Friday, August 7, 2009

Oh Mother Nature...You funny girl

It seems as though Mother Nature is not without a sense of humor. As part of my lawn "upgrades" over the past couple of weeks (yeah, I still need to post the pictures, sorry Mom), we transplanted a lot of plants and put in a couple new trees. But of course, this being Minnesota meant that we are in the middle of a drought. I think we've had like 4 days of rain so far this year. While that is good for those with lake cabins (which does not include me :-( ) It is not particularly good for new/transplanted plants, especially with my schedule.

So today, on my off day, I decided to hit up the local Menards and pick up some garden watering kits. Cool little system...just a hose that you lay around the garden area and then you poke a hole in it and connected a small watering tube that then connects to a small sprinkler. That way you only water what needs to be watered...yay for conservation (Actually, the biggest benefit for me is that I don't have to got out and constantly move the dang hose).

Anyway, Mother Nature decided to be funny this morning and I woke up to a down pour. Guess I can't complain. But now I'm stuck in the house cause it's too rainy to work in the yard.

Oh well...

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Power of Words

It's amazing the power that words hold over people. They can convey emotion or thoughts, strength or weakness, courage or cowardice. Words can lift the spirit of a nation or torture an individual. They can appear out of nowhere days after they were said or they can hit you instantly like slamming into a brick wall.

Words have been the banner of freedom and the chain of slavery. They can preach goodness and they can spew evil. A simple word can bring a smile and intense happiness or it can bring about sadness and despair. Words, when presented from certain people, can be one's muse.; by others, one's siren.

Words. They can be laid out there for all the world to see and understand. Or they can wrap an enigma that can't be solved. Words can be clear and concise or they cannot come close to representing the thoughts behind them.

Words. They can lift you to the heavens. Or crush you from the inside.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Building a Fence

One of the biggest things I've wanted to do since buying my house was to finish the fence. Luckily, the previous owner put up 3/4 of the fence. However, he left 1/4 of it un-done cause he had a boat that he stored in the backyard.

My dad and our family friend, Mike, who is a genius at building anything, came down this weekend to help me finish it.
We got the posts and the stringers put in last night and let the cement dry over night. We got up this morning about 7:30am and bought the face boards and started hanging those.

We're breaking for lunch now and hopefully should be done around 4 or 5 tonight.

Additionally, at the last minute, my mom decided to come down too. She's been working the garden beds yesterday and today. By the end of this weekend, the yard will look drastically different.

I will post before and after pics when we are done.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Keeping Track of John

So, I've been traveling a lot for work again lately. And by a lot, I mean, I'm already far past the miles needed to be Elite on NWA (or Delta I guess) for another year.

It's sad. I don't like doing it and I hope it's done soon. But in order to try and track my whereabouts and free time (this means you mom) and to further assist in planning events/trips/vacations, I've decided to post my Google Calendar here on the blog.

I'm not very happy with the options that I've been given for posting it. You would think since both the calendar and the blog are Google products that they would inherently work together. Right? Unfortunately not. So for now, I've just slapped the calendar right at the top of the page. Everyone should be able to see my "public" events and if I'm busy with a "private" event :) I just mean, I'll hide the events like birthdays and such that I track on there....I guess I could also make a different calendar for that stuff. Oh well, one step at a time.

Oh, I realize it's been a while since I've wrote, so I'll fill everyone in on new things in my life:
  • I hired a company to fertilize my lawn. They did it the day it was like 100 degrees outside and I was in MD for work...Awesome results :(
  • I finished grad school and graduated. 3 weeks later, I got my grades. Diploma should be in the mail.
  • I shaved my beard. If you didn't know that I had a beard, then this is no surprised.
  • I have started to regrow the beard. Not because I miss it, but I promised my friend Michelle that I would have a mustache for her Nerd Weekend Party at her cabin this year.
  • I still have a number of boxes lying around the house...still packed.
  • I'm still attempting to get furniture. Actually, I haven't purchased any furniture since the leathers I bought for the basement in March, until today when I bought 3 bookcases off of craigslist: pic

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Damn Plumbing

I have run into my first home problem. I pride myself in the fact that I can generally fix anything that I run into...granted it may take me a few hours and I might cause irreversible damage in the process.
However, this morning I have been completely bested. My kitchen sink keeps backing up. I first saw it the first night I moved in, but after getting it cleared I haven't had a problem since.
Last night, I cooked for my brother and sister. It was a great dinner, but then the problems started. This one was so bad that it was backing up into the dishwasher and everything.

