Friday, November 21, 2014

Only Temporary

Eons ago, 15 years to be exact, we had a party at our house and decided to move the big Klipshorn speakers into the "Family Room."  So far, so good.

However, the Klipshorn's are "corner" speakers that require a corner to sit in.  Surprisingly, most houses today don't have two corners for such speakers.  Thus, we had to improvise and put one speaker in a corner next to the stereo unit, and the other speaker wayyyyyy across the room AND across an opening.

What to do with the wires?

Duct tape!  Yep, duct tape solved the problem of people tripping on the wires and provided a "temporary" solution for the next FIFTEEN YEARS.

Yes.  Monster Cable was duct taped to the floor in our house for FIFTEEN YEARS.  Actually, after a few days you hardly notice it, aside from the daily complaint of "When are you going to do something about those duct taped wires?!?"

Soon, I would reply, giving me another year or two grace.

Well, finally, we had our floor replaced and the contractor said, "I can hide those wires," and so he did.

So.  He.  Did.

All hail the contractor!

Look, Ma, no wires!  But, great sound.  Astounding sound!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Carpet Out, Wood In

The great floor renovation project continues.

Today, the wood was laid in the Master Bedroom which previously had carpet.  Here's the progress:

Lots of sawing, whacking, hammering and more hammering going on late into the night.  Don't these guys ever sleep?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Whack and Done

The great floor project continues with great progress.  Now that the floor is leveled and then environmental conditions are right, the wood goes down.

Like this:

Bang, bang, I laid it down.
Bang, bang it went down pound!
Bang, bang I laid those floorboards down.

Now the floor is down and level
We'll have a party, drink and revel
The old floor is a memory
And now we'll have a big par-TEE!

Bang, bang we laid it down
Bang, bang it went down pound!
Bang, bang we laid those floorboards down.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scrape and Goop

The great floor replacement project continues.

Today was filled with scraping bits and pieces off the old floor, sweeping and cleaning the dust and junk, and spreading leveling goop to make the floor flat.

The light pattern is from the front door reflecting off the wet floor goop.  The best part about the floor project is that I just get to watch.  That's a good thing since I have no clue what's going on.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Visit From Shiva

Shiva the destroyer visited my house today - by invitation.

My "hardwood" floors were deteriorating rapidly and I decided to replace them.  How could hardwood floors deteriorate and why couldn't I just sand and refinish them?  Well, they aren't exactly hardwood floors.  The "hardwood" is engineered by layering a hardwood veneer on a couple of layers of plywood.  Once the veneer goes bad such that sanding would expose the underlying plywood, it's not possible to apply a proper stain and finish.

Sadly, the floors were refinished about five years ago, but that application failed as you can see in this photo of the floor protected by an area rug.

The floor is not only faded and dull but if you could see it closely the veneer has degraded and pitted to a large extent.

The floor was removed by three strong, young men wielding large hammers and a nail bar, and it came up surprisingly easily.  Whack, rip, and there was a pile of rubble where once a floor lay.

Once picked up and brushed up the rooms were ready for new wood to be laid down.

Thus ends Part 1 of the renovation project.  Stay tuned for Part 2.  And 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and ...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Back to Gilwell

Gilwell Park is a tract of land donated to the Boy Scouts in England for training and to serve as a base of operations.

The first adult training course now known as Wood Badge was held there in 1919 by Robert Baden-Powell himself.  Since then, thousands of Wood Badge courses have been conducted around the world.   Each Wood Badge course becomes Gilwell Field representing the original park where Baden-Powell held his first course.  Below is Gillwell Field at Camp Strake near Houston, Texas.

Alas, Camp Strake has been sold due to the encroaching of development in the area.  Surrounded by houses, roads, railroads and a nearby intercontinental airport, Camp Strake is no longer a place to "get away from it all," rather it's in the middle of it all.

So, the camp has been sold and this weekend was conducted the last Wood Badge course ever at Camp Strake.

This property of trees, trails, lakes and wildlife will become a network of road, houses, malls and traffic congestion.

It's very said, but only a reflection on our society and how it grows.

I'm privileged to have spent the final weekend at a Wood Badge course at Camp Strake, in the cold, clean air and still calm of dawn's light.  Farewell, Camp Strake, you leave memories with me forever.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Cat

Kink is sitting on the table.   There he is.

Kink is cool and unmoved by current events.  He's the Cat.

And There He Is.