Random revelations from a fun weekend

Because we could all use a fun weekend…

The AMC bowling alley near Chris-town has Guiness on tap. A family of four can bowl and eat pizza for about $65 (not including black & tans), and watch as your children discover that real bowling is not at all like the Wii.

With current construction conditions, it is 2.5 hours door to door from the Padegimas house to the Kinsey residence in Tucson. (Half of the eight people who read this know who I’m talking about. A fourth of them live there.)

Watchmen is rated R for good reasons. Don’t bring the kids.

The Gifted and Talented Education  (GATE) program in Arizona is largely funded by federal grants, and so survives the state budget ax better than a lot of programs you might think more vital.

By the time I’m finished, the hardware for my new gate might cost as much as the lumber.

You can fit a 9′ board inside a Malibu.

The Rio Solado project, along the banks of the Salt River as it “flows” through Phoenix (though it currently has a fair bit of water) makes for a good, easy hike if you’re out of shape, and don’t want to prepare for an expedition to get your mileage in. But there is NO convenience store within walking distance of the trailheads.

My Beloved Suns are running out of time to win their bet with GM Steve Kerr and make the play-offs. They must win a LOT of games to overtake Dallas – who they play next – for the 8th spot in the West. Perhaps some mid-court defense would be in order after all…

Now you know.

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Counterproductive Drunks

It wasn’t my fault. The desk lamp knocked my beer over into the basket of freshly washed laundry. The lamp, I suspect, was drunk.

drunken-lamp

Of course, so was I. Not only was I not moving laundry forward, I was actually being counter-productive, which is just gut-wrenching for a workaholic.

Still, not nearly as traumatic as taking time out of my life to watch the Suns kinda wave their hands a little bit as Celtic after Celtic dashed past them for nearly uncontested lay-ups. Did GM Steve Kerr laugh or cry? I couldn’t tell.

Memo to former NBA coach and now ABC commentator/curmudgeon Jeff Van Gundy: Basketball is supposed to be fun. This is not Hardball. Lighten up.

A few writing links:

Gary Westfahlon why so many SF predictions don’tcome true. [via Locus Online]

And Lynn Viehl, in her blog Paperback Writer, shares the 22 Immutable Laws of Publishing.

So say we all.

Campground reservations jumped 11% in January, and firearm sales jumped 28.8% (though an upcoming change in legalities may have prompted the gun sales).

“Yes, economic times are tough and it’s obvious that lots of people are facing financial hardships. But lots of folks also respond to such challenging times by realizing the things that matter most to them – family, friends and the outdoors – can be enjoyed without a big hit on the family budget,” said Gary Hovatter, deputy director for the Arizona Game and Fish Department [to the AZGF public information officer].

Here’s hoping that hiking is recession-proof.

I can replace both for the gates in my backyard for about $150 in materials, which is refreshingly affordable. Now, just getting it done…

And then drink beer.

Now you know.

Coming up on the X-mas Break [12/21/08]

So, I’m still getting clobbered timewise. This may be the last post until after The Holiday.

But while we have a moment together:Kitchen 2.0This is what the kitchen looks like from the cam on my laptop right now.

So there’s some cosmetic thing that still need to be done, but everything basically works and/or holds weight. Good Enough.

God gave us cordless drills and recipricating saws because He loves us, and He wants us to get stuff done.

Spend a Friday driving back and forth to the hardware store – learn stuff from NPR Science Friday. Mainly, that I am not alone in my quest for documentation about eggs and whiskey. NPR focuses on egg nog, because, well, tis the season. My curiousity came from the mythical “miner’s breakfast” where you break an egg into a glass of whisky and drink.

This may require more research.

Meanwhile, I have 10,000 things to do in the next few days, and so do you. Back after X-mas.

Now you know.

Uploading Pix [12/16/08

My kitchen "before"

This is my kitchen before -major- demolition began. Doors, sink  and some shelves had been removed. demolished kitchen left

demolished kithcen rightThat big cabinet unit on the wall turns out to be one solid piece and somewhat structural. So that’s my wall, without any clothes on.

Cool, huh? Yeah. especally with the big hole right into the attic.

Happily, a good friend came over and helped me drywall over the holes and put up the wall units.

j-w-cabinets I had other helpers as well.

That’s “hickory” if you’re wondering, though its really just a veneer over press board. My wife likes it and it was within budget (actually on sale, which began this whole insane countdown in the first place).

I’ll have more on this as the project limps forward.

