Monday, July 27, 2009

IKEA Buffet

We need a buffet for the kitchen and haven't been able to find one that we like in our price range. We saw a good idea in Atomic Ranch about using some premade cabinets as a base for a buffet. I ended up ordering four upper cabinets, high gloss red doors and stainless legs. The plan is to have enclosed sections to hold barware and one open cabinet as a wine rack. Even with shipping this is by far the cheapest way to get a good sized cabinet.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Much needed updates

We have been pretty busy and lacking in the post department lately.
Let's get caught up.
My brother James visited one weekend, here is the view from the WWI Memorial. I had minor surgery on my wrist.
Sam is my left hand for a few weeks.
I went to Sacramento, saved a client 2-5 million dollars, and saw a wildfire.
On the circle, Mark is making really good progress.
The red house has a new roof.
We did an aid station at the Rock Creek Night race.

And we managed to lie around the pool and have a few drinks.
Alright, how about some house updates. The garden is going crazy. We have started eating tomatoes, peppers, peas, and radishes. The corn is looking good and the squash has begun to take over everything.
The drawer fronts are finished, not on but finished. The first slider is complete.
Trim in the second bedroom is finished!
Sam, Jerad, and Mark helped place the concrete for the desk in the second bedroom. Here is the mold with blue and green crushed glass.
The concrete is white. I will grind the top to expose the colored glass.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Barcelona Chair

We have been looking for reading chair for the master bedroom for some time. Sam found a Barcelona chair on sale so we pulled the trigger.
Here's a current view of our rather unruly garden. The sweet corn is shedding and the tomatoes would be in the roof given the chance. At least the squash has kept itself to the corn patch.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Psycho Psummer Race Report

Yesterday Sam and I did the Psycho Psummer trail race at Wyandotte County Lake Park sponsored by the Trail Nerds. We both did the 50k (31 mile) distance. Let's sum up the day.
- Only a couple 12 mile long runs leading up to the race
- 90 degrees and 80% humidity, felt like 100
- 2, 15 mile loops with 12,000 feet of total elevation change (not all Kansas is flat!)
- Race started at 8:00, not 8:30

We have been busy lately and traveling, storms, and social engagements have done a pretty good job of shortening our long runs to 12 miles or so. We both had planned on racing this one and not just trying to finish, oh well maybe next time. For whatever reason we thought the race started at 8:30. We showed up a little before 8 planning on getting ready, going to the bathroom, and visiting with people. I commented on how full the parking was, boy seems like everybody got here really early. While walking to the start one bystander kindly informed us the race already started. So frantically we laced up shoes and took off. But on the bright side I passed the most people. On the not so good side I had to spend the energy to pass all those people.

The course is a 15 mileish loop which we helped weed wack and had a pretty good idea of distances between aid stations. Most of the race had good shade. The three hills section to the archery range was dry and fast. The open hike across the archery range reminded you how hot it was and to slow down. Fester's wander was clear and fast. Both Sam and I fought the urge to run our normal Thursday night speed which is much faster than race pace. The paw paws were dripping with sweat from the previous runners. Hedgehog hill had just been bench-cut and was better than normal. Although the runners around us cursed thinking a race in Kansas was flat. Megerson's mound and Shane's debacle were well-shaded and a good place to cool off before the dam. The scout's loop was hot. The asphalt and gravel sections were semi-shaded and really sucked energy. The triangle was in good shape, although much less runnable the second lap, funny how that works. The usually muddy bridal trail sections on the east side of the lake had good lines compacted by the time we got there and were probably the fastest and driest of the year. Some people were tiptoeing around the mud, but I went straight through. It's faster and more fun.

The first loop was tough running with the 15 mile races who were always 15 miles closer to the finish than we were. The weather was really hot and muggy and it didn't take long before our shorts felt like wet diapers. Luckily the aid stations were 4-5 miles apart and stocking ice. The first lap was uneventful and we cruised through in about 3 hours 15 minutes. The speed wasn't blazing, but better to run conservatively in 90 degree heat than go to the hospital (two people were taken out in the ambulance). The worst part about the first lap was knowing a second, hotter one was coming.

Lap two was interesting. We were drinking copious amount of ice water to stay cool. Half my water went in my belly and half on my head. Food didn't go down well and the urge to drink too much water at the aid stations meant the mile or so afterward was spent deciding whether or not everything was coming up, luckily nothing did. Not soon after starting the second lap I realized wet shorts and seams on the inside of the legs don't work. The aid stations had Vaseline which kept the chaffing under control. Today however I look like yesterday was spent riding an obese horse with a sandpaper saddle. One downside to getting to the race late is not having enough time to body glide the important bits and pieces. We dropped into a slow rhythm and pounded out the last few miles. At least we were close to the finish before Sam's brain thought singing the She's Too Fat For Me polka was a good idea.

