kybearfuzz: (Grrrrrrr!!!!)
I was visiting family down in my hometown over the weekend, checking on my mom, who has been adjusting to life in the nursing home. She's had a few falls, most of which involve her forgetting that she's not supposed to get out of bed or out of her wheelchair without assistance. She seems to be doing okay. So after having lunch with her today, I did the near three-hour trek back home.

The roads were full of the crazy today. I'm not sure what is happening, but the roads seemed to be crowded and people were not paying attention. I had or saw three different encounters on the highway that nearly led to a wreck.

  • The first had a black Chevy truck driving in the far left-hand lane that was ending. And it ended while he was driving to the left of me. So he started drifting back toward me and there was a car to the right of me, so I was boxed in. I hit the breaks and the Chevy-driving @$$hole swerved into my lane. Freakin' moron.

  • The second had a truck pulling a off-road buggy on a trailer in the middle lane. He swerved into the left lane where there already a car. The trailer slammed into the car and the car moved to the left to get away. There was contact, lots of burning rubber, etc. Both cars kept moving. I was expecting them to pull off to the side of the road, but neither did. I was surprised. Both eventually pulled off into Berea, but at two separate exits.

  • The last was after I pulled off the interstate, which was crowding because of construction. I pulled off to take the back road home. A guy was pulling out of a post-office parking lot, turning left when he would need to cross two lanes of traffic to go the other way. It's not so far fetched, as he could pull into the turning median. The truck ahead of me allowed the guy to pull out, but a beige sedan was flying up the turning median to get to a turn lane at the light and plowed right into him. I saw it all and cringed. Both drivers got out and were walking around, so no permanent damage to them, but their night just got horrible.

You'd think that would be the end of it, but then I pulled down my street and found my meth-lab @$$hole neighbor had parked his car IN FRONT OF MY DRIVEWAY! I looked at it incredulously, like it wasn't real. Now my neighbor has pissed me off before, but this was just unbelievable. This wasn't a mistake. So I pulled through my yard to get my car in the drive, then walked out to look at it. My other neighbor was spraying off his driveway and looked over at me. I told him that the guy across the street had blocked my drive. He said he hadn't noticed, so it likely hasn't been there long.

I overhead one of his kids yell in the house, "Mark is yelling that you need to move your car."

After about five minutes of expecting this butthole to move it, I went over and banged on his door. He looked up at me through the door and yelled, "I'm coming!"

"Today would be nice," I replied. I went back inside my house and waited for him to move the car. He took his sweet time. Even when he sauntered to the car and got in it, he spent a moment or two before it started and moved. It was almost like he was prolonging this just a bit more to piss me off.

I should have just called the police and let them deal with him. He better not do this again, inconsiderate jerk.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
After 15 1/2 years, I paid off my tiny house in January. I was thrilled to do it, to pay such a large debt in a reasonably short amount of time. I did it mainly by almost never taking a vacation. With all of my work travel, both domestic and international, I never felt particularly deprived in doing this. Work travel also meant per diem, which added to my bank account for anything I didn't spend.

Now that the house is all mine, I am beginning to fix and change things in the house. One of the biggest is replacing the patio door. The seal on one side was broken when I bought the house, as evident by the cloudiness in the window. Every year, I had planned to do this, but then other things would creep in -- a new heating/air system, new windows, family emergencies where the money was needed elsewhere. So it was constantly pushed off until this past week.

Earlier in the week, I had the patio door measurement done, then over the weekend, I went to Home Depot to drool incessantly over the men in orange aprons... and to order the door. It should be here in a week or so. I'm looking forward to the positive change in the house.

There is still a lot left to do. I need to remove the wallpaper in the living room and paint it. I need to replace the toilet in the main bathroom, which I'm very tempted to try to do myself. I'd like to replace all three sinks in the house. I need to have the exterior of the house painted. Eventually, I will need a new roof.

The replacement of the patio door has got me itching to do these things. I'm not sure how people buy a property and do all these repairs and remodels, as I was cash poor when I bought mine in 2001. However, I'm looking forward to doing some of that now.
kybearfuzz: (Lion Paw Ouch)
So yesterday, I was in the middle of my chest and back workout. I had started a load of laundry, which is in the washroom next to my family room where the workouts occur. Between reps, I stepped in there to check on the load and heard the sound of trickling water.

I looked behind the machine to find water pooling. I lifted the lid to the washer and heard the sound of a stream on metal. Honestly, it sounded like my washing machine was taking a whiz. I let the machine finish the rinse cycle then turned off the water to the washing machine.

