Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hotter Than the Hubs of Hell

We scored the doors. We are 2 for 2 when it came to our last two great finds.

Not only were the doors in perfect shape but the entire drive to and from took exactly 1 uneventful hour. No traffic jams, no traffic detours, or bad GPS information. Drove there, looked at doors, put doors in truck, and then drove home.

One thing that we did notice on the drive there were all the storm damaged trees. According to the owner of the doors this was the result of the storm that went through last week during the Back to the Bricks Cruise. I posted how the storm siren was blaring but the sky was sunny except to the north where the sky was rather dark. I did not notice any structural damage on our drive and it appeared to us that it was mostly tree damage.

I forgot to take a photo of the doors...oops!!! I will do that tomorrow and then add it to this post.

Tomorrow's forecast is for rain later in the day. We are keeping our fingers crossed because number 1... we need the rain and number two...I need a cloudy day to finish picking up all the limbs and debris that we cut down along the front fence row last weekend.

The clean up has been slow due to the extreme heat. It's been hotter than the hubs of hell. The clean up area is in the sun and close to the asphalt street which seems to reflect a lot of heat. Just walking out to the street has been exhausting in this heat.

Last Saturday while R was at the track with G, I was able to get all the fence posts and the top rail on one side painted and most of the top rail on the other side painted. I have about 20 feet of top rail left to paint. Hopefully it will be cloudy tomorrow and I can finish painting. This would leave just the chain link to paint and I plan on doing that this fall with a full size roller.

After the top rail is painted and we have finished picking up the debris I will review my list and see what we accomplished. To be truthful I kind of forgot what was on the list so I won't peek and look at it now because I know I will just be disappointed in our progress.

I'll just do a Lindsey Lohan and refuse to take the blame for the slow progress. What would Lindsey say?

"It was too hot" (make sure you whine when you say that).

"The branches had thorns and picky thingies on them." "Ouch" (whine again).

"Who ever cut the branches left them too long." (Again Lindsey never takes the blame so I shouldn't either).

"It was too hot AND dusty." (Lindsey's excuses are feeble, so mine will also be feeble).

"I didn't know it would take this long to clean up." Waaa Waaaa!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will I Score Tomorow???

Back in the day, if you said you were going to score it meant...well you know what it meant but not in today's world. Now it means you got something good......oh I guess it means the same thing. Never mind the previous statement.

Well anyways, tomorrow I am going to buy a set of brand new, still shrink wrapped french doors for my sun room. The best thing about this deal is that they are asking $100.00. But that is not the whole deal. R turned in all the brass (38 pounds) that we took off the six 'free' doors.....
.....that I scored several weeks ago and we made $75.00 in scrap aluminum and brass. So that will make these doors only 25 bucks.

Not too shabby. Of course it isn't as good as that guy who in 14 trades on Craigslist went from an old cell phone to a used Porsche but it will do for now and I really don't want a Porsche.

On a side note....we decided that today we just HAD to go to the Flint Farmers Market. When we visit the market we usually have an omelet at their little cafe, so mentally we were geared up for a great omelet. Unfortunately we decided to drive through downtown Flint to get to the market. Normally this would not be a big thing but today was the day they were extraditing the serial stabber back to Flint from Georgia. Holy cow there were TV crews and trucks everywhere. At one point it was taking us 5 minutes to move one block. On the plus side, I opened the car door and inspected how the city of Flint installs their paver bricks.

Long story short, the cafe was closed by the time we got there so we decided on Chinese at Empress of China. Moral of story....do not eat Chinese food in the middle of the day if you want to get anything else accomplished.

Our food was great. We had sweet corn soup (egg drop with shredded chicken and kernels of sweet corn) that was delicious. I ordered cashew chicken and R had pea pods and beef served on a sizzling platter. Afterward we both felt the need for a nap and not much was accomplished the rest of the day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vintage Paver Bricks

Thanks to Craigslist I was able to score some City of Flint vintage paver bricks for my driveway project.According to my calculations I will need 144 paver blocks to give me a 36 inch strip of bricks across my driveway just like at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Yesterday I was able to pick up 117 but the lady I bought them from said she has 27 more she will give me.

