Thursday, February 15, 2018

Keepin it Klassy!

Nothing says classy like a couch on your porch . . .

While I advocated for this as a permanent fixture for comfort and convenience sake, the rest of the household vetoed it, boo!  In any case, Habitat for Humanity is picking it up this afternoon since we donated it.  Moving it out of the house brought back memories of moving it in way back in the early 2000s.  I believe Les E. and I were responsible for clumsily navigating through a couple doorways.  If I remember correctly we managed to get it wedged in the front door, inexplicably.  This morning, with expert assistance and supervision . . .

. . . we successfully got the couch to the porch in one go.  The old couch served the house well but out with the old, in with the new!  Shortly after Habitat picks up, Crate and Barrel will be dropping off, hooray for new furnishings.

Monday, February 12, 2018

No We Don't Have Kids

We do not have human children in this house and there are no plans to add any, but we know how to spoil our new fuzzy child Fritz.

Yes there are two beds for him . . . and he has two crates right now although one is a loaner.  He has two crate pads, an ample supply of chew treats (I'll get to bull pizzle another day), and all the toys he wants, be that which he picked out at the pet store or what we thought he would like.

He'll be going to obedience training soon, mostly so we can learn how to speak his brand of "dog" and make sure he's a good canine companion and citizen about town.  For now, he is exploring the world, smelling new things, peeing on them and having a good time in general.

Here's what we know; Fritz likes tennis balls, he finds squeaky toys fascinating, he likes his crate, he loves his memory foam bed from Costco.  It can be exhausting being a puppy dog in a new house . . .

Friday, February 9, 2018

I'm Bitcoin Rich!

I won't be going to any extremes like changing my name to "Blockchain" or "CryptoRubin" but I own fractions of a Bitcoin . . . .00132857 to be exact.

In all honesty, I took the path of least resistance in my quest to obtain my cryptocurrency.  I waited for the Square Cash app to open their exchange so I could buy and sell from the convenience of my phone, without having to figure out the other exchanges in the great wide world of the internets.  Being the risk averse individual that I am, I also waited to get money from Square for referring people to the app.  My investment comes $5 at a time with not really my money.

What's the purpose of this experiment?  I don't really know . . . sound like Arizona is going to let people pay their taxes in Bitcoin in the near future.  Maybe it will become more useful to my normal, everyday life . . . maybe I just wanted on the bandwagon . . .

Monday, February 5, 2018

Around the House

February seems like a perfectly good month to start tackling some projects around the house.  There are some big ones, some small ones and some small ones that get big when you find out what is lurking beneath the surface . . .

I didn't take pictures because I didn't really know I was going to be getting into a Jr. Plumber project until there were parts lying on the shower floor.  As things change gradually over time you tend not to notice.  The temperature control on the shower was one of those things . . . everything was great, showers were hot, then they became hot enough, and then we started wondering why they weren't as hot as they used to be.  I took a quick look online and didn't see anything remotely resembling our Hansgrohe thermostatic valve, but how different could they all be?  That point was moot through the first hour of trying to pull the handle off.  After some tugging and light prying, I switched to dumping hot water on the handle, hoping that would loosen things up.  Then I switched to swearing and brute force and finally the handle flew off and thankfully did not break the glass of the shower enclosure.

With the handle off, I could go back to the internet to find out that my older valve looked nothing like the instructional videos online.  For example, my valve did not have service shut offs that everybody kept talking about . . . so I went to the basement and shut off the lines to the shower with the conveniently located valves in the laundry room.  The amount of torque required to get the mixing cartridge out of the valve body left me with the nasty thought at the back of my mind wondering how many plumbing connections I might be breaking in the wall . . .

To make a long, boring story less long and only slightly less boring, the cartridge was all scaled up.  White vinegar and water did the trick to loosen things enough to be able to clean off the gunk.  Everything went back together much more smoothly that it came apart and like magic our shower can be cold, hot and everything in between.  As a bonus, the water pressure is better now too!

This is only a taste of what's to come on the DIY (and YDIFM) front.  The house just got some new insulation, new windows are in the works.  I am planning on installing a whole house humidifier and for fun, we are looking into getting the floors resurfaced!

You might ask why all the attention to the house?

Doesn't he deserve it?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Time Marches On . . .

It has been quite a while and I'm pretty sure I no longer know how to write.  Nothing like life changes to inspire one to scribble down some thoughts and practice some sort of expression.  Dempsey, like every other smart being likes biscuits.