Back in 1996, I bought the Hotpoint washer and dryer from Best Buy. That was over 20 years ago and this is literally the first problem I've had with either one. While I'm elated at the longevity I've had with these units, I'm irritated that I have a new problem to deal with, especially with having just dealt with the flooding issue in the lower level. I checked on some Kenmore units at Kroger after dinner last night just in case and then posted on FB about my quandry, which pulled mixed responses from the peanut gallery.

Some encouraged me to get the unit fixed because they feel that new washing machines are not as reliable or work as well, while others commented that newer models are more efficient, saving electricity and water, and remarked that 20 years is an impressive amount of work to get out of my machines.

After much consideration, I decided to have it repaired if possible. I hate buying new things in desperation mode, so this will buy me some time. And a trip or two to a coin laundry won't kill me if I can't.
kybearfuzz: (Bill the Cat)
I bought my first lawn mower when I moved in my house in 2001. It's just like the one I grew up using, a 20" gas-powered mower. It's done a great job for all these years, but last week while I was mowing it seemed to be giving me a near-death rattle. The motor wasn't running as smoothly and it seemed to struggle quite a bit.

Since then, I've been looking online at different mowers. I have been wanting to try something different, so I've been spying the electric lawn mowers. Buying gas for the old mower is a pain, so I'd like to see about avoid it. Battery-powered ones have their ups and downs, mostly linked to battery life. Corded ones have their drawbacks as well, as many folks have told me about running over the electric cord.

On the way home from work today, I stopped at Home Depot to look at the furry eye candy... er, to comparison shop for mowers. They didn't have much in the way of electric mowers. The only model in stock was battery-powered and expensive. However, just next to it was something that caught my eye, something I'd not seen for a long time.

A manual reel mower.

The design is a bit fancier than the mowers I remember, but it principles are very much the same. I've never used one. My dad had one, but it literally sat outside in a corner of the yard, like a prop or a decorative item. The blades and wheels on it had long rusted in place, so it was completely non-functional.

So, on a lark, I bought one. It's far cheaper than the powered mowers and the online reviews are actually very positive. It's must quieter than powered models and, while it requires a bit more effort by me, it should be good for a cardio workout. For my 1/4 acre yard, which is 1/3 wooded, it may be an effective stop-gap while I continue a search for the electric mower. I put it together tonight after my chest/back workout.

I'm very eager to try it out tomorrow after work.
kybearfuzz: (Dahhling!)
It's taken almost a week to dry out my family room. I tried in vain to get the carpet padding to dry, but it was hopeless. And because the padding is some foam composite, it acted like a sponge and allowed the water to continue to expand to more carpet.

I took off from work early Tuesday and bought some new padding to replace it. After removing the old padding, I noticed that the concrete was still damp. I swept and cleaned the affected concrete then sanitized it with a hot water/bleach solution. With a new giant power fan, I cranked up the airflow and the concrete was dry again the next morning.

When I finally got home today after work, I put the new padding down, which had to be done in sections. I replaced the carpet and vacuumed the junk off it. It looks good, but I'm letting the fan take one more hit on it tonight. I'm not sure if the carpet is damp, or it's just cold.

Needless to say, it has been a royal pain in the butt. I look forward to putting the furniture back and trying to get my house back into a semblance of order. It really has just unnerved me to walk into my cluttered house and knowing I couldn't do anything to speed up this clearing the mess.
kybearfuzz: (Dahhling!)
Tyler the Roto-Rooter Cub showed up just after 1 PM. He looks like he's 20 years old, a short, stocky clean-shaven cubby-type. Super nice, he went through what he could do for my drain. Because of the age of my house, the drain is not "up to code" so they can't guarantee the work, but he could clean it out.

While his motorized snake was grinding its way through my drain pipe (wow, that sounded dirty), I walked around the side of my house and I literally could hear the blade grinding through the crap in the pipe. It was like a weird snapping, knocking noise, but I could hear it as it moved forward. I desperately wanted to know where that pipe let out.

At the back of my house, I found a pipe, but it never seemed to be the right drain based on what the front drain was like. I suspect it to be the drain at the back of my patio door.

Next to the drain, I could hear the knocking of the snake. With Tyler's help, we found the broken end of a second pipe, clogged with dirt and covered with years of debris. I had always wondered why there were stones lining this hilly area of my back yard, now I know it was to prevent erosion from the drains. I cleared the debris and scooped out more and more of the dirt surrounding the pipe. Tyler flushed the line and lots of water came through it. I think it seriously may have been the first time it's ever been cleaned out.

