Sunday, November 9, 2008

The House

in my quest to be a good husband, i'm trying my hand at mr. fix-it. i've had the lunacy to take on several projects at once, to my chagrin. i began with the basement.

this house, for some unknown reason, has 18" wallspace in the basement. that is to say that the sheetrock on the inside wall is approximately 18" from the concrete of the basement. as a result, we have deep window boxes and a waste of space. at first i thought it to be duct work, perhaps aluminum, running behind the wall. there was a spot in the extra room of the basement - known as the apartment - where the wall suddenly jogs back to the concrete and is no longer taking up that 2' of space. I expected this to be the termination of the aluminum duct work.
when we took the panel off the end of that wall section, i was astounded to find dead empty space. the duct was a one foot in diameter flexible tube lying on the floor and plugged into the return in the wall. no aluminum. there was also a pipe and valve, which i discovered to be my water main.

the first project we undertook was to take back that 18" of space. or at least some of it. we tore down the wall and my roommate Lone, a framer for the last two years, framed me a new wall. total space acquired: 15 square feet. not bad. we moved the wall back about 14" on a 10' length of wall. We left a portion of the wall around the water main to be network closet, wired romex for power, network cable, and new lights along the wall. all in all, not a bad renovation.

this took approximately 4 weekends to get 70% done. the wall is built, the wires are run, the sheetrock is up everywhere except around the network closet. we need to finish the closet, plug in the power, and tape/texture/paint.

in the interim of this project, my wife became annoyed with having the dish washer in the kitchen.

this house, for another unknown reason, has one of the smallest kitchens i have ever witnessed. the total size is 10'x10'. not too bad if its a bedroom, but then bring all four walls in by the two and a half feet of cabinet and counters, and the area is significantly smaller. the dishwasher, a roll-away, perfectly rolled into the opening between the counter and the fridge, and hooked up to the sink. she has been telling me for the last year that she wants it permanently mounted to the end of the counter. i could not figure out how that was supposed to work, but after cabling the basement and wiring for power, i felt confident i could figure it out. to ensure i would not slack it off and only half finish it, i cut the connection to the faucet from the hoses, and off we went to home depot.

we bought fittings, irrigation pipe, and teflon tape, and took our treasures home to properly mount the dishwasher in its now irrevocably permanent home. After drilling holes in the walls of the cabinets, feeding through the hose and running the dishwasher several times, i have tightened the fittings down enough that no water leaks from the connections; not as easy a task as you might think. Forget screwdrivers for this type of torque. Rachets are a godsend.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Blood drinker

An amazing true story by a friend of mine of an experience while he was in prison.

