Monday, December 29, 2008
I take the glucosamine-chondroitin and also a calcium supplement whenever I can remember. The Emergen-C is good also, we now have four boxes, luckily each is a new flavor. The book was fairly good. I finished it this morning.
The snow is nearly all melted with all the rain we're having. I'm still enjoying my time off, but each day I'm puttering around more looking for things to do.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
He ripped the bandage off, looked at the incision, and essentially said "looks great, see you in 6 weeks." . . . I then went through my written list of questions.
I don't have to wear the foam neck brace anymore. I can move my neck in the full range. I was getting tired of the Frankenstein pose. Yes I do have a permanent o-ring shaped artificial disc. It is not absorbable like some. The center is where the bone graft is and will eventually be solid bone from one vertebrae to the other (C6-C7). The front is held together with a titanium plate and screws. The titanium does not preclude having an MRI in the future. I can go back to work with restrictions. I'm not to lift over 35 lbs, and not to do repetitive or extended duties which cause discomfort. He did remove the bone spurs. He also enlarged the foramen on both the trouble side, left, and the right side, so the pain Im having on the right is simply what he's calling "reffered pain". I can get renewals or any other pain med prescription I'd like, just call. He feels the amount of pain I'm having is normal.
I still have a fair amount of pain. In the neck, shoulders, and on the right in the shoulder blade and outer arm areas. It's the worst when I wake up and begin moving, after a night of the pain meds wearing off. I take vicodin or percocet, prilosec in the morning, sleeping pills at night sometimes, and sometimes the muscle-relaxant also.
I've taken off the foam coller and the bandage. Also the steri-strips have come off. There's still a lump under the incision area, about the size of a small baby-carrot. The bruising is beginning to diminish. I've started to get about and do things again. I've been shoveling snow (slowly) yesterday and today for the fun and excercise.
In 6 weeks I have another appointment and will get an x-ray at that time. I have next week off from work still and am enjoying all the time off. Today I have to pay bills and balance the accounts and see where we stand again (I've been ignoring that detail the last 3 or 4 weeks).
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I spend my days pretty much taking it easy with at least one nap if not two. I've gotten out today and yesterday for a short walk in the snow with Beth and the dogs. Today I slipped on one foot and caught myself. No fall but a slight jolt up the spine. A good reminder that although my surgery was done short-stay/out-patient it still was major surgery by any other description.
If I go to bed early and sleep in, I wake up with considerable pain when moving. Like someone really beat me up good. The long time in bed means the pain meds have worn off. Another reminder that I've had major surgery.
With the kitchen remodel having the place torn up we have not done any Christmas decorating at all. I wrapped the couple of presents for Beth that I bought before surgery. It's short of what I would usually get her but haven't had the time or opportunity. With the surgery and the snow storm we've been home-bound and getting cabin fever.
Tomorrow we'll spend the day at her mothers as usual. We've got the chains on the 4 wheel drive and should have no problems getting there and back.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I'm doing better at sleeping. The turning from back to side is easier as the neck seems to gain strength and I'm less cautious about moving about. I spent all day Thursday in my pajamas. A few hours up and then back to bed. Tuesday and Wednesday were similar but with less frequency. Thursday I think I must have gone back to bed four times.
When I looked at the incision yesterday it actually looked worse. The bruising is turning lovely shades of purple and yellow.
I would love to go for a walk and get the blood moving and stretch a bit, but the chances of slipping on the ice and wrecking havoc on recent spinal work is too much.
I have my first follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon next Friday, the day after Christmas.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
ACDF stands for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion. "Anterior" means working on the backbone from the front of the patient. The spinal cord is behind the backbone and discs and so would be in the way working from the back. Also the back part of the vertebrae is where all the tendons and muscles attach. The surgeon said the disc was not just bulging but had ruptured. I still can't recall any traumatic event that caused it, just little things over time.
The incision. No stitches with thread nowadays, these are called "steri-strips", kinda duct tape for surgeons. I don't know why I was expecting the incision to be vertical. I haven't asked the surgeon if muscles were cut or not. When lying down I'm so cautious that I'm very paranoid about lifting my head. I usually place a hand behind my head for support to get up or turn from my side to back.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The pain med narcotics have a side effect of constipation, that situation feels better this morning but is not completely unblocked or gone.
The irritable/painful bowels was only a brief flair up and was healed by sunday morning.
The acid reflux / stomach ulcer flair up of late sunday and monday is better this morning.
The back situation has changed over the last week and a half. I no longer have the extremely painful muscle spasm/knots, but still have some minor pains. The neurosurgeon prescribed Norco as a pain med. Norco is a version of vicodin, so this is a step down from the percocet I was taking, but since the muscle knots are mostly gone it's enough. Whether the decrease is due to some recovery of the bulging disc or that the nerve damage is going beyond that I can't say. I've had an increase is muscle tremor in the arms.
