Sunday, April 19, 2015

Preppin' for Summer

I have been waiting for a nice warm day so I could hose down the front porch. It was dusty and dirty and stained with paint from when I decorated our front windows for Christmas. Saturday was that day. The weather was gorgeous and I was available...two items that have not been able to align. So I broke out the hose, the super fireman strength spray nozzle, and a scrub brush.

The windows were a mess. I was scrubbing and scratching and rubbing and wiping and finally ordering Susan to never allow me to paint the windows again. Fortunately, she agreed with me.

Anyway, it took some doing, just like everything does with us, but the porch is ready for Summer.
Sunday's Project: We have needed to get paint on our deck railing for two years. We missed our opportunity to paint last year because the hops and grape vines had gotten to big and lush.

So last Fall, after the hops and grape harvest, we got out there on a fairly nice day and primed the deck. Not the whole think, but the areas that needed attention.
Time is running out to paint because the hops have already taken off. You can actually watch them grow. I guarantee that the vine you see below will be to the top of the railing by tomorrow.
The great weather carried through from yesterday so it was perfect for us to get out there.

The work went surprisingly fast and it really made a difference. There are a couple of spots that will probably need additional attention by Autumn but we are ready for Summer on the deck as well.
We concluded the day with a short walk to a local restaurant for some spaghetti and wine and all the bread we could eat.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Celebrate Spring

We've been decorating sky walks for the last several nights. The Downtown Spokane Partnership, which organizes this kind of stuff, is running a "Celebrate Spring in Spokane" promotion.

Susan is painting the large letters for Celebrate Spring and I'm lettering out the various events that are happening.

Here are some pictures.

When we are finished, we will have made enough to pay for the slipper tub that will be centerpiece of the main floor bathroom remodel.

That remodel is scheduled to begin in May-ish sometime.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Vapor Lock Video

About a month ago, I detailed the parade of birthday presents I got from Susan prior to my birthday. One of the gifts was a wine kit.

We finally got around to getting that brewed up last Tuesday and it is sputtering along now as it ferments.

Here's a nice video of our groovily scientific looking Vapor Lock chugging away.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Vernal Cometh...and Siteth Awhilst

It is Spring!

That means it is time to change the water in the Hot Tub. I haven't paid the hot tub much attention in the last few weeks so replacing the water seems even more urgent than it might otherwise.

I hauled out my hoses from the winter storage bunkers and connected up to the hot tub drain. Then I ran the hose out to the curb and got the flow started. After a few minutes, I checked the water flow. It was fine but it was still coming out cold. Surely by now enough time had elapsed to warm up the hose. I went to the tub and it was 50 degrees. Icy cold! In fact, the power had been cut off.

I flipped the breaker next to the tub and got nothing. I ran down to the main breaker and got nothing. I finally remembered that there is an internal breaker and I flipped that on. Ker-Chunk! I got power. I also discovered a rather sizable leak in one of the jet pumps.
I had a little trouble getting this shot because the leak sealed itself shortly after the pump started up. In fact, now it seems to be okay.

I have refilled the tub and the water has come up to temperature. There may be a small leak when I first turn on the pump, but it seems to seal itself.

I'll keep an eye on it. I want to find out why the internal breaker tripped. That's the most troubling part of this.

We are coming to the time of year when the tub doesn't get much use. So I have time to try and figure this issue out.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Ides of a Leaky Balcony

Greetings to all on this Ides of March.

We have discovered an issue that I think we need to deal with concerning the house. 

It is a wet and rainy day today. I've heard that over an inch of rain fell today. When I retrieved the morning newspaper it was damp. At first I thought it had just arrived and maybe had been exposed to some rain. But then I noticed water on the porch and a little stream heading for the front steps.

It seems that water is leaking through the balcony area and then dripping through that upper porch ceiling and onto the porch. I could easily see a couple of spots where the water was dripping. There is a whole section of paint I removed that wasn't even sticking to the wood. The water had built up a little reservoir between the wood and the paint and then looked for or created cracks in the paint to run out. 
Water goes where it wants to go.
One idea is to tear into the tongue and groove ceiling and try to see where the water is coming from. Another less invasive option might be to just reseal the whole balcony area and see what happens next.

That idea appeals to me much more.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

The Birthday!

This is the scene that greeted us high atop Lookout Pass at 4,700 feet. It was a great big giant sunny day at 50 degrees and more the whole time we were there. The snow looks good in this picture, and for the most part it was. But we also saw a lot of this.
This was shot at the very bottom of Chair Two, on the Montana side of Lookout.

Susan and I slept in a bit an then went to breakfast at our favorite breakfast place in Wallace. We got up to the mountain right about 10:30.

