Managing my own stupidity

I should have measured better, but I didn’t. So now, in order to install the microwave hood combination, I need to remove the cabinet over the cooktop, take 3-4″ off of the soffit and reinstall the cabinets. I started trying to pull out the cabinet a few days ago, to no avail. Yesterday I spoke to Tile Guy about the bathroom floor, which is now installed and told him about the issue with the cabinet. He looked, saw one nail I had not pulled (these a 5 inch six penny specials) and saw no other issues either. Last night I pulled that nail and started yanking on the cabinet. Apparently, my brain went to Texas on vacation along with Bush’s. I never considered the weight of the cabinet. It’s a heavy mofo. And it ain’t movin’. There must be more nails, I think, in all my infinite wisdom. So I look in the cabinet next to the one I’m trying to remove and low and behold, it has four more nails in it. So I yank a little more, because yanking is an approved home improvement technique. I get it bent enough to take the reciprocal saw to it. I cut one, then two, then three of the four nails. Now I realize that I can’t catch this thing and it’s not going to hold. It’s hooked on the vent but it’s probably not going to stay there. So I start dialing. I call everyone I know in Concord, Walnut Creek and Clayton. Not one person answers their phone. I contemplate a little more and decide to give up and call Ed. He’s my electrician’s father, a great old guy who was a contractor before he had a stroke. Now he does odd jobs, drives a school bus and doesn’t charge so much because he doesn’t move so fast. (So he told me). On the upside, dude can fix anything. Ed will be by tonight. I propped the cabinet up with some pvc pipe I found in the garage and put some carpet padding on the cooktop to protect it in the event of disaster. Today I shall work with my fingers crossed.

Prior to the cabinet debacle, I finished sanding the kitchen cabinets with 60 and then did them again with 150. I did the walls of the dining room with 100 and then 150. That motion has thrashed my surgically repaired left shoulder. I’ve decided to postpone the beginning of the next challenge until 9/3 when I’ll be moved into the new house. I have also decided to back off the weights to a maintenance program until 9/3. I am going to compete in Vegas on December 2nd and that will be the focus after I move in.

Weight is holding at :208

But wait there’s more! Last Friday, I managed to get reservations at Chappellet. For my money they are one of the best wineries in Napa. I originally heard of Chappellet in the mid 80’s when I read an article about women in wine. The woman they were profiling was Cathy Corison. At the time she was their winemakers and an up and comer. Since then, Cathy Corison has become a rock star and her protegy have also achieved rock star status. My other favorite is Mia Klien. Mia is a consultant and owns Selene Winery. Cathy Corison now owns her own house Corison Winery on Highway 29. I have had the pleasure of meeting her in her shop on a few occasions. Anyway, Chappellet has their own rock star, this guy named Phil Titus. They do not make a bad wine. Not one. And their wines aren’t good, each one is amazing in it’s own way. But don’t stop there, their wines are also reasonably priced. They have a Cab that will knock your socks off for $46. Eat that Whitehall. After our stop at Chappellet we stopped by Rombauer for some Danville Crack. The newest was released last Saturday. We ended the day with a lovely dinner at Bistro Jeanty. I had the pork chop, which is one of the two great pork chops in the bay area. The other is at Prima’s in Walnut Creek. One of my friends had the Coq au Vin, which is spectacular and the other had salmon carpaccio and a salad. (damned marathoners). An excellent day in the wine country all and all. The wine of the day is the Chappellet Signature Cab at $42 for club members.

Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

Through the Looking Glass

Two weeks ago, they did a colonoscopy on Bush. I fully expected the announcement that they had found his brain. None came. Then a week later, they operated on Cheney’s heart. I’m surprised they found one. I’m just waiting to see which politico will discover some courage and put and end to this nonsense. Maybe it will be Alberto Gonzalez who will step up to the plate and fall on his sword. They didn’t need a spine in the Wizard of Oz, did they?

Say what?

