Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Waste Not

I would say at least a couple of years back I bought all this un-faced insulation to put in the attic because it was on massive sale at Home Depot. I was talking to CF at the time and he said just layer it on top of the pre-existing stuff to get an extra layer insulation. It sounded simple enough, but in typical fashion I bought the rolls and they sat in the basement for two years, maybe three, past the statute of limitations of returning it... I think.

Either way, it turns out that I still need to insulate the kitchen in the barn, and the studs are 8 inches wide. It just so happens that the rolls I have are 8 inches thick, albeit un-faced. I asked several of my contractor friends and they all said it would be fine to use it in vertical walls, you just have to add your own vapor barrier, whatever that is. Good enough for me. Now the insulation won't go to waste, I already have it in my possession so I don't need to get more (at least not for now), and I clear out some space in the basement. I love when that happens. For the record, we are not for want of space in the basement, we have tons of it, but three big rolls of insulation is a bit of an eye sore.

Of course, this all sounds great in theory. Putting things into practice is a whole other story, so we'll see how it goes.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Better Business Listing for the pic.

New Level of LAX

LAX has always been the more relaxed and laid back cousin to hockey because it is a rec program and just doesn't have the same intensity as when we're on the ice. The season is short, there are maybe a half-dozen games, and the atmosphere is pretty relaxed for both N and myself. The warm sunny weather helps.

This year things have ramped up a bit, and it's sort of reminds me of hockey. The new coach DW is the real deal and is teaching the kids amazing new skills and tactics for the game. It's pretty cool to watch, and halfway through the season I think we've had close to a ten games. The practices are structured much like the hockey practices, and because DW is such a great coach, the kids have responded. They really like him.

The level of dedication and demand, however, have increased proportionately. Practices are three times a week and just last week we had something like 5 games in 6 days. For all it's worth, N's team has done pretty well against their opponents, beating teams handily that had given them trouble in the past. In fact, the only loss they had was a big one against a select team in Burlington.

All in all N is having a great time because the focus and hard work have upped his game. Plus, he is surrounded by talent (he's one of the youngest on the team) so it helps him that much more. They are doing a summer program but I don't think we'll be able to pull it off because of so many summer commitments, but we'll see if we can work something out.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Cap'n Ruter for the pic.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Back to Ultimate

Last week N had a big LAX game up in the even bigger city of Burlington. This is unusual for LAX because it's much more low-key than hockey and the season is short and games are few and far in-between. I think last season he had 5 games, and this year he's had twice that, and the season is only half done. Either way, we made the long and brutal trek and then had to jet back home because he really wanted to play ultimate frisbee (UF). The season is just getting underway and we haven't had much of a chance to play.

To complicate the matter, it was a warm day, maybe even hot, so when we got to the field it was a bit of a scorcher. We arrived a little on the late side and the games were already in progress so we slipped right in and it was fun. Since it was late we didn't have time to get home and prepare drinks, so I picked up some Gatorade at Mike's and went for it. It was fun, not the usual intense crowd because the high schoolers were busy, but competitive and challenging. I'm glad we made it, and my legs were big-time sore the next day.

Hopefully we'll have more of the same in the coming weeks. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Nancy Witthuhn for the pic.

Braces are Beautiful

We initiated orthodontic proceedings this weekend and it was a bit of an adventure just to get to this point. As anyone who knows us knows, we tend to do a lot of research before finally choosing a direction in life, and whenever possible make sure that no stone is left unturned. Something involving a plump sum of money complicates this situation exponentially, and let me tell you, orthodontists do not come cheaply.

In addition to cost, which is perhaps the most significant factor, we wanted to consider our impression of the orthodontist, or rather the kid's impression because you want to go to someone who you jive with, right? Especially when you're handing them your child's college savings to have a winning smile. We visited several of them, I think 4 in all, and it is interesting how they are a little different in their own unique way. Some were more expensive than others, but for the most part the cost was pretty similar. As you would expect, the one in the big city was the fanciest and most professional. In the end, we made the choice based on what N wanted and whom he felt most comfortable with, and as it turns out, this was not the most convenient choice for us because it is the farthest away, but such is life. It's his teeth and he should have some say in this.

We went to our first official visit this week, and the proceedings have begun. We met with the orthodontist and in a couple of weeks some metal will be installed. Of course I screwed up by scheduling things during events that we had already planned, but in my defense, I had not anticipated that things would begin so quickly. It always works out that way due to my coping mechanism of putting things off and hoping they will simply disappear rather than actually dealing with it. I had to re-schedule this appointment at least twice which had made me infamous, and this time around I think they were slightly amused and probably a little annoyed, which is nothing new for me.

Interestingly, when we walked in the door, our good friend GM was sitting there waiting for his daughter and we sat and chatted, which is always enjoyable because he's such a great guy whose opinion I value. He said that this ortho was the best and that he, too, had shopped around before coming to this conclusion, so clearly I'm not alone in this approach. Either way, it was nice to see a familiar face because the office is not in our area and people seem willing to cover some distance just to get here.