Sam again ran like a champ and took second. Her official time was 7h 8min, her actual time was 7h flat. The results showed only 9 women finished. I finished 23 out of 50 male finishers with an official time of 7h 6min. My watch time was 6h 58m. We heard an unconfirmed comment about the finish rate being only about 50%. Our times weren't bad considering the weather and our lack of training. Both of us beat our winter times, hmmm seems like that was an overtapered race too.

Big thanks to all of the aid station workers. Without ice water, mine and everybody else's race was a disaster. The folks at shelter 10 raced across the parking lot to grab water bottles to fill. The next shelter had Kelly, Sophia, Laurie, and lots of other friendly faces reminding everyone to take some salt. Normally a shot in the face with cold water is in bad taste. However at Pat Perry's aid station in the scout loop, the ice shower was fantastic. James held down the fort at the triangle and gave us the energy to head for the start/finish line. And as usual Ben, Shane, and everybody else at the ranger station got us going for the second lap. It wasn't hard to convince me that cold beer was the perfect recovery drink.

So in summary:We survived with no lasting scars and managed to avoid any ticks, chiggers, poison ivy, leaping tree gators, and excessive mud. Especially those races below freezing and above 90 degrees remind you that there is pretty much nothing as fun as getting out and going for a run even if it results in some chaffing.

Photos by Dick Ross at

Monday, July 6, 2009

Projects for the Second Bedroom

Since the Our First House project manager has selected the second bedroom as the next item to finish, I need to start a couple projects. Four main items are required to finish it:
1. Build a bed. I am going to put together a pretty simple bed similar to this case study one by Modernica. It will have to hinge in the middle since there is no way to get a full sized bed into the bedroom.

2. Build an office organizer. Here is what I envision for our office organizer. It will be similar to a unit Herman Miller has. Drawers for storage in the front and file storage in the back. The entire unit will be on wheels.
3. Finish the desk. The desk top will be white concrete with exposed blue and green glass.
4. Finish the trim.
I better get to work.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ta Da!

One year ago this weekend Sam moved into the house. I was finishing a post doc in Iowa until August. We had worked on the house for about six weeks. My sister came to visit and endured the cats sleeping on the living room floor. Both bedrooms were construction zones so our bed was in the kitchen. We had a shower, but no floor, drywall, ceiling, and toilet upstairs. A sheet covered the hole between the bathroom and living room and a salvaged door blocked view from the front door.
Well today marked another big day. We finished the master bedroom, and I mean completely finished it! All the trim is done and the headboard got mounted.
The are a couple deep drawers under the bed for winter item storage. We have been sleeping on the floor for so long both Sam and I have to get used to the ceiling being close.I also managed to get the picture rail mounted. This is a really slick unit. A very small aluminum rail mounts to plastic anchors. Cables of various sizes and types then attach to the rail. Everything is clean, hidden, and adjustable. If you are looking for a way to mount pictures with flexibility check out, we got the clickrail system. Eventually the Dali's will got here, but I had to try it out.
Other than that we smoked a ton of delicious meat a Jerad's yesterday while hanging by the pool. When the sun went down we had an impromptu fireworks display with Dustin's interpretive dancing. Today between working on the house, Sam and I did a 12 mile run. Next weekend is a mid-summer 50k race so not much will get accomplished. The next big push is to get the second bedroom finished. That means I have to build a bed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ah a three day weekend

Well we made it to forth of July weekend, too bad that means the summer is half over. It rained on and off all day so no running.
I got the desk frame painted. It will hang out like that until the concrete gets placed.
Although no bed, the second bedroom is looking more and more like a real bedroom.
The master bedroom got trimmed and Sam caulked all of the seems.
Sam has spent the last couple weeks painting our IKEA bed. It was natural pine and black paint, now everything is a nice brown/black to match the closet.
The closet doors are getting a fresh coat of paint.
I surrounded the patio with new tiki torches so now we can sit out and not be eaten alive.
The plan for this weekend is to get the master bedroom completely finished, an achievable goal. That will be the nucleus for completing other rooms.Tomorrow however, we will be smoking some meat and hanging around the pool. Jerad and I made a run to the meat market and came back with a large brisket, 4 racks of ribs, a 2lb Italian sausage, and 2 pork tenderloins. Hungry anyone?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Views from my phone

Like most people I tend to take random pictures with my phone. I was looking through them and noticed mine are probably more random than most. Enjoy!
Jason Nall, the beer hunter stalking his prey.
It's in the basement.

Elizabeth's choice, look closely.

Eric cutting a rug.

Yep, welcome to Kansas.

in London

Pan Am World Health building, Washington DC.
Maybe we spent a little too much time doing laundry as a kitten.
The old terminal at Regan.

A tornado starting.