For some reason MSNBC feels compelled repeatedly to put Pat Buchannan on their morning show. Personally, coming out of the shower and hearing his voice makes me want to stab my eyes out. Today, he was talking about the infrastructure in this country and how we had to address how it’s crumbling and how we were spending spending spending but not investing and…say what? Who are you? You must stop this rhetoric immediately. I cannot hear you speak another word that makes sense to me. It’s kind of like when I heard Al Sharpton talk and he was making sense. Stop this immediately.

The Farm

Tile Guy has completed the first of his honey-do projects. It’s beautiful. I’m going to seal it tomorrow morning. I’m still trying to get the pan installed in the shower. Saturday afternoon after I sent Wanker Plumbers and their $4500 bid packing I received a call from Hassan. He is the guy who did the work at Toyon. He came over and looked at the job. He won’t do anything that isn’t to code, which is why I like him. He knows the code and sticks to it. He’s installing the pan, fixing the drain, changing out the controls so I have one of those pressure things, so when a toilet flushes somewhere else in the house I don’t scald, running the natural gas line AND installing the icemaker. $800 plus parts. Tomorrow morning I’m going to seal the slate and then take off for a day in the wine country. We have reservations at Chappellet and Bistro Jeanty for dinner. I have a rough sketch of some other trouble to be had.

Technical Difficulties

The Pink Bunny will be moving to another platform over the weekend. (Like I didn’t have enough to do). You may have to re-register and The Pink Bunny may be a little FUBAR for the next few days, but I’ll be back in business by the beginning of the week…Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

This morning’s weigh in:208

I’m going to start another official challenge on Monday.


Tile Guy has been busy at work. Here’s the first phase. This room is finished sans the grout. Next is the kitchen and the entry way.


These were all taken on Saturday. Friday I had a mass of subs through there. The countertop guys showed up with my new countertops. They did an awesome job.


Here’s a better shot of the new sink installed


And here is my pride and joy:


I should have subtitled this post: Plumbers are Wankers. I had a plumbing company come out for the purpose of installing a shower pan and a gas line for the cooktop. Their starting bid? $4500. No. He gets back on the phone and comes back with $4000. No. How much to just install the pan? $2500. For that kind of money, I will climb under the damned house myself. This job should cost around $1200-1500. Even Tile Guy was outraged. Wankers of the Weak? NAK for Plumbing.

An Embarrassment

“Stevens says he’ll quit if bridge funds diverted

U.S. SENATE: Amendment to rescind money sends Alaska’s senior senator into tirade.

WASHINGTON — A freshman senator from Oklahoma, saying he was answering America’s call to stop wasteful spending, tried Thursday to divert $452 million from two massive Alaska bridge projects and spend some of it on a hurricane-damaged bridge in New Orleans.

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn’s amendment to rescind federal money from the Knik and Gravina bridges won him the fury of Sen. Ted Stevens and only a smattering of votes.

His attempt failed 82-15 after fist-pounding arguments from Stevens, R-Alaska.

Stevens threatened to quit, to become a “wounded bull on the floor of this Senate,” and he vowed that if his colleagues passed the bill, “I will be taken out of here on a stretcher.”

“I will put the Senate on notice — and I don’t kid people — if the Senate decides to discriminate against our state, to take money only from our state, I’ll resign from this body,” he said. “This is not the Senate I came to. This is not the Senate I’ve devoted 37 years to, if one senator can decide he’ll take all the money from one state to solve a problem of another.”

Editorial writers and talk-show guests around the country have ridiculed the spans proposed for Anchorage and Ketchikan as “bridges to nowhere.” But Alaska’s congressional delegation succeeded in getting nearly half a billion dollars for them in the national highway bill, which became law this summer. Then came Hurricane Katrina, and critics — from the Heritage Foundation to the Sierra Club — pointed to the bridge money as the epitome of pork, the kind of project America must do without.”