Now that it has been flushed out, I am hopeful that I'll not have any repeats of Saturday. Now I can concentrate on the carpets again, which are finally drying, I think.

Geez! What an experience... After Tyler got all his stuff packed up, he gave me the bill, which was less than half of what I expected, which made me very happy.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
My driveway slopes toward my house. At the bottom of the slope is a large drain to keep the rain from coming into the house. In the last 16 years of living here, it's clogged only a handful of times, letting the rain come into the garage, but never into the house. I've always been able to clear the drain before anything awful happened.

Today, I couldn't get it to happen and the rain actually came into the downstairs room. Ugh!

With a five-gallon bucket, I managed to scoop an untold number of buckets of water to out of the garage. My back will not be happy with me tomorrow morning, if the way it feels right now is any indication.

After the water level was down, I started dealing with the downstairs, moving a bookcase, a TV and stand, and a full video-rack out of the way so I could pull up the carpet. I pulled at least 25 gallons of water out of the carpet and padding with my shampooer. Now I'm just waiting for the padding to dry before I can put the carpet back down.

I've called Roto-Rooter to come and check the drain for clearing. It's something I should have done a long time ago. I dread to see the cost, but this sort of headache I can do without.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
First, big thanks to all the birthday wishes! I really appreciate them! :)

I spent a large chuck of the last couple of days being somewhat lazy, napping and the like. The temps have fallen into the single digits and it's not much fun going outside. However, a few things did get me out of the house.

  • Friday afternoon, I went out to see a matinee of "Passengers", the sci-fi thriller about two people who wake up on a long-distance startship to colonize a new world. They wake up about 90 years early, while everyone else is still in hibernation, with no way to undo it. While the movie has a fairly low rating on Rotten Tomatoes (around 31% as of this post), I actually enjoyed it. There were some seriously big plot holes, the sight of Chris Pratt's backside was worthwhile.

  • I got home from the movies to find that my garage door wouldn't open. This happens quite a bit when it gets really cold. The metal contracts and provides some resistance that makes the door halt. This was different. So, I went inside through the front door and into the garage to find the track had come loose from the wall and blocked the door from rising. It was too late to go to Home Depot, so the Bearmobile had to sit outside in the freezing cold for the night.

  • Last night, I hunkered down and watched the Blu-Ray of "The House That Screamed", a 1969 Spanish horror movie staring German actress Lilli Palmer. The movie was in English and definitely had that late 60's Hammer-esque feel to it. It's set at a girls boarding school around 1900, where the headmistress runs a strict place, flogging girls when they are overly defiant. The headmistress has a gestapo-like "head girl" platoon who also do some questionable activities, with a distinct Lesbian vibe. Amidst all of this, girls who try to run away from the school are killed by an unknown assailant. Certainly, an odd movie of sorts.

  • This morning I got up early, without showering, to head over to Home Depot. I bought the necessary screws and support joints, checked out some very handsome bearded fellers roaming the aisles, and left to grab lunch. After I got home, I had the garage door fixed in about 30 minutes, which felt pretty good. A lot of it is common sense really, when it comes to fixing things, but I won't deny that it makes me nervous for some reason.

  • I was tempted to hit another movie, but decided to just grab a nap instead. It's cold outside.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
This week, I'm burning through the rest of my 2016 "use or lose" vacation, as this is the last possible week to use it. I had no specific plan or agenda, but I have been filling up the time as best I can. Today has been an exercise in doing "adulty stuff," the things that truly makes me feel like being old.

  • My first stop on the morning adult errand trip was getting my property taxes paid on my car. There was a nice burly daddy bear in line ahead of me, so at least the view was good while I waited in line. The tax amount was less than I had expected so that was a nice surprise.

  • This is also the year I had to renew my driver's license. The license renewal had been moved to a different office, so I had to do a trip to get that done. As usual, the DMV camera worked its magic wonders and I looked terrible. I often wonder if they don't have "reverse Photoshop" that makes people look even worse. I'm stuck with this for a few years, barring my losing this thing.

  • The last errand of the day (so far, as it's only just after noon) was a visit to the bank. I told myself that I was going to do this in 2017 and it's as good a time as any. I requested a pay off amount for my mortgage. I pulled money out of my bank account and paid it off. On the cusp of being 44, I am now mortgage-free. It's a very odd feeling. I expected something magical, so deep meaning, but it felt like paying off a credit card almost. The bank rep congratulated me as I was leaving and it felt good. It is a good birthday gift to myself.

