Sunday, September 30, 2012

Remodel Blogging Week 5

Oh, wait, wrong.


Sort of. Also. And such.

This week was MEP construction in the basement - commissioning of the new hi-pressure gas line, furnace and AC, installation of the water heater and venting, plumbing rough-in, exhaust fans, a couple miles of wiring, power/comm/cable/speaker. I took off the week to wire the basement in an excellent, craftsmanlike manner remind myself I ain't'ent 21 anymore, or 30, or hell, 40. As of this evening, all wirepulling is complete save one room of speakers, and before inspection (please FSM, this week) I have 8 or 9 hundred details to deal with, devices and fixtures to install, panel termination, a couple hundred nail plates.

We spent 4 days without a water heater, and to give the old water heater credit, through judicious use, we made a tank last 2 and a half days. But the 3rd night, when paleo REALLY needed a shower - ice. I have been in negotiations for my testicles to re-emerge, but they want certain guarantees, such as not doing that again.

We have also been sans laundry facilities for a couple weeks, and as last Thursday I determined that I picked the wrong career, should have gone into laundromats, and as it would be helpful to have a uniform tomorrow morning, I gimmicked the washer and dryer today. Provided my employer does not mind wood chips permanently embedded in my workshirt, I should be good.

Brief conversation with my boss Wednesday morning, opening pleasantry.
boss: "Hey, paleo, how's it going?"
paleo: "Oh, lot of bleeding, itching..."
Weird silence.
paleo:  "Ummm, I mean, working in the basement."
boss: "I figured. Well, hoped..."

Every day that goes by, as we can see more definition, we can visualize more, and make decisions. Good feeling!
Bath - EM signature that can be seen from space
Future office area
Stairwell - Still has the possibility of suckage
Final note. I've spoken before my need for music, and of teh Pandora app, and that while it has certainly found things for me that I needed to know, it does have a monkey occasionally beating the living hell out of everything in reach with a wrench. I have spent many hours for 7 days listening to every station I've created, and found a universal constant, the song that Pandora feels belongs in every playlist. Comedy. Classical. Christmas. Sociopathic guitar bullshit. Alt-rap (think Arrested Development.) Bagpipers. One. Song. Sweet Jeebus.

The fucking monkey is winning.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Remodel Blogging Weeks 3 and 4

Life has been a spinny, windy type thingy for a bit, but tomorrow we quit pissing around and get thoroughly insane - after an abbreviated start, more on that later, tomorrow begins the Great Electrical Installation Massacre. Oooof, does I haz a lot of work for this week...

(cue whirling colors and such)

When last we left our heroes, teh Russians had landed, and the basement structure had been demo'ed  thoroughly, occasionally violently, and at least once with squat dancing, down to block and pad, and a small amount of framing had begun. It was at this point that we, meaning "Sweetie", realized that we had a small basement, and the Piper, a loan shark in my opinion, was gonna get paid with interest. I suggested donating the house to Habitat For Somewhat Smaller Humanity and moving to a cave in the mountains. However, when I realized I was not going to like the continued thrust of that conversation, I tabled the motion and decided to do exactly what I wanted to do, which was give Sweetie's suggestions all due consideration.

The framing picked up speed, and to be serious for a moment, (I know, what the I don't even), the General Contractor's carpentry/labor crew were bloody fantastic. The walls, well, if I could get my truck down there, and I suspect the workmen prolly could, they'd just pick it up and carry it, I could hit the frames full speed and a two-by would give before the wall moved. This basement? Only thing gonna survive Armageddon (Dec. 2012 - getcher popcorn ready, I'll have tunes!). The framing did have to slow down for two reasons - the laborer had been secured into place to serve as a support post but wanted to go home, and we were still settling on a furnace contractor.

