Friday, January 23, 2009

Fool the Eye


This clever 2 Gig flash drive from www.wishingfish.com looks like a severed USP cord. Cute.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Home Inspectors are Pessimists

We got back the inspection report on Momma and Daddy's house...you would not want to live there. According to the inspection report, this moldy, termite damaged, leaky, shack is about to collapse. Well, maybe not collapse right away, but certainly over time. Boo hoo....we will have to see what happens. The buyers have asked for a contract extension to recover from their shock. This is a hopeful thing...if they wanted to walk away , they could.

I am hopeful that they will submit an amended contract, asking for a fix-it-up allowance...maybe their son-in-law is Norm Abrams. Who knows.

I just realized that I have these very dark hinges on all the doors in the new house and that is a mistake. They look like holes in the wall from across the room. Oh well...I suppose I will white-wash them eventually. I have been over there white-washing ceiling panels today. There are TONS to so. I get them done 10 at a time and then I have to take a break.

We still have a leak under the first floor bathroom...water had run out into the hallway today. We shut the water to the whole house off until our plumber can get back to tend to it. I talked to him yesterday, his son broke his leg and he is in the hospital to have tests run for this critical high blood pressure thing that has been going on for a while.

It has just been work-work-work since I got back from Mempho. My bookkeeper people want all this info in preperation of taxes and making W-2's and all that. Plus my tile shave been specified for the restaurant floor in a Golf Club house in the Miami area...yeah ! But I have gotten a ton of emails and phone calls from contractors who are bidding on this project. Dasve has helped me tons, I have had to quickly make up all sorts of contractor, designer, architect and distributor price lists. Dave is good on Excell so he is making me all these charts. I als o got a good call from CA about the tile today, someone who presents 'new' products to architects and designers once a month. I wish I had some time right now to do some promotion of the tile....hopeflly soon. I want the tile to be my main gig.

I submitted a huge list of domains to the folks running a big domain auction at the end of this month. Out of about 50 they chose one to be in the auction...giftwrapping.org
Hope it sells for enuf to pay my domain costs for the whole list.

Big news around here is this guy who was flying his private plane and called in w/ engine trouble and then jumped from his plane and parachuted down safely. His plane was on auto-pilot but ran out of gas north of Pensacola and crashed. Thankfully it did not kill people on the ground. He was arrested at a Tampa campground. He screwed up becasue when he called in engine trouble, the ground control sent up military planes to have a look ( there are tons of bases around here !) and they saw the plane flying along pilot-less with the door standing open !! I think he miss-calculated and maybe meant to let the plane go down in the Gulf...oh well...now probably his (almost former) wife is stuck w/ the plane monthly note and no insurance money for the demolished plane and a husband in jail. Bummer...

Was cold as 'up North' here for last few days but is suppose to be in 70's next couple days. Yeah...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaragaral Day

Pretty sunny, but way chilly day here.

I need to design a contemporary bed frame that my carpenter or Dave can build out of ordinary wood. I want a sloped headboard for coffee and reading in bed. For TV watching too. But upright for reading like newspapers. I have just never understood why people would want a vertical headboard. Anyway, I figure that I can make a wood frame one and use a staple gun and some batting and vinyl or upholstery fabric and do a quickie cover-up over wood frame. I need legs on it too to set mattress/box springs (maybe as that is not really necessary but I already have a normal king set) on. I could do legs that show or legs that get covered w/ box pleat or mini-pleat bedskirt. I kinda like the look of the crushed pleat fabric on bedskirts...Fortneroy (sp?) style. I also like Hula grass skirt raffia, but I guess that is for another bedroom !

I also like up in air exposed legs but bed is heavy and it takes some serious legs. Maybe bro. Stephen can weld some creative legs for me.

We made a bed frame in Memphis once using milk cartons on the four corners. Plywood under mattress. Made navy blue bedskirt to cover all of it. Used it 25 years.

I have to go out and buy a disposal this a.m. I think someone stole mine....Ahrrrrr.....
Dave, Dan and I , have already spent too many hours looking for it, if I find it (not likely) I'll give it for a Xmas present.... :o)

Glad I am not in Washington DC today !!! On TV it looks like Gandhi's funeral. I can't imagine looking for a porta-potty or keeping warm or getting in the traffic. I do wish I was there w/ a couple cases of knit hats to sell tho !!! Enterprising people would have gone to fabric stores and bought up all the marked down polar fleece and quickly chopped out thousands of scarfs and be selling them. That stuff is light weight to carry around. I'll be glad when my house is done and I make a lot of money on tile or something and I can quit thinking like this !!!

