Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Year in Review

It's been another year. We bought a house, I worked on it, Porter got a year older and went from not talking to not shutting up (I'm not complaining, that's actually a good thing), we bought a beater truck, Michele continued to work her ass off, I set up the shop and built a handful of skateboards, we took a couple of trips, and had quite a few visitors. A lot happened this year.

This kid sure loves the beach, a visit to Salt Creek on New Years Day 2012 was how we kicked things off.

We traveled to Phoenix for Nana's 60th (my mom), Porter also got to meet Char for the first time on this trip (her husband whom we never met is where Porter got his name).

Many naps were attempted, not all were successful.

Dungeness Spit was a popular family destination.

Then we bought a house. I've left most of the projects out of this post, there have been many.

My brother Pat has come to visit once every couple of months. I always look forward to having him here.

Michele's aunt, uncle and cousin made the trip out from Ohio for about a week. It's not often we get to see Michele's extended family and it was nice to have them here.

Porter got sick once every few months, I often mistook it for him being uncharacteristically cuddly. He's still alive so I must be doing something right.

Almost every time Pat has come up, he's brought Kayla along. That's worked out nicely for me since she's the only person I've been able to con into mowing the lawn for me.

Probably not the best $1200 I've ever spent, but not so bad either. Makes going to the dump a lot easier and as I learned a number of years ago, hauling lumber and plywood sucks real bad in the Element.

Books on shelves. As nomadic as Michele and my life has been the last nine or so years, seeing books on shelves hit me pretty hard, in a good way.

Grandma (Michele's mom) made the trip out in July. Couldn't have picked a better time of year.

The shop has been slowly coming together.

Late September Porter hit two. 

Eddie, Star and Gavin came to visit for a little over three weeks. Many adventures were had.

I made this. I sit at Ikea tables no more.

The Monster does not fear monsters. I'm in a good place with that, it worries my wife.

Bringing it back to bicycles.

What can I say about Thanksgiving that I haven't already said. Most important holiday of the year.

Oh, and pie.

Tree from our own yard this year, and our first real tree since Spokane (I think).

Truck parade in Victoria with Paul and Sean. Easiest night I've ever spent in the same room as the boy. Still not a great night's sleep, but progress.

I think he's getting the true meaning of Christmas, loot.

So long 2012. Bring on the new year!

Friday, August 17, 2012

What I've Been Up To

Mostly I've been chasing Porter around non-stop, but occasionally I get some other things done too. I'm slowly working through the list of things to make the house our own. I've painted the master, the hall, living room and office. Still need to paint a little more in the living room and the kitchen. These are a few of the working on the house highlights:

Had the old cabinet shop build my entertainment center. They gave me an unbelievable deal, slightly more than it would have cost me for just the materials. The door panel is short in this picture, but they've replaced all three panels there and I'm just waiting to put them on. I still need to fabricate the top, the plan is a nice piece of black concrete, but I'm not yet tooled up for that, maybe in the next month or so. Also need to put hardware on but I'd rather wait until Porter isn't quite as curious to do that.

Replaced the non-functioning ceiling fan in the living room with this nice Modern Fan unit. It sits a little tighter to the ceiling than I would like but I left enough wire to accommodate a longer downrod in the future.

Turned the formal dining room into a large office with three work stations, all the carcasses are in place as are most of the finish panels. I've got all the material I'm going to need for the drawers all ready to go, just need to start working on them. The desktop was cut on the CNC at the cabinet shop, my understanding is that it was among the last things run out before the CNC was sold, I'm going to miss having access to that.

Added shelves to the opposite corner in the office. Each shelf is a single piece of 3/4" Appleply, also cut on the CNC at the same time as the desktop.

We've got a whole list of other projects to come as the money comes available. Of the big ones, the master bath needs some serious help and the kitchen really needs to be redone, it's big but is rather poorly laid out and has no room for two people to work due to a poorly planned out island.

Some of the other things that have been happening:

I had to give the pedo-van back to my cousin, so I picked up this '94 F-250 for all of $1200. It's not quite time for the Element to go and I really needed a truck for hauling trash and materials. When I found the truck on Craigslist I thought it was too good to pass up. I've put around 400 miles on it so far and I don't yet regret buying it.

Michele's aunt, uncle, and niece came out for a week.

My mom came out a couple of times, as well as my dad for a few days.

Michele's mom braved three days on the train each way to come stay for a week or so.