I had Flu like symptoms most of the weekend. Periods of clammy sweatings and episodes of teeth chattering, body shaking chills. Whether it was the flu or nerve related I don't know. This morning I've only had very minor signs of these.
Considering everything, I actually feel pretty good this morning. If I can actually get something accomplished at work I would feel really good.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
On a positive note, the back and shoulder are actually feeling fairly reasonable. The MRI doesn't lie and I'll still go through with the surgery. I've been using a tempurpedic neck-roll pillow I had in the closet. A few weeks ago it actually brought on more pain, but now it seems to be helping.
I was taking Prilosec (acid reducer for my now cured ulcer), Percocet (narcotic pain killer, a step above vicodin) and occasional Unisom (sleeping pill because narcotics lead to insomnia). I was also taking the unisom to help with my anxiety level of laying in bed thinking the worst. I still take the prilosec because all the drugs along with the pain and anxiety can be harsh on the tummy.
Yesterday Beth went to Freds pharmacy to get them, she picked up a percocet renewal (which I'll keep in reserve), the Norco, and Lunesta. The Zanaflex had to be ordered. Anyway, she got these and paid for them and had them home before I found out what the Lunesta costs. If I had known the price I would have told her to skip that one, after all it's just a sleeping pill. One script of Lunesta is $247 ! The others have generic counterparts and are reasonably priced, though I've yet to see the cost of the zanaflex.
Friday, December 5, 2008
The surgery will remove the bulging disc in the base of my neck, trim away the growth of bone spurs that is also present and then fuse the two vertebrae together with an artificial disc and a metal plate with screws. Sounds fun eh?
At HP I have the full week of Christmas and the week of New Years off which will provide a nice recovery time without missing scheduled work days. I may miss a few days depending on when in the next 2 weeks I go in for surgery. It's bad enough not having insurance, but to be risking my position by taking too much time off.
The surgeon is cutting his fee in half for a cash patient. Everything on his side will be about $5000. However this doesn't include the "facilities charges", which is everything else other than the surgeon. The surgery room, nurse, anesthetist, etc., I can only guess at. I have two options for where to have it done; at the hospital with an overnight stay, or at the East Portland Surgical Center as an out-patient (3 hours in and out).
Beth's mom has had this done three times (different vertebrae). I'll start saving for the next time, and praying there won't one. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The real problem is that far too many people around the world have become squeamish about killing the bad guys. Liberals are cowards at their core, and rather than simply acknowledge this and go on about their pathetic lives, they have to convince everyone else that their's is the correct path, and it's not really cowardice, it is "intellectualism", or civilized behavior, or some such nonsense. It is a very seductive argument, because who would not want to live in peace and leave the hard choices to others? In the mean time, the criminals, the psychotics, the terrorists, the barbarians, grow stronger and more plentiful.
Monday, December 1, 2008
(photo is not of India's police, but a historical British "Bobby".)
Bapu Thombre, assistant commissioner with the Mumbai railway police, said the police were armed mainly with batons or World War I-era rifles and spread out across the station. snipWhat strikes me about this story is not that there's a country in this world with an inadequate and outdated police force, but that the same country has nuclear weapons.
As the siege at dragged on, local police improperly strapped on ill-fitting bulletproof vests. Few had two-way radios to communicate. snip
But the National Security Guards, which largely devotes its resources to protecting top officials, is based outside of New Delhi and it took the commandos nearly 10 hours to reach the scene. snip
Even the commandos lacked the proper equipment, including night vision goggles and thermal sensors that would have allowed them to locate the hostages and gunmen inside the buildings, Sahni said.
Friday, November 28, 2008
I suppose I could speculate what he means by bony changes, are we talking breaks?, degenerated bone?, just severe mis-alignment? I can't assume this means surgery. Oh well, we'll find out this next week.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
You might as well, there's nothing to see. You lay on the little table and they put the receiver on your chest and they slide you into the tunnel of the big donut. There you see a stunning view of cheap white plastic with a blue stripe painted down the middle. After 15 seconds of this you close your eyes and think of something else.
The surprising thing about MRI's is the noise they make. You would think that something that is purely electronic (I assume) would be a bunch of quiet wires with electricity flowing through them. No . . . the first thing the technician does is hand you a pair of ear plugs to squish into your ears. After a few minutes you wish you had opted for the stereo headphones in addition. Remember back when we were kids and we played with electric buzzers. The type we'd wire up to a lantern battery and a cheap switch and pretend we were learning Morse code. They were a couple inches square and made a good buzzzz buzzzz sound. Take one of those and make it about a foot square and 30 pounds, that's what an MRI is like. But not all the same sound. First they buzz low and short bursts then higher and longer, then off and on, then they stop for a while. I kind of figured it would turn on, buzz me from top to bottom and then turn off and be done. Nope, it goes through 10 or 12 different sequences of different rhythms of sounds. I also had no sensation of being moved in or out. My elbows were resting on the inside of the donut and other then the first slide in I felt no movement of the table.
