Some aftermath:

Beauregard’s personal Dog Park

My dog thinks I bought him a dog park. He might be the happiest Doberman in the State of California.


Portion control

I am a believer in portion control. I think it’s the key to Body for Life. I’m always amused by people who write in questioning the idea of keeping portions to fist or palm size. The best comment is “but my hands are so small”. Hey Mr. Nuclear Scientist, maybe that’s why you’re fat. So here’s a steak dinner with perfect portions.


Yeah, that steak rocked. And yes, I have great placemats.

More about Jesus

Originally, Jesus wanted $1700 to take out the two maple trees. After spending 15 minutes with me, he took them out for $1200, and stacked the wood for me. I am planning on building a smoker on the farm. With perfect astrological alignment, the smoker will be complete exactly when the wood is perfectly seasoned.


Kanga Roofing?

The roofers started today. Check it out:


Who needs bullies to kick sand in my eye?

When I can do it to myself without having to interact with any bullies. As I proceed with my March on Labor Day, things have gone, so far, swimmingly. This makes me nervous. I have a card from Home Depot giving me no interest, no payments for 12 months. This allows me to remodel the kitchen now too. Yesterday they gave me an addition $1500 in credit. This frees up even more cash. Still, Binky’s Closet of Anxiety occasionally is flung wide open. What if I can’t install hardwood floors? What if the wood costs too much? What if I did the math wrong? What if Tile Guy did his math wrong? What if, what if what it. What if I never sleep again because I’m worrying about something I can’t change? I’d like to bring back the Alfred E. Neumann facet of my personality. It was so supportive during my unemployment.

Last night I was pulling out more of the two layers of linoleum over particle board over the plywood subfloor I’m trying to uncover. I haven’t brought a ton of tools to the new place because it doesn’t lock properly. I worry about my DeWalt drill being there. And my beer. I should have brought safety goggles over. As I pried a piece of board out yesterday, it popped up. Unfortunately, about a handful of old dried glue and particle board and linoleum dust had settled on the piece. That flew right into my eye. I should have brought saline over too. While I saved the contact, washed the eye out as best as I could with tap water and raced home to remove the contact and rinse with saline, damage has been done. The eye was full of snot this morning and it’s weeping as I write this. Hopefully it will settle down before I have to call in professionals and get involved with the health care system.

I am completely stalled out on Body for Life. I’ve been lifting pretty good, getting my cardio in and eating right, but I’m stalled out at:

Weight 208

Fat 35.8

BMI 35.4

On the upside, I forgot to sign up for the WABDL meet in Honolulu and missed the deadline. I called them yesterday and plead my case. I’m in. And I’m fired up. I hurt my should a bit a week ago Monday, but it’s feeling better and strong now. Aloha! The Big Dog is coming to town!

Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

Say hello to my little friend!

This little guy has been sitting on the neighbor’s chimney for weeks, singing his little bird heart out. He can do car alarms. I’ve named him Tony Montana.


Thank you Jesus!





It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Todays weigh in:

Weight 208 still….

Fat 35.8

BMI 35.4


Well, the maples are gone. Jesus did a wonderful job. My next door neighbor is a happy man. Unfortunately, some folks in the neighborhood thought it was their station in life to inform Jesus that he couldn’t cut down those trees. One is heaving my foundation, the other the walkway. My contractor advised me to 86 the trees. They’re gone. Sadly, a morning dove nest was up there. No live babies, but Jesus said there was a couple of eggs. I’m sad about that, but really, they should have hatched two months ago, so I don’t know that the eggs were viable anyway. The morning doves are on the roof. They’ll figure it out. The squirrel nest is gone. There was no owl nest in the tree or I wouldn’t have taken it down. Hopefully tomorrow does not bear a call from the City.

Hard work vs. working hard

Demo is hard work. Soul cleansing work, but hard work. While I tore out carpet, two layers of linoleum and a layer of particle board that covered the plywood, Beau and Coco, the tile guy’s boxer, played all star wrestling in the back yard.