The furnace contractor mess, ugh. The GC bid on moving the furnace, but we wanted a second bid, just because - my wife is AWESOME! The price difference was savage, and so we wondered if the GC's bid may have been made unaware of the facts of the job, not huge, but not simple, so we asked the GC to bring his furnace guy in to give us a real price. Two reasons, primarily, that we didn't want their furnace guy to get in there, realize he was about to take a bath, and do half-assed work, but also, we are not actually interested in ripping anyone off, we want best bids for good work and are capable, maybe not happy, of having it done. Sure enough, their furnace guy came in significantly higher than originally thought, but in a weird coincidence, (possibly because paleo is an idiot and let slip the neighborhood of the outside bid), about a rather specific round number short of our outside bid. We tried again, fresh, and by the way, Angie's List?-worth it, holy dammit I love Angie, got a respectable bid from a vetted contractor. Who, as it turned out, works for the fucking Piper, as they then informed us that some of the plans the GC's furnace guy had were dumb. Poop. We made some decisions that we can live with, but there is an annoying soffit influencing those decisions, and I ran out of the Arrakean Spice needed to fold space and time. Poop squared.
Master Bedroom

The furnace contractor (dammit, I cannot spell that word and I've been one, fourth time now I've written contracotr) ran into a minor issue - the main plumbing. The GC ran into a minor issue - he'd annoyed my wife, and although I may be a bit too forgiving sometimes, given the fact I've done this for a living, don't annoy my wife. I get cranky. We got the plumber in the next day, and frankly, that dude's a wizard too, another Belarus and his son, good guys, but were not scheduled for another week. He and the son put in a champion's day moving plumbing and temping in some other runs (incidentally leaving us hot water for a bit - Yay us!),
Bathroom, Furnace Trunks
and the furnace gentlemen were able to finish. Now, some dumb bastard has to get the furnace powered up tomorrow so that we can get gas put in so that we can have, ummm, heat. We've been waking up to a house at 50*, which makes paleo ridiculously just fine - Sweetie somewhat less so. Bro-in-law? Homicidal. They are southerners, Nebraska (south to me, don't judge) and can live in temperatures where normal people burst into flame. My suggestion? Sweaters. Sweetie's suggestion? Get to work, Sparky. Gotta check those vows, I know I put in something about indentured servitude under the sammich subclause...

Off topic for a second, having dinner, and a friend had recommended Miracle Noodles, as a pasta substitution (me being stinkabetic), and we are having 'sketti, shroomies sauce, beef and onion, and it's perfectly great. Too damned expensive to be a common thingy, but nice to know I have an option.

We finally got the tub we ordered last Wednesday, and Sweetie (MY WIFE IS AWESOME) insisted we check it for flaws as soon as reasonable. Wrong color! Dammitdammitdammit. And apparently, the damnable things are made to order, in Canada, and I have of course explored, in verse, teh evulz present at the Canadian border. This story may be continued - aarrgghhhh!

Finally...allow me to present A Short Story

On Thursday, I had a true go-ahead to start my work, and had great plans, put up all boxes and lighting, head full of plans, mouth full of obscenities (I can be a little weird... To work around. Ummm, also.) SO bright and early, I got up a switchbox. Yay me! And started getting peppered with pertinent queries, for 3 hours. About noonish as the crew retired to their lunches, borscht possibly, McDonald's likely, and I went back to work, putting up a fan box. Yaaaay, me, goddammit! And got drowned in a sea of Cyrillic commentary. Eventually, the crew went home, and I strapped on the ol' toolbag and grabbed a can light.

Four stitches later, my work got pushed off to tomorrow morning. Oh well!

One Last Thing!
I wrote a post earlier about the rotten so-and-so, probably holier than me, stealing my Vote No to the Minnesota-Holee-Shit-Those-People-Is-Different-Burn-Them amendment sign. Had intended to replace it immediately, but they are hard to get (AND THAT TOO IS AWESOME), but I finally got it!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Once Again, Teh Patriotism, It...Something

Via Think Progress:

Romney immigration adviser and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is considering banning President Barack Obama from the ballot in his state this fall for a lack of sufficient proof that he was born in the United States. 
He and his colleagues on the Kansas’s Objections Board will decide Monday whether to accept the birther-based attempt to debilitate Obama’s re-election. The move was prompted by a Kansas resident’s written complaint that Obama may be lying about where he was born.
The Kansas resident, well-known gentleman farmer/dentist/real estate agent/mathematician/herbalist Morley Plates, could not be reached for comment, reported by family to be following

on his summer 2012 tour,
and "tripping balls on patriotism", in the words of his daughter-wife.

