Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weird weather

I am siting here using the computer, expecting to lose power at any moment...TV says big storm headed to me w/ rain, hail and 60 Miles per Hour Wind !!! Sixty Miles per Hour !!! Holy Guacamole. This is way stronger than a tropical storm, I think hurricane starts at 60 mph.

update;;weatherman wrong as usual. storm not so bad and center already past us. but it looks like another one is over New Orleans now and headed here later today.

Monday, December 08, 2008

New Cement Tile Floor



Click photos for bigger view.

We started work on the tile floors this past weekend. Very exciting to see this finally happening. Our Mexican crew, headed by Roy, started laying bathrooms on Sunday. Today the big living/kitchen area got started. The name of the tile in the Lv/Kit is Surf "Agua" . It comes in other color schemes too.

The tile have all been crammed into a storage container on the property and they weigh so much that it has been next to impossible to locate individual patterns to send to people as samples and such. Now I will have some room in there to find stuff.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Short Christmas List

One thing, here it is:
Well, two things, I'd like 2 of these for new living room. In leather por favor. Check w/ me about color. Maybe a pale blue.

They'd be perfect w/ the floor in there.

The Peel


Friday, November 21, 2008

Best Turkey Ever


The recipe that I think makes the best ever T'day turkey was first in House Beautiful about 20 yrs ago. This is a recipe from Gene Hovis--Uptown down Home Cookbook.

Gene Hovis was a black man from the Carolinas originally and made it to top social circles in New York by way of food. His obit is here in NYT

It is the best turkey I know of.

Marinate is :
2 cups soy sauce
2 bay leaves crushed
6 juniper berries ( I have some nice ones from Penseys Spice)
1 tbs. dried rosemary crushed
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup white wine
1 cup honey
fresh ground pepper
1 tbs poultry seasoning
1 lg onion chopped
3 or more cloves garlic crushed or minced

Combine all marinate ingred. in lg saucepan and bring to boil for 5 min, cool.

and I marinate it in a big cooking bag tied up tight around it and placed in a big bowl so I can rotate it over a day or two. Marinate at least 24 hrs, rotating bird.

Remove from marinate and let reach room temp.
preheat over 350 F
Pat bird dry and rub w/ butter and peanut oil (or whatever you have )

ROAST UPSIDE DOWN 15 min to the lb.
For last 45 min, turn bird right side up.
If starts getting too dark make AL foil tent.

Let rest 30 min B4 cutting.

Now since I love the marinate, I pour it back in the pan for roasting and let it mix w/ bird juices.

It cooks up w/ dark skin mostly due to the marinate but also the honey browns to dark.

I use some big meat forks that I got from some mail order catalog to flip that hot bird, but to be safe and not scald one's self, if it is a big turkey, man-power is called for here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Couple of Quick Things


1. Tell any school teacher that you care about to sign up for www.donorschoose.org because if Google does what it did last year (and Yahoo the year before) they send out thousands of Xmas gifts where the receiver gets to go to this site and fund a school teacher's project for $100.

2. If you use your camera to review and delete images off your camera's data card (SD, etc) one at a time while it is still storing the remaining images on the card, you shorten the life of the card. I read this on Photo.net or PC World or some reliable source, can't remember where but it was recently.

3. If you have any extra rechargable camera batteries do not store them uncharged. The life of the battery is longest if you full charge it and then store it. The charge will dwindle over time, but the battery will take more charges and last longer than if you stored it uncharged. Seems weird, but the last I bought had this warning with it.

November Notes

I am sorry that I have no time to add amusing stuff to this blog anymore...maybe this time next year.
Evey moment of my waking time is needed for stuff I have to do.
Today is Sunday and I used a hose attachment to squirt water on the exterior of the new house as high as possible to see if there are any skipped or missed places in the waterproofing sealant...there are. I would wet an area dn then take a photo really fast before it evaporated. I can reference the photos tomorrow spraying from the man-lift as we have one more day before it is picked up by the rental company.,

We had it for 2 months this time, I probably should have bought one !

