Friday, June 29, 2007



I had a woman come into my store to ask if I could cut her a piece of non-glare glass to fit her frame. Sure, no problem. We do it all the time. She then produced an old, beat-up, chipped oval frame. Ugh!

Normally, cutting glass is no big deal - if it has straight edges. We just put it on the cutter, score it, snap it, and we're done. Oval frames, on the other hand, are a bit more difficult. I have to cut it to it's widest points, and then need to mark, score and snap away the excess by hand to give it the oval shape we're looking for. More often than not, we wind up destroying the piece of glass and need to start over with another piece.

When I told her that the price would be $12.00, you'd think I just slapped her grandchild across the face.

"You're kidding! $12.00 for a piece of glass?"
"For a hand-cut, oval piece of non-glare glass, yes."
"Well. I think I'm going to check elsewhere."

I'm not sure what she was expecting to pay, but I'm kinda hoping that someone else tells her they can do it for $11.00. I'm sure it will be worth her time and gas driving around to save a buck. I certainly won't miss spending more in raw materials than I'll get back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The Haircut

I'm what one might call "follically challenged". As it would just be a rip-off for me to pay a hairstylist to cut my Friar Tuck 'do, I do it myself with my handy dandy clippers. I've had a set of hair clippers for ages. I used to cut the hair of my more adventurous friends when requested back in the day. At one point last year, The Squeeze asked me to cut his hair and he was very pleased with the results. I have been doing it for him ever since. We just set up a stool in the bathroom and I clip and snip away. Short on the back & sides, a bit longer on the top. Think of a mullet in reverse with less of a party up front. OK, maybe that's a bad comparison.

I used the clippers, set to 5/8" length for the back and sides and grabbed the comb and scissors to take care of the top. I got about halfway through when for some reason I pulled a total spaz and lost my grip on the comb. It fell from my hand, I clumsily tried to grab it, missed, it bounced off The Squeeze's chest, hit his leg and... TWO POINTS!!!

Yes boys and girls.





"So that's it for that comb, eh?", The Squeeze calmly asked.
As the water in the bowl was clean, nothing "mellowing", I decided it could be kept.
The Squeeze scooped it out (thank God it floated) and gave it a good wash with plenty of soap and scalding hot water, and I carried on with the haircut.

Truth be told, I probably would have tossed it out, but it fits into the little moulded spot in the kit and another comb just wouldn't fit. I'd have to throw out the whole kit and buy a new one.

From now on, when hair is being cut in the bathroom, the toilet lid will be closed.

I think I'm going home to bleach that comb after work.


The Pump: Part 2

The weekend following our Father's Day water pump experience, The Squeeze and I returned to the cottage to replace the overflow valve. It also happened to be my mother's birthday, so we brought along flowers and a cake I made. I even decorated it with roses much like the cake I lost the photos of recently, so this time I managed to get photos and put them on the computer. I'll post the pictures when I'm home.

Replacing the valve was fairly painless and we all headed in to visit my folks after that. My mother, expecting a fair amount of company to arrive had baked three, yes, three cakes. Her famous strawberry flan, a walnut cake and a cheesecake. My addition was just a bit much, but we had to try them very thin slices. When it was finally time to leave, only 1/4 of my cake was eaten and my mother insisted we take it with us because she already had so much. Even though we didn't want it at home either, we agreed.

When we arrived at home I found the top layer had slid off of the bottom layer thanks to the lemon filling acting as a lubricant of sorts, and the icing, roses and all, was smooshed onto the sides of my cake carrier. Luckily it didn't affect the taste. Yes, that's right, The Squeeze and I have been eating the cake, damnit!

My mother called Monday to thank me again for the flowers and cake, and she told me that another of my brothers and his wife came by later for a visit. She had told them about this cake and how nice it looked and how good it tasted. My sister-in-law said, "well I have to try a piece of that, it sounds so good!" I knew I should have just left it there and ran.

As requested, I e-mailed a picture of the cake to my sister-in-law and told her she's have to imagine the taste of moist lemon cake with lemon filling since my mother banished the cake from her home.

I was dreading looking at the scale this morning, but I was pleasantly surprised. I'm down a total of 55 lbs. now. It's coming off a bit slower now, but I'm still working away at it. I've upped my distance to about 4km every morning and I do that in about 40-45 minutes. I think in a week or so I'll add some more forms of exercise to the routine. Maybe some situps to firm up the belly a bit. We'll see how that goes.


Father's Day

As I was making plans to visit my folks for Father's Day, the thought hit me that I, myself, would be celebrating the day from the viewpoint of a father for the first time. It kind of freaked me out.

