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Episode 2 – The Ongoing And Embellished Adventures Of Curmudgeon

2015 April 6
by Curmudgeon

No! My license tabs have not expired. But a couple other things have. And all in the course of one single afternoon. The good news being Da Brudda was occupied at gainful employment so the incidents fell entirely on the shoulders of me, Curmudgeon, questionably the [less than always inspired] inspiration behind Rantsville. Enough self deprecation, let’s get on with the embellishment.

Y’see a lot of time and energy has been devoted to making two rooms into one. That involved a fair bit of demolition, brainstorming and grunt work. Good news is we’re at the point of staining, varnishing and trimming the 12½” archway between the rooms so they look finished. So we have these pieces of two by lumber bordering both sides of the opening and being poor white folks we carefully picked construction pieces. OK, I’m good with that. It means there’s a bunch of fun prep work (sanding, more sanding, then sanding again, well you got the idea) to make the wood ready for stain and polyurethane coating. It kinda comes down to even though you’re wearing a particle mask, how many hours at a time can you breath that sh.., oops let’s just say breath that dust in? My nose and lungs try to quit working when someone that two days ago swam in an Olympic size pool filled with cologne gets within three counties distance. How much more graphic do you want?

The day’s plan was to get the sanding done and hopefully find an acceptable stain to use. Sanding equipment on the other hand had vendettas. A brand new quarter sheet palm sander from Menards worked real well until the last 45 minutes of use. Speeds varied from almost not running to full bore and endless variations between. It did keep working ’til all was sanded but I would have been more thorough with a good unit. Purchase price has been credited back to the debit card.

Then there was the reciprocating multi-tool we’ve nick named “the jitter-bug”. It has done shloads (coining new words here) of work over the last several years but not the afternoon in question. With the triangular sanding attachment in place and a hook and loop sanding sheet secured it was a treat to work along the 1½” wide timber readying it for stain and polyurethane. It got shut off while repositioning myself to sand the bottom 3′ of one edge. I flipped the switch and there was nothing. Arrgh! After checking for a tripped circuit breaker and trying half dozen other outlets there could be only one conclusion: the danged thing would be in rigor soon. I just hate when that happens.

Enough embellishment, let’s get on with the adventure part. It turned out the “jitter bug” only needed partial dissection to gain access to the on/off switch so a bunch of contact cleaner could be sprayed in and the switch slid from on to off about 500 times and all works fine again. Who says Harbor Freight stuff is junk?

Da Brudda was in a generous mood and lent his somewhat beat up but still functioning palm sander. So the adventure of finishing and trimming our archway continues on its merry way.

Don’t ya kinda find it amazing the sorts of things an old flatus (that means someone that is old and breaks wind) considers adventurous? Me too!

The Ongoing And Embellished Adventure Of Curmudgeon

2015 March 26
by Curmudgeon

Let me be honest, my time is mostly spent hanging here in Rantsville proving my curmudgeon status. Truth be told I’m an old (well not that old) guy doing my best to survive beyond the 69 years my father made it to. So writing about old age adventures sounds like a good pastime. Small problem: what’s the best way to write about adventures when you’re an old guy that spends time online, listens to vinyl records and indulges in some beers or wine in the evening? Answer: can you say embellishment ? In other words my descriptions may be less than entirely accurate. Thus the “embellished” part of the title.

Da Brudda is lending his “hands on” experience and architectural schooling with a project. We are constructing an archway between our mobile home living room and the addition we call “the family room.” When finished we’ll have a wall to wall open space of nearly 27 feet from living room to family room wall. Oh yeah, it’s gonna be a big space.

Friday morning he got off work early and showed up ready to get some stuff done. The next four hours or more were spent organizing wiring and getting switches and outlets connected and ready for final mounting after carpentry work got finished. Once we knew the work had been properly done it was time for “A BEER.” What! You thought maybe a cup o’ coffee? Seriously?

Da Brudda had happened across a mobile home court near his work that appeared to have privately owned lots. He was intrigued and wanted to show me so we jumped into his “dent-mobile” and away we went. Well, about two or maybe three miles from our destination a local squad car turned from a cross street and stayed behind us. We turned onto a much less traveled side street and flashing lights came on. It don’t take a rocket scientist to figure out you better pull over and have a chat and that’s what Da Brudda did right after he handed over a nearly full beer can and instructed me to hide it.  So it got tucked out of sight under my jacket. Y’know, this ain’t the kinda thing someone with a history of severe panic attacks should be expected to handle with finesse and grace.

