Posted by: Rob | September 6, 2009

Updating this Neglected Blog

Regular visitors to this blog have already surmised the extreme level of neglect here.

Why? you might ask.  There are a plethora of reasons, I suppose.  All of them mine. But enough of the excuses.  Let me indulge myself in a little re-cap of the summer’s events.

Home renovations have figured fairly large in the theme of this past summer.  We initiated a fairly ambitious project to replace all of the hardwood flooring in the house.  Bought a lift – yes, a lift – of 3/4″ Gunstock Oak hardwood flooring.  Varied length, engineered hardwood.  It’s not bad, considering it’s made in China.  Have had a few pieces split, but in the one room completed thus far, it looks pretty good.  Yes, that’s not a typo, only one room is done.  There is still a pile of cartons full of hardwood floor stacked up in the front room.  It’s a good thing my wife is relatively patient.

The hardwood floor project schedule suffered because it was de-prioritized in favour of outdoor work.  We managed to form and pour concrete sidewalks from the front, continuing the work done last summer, around to the back.  As well, we got the pesky retaining wall along the driveway, which abuts the property line and the neighbour’s (higher) yard.  The neighbours were happy about it too, as they have been figuring on putting in a brick patio.  Without the retaining wall, the sand and brick would have washed into our drive.

I am also getting anxious to get the manufactured stone, purchased last summer, installed on the house.  I don’t want it to overwinter again, plus its taking up space in the driveway.  Oh, and there’s that bit about closing in and weatherproofing the bottom “skirt” of the house exterior.  Labour Day weekend was supposed to allow me to get that done, but progress is slow.  It’s Saturday night, there’s two more days to the weekend, so we’ll see.

We’ve had our fair share of crises and emergencies as well around here.  I already talked about my close brush with a treatment called “marsupialization” for a nasty pilonidal abscess.  That would have really put a damper on the reno plans for the summer.  As it was, it caused us to cancel our planned trip to Portland, Oregon and the Willamette Writer’s Conference.

Edee’s cat, two year old Pandora, had a close brush with death recently.  A very late diagnosis of some kind of blood parasite.  Death was denied via a midnight trip to the Emergency Vet Clinic where modern veterinary science (and about $3,500) brought her back from the brink.

And, it’s late as I type this, waiting for the hot water to catch up so we can shower.  We are indeed fortunate to be blessed with another breakout of head lice.  So, between hair washing, nit picking and laundering linens (reason for no hot water), this weekend is going swimmingly.

Sadly, the lice thing put a damper on some other activities we’d planned for the evening.  A trip to the city today saw us pick up a new Asus Eee PC netbook.  The idea is to use this little, lighter PC, that does not have all of our lives on its hard drive, for travel.  Particularly international travel, into places like the US where the TSA or DHS can help themselves to your portable electronics to make sure you’re neither a terrorist nor a pirate.

We also picked up a used central vacuum unit, complete with new hoses and tools.  The old one had been rebuilt at least once and I had taken it apart several times to clean out the motor recently.  Even with all that, it sounds like a sick cow every time you switch it on.  We would have liked to have purchased a new one – a cyclotron (or something like that – Made in Canada, eh?), but the $1,100 price tag was a bit of choker, especially given that we may be selling the house come spring time and becoming nomads living off a corporate expense account.

Well, I imagine that the water should be hot enough to shower now and I need to get some sleep.


  1. I think I might have mentioned this before but do you know what I keep in my toolbox? A checkbook. I envy guys like you. I’m all thumbs when it comes to home improvement/repair.

  2. that’s an ambitious lot of home renovation. ouch.

    and the Eeeeeee PC? Love mine. Got an external portable (folding) keyboard because i can’t type fast on it, but it is for travel for the same reasons… had The Boy take it to canada last summer – so the US border patrol could take it upon his return trip and we’d simply lose the $450 i spent on it. Grrrr…

  3. And I thought I was busy! Your activities put me to shame. All that along with a pilonidal cyst, no less.

    We did the home renovation thing on a large scale last year, but it is never-ending. My hat is off to you for what you have accomplished. 🙂

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