Meanwhile:

Yavapai County Community College has a very nice performing arts hall, which is very easy to work in. They called in Rhino to load in Spelling Bee, which is a bus-and-truck touring Broadway show – and NOT the Yavapai county spelling bee, as some in our company assumed.

If you want ot know how to get 16 trucks of gear out of a building in 2.5 hours, watch AC/DC load out this year.

The third show I did (in four days) was the annual Christmas Mariachi Spectacular, during which I learned virtually nothing. But that goes a ways to explain why I’m fried.

Bongo at Yavapai:

bongo-at-ycc

My Beloved Suns made a big trade, and I think for the better. Jason Richardson can straight-up score the ball, and Bobcat coach Larry Brown will get more out of Bell and Diaw than poor Terry Porter ever would. Even before the trade, turnovers are inching down, rebounds are inching up, and they’re starting to play somewhat like a team again.

Remember that Terry Porter walked into a coach’s nightmare: a popular and winning coach (55 wins last season) was allowed to leave for largely ego and political reasons, and Porter was brought in to Do Things Differently. And he did. And it sucked. The suns went fro leading the league in points to leading the league in  turnovers. Now, though, it seems that Porter is listening to the players and in return, the players are listening to the coach.

Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks were summarily spanked in the USAC tonight. That’sa little embarrassing for him – but the Knicks won only 23 games last year. D’Antoni has a re-building cushion to fall back on. For Porter, this game was a Must Win, and his players delivered.

Almost gives me hope. Almost.

Lastly, I don’t want to upstage Strange Maps, but here’s a couple:

Immigration since 1820 and an island in an island in an island.

Now you know.

Forensic architecture [11/7/08]

The main portion of my former kitchen cabinets were installd circa 1954 (judging from the newspaper we found in the wall – more on that later. The 10’x6′ shelf/cabinet combo was fabricated as a complete unit and then shoved into place, meaning the back and top of the cabinets formed part of the back wall and ceiling. So when we pulled it out, as a unit, because we really ahd no choice, it rained insulation.

Consequently, I have learned how to cut, mount and tape drywall.

4 days into the project and most of the wall units are up, and most of the floor units are in place. I’ve run into a stalling point cutting the counter-top, so we still have no sink. Or counter.

I’m a few beers past photos (besides, everything in my house is piled on top of everything else, including the camera).

Always suspected, but confirmed at a recent social gathering: if I’m around more than 4 other adults, I don’t have tworry about starting the fire. One of them will reveal as a bigger pyro than I am.

Remember the stop-action X-mas show “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”? Didn’t something abiout that bother you? You were right!

Zombie Haiku by famous poets. No further explanation required.

Now you know.

The need for dark coffee and a high PEI rating [12/3/08]

The good news: my daughter is student of the month, and is entitled to a free celebratory breakfast with her family.

The bad news:breakfast starts at 6:50am. Sunrise: 7:15am. eating cafeteria food in the dark is one of the many things that parents do for love.

Speaking of the need for seriously black coffee, check out these three items I found on Dark Roasted Blend:

Physicists making coffee with lasers and cooking hot dogs with tesla coils.

How living things and minerals may effect each other’s evolution.

And Tristan da Cunha, the world’s most remote inhabited island. The next step is to acquire a photo of one of their urinals…

Some inportant advice about living with writers.

And finally, tile comes with a rating from the Porcelain Enamel Institute to indicate its resistance to abrasion. They go from Class 1, so fragile they should only be used on walls to Class 5, “suitable for all residential and commercial use.” Monocuttura indicates tile glazed with a single passthrough the kiln, though the uncredited article (advertisement?) (anyway, not from the PEI website) I’m using as a source doesn’t mention why anyone would care. Vitreous tile, more usefully, has less than 3% water absorption, and is what you want around pools or spas.

Now you know.

My kitchen and Antarctic urinals may be nothing but waves [11/30/08]

So what my wife and I learned that we have the room on our credit card to plausibly rennovate the kitchen, which has the same cabinets from original construction circa 1949. So they’re a little dated. All told, this is a $3000 project if you include a new dishwasher – which we will. If our tax return is what we expect it to be, this ought to be off the books by the end of the year.

The question is: can we install it all before Chistmas?

I expect to learn a lot about installing cabinets in the next four weeks. I’ll share.

And now, for toilets in Antarctica:

Here’s some collected photos of them. Here’s some history of how they were maintained in the past. And here’s the website of Cedar, one of the people who cleans them right now. So now you know what stalagshite is. And Cedar’s Flickr set is way worth it. And remember, it’s summer in Antarctica.

Oh, and there may be no such as things as particles. It might all be waves.

Now you know.