Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Since I really like my chair, despite its flaws, I'm excited about my next big project, which is to enclose the back porch. Now, there was once a patio off of the dining room and hallway, and that had a roof over it, and many years ago somebody enclosed it. I'm not entirely sure how they did it, but it's got painted plywood on the outside and fake-wood paneling on the inside. It's always very whateverthetemperatureisoutside in there, and the bugs have easy access. I intend to seal it up, eventually putting vinyl or fiber cement siding on the outside, but primarily pulling off the paneling, adding insulation (if it's not there already), reinforcing the wall frame as needed, and putting up drywall. I plan to put in a solid door where there is currently a 60" x 80" sliding glass door, and I plan to cover up one of the windows.
I've been reading about framing and drywall, I've been looking through Google Images, watching videos on the proper way to use drywall joint compound, and I'm really excited about this project. That kind of excited I was about the video project for work a couple of weeks ago: looking forward to doing it while being a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to. Well, now my thrill is coming from this home improvement project. I have to make sure I have all the tools and supplies I need to pull it off, that I have it planned out well enough that I can do most of it in a day, or at least a weekend, and don't leave the house exposed much. Fortunately, as it is an add-on, and the interior, formerly exterior, wall and doors have not been compromised, if I leave the back room open, the house is not any more exposed than it was 30 years ago before the porch was closed in.
So the more I research it and plan for it, the more confident I feel about executing it, and I can't wait to get started. Sadly I have a lot of prep work to do in the way of clearing out space in our storage shed to fit everything that's in the back room now in order to get it empty so I can rip the walls off, etc. So the main thing I need to do to get started is plan. I need to set aside some time in which to expect to tackle these steps of the project.
The next step is unfortunately difficult to plan for. I need to pull the paneling off to find out what kind of frame is behind there. Is it 2x4s and insulation with fire breaks and cripple studs and all that, or is it a flimsy construction of sticks and mud? There are windows set in the walls, and they seem sturdy enough in their frames, like there must be some solidity to the structure. But with rafters spaced 36" apart, I don't know what the stud spacing is or if there is insulation or anything. Will I need 2x4s to reinforce the frame? Will I find rotting wood that needs to be replaced?
I have figured that I will need 8 sheets of drywall at 8'x4' to finish both of the new interior walls. That's not bad. Fifty bucks worth of sheetrock. Outside of the new door, that looks like it will be the most expensive part of the job. I was nervous about finishing the drywall, but after watching a couple of videos on YouTube, I feel totally confident in my ability to do that, even the corners. I'm still not sure about finishing the window frames, but I'm sure there's a video for that too. Get some corner beads and just compound over it like it's an outside corner. I think I'm going to want to replace the windows also. That gets really expensive really fast, but it will be necessary for temperature and noise control.
I have asked for a quote on the vinyl siding, both for materials only and for complete installation. I haven't seen any videos on it and I'm not at all confident about my ability to do that. Once I see the quotes I will likely fire up the ol' YouTube and teach myself how, so I can save hundreds of dollars in the end. Or maybe not.
So, assess the frame, make adjustments as needed, insulate, drywall, finish and paint. Somewhere in there put in new door(s) and windows.
Next step: put in a ceiling. Another thing I haven't read or watched videos about. I imagine it's not much different than the walls, as I can use drywall for that too. I'm going to put in a ceiling fan either way, but putting in insulation and an actual ceiling will help so much with temperature control. With the amount of time I have before the project start date, I'll be able to do plenty of research on putting in ceilings, so I'm confident I'll be fine. But, first things first: MAKE A PLAN.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I will pay my respects to Kay Haas on Tuesday, going to Cirque du Soleil's IRIS on Wednesday, Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and Friday I'm playing again with 13 Knots. Oh yeah, we played for the first time in almost 6 years on Saturday, after I built the chair, and everybody wants to do it again this Friday. So I'm looking forward to that. My playing and cooperation got rave reviews from other members of the band. I'd been dying to play bass again, and it did feel good. So we'll do it this one other time, then the studio we use (Pasadena Rehearsal Studios) shuts down for good. I know there are people who would be interested in seeing the Knots live once again, but so far there are not enough of them speaking up about it to book a gig. I'm pretty sure we'd all be down for it, if the chance arose. Unfortunately Xena lives in Austin now, so hasn't been able to join us, and it's unlikely that she would if we had a gig, though not impossible. She'd probably need at least one rehearsal with us, which would be easy enough. I don't think anyone's mentioned it to her yet. But again, the gig is not yet in the works, so that falls to the people with an interest to raise their voices and make it happen.
