Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hit Me Baby One More Time

"It will either be brilliant, or it will suck, there is no inbetween" - Unknown

Oh this looks funny.

I'm a sucker for funny/cheesy reality shows, especially in the summertime when tv is pretty much throwaway in any case. As long as they keep the cheese factor up, it will at least make me laugh.

What's scary is the little poll they've got going on. Almost 60% of the polled think more highly of Tiffany or CeCe Peniston than the others. The downside for those artists is that they actually have to perform. They did get one thing right...Arrested Development is polling at the bottom. They suck, and were overhyped by someone at MTV. The fact that they actually have to perform will hurt them anyway. They were horrid at Lollapalooza and no one that I've talked to who was at that tour thought otherwise.

I don't see how A Flock of Seagulls or Loverboy doesn't blow everyone else away....by all rights Loverboy seems to have the most talent out of this bunch. But knowing the American TV auidence, Tiffany will end up winning.

PatioBlogging Memorial Day Update

Difficult weekend.

Accomplished a lot on Friday and Saturday. Got the base truly level and sloping appropriately for drainage. Got top soil and have the sides of the wall filled in. Built the step for the egress area.

Obviously have the entire wall built..although that occured on Thursday night.

Was getting ready to lay the patio on Saturday, when it decided to thunderstorm around 2pm. So fortunately, we had not gathered up the sand. Sunday was spent cleaning up the backyard, and getting rid of excess sod and wood. And Monday just isn't good for rounding up some assistance in completing it.

So perhaps the patio will be laid down today, otherwise it will be waiting until the weekend. Until then there is plenty to do with chopping up clay soil and keeping some of the excess sod alive in case it needs to be placed somewhere. I'm a little concerned that it's too far gone, but we'll see.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Alias Cliffhanger Better than Lost's

And Lost had a damn good cliffhanger. I'm certain no one expected "The Others" too look how they did. The items they possessed, as well as their method of transport were not what one would have initially expected.

I believe most people were hoping for a pure sci-fi type of explaination, or new sci-fi question. But instead we had something quite low tech. A kidnapping, two big explosions, and a broken ladder leading somewhere very very deep. A very strong two hours, with an excellent final hour

Alias on the other hand, had a very throwaway first 50 minutes. There was little doubt what was going to happen in the end. However, the cliffhanger was very good for long time viewers. The 1 minute it took to setup the cliffhanger creates questions that make you debate any action that Vaughn took over the past four years.

The simple words, "My name is not Michael Vaughn" followed by a truck slamming into the side of the car (did it kill Vaughn?) sets up a cliffhanger that amazed me. I thought Lost's was excellent, but I thought more about the Alias cliffhanger this morning. So what do we have? We have a Alias cliffhanger that is exceptional.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

More Wall Progress

Third course of the wall and finished step area. Posted by Hello

70 lb Rock Found in Soil

New stone for the front yard landscaping found beneath the wall. Posted by Hello

Gravel Photo Day 9

New smaller gravel pile after Sunday Posted by Hello

PatioBlogging Day 8 Recap

A delayed post on what happened on Sunday.

Sunday was difficult in that I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I originally hoped. We did accomplish a lot, but it just wasn't what I expected. We were successful in finishing the soil level of the wall, and were able to set in the bottom stair area. That was huge. It is fully glued and supporting the base without the need of the stakes in that section.

I also moved a lot of gravel into the backfill area. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of gravel that I will need to move.

At 1 pm, it began to rain, which effectively ended the productive part of the afternoon. I got in another 45 minutes of work around 7 pm before it started raining again. I had hoped to glue in that top layer, but I want to have dry wall stones to do that.

Wall Taking Shape

Wall Begins to Take Shape Posted by Hello

Shrinking Gravel Pile

Much Smaller Gravel Pile on Sunday Morning Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

24: Jack to Save Universe Next Day

According to the promos, Jack saved
  • The President on day 1
  • A city on day 2
  • A nation on day 3
  • The world on day 4
By that logic, he must be getting ready to save the Universe from the likes of either the Borg or the Sith on Day 5.

Find out in January if it's Jumped the Shark for certain. It seems pretty close right now, although it was an entertaining season.

Highly @#&*!@! Annoying

ITD CAREERS � Blog Archive � PatioBlogging Day 6

So I discovered today that these !*@(!@ at idtcareers are scraping my blog entries and plunking them down on their own site.

With any luck, this post will end up there. Hello !(&*@)(!@bags!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

PatioBlogging Day 7

Today was a huge day. Worked from about 7 am until 4:30 pm, with a break for lunch and a trip to Lowes in there somewhere.

Scot came over and my boss Neil stopped over for a while too. We made a huge dent into the gravel mound, and there is probably a little over a ton left. That was rolled out over the base and compacted slightly with the old school water weight roller.