I think I have sold the crane..YEAH !! One of the equipment listing companies that is used to large dealers listing their stuff for sale, Equipment Trader, or maybe it is Machinery Trader, anyway, the first listing is free. I only needed one. They had something like 22 pieces of equip. in my category (rough terrain crane) but I got a call the first day. I have only had one call but it is a good one. They have my bank info and are suppose to transfer the money in and send a trucking co to pick it up after I see the $ in the bank. The fellow who works at this Wichita, KS equip. dealer is real nice and has sent me photos of his lake house that he has been working on for some time now. He calls it a lake 'cabin' but that is like Villa Lagoon being a concrete 'cottage' . Anyway--I will be ck'ing online to see if the funds are deposited a couple times a day starting tomorrow.
It is a wonderful thing to sell the crane in this market. Someone told me on Fri that people they know were going to Louisiana to buy heavy equipment at an auction since it is all selling so cheap right now.

Today I placed a bid on a kitchen sink on ebay. About half of what the kitchen supply places sell it for. It only comes in 3 colors so I will buy the white speckled one. I like the black but it would be the only black thing in the kitchen and would look odd. Speaking of kitchen, Valerie and Billy of J and J Custom Woodworking are making my curvy kitchen cabinets and curvy island. I have to figure out about countertops. We cannot get the Cert. of Occupancy inspection w/ out the sink being set. The inspectors are being real nice about working with us to let us know exactly what HAS to be done and what we can let slide till we get to it. We HAVE to have our CO by Dec. 31 st and everyone knows how Gov't offices basiclaly shut down in Dec. (ever had a court date in Dec,... prob not).
I went to look at some huge quartzite slabs in the Summerdale/Robertsdale area that were suppose to be aqua blue-ish. They were not, they were grey-ish. Two that matched were basically grey streaks and one odd one did have blue in it, but the blue was dark cobalt specks, like milky way streaks and not the turquoise color I had hoped for. Besides, I couldnt afford it anyway.
So now I am leaning towards using my solid color cement tiles on the counter tops. Trouble is that I do not have time to order them special for my job and I will have to use some that are suppose to go on the floor.

Aaron (our carpenter) has finished my sturdy wood storage ranks for my tile samples in the basement, so I will begin digging thru the tile in the container tomorrow. I need to make room for a sample ordeer that will be delivered in next few weeks and it will be a huge help to be able to grab samples and pop themin the mail w/out digging. Th etil eis so incredibly heavy that is is on eay task to find what you are looking fo rin the storage container.

The 'sheetrockers' have started, they got the main bedoorm ceiling started on Fri. and they want to be fisnihed on Tues. so I have to be there all day to do stuff like sprinkl;e a line of boric acid powder in the area between the interior walls as they work. I also want to try to foam insulate the wall of the laundry room and hall to living room, for noise sake. Working w/ my magnesium oxide wallboard is not easy. It doesnt score and break like gypsumboard and they have to use screws instead of nails. We had to hire commercial rather than residential crews for it.

OK--now time for me to edit a bunch of photos and get them up on www.ConcreteCottage.com tonight.

Did see an excellent film the other night. The Counterfeiters, aka Der Fälscher. Had some Russian it it, also German, English, Hebrew w/ subtitles. Dave was translating the Russian parts. True story--"Stefan Ruzowitzky’s stark and intriguing evocation of a largely unknown area of Second World War German history: the use of skilled prisoners to create counterfeit currency for Operation Bernhard, a plan to flood the British and American economies with fake cash". Pretty sad movie, made me cry a couple times. If I taught school it is one of those films that I would show my history students.

OK--got to get busy--if you want to see more of what is going on here, take a look at www.ConcreteCottage.com as that is where most of my 'web' time goes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DR Photos

A funny sign at a local gym on the road between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana .

Photos from the tile factory and some installations of their product.










A link to Villa Lagoon Tile is good to place here !
Now photos of Santo Domingo that I took the first day.





We stayed at a lovely all inclusive place in Punta Cana. Some of these photos are from Santo Domingo, I'll put those first. The coast all along Santo Domingo has rocky coral inlets and little caves. The water makes a big splash in some of them.



These photos are from restaurant of typical food and fun music and dancing. The walls has photos of Pres. Carter eating there and others of Brandgalina. Matt Damon too.

We were invited to a fabo luncheon at the home of our host's parents. The tables were set in a small tent on the front yard that faces the Caribbean. The food was, hands down, the best we had on the trip.





Got to visit an architect's weekend home whihc is this incredible three story tree house in palms on the beach.