Momma got a contract on her old house while I was in Memphis. First contract to have come on the house.

Got call from Momma's real estate agent...house inspection yest. turned up bad termite damage under house. She has a termite co contract, but the fine print can give them loopholes. New potential buyers are spooked, I am told. Our agent is on top of it and doing everything possible to make this sale work. She needs to unload that house asap...on market 2 years, priced from 800,000 now down to 500,000 in the totally stagnant Memphis market--the nations capitol of bankruptcies. No lie.

We need to sell that house. There is also $400+ monthly utility bills, taxes, insurance, satellite connected burglar alarm, yardman, ...huge burden. And risk.

And speaking of Stephen...he now as a patent on a clever bug, slug, ant proof dog bowl. A project he has been working on for some time. You just never know what the Pridgen kids are up to. Did you know that Lisa and Henry went to Africa few months ago? Can you imagine Lisa in Africa ?? I have not seen the photos yet, but they went on a mission trip for church planting w/ local pastors.

I am off to buy a disposer and white thinset to do a trial of the mosaic countertop idea that i have.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Memphis in the Meantime

Today was sunny and chilly. Momma and I spent most of the day at Dr office, errands, getting prescriptions, buying her a deciduous holly to plant here at Village of G'town, etc...she has yard man lined up to come tomorrow and secretly dig out the Village planted smoke tree that she hates and plant the holly we bought at Dan West's. She and I also loaded (I loaded) the loose bricks at the old home driveway edge to be used to widen the narrow driveway here at the Village. Momma's faithful yardman, Man, will do the digging. I will do the supervising. I am sick of getting out of my wide car into a squishy flowerbed every time I come to see her. They scrimped on pavement. We will fix it. Much easier to say "I'm sorry" to the admin. for unauthorized landscaping than to get permission.

Turns out she has some pneumonia in her left lung. She has a 1 week round of antimicrobial. Doc didnt want to start her on anything else, like maybe Wellbutrin for depression right now, one thing at a time. The doc was nice and friendly and really did not want to hear about 3 complaints in what was suppose to be a follow-up visit from some recent past ailment, but turned out to be a 3 new separate complaint visit. I had to verbally snag him as he tried to escape. Whoa Doc, we have only covered 2 points, come back and have a seat.

She was amazed that he sorta, no make that completely, brushed off the hot-flash--night sweats complaint. He also brushed off the IBS complaint and said she should see a specialist about it or my cousin Dr. Skip Pridgen in Tuscaloosa. I told him that she needed one dr that could oversee all of it, not different docs in different states when it would be mostly her by herself consulting them or him. He still would not address the IBS issues.

She thinks she picked up the cough and pneumonia in the visit to emergency room about 10 days ago..who knows, maybe so, but she has been coughing for a couple years but can or will only remember coughing for last 10 days. If what I tell the doc doesn't match what she has already decided, she tells us both to hush-up. She coughs much worse when eating or drinking...bad sign.

Looks like there is an accepted contract on Momma's Freeman Oaks house subject to the house inspection. That should happen this week, so she should know something by Monday. I asked Ward W. to pls call me or one of the other kids w/ all details as Mom tends to get things confused and he will not pick up on it at first, maybe. She is a great faker...speaks with tons of authority I told him. He understands.

We had dinner in the cafe here. Momma told me bluntly that I was not dressed properly for the dining room. I thought I looked jes fine.

We were on our way walking to the Cafe (across the hall from dining room) when I saw Ruth Morrow walking to dinner. Ruth was wearing hose, black kid pumps and a smart black and white 2 piece wool suit with a classic bowed silk blouse. She had matching clutch and perfectly coifed hair (as she has had every day of her entire life) . I asked her if she had been somewhere important today...no, she was simply dressed for dinner.

We had a good supper in the cafe at a table with mom's friends Charlene Mattingly, Dorothy ?, (me and Momma). They had a very lively and laughter-filled conversation which included news, gossip, reminiscing, and scrambled facts. It was a hoot. They all speak w/ great authority on all subjects. The word 'proper' comes up now and again...as in "proper upbringing" , done in the "proper manner", "done properly". It is not said in an snooty uppity way necessarily, just a pronouncement that something has been done in a way they approve of, not in a casual, sloppy, or sinful way.

