Summertime has arrived

Okay, not really, there are still four days of school left— but the first Big Projekt of the summer has been accomplished. My wife decided that she hated how the porch looked (sadly, I lack a before picture at the moment, but I’ll see what I can find) so she spent the week stripping, etching, washing and repainting the floor out here, and I spent yesterday putting furniture together, and I’m pretty damn pleased with the results.

Four more days. Just four more. We can do this.


I have a Project ahead of me this weekend. I have taken tomorrow off for several reasons, chief among which is that Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty comes out tonight at midnight. But also because there’s a Big Goddamn Job coming and I’m only looking forward to it a little.

More to come, of course.

So, the basement

First things first: there will be a review of the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series, but I’m waiting another couple of days for the fallout to settle and give folks a chance to watch it, because everything I have to say about it concerns the finale, and you best believe I’m going to spoil the shit out of the show. The short version is that I was already enjoying myself, and that the finale did a great job of wrapping the whole program up in a neat little bow, and (this is why it has to be a spoiler review) the way it integrates itself into existing continuity is fucking fascinating.

So the real reason that we cleared the basement out was that our son is ten and it no longer makes a whole lot of sense to be holding on to things like his bassinet and all of his baby toys and plastic crate after plastic crate of toddler-size clothing. Bu the other real reason we did this is that we’re converting the basement to a home gym. You may recall– I think I was blogging way back then– that I used to lift weights pretty religiously, and while I was never “cut” by any stretch of the imagination I used to at least have the chest of somebody who picked things up and put them back down. It was exercise that I enjoyed, at any rate, but once we moved to the opposite side of town from my gym, and even more once my brother moved out of town, driving for half an hour to get to a gym to work out by myself stopped being a thing that I did. We’ve had the idea to do this with the basement for a while now, and there’s already a treadmill and an exercise bike down there, and a few things still yet to be added. There’s some painting to be done and a few other tasks, but my job this afternoon was to get the floor washed and vacuumed (there used to be a huge, ugly, yellow, 1970’s-era area rug down here; we gave it away during the garage sale) and get the mats down and get the bench and the rack put together. I was going to wait until the entire basement was done to post any pictures, but this was a fair amount of damn work and screw it I wanna celebrate now, so I’m going to.

And then, uh, I gotta make myself use it. That’s … probably going to be the hard part. But hey! New shiny stuff!

Basement update

I’m not showing you pictures of the actual basement until it’s done, but this is what we did to our garage today:

If, uh, you happen to spot a wedding present in there, I promise it’s just the box. Really. Honest. My car is also completely full of cardboard– any cardboard still in this picture is going to get dropped off on Tuesday– because my son is attending something called Cardboard Camp for the next week, unless it gets cancelled because the roads between here and Hogwarts have melted. The one really bad bit of decision making here is that since we’ve filled the garage with stuff we’re going to get rid of in the garage sale we can’t put our cars in there, and as a result my car is going to have to be outside during the impending heat wave, which means if the boy’s camps aren’t cancelled for those two days transporting him there and back is gonna be super fun. I’m psyched about it. Honest.

Also, my knees hate me right now, and there’s still more work to be done downstairs. My wife and son hit the pool for the first time since we put it up after we were done working, but I didn’t because I didn’t trust myself on the ladder. Two days of too much up-and-down on stairs have got me hobbling more than I’m comfortable with at the moment, so I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I’m gonna land on my ass. I think I’ll be living there for most of the next few days, though.

No basement talk tomorrow; there are books to be reviewed!

#Readaroundtheworld: September Update

For visual comparison, here is June’s update.

I was never especially worried about being able to complete this project, but at this point I’m certain I’m going to be able to do it. I currently have, of the 52 Identified US Places that I intend to read books from (all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and DC, and I’ll totally throw Guam in there if I can find a book,) 36 states that I have read books from. For ten more– Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, Missouri, and Rhode Island– I physically have the books I’m going to read and just need to actually read them. That leaves six states that I’ve yet to identify an author from: Arkansas, Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and for Nebraska I’ve actually got two possible authors. I own a couple of Alex Kava books already, and Chigozie Obioma looks interesting, but he’s a Nigerian who happens to live in Nebraska, and his books are set in Nigeria. Now, I’ve said many times that everyone should be reading more work from Nigerian authors, but I kind of want the book to be a touch more Nebraska-centered than his work seems to be. I’ll get to him eventually, because interesting, but maybe not for this project. The others? At the moment, no idea, but I feel like I have plenty of time. Feel free to make recommendations.

As far as countries: 37 currently represented, with a few more (without going and looking at my unread shelf: Poland, Kyrgysztan, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Saint Thomas, and North Korea) on the shelf somewhere. I’m going to focus on finishing the states in October, or at least getting as close as I can, and then I’ll keep checking countries off until I get bored with it or literally hit a point where I can’t find anything from any place left on the map without translating it myself.

Next year’s reading project: Read Whatever The Fuck I Want and Don’t Worry About It. I’ve had projects for several years running and I feel like I need a year off.