My doctor had guessed that an MRI could cost around $2000. That would be for one that included other options, drugs, and what not. A simple neck scan is $1100, and for a self-pay they cut the rate to their lowest charge, which is equal to their Medicare charge, and we paid a mere $545. After thinking of $2000 for the last month of more we sighed a sigh of relief and gladly earned some Fred-Meyer credit card points.
Report to come later. Perhaps Wednesday.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My back machine is great for about mid chest down. I've had it for years and it's worked for the other spots in my back. As good or better than a chiropractor. Not working for the problem spot I've currently have.
Inflatable neck traction. This is fairly comfortable. You can watch tv while you play with it. Downsides are it presses on your collar bones and makes them sore and it doesn't get far enough down the neck to hit the spot that's bothering me.
I currently have this set up in my office, but I wouldn't want to use this for hours of tv watching anyway. I do about 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Downsides; to open the joint bothering you it pulls at all the joints in the spine. This makes the tendons and joints sore. (maybe I should use a little less weight). Other major downside is the main strap is pulling your jaw up and clenching your teeth together. I definitely recommend an athletic mouth guard to cushion the teeth.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Today all this is done at the manufactures. Today your grocery store pharmacy does . . . what? . . . I'll tell you, they count pills out of big bottles and put them in small bottles. They type your doctor's instructions onto little stickers and stick them on the small bottles. Drug interaction and consultation information is spit out by the computer behind the counter.
All this could be performed by a certified tech with a three month course in how to read drug names and decipher dose instructions from the doctor's. So why are we still paying for Bachelor degree educated people? Does it take a degree to count? 1 . . .2 . . . 3 . . .
I dropped off a prescription at the counter for 30 pills of a generic common pain killer . . . "Oh, that'll be ready in an hour."
1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . .
I had thought that Democrats were for a progressive tax rate and for taxing the rich. Here we have a TAX increase (it's not a "fee" people . . .) that is straight across the board. As a percentage of income it's drastically non-progressive. Oregon's title and registration fees are not based on vehicle value as some other states.
Just our governors way of "stickin' it to da man", the working man that is.
Monday, November 10, 2008
May not happen.
There's an engineer here who has been assuming that when his technician leaves that I'll be the one to help with his projects. He's even spoken with the manager about it. According to him I'm not to be laid off. I've never approached the manager (none of us Techs have). He's not an approachable person and there is no answer to "how secure is my job?" anyway, so none of us have bothered to try to find out. We just come in each week and wait for the axe on Friday. Such is the life of a contract worker in hard times.
I had assumed I was being laid off because my "contract end date" in the online employee phonebook was changed from 2 years from my hire date to the end of November. Other Techs have seen this and got it. The engineer says this must have been a mistake in my case and says it'll be changed.
I've made as much in this 6-1/2 months as I made all last year (though Beth is without her corporate job now). I was ready for some vacation.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
removal of cabinet hardware and doors
demolition of cabinets
trailer of wood to recycle center
demolition of lathe and plaster of walls
trailer of lathe to recycle center
first meetings with cabinet maker
demolition of first layer of flooring and subfloor particle board
trailer of plaster to dump
electrical plugs and switches installed or relocated
insulation of exterior walls
repair of window sills to make weather tight.
hanging of sheetrock over lathe and plaster ceiling
hanging of sheetrock on walls
taping and finishing of sheetrock (for the most part)
Things to do next:
build two soffits in main room of kitchen
provide final measurements and approvals to cabinet maker, get cabinet building going.
sheetrock, tape and finish soffits and do final details of plastering.
texture all sheetrock
paint all sheetrock with primer
remove last of old flooring
install new 1/4" plywood subfloor (varnished for temporary use as floor)
And all the rest:
cabinets, appliances, countertops, flooring, light fixtures.
The list is so long with all the details. It makes it seem as though we've just gotten started. I try to keep in mind I'm doing this part-time on weekends with plenty of delays due to current back problems.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Dad came in Wednesday and left about 3:3o today. The place is looking great! 95% of the taping and mudding is done. The archways still need a final coat of plaster, mainly because they're an area that is a fairly thick fill. I still have yet to build the soffits which will also have sheetrock on their faces, so I can't say we're finished sheetrocking yet. But having the place taped just gives the walls that completed look, like you're on the downhill stretch of getting things done.
