Sunday, October 19, 2014

Floor refinishing project update

If you've been following this blog regularly (hi, sis) then you have probably figured out that I am not the "stop everything else and get it done right now" type when it comes to home projects.  In February of 2013 I wrote a post about refinishing the floors in the upstairs of my 105 year old house.  I assume, although I don't remember exactly, that I had been working on that floor for at least four or five months at the time of posting.  It is now October of 2014, which means that I have been hard at work (figuratively) on this project for about two years. 

Last October I posted pictures of the finished back bedroom and since then have been working on the upstairs landing and the office.

In case you have been thinking about taking on a project like this, and in case you are not the "stop everything else and get it done right now type when it comes to home projects", I thought you might want an update, since it's been a year.  You may be wondering how close I am to finishing the landing and office (the master bedroom has some sort of weird glued in press-board tiles so will be getting hardwood flooring instead of refinishing).

I do, as previously reported, have half the office floor done, and I have also sanded and puttied the landing and most of the rest of the office floor. 

Today I took another major step.  I finished repairing the corner floor in the office.

Ta da!

Now all I have to do is finish the puttying, hand sand the 40% of the office that is not already refinished, hand sand the landing, and seal, varnish, sand, varnish, sand, varnish and it will be done.

Except for all the base trim which I decided to leave until all the floors are done.

And the master bedroom.

And the downstairs hall, the stairs, the living room, the front porch which needs all the flooring ripped out and replaced as well as jacking up and reinforcing the foundation by the front door, and the kitchen and upstairs bathrooms which need complete renovations, and the new garage that needs to be built so that I can tear down the eighty year old garage that floods every time it rains.

Good thing I have no plans.

Fall ride report

Who knew it was so hard to have a beer in Canada?

Oh wait, that's not the story.

I went for a ride today.  Windy but warm.  Since we're in the second half of October, there's no guarantee that we'll have decent weather again so I decided I needed a good long ride.  I've got a book called Destination Highways: British Columbia and I periodically pull it out and hit one of the rides listed.

Today, a few observations.

Books about best riding roads have a limited shelf life.  Apart from the fact that Stave Lake Road doesn't actually go all the way to Stave Lake, the road has fallen into a certain amount of disrepair.  There are bumpy patches and patchy bumps.  There are a fair number of cracks to distract your tires.  The ride itself was pleasant, however.

Maybe I should start at the beginning.  Headed up Highway 7 (Lougheed Highway) through Maple Ridge and towards Mission.  Before I got to Mission I turned onto 287th, which turns into Wilson, which takes you to Dewdney Trunk Road.  A nice windy road, stuck behind a few locals on their ways home but other than that, a decent enough ride.  I think that this ride is really just to get you to Dewdney Trunk.   DT is a nice motorcycle road, lots of long sweeping curves, well paved, and almost no traffic.  Turn left on Richards.

Wait.  How did I get all the way back to Hwy 7.  I never saw a Richards.  Turn around, head back up, rode right past it.  Turn right on Richards.  Another nice road, but short, which takes you to Stave Lake Road.  As mentioned.

All the way north to Harley Road, some pretty decent bits and after the southernmost part being as described above, the northernmost part wasn't too bad.  Opened up a little bit, not so many really tight corners with bad pavement.  Across Harley to Sylvester and this is where the real riding kicked in.  Not one bad corner, not one bit of bad pavement.  Long sweeping curves all the way to Dewdney on Highway 7.

And so I decided to stop and have a beer.  I happen to know that there is a pub in Dewdney.  Never been there but driven past about a million times.  Old Dewdney Inn or somesuch.  Bikes out front.

Lady: Ticket?
Me: What?
Lady: Ticket for the jam?
Me: I'm just here to have a beer
Lady: We're having a Blues Jam but you can have a beer.  You'll have to stand while you drink it and stay over to the left side by the bar.

Over to the left there are numerous tables, all with "Reserved" signs sitting on them.  After a couple minutes of standing near the bar being ignored by the serving girls I left.

Okay.  When I turned north off Highway 7 there was a pub right there.  The Shake and Shingle or somesuch.  Back down Highway 7 through Mission (hasn't improved with age), right on 287th, pull into the S&S parking lot.  There's a sign on the door that says "Due to shortages in staffing, we will be open Tuesday through Saturday".  7.1% unemployment in Mission and they can't roust up a few people to come in and sell people beer.  Probably more lucrative to collect unemployment.

Okay.  Back into Mission to take Highway 11 across the Fraser River (no tolls on the Mission Bridge), down through Abbotsford, either I'll see something or I'll cut across Highways 1, 17, 91, and 99 into White Rock.  Ceili's Irish Pub has good beer, good burgers, and pretty waitresses.

It's about a 45 minute ride or so, pull off and there's a notice tacked to the door announcing to all and sundry that the locks have been changed and that the premises are for lease.  So much for that becoming a regular hangout.