In the words of Skipphag:
did i ever tell you about dan hernandez
dan woods and i would sit in our cell and play d&d
dan hernandez would wander around, bugging people until they told him to go away.
he was in a cell with this guy, can't remember his name right off, but doesn't matter
anyway, we didn't like troy (that was his name)
dan would come in and watch us, until we stopped and stared at him
troy was lds
dan had no specific beliefs
troy would grind the lds ideals into dan at night. which as you know, does not work
however, dan would come and spew all of this back at dan w. and me.
so, one day, dan w. held up his hand to stop dan h.
and said, "we worship satan"
dan h. says, "no, he's evil"
dan w. says, where do you get that?
dan h. "in this book"
i asked "but who wrote this book? hmmm? god did, thru his people.
and since god wrote it, don't you think that he would try to defame his nemesis?
dan w. picked up and ran with it.
yeah, if you ask god for stuff, it might happen, it might not. it' s all his whim.
dan h. says "no, no, god is good."
i pull out the bible and started looking up different places talking about god's wrath
you know, when taken out of context, god is pretty petulent, and vindictive
anyway, we told dan h. that satan wasn't like that. he wanted people to be happy and do whatever they wanted.
dan h. tells us that he has a dream of eating blood
dan w. pipes in, "well, how do you think that we stay so young looking?"
and this caught me off guard. so i stared at him.
dan h. says "what"
dan w. "yeah, you see, if you worship satan, then you live forever. and stay young by drinking blood. Skipphag there is over 400 years old, he recruited me.
dan h. "then why are you guys in jail"
me "to recruit you"
we've been watching you from a distance for some time, and we wanted to offer you an "in"
he says "really, what do i have to do?'
dan w. "you need to take a spoon, not a fork or knife, but a spoon. and scoop out troy tinneys left eye."
and i pipe in "and eat it."
then you
you'll be able to drink blood and become young again.
anyway, dan h. leaves the room, goes to troy and asks if he can borrow a spoon (troy had some)
troy asks "what's it for, to stir your coffee," and dan says "eh, yeah"
that night, nothing happened
so the next morning, dan and i laid into him, "hey, why didn't you do it. you don't have much time, or we'll have to take back the offer.
that night, dan w and i are playing cards, and we hear this thump-thump, and we thought that the guys in the next tier were trying to communicate with us, so we pounded on the wall.
the thumping became eratic. and it was coming from the other wall
the wall between dan/troys room and ours
so i jumped up, grabbed my cup, and put it against the wall, and my ear to the cup.
from the other side i hear troy screaming at dan "do you give up, i can keep this up all night."
and dan screams back, "no, i eat the blood"
troy is totally confused, he hits the intercom and yells, "this is troy tinny in tier 7 cell 7. my celly attacked me
help, help
the lights come on, and guards rush in.
troys door opens, and they grab troy and slam him into the opposing wall, so we could see him through the window. dan w and i start yelling "rat!"
troy again says, "my celly jumped me"
the guards tell him to shut up
dan comes out of the room, and is bleeding from his right hand, and his left side
troy looks into my window, and he has a crescent shaped bruise between his nose and left eye. a serious bruise, like nothing i've ever seen before or since.
they haul the two of them out, troy to the hole, dan to medical
then they brought dan back
in the morning, we asked him what happened.
he showed us the spoon, and said that it wouldn't work.
it was one of those wide soup spoons
or troy would have been minus an eye
troy then bit dan's hand, and his side
he took a quarter shaped piece of flesh out of dan's side
dan had to get 32 stitches, and a rabies shot
later, in the cell
i told dan w that we were going to hell for this
he said "anybody that listens to a couple of idiots like us, deserves whatever he gets!"
i agree
anyway... when i was working in the law library, dan came in, from the a-block
he saw me, and gave me the sign
you know, the satanist sign
index and pinky out
i said how ya doin dan
the first thing he did, was lean in close, and whisper, they put me in a cell with troy.
i said, "you know what you have to do"
and the next day, he came in, from the hole
troy came in that day as well.
he had a crescent shaped bruise between his left eye and his nose
the same size as the last time
dan said that he borrowed the spoon from troy again
you'd think that troy would've learned
anyway, when the two got out of the hole, they were put into the same cell. again.
5 times
i told mikey and monty and jarrett about it
they didn't believe me, but thought that it was a cool story
then, on halloween 2001. monty and i were watching tv, and mikey was playing pinocle
the main door opened, and dan hernandez walked in packing a matress
i said "monty, monty.... that's him"
he didn't believe me
i hid on my bed for the next day
i was afraid that since he couldn't succeed with troy, then maybe the master's eye would work
he called me "the master"
anyway, mikey and monty got upset because i wouldn't do anything. dan walked up to monty to ask a question about the tv, and saw me.
he imediately bowed his head and said "master" and made the sign
monty and mike left, and came back later. they were both pale
is that really him?
monty went up to him and said that he was on "our team", so he should not try to eat monty's eye
dan said that was okay
scared the crap out of me
dan then went to mikey, and asked if he was on our team, cause if he was, then he would live forever. but if not, then fifty or sixty years at most.
maybe less
and he was rubbing his finger and thumb together at this point
i said, "mikey is on our team'
it was awesome


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