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.

Adultifying!

We met our contractor– the same people that did the roof– at a flooring supply place today and picked out the look for the new bathroom. On the left, vinyl flooring that will extend into the laundry room and looks like tile. On the right, the walls in the shower (12×24, nice big tiles) and, divided into little squares, also the floor for the shower. In the middle, accent tile for the shower. It’s going to run vertically from the showerhead to the handles, form the back of a niche for shampoo and such, and possibly also be a little vertical accent stripe on the bench that’s going to be in there.

We’ll go to a different place for fixtures and a custom vanity in a week and a half or so. Will there be body jets in the shower and a bidet on the toilet? Yep. There sure as hell will.

Whee!

Before

Pictured: the mess of pipes that had not one but two different water softener people swearing at the level of redundancy and poor decision-making required to have installed it in the first place. To the right is the ancient previous water softener, which has not been active since we moved into the house. My understanding is that several of these pipes are going to go away tomorrow to be prefaced with something more streamlined and sensible.

Also tomorrow: the roof gets ripped off of the house. Here’s what the roof currently looks like:

I mean, okay, that’s more a picture of a storm on its way than the roof, but who takes pictures of their roof? Nobody. I figure they’ll at least get to the part where that’s torn off tomorrow; I don’t have a firm idea of how long this entire process is supposed to take, but I assume sometime in the next few days I’m going to have a new roof and new eaves and all that fun stuff.

The roofers are supposed to be here by 7:30 in the morning and the softener guys are here before 10, so I gotta get up early to get all water-using tasks out of the way before they arrive, and also to keep the roofers from taking up the entire driveway, since I’d like the water guys to not have to cart pipes from halfway across the world before taking them into the basement. It’s going to be a long, expensive day tomorrow, but hopefully I’ll have some neat pictures to share with you by tomorrow night.