The seller at one time lived on Prospect Street in Flint and found them buried out by the street in her front yard. Some have a little asphalt on them but I am sure I can clean that off with a little elbow grease.I was surprised at how heavy they were to pick up. I am guessing they weigh close to 10 pounds each. It is amazing that they have survived all these years through all the harsh winters we have here in Michigan.I should end up with a few extras because I already had 4 paver blocks and 1 Indy block. I am not really sure how we are going to make the cuts for the partial blocks. These blocks are nothing like the pavers you buy at Home Depot.The seller I was buying them from was selling them because she needed the money to pay her property taxes. I paid $100 for 144 bricks. I bet if she would have thrown the bricks into the back of a truck and went down to the Back to the Bricks car cruise last week that she could have sold them for 5 to 10 buck a piece. Then the buyer could mount their metal commemorative dash plaque on it. But I'm glad she didn't think of that and that I was able to purchase a little piece of downtown Flint for my driveway.

Here is a photo of the block that started it all. The Culver Block from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The inscription says W.C. Co., Culver Block, Pat May 21 1901.Interesting articles found on the Internet about the Culver Block.

3.2 million pavers originally were laid to make the IMS track.
Paver brick article

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to the Bricks

Detroit has the Woodward Dream Cruise and now the Flint area has their own cruise called Back to the Bricks.

The cruise starts in Grand Blanc and ends in downtown Flint where parked on the historic bricks and under the vintage wrought iron arches you will see some of the most beautiful classic cars that ever rolled off an American assembly line.

This cruise has in a span of 6 years grown to be huge. Since I live in a house situated at the beginning of the cruise I am privy to seeing some fine examples of rolling sheet metal. The variety of vehicles is staggering. There is every thing from Model T's to old firetrucks.

I saw this car go by today. I shot this photo at the Hot Dog Stand in down town Grand Blanc earlier in the year.Here is another photo from the Hot Dog Stand from earlier in the year. Yesterday the Hot Dog Stand was host to Cindy Williams from Laverne and Shirley. During the cruise the Hot Dog Stand is packed to the gills with vintage vehicles.
I spent the afternoon out by the street painting my fence and watching, hearing, and breathing (Turbo Blue high octane fuel has a distinctive smell) the spectacle. Yesterday while weeding the flower bed by the curb, I chose the wrong moment to bend over and some old duffer in a Model T blew his oogaa horn just as I bent over. I nearly had a heart attack. Later on another old fart yelled at me from the rumble seat of another Model T. Damn, these geriatrics studs must have taken a double dose of Geritol before hitting the road.

Today while watching the cars and painting the fence the storm sirens went off. Seemed a little weird because the sun was shining but to the north it looked a little dark but not overly dark and the humidity was rather low also. Poor quality photo taken with my cheap camera in zoom mode.....and to the south. Looks partly cloudy to me.
I called my mother to find out what was up and she said there was a tornado warning. We eventually received about 10 drops of rain. I think the weather forecasters were being overly cautious because of the large number of people attending the cruise tonight.

I'll finish up the painting tomorrow and move onto edging the rest of the front shrub/flower bed. Once that is finished I'll have to revisit my list and see what else needs to be done.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Flint Institute of Arts

Sunday was the last day for the Flint Institute of Arts exhibitions of Lino Tagliapietra art glass and Tiffany Glass. R had been wanting to see both of these all summer long but we were never able to work it into our schedule so Sunday was a make or break day. An added plus of going to the FIA is you get to look at the large glass chandelier by Chihuly that hangs in the lobby.

The weather was extremely hot so it was a welcome relief to be indoors looking at fabulous art glass. The Tiffany glass was to die for and goes without saying that Tiffany lamps are breathtakingly beautiful. Not only are the designs pleasing but the glass itself is beautiful.
We have a Tiffany reproduction chandelier in the dining room. It is call a turtle back design. I always thought that it referred to the shape but I found out that it refers to the bulbous green pieces of glass that are incorporated into the design. Learn something new every day.

Lino Tagliapietra's art glass was spectacular. He uses a lot of colored rods to achieve thin pin strips in his designs. We speculated on how he was able to get them so perfect and after watching a film we now know how he does it. He lays the rods out on a table evenly spaced. He makes sure his glass is just the right size so that when he lays the glass on top of the rods that they completely encircle the glass glob. It fascinating that they are able to do this with heavy molten glass.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a rather large crowd at the FIA. More people=bigger and better exhibitions in the future.

What to do??

I can't believe it. It is 12:15PM and it is only 77 degrees outside. Seriously, I cannot remember the last time it was in the 70's during daylight hours.

This is perfect weather for working outside. So now I have to decide which unpleasant task that I have been avoiding due to heat that I should tackle today. It needs to be a lone task because R is busy elsewhere today.

Here's a list of possible tasks.