We then began the tedious process of digging out the first row of wall stones. This was not really difficult, just time consuming. It takes a lot of time to dig out the area to a good level, and then settle it into a sand/quikcrete mixture. The idea behind the quikcrete is that once it rains and gets moist, the mixture will help the stones to setup. It should give them a little bit of extra strength.

We completed about 70% of the first course. After Scot left around 3:30, I worked around the yard and cleaned things up and also built up the second course of stones at the lowest point of the wall. Definately going to need to purchase more stones. It looks like it could easily end up being another 80 or do. Not certain at this point how many will be required. I believe that the third course will require about 40 stones, which would leave me with around 10 to complete the fourthe course...not gonna happen! In addition, I need to build a four course sitting wall at the top of the patio, which I figure will run around, 40 stones.

We'll see how close I end up.

Pictures to be posted tomorrow, probably after working to get some good before and after shots again.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Outlining the Stone Wall

55 Stones Provide a Perimeter Posted by Hello

Seven Tons of Gravel

Seven Tons of Gravel and Patio Stones Posted by Hello

PatioBlogging Day 6

This morning Home Depot delivered 150 Patio Stones and 144 Retaining Wall stones land Jones Top Soil delivered seven tons of gravel.

It was very efficient this morning. Home Depot showed up around 8:45 am, and Jones showed up a scant half hour later. I was able to get into work quite effectively.

When I got home this evening, I began to move sod around to provide a path for the retaining wall. At this point it is an estimate. It may come a little further away from the patio, or it may come closer to it. We'll a bit more tomorrow.

The main concern I have, is the dampness of the base. We had downpours on Thursday night, with probably about an inch and a half of rain. The base has sunk a little bit, but not too much. I think ultimately this is a good thing. All else fails, the patio drops a half inch, which would be just fine, as I think it may have been a bit on the high side anyway.

More updates tomorrow after gravel moving day. With any luck it will be dry enough to start on the concrete base for the steps in the afternoon. Otherwise, it might not start until next weekend.


Eject! Eject! Eject!: SANCTUARY (part 1)
Eject! Eject! Eject!: SANCTUARY (part 2)

I'm sure at some point, someone will come along and tell us why he's so wrong...but until I actually could believe that person, I'm going to read this and be happy that there are those who see the world in a similar skew to myself.

The world is a much simpler place when you look back to the playground and remember what right and wrong are, and why there are rules about things (like military uniforms).

It's a long read, but well worth the time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Leftover Sod

I have a lot of sod leftover Posted by Hello

Staking the Retaining Wall

More stakes to fix the plywood retaining wall Posted by Hello

A level base

The patio base is much flatter now Posted by Hello

Base After Sod Removal

After removing a lot of sod and smoothing Posted by Hello

PatioBlogging Day 3 & 4 Update

Day Three was a search for gravel that ended in futility.

A day earlier, I had called Ohio Mulch, which is about 1/2 mile away from me. They stated they had gravel you could use for base of patios.

When Scot and I arrived, we discovered that this really wasn't true. They did not have #411 gravel, which is a gravel that contains a sandy mixture of limestone in addition to the rocks. 411 is ideal as a base since it becomes quite solid when wet with the sand mixture.

Ohio Mulich apologized and mentioned a place we could get it in the Grandview area. We took 40 minutes to go down there and back after discovering the store was closed. Lesson Learned - ALWAYS call first.

So we headed back, and for fun, drove down into the neighboring quarry to see what they had to offer. They were closed so we just called it a night.

I went down into the quarry this morning, and found that they would service us, and it was quite inexpensive at about $7.25 a ton. However, after much consultation and thinking about how difficult it would be to pick up and move seven tons of gravel to the patio in 6 hours...I decided it would be worth the delivery charge and markup to get it delivered on Friday morning. The quarry was only open from 6 am to noon on Saturday.

So now Jones TopSoil will bring it home to me on Friday morning. The total was $154 with delivery. I figure that's $50 for delivery and as such about $14.85 per ton. So it's about $100 more, but in the end we'll save probably 3 or 4 hours and be able to get a lot more done. If I'm motivated, I might move a bunch of gravel on Friday night as well.

Home Depot is dropping off the pavers and wall stones Friday morning as well, so it should be a fun morning!

I will post the Day 2 pictures this evening.

Monday, May 16, 2005

PatioBlogging Day 2 Recap

The pix from Day 1 can be seen below.

Day 2 did not show as much progress as originally hoped. This was due to the large mound created in the center of the patio area.

Ideally we need to get to a depth of 7 inches. 3 to 4 inches of paver base, 1 inch of sand, and 2 inches of patio stone. In the center, we were at 3 inches. Today involved digging up about 30% of the sod that we had used to build up the base, because we had too much dirt. Originally we were concerned about having enough...when in actuality we had too much. Now the base is anywhere from 6.5 to 7 inches from the top of the line, which is pretty good at this point.

I'll be taking pictures in the morning so we can actually see something.