Napping... that's adulty, isn't it???
kybearfuzz: (Dreaming)
This past couple of weeks, I have been feeling drained. I'm blaming the seasonal changes for this one. I took a look in past entries to see if this happened last year or the year before, but I didn't make specific note of it, it seems.

In the middle of the day, I'm getting sleepy. By the time I make it home from work, I'm ready for a nap.

My running game is going well strangely, I've been rebuilding my stamina, making the distance without stopping in the middle like I have all summer. However, my lifting game has been hurting. I've been petering out before I complete the workout. I did that tonight actually, only getting halfway through my bicep workout before I gave up.

Hopefully, this is a transitional thing and I'll re-acclimate soon. I'm looking forward to the weekend already.
kybearfuzz: (Mario)
I spent most of the day sleeping. I'm not depressed or anything, but after a weekend full of softball, followed by an afternoon in Lexington, KY with my sister, and then another softball evening, I was just beat. I slept in, goofed around online for a couple of hours, went back to sleep for a couple of hours, then got the day started.

After an early dinner, I stopped by Home Depot as I was thinking of buying a pressure washer. I just wanted to look at them to see what they cost. I found a good deal on one, so I went ahead and bought it. My reason for getting it was to clean the exterior of the house, which desperately needs washing. One of the issues of living so close to the woods is that the green pollen, algae, or whatever clings to the house.

I'm sure I will feel incredibly manly blasting the house clean tomorrow. I suspect it will have many other uses, like cleaning the steps, the patio, anything requiring a good water blast. Heh...
kybearfuzz: (Lion Paw Ouch)
I took off yesterday because the installers put in my new heating-A/C system in my house. I was shocked they could get me done so quickly, especially when I'd only agreed to this system Monday morning.

$5,000I did get to sleep in, but without any heat in the house, it was a chilly morning. They got there at 8:30 AM. I put the cats in my bedroom and shut the door and the installers got to work. With them going in and out of the house, we just left the patio door and the garage open. The temperature of my house dropped into the 50's. I had nothing to do but sit around and watch movies.

After much cursing on their part (the builders of my house did some weird things to get the old system in), the installers had everything done around 3:30 PM. One asked if I wanted a humidifier added. I thought of the winters when I shock the crap out of myself and cats and said sure. So that added a few hundred more on the tab and they finished up around 5 PM, just in time for me to get ready for softball.

The first thing I did was kick the heat on, only to the upper 60's, but it feels great. While I'm $5,000 poorer, at least this is (hopefully) something I wont have to worry about for years and years, depending on how long I'm in this house.

Sadly, the guys were not hot, but were friendly. They can't all be Brad the A/C Bear.
kybearfuzz: (Default)
It was a busy weekend. On Friday night, I decided that my next project would be the repainting of my spare bedroom. [ profile] aceofspace was supposed to come up, but he wasn't feeling well so he postponed his drive back home a couple of days, so I thought I'd hurry and get it done. The first trick was taking down the wallpaper border the previous owner left up. That took an grueling five hours. Wallpaper is evil, from the devil himself. I swear she put that $#!+ up with crazy glue.

After a short night's sleep, I visited Home Depot for some Behr paint (naturally) and picked out a color called "Gold Buff." I wanted something warm and bright. It turned out a lot bolder than I thought but it's growing on me. What surprises me how it seems to change color so drastically in different light.

My Spare Bedroom My Spare Bedroom
My Spare Bedroom My Spare Bedroom
Various Views and Light

After a scrubbing shower to remove the paint from me, I went to see Inception and then met the Cincinnati Movie Bears for dinner. The movie was fantastic! Very intricate and interesting, but still understandable. I loved the special effects. I'm still not a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, not that he's not a great actor, but Ellen Page is definitely up-and-coming.

Post weekend was hanging with [ profile] aceofspace for an evening, followed by being lazy for a day...
kybearfuzz: (Plumber Mark)
Blowing the Smoke...As a homeowner, I am always looking at my house and the little projects that need to be done. I've never generated a list of things to work on as I thought it would depress me, but things that need attention often make themselves known. The bathroom exhaust fan became the big one when the noise it would make was awful. However, this repair would involve playing with electricity, which is not my favorite activity.

Saturday, I was feeling my oats and decided today was the day to tackle the job. After a visit to Home Depot where I kept being distracted by blue collar daddy bear types, I came home with the necessary tools and the replacement fan. My house was built in the 1970's and the fan model was small and I'm pretty sure unavailable. So I got the smallest size I could find. I figured out which breaker switch shut of the power to the bathroom, checked for no current, and started to work.

