Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Let the Royal Chronicles show that an extended journey is planned.
I will travel to Beaverton, Oregon (near Portland) to visit my sister (and brother-in-law and nephew).
I will be be gone for a little over two weeks.
Many pictures will be taken.
It is unlikely that any posts will be made to this blog while I am gone.
A full report (with pictures!) will be posted upon my return.

This means that the bathroom project will be on hold for this period.


The status of the bathroom project as of this evening is ......

The living room wall is completely patched and painted with white primer.
It will remain in this state until I repaint the living room sometime next year.
(This sounds worse than it looks. The walls are already a light beige so in the normally dim light the primer looks little different from the rest of the walls.)

The bathroom walls are completely patched and "finished".
There are a few small places where I am not pleased with my joint compound smoothing and will attempt to improve on the work done in those places.
(I did some "patching" last evening.)
In spite of the above, a coat of white primer was applied to all walls (Saturday) and tonight I applied a coat of the New Color (a light gold-brown called "Roasted Cashew".
It looks good to me.


The run last Saturday was another productive session.
I was a bit tired from my remodeling project and had not done any workouts in two weeks.
This, I feel, weaked me just a bit more than otherwise (work has been slow this past week) would be the case.
My time was between forty-one and forty-two minutes, so I was not as badly fatigued as I feared.
It is good to be running again.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Remodeling Progress

I hate remodeling.
I would rather tear something completely to the ground and build a completely new replacement than to have to piddle with the infinite little details that present themselves in a remodeling job.
So here I am remodeling my baffroom.
With all of its many little details that must be fixed before it can be completed.

Hidden behind my old tile was evil mold stains.

More tub nastiness.

Fixtures removed.

"The hole" in the living room - old tub still there.

"The hole" with old tub gone.
Mo pichas later.


(I know you both are really interested in this.)
The run last week was productive if a bit difficult.
The effort at work has been elevated and the results of such activity makes itself known when I run.
In addition, I was working almost every evening on my bathroom.
I was cutting sheet rock and smearing goop over the joints and holes.
The good news: is that I am expecting some diminished strength and results.
The bad news: I am not sure how much it will be.
The good news: I had a pretty good run.
The bad news: It could have been better.

It was cold (mid 40's) and I hate the cold.
So I have to be careful how I dress (a nuisance).
I must wear just exactly the correct type and number of layers or I will be uncomfortable during my journey.
Too much and I sweat like a piggy in the Mojave.
Too little and I freeze like a piggy in the freezer.
Fortunately, I got the layers right.
My time was a bit long of forty-one minutes but not bad considering my already taxed strength.
I was happy.


The thermometer on my back porch read 58 degrees at 5:50 this morning.
That is "hot" for December in Alabama.
Thus, dressing for this session was simple - shorts and a long-sleeved top.
Off I went and had a pretty decent time of it.

I have been fighting a cold all this week and I am in the last stages of it.
My nose was stuffed up, which inhibited my breathing somewhat.
My lungs also had some junk in them that rattled around a bit until I hacked it up halfway into mile one.
Plus, this has been another active week at work.
Spending most of each day bending over, reaching behind equipment, hooking up cables and arranging them in neat bundles and tying them together is tiring work.
Much of it is done by braille because you cannot always see what you are doing.

Given all of the above, I expected a less than ideal time on the running course.
To my surprise, I had a pretty good time of it.
So much so that I caught myself daydreaming in mile two and three.
I was a bit late getting started.
It was 6:07 at my first steps.

My left knee started squeaking toward the end of mile two.
Running Central duly took note of the complaint and monitored the situation for a few minutes.
The problem went away and daydreaming resumed.
Running Central went back to sleep.

I was tired toward the end.
So much so that accelerated breathing kicked in a few hundred feet from the finish line/crack in the parking lot.
But the Runner in me had asserted himself in those last few minutes and we were going to give the session our all.

Part of the reason for this is that today is/was the Rocket City Marathon.
As I was running my little course, 1,500 people (much better runners than I) were preparing to trot twenty-six miles.
I have never run a marathon.
I never felt the need.
I have run two half-marathons (13.2 miles each).
That was enough.
But those people were on my mind as I ran today.
The Runner in me felt that the least I could do was give my best effort to my little course.

And thus, I crossed my finish line/crack at 6:49.
Forty-two minutes.
Not bad for a tired old man.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The meter says the bird is done.

Here is some of the dinner the I feasted upon Thanksgiving day.
Mmmmm, yummy!

The living room wall before "the hole".

The b-room before

My poor tub with temporary plastic sheet to keep it from leaking.

The potty that couldn't flush anything bigger than a marble and the sink that you can't put anything on while you wash/shave/rinse.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


The run Saturday was a good one. (again!)
I managed to dress appropriately for the cold weather and that made for fewer distractions as I trotted along.
It was about 40 degrees.
I put three layers on top and that proved to be a bit much, but two of them were equipped with zippers so I was able to moderated my temperature.
I had to open both zippers before I reached the end of mile one and my mittens came off by the end of mile two.
But due to the wonders of polyester knit, the layers were capable of allowing my body heat to move through them and also allow the cold morning air to drift in.
The extra layer did cause me to sweat more than I would have liked, but because it was also breathable I did not leave a trail of wet.
All in all, I was comfortable.

Between my work schedule and my bathroom remodeling project, I have been busy and active all week.
This resulted in me feeling “tired” before I even took my first running step.
I was mildly concerned that I may not be able to complete my three mile course.
But that concern was without basis.
I did my distance in forty-two minutes – about nominal for my level of fatigue.

I had such a pleasant time that I actually spent most of mile two and the first half of mile three daydreaming as I ran.
As my mind wandered the distance passed beneath me.
And then, I was done.
On to other activities....


The bathroom remodeling project is coming along.
The tub (my biggest concern) is installed and working.
There is still some open space around the walls of the new tub.
I must complete putting reenforcements around the walls of the tub before I can begin finishing the sheet rock.
Each day I complete another detail in the room.
Much of it is support work that will be covered and never seen or appreciated.
But I will know it is there and taken care of.

As a result of my explorations in this project, I have confirmed a suspicion of mine.
There is no (as in, NONE) insulation in the walls of my little house.

Therefore, after this project, I plan to insulate all of my outside walls with polyurethane foam insulation after the first of the year.
I have made the required measurements and calculations and know how much stuff to buy to get the job done.
Polyurethane foam is not cheap but it is very good insulation.
It is rated at R-7 per inch.
Thus, my 3.5 inch walls will have an R value of 24.5 when completed – very good.
This improvement will reduce my heating and cooling bills by as much as twenty-five percent.

To fill my walls with this foam, I will have to drill a two-inch hole near the ceiling in every stud space.
This will be messy and require yet more dislocation of furniture in the house (my house is a mess now with tools and new fixtures scattered all over the house).
Right now, my new toilet is sitting in my kitchen, still in the boxes.
But after this project is completed, and the holes in the walls patched, I can repaint my house according to my OTHER plan.
I have wanted to repaint my rooms for over a year, but have refrained because of the two above projects waiting to be completed.

Later, I may add more insulation to my attic to further reduce my energy use.
Then comes the carport....

It is time to go workout.
I am not enthused but will be better for it when I am done.
Tonight is chest and back night – pushes and pulls.


April 15 th of 2013 was my last year to work for HR Block. I disliked the corporate pressure to make us call customers to try ...