Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Roofing The Shed

My extended Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and I am happy to see it go. I didn't get to rest, slack off or have any fun.

Saturday was errands, cleaning and ripping out weeds. Since I had the bright idea of putting a new roof on my shed I went out and took some measurements then went to Home Depot to get some supplies. It's a 14' x 10' shed with a Gambrel roof, the roof area is 14' x 14'.

Sunday was spent ripping off the old shingles and rotted plywood which, as it turns out, were all attached with a bajillion staples. With the shingles gone I could see that I needed to replace about triple what I originally thought. So, back to Home Depot I went. I get all the wood nailed on and am just getting started with the roofing felt when a thunderstorm arrives. So there I am on top of the shed in a torrential downpour trying to cover as much of the roof as I could. Mind you I am working directly beneath power lines (which would hit me in the back if I stood up wrong) in a thunderstorm holding a metal hammer tacker while lightning is flashing all over. Can you say Duh!? So wisdom prevailed and I took my soggy self inside. It was about dark anyway.

Monday was spent putting the shingles on. It was 87°F, sunny and humid. Perfect weather to be standing on a roof which is covered with asphalt impregnated black paper while handling black, asphalt impregnated roofing shingles. A gallon or two of water later and I had all the shingles on then had to clean up the mess I'd made. Ew. That took forever, by the time I was done loading up my truck it was about dark again.

Tuesday morning I went for a haircut then hauled all the roofing debris to the landfill, came home and trimmed the ends of the shingles then cut and nailed down the ridge cap pieces to finish off the peak of the roof. Then I apparently lost my sanity and decided to clean out the shed. What was I thinking? That, some garden debris and some trash and  I had another full truck to take to the landfill. When I got back home I had to mow my lawn. I'd been too busy with everything else to bother cutting it so it was way tall. I ended up cutting it twice. I cleaned up everything, crawled back into the house for dinner at 8:30pm and called it a night.

Now it's time to pat myself on the back. I've never done any roofing before so I was pretty clueless and learned as I went along. It came out looking surprisingly good, I guess I'll find out for sure how I did the next time it rains. Oh, somewhere along the line I also finished getting the pool open, it's good to go now. The water temperature is bearable, all the chemical levels are spot on and the water is crystal clear, but all I managed was one 15 minute dip. There's my weekend, I hope yours was more relaxing. Sometimes it's less work to just go to work.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yahoo! Photos Closing Down

Yahpoo! recently spend a considerable amount of time and money revamping their rather old Yahpoo! Photos service. Of course, being Yahpoo! it's chock freaking full of bugs and rarely if ever works right, not to mention the fact that it totally screwed up a lot of Photo Sharing on 360ยบ pages everywhere. When it did work properly it was great, I thought it was far and away the best photo sharing option on the internet, easy to use and very intuitive.

Now the Yahpoo! powers that be have decided that they will completely do away with this new Y! Photos and the whole Y! Photos service! Some time this fall they will be taking it offline. During the summer you'll be getting an e-mail from them explaining your options.

Anyway, I've started the slow and painful process of migrating my photos over to Flickr so I can start learning how it works. Sign up is easy, all I needed was my Y! ID. If you have a Flickr account, let me know so I can add you as a contact. Or, here's my Flickr, you can add me as a contact from there by hovering your cursor on my Buddy Icon.

Update: Since posting this entry I've since discontinued all use of any Yahoo! services.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring, A Meeting and Sushi

This time of year is extremely busy for me, both at work and at home. The customer count at work grows higher by the week as my yard and gardens grow out of control. I see both Easter and Mother's Day as inconveniences, all the driving around and visiting is wasted time which I really need to spend preparing for and dealing with the explosion of spring growth. Throw in a rainy weekend or two and I've lost most of a month's outside work time right when I need it the most. Fortunately this year the rain has held off on the weekends but I still think those two holidays need to be rescheduled.

I've been working my ass off to stay caught up and so far I've actually succeeded! Most everything that needs to be cut down has been, the rest will only take me 30 minutes or less. Everything that didn't survive winter has been removed, several plants that were becoming a problem or that I just didn't like have been removed. All the edging that had shrunk and/or separated or heaved out of the ground has been pulled out and re-installed. Using a saw, a shovel, an ax, a tow chain and my truck I removed an out of control Arborvitae that was up to the windows of the second floor of the house and growing out over the walkway. I really hated that thing. The lawn has been mowed several times already. I've even taken a couple of truckloads of debris to the landfill.

The meeting I missed a few weeks ago when I was sick was rescheduled for this past Thursday so I did take a day off from everything to go meet up with Dee. It was really nice to sit and talk face to face, her visit was far too short but I enjoyed it immensely anyway. She's good company, I hope we get to do it again. We visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore where we learned that some fish are classified like people on the internet, there were hiders and lurkers! We saw some pretty weird looking fish, some really cool ones (I love those rays) and some sharks. The shark tank wasn't as full as usual but there were still some big ones swimming just a couple feet away. Nice teeth, lol. The rain forest exhibit was fun until we started to melt. None of the birds would come land on my finger though. :(  Heeeere birdy birdy birdy.

Last but not least, sushi! We went out Sunday night to my new favorite sushi place in New Jersey. Four of us wanted sushi so we told the waiter to bring two of the sushi boats that feed two people each. He told us they have one for four and he'd bring that one. Holy crap that thing was huge!! It was every bit of four feet long, the part with the sushi, sashimi and extra sushi rolls was 3 feet long by itself. My brother-in-law and I ate most of it ourselves and washed it down with a few Aventinus beers that I'd brought with me. Can you say Oink? I sure did.

Monday, May 7, 2007

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

I keep seeing this on blogs and in e-mails, so here's mine. Naturally I think the results are far from accurate. Me, a troublemkaer? Please! Outspoken? As if! What do you think, is it even close?

You Are a Troublemaker

You have the type of personality that people either love or hate. You're opinionated, dramatic, intense, and very outspoken.
Some people can't get enough of you - they're totally addicted. Others, well, they wish you were a little more reserved.

Your strength: Your flair
Your weakness: If you think it, you say it
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

King Tut

Today I went to Killadelphia to check out the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Exhibition currently on display at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. While it was interesting I have to say that I left feeling more disappointed than anything else.

Maybe it's just me but I was expecting more. Normally when you hear about the treasures of the Pharaohs' tombs you hear tales of vast amounts of stunning gold items, huge ornate statues, beautifully decorated sarcophagi, etc... Well, there's almost none of that in this exhibition. There's roughly 130 artifacts, only 50 were from Tut's tomb. The rest were a sampling of artifacts collected from other tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The overwhelming majority of them were smaller pieces (shoe box sized or smaller).

The 10th of 11 small exhibit rooms held most of the more interesting pieces, items used by Tut himself or found in his sarcophagus with his mummy. A diadem (small crown) with a cobra and a vulture, a viscera coffin used to hold some of Tut's mummified internal organs and a couple chest plates were some of the highlights. We got there early (less crowded) and were through the whole exhibit in about an hour and half after looking at every piece on display.

Upon leaving the exhibit you are forced into the museum store which is chock full of cheap, imported garbage. Some of it was so poorly done or in such poor taste that I considered it an insult to Egyptian culture.

Bottom line, if you are utterly fascinated by old Egyptian artifacts then you'll enjoy the exhibit. There are a few pieces that are quite stunning and the history aspect is appealing too. Personally I found the other unrelated exhibits in the museum more interesting.