Monday, February 23, 2009

To Carry or Not to Carry...

LOL. I laughed so hard I almost cried when I saw this--it's one of the absolute funniest things I've seen in a long time.

Personally, I believe that carrying a sidearm at all times is a good thing, even while at home. From the very beginning, the Monday Update was started with the main goal of inspiring others to increase and maintain their situational awareness (SA), to avoid becoming a victim of unfortunate circumstance and others' haplessness. A mantra of this writer is a maxim from a great strategist whose name presently escapes me: "The great general is not one who wins a hundred battles, but avoids a thousand."

Criminals don't wait until you are perfectly comfortable to perpertrate a crime--they want you in the hurt locker, totally vulnerable or absent. But, ironically, I also have concerns about carrying a pistol in my house with children there, the very ones I am there to protect and shield from any danger. I wish my dad carried when I was a kid. My uncle did. When we were all in the middle of BFE Minnesota on a fishing trip in the Boundary Waters near Canada, I only really felt safe because I knew my Uncle Butch was packing heat.
As a kid, I considered it bad ass to see a respected adult carry a sidearm and did not question the decision. I'd want to emulate it in due time. Yet as an adult in today's world, it seems so taboo to carry, openly or concealed, especially with family around.
Two weeks ago, Clare and I visited her friend's house in PA. Her husband, Jason, is a state trooper and Iraq vet. He's a devout Christian and ultra-responsible. When I asked if he carried off-duty his response said it all: "Everywhere."
We need more responsible men in our society who will not stand for criticizism from those who advocate being the next unarmed victim of a violent crime. If your house is suddenly besieged by 4 armed thugs, you need to be respond in seconds--your critics will not be there to protect you. To quote a recurring maxim of MadOgre, "Pacifism is a privilege of the protected."
Before I close, let me say this: Most normal victims believe before a crime that it "couldn't happen to them," that crimes are something that "happen to other people." Don't let that person be you.
Over and Out,


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bathroom of Doom (Director's Cut)

Some before and after action. Here are some of the pics, as promised. Above, sweet sweet demolition in progress, though it felt more like regress. You can see how I was trying to preserve the toilet for as long as possible, before going to the saw-dust toilet of death. I title the first photo, "Gloom Beckons" and the second, "Isle of Despair." That bucket of water is what I used to flush the toilet when I had the water off. You'd actually have to straddle the floor joists and insulation to lift it up and dump the water in the back of the toilet. Lovely, eh?

As you can see, in this last pic, I've dished out my fair share of sackage too. This is where things stand. I just need to finish those walls, ceiling and the rest of the details, which will take some time yet.
I will post final bathroom pics/details again when I am done-done with the project.
Over and Out,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

There's no way...

Obama is going to make it four years in office as President. I mean, did you see this guy's first official press conference yesterday? It was a total bomb, an utter disaster. Uh-bama was a boring, stuttering bufoon. His blather wasn't even coherent a good portion of time. The Uh-bama press office--and no, I am not referring to the main stream media this time--should just issue its press releases as a series of "uhs" with "hope and change" and "destroy America" at the end and we'd suffer a lot less and get to the point much faster.

If he makes it the full four years without resigning, it will be because the media dragged him through to the finish line. And they will try, to be sure. Some out there are calling this man brilliant, but if this is brilliance then I'm a bearded gnome. This guy can't even answer questions straight. No wonder Iran is eager to talk with him--they are going to take full advantage of Uh-Bama and it's not going to be pretty. Our enemies like Uh-bama; that should tell you something.

One final thought in this vein: it's a lot different to campaign for the highest and most powerful temporal office in the world than it is to be President and shoulder the offices' responsibilities. Uh-bama is crumbing faster than a Ritz cracker. I just hope he doesn't take the rest of the country with him.

Alright, that's it for now. Just a small rant against our fearless leader before he creates breadline America with this damn trillion-dollar spending debacle.