Mr. Kobach. Please allow me to make a short statement.
Hillary Clinton.
Nope, that's all. 
You want me to elaborate? K.
Hillary Clinton is a nice lady, very smart, not exactly my type of democrat, centrist really, but she is doing an amazing job at state. Now, in 2008, she wanted to be president. Very much so. Very ambitious. She fought hard. Even more so, one of her primary advisors, and at one time her campaign manager, was Mark Penn,
Mark Penn, 2007 File Photo
one of the few people living who could have given Karl Rove a run for the money in the "Satan's Lil'est Fluffer" competition. If their was any evidence, any hiccup, any missed paperwork, ANYFUCKINGTHING that would have disqualified President Obama from qualifying, they may have likely mentioned something. 
No cap'n, it's called logic. You can read about it. Drive about 300 miles north and buy a book.

Speaking of Secretary of State, I'm no fool, I'm quite aware that at the state level, the S.O.S. is a political, partisan position, serving at the pleasure of the state's Governor. But, typically, the S.O.S. is also a state's/commonwealth's chief elections officer, and that duty should be performed as non-partisanishly (don't judge me!) as possible. Is it time yet, or would I be shrill, to suggest that the Katherine Harrises, Kris Kobachs, Ken Blackwells of the world not be actually IN THE HIERARCHY of an election campaign?

(And by the way, particularly Ms. Harris, subtlety is your friend. In the end you were a touch too visibly criminal and so very visibly incompetent that the REPUBLICAN PARTY was forced to cut you loose. That's like Chuck Manson looking at Jeffrey Dahmer and saying "goddam dude, yer a screwball." Really lady, that is Fail Hall Of Fame level.)

Just for the record, Willard the Windsock, after successfully winning the Teabag vote by blaming the events in Libya, the murder of an American ambassador, on President Obama? 

Fuck you. Fuck you, Annie, teh horse, Tagg, Tarp, Widget, Slappy, Hondo, their wives, their other wives. You are a goddamn disgrace. Go back to Kolob, or Kobol, or Corpsegrinder, or whatever fucking planet you think you're a god on. We have serious work to do, you smirking sonuvabitch, you fail-sammich, leech bastard.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remodel Blogging Week 2

Wednesday after labor day we, meaning the contractor, hit it, literally, hard. The great basement demolition commenced with enthusiasm and electronic cyrillic bajzouki dance music.

What's that, you say, mr. paleo? "electronic cyr-yada yada etc."

A bit of an explanation is in order. The general contractor we hired has a very good reputation, BBB and Angie's List-wise, and are coming in at a good price. Peachy. However, rather unexpectedly, they are all Russian, primarily from Belarus (as what has been said to me). They were not completely thrilled that sweetie was running around with a camera, and she had to explain she was documenting the basement work, not writing an episode of 'This Is Your Life' of the gentlemen. The foreman speaks very correct english, but not so much with the idiom, and heavily accented, and a couple of his workers speak english like I speak german - Where's the beer, is your daughter eighteen, that sorta thing. Otherwise, nope, and the only russian word I know is tovarisch, which  makes for good fellowship yet not so much with the conversation until drink is added and mixed well.
Teh bajzouki music seems to be in primarily to drive paleo bugnuts. Working.

Over the course of three days, my basement has been demolished to the molecular level, or at least block and concrete floor. Sweetie is suitably impressed:

Wednesday night, after half the basement was gone, we talked, a lot, and realized, its good and on. I'm not about to bring the shit outta the dumpster and reassemble the space. We then celebrated. Me especially. I have to do that once in a while to remind me not to do that. Ugh.

By Friday, the basement was thoroughly eviscerated, evaporated, defenestrated (well, we opened the windows to get stuff out, but I'm going for poetry here. Fuck off.) Sweetie noted that it actually seemed smaller with no anything than it did with the existing footprint - and she was right, a weird effect. We were then able to look at it again with fresh eyes. We knew we were going to have to pay the piper for some of the gains we were going to make, and we determined where that price was to be. For example, we had hopes, I had some doubts, that we would be able to do some tricks with the center steel to avoid a 8" soffit in the middle of the living room area. Ain't gonna happen, but we decided we could live. Poop anyhow.

Sweetheart made design decisions, design changes, design updates, design deletions. She has bought and returned tile at every tile shop in town, and is on a first name BFF basis with every salesperson in town except for a couple bastards.