Patio Area From Side

Patio from side Posted by Hello

Patio from rear again Posted by Hello

Patio From Rear

Patio From rear, notice bowing in the plywood wall Posted by Hello

Patio area from back door Posted by Hello

PaverPatio Blogging Day 1 Recap

The big paver patio project has begun. After a rain delay on Saturday, a good friend of mine, Scot, came over to help me with the paver patio. Luckily he has done this before ;)

Scot brought over a sod cutter from Home Depot rentals. We ran this thing over the ground, scraping out about a 18x18 area for the 16x16 ft. patio. We then took the sod and used it to help build up the area at the base of the patio. The yard has about a foot drop! Of course, we can only drop the patio about 2 inches for drainage purposes over 16ft. So, a temporary wall was constructed with plywood and staked out with leftover lumber from the old back steps. We have one problem to resolve tonight, and that is to fix part of the back wall, which is slipping away. It needs an additional stake for support. We were quite surprised, however, as it seems we may actually have enough dirt in the excavated area to do the job. We were concerned at first that there might not be enough.

Hope to get the dirt finalized tonight and start with laying the gravel base mix tomorrow.

Pictures when I get home. Hello is blocked here at work.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Six Important Career tips

I made the mistake of going back to Yahoo! Finance, only to find no BMW 3 ad. Yay!

And I stumbled upon this career advice from Marty Nemko. Actually I'd look at it as not only career advice, but life advice. It's one thing to look back and see what you may have done wrong in the past, it's another thing altogether to dwell upon it. It simply hinders you moving on.

Monday, May 09, 2005

BMW 3 Series ad at Yahoo! Finance

This is by far the most annoying ad I've ever seen. It's bad enough when we have ads that scroll across the screen. But changing every 'E' to a '3' on text that Yahoo controls is just flat out annoying.

What Financial portal do you use? I'm in search of a new one.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Random Irritating American Idol Thing

On some level, I should enjoy that they had "the Idols" do a Ford commerical where they covered the Specials ska classic, "A Message to you Rudy". Great song. Google probably got a lot of hits where people wondered what that song was.

On the other hand, the fact that they would even think of covering that just irritates me to no end. Maybe if it was that Bo Bice guy doing it himself, it wouldn't bother me as much. He's actually been in a band. He's probably the only one, out of those left, who even had a remote shot of even knowing who the Specials are.

I suppose it's good in the long run...but something about that just irritated me when I saw it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Battle of the Gridiron Contract Violation

So there's been a lot of talk about Winslow being a moron on a motorbike up in Cleveland, and for Rothlesberger riding a cycle without a helmet.

But what about this Battle of the Gridion Stars on ESPN? I was pretty amazed to see what they were doing in soccer shootout. Joe Horn tiped a shot with his fingertips. Now, I don't know about you, but when I was in college playing intramurals, I played goaltender a bit. During warmups, I tipped a shot with my hand. When I came down I thought my hand was jammed, when in reality I had incurred a chip fracture, putting my hand out of commission for about three months.

What would have happened if the same thing happens to Horn? He should have time to heal, but still, it seems like it would be a contract violation of some sorts, would it not?

Maybe I'm just too nitpicky, but it seems pretty darned risky to me.

Monday, May 02, 2005

24 Quote of the Night

Quote of the Night from 24.

"He's Flatlining" - Jack

Too bad the quote was in a scene that was dramatic as opposed to a throwaway, where it would have been absolutely hysterical. If you don't get it, you haven't seen enough Keifer Sutherland movies.

Runner up was Chole's quote regarding the fact that she's psycho for not feeling anything when she blew a terrorist away last week. Well...that and that perfect Rambo pose at the end of the last episode that convinced me the show hadn't quite jumped the shark. It's still too damn funny.

Alternative Aerobic Music

I had a thought a while ago, which reoccured to me today while I took an evening jog.

Why is it that music in any sort of gym's fitness classes are generally lame club dance music tracks? The obvious answer would be that 90% of the classes are filled with women, but even that logic I find to be faulty.

Each Sunday I attend a Boot Camp class at the California Fitness on Henderson (highly reccommended by the way). Ann does a great job, and the music is fairly decent. But it just seems a bit lame at times to have some Real McCoy song thumping while you're trying to do as many squat thrusters as you can in 30 seconds.

To me it would seem much more inspiring to have more driven music. The latest track Nine Inch Nails track The Hand That Feeds is a good example. Or a bit older...Breathe by The Prodigy. Perhaps drop in some Crystal Method or even some Rancid or Green Day. Anything that keeps the beats up, but breaks up the monotomy of the dance club mix.

That's not to say I don't enjoy hearing James Brown is Dead on occasion...just mix it up with some Fatboy Slim or Offspring. Something to make it more interesting.

I wonder if there are any fitness clubs around where someone might just have Ska class, where the entire class consists of exercise through skanking. If there isn't...I want props for the idea :)