Buy your guns now, before he decides the government needs to run that industry, too.

Over and Out,


Monday, February 02, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

House Thoughts

Wow. 2 posts in 3 days. I am starting to set records over here.

I have been pondering much about our house renovation(s) of late. So I am going to take this opportuninty to sound off on this subject, cause, well, cause I damn well feel like it.
Before we bought this place, both Clare and I watched HGTV like fiends, me moreso than Clare I think. It got to the point that I could spot a re-run in 30 seconds or less, but that's what you get when you watch for 6 hours a day. Let's just say I wanted to be in the know.
Fastforward to our home purchase. Having some backround in tearing up houses and then putting them back together, I had a pretty good idea of what is involved in a remodel, renovation, and maybe even a partial rebuild. The one thing I was not prepared for, however, was going it alone, doing the large share of the work by myself.
Many good people have volunteered along the way to assist me. But it has been sort of a right of passage for me in remodeling this bathroom, for example, quasi-alone. It's one thing to show up to work everyday and put in 8+ hours on a remodeling project you don't live with. It's entirely another to come home after 8+ hours of that kind of work to home with no plumbing and boxes everywhere, because you thought you were a total tool time bad ass and could be finished in 5 days.
LOL. Well, maybe not finished finished, just father along than demolition.
Anyway, I've learned as I go, so to those people who would have gladly helped and volunteered despite their inexperience, I say thank you. To my dad, who helped save and kick my ass, I say thank you times infinity.
You see, the one thing you want to have when tackling a big home project is a friend or family member who has some experience building things. No offense to the inexperienced. It's just that that person who has more than semblance of clue boosts your morale more than words can say.
There have been many times I looked at the bathroom, see unfinished plumbing, a pit with the some old walls, and experienced despair. My morale plummetted to the depths. No amount of HGTV could have prepared me for that! It wasn't because I didn't have a plan, just that I didn't have my crew of 15 craftsman to make it fun and get everything done in a week and under budget.
SO, my first recommendation of someone thinking about going it alone in fixing their house is to be very generous with yourself with regards to how much time, effort and money you think you are going to spend. While it is far superior to do work yourself, save money and insure a kick ass job, paying a contractor to do the work has the benefit of getting it down quickly and hopefully right. But if you are like me, then you will only be satisfied when your hand is behind the project because you know it was done right, or that some things were and some things weren't. But you, not some contractor who doesn't give a damn, makes that decision.
Secondly, even if you have a new house, be prepared for the unexpected. When you feel that sinking feeling and are saying "oh shit, oh shit" to yourself over and over, just know that someone else, many, many people have gone before you in experiencing the same thing and lived to tell the tale.
The other thing, especially for anyone considering a fixer upper in addition to family and a normal 9-5, is that you can only go so far alone before you burn out or get sidetracked with something more urgent. For example, Anastasia's room needed carpet replacement immediately, but because I was burnt out and still had no plumbing, I delayed longer than I would have liked. We made her accommodations work, but it was less than ideal in my opinion. She has a new floor now, which looks and seems to work great, but I wanted it done a while ago and I wanted it done my way, so I know the quality of the construction underneath and the job itself.
All homes are a work in progress. Maintenance starts now and is a never-ending process. It can be overwhelming to stand before everything that needs to be done, see it as such, and not even know where to begin. I wrote a long to-do list for the house for 2009. When I got to item 25 or so, I just threw the damn thing away. You can only do so much. You only have two hands when you are going it solo. And that means, you can only do what you can do and that's it. If you push too hard for too long you will burn out, grab the oh shit bar and put on the brakes. Hopefully, though, if that's you, it won't happen.
All right, I just wanted to put this info out there for that one person who is facing or will face a daunting home task and has no where to turn except Lowes.
I promise you if you act like you're a bad ass who knows what they're doing, you'll impress somebody. And who knows, you might know more than you think!
Over and out,
--The Dominator