After spending the next hour sweating and cursing in prying the old fan housing from the ceiling (I only drew blood once), I got my new little handsaw out and cut the hole to fit the new fan. Luckily the wiring part was fairly simple as was connecting the old exhaust hose. I hammered the new housing in place, connected the new fan, and flipped the power back on. The moment of truth came when I flipped the switch and the sweet sound and feel of a working fan came about. It really does feel good to have that handyman moment when things work out, especially when the house doesn't catch fire.

I looked in the mirror and I looked like I'd been to war. Covered in drywall dust and fluffs of fallen insulation, I thought I needed a picture for posterity. I love that drill, one of the best purchases I've ever made. So the bathroom is now all clean again and I'm a happy camper.
kybearfuzz: (Am Most Wanted March 2009)
  • Soooo good to be home! My own bed for sleeping... nothing like it.
  • Murphy and Maggie are fine and are as enthusiastic as cats can be in seeing me again. Or they could just want treats. [catspeak] "Look, the butler is back!" [/catspeak]
  • Lunch at Qdoba with Brian ([ profile] cincycub) on Saturday. I apparently missed an incredible 80's concert with the CMC. Darn...
  • Saturday afternoon movie was The Haunting in Connecticut. Decent scary flick and I've always had a soft spot for Virginia Madsen. I've seen the documentary version on "A Haunting" on the Discovery Channel and they made quite a few changes toward the end when I compared the two. Not sure I'd buy it, but it makes for a good rental.
  • Finally saw the last two episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race. I'm happy that the person I wanted to win did win. The reunion show bitchfest was even better, pure gold camp!
  • Late Saturday evening movie was Monsters vs Aliens in 3D. Six people at the 11:30 PM showing and the couple with the talking kid had to sit next to me. I'm cursed. The movie was very entertaining, but it seems heavy on special effects and a bit short on plot. It's a cartoon and a fun one to watch. B.O.B. as played by Seth Rogen was by far my favorite character. I'll probably buy it. Definitely good in 3D.
  • Wow.. I guess I didn't get a lot of rest this weekend like I planned...
  • I haven't done a lot of drawing the last two weeks, so here are some unposted toons from my sketchbook(s) and a new superhero I did last night. All work safe and behind the cut:

Three toons -- cut for the uninterested )

Happy Monday... :)
kybearfuzz: (Opus Flying)
It took nearly sixteen hours to get here, including nine hours of flying and the rest waiting in airports. Needless to say, I am completely exhausted as I got very little sleep on the nearly packed flight from London Heathrow to Chicago.

Still, it was very exciting to get back into my house, which thankfully was still standing and no where near as messy as I remember it. I will be posting pics soon, but I have two discs to go through (nearly 240 pictures) from the last two weeks. I hope to have the best on tomorrow as I'm taking it off from work.

I pity any telemarketer or coworker who dares call me in the morning...
kybearfuzz: (Adventurous)
First, big birthday hugs and wishes to [ profile] bigsabu and [ profile] njbearcub1! I wonder if your moms knew that their baby boys would grow up to be such handsome, furry men :)

I'm at the Heathrow airport waiting on my flight. I fly into Chicago and then to Cincinnati. If all goes timely, I should be at my front door by 4:30 PM or so. I can't wait.

Unfortunately, I am going to miss seeing[ profile] bleuvalentines and [ profile] davemassive due to amazing scheduling incidents. First, Dave's trip to the UK was canceled and I was disappointed, then my work ended early so I changed my flight to today, then Dave's trip was reinstated and I couldn't change my flight back. Sigh.. it just wasn't meant to be. I'm sure they'll be other opportunities though :)

I didn't go to bed last night, I stayed up so I'd sleep on the plane and try to get my sleep schedule back to something normal for my time zone. My ride here was pretty exciting though. My taxi driver was this burly English bloke, very hot in a blue-collar way -- wide shoulders, rugged good looks, and that accent... sigh.. I should have taken his picture. While waiting here at the airport, I dished out the bucks to get the wireless internet here, about 5 GBP for an hour, which is steep, but it'll help pass the time. And it's not blocked, so I can finally read up on what you guys have been posted in my journal and your own, thank goodness. I don't have time to comment on them, but I'll have more time when I get home.

Well, t-minus 55 minutes and counting before home.... I'll post a final trip summary, with pictures, when I get home and can relax.


kybearfuzz: (Default)

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