N seems to be comfortable with the idea of getting braces, at least he hasn't voiced any blatant discontent. I might even go so far as to suggest that he might be intrigued and interested about the whole proposition. Braces aren't what they used to be, and they seem to be a little cooler these days, but what do I know?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to omgitsvale for the pic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Crazy Weather

I'm no expert on the weather in New England (I just play one on TV), but the weather has been crazy and unpredictable, to say the least. It seemed like winter was long, cold and snowy and didn't seem to want to let go, then it just leap-frogged past spring and into summer. We had several days of 80 degree temperatures in April before things finally cooled off. Then it got hot again with not much in the way of rain, so much so that they banned all bonfires because conditions were too dry. Temps were hovering in the high 70s, and now it's cooled off to the 50s again. How crazy is that? I'll take the cooler temps, though there have been some beautiful, albeit warm, days.

We've finally gotten the rain we needed though it didn't seem to last very long, but enough to moisten the dry conditions and get that beautiful bright green color going on the trees that makes spring so special. I'm hoping it stays cool so I can do more work outside, like mow the lawn and split that massive wood pile that is calling my name every day.

Sometimes a real-man's (in training) work is never done. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to fromky for the pic.

Two Days of Going Nuts

I have not had much in the way of doing standardized patient (SP) work but I was recently called in for two rigorous days and as you can imagine, it really threw our schedule out of whack. What's even crazier is that it's still the beginning of the week, and we have a few more days to go. I usually take on whatever days they of SP work they are offering because they are few and far in-between, and this time there was a double shift. I signed up for the two night shift slots, but they also had a morning slot that would have made my day difficult, so I was initially hesitant to take it on, but ended up going for it.

This happens to be a fairly crazy time with the kids, so we had to some massive scrambling to get things done. Many thanks go out to AMP and JG for helping me with rides, we couldn't do it without them. As you can imagine, R had to modify her schedule, as well, so it wasn't easy. On Monday I had an evening session and of course the kids had LAX and track. N's LAX game was optional so I told the coach we couldn't make it. A had a track meet in NH, so she went along with AMP, who had a carload of runners, which probably made it fun. I had to get to work so I took N along with me and met with R, who took over from there. I didn't get home until after 9:00PM, so it was a long day.

On Tue I had a morning session that I had to be at by 6:30AM, which meant little in the way of sleep, and was I ever tired. I was in a daze all day. R was at home and AMP took everyone to book club. I was finished around 11:30 so I went and picked the kids up and took the girls to track and then hung out with N until I had to go. This gave me about 1.5 hours to whip up a supper, which I had initiated in the AM. I made some soup and a frittata and some green beans. It would have been easier to just pick up something already made, but I like the fact that we eat home cooked meals, and it definitely saves money. When you drop a load of cash when you're dining out, it just ruins the experience for me.

After I had supper ready to go, I had to get N to LAX. The problem was that his game was too late for my schedule, so I arranged to take him to the G's house where he could hang with his buddy and teammate, CG. JG took them all to their game, and R went to get N from work, which is a bit of a trek for her, but she pulled it off.

I worked until about 8:00 and then headed home, where everyone was relaxing after a rigorous day. As always, it sure was nice to be home. Thanks again to everyone for helping to make this work. It really does take a village.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Rudolf Vlcek for the pic.

Insulating Matters

I told R that I had a goal of getting all the fiberglass insulation installed on the second floor by the end of this month, and it appears that for the first time in my challenged-but-trying life I might actually finish ahead of schedule. Can it possibly be true? Actually, now that I just hexed myself, it may never happen.

In all honesty, work has resumed in earnest on the barn, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if it's just a speck of light. I have been diligently installing the fiberglass with the goal of getting it done and putting in the rigid board. Stapling fiberglass is a bear of a job, especially when you're working with cathedral-like ceilings, but like many things in life, you just chip away at the stone. It doesn't help that you have to wear protective clothes and facial protection, which makes it uncomfortable, but at least it's not scorching hot outside. I did actually run out of insulation and had to get more, which I took as a good sign.

I think a day or two more of stapling and it will be done, at least on the second floor. There is an issue with working on parts of the dormers which I wanted to address to my Mentor, but he's not around and not slated to be here until the end of the month, so I may need to take a leap of faith and just figure out a solution. That's part of real-man training, isn't it?

Another positive note is that I had purchased a few rolls of un-faced fiberglass to put in the attic, but I changed my plan for up there, as well. Under normal circumstances I could have just returned them to Home Depot, but when is it ever a normal circumstance? I had them for over two years and at some point the statute of limitations must apply. I was faced with having to deal with all this insulation, though in retrospect I'm sure I could have found someone on the town listserve who would have snatched them up. People love free stuff, I know I do.

Well, it turns out that even though the stuff doesn't have facing, I can still use it on vertical walls. At least that's what a few contractors have told me. They call it friction grabbing or something like that, and all I need to do is install it and then apply a vapor barrier, whatever that is.

I have to say, I'm relieved that I can find a good use for this stuff because not only is it not going to waste, but I can save money by not having to pay for new rolls for the downstairs area. I love when that happens. There might be width issues but I've come this far and can't stop now. I'll find a way to make it work. Isn't that what any real man would do?

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Knauf Insulation for the pic.