Sometimes the demo is like a treasure hunt. Yesterday I found some really cool things. Grace, the former owner had lived in the house for 30 years. Apparently, according to the neighbors, she was a widow, but no husband ever lived there. She had done almost no work the entire time she lived there. That enabled me to have some muscle on the price, although I really liked the property and pushed only as hard as I needed to, without losing the place. That also meant that she had some of the original stuff, okay, probably all of the original stuff from 1958 when the property was built. This included the original manual for the nearly 50 year old cooktop. The original builder’s plans for the place and who knows what else, I didn’t get past the wonder of the plans. Speaking of original, underneath that terrible lino in the kitchen I found this:


I distinctly remember this from my childhood, (only in pink) but my mother has no recollection. I sent her a picture, maybe that’ll set something off and she will remember. Or maybe my brother remembers it, but it’s definitely in the way back machine somewhere. Here are two fine offerings from the dining/fireplace room:


Today the two maple trees will meet their maker. Some goofball planted them right up against the house and one in pushing on the foundation and the other has made the walkway heave. Since my plans include a smoker and a wood burning bread oven, maple stacked up is a beautiful thing. Jesus will cut them down. I wanted to pay $1200 for both. He called me yesterday and wanted $1700. Without saying anything about the price, I let him know that it was too high. He kept coming back at me until I agreed to meet him at the house in an hour. At that point I said I didn’t have $1700, so how much for just the one, no stump grinding. $1000. Then I told him the story of Dave and me cutting down the two Cedars at Toyon. He knew I knew. He says okay $1200 for both. Now why on God’s green earth would you want to build a wall to keep that guy out of the country? Hopefully he doesn’t screw up and drop the tree on my house today.

More photojournalism, and some musings

I supposed it’s poetic that the Pink Bunny has a pink bathroom. I need to figure out what to do with this bad boy. It’s the second home I’ve purchased with a pink bathroom. As ugly as this is, the fixtures are in surprisingly good shape. I’m considering leaving this bathroom in place and doing the kitchen and the other bathroom, or tearing it out and building it back gradually, if the checkbook starts to wheeze.


Last night I measured everything and tore out about half of the carpet. What these pictures don’t show is how badly the place reeks of dog piss. Here’s a chunk of that lovely green carpet. The source of the stench is obvious.


I’m going to have to pull out a couple of pieces of plywood off of the floor too. I’m pretty sure hardwood is going back in. That’ll be back breaking work, but to be honest, I feel alive this morning for the first time in over a year. It’s worth it.

Beauregard is taking it slow this morning. He ran like a banshee at the property yesterday. His tongue was hanging when we left. The neighbors came over and introduced themselves last night. Tim came over with his little girl Lucy who accidently on purpose (probably) lost a ball into our yard. Then Cindy the Mom came over and introduced themselves. They seem happy with the notion that I’m there to take care of the place. Beau makes them a little nervous. Chester the cat came by, Beau barked and Chester is reassessing the situation. Chuck and Leslie from across the street came over and introduced themselves too. If this is the new neighborhood, this could be very good.


Down on the farm.


Here’s the front of the house:


Here’s the lovely 1958 kitchen, untouched by time…


This rug at one point was soaked by dog whiz. It is ripe, was, it’s gone. livingroom-netto.JPG

Here is the future site of the farm:


Begin…The Farm

About an hour ago, constructive notice occurred and I’m a homeowner again. I’ve bought another project and I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. The last place was Camp Dowhatchawannado. And everyone did. This place has nearly 1/4 acre of dirt. It will be The Farm. The garden will be installed over the weekend. The carpets will be pulled out, the shiteous bathrooms will be stripped and I will pray to the remodeling gods for no surprises. I can’t really afford any. I know the marvel of yet another pink bathroom will be a spectacle to behold. Photojournalism will be forthcoming.

As a Body for Life aside:

Weight 208

Fat 36.1

BMI 35.4

I feel another surge in the right direction coming on. I missed yesterday’s lifting. The stress of buying a home and mortgaging my entire future finally took it’s toll and I slept through the alarm, apparently for 90 minutes. Back in the saddle today, feeling great.

Happy Soltice to all!

About Dillon

I am the home for wayward canine travelers. Yesterday, I went on a two hour bike ride in the heat of the day. It was easily 90 out when I left and worse upon my return. I was purple when I got home. I took a frozen Gatorade, that thawed way too quickly. At the turnaround in Danville, I was halfway through it, so I loaded it back up with psuedo-cold water. I got home and got inside and immediately got a terrible chill and realized I had probably over heated. So I drank another Gatorade and two liters of water and fell asleep. Only to be awakened 20 minutes later by my fierce protector, protecting. The space invader was a blonde pit named Dillon. I had never seen him before so I went out on the porch and whistled, and of course he came. He had a collar and tags, but I didn’t know how he’d do with Beauregard. I tried to lead him in the house, but Beau wouldn’t quit and Dillon got spooked and snapped at me. Fair enough. I tied Dillon to the truck (because real truck drivers have rope in their trucks) and went inside and got a leash and a phone. I called his Dad, no answer. I called his Mom and she was in San Francisco, listening to Dillon’s Dad, who was playing music. She was upset and was trying to devise a solution when I suggested that I keep Dillon and she just call when they got back into town. About two hours later, the phone rang and it was Dillon’s Mom, around the corner. They walked down and got him. His Dad was this monsterous guy, shaved bald with a goat. He was the sweetest man and absolutely in love with that dog. He wanted to buy me something or give me money or something for Dillon. I declined and asked him to just fix the fence so he didn’t get out again. Dillon was a square headed dog and a lot of people are afraid of square headed dogs. And they live close to Treat, and that reminds me of Bud. I was pleased that Dillon came my way so I could keep him safe. I didn’t want to tell them that I did it for Scooby.