So anyway, the chair still needs sanding and painting, but other than that I think it's good. Delilah has asked me to build her a table also. First I think I will build an extended shoe rack or a cubby hole kind of shelf unit for the bedroom. The nice thing about building it yourself is you make it just the way you want it. Luckily I'm pretty good with Illustrator now and so I can plan it out real nice with scale drawings.
Welp, time to go.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I've been trying to catch up on my Burn Notice addiction. Bought season 2 a few weeks ago. I'm on disc 4. Christmas is coming up fast, and I'm going to ask for seasons 3 and 4. I just really like that show.
One of the things I've been updating a lot is my YouTube page, www.youtube.com/daddymunro1. I've added many of my songs, including 3 or 4 I've written in the past few months. I'm also making a fairly regular appearance on Facebook, now that Emily and I have a computer at home, and an internet connection. I was starting to think it would never happen, but we budgeted and researched and ended up with an Acer laptop so she can take some online college classes, and I can do some marketing of my music and budding side project of freelance graphic design.
I rebuilt a gate next to the house to keep the dog from getting out of the yard. Boy did it need it. Rotten wood and broken planks, the thing would hardly open and close. The original gate used a steel frame, so I used that and 3 of the old planks, and I put in new cross-support 2x4s, two new dog-eared cedar planks, and all new screws. Besides the trip to Home Depot, the whole job took me maybe an hour. It was good to get my tools out and do something manly for a change. Oh, and I went to Sears and bought a few more tool things with a gift card I got for my birthday.
I bought tickets to Iris, the new Cirque du Soleil show at the Kodak Theatre. We're going on the 23d, the day before Thanksgiving.
The old band, 13 Knots, is getting together for a little revival practice. Scott decided he wanted to jam again just for kicks, and he got through to the rest of us (except for Xena, who is in Austin). So we're going to do that this Saturday. I'm looking forward to it. I've been wanting to play bass with somebody for a while now, pretty much since I got my new Danelectro bass and Ampeg amp. And the Knots haven't played together since my wedding reception almost 6 years ago.
It looks like I'll be heading back to Buford, GA next month to shoot a video for the job, then I rush back and start editing it to beat a January deadline. I'm going to need a new computer for that, as we've already purchased Adobe Premier Pro for the project, and none of our computers will run it! I guess we're going to start making training videos, etc, now that we will have the means to produce professional-quality videos. And I get to learn how to do it! I'm the go-to guy for this, on my way to being a big-time movie director. Yeah, that's it.
Delilah is almost 2 1/2, and she is getting into the terrible stage, testing limits and patience and all that. I think we'll all come out better for it in the end. She really is amazing.
So there's a lot going on, and I am looking forward to the future and all that it holds.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
So that's exciting.
Tonight we're supposed to go on a sort of double date. Again, I don't know that I should name names, but one participant is my cousin by marriage and the other is a friend from work. Looks like it's just a dinner, but I'll try to talk everyone into a movie also. A good date movie seems like it would be Larry Crowne. I'll see what I can do.
Friday, July 1, 2011
She understands an amazing number of things, she recognizes things like t.v. show sets, people's voices (like Randy Newman), & she is showing signs of being a great dancer. She's got rhythm, & for that I am endlessly grateful. I don't know yet if she is going to have an interest in playing music, but I have a feeling it may be a while before she does, if she does. She doesn't seem to like to be told things, how to do things, etc. She likes to do things her own way. I have NO idea where she gets that from. Anyway, I'm more than happy to teach her anything I know/she wants to know about anything musical.