Folks, this is the end of an era.

I tried to imagine what an upscale retirement home would be like for me and my friends...I think take-out and to-the-door delivery would have a bigger emphasis. Maybe more live music, maybe more experimental opportunities. I don't know tho...maybe when the marbles start to roll around a bit , we'll be just like the group here. But I think there will be a lot less stockings and hosiery.

Monday, January 12, 2009

News from Memphis

They have cold winters up here ! So far, not so bad, but it is suppose to get r-e-a-l-l-y cold later this week. Luckily I brought ear muffs and gloves and my $10 Walgreens fluffy muffler/scarf.

Today Momma and I went to W-M and several stops, plus app't at PT for first visit. It was mostly an evaluation but she sent Mom home with a page of 6 exercises that I am just about sure that momma will do at most once or twice at most if left to her own devices. She is suppose to go back for several twice a week sessions at Campbell Clinic's (big Mempho ortho group) PT dept. A super tall beautiful blonde girl with a nice Southern double name did the strength evaluation on Mom. When asked if she ever fell or had balance issues, Mom was all smiles as she reported, Why no, she is just fine, maybe a little weak, but otherwise fine. On the side, I was doing hand motions of person collapsing on the horizontal.

That adorable Geary Irwin took us to lunch at the Mexican rest. in the OakHall shop ctr on Poplar. We met Geary there and had a great visit. She is amazing. About a size 2 still, cute as can be and 85 yrs old. She has this swingy whiter hair and a bounce in her step and still works 2 or 3 days a week at The Pink Palace gift shop. Her mind works at 150 mph still and she is so witty and sharp. I love spending time with her, a great role model.
All 3 of us ordered the mushroom and black bean quesadillias. I asked for extra fresh chopped cilantro. I would have to rate them as so-so. Not bad, but certainly not divine or inspired. There are great cooking shows on TV 27/7 now....why don't all restaurants aspire to great heights w/ seasonings, crispness, freshness, etc...I just don't get it.

Tomorrow Momma has an app't w/ an internist, Michael Pruitt. She likes him. I know him from way back. She is seeing him about several things, one being her persistent cough. I think she is aspirating. She thinks she picked up something in the emergency room last weekend. She seems to forget that she has had a cough for last couple years. Daddy had a big problem w/ the food going down the wrong pipe thing , as did Mr. Kaestle, a friend of mine who died of old age. Unfortunately other than making all your food have the consistency of goop, so it slides down in one blob, I dont think there is much they can do for the swallowing thing. We used to tell Daddy to swallow w/ his head tucked down, chin to chest, because the therapist told us to tell him that. But I tried it recently, and it is uncomfortable and takes the fun out of eating. Daddy almost never did it, and she prob won't either.

Momma got an offer on the old house today...The agent, Stepehn's friend Ward Walthaul (sp?) brought a contract. Trouble is that the amount offered is not enuf for her to pay off the mortgage she took to move to Village of G'town, so I don't know. She signed it but later Cary called and said that Herbert said not to. But it may be too late and a done deal. I was there and she signed it (I didn't know how much her loan was and the details of all that). I was just glad to think that finally it might be sold, her taxes are huge, ins, upkeep, etc...The buyers also want a home inspection and they can walk away if they don't like what they hear. So it is not for sure but one good thing is that they do not have to sell a house to buy hers.

Momma has been really weepy and it is no surprise, this was her first Xmas w/out Daddy, their anniversary was Dec. 30 and now the finality of (maybe) finally selling the home. I told her this was very normal. I was sad the day I closed on Miller's condo. Also same thing when I sold the VW Thing that Miller and I had bought together. I knew it was best to sell them but still was sad over the whole situation.

I am in the library of Village of G'town and ready for a cold beer. So I am ending and heading back to the cottage. Besides, Momma got me a cute 20 dollar dress at W-M today and I want to try it on. Guess whenever I get around my sister Lisa I get real fashioned minded :o)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Family News

Momma is not doing so well. She had a minor wreck on Friday and I talked to her Fri night and she sounded fine. Turns out that she got up to go to bathroom that night and never got off the potty.
The security guy at The Village found her on the floor late Sat. She was bleding from hitting her elbow.
(There is a pull cord right by the potty in Momma's bathroom but she didn't use it. )

They called Cary in K'ville who in turn called Lisa who is skiing in CO, so Cary got Daddy's sister and her husband to go see about her and they took Momma to hospital. When Cary called hospital Sat morning she found out that Mom was back home, she had called a cab at 4 a.m. to take her home !!!!
Now she is too weak to do much. We don't know why. But, i remembered the shots that she got in her back vertebra a week or two ago and wondered if there might be a connection.