The plan for the day was to pick up Brynn and Zoe and take them to visit, but Weezie had mentioned that the pump out at her cottage needed to be replaced. The Squeeze and I decided to meet her and the kids at the cottage, swap her pump and then visit my folks. How long could that possibly take? An hour? Two, tops?

About seven hours and a lot of frustration later, the pump was in but wouldn't hold a prime. On top of that, we somehow managed to break something somewhere causing water to spray all over me and requiring a return visit the following weekend to replace an overflow valve. But time was ticking, the kids' bedtime was fast approaching, and quite frankly we were exhausted. Weezie took the girls home to bed, The Squeeze and I went to visit my parents for a brief time before heading home to flop.

It wasn't exactly what I was expecting my first Father's Day to be, but I did get to spend it with the kids. I guess that's what it's all about.


The Renovation That Wouldn't End

A few days after I wrote the last post I went in to City Hall with the revised plans now that we've scrapped the bidet and moved things around. The girl I spoke to told me that I might just want to check with our inspector to see if the revisions will require the building department to rubber stamp the new drawings or not. You see, if the building department has to revise the issued permit, there is a $300 fee. Exfuckingcuse me? $300? The initial permit was around $180. A second look will cost that much? Ridiculous. I think it's a bit of a scam to have people apply for a permit prior to any work, then when you start to tear down walls and pull up floors and discover that the structure below requires you to make changes, they stick you with another bill. It would be cheaper to have them throw out the original plan and apply as if it's a new permit application. But I'm sure that isn't allowed. Bastards.

I drove back home, called the inspector and left a voicemail message for him asking for his opinion on the situation. Needless to say, had to put the work on hold until we got word from the inspector so he....well, I'm not really sure what he did instead. I finally heard from the inspector that night and he said it shouldn't be an issue since we're not changing the structural work of the room.

This meant that work was backed up, so I informed the inspector that we'd better reschedule our inspection for that Wednesday to another time. He was free Friday, so we went with that. By the time Thursday rolled around, Joe realized that he wouldn't be ready for Friday either, so I had to call the inspector again and just put him on hold. I told him I'd call him when we were ready. I can just imagine what that guy's calendar looks like if everyone out there has to reschedule.

On the upside, the walls are going up and we had our bathroom guy in to measure for our cultured marble shower base, so that's moving along now. However, when I got home last night, the only progress I noticed in the ongoing project was that a hole was cut through a joist to allow the shower drain to pass through. I'm not sure, but I think he used a spoon to bore that hole. Here I was expecting to see all the copper lines installed, but no such luck. Maybe by the end of this week. Although, we've got him on loan to Weezie right now for the day to fix a door and do some painting at her cottage in preparation for Brynn's 1st birthday party this Sunday. I'm hoping he gets that done today. If not, the copper in our bathroom will have to wait until next week.

Kill me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Toilet Paper It Is



For the past number of weeks we've had a friend of The Squeeze's in to do some renovations to the house. The ensuite and powder room are gutted, leaving us with one bathroom that we are able to use. Not a problem really, that's what most people have and it seems to work for us. Where the frustration comes in is all of the planning, selecting and revising that needs to be done to make these things happen.

The walls of the main floor, stairway and hall have all been painted and it looks SO much better than they did when we moved in. The rest of the projects are a bit slow, but whatchagonnado? Remember Murphy Brown? Remember how she had Eldin the painter who was working on her house for the duration of the series? That feels like us. Joe just might wind up on the permanent payroll here. If Brynn and Zoe lived with us, he could be their

The ensuite project began with me taking some measurements before we (and by 'we' I mean 'he') knocked down the wall between the old ensuite and walk-in closet. I roughed up some sketches and things looked good. Toilet, bidet, vanity and big-ass shower. I figured out electrical, lighting, plumbing and venting locations. Somehow along the line we decided we should probably do things legally and get a building permit for the remodel. I called the Building Department at city hall and found out what I needed. We filled out the application and submitted existing and proposed layouts. We waited the 10 business days for approval and got it no problem.

The Squeeze and I stopped in at a bath showroom and looked at some options. "Cultured marble is the way to go. No groutlines," the lady said. Hmm...good idea. I hate the stains you get in the groutlines. So we called them back to set up an appointment. We arrived for the appointment at the designated time to find their doors locked. Due to a major power outage during a big storm that blew through that afternoon, they had locked up and gone home. The Squeeze managed to get in the following day while I was at work and get some pricing. YIKES! The shower alone would cost us about $6,000! Since it's not a standard size we're dealing with it has to be custom, and like I said, I really hate those stained groutlines. We've decided to go with the custom cultured marble base and we'll tile the walls. That should cut a few grand off of that tab.