When we got to the top, we ran into a co-worker of mine, Don. He was skiing the morning at Lookout on his way to visit his Mom in Hamilton, Mt for the weekend.

I would say it was an excellent day of skiing. It was Spring skiing at its best and you had to keep an eye out, especially towards the bottom. It was made even better considering my health issues of late. I did fine. I had to pause walking from the car to the lodge and when the day was over and we had 7 runs in the bag, I was tired.

Then it was back down the mountain for a nap, followed by a nice dinner at the Fainting Goat Wine Bar and then a couple of beers at the 1313 club to watch the Bulldogs of Gonzaga defeat the University of San Francisco GayBoyz in the WCC Tourney.

An excellent day!

I almost forgot to mention my last birthday gift. Again, something I mentioned ages ago and Susan took note of.

I wanted a water pick that I could use in the shower. I had been told by my Dentist or one of his Hygienists that there was one you could take into the shower.

Susan looked a round but was only able to find this.
I have not installed it yet so I cannot give it a review. However, it looks like it should work. The trick is going to be adding an extension to a shower that already has an extension.

Friday, March 06, 2015

The Sexth Day of my Birthday Week

I had mentioned a while back that I wish I had a St Patrick's tie. I bought a bowtie a few years ago but I would like to have a nice shamrockin' tie.
Once again, Susan paid attention and went out a purchased one. Except she didn't. She bought material and made one.

So now I have a kick ass St Paddy's Tie custom made by Corbin Park Designer Su-San.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Fifth Day of my Birthday Week

Now that I have a really high quality mortar and a matching pestle (at no extra charge), I wish I had a kit wine so I could pulverize some camden crush tablets into a fine powdery dust to purify it.
Oh wait! I DO have a kit wine...a Petit Verdot, which is one of the smaller verdots.

We haven't made a kit wine in a while...probably a few years. I can tell you Susan spent some money on this gift. I should take her to a movie or something.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Day Four of my Birthday Week

How often do you wish you had a good Mortar and Pestle with which to pulverize something into a fine dust? Well I have wondered that wish many times. But no more!
I have received a damn fine mortar and it actually came with a lovely pestle. This is actually something I mentioned a while back when we were making wine. Susan took note and now I've got one.

I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a really good wife. I married much better than she did.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Day Three of my Birthday Week

A dirty car says that I just don't care about myself very much. Well, that problem will be no more with this unlimited pass to Mister Car Wash. I can go every day. I can go in the morning and again at night.
Okay, an update on that. I can go until I use up 20 bucks worth of car washes.


Monday, March 02, 2015

Second Day of my Birthday Week

For Day Two I got a pair of movie passes. This is a great gift because Susan and I do not attend enough movies and we would like to fix that.
The only question now is what movie to see and who am I going to take?

Sunday, March 01, 2015

First Day of my Birthday Week

Susan and I have developed this odd little tradition where we celebrate the whole week before one of our birthdays. Every day for the week leading up to our birthday, we get a gift. Here was my first one.
Just in case the picture is not quite clear enough, those are Susan made Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. Yum!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nothing Happening Here

There's nothing going on here right now as we are taking a time out to address some of my (Stan's) health issues.  The health issue of the day is breathing and how much I enjoy doing it. My enjoyment of it comes to light due to my inability to do it. Breath, that is.

More details are available at

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mr. & Mrs. Shitload

We bottled 27 bottles of Cabernet on Monday night. We had filtered it the night before and noticed how faded it was. Just two months ago, I took a sample into Jim's Home Brew to see if I should oak it. They all thought it was fine as is. And it was dark and rich looking. You know, like a Cabernet.

We ended up letting it sit another two months simply because we couldn't remember to get to it. When I checked it on Saturday, it had faded in color quite a bit. Not quite a blush, but definitely not a Cab.

It still tasted okay so we elected to bottle it and call it Pink Cab.

I bring this up only because I finally got around to moving the bottles to the basement, only to find I have nowhere in my wine racks to store it.

That means we have a SHITLOAD of wine.

It is time to stop acquire wine and start drinking it. 

So tonight I have opened a cheeky little Syrah that we purchased the grapes for in 2012 and bottled in 2013 We entered it in the fair in 2013 and it placed remarkably unremarkable in the competition. That is to say, I don't remember. Another way to say that is, it didn't win.

It's very fruit forward in aroma and disappointing in taste. It's drinkable...don't get me wrong. But it tastes coarse to me for a Syrah. It's very bitter at the start, which kind of squashes any flavor that comes after. And it's parsimonious!

However, I have several bottles of this and it's growing on me.