Of course, there's still a looooonnnnnng ways to go, so stay tuned and I'll keep blogging away.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Doctor's visit and both prescriptions $125 on the barrel head. A lot cheaper than insurance premiums so far. Though if I end up needing an MRI and surgery we're talking a couple of years worth of premiums.
1912 democrat (Woodrow Wilson over incumbent Taft)
1932 democrat (Franklin Roosevelt over incumbent Hoover)
1936 democrat (Roosevelt)
1940 democrat (Roosevelt)
1944 democrat (Roosevelt)
1964 democrat (L.B.J. over Barry Goldwater)
1988 democrat (Dukakis over Bush Sr.)
1992 democrat (Clinton over Bush Sr.)
1996 democrat (Clinton over Bob Dole)
2000 democrat (Gore over Bush Jr.)
2004 democrat (Kerry over Bush Jr.)
First let me say I'm not as accomplished a history reader as Gordon or Ron. I'm more the Joe six pack, common sense, gut reaction sort of guy.
Wilson over Taft in 1912 I'm not familiar with.
Roosevelt in 1932 was obviously a pendulum swing from the crash of wall street 1929. Roosevelt remained in office for three reasons. One: the great depression continued, some say longer than it would have without government interference. Two: Roosevelt had an incredible political machine behind him. Three: He ignored the founding father's value of limiting presidents to two terms. It later had to be added to the Constitution to prevent a similar long presidency from ever occurring again.
1964: Barry Goldwater . . .
Since 1988: One: the children of hippies come of age to vote. Two: hippies are now middle age and have come into positions of power (school boards, teachers, college professors, elected officials). Three: the affluence gained since the second world war reaches a peak with a spurt from the Reagan years. Lower class people who suddenly find themselves well-to-do can't handle it and feel guilty about having a good life while somewhere in the world there are poor people. (For an example of sudden-wealth guilt just look at Hollywood actors turned activists).
Since 1988 alternative analysis: Oregonians don't like the name Bush (or Texans?), and even I didn't really want to vote for Bob Dole.
One: Stop feeling guilty for having a good standard of living that you yourself worked for. It's completely natural for any organism to strive to better its own predicament. Two: The sooner the acid dropping, kum-ba-yah, liberal, socialist hippies die the better.
Monday, November 3, 2008
For those who don't know I have a pinched nerve or herniated disc or something in my back just below the base of the neck (C7 or maybe T1). It's causing me intense pain in my back, my left shoulder and left arm. It's also causing some tingling and numbness in my arm off and on. It's been going on for about 10 weeks now. At times it's gotten better but came back last thursday pretty bad and doing what sheetrock I did this weekend was all I could stand. I see my doctor this afternoon. I did a few sessions of massage/chiropractor which may have helped but wasn't a fix. I had a similar episode of this 2 years ago. It was less intense then and my doc just had me do physical therapy.
Anyway, back to the kitchen (bad pun?). I had a call from Dad and he wants to come up and help with the finishing of the sheetrock. He'll be here Wednesday. I think I may finish what I have, build the soffits later and sheetrock and finish them then. The texturing I'm still deciding on. Do I hire a pro for a 1-1/2 hour job, do I get Mike Sparrow to come do it, or do I buy or borrow the sprayer tool and shoot it myself?
What looks bad is while I sit and moan in intense pain, my 79 year old father will be up on scafolding finishing sheetrock.
What Obama is missing is that it wouldn't take a large number of people rebelling to drastically sink the tax revenue. What would happen if these people decided to simply take a year off. If they're so wealthy as Obama thinks they are, they could certainly afford to do so. What would happen if the upper middle class and the upper classes were to decide to limit their lifestyles and suffer some inconveniences in order to put the maximum amount possible into tax-exempt accounts. What if corporations were to increase their matching contributions to 401k's, not only reducing their own taxable profit, but further increasing the tax sheltering their employees do.
With all the deficit spending the feds do they probably wouldn't immediately cut a single program in response to even a dramatic downfall in revenue. As a matter of fact the response of Democrat/Socialists would be to simply raise taxes. (That's exactly what Oregon's Multnomah county did the last time). It may not change anything immediately but it would sure send a visible and I think powerful signal.
Instead of paying the tax on the Tea, we may just dump it in the harbor and see what Obama can do with it then.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I want to know: why his internet fund raising dropped all checks and safe-guards. He claims to be checking on donation validity afterward. How? Wouldn't it have been easier to let the credit card computer systems automatically check them in the first place? I and many others can only assume he is not only receiving illegal contributions from within the U.S. but also from overseas. Is he nothing more than a "Manchurian Candidate"? (cross out Manchurian insert any conspiracy).
Friday, October 31, 2008
Today I'm reading political articles and saw this picture of The One. Not being young, hip, or cool I found his hand gesture peculiar. Luckily Wiki has the answers.