Oh well.  I'm five minutes from home EXCEPT that the Nexus line stretches all the way back to the Duty Free shop.  Longest I've ever seen it.  Shut off the bike.  Coast down the hill whenever there is a decent sized gap in front of me.  Fire up the bike when there isn't a hill.

Home and making Goat Cheese Pizza for dinner.  A nice ride, good weather, probably could have gone without the jacket until the ride home, but that will keep me going for a bit if it socks in here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Peerby experiment

New service out, lets you contact your neighbors to borrow stuff.  Let's say I have a table saw (I do) but I don't have a chop saw (I don't).  I am replacing flooring in my house (I am) and it would be easier with a chop saw instead of a table saw (it would).  I put out that I need to borrow a chop saw for a few hours and a neighbor who is also on Peerby gets hold of me to let me know that he has a chop saw available.  I don't have to buy a chop saw and I get my job done.

Advantages: Borrow stuff that you need from local people to get jobs done, instead of buying something you will only use once or twice.

Disadvantages: Loaning your stuff to people you don't know very well.

Hmm.  The advantage is less stuff and expense.  I like that.  The disadvantage is that we all know how loaning stuff even to your friends (can anyone say "former friends") can go.  Not sure if I'm thrilled about it but I like the concept of community involved.  We shall see.

They also don't seem to have an Android app, just an Apple one, and I am the only person in my town to be signed up so I guess I won't be loaning (or borrowing) a lot of stuff for now anyway.   We shall see.

Edit: They do have an Android app, they just don't link to it on the website.  An oversight on their part I assume.  Anyway, if you want it, Google Play store has it here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The religion of peace strikes again

Alton Nolen gets fired from his job, drives around to the front entrance, goes in and attacks a woman with a knife, kills and beheads here, attacks a second woman with a knife, and is shot by the owner of the company.  A classic case of workplace violence.

NBC reports that it was a "revenge" attack.  The Washington Post reports that it was a "revenge" attack.  CNN laughably reports that "no terrorism links have been found" while in the next paragraph pointing out that Nolen's Facebook page has pictures of Osama bin Laden and beheadings.

Yup.  Nothing to see here.   A Muslim convert beheads a woman, tries to behead another, has pictures of bin Laden, beheadings, and jihadists on his FB page and there is no indication of links to terrorism.

This country is done. Stick a fork in it.  When we can't even acknowledge the religious motivations jihadists, how will we ever muster the will to actually fight for our country.  From Army Major Hassan (workplace violence) to Alton Nolen (recent convert Muslim proselytizer), even shouting Allahu Akhbar like Hassan did doesn't get more than a shrug and an observation that "it's a free country, you can shout anything you want while you shoot or behead infidels, doesn't mean it is religiously motivated".

Oh, and mom says he was a good kid.  Right.  Lots of good kids out beheading people these days.  Just what these crazy kids are doing but they'll grow out of it.  Youthful hijinks and all.

Swing and a miss

Again.  Maybe when the President speaks we should just pencil in the opposite of whatever he said.

Here's President Obama, addressing the ebola outbreak September 16, 2014 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta:
"the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low"
"In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores"

Well, here they are.  Welcome to Dallas.  Oh, and the ambulance that brought him to the hospital reportedly wasn't disinfected for two days.  So as Jimmy Buffett says "If you ever get the chance to go to Dallas, take it from me, pass it by".

And another thing:

Is it communicable by sneezing and stuff or not?  The CDC keeps saying "direct contact only" but the Canadian health service used to say that it was airborne transmittable.  They seem to have changed their website.  Because they found out they were wrong or because they don't want everyone to panic?

Anyway, wondering what the virus looks like?  Neither was I but here it is.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Schrodinger's Wilderness

Do you need more proof that the bureaucracy is out of control?  The United States Forest Service is about to finalize a rule that reporters can't take pictures of designated wilderness lands without a permit.

No, seriously.

But it's OK because they are doing it to "protect the wilderness" and that, after all, is their mandate.  After all, can you imagine how devastated our pristine wilderness areas would be if people were allowed to take pictures anywhere they wanted?  Maybe they're worried about quantum entanglement, the principle that led to Schrodinger's cat thought experiment.   The wilderness exists in superimposed states until someone takes a picture, at which point the waveform collapses and the future is decided.

I guess the new slogan will be "Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing".

Next step, no painting pictures or drawing sketches of wilderness areas without a federal permit.

Maybe it would just be best if we didn't even go there or look at it.  Who knows what kind of weird destruction we are wreaking on the countryside just by looking.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Bill of Rights: Protecting American Traditions Since 1791

Apparently our President, the former Constitutional Law Professor, doesn't understand that the Bill of Rights does not protect traditions, it protects rights.

From No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money, this quote from the President's statement on the anniversary of the Navy Yard shootings:

renewing our call for common-sense reforms that respect our traditions while reducing the gun violence that shatters too many American families every day.

Oh, and if you aren't sure where the title of his blog comes from, here is Warren Zevon singing Lawyers, Guns, and Money from the album Excitable Boy.  Good album.