We went to the company party last night, & she charmed everyone with her sweetness, her beauty, her behavior. She's very loving and she's everything I could want. I want to thank God, and my Kindergarten teacher Ms. Miller, my friends & family, the academy, Mr. Futa, who didn't believe in me but let me prove myself to him... I should say real things but I may have forgotten how.
Currently reading: Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Something's wrong with Emily's car, so I've been letting her take my car for the last couple weeks & I've been driving the faulty car because I can work with it. So it's kind of nice, thinking of her in all that luxury. & her car is not bad in general, so when we switch back I don't need to feel guilty about having the nice new car again. Besides, my commute is a lot longer than hers, so I spend more time in the car.
Delilah is growing so much, she's tall, she's talking. It's getting very close to the time when we can take her with us on all of our adventures. I really want to take her to some concerts. I got an email today that the Foo Fighters are playing at the Forum in October. She'll only be 2 1/2 at the time, but she used to really like them. If she would stand for keeping earplugs in we could possibly take her.
Well, it's coming up on time to go. I've fed the fish & I've finished all my work, so maybe I'll walk out a few minutes early and take my time getting home. I'm working to reduce my stress.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
I think I have realized (been helped to realize) that I am wasting time & money trying to put together a band to play live gigs. It's what I want to do as much as anything else in life, but there are other things which will make me at least as happy, so I'll content myself with those. I'm starting to think it might make it easier to move forward with some other endeavors if I stop thinking about how things will translate into a live show.
I'm not saying I will give up music. That would be stupid. Stupid to say, stupid to do. It means far too much to me. But I can concentrate on writing & recording, & maybe I can become a composer of music for other people to play. I don't know. But if I don't worry about if I'll be able to pull it off on stage with just one guitar and bass & drums, I can 'unlimit' myself, & go with what sounds good rather than what I can recreate in a live setting.
I'm 40 years old. I've heard it said that it's pathetic for a 30-year-old to try to make it with his band. I've ignored the signs & I've kept trying. Sadly, a live band trying to be popular is just about the only place in music where youth & good looks are especially important. That & music videos. But in recording, writing, composing, etc. you can do it at any age. I have the wisdom of my years behind me, & I've never had the image to make a mark on the entertainment world anyway, so I don't think I'm in a bad position.
I would be willing to play live shows if I was a hired gun in someone else's band. That doesn't feel like it would be a problem. I would even come out of my semi-retirement to play as my own band if I was asked, but so far nobody has ever asked. It's always been me trying to force myself on gigs. I can let go of that ball of tension in my gut. Just forget it. I'm bad at it, I don't know how to be a frontman or a spokesperson, & I can't get a bunch of guys together who compensate for all that I am lacking.
For the record, this was not a decision made rashly. It was suggested to me that the band thing may not be for me at this stage in my life, and by one of the people in my band. When the other person in my band basically agreed with him, it really got me thinking. I don't have what it takes to make a band work. I think I could be a member of a band, & maybe they would even consider using or adapting some of my compositions, & that would make me happy. I'm going to start by trying to play for my church, & I'll see who I meet there & what might happen. That's the First United Methodist Church of Whittier, FYI.
Thanks for not coming here & reading this & bugging me about it. The Orange Cones have been run over & killed.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I've taken on a whole new aspect to my job. I'm semi-officially part of the IT Department in that I have a login to the company Help Desk inbox. Yes, I'm assisting various project managers as PMAs with tasks to fix their little changes and glitches in The System. They're usually pretty good about giving me the acknowledgment and compensation for my additional and well-performed duties, & hopefully there's something in this taking-on of more responsibility and lightening the load of the specialists with their deeper understanding of programming & the like. I get to do more mundane maintenance tasks so they can focus on the overwhelming number of other things I don't understand. By mundane I don't mean to imply that it's boring or that I don't like it. It's really just that these things are a time-suckage to people who are in demand for their extensive skills, & my shallow comprehension of the way computers work generally is enough that I can perform some of the simpler tasks which keep the company moving smoothly. I actually like it quite a bit. I not only get to feel smarter because I'm learning new things, doing things for people which they are not able to do for themselves, but also I am doing exactly what they were hoping this opportunity would do for me, which is broaden my horizons and expand my usefulness in the company. It's just the kind of thing anyone would hope for in their job, & I'm lucky enough to get it and be able to do it! It's pretty exciting. Even so, it would be nice to get a decent salary bump for it. All the advancement in any workplace is really about the money, isn't it? Well, no, not really. There are two goals when moving up in a job: more money & easier work. Funny how that works out. By the time you're making the truly big bucks you're doing almost no work at all. I'm safely tucked away in the middle. So lucky.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Yeah, we rocked it. Orange Cones and Daddy Munro's DJ services are available for parties and events. Go ahead & contact me any way you know how for details.