Of course, if I were Italian I'd be offended.
Her theory is this;
Obama wins election day.
Obama is afterward proven unqualified to be President.
The electoral college is forced to chose Hillary as president based on: 1) a democrat win on election day, 2) Hillary's second place posting in the primary, and 3) Hillary having actually won the popular vote count of the primary. Biden is made Vice-President.
The House and Senate are forced to ratify it.
Riots by Obama supporters lead to serious general civil unrest.
Martial law is implemented.
The National Guard is not enough, the Military is called in.
The U.N. and Mexican and Canandian troops come in for assistance.
After a year of martial law . . . and so ends chapter one.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here are some questions to the first of three Obama supporters:
QUESTION: "Obama or McCain?" ANSWER: "Obama." QUESTION: "Now what don't you like about McCain?" ANSWER: "McCain seems to not know what he is doing right now." QUESTION: "Are you more for Obama because he is pro-life or because he thinks our troops should stay in Iraq and finish this war?" ANSER: "I think it's because ... finish the war." QUESTION: "How about as far as him being pro-life? Do you support him in that cause?" ANSWER: "Yeah, I do..." QUESTION: "And if he wins, do you have any problem with Sarah Palin being his V.P.?" ANSWER: "No, I wouldn't. Not at all."
Part of the next interview: QUESTION: "Obama or McCain?" ANSWER: "Obama." QUESTION: "Obama says he is anti-stem cell research. How do you feel about that?" ANSWER: "I wouldn't do that either. I am anti-stem cell research." QUESTION: "If Obama wins do you mind Sarah Palin as V.P." ANSWER: No... No, I don't."
And finally, part of the last interview. After saying that she is an Obama supporter: "Do you support Obama more because he is pro-life, or because he says our troops should stay in Iraq?" ANSWER: "I guess both." QUESTION: "And if Obama wins, do you have any trouble with Sarah Palin being his V.P.?" ANSWER: "Nope." QUESTION: "Do you think she will do a good job?" ANSWER: "Yes." QUESTION: "Are you glad he asked her to be V.P.?" ANSWER: "Yes."
I have no trouble with Sarah Palin being V.P. either.
It makes me think of how much of our National Guard is overseas. I think we're going to need them over here. . .
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Being a little brighter than Chris in basic math I could only shake my head. What sort of loan terms does Chris' $600 payment actually fit? Here's the numbers:
If the interest rate is 4-1/2 percent or higher Chris can pay off his student loan in. . . well, never. $600 is interest only at this point, he could never pay off his loan.
At 4.0 percent he'd be paying for 55 years. Chris is how old?
3.5 % = 42 years (longer than any home mortgage).
3.0% = 36 years
2.5% = 32 years
Even at 1.0% interest Chris will have to spend 25 years paying off his college kegger days.
Chris by the way has that most lucrative of degrees. . . a Masters in Music.
He is of course a liberal voting for the Messiah.
I occasionally have a fleeting idea, which I immediately dismiss upon further thinking, that those who pay no taxes have no right to vote. As a conservative I strongly believe in democracy and one person one vote. It should be noted however that we of the United States do discriminate for voting rights. Those under 18 years old are not allowed to vote, and serious (lawless) criminals are not allowed to vote. In addition non-citizens are not allowed to vote in our elections.
My amazement at my friend is; how a liberal who believes in socialism and the concept of the equality of all people in all things finds it just as easy to justify the discrimination of voting rights based on intelligence.
I wonder if his version of intelligence also includes agreement with his political and economic ideals and whether those that believe in capitalism and the belief that the only way for a nation to truly have a future is for people to have personal responsibility and support themselves will be found as having faulty sub-standard intelligence. Freedom minded Republicans . . . prepare to be hauled away to re-education camps to have your intelligence raised to a minimal socialist acceptable level.
"net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for homes and buildings by 2030".
The left of course don't bother to explain how they propose to do this.
Well let's see. . . if the home were to use only electricity and you could somehow claim that all the electricity came from zero gas emission production methods then I suppose that might be a zero greenhouse gas emission home.
But what about . . . the hundreds of thousands of homes that use natural-gas for heating, or natural gas for cooking, or wood-stove owners, or people who occasionally have a fire in their fireplace or let's nit-pick it down to everyone who lights a candle. What about these homes? The only way for them to be "Net" zero is to produce energy. Not just conserve energy or use less or buy their energy from zero-emission sources, but to actually produce energy.
All new homes which choose natural gas will be mandated to also install and operate solar or wind energy production equipment. Also, this energy can not be used within the home that generates it. The amount of energy of the natural gas going into the property must be equaled by an equal amount of energy going off the property in order to come to a mathematical Net-Zero.
The natural gas and propane industry is going to have a cow . . .
