Saturday, November 24, 2012

Coolest New Equipment Announcement you need to know about

This is something big, in a small package!  I just heard about this from my wife who saw it on a news program yesterday.  The newest old technology married to new technology to create a super efficient camp stove that serves hot water in just over four minutes and can charge your cell phone or other USB devices.  How cool is that!  Look at the BioLite stove!

I have shamelessly lifted this image from their web site for you.  This little beauty sells for $129 on the BioLite web site and they have a home model, not yet available for sale, that is being developed and distributed in third world nations where over 3 billion people are cooking on open fires and suffering from the effects of smoke as well as the inefficiencies of wasted fuel, etc.

The ordering process is very long because these things have proven so very popular, but I want one!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finishing the remodeled bar room

Laura and I have been remodeling a lot of different areas of our home and this has provided us with opportunities to divest ourselves of many things that have been squirreled away and forgotten in remote closets and storage areas.  This down-sizing will continue as we work toward completing our latest remodel project: the BAR.

Yup, we've made a bar from the combined areas of a fourth bedroom/sun room.  That area had been almost lost to storage of "stuff" and we have reclaimed it for a more entertaining use.  The walls have been cleaned of wallpaper and repainted and the window trim has been repainted.  The exterior door has been replaced, as has the flooring with new vinyl.

I still have to build the actual bar, but the plans have been settled and we are working towards an old west style with some modern flavor; including the use of ice and electric lights.  I have been collecting posters and things that will add to the ambiance to enhance the atmosphere.  It will definitely be a fun place and we hope to add a dart board and maybe a pinball machine, someday.

I found this really interesting article online this week about another person who is going lean and getting rid of stuff in his life.  I encourage anyone to re-evaluate the hold some of your possessions have on you and look at getting rid of some your stuff.  I find that the best part is getting rid of so much stuff that had been clogging the space.  It's so open and light and usable now.  This is going to be great!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wow, lot's of NO activity

I just realized that I've not posted for a long time.  However, life has intervened and we have been dealing with a lot around here.  We have managed to finish laying floor in the remodeled sun room, soon to be bar, in the community area of our home.  This is the first time that we've managed to remodel an area for purely selfish and fun reasons.  The area will include an actual bar with a dart board, bar stools, a lounge area, as well as neon sign and a sliding glass door to the outside deck.  The deck may not survive because it's age is pretty advanced and the wood is pretty split and cracked.  However, we think it may be possible to replace the poisonous treated wood with a better synthetic composite material that will age better, tolerating the sun and extreme conditions.

I also realized that there are more people following this blog than any of the others that I've started and feel an obligation to those of you that have recognized that maybe there may be value in reading some of the ramblings of a confused mind.  Sorry to have left you for soooooo long without a post.  I will try to be better prepared to encourage the minimalist in us all.  Sadly, many of the bloggers that I had been reading have fallen by the way side and are no longer posting their contributing opinions of which I found so much impetus for motivation.

No matter.  I forge ahead, solitary figure on the landscape of minimalism, fixed on the goal of divesting my life of the many "treasures" acquired during another period confusion and aspiration.  Most recently, I have been trying to convert a saddle and a outside/weather proof sound system that I've found no real purpose in holding on to, so I am hoping to offer on the alter of minimalist divestiture.
Wish me luck.  Hey, thanks for stopping by and checking in to keep me on task.  Hope to see you again.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Opps, too long

Been way too long since my last post but we have been struggling with some health care issues here at home, including a broken tooth I suffered last Friday night at 10:00 pm, while eating popcorn.  I have scheduled periodontal surgery June 1st to correct a problem. THAT'll be fun.

When I told my daughter that I'll have to quit eating popcorn, she compared my popcorn addiction to a crack head needing a fix, and joked that I'll have trouble keeping my pledge.  Oh well, I hate the dentist more than I love my popcorn.  Actually, I like my dentist, because Dr. Joe is great.  But, I hate what he has to do for me when I have problems.  So, Dr. Alfred will do the prep work for a new crown that Dr. Joe will finish.  I am pleased to have such a great team to fix me.

Sorry to have been absent from here for so long, but life happens.

Plans for the changes around here have not progressed very much.  We are still planning to remove the back deck in preparation of working towards the tiny house. And, we'll be replacing all of the fencing around our fields this fall as well as an automatic waterer.  Lot's to do...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Family Blog?

I'm still waiting for the last panel to the shower enclosure that I broke last week and it should arrive any minute/day.  I double checked all the caulk lines and everything else is ready for installation of the final panel.  Hey, it's not like I'm standing at the front door, wrapped in a towel, waiting for the UPS man!