Anyhow, progress!

Just remember, Sweetie, I love you, very much and stuff, so deal with the fact that I am trying to run my own banana republic right now! AAAIIIIEEEEEEE! Or something.

ESPN Haz A Sad


ESPN has cancelled SportsCenter this morning due to unconsolable sobbing. Lee Corso was unable to drink. Chris Berman was having a massive hate-wank. Olbermann applied for a job.

The Messiah of Metropolis, Tim Tebow, did not single-handedly take the Jets to a Super Bowl win yesterday. In fact, a suspiciously named heathen, Matt Sanchez, took all snaps on passing downs, having a pretty remarkable game. At no time was Mr. Tebow, the finest human being on earth, and the only man Ron Jaworski would go gay for, allowed to launch one of his patented Jesus-rockets (whip the ball at Heaven and pray.)

Rumor has it Tebow was undergoing syphillis treatment up until gametime, following an introductory tour of New York with Sanchez, introducing him to quaint Gotham culture such as 'The Champaign Room'.

Sanchez: "C'mon, Timmy, it'll be fun!"
 Lil' Timmy: "My momma always tol' me drinkin' was bad and it made baby Jeezuz cry."
Sanchez: "Alcohol?! This is just grape juice. Maybe a bit past the expiration date..."
Lil' Timmy: "Okay."
Sanchez: "Run, Timmy runohhhh that's gonna hurt..."

The Holy Tebow completed no passes on the game, proving he is as effective off the field as on, halleluhah!

ESPN is back on, Chris Mortenson with the headline "Jets Score 48; Is It Time For A Quarterback Change?"
Moron neanderthal homonculus dickweed.


Not a great sports weekend at the Wisconsin west paleo homestead. The Badgers, shutdown by not the worst team in college football, the Oregon State Hackysacks, but still, one of the early season gimme games (#1 Alabama, against perennial BCS contender Western Kentucky, pulled out at 35-0 barnburner). Damn. Well, at least I still have Aaron Rodgers.

Due to my work schedule and wildly unreasonable employer, I was unable to watch Green Bay maul San Francisco. That, and they didn't maul San Francisco.
I was able to follow most of the box score, but at halftime I called my dad and says to him I says, is this as bad as it appears and he says it is, baby, it is and it may be, and I ain't got enough beer for another half of this. 63 yd field goal, an oblong spheroid bouncing in ways unusual for an oblong speroid? Jeez, its like we're in teh football minor leagues, like the Vikings and Gophers. 
What's that? Really? Fuck. 
Ok, Gophers whipped the mighty New Hampshire Wildcats, and the Vikings made actual football decisions, and had not one player arrested before, during, or after the game. Congratulations, I guess, I think.

One last thing, speaking of the 'Queens, I have a new favorite player, Chris Kluwe, Viking punter, who wrote a letter in response to a Maryland Delegate (same as a representative), who ordered the Baltimore Ravens owner to hush up a player, linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has had the temerity to support a Maryland initiative supporting gay marriage. This letter is reproduced in full, because it must be, and share it please.

Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland's state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):
1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should "inhibit such expressions from your employees," more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person's right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.
2. "Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement." Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who's "deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland"? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political views have "no place in a sport"? I can't even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for "beautiful oppressionism").
3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you'll start thinking about penis? "Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!" Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)
I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?
In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the next election; I'm fairly certain you might need it.
Chris Kluwe
P.S. I've also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing" and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.
Chris Kluwe is a punter for the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter, @ChrisWarcraft.
Preach, brother Kluwe! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Local Music - Boiled In Lead

Just for fun, relaxing a touch, great Twin Cities band, Boiled In Lead.

Off of ORB, early 1990s, and get it if you see it, really...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Vignette From An Arizona Courtroom

The judge looked down from the bench at the pathetic figure in the chair. This was going to be rough, these cases always were. But, Duty. With a soft rap of the gavel and a bit of a cough, the judge said, “We need to hear your story.” And quietly, “Sorry.”

