Author Archives: Mark

Summer Vacation 2016

After a very busy spring at work and busting my brain far too much, I decided to finally take some time off. Not having the funds to go on a cruise or jetting around the globe, my plan has been to stay home and just chill. Maybe catch up on my podcast listening, maybe play some video games, and definitely do some more reading. Oh yeah, and maybe work on a couple of house projects I’ve been meaning to do for a while.


  1. Cut down the weeds along the back of the house: Done!
  2. Strip and refinish backdoor: In Progress, my second coat of finish is currently drying. I should really do a third coat but I don’t think that’ll happen tonight.
  3. Recaulk windows in backdoor: On Hold, I’m waiting for the finish to dry and may take a stab at this tomorrow.
    1. New (related) task added: clean all the old caulk and new finish the spilled over onto the glass.
  4. Edge the sidewalks: In Progress, but it got too hot.
  5. Replace outlet and patch hole in the wall: Fail *sigh*
  6. Patch a different hole and try fixing the tile on the other side: This bit of “fun” is left over from some plumbing work that we had have done and have just covered up until we have a chance to actually repair the wall.

Potential ToDos

  • Paint the kitchen: I was feeling more optimistic about doing this before failing on task 5, but we’ll see. At the very least I could finally go back and repaint the crown molding 1.
  • Paint the sunporch: This one feels more likely at this point, though it comes with its own site of problems (cleaning out the porch, scraping the flaking paint, etc).
  • Build a “nice” bench to use at our dining table. If I knew what I was doing, maybe a variation of Ana White’s Fancy X Farmhouse Bench. Since I I don’t really know what I’m doing, maybe try her 2×4 Truss Bench? Part of the problem is we need a taller bench (our table is counter height).
  • Build some bench seating on the porch with space below to store firewood. For this I was thinking a simple frame of 2x4s screwed into the porch itself (maybe painted white?) with a top built of more 2x4s with a dark finish (probably a polyurethane, because it’s easy and durable).
  • Trim the legs on our bar stools/dining room chairs a bit.

In regards to task 5, mostly hidden by our microwave (next to the outlet) is a small hole in the wall. As that outlet has always been a bit awkward to use (cords on the counter); I’d found a recessed outlet box online that I’d hoped to replace the existing one with and then planned to patch the hole next to the outlet with some scrap drywall we still have sitting around from this old project 2 I’d done some measuring and was sure the new box would fit… until I actually tried to put it into place. While the wall space is deep enough to fit the box, due to trim work and the back of the counter; I can’t get the new box in there. For extra fun the bit of wood I can see in the wall and had planned to attached my drywall scrap to fill the hole is apparently only barely held in place by a single nail. When I pushed my drywall scrap up against it to try drilling pilot holes for the drywall screws; it felt like I was about to pull the wood out of the wall. *sigh* So I closed the hole up best I could and hid it once again behind the microwave. We’ll have to save our pennies and maybe someday completely gut/redo the kitchen. Till then, that hole well it’ll be our little secret. One the bright side I was able to attach the existing outlet box more securely in place, so at least it doesn’t wiggle any more.


  1. Seriously, RED crown molding? What were the previous owners thinking?
  2. Wow, I hadn’t realized that was 5 years ago now. Apparently we need to go through and get rid of old scraps more often (or do something with them anyway).

Chicago 2016

Chicago 2016
Hello again faithful readers! It’s been a while since I felt like posting anything here; so if you’re still following along… umm, thanks? This year Michelle & I celebrated our 11th year of her not killing me yet, which is my joking way 1 of saying we’ve been married for 11 years now. This year we decided to take a quick trip to Chicago and see the last major tourist attraction that they’ve got that we hadn’t been to yet, Shedd Aquarium. It was quite the experience and I’m glad we went but I have to say I’m not expecting I’ll ever feel the need to return. Their website suggests it takes about 3 hours to go through; we were there for over double that. Also, I don’t know if we just picked a bad weekend or were simply lucky, but many of the other attendees were rude, loud, and pushy 2. By the time we left, I left like I’d been riding a bumper car all day. Additionally, it was a very difficult environment to take photos in 3, but I like to think I got a few good shots. The above mosaic links to my Flickr album with all the photos I took that didn’t completely suck. Note there are quite a few more photos in the album than what it shown in the mosaic.


  1. Yes, I recognize that as subpar humor, but she still laughs at it. So there. :p
  2. I say many, but not all of them were like that. We did meet some very nice Michiganders in the line to buy our tickets that Michelle talked to while I was taking photos
  3. Shooting with no flash (can’t risk hurting the animals), with the odd lighting, around crowds (who whip out their phones and pay no attention to their surroundings), through windows thick enough to cause visible distortion and which were frequently scratched or smeared with god knows what after tourists smacked it.

Passing of the King

Passing of the King

It is with great sadness that I report Raja is with us no more. He had been in recently for a check up and at that time was pronounced fine, excepting some teeth that needed to be pulled. He had those teeth removed shortly after that and wasn’t getting his appetite back. As he had a follow-up appointment coming up next week, we had planned to ask about it at that time. Then yesterday he stopped eating altogether. We called and got him an appointment for this morning. This time the vet did an x-ray of Raja’s lungs and found them almost completely full of fluid and tumors. As that point, with no better option left to us, we made the impossible decision to have Raja put down to ease his passing. He will be missed.



Bad News: I’m doing a lousy job of keeping up with my Project365 resolution for this year.

Good News: Tonight’s #IADemCaucus was packed. Bernie won the most delegates from our distract 1.

Cutest moment of the night: Temporary chair was explaining the rules, just finished saying how long people had to stay to be sure “the voice of the people was heard” and then a baby in the audience cried out happily.


  1. Clinton came in 2nd and O’Malley didn’t qualify.

That Doesn’t Look Safe

Oh, I’m sure it’s prefectly fine. Probably. I am the Doctor afterall.

Copyright © 2004 – 2016 Powered by WordPress.