As of the last entry in the blog, Dempsey the dog was an experienced, spry 8 years old.  In the past few years he has hiked, backpacked, wandered all around Denver, enjoyed life in general.  He has been a great friend, always listening to what we had to say, never judging. 

Unfortunately today we have to say goodbye.  Nothing is forever and even if it were, forever wouldn't be long enough with this guy.  May all your drinks of water be from cool mountain streams and well . . .

 Thanks buddy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Marching Right Along

In keeping with my apparent one post per month kind of pace, I'm getting well ahead of the game for March.   The past weeks have been filled with my foray into the knitting world.  I have a really good teacher, she is nice to me and patient.  I forgot to take a picture of my very first knitting piece which was just a swatch of stitches and a veritable knitting playground.  I tried knitting and purling and did my best to remember what was what.  I made a couple ribbed sections and practiced switching between the two stitches until I was comfortable.  Then came the scarf . . .

Um, I made it out of yarn . . . and it is a cable pattern.  G still has the pattern, I thought it would be burned into my brain, but I only remember P4,K3,P4,K15,P4,K3,P4 . . . and P7,K4,P15,K4,P7.  There was some repetition and a little variation to get the cable part done.  I only had one big mess up where I didn't cable in the right direction and had to unknit a bunch of rows which was pretty scary, but we fixed it.

We also made some dumpling/potsticker things from scratch the other night.  Standard pasta and even ravioli are pretty easy for us as a team, but these guys were a new test.  I tried to take the easy way out when G offered to buy potsticker wrappers at Sakura Square, but unfortunately the market was already closed, so we blazed forward bravely with a new type of pasta dough.

The basic dough is flour, salt and boiling water.  For some reason I thought I'd be ok kneading for 10 minutes by hand so I skipped using the food processor.  After getting my workout in, it was time to roll, stuff and close some dumplings.

The dumpling press was purchased one morning at the Pacific Mercantile after we dined on dim sum at Super Star Asian.  It came in quite handy as hand crimping 36 dumplings would have been a chore.

For the filling, we went with shrimp, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, napa cabbage, and a few other ingredients.  G mixed up her favorite dipping sauce of garlic chili paste and soy.  The cooking process was fairly straight forward . . . brown one side of dumplings in pan, steam in pan, brown the other side lightly.

 The end result was delicious!

There have been some other various adventures since my last post.  We all, Dempsey included, went on ski vacation to Steamboat.  G and I took knife skills class at Cook St. and we both have all of our fingers still.  I rode bikes inside, I rode bikes outside . . . and despite the season, we made things grow . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wow, February 2013

How/why is it already more than half way through the second month of 2013?  Since my ghost writer has been slacking on my blog posts, I figured I better step in and type something on my own.

There are so many things that happened between October 2012 and today so I'll hit the photographed highlights in no particular order:

G and I have made lots of pastas, various pastas . . . flavored, stuffed, thick noodle, thin noodle, basic, exotic . . . the picture above was a red wine pasta.  It had lovely color, but tasted mostly like . . . pasta.

I bought a couple new to me espresso machines after selling the Nuova Simonelli I bought a couple years back for $100.  Not too surprising, the 2-group machine was less expensive than the 1-group, but the benefit of the single group machine is that I can physically pick it up and take it into either shop if something happens.  I nerded out and put a PID controller on the single group machine for "fun".  It provides some semblance of temperature stability, but no great benefit beyond that.

It did actually snow in Denver once, at some point during the winter . . .

Thanks to new Local Velo sponsor Sugarlicious, we had more gummy candies to play with.  We give gummy army people a solid two thumbs up!

We have been to Dim Sum at Super Star Asian more than once in the past few months.  Dumplings are good!

G found out why Dempsey likes his bed so much . . .

We planted more things to grow in the gardening off season.  The paperwhites seemed like a good way to go and since the above was taken, they have grown significantly.  The succulent in an old portafilter just seemed so . . . artsy . . .

We traveled to snowy and cold locations, fortunately there were hot springs for soaking.  Unfortunately it was so cold south of Salida that the car froze and didn't want to start until we hooked up to a very robust battery and cranked and cranked and cranked . . . -17 degrees is cold!

We went to Steamboat, and stopped at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass on the way to stretch the legs and snowshoe before a weekend of skiing/snowboarding.

G rented skis with authority!  This was her first official ski vacation, longer than a day trip . . . fortunately we were rewarded with healthy snowfall over the weekend and had about a foot of fresh powder the last day of skiing.

We made a handy cutting board rack on the inside of the kitchen cabinet.  Thanks the internet!  You are so full of good ideas!  More to come . . .