Home Improvements…

Today I supervised the the first improvement to Castle Grabyar on my watch–and it involved a crane. When I bought the place last December I knew what to expect in terms of the quality (or lack thereof) of the HVAC system. The compressor was only five years old, but it was undersized. The condenser coil was about twenty years old and leaked coolant. All of this added up to the system freezing up if it was asked to cool more than about five degrees difference from the outside temperature. Not too fun when it’s 95 degrees outside.

The new system is 25% bigger, 75% more efficient, and cost 250% more than I really wanted to spend. But that extra cost included the crane, and I wouldn’t give that up for the world.

Rules are rules, man…

Tonight on the way to dinner my friends and I were caught about a half of a mile from my house at the stoplight at Belmont and Hillsboro Road. As we sat at the light, I noticed a man riding a unicycle coming up beside the car. It took every fiber of my being not to roll down the window and yell, “HEY BUDDY, IT’S A BICYCLE LANE!” The other folks in the car begged me not to, but it was obvious to me that the man would have enjoyed it. No one but an exhibitionist looking for attention would ride a unicycle in public, especially one wearing bike shorts.

Also tonight when we came home I saw, for the first time in two and a half years of living at my current address, Emmylou Harris out walking her dog. We’ve known that she was a neighbor, I’ve pointed out her house to friends and family alike, but until tonight no one really knew for sure.

A homeowner moment…

Last night Nashville (and the rest of the midstate) had lots of rain and wind associated with what the news kept calling a “bow echo.” It was interesting to watch it on TV, the line of strong 70 miles-per-hour wind was very visible on the TV and I knew it immediately once it hit downtown and then a few minutes later when hit the condo.

When the wind hit, I had the immediate fear that my umbrella/parasol thingy was going to blow away so I went outside in the storm to lower it in hopes that it would stay attached to the patio furniture. The dog tried to follow me outside, so I closed the patio glass door in an effort to keep her in the condo. I wrestled with the umbrella before determining that it was going to be OK and it wasn’t going anywhere. Then I turned to re-enter the condo and noticed that the security bar that keeps the door locked had fallen neatly into place. I was locked out. Without my keys. And the front door was locked. In the storm.

Luckily I have good neighbors who have an extra key.

Always ready to oblige…

I’ve tried to be careful not to subject people to unsolicited doggy pictures, but as a proud papa I’m always ready to show them when asked.

I’ve also bought her a new collar trying to establish with the neighbors the fact that the dog is a she, not a he. The goal here is to have something more feminine for her while projecting nothing but masculinity from me. We’ll see how that goes.

Let’s play a game…

Which costs more… 25 gallons of gas? Or a DVD player?

There are two things about this image that are interesting to me, the rising price of gas and the commodification of consumer electronics. Industry CEOs may disagree, but I think that something officially becomes a commodity when they start selling it at the corner convenience store. Let alone advertise it on their sign. “Yeah, honey I stopped by the Mapco on the way home for some milk, bread, and a picked up a DVD player, too.”

As for the gas, it would just make me feel better if they would just wait until the middle of the night to raise the prices, rather than doing it like they did this morning. I watched as they raised the price three cents while I waited for my turn light to go green. I tried honking my horn and yelling out my window to have a mini-revolt (admittedly, an act of passive agressive civil disobedience at the corner of Harding Place and Trousdale Drive) but no one joined in so I just looked like I was crazy.

Not quite done yet, but definitely substantially complete.

So I spent the weekend painting again. During my recent trip to Las Vegas, I went on the Hoover Dam tour. I took lots of pictures of the dam, including these two shots (left) (right.) It wasn’t until I returned home that I realized that the two shots together actually made an interesting looking panorama, and I knew I’d found my next subject for painting.

Here are some more views. 1 2 3 4

I’m really having fun with this. The paintings are acrylic on two 30″x40″ canvasses. I painted them in parallel, so I wouldn’t have to risk mixing color twice and have them not be the same. I’m not watering down the acrylic paint, so I’m finding it to be a pretty expensive hobby, but most good hobbies are.

It’s going over my couch.