The officer informed Da Brudda his license tabs expired the end of September last year and even though a hanging offence in North Dakota since we were a couple old guys behaving ourselves and Da Brudda had no wants or warrants a $20 citation would suffice. Oh yeah, he would need to get his tabs current first thing after the weekend.

We engaged in a bit of verbal banter about the predicted negative number temperatures for the next few days and the officer returned to the warmth of his squad car. Meanwhile we continued on our adventure to check out a mobile home court that may sell lots.

Da Brudda has long claimed he “may have to grow old but don’t have to grow up.” Ain’t that kinda hard to disagree with? OK, in Rantsville, domain of Curmudgeon, disagreeing isn’t an option. Please remember this is an “embellished” adventure.

Fond Farewell To Twenty Fourteen

2015 January 1
by Curmudgeon

It may be titled a “Fond Farewell To Twenty Fourteen” but in my curmudgeonly view, fondly waving farewell to 2014 isn’t necessarily accurate. Much happened, much was accomplished and much was learned. Some good and some not but hey, it is water under the bridge. So here goes.

An abundance of rants were posted about thirty plus mobile home residents including us that got eviction notices in mid-January. Likewise there were rants about our trials, tribulations and struggles to accomplish the move. We made it happen and did the grunt work ourselves. Of course professionals got the big bucks to do what we (John Q. DIYer) wasn’t bonded, licensed and certified to do. Yep, professionals can hurt the bank accounts. Bottom line: it happened and we’re nicely established in our new location.

Our move taught many lessons. First among them was as you get older and health stuff runs interference there may not be such a thing as eight hour days especially when doing physical stuff you maybe ain’t done before. That’s not saying the eight hour day doesn’t happen but some portion of it might be at 1/3 power ‘cuz the oomph just isn’t there. Wouldn’t ya think it would be easier to accept that eight years after the valve job and electronic ignition installation (in other words heart valve surgery and pacemaker/defibrillator implant)? What’s wrong with me anyway? Please don’t answer that.

Daunting though the overall project was the sense of accomplishment is the kinda thing broken arms are made of. Broken arms, you ask? Well sure, unless you’re double jointed patting yourself that high up on your back will cause a broken arm. Lame, huh?

Detaching and moving our 12 X 16 foot addition away from the house and later moving it back to the house after the move was the major challenge of our move. Janice, Da Brudda and I brainstormed ways of doing it and to the surprise of the mobile home mover guy it was mission accomplished. Terry (the mobile home mover guy) was so impressed that he transported the room and left it and his diesel pickup for us to position, block the room and pull the trailer out so we could move it back up to the house. Just a hint: if you are prone to panic or anxiety issues don’t even think about doing something similar to this. Proper knowledge, materials and equipment are required and even then there are life ending hazards.

Enough about our move, we’re home, we’re comfortable and like all home ownership there’s always more to do.

What else has 2014 given us? Though Janice is supposedly pre-diabetic her A1C remains completely in the normal range without prescription drugs so long as she takes true cinnamon (not grocery store spice) and pays attention to diet. Shucks, the cinnamon seems to reduce the arthritic swelling in her ankle too. How do you argue with that?

Then there’s Da Brudda and his decision to cut back on cigarettes. Good plan as I see it since he’s already sacrificed half a lung to cancer and started sucking smoke again thirteen or so years later. The beauty of his cutting back is if or when he fires one up there ain’t the feeling of being a total failure ‘cuz after all he’s not quitting, just cutting back. It’s mostly working for him and that’s so cool!

Finally me, Rantsville’s own Curmudgeon. Well gosh, my news ain’t so encouraging considering my life goal. Y’see I’ve long joked I wanna die at 150 years of age from gunshot wounds inflicted by the jealous husband of his nineteen year old bride. That ain’t gonna happen ‘cuz congestive heart failure is a terminal disease. That stark reality hit home at the most recent Cardiac Pacemaker symposium Janice and I attended. I guess that means there are a lot future 19 year old ladies safe from my advances (wink).

Well it is Twenty-Fifteen. Warmest personal regards to all.