Start removing the remaining old cedar shingles off the front of the house. We gave up on stripping because it was a slow process and in the end the shingles were still old and brittle. A significant portion of the front has already been replaced so it seemed logical to have all new shingles. Plus in the end....reshingling is easier and more pleasant than stripping paint off cedar shingles.

Continue with the fence painting. The weather has been so hot that the paint would dry before I could brush it out.

Continue with the edging of the lilac border.

Continue with the brush removal along the fence line.

Sand the trim on the front of the house.

Spray Round Up on vegetation along the back fence row. Scratch that...it's too windy.

Finish mulching around the Catalpa tree.

Sit and do nothing but look at my hostas. This is looking like a great idea but probably not the most productive and come winter I would be kicking myself.

Remove rocks around roses and lay down landscaping fabric and put rocks back. This was R's idea and I would hate to ruin his fun so maybe I will let him enjoy this task.

I haven't yet decided what I will do but I have time to decide because I first need to water my tomatoes and fruit trees. I'll see where my muse takes me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hires Extract Bottle

R was cleaning out some old boxes when he ran across an old bottle with a dried up cork. The bottle was embossed with the words Hires Extract.I wasn't sure if the bottle would clean up much less what it was going to smell like when I pried the cork out of the bottle. So I jumped right in prepared to run out of the house with the bottle if it expelled a foul odor.

The cork pretty much broke into two large pieces but the contents had solidified. I filled a bowl with hot water and submerged the bottle into the bowl. After 2 or 3 minutes I poured the water out of the bottle but the contents remained but now appeared to be jelly like. I then used a meat skewer to poke at it and after 3 or 4 minutes I had the contents out. I did note that it remotely smelled like root beer as in Hires root beer that you can buy today. The extract was probably sold to make your own home brewed root beer.

Here is the bottle washed and ready for a new cork. After I uploaded the photo to Blogger I realized that I had crumbs all over the counter. But hey...what are a few crumbs among friends.
Today is August 9th and that is my sister Ranee's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is but I will say it is really really old. I'm just glad I am not THAT old.

Happy Birthday Ranee!!!!

I can pick on her because she is currently up in the UP (upper peninsula) and they don't have Internet in the middle of the woods. She won't know that I told everyone on the Internet that she is old until she gets back in a week or so and because she is old she will forget to read my blog and won't know that I told everyone that she was really really really old. I used an extra 'really' because she is aging as we speak!!!

August 9th is a rather important day in history.

The dog I had as a pet when I was growing up had puppies on August 9th. That's rather important when you are a kid....yeah puppies!!!

August 9th is also the day Nixon resigned.

Not only did I drop a bomb today by telling you that my sister is really really really really old but on August 9th 1945 the US dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

On August 9th 1994 OJ was acquitted of double murder.

On August 9th 1995 Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead was found dead from a heart attack.

Outside of that puppy thing, August 9th is a real bummer......isn't it Ranee?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Door Score

Thank you Craigslist.

We scored 6 solid wood exterior doors this past week. I found the ad on Craigslist. The ad said interior doors but I could tell they were exterior. The ad also stated that the doors had not been drilled out for lock sets because they were used as swinging doors. That is a plus where we are concerned because we use a lot of vintage hardware and some of the door handles have thumb latches. These doors also have 3 heavy brass hinges on each door.** That is cobwebs on the door...not dirt or scratches.

Once we picked up the doors....a mere 4 miles from our house....we realized that these doors were nearly new AND each had solid brass kick plates on both sides and solid brass handles with push plates. The scrap brass alone will net 30- 40 bucks at the scrapper.

We plan to use two of doors on the bath house/soon to be potting shed. It will be great to swing open both doors and open up the potting shed when it is in use. Another two doors will be used in the basement and one will be used on the barn loft.

I left the best for last......they were FREE!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Coronal Mass Ejection??

I just read on the Internet (so you know it has to be true or they wouldn't be able to put it on there!!) that there is a good chance that we will see some northern lights or aurora borealis tonight.


I have witnessed some great northern light in the UP (upper peninsula for you non Michiganders) where we have property. But I have also witness northern lights during my late night (3AM) drive home from work.

These photos sort of depict the type of light shows I saw up north but add a bit more green, purple, and a touch of red. Down here in the mitten (lower peninsula) do you rarely see color. Most light shows are just streaks of wispy light. Cool none the less.

I'll leave you with this little wish.... keep your fingers crossed for some good coronal mass ejection tonight!!!! Astrophysically speaking.