Friday, March 18, 2011
warm-up, “I Need to Ask You” inst.
Obla Di Obla Da
59th st Bridge Song
I Can’t Take You (C#)
She’s Leaving Home
I Imagine So/Superfluous
I’m a Believer
Just Like Heaven
Drive My Car
Last night we went for a walk and she got out onto the porch and said, "outside." She correctly identified the moon, cars, houses, and her umbrella stroller, which she calls her "ride." This is such an exciting and interesting time.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
She's supposed to start working on getting past the diapers this summer. She'll be 2 in June. I can't believe it.
It's funny, when I got married I knew that it would change my life as far as how I spend my time, but this having a baby has turned my world upside down. I'll definitely take her over my old life in a heartbeat.
I can't wait until she can go everywhere with me. I want so badly to show her off to everyone in the world. I just realized, I don't think she's been to Therapak since she could walk. She's due for a visit.
Band practice tomorrow. Last few before the gig. Oh, it looks like I've signed on to DJ this shindig as well as bring the band. Once again, it's 11233 Charlesworth Rd, Santa Fe Springs, CA on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Delilah will be there!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
when in life's garden
you think you plant a rose
don't be disappointed
if that's not what grows
life is the treasure
not the kind it is
be thankful for what you've got
cuz hey, that's show biz
there's a reason I stopped writing poetry.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
This is us watching TV one night. She's really starting to show the personality she is bursting with now. A lot of the old videos show her just staring & being mystified by everything.
This is Father's Day 2010. I ask her, "Is there anything you want to say to Daddy...?" & she says "no." Then when I say "Okay," she immediately says "Happy." I think that's what she meant. She's in the Eddie Bauer carseat in the back of my 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring.
I'm the luckiest man alive.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Evidence is mounting that Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a bubbly subterranean ocean where conditions might be friendly to life.
Wow. Think how interesting this could be. Here we are on Earth, being largely deluded about being the only life in the universe, let alone our solar system, & yet there may be life on a moon of one of our local planets.
Imagine spending your entire life on a body where the sun doesn't rise & set each day, but where the sun is a distant speck in the constant night sky, & where the dominant astronomical feature is a giant bluish planet with fancy rings on it (which you would likely see mostly edge-on & so wouldn't completely understand the nature of). You would orbit this bluish planet, & you wouldn't know what it was like to be so close to heat & light like Earth is. You likely wouldn't understand the whole planet concept; you wouldn't realize that you were orbiting the planet which, in turn, is orbiting this bright speck in the sky. A solar eclipse is what you would call 'night'. The unenlightened on your 'planet' would assume that the giant thing looming constantly in the sky was orbiting you, & not the other way around. I can't imagine the theories of physics they'd come up with to explain it. Ptolemy's epicycles would have nothing on the genius of denial that would create that model.
I realize that any life which may exist in this subterranean ocean on a freezing moon is most likely a form of bacteria, & is not building a civilization and theorizing about science, & physics and theology, but to take the science fiction writer's approach, life is life & where it's possible, let's make the most unlikely assumptions.
Monday, January 17, 2011
It's the section labeled as "Orange Cones," as that is the lineup once again. We're adding quite a few cover songs to our set list. Some you will have heard before, others you surely have not.