I can remember it. For some reason the two separate circuits. The one over the dining table is on the same circuit as most of the kitchen outlets which sort of makes sense. The other one is on the same circuit as the kitchen lights. The strange thing about it is that it was probably originally been an overhead garage light before the garage was converted. The electrical wiring in my house is not necessarily logical. Portions of it makes sense while some of it leaves me scratching my head.

Eventually I’m going to be installing ceiling fans were they don’t currently exist. That should be a lot of fun, crawling around in the attic and running wires. It’s always something.

Quote I’ve been pondering
“I’m not getting old, I’m evolving.” ~ Keith Richards

06-30-17 Update

Event I attended
On Saturday Tina, Abigail, and I attended the grand opening of Kuya Ian’s Bistro in Columbus where the Sayaw FilipinOH gave a benefit performance. The staff made us feel very welcome and the Filipino cuisine was great. Everyone in attendance enjoyed the performance.


What I’ve been reading
The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen. As expected, it is interesting with a lot of demographic data about the women (and a few men) who were accused of witchcraft (and many executed for it) in early colonial New England. It turns out that the social and economic factors in the New England witchcraft trials were much different than the eariler trials in England and Europe.


What I’m watching
I just started watching GLOW on NetFlix. It’s a series about a Hollywood director trying to create a television wrestling show featuring women wrestlers. I haven’t had much if any interest in “professional” wrestling since I was a kid but I guess I’m drawn to this program on a different level. Maybe it’s the characters I’m drawn to.

Project I’m working on
The kids have been reorganizing their garage, tearing out the shelving and cabinets that came with the house and installing new shelves and storage that fits their needs better. It was inevitable that I’d get involved but that’s okay because it will benefit me as well since I store a lot of my tools there because I don’t have a garage. To be honest, none of us is sure who owns some of the tools, not that it really matters. We’re family and we share what we have. I’m hoping that with the reorganization, I’ll be able to store a few more tools. And now I’m feeling motivated to clean out my shed.

Quotes I’ve been pondering
“There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values.” ~ David G. Myers

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” ~ Edward P. Morgan

“Shit flows downhill. Rarely does anything positive ever trickle down. Positive change generally rises from the bottom in spite of the scum floating at the top trying to hold it down.” ~ R.B. Romig, 27 June 2017

“Let’s stop pretending that pants are even necessary. It’s time we progress as a society.” ~ Goddess of Mischief ‏@ShanaRose21

DIY Dryer Vent

dryer vent 01

For some reason either the builders or the guy who flipped the house before I bought it thought it would be a great idea for the dryer to vent straight up through the roof, never considering the possibility that the average household clothes dryer probably doesn’t produce enough air pressure to send all that lint straight up 15 or 20 feet. When the dryer stops, all the lint that hadn’t quite made it all the way out succumbed to the forces of gravity or got stuck in the pipe.

After many years it became obvious to me that there had to be a better way. First I tried a water trap vent which caught a great deal of lint but a lot still got spread all over the house. Again, I found myself thinking there had to be a better way and it had to take the lint and the hot air outside. So I measured the window across from the dryer and made a trip to a nearby major chain hardware store where I obtained a half sheet of plywood, a dryer vent and a couple of door handles. I measured the window and cut the plywood down to size, then I cut a hole in it and mounted the dryer vent. I attached a handle to it so I could place it in the window on laundry day and remove it when I was finished.

I was a little off in my measurements, having forgotten to account for the inside portions of the window frame through which the board would have to pass. I trimmed it so it would fit.

We tried it out today and it worked pretty well. I still need to make a few finishing touches such as finding some foam rubber to help with the drafts, some kind of protective coating and a more elegant means of attaching the dryer hose. I currently have two hoses duct taped together. It’s not pretty but it works and it gets the lint out of the house. Perhaps later on, I’ll look at making it a semi-permanent installation.