My sister texted me yesterday with a great idea.  She was thinking about starting a family blog that would enable each of us to post news about our lives, post stories from our youth-growing up together, and maybe share recipes and other fun stuff.  I'm pretty psyched about this because this would be a perfect use of blogging, in my opinion.  It is unclear if she would make this a public blog or "by invitation-private" blog.  This will be fun.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tempered explosion

On Saturday last, as I put the last screw into the frame of the shower stall, I twisted the screw hoping to drive it flush to the metal frame.  Instead, I succeeded in driving the last screw into the corner of the tempered glass panel behind the metal frame and that was when the glass panel exploded into a million bits.

In that last frozen minute, while the sparkly diamonds of glass were still suspended in the air, all I could think about was, "I didn't just do that!?"  Glass in my hair, glass in my shoes, and all over the floor-shower-hallway...what a mess.  After sweeping up the mess and vacuuming everything to be sure I had every piece of glass, I found the phone number for customer service.

I called them today and was informed that the replacement panel will be shipped from mid-Ohio in seven to ten days.  So we wait,...I had already pressure tested the plumbing and everything is set.  As soon as the panel arrives, the bathroom will be complete.  Boy, do I feel like a big fat dope.  Just one little turn of a screw and everything changed...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Last pieces of the puzzle

I have procured the remaining hardware and fasteners for completing the installation of the new shower as the remaining parts of our remodeled bathroom.  These little shopping trips can add up fast, even with a list of materials, for just a few screws, etc.  It was educational to visit Lowe's to actually see the shower enclosure assembled, since it's been almost three months since we selected and ordered the fixture.  Seeing the final product makes it easier to complete the installation when you know what the final product is supposed to look like.  I should be able to have the base installed this evening and set the shower walls tomorrow evening.   That leaves the shower doors to hang.  That will take the remainder of this week because it's a little touchy to get them straight and true.

Monday, February 6, 2012

made a bathroom

I have almost completed the remodeling job on the second bathroom in our current home.  This project has been the toughest yet, considering that we have installed all new windows, laminate flooring, and completed the remodeling of the master-bathroom.  The second bathroom included moving the toilet and adding a shower-only, instead of a bath shower combination, to the room.  I have to stud in a short wall for the new shower and completely change all the plumbing.  It has been a fantastic education in construction and is preparing me for building our Tiny House, planned for this summer.  I still have another project to complete because we want to convert our existing sun room into a bar.  That should be easy compared to the bathroom redo's.  The big part of the bar should be replacing the carpeting with vinyl flooring and then building the bar itself.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lost my bid for the 518

Well, I've lost my auction bid for a Sony Ericsson W518A on eBay so I'll be sticking with my W580i for a while.  That's ok with me.  After 48 hours of use, I still have 4/5s of the battery power available.  Although texting is a little tough with the tiny multi-key keyboard, I did find myself able to respond to three different text messages.  And, the volume of my calls is far superior to my smart phone.  I am encouraged, after one day without my smart phone, in rebellion to the monster AT&T sur-charges for tethering, I'm holding onto my decision.  NO SMARTPHONE FOR ME!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Disgusted with AT&T and smart phones

Two years ago I bought a smart phone with plans of using the advanced technology to enable me to log onto the Internet using my Chromebook or laptop from anywhere that I wanted because I could employ tethering while creating a mobile WiFi hot spot.  Well, I have used this feature for almost two years with great satisfaction. On one occasion I managed to save the day, while at work, because AT&T lost a DSL transmitter in our area that severed service to portions of a five state area.  However, I could still provide a wireless connection point to many of my co-workers and we were able to complete our business transactions when many of the other businesses in our town were off line waiting for AT&T to repair the problem.

I have become very unhappy with AT&T while using my smart phone.  I have received an email from AT&T stating that they can tell that my data rates are in the top 5% of their client usage.  Therefore, as stated in my contract, they are requiring that I subscribe to a DataPro tethering plan for $50/month, or cease use of the tethering feature of my phone/computer.

This type of strong arm business tactics infuriates me and I've checked around for the rates of competitive wireless service providers.  My research shows that the rates are the same or nearly the same and don't warrant a switch of service.  Therefore, I have terminated my "unlimited" data plan with AT&T and turned my smart phone off.  I have activated my phone number on a handset that is two generations old version of wireless telephones that we have saved as backup equipment.  My old reliable Sony Ericsson W580i phone includes an FM radio receiver that will replace my IheartRadio app from my smart phone and I will be reduced to carrying a regular book if I want to read anything.  My W580i phone still holds all of my music, transferred from iTunes, and I can listen to my personal music collection from my phone.

I plan to upgrade my old Sony Ericsson from the W580i candy bar configuration to the W518i flip phone because I like the clam shell design of a flip phone better.  It's pretty tough to find a flip phone these days.  I guess it's because the equipment manufacturers have decided to reduce this configuration in their product lines. Funny thing is that both of the phones that are my "favorite" or first choice have already been discontinued.  Seems that there is some harmony to the fact that I've decided to quit using a smart phone, to be replaced by a discontinued phone.  Makes me smile.  No more data charges for me...thanks AT&T.  Anyone care to join me?