We also had visits from Tim and Lucy and my brother Pat and my niece Kayla. Star, Eddie and Gavin will be here from Japan just after Porter's birthday, my parents are coming back soon, and Pat's coming back up for the sprint boat races next month. Shit we're busy.

Porter approves.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mowing Continued

Finally replaced my GPS over the weekend. For the inaugural use I stuck it in my pocket while I mowed the lawn yesterday.

7.21 miles. Most of the distance was riding but a good 50% of the time was on foot.

The raw data can be found here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


 So we bought a house. That's already old news. Here it is:

Clearly a satellite/aerial view, Google Earth in fact. Our place is the one closer to the center, off to the left is the neighbor's place (also for sale, we looked at it, total train wreck layout). Our lot has a good amount of grass, and it needs regular mowing, and to that end I have purchased a lawn tractor, a push mower, and a string trimmer. In case you're wondering, the push mower is necessary due to the fact that there is a fair amount of terrain that the  lawn tractor can't handle. Here's the same image as above, post a little awesome MS Paint work by yours truly showing the property lines in red and grass in green:

3½ hours. And I'm not done yet. Still need to bust out the string trimmer tomorrow for another ½ hour at least. I'm hoping that with regular maintenance I can cut that down to 2½ total, but fuck me, that's a lot of mowing. Sure glad I got the "fast" tractor.

Monday, April 23, 2012

House Progress

So we closed on the new house on Wednesday and everything has been a bit of a blur since. I changed the locks right away Wednesday afternoon and ever since we've been doing a lot of prep work ahead of the actual move. There was cleaning, furniture acquisition and assembly, painting, data infrastructure, and yard shit. Much of this is still going on but I'm quickly running out of time because the movers are coming on Wednesday to pack and load everything and on Thursday the house will be populated with all of our crap.

Mom came out on Saturday to watch Porter for a week or two, and that has been a great help. However, it was Paul who picked her up at SeaTac and brought her out and he, together with Sean, made the decision that we will be keeping the large pond/fountain in the backyard. I was really looking forward to getting rid of that thing, but there are also frogs in there so Michele is now also against me on this so long as I make it shallow enough that the monster can't fall in and drown. Paul and Sean visiting for the weekend wasn't all bad of course, they've committed themselves to future visits wherein they will be doing a fair amount of yard work in order to help beautify the grounds. Less yard for me to deal with is always going to be okay in my book. Fuck, I almost forgot, the two plus acres of grass we now own means that I had to buy a lawn tractor, not something I'm very excited about, especially since there's a fair amount of grass on steep hills which means that I also need a regular lawnmower. My laziness is really going to take a bit of a hit with this place.

On the plus side (who are we kidding, everything is a plus really), I think I may already have figured out my pump track/trail system in the woods. We've got a little over three acres of woods around the house with the majority of that clumped together and the underbrush already cleared. I think I can put together something with some decent flow and measuring a couple hundred yards in length that'll be nice for just fucking around when I get bored.

I'll try and post some pictures in the next day or two while the house is still mostly empty. If I don't get to it right away, it might be a while since the office may very well be in limbo for a while.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Blog?