Kitchen Light

kitchenlight2Over the weekend I picked up a cheap light fixture to replace the aging and sometimes not working florescent light in my kitchen. Today I removed the old fixture and once again marveled at the half-assery that is common to all Huber Homes. The electrical box was somehow tacked to the ceiling joist and contained a morass of wiring with splices that would put fear into the heart of a licensed electrician. To top it off, the box was just far enough from the top of the drywall to prevent me from attaching the new fixture.

So I made the trek to Lowe’s to find longer screws. But first I looked in the electrical aisle to see if I could find something. I found a ceiling fan mount that’s designed to be used where access to the ceiling is limited. (Adam used such a mount for a ceiling fan in his new home.)

I returned home and took another look at what I was dealing with. This time I decided that I really didn’t want to sort out the wiring and figure out how to remove the box. I’m still wondering how the builders managed to mount it there in the first place. I suspect it was mounted before the drywall was installed. The hole appears to be an afterthought.

kitchenlight3Looking through my miscellaneous parts and junk I found a package of faucet washers and decided that they would make excellent spacers to bring the mounting bracket down to where I could attach the light fixture. I removed the old tape and retaped the splices. I’m sure the electrical tape had been there at least 17 years, possibly even 50. I used about four washers on each side to sufficiently lower the bracket.

So now have a nice, new lighting fixture in my kitchen. It’s a little bit right of center and the ceiling looks like shit but I can live with it until I have the funding to do a proper remodeling project.

The countertop is not level

Today’s Song: Gimme Some Lovin’
Artist: The Spencer Davis Group
Album: The Best of the Spencer Davis Group
Year: 1966
Notes:The Blues Brothers covered this song in the movie The Blues Brothers in 1980.

Today’s Quote: “I like nonsense — it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope…and that enables you to laugh at all of life’s realities.” ~ Theodor S. Geisel (aka Dr. Suess)

I just don’t care for nonsense in government or the current administration’s fantasies and distortions of reality. Forget the telescope!

I can’t believe it. I dozed off whilst watching something about a lost Egyptian queen who was really a king or maybe a king who was really a queen. But that’s not important. When I woke up I switched over to Comedy Central, only to catch South Park at almost the same point in the story where I caught it on Thursday. I still don’t know how it began. I’m sure it was interesting. Why did a judge order Kyle to suck Cartman’s balls? Is Cartman one of those self-loathing, homophobic, deny it all costs, homosexuals?

Drawn Together was a little weird. I take that back. It was very weird. I haven’t decided whether or not I liked it. Captain Hero is what I suspect Cartman might be.

This morning I learned that my countertop is not as level as I had thought when I installed it. I made coffee this morning and when I went back out to pour it, I found it pooled in the back corner. Apparently, I hadn’t set the pot into the coffee maker correctly. Scheiße! Shazbot! Crap! My Monday morning is off to a very ominous start. I think I should call in sick and go back to bed.

&@(*&%$#@ Huber Homes!

Today’s Quote: “In Russia, reforms that were once promised to empower citizens have been derailed, with troubling implications for democratic development.” — President George W. Bush (Has he taken a look at the derailing of citizen empowerment under his administration and its implications for democratic development in the U.S.?)

Bonus Quote: “The treatment consisted of ibuprofen for one week, as well as complete abstinence from playing Wii video games. The patient recovered fully.” — Dr. Julio Bonis talks about his recovery from a mysteriously sore shoulder that later turned out to be “Wiiitis.”

The siding is back up on the south end of the house. Hopefully, Liquid Nails and staples will work where screws and roofing tacks have failed. I’m not totally confident that it will stay in place considering how many times I’ve put it up. What gets me is that it never goes up the same way twice. I always have to trim a few pieces or cut some off. I don’t get it. Is the house getting bits of Alice’s magic mushrooms? If it comes off again, I’m recommending we cover that side with plywood and paint it to look like siding. Actually, if we covered it with plywood, we’d have something solid to nail new siding to. (And for my readers who are sticklers for proper grammar: “Actually, if we covered the gable with plywood, we would have a solid surface on which to nail the siding.”)

FireontheMountain_smallSong: Long Haired Country Boy
Artist: The Charlie Daniels Band
Album: Fire on the Mountain
Year: 1974