In light of what happened yesterday, perhaps it’s time that pork-barrellers like this guy do go to home. Or to jail. I’ve been complaining about the infra-structure in this country loudly since the City of San Francisco made me drive my 1989 Mazda MX6 through water that went halfway up the door because a drain at Laguna Honda was not draining properly. I bought a 4wheel drive truck the next year, so I wouldn’t have to trust our government to get it right. For the record, the President was a guy named Bush. The infra-structure had been patentedly ignored during the Reagan Administration and the following Bush I Administration. The Clinton Administration didn’t pay much mind to our crumbling bridges and highways and the current Administration can’t hit their own ass with both hands. What did we really expect? Aren’t we happy to have those tax breaks? Personally, I’d rather the bridges were fixed. Brian Williams was on Keith Olbermann tonight, discussing the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Williams opined:

“…what would happen if the unsexy issue of infrastructure were to actually take fire and take its place among the issues in the campaign and the general election. It’s tough for the member of the Senate to put their name on a regirdering or resurfacing project or a resurfacing project. It’s easier to have a big gleaming bridge or a tunnel or parkway that was the result of an earmark on the floor of the Senate that you can say, “I brought home the bacon. We built that.” The drudgery, the grunt work of keeping America’s cities going, think of all of the bridges, tunnels and parkways made by Robert Moses, the master builder in New York that we work near and use every day. But that is the drudgery of keeping them in shape. That’s what we’re talking about here. “

No it isn’t sexy to fix the highways and bridges and sewer systems. You’re right, Mr. Williams, it’s time, actually, it’s a day too late for the folks in Minnesota.


Stuff that occupies my little brain. There were two better pictures of the mourning dove fledgings on the camera just now. Today. After I read that Cooper’s hawk’s diet consists of mourning doves.


Here we have the Doberman Pinscher. Fierce protector of the homestead. Murdering an offending towel. Somebody alert Levine, there’s a vicious dog on the lose. What a wanker!


He’s so vicious we named a Petite Syrah after him. The Wine of the Day is:


In the meantime, we are ready for Tile Guy to show up.



For Bob!


That little bit was all that was crappy when I tore up the bathroom floor. I was expecting a run to Home Depot for a truck full of 5/8″ Plywood, but I’d rather be lucky than good!

End of a Challenge

My challenge ended Monday and I took some numbers yesterday.


Weight 218

Fat 36.9


Weight 207

Fat 36.2

Total loss 11 pounds. Six of them fat. Not bad for 12 weeks where I bought a house and started a massive remodel and switched gyms. No major injuries or illness and truth be told, I was pretty halfassed about the whole thing. Still 11 pounds is 11 pounds. I’m feeling pretty positive about the whole thing.

Last night I took the night off from the house. On the way home from BARF I realized that there really just wasn’t much left of me. I was exhausted. Tile Guy has been over there working. Rumor has it the Hardiebacker* is down and he’s going to start laying slate today. I have to reset the front door for the third time tonight. I thought it would clear, but it’s barely clearing the Hardiebacker and it certainly won’t clear the Hardiebacker and the slate.

I hired some day workers on Sunday and as usual ran them hard enough that I thought they’d be reconsidering their choice to come to this country. These tough SOB’s turned to me as I was dropping them off and said “Tommorow?” Them’s some tough hombres. All the staples got pulled up, all the carpet strips, the shower was removed and all was taken to the dump, in less than 5 hours. Those guys did a bang up job. Tonight I have to rehang the front door for the third time (did I mention it was the third time around on that freaking door?) and pull out the lino in the master bath for Tile Guy. I have the new shower pan, I just need a plumber to install it. My oven and microwave are in and Home Depot found my bullnose in Benicia. It will all be delivered on Friday. My countertops are going to be installed on Friday as well. They wanted me to plane down the cabinets so that it was level, but it is level in relation to the floor. My line of thinking is that once I stablize the shifting house, the countertops will be level, so planing down the cabinets doesn’t make sense.

*Tile Guy sent me after 1/4 Hardiebacker. It was on my Honey-do list from him. When I got to Home Depot they only had 1/2 Hardiebacker. I vaguely remembered a similar issue with Toyon and did not buy 30 sheets of the wrong stuff. I went onto Hardiebacker’s website, saw that they made what Tile Guy asked for and tracked it down over with my good friends at Bedrosian Tile.