Stephen drove up Sunday and fixed her food and did stuff for her. He went back to be at work on Monday and Cary along w/ Frances drove over from K'ville on Monday. Today they took Mom's car to repair place and tomorrow they have an app't w/ the Campbell's Clinic Dr. who did the back shots.

I know that Momma has just really gotten all settled into her 2 Bd Rm cottage but she may have to move to the apt. part of Village of G'town if that is a higher level of assistance. We are looking into all that now.
This was Momma's first Xmas w/out Daddy and their anniversary is Dec 30th, they were married something like 56 years. She was really 'down' over Christmas, understandably.
My plan right now is to go up to see her on Sat. I'm planning to stay for 4 or 5 days then really do need to get back here to get this house finished.

Cary told me today that their good friend, the mayor of K'ville, Bill Haslam is running for Governor of TN and the paper announced it today and said Herbert, her husband is going to be his finance manager.

The mayor named longtime friend and Knoxville lawyer Herbert Slatery as his campaign treasurer, with Nashville consultant Kim Kaegi to serve as fundraising coordinator.

His family owns the Pilot Truck Stops and gas stations. Sometimes Cary flies to Memphis for the day when there is an extra seat on the Pilot jet.

Today I whitewashed tons of components for the coffered ceiling that goes in the Lv/Kit area. I have a ton more to do...prob all day tomorrow and then some.

All for now...

Monday, January 05, 2009

One of these days I will return...

to blogging about useful and cool things.

Meanwhile, I am overwhelmed with stuff to do. We got the Cert. of Occupancy on the house before the end of 2008 which was our goal. But there is tons-tons-tons left to do. Some of it can wait, but some of it, must be done now. One of those now things is the Cuban ceiling effect in the main bedroom. The ceiling is 20+ feet tall. We have scaffolding set up in there now, on top of the fabo tile floor and it is so tall, I am scared to climb up to the top. I want that ceiling primed, painted and outfitted with little strips of wood before I move in. The room is so big and so concrete that the echo is unreal. I am not kidding....you cant even stand in there and talk face to face with anyone. The wood ceiling effect should help.

Also, I realized that the house basically has no closets. Ted often overlooks closets when drawing plans, He just says to get some armories. So I looked on ebay and low and behold, the same folks that I bought the fancy sideboard from way back in 2002 had these two incredible Italian gigantic armories for sale. One is mahogany and one is walnut but they are very similar. Both have 3 mirrored doors each and fancy-pants carving on top. I made him an offer on both of them together and he took it. One is in N.Y. and the other is still in Italy and has to be brought over.

The thing is, I got these huge antique armories for less than the construction cost of trying to make closets somewhere in the house and they will be a lot more fun to look at. It wil be several months before they arrive.

My tile biz is keeping me really busy too. Since all the tile is custom made for each order, you end up talking to the clients a lot usually. One couple drive over from Waveland, Miss to see my tile floors this past weekend. Really nice people. They travel a lot and love these floors from Argentina visits.

But my real big deal is making the reproduction tile for an important Los Angeles landmark that has been 20 years in the process of deciding what to do with the historic property. The total order is over 10,000 tile. But the hard part is the tile have to be exactly like the 1920 tile which is no longer made in this country. And every step has to be approved by a whole panel of board members and historical society folks. We have to have custom molds made and lots of strike-offs sent via air freight to California for approval. Lots of little twists and turns to this big job but will be a real feather in my cap in the end.

I think I am going to Memphis to spend some time w/ Momma this weekend. It has been a while since I was there. Almost a year. She has been really understanding about the house project taking all my time, and Cary has been really good about going to see here several times this year.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Snorkeling in Canada



Alcohol may have been involved...

Wall Stickers are BIG


I see more and more brands of wall stickers and removable wall decor including 3D Clock Art. I have put together a list of many of brands and suppliers of removable wall stickers.
These are great for people in apartments, dorms, or anyone who wants a quick shot of color in their life. The wall words can be inspiring until you get so used to looking at them that you forget they are there. Then it is time for new wall words.

And speaking of 3D, I can't wait till the Superbowl halftime show in 3D. I have my glasses ready.