Monday, October 27, 2008
Well the badge opened the door this morning so I guess I'm employed for another week. I really must keep some motivation to actually do some work. After all they are still paying me even with the impending cloud of doom hanging and I really need to be laid-off not fired.
I've looked into what unemployment benefits would be and balanced out the accounts this weekend to get an idea of where things stand. It's not as gloomy as I first imagined. We should be fine for a number of months, just hope the economy is not as blasted to heck by this liberal mortgage mess as it sometimes appears.
Read a good one this morning; If Barack The Messiah is elected and manages to stay in office for the whole of one term, it will be the longest he's held a steady job.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Here is a picture of the north wall being shimmed out to be flush with the stove pipe. I put another full sheet of plywood above the one in the picture. This will give mounting for the cabinets that go here.
Here's the same sheetrocked wall. You can just see the stove pipe underneath the clock.
The sheetrock lifter is used for more than just the ceiling.
Here's the original framing of the breakfast nook arch. This was covered with short pieces of lathe and plastered.
Here I've replaced the lathe with 1/4" plywood bent into place.
The sheetrocked breakfast nook.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Also on Thursday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a private watchdog group in Washington, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Palin, the Republican National Committee and several political operatives alleging that the purchase of clothing for Palin and her family violates Federal Election Campaign Act.
The law prohibits a candidate for federal office from converting campaign funds to personal use.
Does it bother you that "Federal Election Campaign Act Law" just coincidentally has an acronym of "FECAL".
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
We're already committed to the cabinets by contract so my thought is to continue the remodel with the exception of three major items which we've yet to purchase. These will be countertops, flooring, and sink (oh, and also light fixtures). I will go ahead and spend some minor money to get the rest of the project put together, things like; sheetrock finishing and painting, subfloor plywood, outlets and switches.
As a temporary finish I will do countertops out of melanime particle board, use our existing sink/faucet, and the ever so chic bare-bulb light fixtures. The floors will remain the new 1/4" plywood subfloor. I might paint it just to be able to wipe up the dog mud and still be able to glue flooring effectively when we do get to it.
Makes me think longingly of just being the village sandwich-maker.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Being contract workers we are not privy to any meetings or company info. We don't get two weeks notice or even a chance to tell our friends we won't be back. One of the funny aspects of this is that these people's desks/cubes are left just as they were, as if they simply went home for the day. The desks are piles of papers. Equipment is left in mid-experiment.
Yesterday Roger, across the aisle from me, didn't show up. We heard he'd been layed off. His cube looks completely untouched. The only indication is his white-board where he's crossed out his name and wrote a note:
"So long and thanks for all the fish! R.M."
Monday, October 13, 2008
This weekend I finished some minor details but no sheet-rocking. I used up the sheetrock we had last weekend and haven't made the trip to the lumberyard with the trailer for more. Finished out the insulation of the exterior walls. Also finished the shimming of the wall with the chimney. The chimney has a 8" clay pipe sticking out of it for the original wood stove. Instead of trying to tear it out and re-mortar the brickwork I'm letting it be and extending the studs out to the point where the sheetrock will be flush with it and make for a flat surface. This will require 1-1/4" of material. I've shimmed the studs with 1/4 plywood then covered most of the wall with 1/2" plywood. Following this with 1/2" sheetrock will do it. The sheetrock will still have a hole cut in it for the pipe, but will fill in flush with joint compound. The 1/2" plywood will give something for the pantry cabinets to mount into without concern for where studs or the chimney are located.
The other work this weekend was scraping the exterior window sills. The paint on these is absolutely cracked and peeling. The wood is also cracked somewhat on 2 of the 3 and the third is not only severly cracked but has some rot. As Greg would say "where do you stop?". I not going to do a This-Old-House. I scrapped and sanded, then jammed nearly a full tube of caulk into all the cracks and joints, then painted with a good primer. The dry-rot area I filled with some wood-filler and then caulk. It's a pretty hokey repair, but I'm going for mostly-water-tight not structural soundness. I just had to draw the line somewhere. Shhhh... don't tell dad.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
We're probably not voting for McCain or Obama, but rather Palin or Biden. Why? because regardless of who wins neither will probably serve out a complete term. One by natural causes and the other by un-natural cause (in a nation of 330 million there's probably at least one nut job who'll get pushed over his limit).
I'm voting for Palin myself and hoping McCain can hold off the heart attack for 2 years to allow Palin to run for two more terms.
Barack ---- Hussein ---- Osama,
What were Democrats thinking? I realize it's just a name, just words, but really, in a game of popularity like politics the right look, the right sound, the right mannerisms make a lot of difference to voter's who don't have time or inclination to read up on issues. I mean think of what would be said if the Republicans had nominated a man named "William Adolph Bushe".