Monday, October 20, 2008

more from the DR

internet still difficult. big resort but some of the biz center's computers don't work properly, we show up forgetting the tiny slip of paper w/ our 24 minutes of access code , so just one thing afer another..so only answering urgent email. The beach is fabulous, there are a bunch of Russians here. It is a fam trip to get a bunch of Russian travel agents excited about sending vacationers here I suppose. They dont smile much and they dont communicate at all w/ us. Today we saw people from Korea, and a lot of German speaking people. Last night we had dinner in the reservation only japanese restaurant. definately not Benihana , was kinda funny actually....food mediocre at best. this huge AI resort (all inclusive) is owned by a Spanish an and the food is basically without seasoning, which is what I experienced in Spain.
hese places are located in an area where all there is are huge AI rsorts..so wandering about looking for local estaurants is not much of an option. but the architecture is incredible and the showershave tons of hot water. I have made friends w/ folks here to get back in touch w/ afer I return and do tile biz and after all, this is what I came for, that and to photo cement tile installations. So i am a happy camper. And no tummy upsets at all, so this is wonderful...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dominican Republic

Great trip...have seen a lot of very nice tile installations and taken a lot of photos. Our little group of tile showroom owners and interior designers is a super group of folks. We are on our own now at this HUGE all-inclusive resort. I have about 2 more days. I was all scared of coming here before I came , from reading forums, mostly at www.dr1.com but so far, it is wonderful. I'd come back in a heartbeat. Of course, it helps that I am hob-nobbing with the elite here !! A fabo lawn party on the coast was just the best. I took a ton of photos but will have to wait to get home to upload them.

I have taken a lot of photos of great tile installations in ancient and new construction for the website and established much better biz relationships for obtaining and selling my tile.

I see numerous trips to the DR in my future !!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Greetings from the Dominican Republic




Trip went fine getting here. Airports are never fun but it wasn't too bad. Nice hotel right smack dab in the center of a 3 million people city...Santo Domingo. I am going to try to upload some photos if the hotel will let me use my USB thumb drive in their computer. Later on I may pay for the 24 hrs of wireless, but I have not yet. Wasnt sure I had brought my laptop power cord, buty found it this afternoon. Anyway, everything great here so far. Lots of horn honking. Reminds me of Jerusalem in that respect.
Tonight is the tile company cocktail reception. Slept late and then had a big breakfast at the hotel buffet and omlet bar, lots of tropical fruit. Then walked around mostly along the shoreline drive. Then to the pool for some reading and short nap, now in the business center. This hotel is great. Hotel Santa Domingo.
Climate here is about like Gulf Shores when we left town. Warm sunny days, cooler nights, humidity like Alabama. Friendly people so far.

Well it does not seem to recognize the USB port, so I guess it is disabled. No photos till later.
Now on different computer, accepted the flash drive. They have these humongous lanterns hanging in the lobby area of the hotel. I mean these lanterns are about maybe 10 ft tall. GIANT...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Carlos Santana's Next (possible) Career

...on Friday the rocker said he sees himself one day heading up a church in Hawaii..."I'm going to stop playing when I'm 67 and work on what I really want to do, which is to be a minister, like Little Richard," he said to Rolling Stone.

"I'm not sick of what I do, but I find that God gave me the gift of communication even without my guitar and with the ability to get people unstuck with certain sections of the Bible having to do with guilt, shame, judgment and fear." Read more...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bon Secour Auction



Big bankruptcy , big auction. Bon Secour Village here on the Intercoastal Waterway...first photo is the proposed marina part of this huge development that was even to have public schools located inside. Second photo is what the marina looks like now. Bon Secour Village Auction

Curved Cornice is Up




Cornice is in place and getting last back-fill today. DAC-ART steps are almost complete on the south side. The area over the central panels lacks the decorative effects.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Redneck Fire Alarm


Thanks Marti for this clever idea. It looks lovely in your home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ship wreck








After these last 3 or 4 hurricanes in the vicinity, this old ship was tossed ashore. People said they saw it back in 1997 and has made occasional appearances over the years. Now it is a big attraction on Ft. Morgan beach, just down the road from me. It is located between mile markers 5 and 6.

And it is way longer than it looked on TV and in the newspaper.

The boat had burned to the water level and what you see now is the part that was underwater still very much intact, blops of hardened molten metal and lots of charcoal where the fire was.

Doesn't this look like a one of the spooky ships from the Pirates of Caribbean movie ?