Hey! Look who’s back and strapped to my wrist! This time I didn’t even get a courtesy call from LL. Bean; they just fixed it and rushed it back to me ASAP. It’s nice to have my old friend close again.

Date posted: November 19, 2019 | Filed under watches | Leave a Comment »

Not much to report on about the weekend. I can bullet some of them out.

  • We found a new place for weekend breakfast, neither closer or cheaper, but definitely tastier, in Ellicott City. Three sandwiches and three fancy warm drinks totaled out to a little under $30, but damn, a sausage cheese and egg sandwich between two waffles was the fucking bomb.
  • Finn and I drove the Scout down there, after two weeks of slumber in the garage, and she ran great. But it was cold. It’s definitely time to get the hardtop back on her.
  • My back could not take any more days on the couch, so Hazel and I moved upstairs to the futon on Friday night. She was relaxed enough to go right to sleep, but any stirring of leaves or wind through branches outside had her awake, hackles up, staring out the window. Several times she started barking, and I had to talk her back to sleep. Saturday night I closed the blinds and she didn’t hear anything or move for the whole night.
  • Sleeping with Hazel is like sleeping with Finley at age 4: she’s all elbows and knees, and she puts off more heat than a wood-burning stove.
  • Jen took a well-deserved mental health afternoon on Saturday, and Finn was invited to a friend’s house for a sleepover that evening. Jen and I were so beat that evening, we got a pizza, poured some drinks and watched a movie. It’s the first time we’ve done that in about five years.
  • I got a little woodworking done in the bathroom on Sunday, but my time was limited. Progress was limited mostly to a coat of paint on the dining room windowframe, some woodwork painted in the bathroom, and a new stool cut for the front windows up there.
  • I drive to Parkville at 6:30 to buy a vintage Sears bandsaw from a strange dude off of Craigslist. He lived in a little house with his Mom which was CRAMMED with stuff in neat piles all the way through the house. He took me to the basement and I had visions of ending up as a flesh raincoat, but the saw was good and the deal was done. The wall next to the linen closet is not straight, and there’s a piece of wood that sets in between the closet and the wall. Once I’ve scribed the wall’s curves onto the wood, I can use the bandsaw to cut that much cleaner than if I did it with a jigsaw.
Date posted: November 17, 2019 | Filed under hazel, house, list | Leave a Comment »


Hazel is home from the vet, minus her girl parts and groggy from opioids.

Jen and I stopped in to the PetSmart before picking her up to get an alternative to the Cone of Shame: an inflatable collar. Instead of banging around the house looking like an old-time record player, she looks like she’s on the redeye to Cleveland. She has to wear this contraption for the next couple of days to keep from pulling her stitches, and she goes back in a week or so to have them pulled out.

The overnight was pretty rough. She’s not comfortable at all, so she passes out for two hours and then gets up and wanders around, trying to find a way to be still. At one point she started climbing onto the couch, so I scooped her up alongside me, and we slept like that for an hour, uncomfortably, until she stirred and I helped her back down.

The word on her pelvis is good: she’s got a clean bill of health after the x-ray so once she’s healed up some from the surgery she can walk up and down stairs under her own power again, but we’re carrying her outside for the next couple of days.

Date posted: November 14, 2019 | Filed under hazel, photo | Leave a Comment »

Hazel is at the vet this morning for a two-for-one deal: an x-ray to check on her pelvis, and to be spayed. They told us they’d have to put her under to do the x-ray so we figured we’d have them take care of her girl parts while she was out cold. Because nothing says Enjoyable Holiday Season more than a dog in heat.  When she gets back home she’s on crate rest again (OH JOY) for a couple of weeks, and we have to find a way to get her down the stairs to pee without busting her stitches or throwing out our backs. I think maybe I’m going to bolt the slide from Finn’s playset to the back stairs so she can just walk out there and pretend she’s evacuating from a burning airliner.