When the primaries started and the field was full of possibilities on both sides there were three people I seriously thought had no chance. 1) Hillary; in my opinion nobody would want to see Bill Clinton back in the White House in any way, shape, or role. To see him chasing interns in our nation's capitol again? I just couldn't see it. 2) McCain; he's already ran twice and didn't make it. Did Republicans really want to put forth a two time loser. . . again? 3) and finally Obama; it just hasn't been that long ago, and we're still fighting a war. I just couldn't see a name familiarity like Obama/Osama making it in American politics at this time. The three I thought had no chance made it to the top.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
When we took down the lathe and plaster from the walls (ceilings were left as is) we seperated the wood lathe from the plaster. The wood was taken to a recycle yard. The plaster was piled in the driveway. Beth then shoveled it into the trailer and took it to the dump.
I was just looking at the receipt from the dump and was astonished at the weight! Granted it may have gotton rained on a little, but this is only the plaster from the walls.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I can only assume the neglect was due to mental illness, otherwise someone needs to be flogged and put in stocks.
With the public eye on them closely I couldn't believe they were trying to pork barrel this bill. Today I looked up the Senate roll call vote on this bill to see whether our senators voted for it. What I cracked up over was what the bill is titled . . .
H.R. 1424 (Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 )
Then the light bulb clicked and all the pieces fit together. A few days ago they said the Senate can't initiate a bill like this, that it has to come from the House. Well they didn't initiate a bill. They took this little pork barrel bill which started out in the House as a Mental Health proposal and amended it to include the $700 billlion wall street bailout. After all, with the the US economy staring at another Great Depression (so called), they couldn't very well ignore the protocol procedural rules of their little senatorial cliche. (REPOST amendment: Ok, it's not just procedural rules but the Constitution, but really was this the only bill lying around? )
Since the bill is now amended it goes back to the House. Personally I think both the Senate and the House could use a little mental health and pork-addiction treatment.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Senate leaders vowed to take action this week. However, under the Constitution, such a bill is supposed to originate in the House, which is not scheduled to convene again until Thursday because of the Rosh Hashanah Jewish new year holiday.
I could have sworn we had a seperation of church and state in this country, especially under a liberal democrat controlled congress. I wasn't aware that the Jewish new year had been made an official United States Federal Holiday. Funny, . . . I'm at work, but congress isn't at a time when they all say the sky is falling.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Currently the charging stations are free. I can't wait until some guy pulls his electric car up to find an extension cord plugged in that leads into the bushes to some homeless bum and his electric blanket.
They also plan on utilizing power from the car's during peak power usage. I can just see it; you commute to work and pull up knowing you've got just enough charge to make it home, so you plug in to top it off. Then you come out after work to find your car dies three blocks down the road!
They will eventually install debit card readers to pay for your fill up. How many times will you find that someone switched cords during half the day? Will they charge you for a fill up but not credit you for draining your battery during peak usage times?
Monday, September 22, 2008
The few electrical changes are all but done. I still have to route the wire for the second oven, and later install a couple of new breakers and tie in the wires to the breaker panel. This picture shows the backside of the original circuit-panel / fuse box. You're looking at the north wall of the breakfast nook. The panel is in the entryway to the side of the back door to the porch. The new panel is in the basement (under where the dishwasher will go). The old panel is still used as a junction box to tie some of the new breakers and wires to the original wiring. About 1/2 or 2/3 of the house is still original wiring.
Here I'm getting started on the insulation of the exterior walls. This is a shot into the breakfast nook. It'll no longer be a breakfast nook so I'm going to have to call it something else. To the right will be a baking center (mixers and maple cutting board countertop), but to the left will be the fridge, microwave, toaster, and second oven.
Here's what I'm thinking for countertops. It's a Corian style solid-surface material. I can buy it over the internet for $400 a sheet (30" x 120", 1/2" thickness). Beth is thinking some sort of light green wall color, and we're thinking a medium grey stone tile look for the flooring sheet vinyl. (basically the same floor we have in the upstairs bath).
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Beth has been busy ripping up the vinyl and particle board from the floor. Exposing more of the green and tan tile squares. I've been puttering around with the electrical. Drilling holes and pulling wire around to the different plug boxes. It's a challenge getting the wire through the studs in a corner. I've been fishing a string through using bailing wire to push it and then hook it. Then I tie the string to the electrical wire and tape it up. Then push and pull a few inches at a time.
This weekend I plan on insulating the exterior walls and maybe some sheetrock work.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Let's see . . .
The governor's mansion is her home where she lives. . . She bought and paid for the tanning bed with her own money. . . Tanning beds sell for as little as $1600. . . She's a good looking woman in a career where looks count. . . Living in a state with little daylight hours. . . Light therapy and vitamin-D are necessary for health. . . She's a woman who cares about how she looks. . .