Napa Valley Style

Yesterday I attended Keenan’s private party. Robert Keenan was a real estate investor in San Francisco who passed away last November. When asked to reflect on his career he said the best piece of property he ever bought was the land he bought on Spring Mountain. Spring Mountain is above St. Helena. You make a left at Madrone and a right at Spring Mountain and after about 20 minutes look for the sign on the right. Keenan is one of my favorites. GB can tell you, they’re old school. The tasting room is a barn and the juice is downstairs in the cellar. A lot of the grapes are grown on the property. They know me by name there. This is where they roll out everything. The Summer Blend is their white that I just love. I’ll put it up to Rombauer’s Chardonney every day of the week. It’s a more elegant wine, really built for summer. They were pouring their Chardonneys (there are three) Merlot, Cab, and the Spring Mountain Reserve, that got a 95 rating. There is not a bad wine in the bunch. The best thing about it, is their wine is priced below every one elses. The Chards are around $18 a bottle, the Cabs are around $45 I think. That Spring Mountain now sells for more. I bought some futures yesterday. Michael Keenan was in the cellar pouring from a barrel, two yet to be named Cab mixes. One had French clones in it, the other had Davis clones in it. They were selling the futures by the bottle so I got one of each. Michael Keenan thoughtfully explained maloactic fermintation to my friend, who I’m sure understood every other word. It was quite interesting. I pushed him to keep explaining how they made the wine there, even though she was glazed over by then. How often do you get a private audience with the winemaker? Cool dude.

Next stop, my old standby Freemark Abbey. I’ve been concerned because they are my benchmark for wine. I compare all Cabs to their Bosche. They were sold last year, after being in bankruptcy for some time. Some of my buddies in the tasting room had gone other places (Cardinale and Cakebread in particular). Yesterday, an old gentlemanly guy helped us. I asked him if Ted Edwards and Tim Bell were planning on staying on. He said the new ownership doesn’t mess with the wine production. That was a sigh of relief to me. After seeing what happened to Folie a Deux (who’s tasting room is now next to Mustard’s I think) I didn’t want that to happen to my beloved Freemark Abbey. I’ve been drinking their wine since 1980. They had three Bosche’s open yesterday. The 1991, 1994 and current release. I have a bottle of the 94 in my collection. It’s still aging beautifully. They’re selling it for $120 a bottle right now. Twice what I paid for it. They also had a “Bootleg” Cab what amounted to pulling the top off when they bottled, like bootleggers do with shine. It’s very good and was in the the club shipment I picked up. Their Gravel Chardonney was excellent. I don’t get shipped their whites, but I like their Chardonneys. They make them in the European style, not the California style. I was happy that as far as the wine was concerned, it was business as usual.

Next stop was supposed to be Cakebread to see my old buddy Bob. Bob tells me all the secret squirrel stuff in the valley. Bob told me about Cindy’s Backstreet years ago. He told me about a little white hut at the end of a street that had spectacular cheeses and bread and would let you have a picnic there. Bob knew which winemaker was going where, why and who drove their pickup into the canal after too many. However, we saw Franciscan and my friend used to belong there, so we went inside to get her membership straightened back out. Too many moves and they lost her. Franciscan is part of a family of wineries that include Mt. Veeder (much better than Franciscan) Simi, Estancia and several others. More importantly, their parties are the best. Sometimes they’ll open up the libraries and OMG. We went through the Mt. Veeder line. They have a Cab that they are selling for $40 a bottle that’s excellent. Since my friend was lost off their list they gave her 30% on anything we bought yesterday. She hadn’t yet made that leap of logic when I said “honey, 30% is $12 off, making this a $28 Cab”. You can’t not bring this home. She did.

Yesterday was my free day. I made it an epic free day. Keenan had salmon egg rolls and asian slaw. Yes. Lamb ribs. Yes. Grilled tacos. Yes. Grilled sausages. Yes. Brownies. Yes. Then I came home and had a nearly one pound NY and mashed potatoes. And finished a pint of the light half baked. I’m soooo riding my bike to Danville and back today. As soon as I figure out what sized inter-tube fits it.

June 17, 2007 @ 10:06