After doing some research last night and dumping 3 containers of liquid plumber into the drain, I got up this morning and when to Home Depot. I brought home a manual crank auger (snake), a pipe wrench, and a bottle of clog remover that was so potent that the plastic bottle was sealed inside a plastic bag...Surely, I had this clog bested.

I dismantled the p-trap and got all 25 ft of the snake in apparently without hitting a clog. Damn...maybe I loosened it up. Re-assemble the pipes, pour in the clog remover, and let sit.

For the next hour, I was confident and had kicked the clogs butt. Unfortunately, I failed.

But my tenacity didn't allow me to admit defeat, so I went at it again...3 hours later, the clog was still holding firm.

But I have a lifeline....home buyer's warrenty....I put in my call to HMS.
"How can I help you today?"
"Yeah, my kitchen sink is clogged and I need a plumber."
"Ok, we can do that, but plumbing work that is the result of a stoppage or clog is not covered."
"Yes, it's right in your coverage agreement."
...ruffle through papers...
"We can still send one out to you."
"No thanks. I'll handle it."

Next call...Richfield Plumbers..."Sorry, our hours are M-F 8:30am to 7pm"
2 more plumber calls failed.

Finally, I resorted to Roto-Rooters.
"Yes, we can help."
"How much?"
"Free estimate and then they can start work right away."
"Score. Send them."

I saw this as a huge victory. Everyone told me that plumbers cost anywhere from $75 - $100 just to show up at your door. I got mine for free.

An hour later, the plumber was here.
"Your drains clogged?"
"Ok, I can clean it out for $185."
...Head Drops...
"Dammit. Ok, let me get my checkbook."

And here we go. He's been at it for about 15 minutes now. Sounds like he's finishing up. Hopefully this will have solved the problem.

Chalk one up to the previous homeowners...They got me good on this one :(

Saturday, March 28, 2009


The talk of the town this week has been the flooding in the ND. Most of my family still lives in Bismarck, so I was concerned all week. Luckily my parents' house is not near the river. But 3 of my aunt/uncle's places were in danger. Thankfully, it appears that is no to minor damage.

As for the Fargo area...everyone keeps throwing numbers around...18ft flood stage with a current height of 40.61 feet. But what does that really mean? Well, think of it this way. The Red River at Fargo during a flood is like trying blast a firehouse through a straw. There's just not enough room, so the river expands and busts through just about anything. To really see what they are dealing with, look at the photo below. It's a time lapse image of a USGS Flood Tracking camera in Fargo.

Simply amazing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Stories and Lent

Ok, so a couple of housekeeping tasks.

First, I've decided that since Imperceptible Rantings was intended to just be a "whatever whenever" blog that stories regarding my first home somewhat break the "no theme" rule. So I've created a second blog - Diary of a First Time Home Buyer. There's nothing there yet, but I will post all the stories and info regarding mi abode there.

Tomorrow (actually Today since it's after midnight) is Ash Wednesday. If you don't know, Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent which is a 40 day long (I think the actual length is debatable depending on if you count Sundays or something like that...I remember a huge argument in 8th grade regarding it). During these 40 days, Catholics are supposed to give up something that would be difficult to live without.
Since I haven't "observed" Lent in this way the last couple of years, I have decided to post my Lenten observance here so that people can hold me to it.

I will not drink alcohol during Lent.

However, to avoid setting myself up for failure, I am going to install the following 2 exceptions to my Lenten observance:
1) The day I close on my house - This is currently set for March 10.
2) Our (Mike, Pete, Will, and Me) annual St. Patrick's Day party. Since St. Patty's Day is on a Tuesday this year...and Holy Week isn't helping us out like last year...This will probably be either the Saturday before or after St. Patty's Day. I need to check with some establishments in St. Paul to see what their plans are.

That is all for now. Goodnight!