Yep the left-wing media sure have a scandal here!
Monday, September 15, 2008
What is a forensic accountant? Does he figure out how your checking account died? (The wife did it, in the kitchen, with credit card tied to a blunt object).
The walls are now stripped down to the studs and cleaned up. We still have most of the flooring to tear out. We're removing the vinyl and 3/8" particle board and the tile under that to get down to the original fir floorboards. The stuff comes up easy enough, it's pulling out all the staples that held the particle board that is a pain. ( Hey Beth, I have a job for you . . .)
I'm starting to place the new outlet and switch boxes and begin running some of the electrical. The hardest part of that is figuring out what to connect to what circuit. The existing circuits are a resuult of several modifications over the 80 year life of the house. Anyway, Sunday, I stood in the kitchen with all my diagrams and spreadsheets of the existing circuits and finally figured out a reasonably simple plan. It only involves two new circuit breaker circuits. One for all the plugs in the old breakfast nook, and one 220v for the second oven we'll eventually put in.
The cabinet guy is supposed to show up today to measure things out.
I'm starting to get estimates on countertops, but I'm also thinking I might do them myself. There's an internet company that will sell solid surface material directly to the homeowner. (most all stores only sell through installers). The stuff (Corian, etc.) cuts and routers like hardboard and glues together with epoxy. You don't have to be neat with the epoxy either because you just sand and polish down the seam afterwards. I think I could work it. It would save 50% of the cost and that's $1500 we could use elsewhere.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Here's an article lamenting the increase in the number of "homeless" children in state schools. It states that Oregon has about 16,000 "homeless" children in our schools.
It then goes on to quietly admit that not all these children are living on the streets. Liberals are classifying children living with relatives as homeless.
Let's get this straight: if your son (who drives your Beamer to high school every day) is living with your sister's family, while you and your wife spend the year circumnavigating the globe in your 25 meter yacht, this makes him "homeless".
Liberals in their drive to make our country a socialist nation are doing their best to classify the most people they can as "in need of government help".
Instead of going with clear finished cherry we've decided on alder with a cherry stain. This will provide a more even color and the natural cherry darkens in sunlight. The darkening looks fine, but it doesn't darken where the doors cover it so when you open the door you get an ugly look. Alder is cheaper but with the labor to stain it's a wash. The real savings will be installing them myself which I was going to do anyway with HomeDepot.
The countertop brand the cabinet shop carries priced out very expensive (with installation) so I'm still looking.
I said to Beth 'with the cabinet's higher cost we could do cabinets this year and countertops and appliances next year'. I don't think she took me seriously.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I didn't recall just how much work demolition of Lathe and Plaster can be. I only figured one week and it's definitely going to take two full weeks. That's ok we still haven't ordered cabinets yet. The estimate from the local cabinet shop came in and it's quite a bit more than factory cabinets from Home Depot. I just have to convince Beth that factory cabinets will be fine.
This week is more lathe and plaster and tearing up old flooring.
Week 4: electrical
week 5-7: subfloor, sheetrock, and taping and finishing.
Above the kitchen sink windows I found this. Luckily it's been abandoned for some time. We did have the stucco of the house redone about a year after we moved in, so that's been about 8 years ago.
Paper Wasps. No honey.
Interesting color striations.
Here's some of the buried treasure we've found. It looks like a house key, but I wonder what the stamped numbers are about.
Here's the west wall. It looks like this is where the original sink was located. Strange it wasn't under the windows, maybe the windows were added later.
The lower half of the north wall. Here you see where a lot of new electrical and plumbing was ran when that was redone years ago. The white/gray column is the chimney of the furnace and water heater.
Here's the upper half. You can see where this chimney also had an duct for a wood burning kitchen stove. However, there is also an original wiring box for 220 volt. Whether the original was a wood stove or whether the wiring is not quite original I can't say.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
What struck me was how the editor Boldfaced the print in the two sections of the speech which criticized Obama. I can make numerous guesses as to why but I'm not in the mood for political rantings.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
On September 10th, 3am (ET), the world's largest super-collider will fire up for its first shot. It will fire protons around a 17 mile circumference ring and smash them into each other . . .
. . . Just to see what happens.
One thing that could happen is the creation of microscopic Black Holes. Black Holes which could grow and devour the earth.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I set my skilsaw to just cut through the particle board and cut the vinyl and particle into roughly 12" squares. Made it easy to pry up with a crowbar. I've only completed a part of the room today. ( I'm ready to go back to work and get some rest. )
The stove area. An empty hole, a 120v plug and gas pipe for gas stoves and a 220v plug on the floor for the electric. Other than replace the plugs with new for good conductivity, I'll keep both options. The stove is moving, but only a few inches to the left.
How it currently stands.