I swear I'm going to start a new blog and call it "Voice Mail From My Mother As Transcribed By Google Voice" and it'll feature gems like this:
Hey buddy, I'm standing here for the sole binder section deejays the only thing I think it says monkey is south Africans smoke seeding land. Is that what you're after. I'll get on this path. It's I don't hear from you. Love you.Bye bye.
and this:
Hi Sean, This Is mom. Hope you guys made it home at all at weather looks like you did. Anyway. Thank you again very much and would you have. Dr staff give me a call when she gets a minute. I'm out hiking. Love, Dad bikes, and I took a pretty good following recipient. I seeking the toll on my hand and don't know. If it's okay sweetie pie here if I need to get back down my system place, and I thought maybe I can pick it up a local familydot for an answer on that. Love you. Bye bye.
and even this:
Hey Sean, It's your mamma. I have a question for you. The IS it. 8. Newark see you guys have or color. Kendall how you know wage and if I wanted to get you soon. Gift books, to read on your whichever is how do I go about doing that. Okay, thank you bye bye.
I may also have the occasional special guest appearances by my wife:
Hey, hey. I will see you know that one and I was going on. Okay, most of the bay, cos O ciao Yeah, but hopefully it won't work out. I'll talk to you I think you're different, strange St. For games before, hey hey. So just slow. All HI ohh. Hey, bye I don't know. I get away. So you know So I don't know if with the release. Bye. Peace, yeah I get to the truth. So if you can. Bye no Yeah, Yeah, regards, ohh there it won't work or later. Bye. I'm going to dinner, for. So just let me know. Hello HI When are you And hello, hey north. No, for. No, no later. But I don't know Yeah, hey, what's up. Well, Yeah, with you. Bye, C bye HI but. I was on the alter bye bye bye, alright to see if you get a hold of you. But talk to you.
my sister:
Whom. Hello. Hey Homey. At the you say hello. Well, ohh, hey. Hello. Who. Okay bye. The only way to call shorter than they Hi Sean, So, calling to leave you a message. I'll be at it. Very well, with you later. Shaun Hi Anne. It's a Hi Michelle, hey. And. And what about the order HI you bye okay. Have a nice day bye bye, bye bye. And Love You. Hello. So badly. Hey, bye bye, bye.
my brother:
Yeah I got a 350. My cell which is Yuki. Yes 55. It's up in my view, structural there, but I don't know if you got it yet, bye.
Hey, it's Paul, I'm driving so I thought I might be a little easier to call you then. Texting tonight. You school were ever whenever i actually I'm pretty open today. Shawn it up rolling a. Should be back in time, but if not then you're stuck with just me. So, the front right now. I mean I don't know. But so whatever we gas Michelle. She, has to do the tires because I think she's one of the most likes and dislikes. So yeah but then I know. Okay bye. 
and Eddie:
Hey Jonathan, Mann give me. Gimme a ring. So I wanted to work out some details about today. Got your message about. The V. Yeah, I don't know. Gimme a call. Thanks.
I think it's a sure fire hit.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Busy Busy

It's been a while since I've posted here, but believe me, I've got a good reason. Porter is 18 months old. Also (as if I needed a second excuse), we are currently 2-3 weeks away from closing on our new home. 2200 sf plus another 1k in shop space. Oh fuck it feels nice to say that. One more time, 1k in shop space. Mmm...

Not the most creative looking place, but it also comes with 5.5 acres and a bit of a mountain view. More as things continue to develop.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

First Flight

I really thought I had already posted this, apparently not. I uploaded the pictures, wrote most of the words, but never finished and never posted. Anyway, here it is:

In spite of Michele's protests I managed to get Porter on an airplane. Let me back up for a second. Michele is afraid to fly. Really afraid to fly, and that fear has always extended to cover me as well. I love to fly and enjoy getting from point A to B quickly, but anytime I fly Michele is a bit of a wreck until I'm on the ground. Now that we have Porter, her fear covers him as well. So when my siblings proposed that we all fly out with our kids, but sans spouses (for reasons beyond our control) to surprise my mom for her 60th I naturally took a bit of a pause to consider how my wife would feel about it. Not much of a pause though.

Porter and I got up at the ass crack of dawn to make the drive in to SeaTac (2.5-3 hours depending on traffic and ferry wait), got through security, waited for an hour or so, and then got on our plane. What I thought would be the hard part, the flight itself, was no big deal. Everything before it kinda sucked. Keeping the boy corralled for the hour before boarding while keeping track of carry-ons and the car seat was a real pain in the ass. Once on the plane, he fell asleep and showed no signs of stirring until we were back on the ground in the 'nix.

It took a good hour and a half to get off the plane, gather our shit, and get the Crown Vic we rented. Armed with my old lady car, we headed North to see Char. I don't know if I ever covered who Char is before so here's the quick rundown: She lived in our condo complex in the 'nix and was the very first person I met when I got there. For the two years we were there we were thick as thieves. We dined together regularly, partied, drank, went to the movies (okay, the movies only happened once), swam in the pool, you get the point. When we left town and my parents arrived, they picked up with Char right where we left of. Oh, and the monster is named after her husband. He died long before we ever met Char, but I loved hearing about him. 

Anyway, at Char's place is where we surprised my mom. My siblings arrived a day earlier and had already surprised her but she never thought Porter and I would be there (remember Michele's fear of flying?). Showing up was the big part of the weekend, there was some partying, bbqing, and general fucking around, but that's not really important. Here's some pics:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Goals

1. Buy a house.

2. Get the monster to respond to basic instructions, such as: "Oh, for fucks sake!" and "Porter, NO!!"