Friday, May 27, 2005

Wish I were there...

I stopped by my parents' house on my lunch break and this was the view at the time. It made it very difficult to go back to work. I had to resist the urge to borrow my mom's kayak and take a quick paddle around the bay. Hopefully the weather will be just as nice this long weekend.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Under the Bridge

This is another view under the Jamestown Bridge. It was the only picture I was able to take last week with my real camera before the battery died.

New Neighbors

This new family recently moved in next door. They tend to like to hang out outside my window when it's high tide. Hopefully they won't be playing any loud music or having late night parties.

I think the same couple was here last year raising another family. Only two of the youngsters made it last time. Maybe I ought to call DCYF.

This year was the first time I saw the babies riding on their mothers back. I wish I had been able to get a picture of it. By the time I noticed and grabbed my camera, they had paddled out of view.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Roads to nowhere?

I went kayaking today on a somewhat foggy day. I paddled out to the nearby Jamestown Bridge and took this picture while floating between the old bridge (on the right) and the new bridge (on the left). The sound of cars crossing the bridge added to the surreal mood - they made this odd howling noise.

The seals have headed for colder waters and are no longer hanging around the bay. Now there are some big jellyfish coming in. I'm glad I wasn't swimming.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

One heavy pile of wood

I spent part of the day today carrying 480 pounds worth of wood into the downstairs of my condo.

I stll haven't quite finished a previous project, but I decided it was time to make some more renovations to my condo. As I mentioned earlier, I just bought a new washer and dryer. The washer is a front-loading one that has a very high speed spin cycle. Right now the flooring underneath it is a some old warped linoleum that makes it very difficult to provide a stable surface. Because of this, the washer tends to vibrate violently if I use the high speed spin setting. I have improved the vibration situation by putting a 3/4" piece of MDF under the washer, so I figured putting a hardwood floor down should work well, too. Yes, it doesn't really make the most economic sense since the MDF was working, but the hardwood flooring would look so much nicer than a piece of MDF and I had been thinking of eventually installing hardwood floors in this area of the condo, so this was just enough extra inventive to make me decide to do it now.

The wood is called kempas and comes from China. It has a nice grain and color. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be some sort of endangered rainforest wood. I don't imagine it is - it was pretty inexpensive.

Now I just have to make sure I have all the right tools for installing it. The last two hardwood floors I installed in my condo were glued down since the subfloor was concrete. The area where the new flooring is being installed has a wooden subfloor so I decided to use 3/4 solid wood tongue and groove planks. It can be nailed down, but I think I need to first drill holes in the tongues, otherwise the nails might split the wood.

Time for some research...

New Growth

About 10 years ago I was eating a grapefruit and noticed one of the seeds inside had started to sprout. So, I put it in a small pot, and it grew into a decent sized plant - it got to about 4 feet tall. Back in March of this year, I thought I had killed the plant. I was house/cat sitting for some friends for the month and completely forgot about the plant back at my condo. When I finally returned home, all the leaves had shriveled up and had mostly falled off. I continued to water the plant in hopes it wasn't completely dead, but for the whole month of April, it was just a stick with no leaves at all. Fortunately, the plant is now returning to life as can be seen by these few sprouts of green.

It's a good thing the only life I'm responsible for is a plant.

Hickery Bo

This past Thursday I had my first karate class where I got to start learning a weapon kata using the bo. It's called Shihonuke. It's great fun, but, like learning anything new, it's a bit overwelming at first. After Saturday's class I bought a hickory bo so I can now practice at home (and I no longer have to borrow a bo in class). If you look closely, you can see where my initials have been stamped on the top edge. They do that at the dojo so people know whose bo is whose.

I've already managed to ding the bo. I was practicing in my living room and accidentally wacked a wooden cabinet behind me. That cabinet will think twice before it tries to sneak up behind me again. (And I'll be sure to be more careful judging what is a safe distance for practicing near my furniture...)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mmmm.... Pastry...

I recently rediscovered an old bakery that my family used to go to back when I was a kid (about 30 years ago). The pastry is just as good as I remembered! And to makes things even better, the prices are incredibly low. If you are ever in the Cranston area and have a craving for pastry, I highly recommend stopping at Zaccagnini's Pastries at 701 Oaklawn Ave.

There's a decent article about the place on the Projo web site here.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Not 'til now

All these years I thought ‘til was a contraction of until. From, today I learned I am wrong:

Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don't even think about going to the movies. ·Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un-, meaning “up to.” In the 18th century the spelling 'till became fashionable, as if till were a shortened form of until. Although 'till is now nonstandard, 'til is sometimes used in this way and is considered acceptable, though it is etymologically incorrect.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Not a day of rest

I hate to say it, but today I spent most of the day working on setting up a new washer and dryer. It's not that the actual process of connecting a new washer and dryer takes very long - that's pretty simple, just connect two water hoses, a drain pipe, and the dryer exhaust and you're good to go - but I decided to do some closet modifications.

The previous washer and dryer was one of those stacked all-in-one combo units. As can be seen in the picture, the new washer and dryer are separate units. Since the washer has a very high speed spin cycle, I decided to build a separate shelf for the dryer so it wouldn't get bounced around sitting on top of the washer. The shelf was easy enough to build although it was a bit time consuming. The tricky part was getting the dryer up on the shelf by myself without hurting my back.

The old washer/dryer was a bit too big for the space so a closet door wasn't an option. Now I ought to build a door. I find the spinning clothes in the little windows hypnotic and end up lost in time watching the clothes go 'round and 'round.