* * *

The new windows in the dining room and living room are awesome. It’s currently 30˚ in Catonsville. I was sitting in the dining room catching up on email this morning, and I noticed that the back of my neck wasn’t cold. It’s downright toasty in there now. With the perimeter winter proofing I did last winter and the new windows this year, there are no air currents blowing leaves around in there, and the heat from the radiator actually stays in the room. The living room windows are also tight, although I still need to caulk the edges to seal off the gaps. And I have to haul a huge pile of stuff to the dump—12 windows, stacks of old lumber, and a half ton of pig-iron window weights, all stacked not-so-neatly on the front porch.

Looking back at that link, I see the picture and I’m reminded that I haven’t been called upon to teach for two semesters now, and most likely won’t be for next semester. I’m a little conflicted by this, because while I enjoyed teaching I’m relieved that I’m not spending every weekend thinking about and worried by what’s due in the next class, or looking at a mountain of grading on the dining room table. I suspect this is because the schedules don’t work out; from what little we know, the class times that work best for me are high in demand by full-time faculty, so I haven’t been called up. Either way, I’m enjoying the break.

Date posted: November 13, 2019 | Filed under hazel, house, teaching | Leave a Comment »


Date posted: November 12, 2019 | Filed under hazel, photo | Leave a Comment »

Hemmings breaks down how much a reasonable paint and bodywork job might cost on a classic car.

The bottom line is high-quality paint jobs and the supporting bodywork can be had for much less than the cost of a concours-level restoration, but time is the factor in all projects…

At a labor rate of, say, $90 an hour, that’s $36,000 before the first drop of paint is applied…Total labor hours in the 400- to 500-hours range is reasonable for a non-concours job, which puts our friend Jeff’s estimate for his Mach 1 right in the ballpark.

My paint isn’t flaking off and the metal underneath is still in good shape. I guess I’m sticking with purple for the time being…

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: November 11, 2019 | Filed under Future Plans, Scout | Comments Off on How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car?

Originally, I was going to fart around with trim in the bathroom on Sunday afternoon. It was supposed to be 54 degrees, and having spent two freezing hours out on the soccer field watching Finley’s team on Saturday (they won the first game and lost the second) I didn’t relish the thought of opening the house to frigid arctic winds. But as I drove Finn to a friend’s house I realized it was warmer than I’d been led to believe. So I grabbed a bagful of spray foam from the Home Depot and commenced to making a mess in the living room.

This shot is after I pulled two of the trim pieces off, but hadn’t yanked the window out yet.

Here both casements have been pulled from the right side, and the storm window frame is the only thing left on that side (it came out right after this shot).

The new window is placed on the right side. This is the best comparison between old and new windows. The new ones are a little smaller in terms of window size, but brighter in the amount of light getting through.

This is with both windows placed, but before I’d mounted them permanently. As of Sunday night they’re screwed in, surrounded with foam, and the trim pieces are placed, but I don’t have any caulk, which I’ll pick up this week. Once the caulk goes in, that will help a lot with any residual leaks, but these are already a million times better than the old ones. All three sash pockets are filled with expanding foam, which should keep things toasty. It was a fast bit of work, but I got everything installed in five hours.

Date posted: November 11, 2019 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »

Hey, this is cool! The guy standing at the table talking to people, and working at the computer in the following shot, is Matt, my roommate from college. He’s not getting any fat Adobe money for his work, but it’s pretty sweet!

Date posted: November 8, 2019 | Filed under friends | Leave a Comment »

I forget how much I love this fucked-up movie.

Date posted: November 7, 2019 | Filed under entertainment | Leave a Comment »

Mead: The first thing Ridley said out of his mouth was, “This is not going to be Logan’s Run.” I thought, “Well, that gives me a clue.”

Jesus, I’m old. Blade Runner was set in November 2019, and we’re…there now. LAist (I hate that name) put together an oral history of the movie’s groundbreaking visual design.

Date posted: November 6, 2019 | Filed under entertainment, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »