More Housework And Soon To Be Travels.

Posted by DmentD | House,Pictures,Travel | Wednesday 11 June 2008 1:08 am

A few more pics of the ongoing housework HERE.  New shelves in the kitchen cabinets, the garage painted, and new roof pictures (by request).

All moved in, and have spent the last two weeks or so putting things away and organizing my life.  Painted the garage, made new kitchen cabinet shelves, and both of those projects not only stopped me dead in my tracks from unpacking, but were holding up any unpacking I could do in the kitchen or garage.

I keep finding things that need to be done before I can progress forward — yeah, yeah, I know, “welcome to home ownership”.  Been there once already, I know the drill.  But when your closet shelves and clothes bars are falling off the wall, it makes it a little difficult to put things away until you remedy the situation.  So now, my master closet has an all new, modern hanging and storage system.  What should have been an hour of organization turned into 8 hours of demolition and reconstruction.. and then and hour of organization.

The house is mostly unpacked, with some more organizing to do.  My goal was to get to this point before I left for my return trip to Wales this week.  Yup, heading back one more time before Sweets moves here in August.  I get to attend a wedding, and meet family so they can be convinced I’m not a sociopath… because it’s hard to detect psychopaths from their covers.  *grins*

So, I will be out of easy contact for a little bit — “out of pocket” as we say in the industry.  What a stupid phrase.

Ok, that’s all the news fit to report for now.  Will have stories to tell upon my return.

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Housework.

Posted by DmentD | House,Pictures | Wednesday 21 May 2008 1:38 pm

After receiving several requests for pictures of the new house, I am simply going to link to the gallery I am posting pictures into as I take them.

Go HERE to see work in progress pictures of the house.  There are appropriate descriptions accompanying the pictures.

New roof is installed, and looks great.  Started painting the garage.  Kitchen cabinet refinishing is done… just need to build doors and shelves now.  The fridge was delivered and is chilling like gangbusters.  New attic ladder is installed.  Ran all new coax cable and stripped off the miles of old cable from the outside of the house.  Pre-installed rear-channel surround sound speaker wires in the attic to save trouble later, and to avoid disrupting the insulation that is going to be blown in in a few weeks.  Installed new locks and security strike-plates, and window locks.  The alarm wiring is pre-installed, and ready for the alarm company to finish up next week.

The move happens on May 24th.  That’s when the movers come and haul all the heavy, bulky, unwieldy shit from my second floor apartment and place it right where I tell them to in the new house.  This week is finding me packing boxes and moving them a truckload at a time to the new house.  My intention is to have everything in the apartment — with the exception of the big stuff — boxed and moved before Saturday.  Moving sucks donkey cocks, and if I can avoid imposing said donkey cock sucking on my friends, and avoid a HUGE push to move everything in a single day, I will.

So far, so good.

More news to come as is comes.

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Gallery Updates.

Posted by DmentD | Cakes,Cooking,Friends,Party,Pictures | Wednesday 9 April 2008 12:14 am

Added some new gallery stuff.  First and foremost, a new cake…

… a recent crawfish boil …

… a recent Cowboy Mouth concert …

… and other random miscellaneous pictures sprinkled throughout.

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Non Timetis Messor.

Posted by DmentD | Coolness,Domestica,Pictures | Monday 25 February 2008 9:21 pm

I finally had this Paul Kidby print that Sweets gave me for Christmas framed.  It’s of Death from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of books, and it’s more or less Death’s coat-of-arms, and the print is signed and numbered.  I had it double matted with black and indigo (to match the colors in Death’s cloak), and the frame is antiqued black with a scrolling pattern with the raised areas worn to reveal a dark red/brown color beneath.

The banner up top reads “Tempus Fugit” (Time Flies) and the banner down below reads “Non Timetis Messor” (Don’t Fear the Reaper).

Non Timetis MessorNon Timetis MessorNon Timetis Messor

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Aberystwyth Bound — Part 8.

Posted by DmentD | Pictures,Travel | Friday 8 February 2008 1:05 am

Huzzah!  These are the final journal entries.  Life can go on now.

Journal Entry — September 21st: The National Library of Wales

Friday found us completely ignoring the alarm (the first time we set it all week, too) until the last minute.  Had showers all around (and the absolute coldest shower I’ve ever has… these folks don’t fuck around when it comes to cold water) and then a walk into town for lunch at the Varsity.

After lunch we made an impressive uphill hike to the National Library of Wales to visit Sweet’s work friends, and to be shown off too.  Really nice folks, Sam especially — she’s loud, forward, unashamed and would fit in quite nicely with the rest of the tribe back home.  Had coffee, caught our breath and started for home.

Worked our way through back-paths and strange pathways, had some nice quiet times along the walk and crossed through a churchyard… complete with a cemetery.  Took some pictures of the headstones (purely for research, of course).

Here I am, back at the house, catching up on days of missed journal entries and making my hand hurt.  Blech, I need to keep up with this nonsense.

Journal Entry — September 22nd: Ceredigion Museum

We slept in Saturday, then made our way into town for some lunch.  After eating we went to the Ceredigion Museum.  Fun and fascinating local history… learned that parts of Aberystwyth didn’t have electricity till the 1950’s and later.

Made our way back home and relaxed with the gang.  Watched O Brother, Where Art Thou, and realized that the old-tyme deep south accent was as bad if not worse to understand than the thick Welsh accent.

Journal Entry — September 23rd: Homeward Bound

Turned in early… yeah, right!  Woke up early, though, and Andrew drove us the three hours to the Manchester airport on Sunday so Sweets and I could have some more time together.  Spent a long time on little winding country roads and got to watch the sun rising over the mountains.  It was beautiful countryside and definitely a trip back to an older portion of the world, a place with more history and heritage than I’ll ever know.

Spent ages saying goodbye at the airport, and I damn well didn’t want to leave — I miss Sweets something fierce!  Breezed through security (after a “meh” full English breakfast in the airport), made the gate with time to spare and the plan took off on time.

Had an uneventful flight, and coach seating wasn’t horrible.  Was fed and watered lots, watched movies, etc.  Made it to Atlanta OK, cleared customs, had a bite to eat and got some coffee.  Made my gate with time to spare.  Scant minutes before boarding I hear the announcement about a mechanical delay.

Fuck Delta.  Fuck the Atlanta airport.  I’m tired of this shit, man!  So here I wait.

Flight finally took off, late of course.  The flight between Atlanta and Austin was the roughest stretch of the entire trip, and the crosswinds in Austin were so bad that the plane was coming in at an angle.  Bounced once, twice and then settled down onto the runway… not too bad considering how briskly the air around us was moving.

Home at last.  Alone.  That’s the part that sucks.  A piece of me is still 5000 miles away.  I miss that girl more than I can ever put into words, and I love her so much, that my heart is fit to bust it’s so full.

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Aberystwyth Bound — Part 7.

Posted by DmentD | Pictures,Travel | Thursday 7 February 2008 1:07 am

So, um, yeah.  I think I should likely finish this account of my trip before I make the next one in June.  We’re nearing the end folks, bear with me.

Consider this a peek into how my OC brain works… I simply must finish this up before I allow myself to progress forward with new posts,  I have a lot to talk about, such as my hunt for a house of my own in Austin.  So, here we go.  Likely only one more post after this one.

Journal Entry — September 19th: Postcard-O-Rama

Wednesday we really did a good job of sleeping in.  We showered, bundled up and started out walk into town in the rain.  I optimistically brought out my travel umbrella, and ten minutes later folded it’s battered body back up and resigned myself to walking in the gentle rain.  Regular umbrellas, much less small travel ones, are not up to the task of surviving the Welsh wind.  Fortunately the rain wasn’t so bad the my jacket wasn’t enough to hold it off.

We made our way to Jackabouts, a pancake restaurant of sorts.  English pancakes are closer to crêpes in texture and thickness, and what I’m used to — American style — are sweeter, thicker ones.  The menu offered a Scotch breakfast — two Scotch pancakes (closer to the American variety of silver-dollar pancakes), scrambled eggs, a sausage patty and sautéed mushrooms.

After eating I sat and wrote out all of the postcards I had for everyone.  Damn, I hate writing longhand… which is why I spend so much time writing in this damned book.  Sweets, ever so polite, didn’t point out that she was bored out of her skull watching me.  After what seemed like an eternity, I finally wrapped up and we went to the post office for postage, and to drop them in the mail.

Returned home, relaxed and visited with everyone.  Ate dinner at home (shock!) and eventually we found our way to bed.

Journal Entry — September 20th: Devil’s Bridge

Thursday we planned a trip to Devil’s Bridge, a journey taken by steam train.  Walked to the station, stopping to pick up snack and sammich fixins for the trip.  The train, while smaller than I was originally expecting, was still pretty cool.  We climbed aboard and the trip began.

The train was bumpy, noisy, and utterly fantastic.  Lots of beautiful countryside and sheep (again… shock!) along the way.  After an hour we made it to Devil’s Bridge, disembarked and had an hour to go exploring.  Had a peek at the three generations of bridges built one on top of another, the oldest dating back to around 1200 AD.

My inner tourist came out again as we then started down the path.  It takes a lot of effort not to inadvertently kill yourself on the path, made mostly of stones and slate (or slate-like stone).  The hand rails were our friends!  Took pictures of the waterfall and valley along the way.

We stopped and turned around when we reached the steps that came with a disclaimer — basically “proceed at your own risk, moron”.  Yeah, very narrow and shallow treads with an amazingly tall riser height… and rails placed across the path every 60′ or so to stop the falling and tumbling idiots who lost their footing.  No thanks, I like my skull the shape it is right now.

Climbed back up the path (ugh!), sweating and puffing the entire way.  But we had ice-cream at the top, so there’s a happy trade-off!  Made the train with time to spare, and we started back home.  I managed to only nod off a few times — the bumping and swaying of the train was rocking me blissfully to sleep.

After returning to the station we started back home with a quick stop-off at the grocery to pick up dinner and provisions.  Made it home, relaxed and visited a bit, ate dinner and relaxed some more.  Played some Cell Damage on the X-Box… did horribly but had fun all the same.  We retired to the room and watched some Black Adder before bed.

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Aberystwyth Bound — Part 6.

Posted by DmentD | Links,Pictures,Travel | Thursday 29 November 2007 11:03 pm

Ok, double entry (heh heh) this time because I’ve been such a slacker.

Have been distracted by a number of things.  First and foremost, DmentD.com moved to a new server and needed a little ironing out before the full switch-over happened.

Second, and I think more importantly, the addition of a proper GALLERY to my arsenal of tools to bore the hell out of you all.  I’m going to be migrating the Cake Gallery over to there, and include more pictures of the various cakes as well.  I’ll also be migrating the Ghosts of Halloween Past as well.  Since it is so damned easy to add things to the gallery now, rather than having to write a new page for each event, I can actually catch up on all the missing years of Halloween.  Also I can add pictures for things I think you peeps would like to see.  If you register an account for the gallery (and I reserve the right to refuse anyone an account, I am restricting it to folks I actually know and keeping the random strangers off my lawn), you’ll be able to add comments to pictures, and that is the icing on the cake, so to speak… hearing the reactions from you chuckleheads.

So, having rationalized my recent silence, on with the post.

Journal Entry — September 17th: Finally and at Last!

The rest of the trip into Aberystwyth was uneventful — made all my connections, all trains were on time (a miracle if ever there was one, according to my hosts), and the scenery was wonderful.  I’m quite sure I was pegged as a non-European instantly, just from the features of my face, and I’m able to start to see some trends in the faces of the English and Welsh (can’t really describe it, just sorta’ can).

Was met at the station by Sweets, and never have I seen a more wonderful sight!

Had a brisk walk from the train station back to the house, made to feel even longer due to the fact that I was towing a large suitcase — with an even larger box strapped to it — behind me.  As prepared as I thought I was for cars to be traveling on the other side of the road, it still caught me off guard, and even now I still look the wrong way when crossing the street.

Made it back to the house, and let me just say that it is a universal thing for a house to look like a war zone when owned by two young men, specifically the two guys that Sweets rents a room from.  I knew this style of “house decoration” from years and years of knowing GonzO, Phreeq, and their brood — a sort of post-modern junkyard.  That’s perfectly fine.  Dropped off the luggage, spent some time reuniting, and relaxed until everyone came home.

I met Bob, who had been staying at the house for a bit.  Andrew, Phil & Meg came home one by one, we had a round of introductions, and then opened the box of fun that I brought with me.  Had a good time watching everyone open their gifts and playing with them.  We had dinner, and watched a little TV (that I was trying very hard not to fall asleep during — and failing miserably), then Sweets and I made our way to bed.

Journal Entry — September 18th: The Burgeoning Tourist

Had a nice lie-in, then Sweets and I took off.  After a pleasant walk into town — about 20 minutes to get pretty much anywhere by foot — we sat down to have some breakfast for lunch (a full English breakfast to be specific… two eggs, two sausages, bacon rasher, baked beans, mushrooms and toast — a meal to do a Southern boy proud).  After breakfast we walked to the Aberystwyth Castle ruins and I went into full tourist mode, taking pictures and gawking at everything.

We moved on from the castle and walked along the seafront for a bit and stopped in some shops where I bought some real coffee from a surprisingly ‘coffee-snobbish’ shop, for later in the week.  Instant coffee seems to be the standard ’round these parts as (ta-da! a stereotype comes true!) tea is the hot drink of choice.  I also picked up a metric ass-ton of postcards to send back home.

Went to a little coffee shop, and I had my own little cafetière (aka French press) of coffee, and we relaxed for a bit, chatting.  Had my first opportunity to spend my newly exchanged English money.  The bills are easy enough to sort out, but the coins still give me fits, except for the pound.

Walked home an visited with everyone for a bit then hitched a ride with Phil & Meg to a nice Indian restaurant in town.  Apparently “doggie bags” are not as universally common as I had previously assumed, as I got funny looks when I asked for a container to take my leftovers home — this was confirmed by Sweets, as she was a little surprised when she was here that we were pretty much asked at every restaurant if we wanted a box or container for our leftovers.

We had a nice walk home (lots of walking in this trip), and relaxed with a little TV before heading to bed.

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Aberystwyth Bound — Part 5.

Posted by DmentD | Pictures,Travel | Wednesday 14 November 2007 8:38 pm

Journal Entry — September 17th: Touching Down Across the Atlantic

Holy crap!  I am never taking a long flight in anything other than business class ever again!  The seats were luxurious recliners, the food was awesome, the booze was free (had port wine and brie), and the service was top notch.  Lots of leg room as well.  Talk about being pampered.

The flight was smooth and uneventful.  I napped on and off for the last three hours (watched Fantastic 4 II and Hot Fuzz earlier).  The landing was fine and we disembarked onto the wet tarmac, and onto a bus in the wee hours of the morning.  Sailed through customs, was shocked that my box actually made it with me and was waiting for me at baggage claim.

Hoofed it to the train station, bought my tickets and here I sit.  On a train.  In England.  On my way to see my girl.

I’m so excited that I just want to dance and shout!

It’s raining and the countryside is gorgeous.  Instead of enjoying it, I’m sitting here writing in a stinking journal!  I’m stopping now so I can sit back and enjoy the view.

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Aberystwyth Bound — Part 4.

Posted by DmentD | Aggravation,Pictures,Stress,Travel | Friday 9 November 2007 9:20 am

Journal Entry — September 16th: Welcome to Hell v2.0!  “Now with 200% more lying assholes!”

Guess what?! Screwed again! Our plane developed “mechanical failures” right at the last minute.  We sat around while they tried their hand at repairs, then at procuring another plane, then it turns out ours was the best of the four available, so they had another go at fixing it.  Lots of ladders under engines and people climbing about.  I was surrounded by a sea of politely angry English folk, and had some good conversations while we all waited to learn our fate.


The broke-ass plane as seen
from the terminal.

We were pushed back from 8:25pm to 10:00pm to 1:00am.  We had till 2:00am before the pilots were going to leave.  The whole while we’re watching the ground crew scurry about like rabid little gnomes in orange vests… consulting their radios, their co-workers, even a thick sheaf of paperwork (schematics, I assume).  We were told it was a broken relay that controlled the reverse air thrusters on one engine (basically, the “air brake”).  I kept snapping out comments that were making the others giggle (“Hey, I think I just saw them pry a fried squirrel off of some wiring in the engine, that must be our problem.“) — and they were all thinking snarky thoughts, but were entirely too properly English to be rude and voice them… enter me, the big mouthed, frustrated American.  That’s me… Voice of the People.

At 1:00am they canceled the flight, and that’s when chaos erupted.  Hollering, pushing, shoving, cutting in line, torches, pitchforks, and burning the ground crew in effigy!  After much hullabaloo, they created a whole new flight just for us the next day, re-booked everyone, and issued hotel and meal vouchers, and sent us on our way.  It’s a sad thing that I was expecting this, and was — surprisingly — not near as distraught over the cancellation of another flight.  Pissed off, yes, but calm enough this time around to keep my head and do what needed to be done to ensure that I had a flight to be on the next day, and a place to get some rest for the night.  It’s a stupid thing to have to get used to.

More line waiting at the Holiday Inn (the hotel voucher I was issued), then an evening of sleep.  Woke up, checked out at 11:00am and went back to the airport.  Had a meal (for free), got a huge coffee (for free), then went and parked my ass at the gate and waited for the next disaster.

About an hour before the flight, they changed the gates and we had to hoof it all the way across the terminal to make the new one.  The silver lining: good weather, a plane that works and we were able to board!

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Forecake.

Posted by DmentD | Cakes,Links,Pictures | Sunday 14 October 2007 9:31 pm

New cake in the Cake Gallery.

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