The figure in the chair tried to straighten up, tried to regain whatever dignity possible. Failing, and slumping, “Well, your honor, at first I noticed the breasts and long hair. But, with my training, I know hippies have long hair, and some overweight men, and most male bodybuilders, have large, round, firm, umm, oiled pecs, and ummm…” Voice fading for a moment, and returning with some determination, “Oh, ummm, I couldn’t be certain it was deformed-“

The judge interrupted, “Deformed?”

“Yes, your honor, two X chromosomes. Ummm, well, the eight beers I’d had before I drove over had my vaginy-senses tingling, and I was suspicious, and figured I best check. So I decided to feel at the crotchal area, and if I found a, ummm, “ whispering, ”hoo-ha”, turning bright red, defensive, “I’d take it back to its master, really, that’s all, I was trying to protect it! Then these socialist bouncers threw me out and called the police-“

The judge murmured, “- Oh god, not another, no, damn –“

“And my chief, I thought he was a good man, but he fired me, and I’m about to lose my house, and these –“ grimacing “- people want to put me away, and –“

With palm to forehead, the judge said “You poor thing -”

“- and I know, judge, thanks, but I just want to put this behind me and get back to my life, please, your honor.”

“Of course, you scamp, get outta here, with the apologies of the court!” Justice always felt so good! Turning to the victim,

“Now, young lady, I hope you’ve learned your lesson about being where you shouldn’t be, outside is for men, and since you were in a bar, you clearly have no moral foundation. Right there, your parents, crying! I mean, you really deserved this!”

Jeebuz, what a sick twisted little fantasy -where do I come up with this shit, what’d I eat, can you have a mushroom flashback, 20 years later, I –

Sweetie: (unintelligible)
paleo: “What’s that babe?”
Sweetie: “Look at ThinkProgress…”
paleo: “What? No… Really? What. The. Fucking. Fuck."

Judge Lashes Out At Assault Victim

Monday, September 3, 2012

Republican Douchenozzle Of The Millenium

Contest is closed, we are as close to peak wingnut as we shall ever be.

Eric Cantor, Majority Leader.

Ummm, missed the point by that much.

Labor Day is about people, the workers who enable your little Randian dreams. The one day a year where maybe, just maybe, you could show the American worker the teensiest bit of respect.
But you can’t, can you, Mr. Cantor?

At the end of the day, when you’ve unstuck your lips from the genitalia of your puppeteers, do you ever look in the mirror?
Bet you can’t do that, either.

Geek Out! Shoop-adoop, Shoop-a-Doop...

This is why teh intratubes exist.*

Also, too, and so very important:

Happy Labor Day! Brought to you by the UNION.
Thank a UNION worker. Become a UNION worker. Look for the UNION label. Buy American. Please.

*h/t erik

Sunday, September 2, 2012

From Jan. 2001 - The Paleo Files

This is a short story I wrote in Jan 2001, a bit of a trip thingy (I had several I was proud of but have only found the one - dammit), when I thought I could maybe be a young Tom Wolfe, or Dr. Thompson. In retrospect, it was more like PJ O'Rourke before he went full lunatic. I'm still proud of it, some good stuff, but if I think I'm wordy now, holy dammit, I've come a long way...

There is a chance that there is some exaggeration.

No pics, hell, I wonder if I still have any. Tis a bit long, but I think, enjoyable.

Remodel Blogging - Week One

It was a dark and stormy night...

Nope. Cliche. Fart.

I guess the best way to start would be to restate, for the record, the First Law of paleo:
Anyone who does not know what they are doing, please stop now. Get advice, get help, read a book. Goddammit.
Take notes, this will come up again.

I took the week off to do the prep work, emptying the basement and such, and the electrical demo, and electrical separation of the basement from the ground floor. Grand plans were made, vast amounts of beer were laid into handy caches throughout the property, sandwich meat in a handy cache called the fridge. Stereo and iPod set up with maximum goodness and volume. Tools, scattered hither and yon from my last project, were sorted back into their ever-so-handy pouches and bags, dremel bits, sabre-saw bits, a vast array of electrical raw material, wire, boxes, a couple other neat widgets I wanted that I snuck into the budget. A storage pod was rented to hold whatever we could not hold inside the house. Friends and family warned that paleo was not going to be in a good mood, as when he is working, he's not happy unless he's not happy. Let's dance, muthers.

Saturday, September 1, 2012