On Thursday, The Squeeze stopped in at Homo Depot to order the toilet and bidet. He called me to inform me that the bidet is about $1,100.....and that's without the taps. Taps are another $700 or so. That's crawling up on $2,000 for a butt sink. We made the decision right then and there to get rid of the bidet idea. Like The Squeeze said in front of, "for five bucks I can buy a length of hose". God help me. TMI!

So what did that mean? Back to the drawing board. Now I'm yanking the toilet and bidet from their location and replacing it with a large vanity, and replacing the vanity with the toilet. The shower remains in its place. The beauty of this new plan is that the doorway doesn't have to be moved now. However, we have decided to go with a pocket door instead of a regular swing-in door. Much better use of space, and quite frankly, it's just us...we rarely close the door. Hell, we're usually in there at the same time anyway. Of course, lighting and plumbing needs to change. I called the Building Department to see what we need to do now that we're changing things. I have to submit new sketches and hopefully they can approve the changes immediately. Let's hope, because we've booked an inspection for Wednesday morning. Joe will have about a day and a half to get all the framing and plumbing rough-in done. No pressure.

But wait....there's more. After deciding on where to put the toilet now, I discovered where the floor joists are. Guess what? A joist falls right at the 12" mark from the wall. Right where the toilet drain has to go. We could frame a bumpout wall behind it, pushing the toilet forward 4", but that leaves only about a 28" space between the front of the toilet to get to the shower. A bit tight. So I've decided to turn the toilet 90 degrees. That will give us another 10" to the path to the shower. This should all work out.

More will be revealed, I'm sure.

Friday, June 08, 2007


In His Pants

After taking my morning walk today I came home, had my shower and started getting dressed for work. Just for a lark, I figured I'd try on a pair of pants another size smaller than the ones I've been wearing for the past few weeks. I grabbed the jeans from The Squeeze's dresser, checked the label for the size, and as I stepped into them I figured they'd get stuck halfway up my legs, but they kept on going. OK, they made it this far, but I bet it will be a while before I can button and zip them up. With no effort, I did them up. What the hell!? I am shocked. That's three pant sizes (or six inches) in the past few months as a result of eating better and moderate exercise. When did I last fit into these pants? No idea. Probably a few years anyway.

The Squeeze called me at work today and I gave him the news. He was thrilled for me. He is SO supportive. A real benefit of this is that I have a pile of jeans in this size. I won't have to do laundry for two weeks! Gotta like that.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


The Incredible Shrinking Magnet

The walking and better eating regimen that I've been doing the past couple of months really seem to be working for me. Every few days I hop on the scale and I'm liking the results. To date I've dropped about 45 pounds and I'm just loving the fact that the next smaller pant size is just around the corner.

I was at the chiropractor's office yesterday and he asked how the battle was going. He asked me how much I had lost so I told him. He then asked what my goal was. I just said "my goal is to lose the word 'morbidly'". I thought he was going to piss his pants. Yep, about another 25 pounds and I'll merely be clinically obese! WooHoo! Seventy-five more after that and I'll be overweight! Roughly 40 more beyond that and I'll be normal weight.

Ya. No pressure. Quite frankly, I'd be thrilled to get away from that 'obese' term. 'Overweight' I can live with. I've lived with the other long enough.

I'd love to lose those 25 pounds (or more) within two months because The Squeeze and I are going to be hopping on a couple of planes for a bit of a vacation, and it would be great to not have to grease up to get in the seats. I'm really hoping we get seated beside Nicole Richie or something a bit a broom so we can spread out a bit.

But I know it's one day at a time. That was NOT a crack at Valerie Bertinelli's widened and now slimming backside. I know there will be a plateau where I'll be pissed and ready to give up. I'll just have to up the exercise at that time. Exercise and moderation of what I eat. The best part is that I'm not really denying myself little treats from time to time so I don't feel deprived.

If I feel like a cookie, I'll have one. Not half a dozen. One. If I have a craving for chicken wings when we go out, I'll split a small order. I won't eat two pounds of them. If I want dessert, I'll have a popsicle or one scoop of gelato.

I go for my up-tempo walk right when I get up, have my shower and eat a bowl of shredded wheat with 1% milk (when the grocery store doesn't run out!) for breakfast. While at work I have my salad with grilled chicken and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Maybe a banana or a handful of almonds, walnuts & raisins if I feel like it. Dinner is normally something like a lean steak or butterfly pork chop with brown rice and veggies. Maybe a lean burger and salad. Whatever is on the list.

I'm hoping that posting my progress on here will help me stay on track.

Keep me honest people! Make me accountable!

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