Thursday, August 25, 2005

Late Nights

So, I'm working late. Again.

Mary was a dear about the whole thing - understanding an all. I hung out with her for a bit this evening, but tucked her into bed and went back to the computer.

I'm not pretty much done with what needed to be done tonight (big release happening, our team/department/all-of-Intel hangs on the quality of this), but I've gotten to the point of tiredness where I don't really care if I go to bed or not.

It's a really odd state to be in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dan hooked me up!

I've admired a friend's (Dan's) t-shirt for a couple of years now. It's got a picture of some dancing trees. Well, I mentioned I really liked it and wondered if he'd be able to get me one if he ever saw it again. His was too small for me to "borrow."

Well, at the Country Fair he found one. It turns out they're made by a nice little company that supports local artists and all that stuff. And, it's made of hemp - my first article of clothing made of hemp.

This is the design:

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bridge and Bricks

A very full weekend, if I do say so myself.

Mary and I woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and began laying pavers. We got in a good four hours of work - finishing the path to the first patio, and getting about half of the second patio done. It went really fast - partially because we didn't have to think too much, so we could just lay things down.

We only worked for that little bit because we were meeting some friends at Silver Falls for lunch/dinner and some hiking/swimming. Portia and Gordon hung out for some food and chit-chat, but had to leave early due for a poker night. So, we spent the rest of the time hanging with Carol and her two kids Jess and Paul. The kids played in the water and we adults waxed poetically about life. Good times.

Our plan after that was to head up to Portland and crash at Ron/Cyndi's house. Why? Because at the last minute, we'd decided to ride the Bridge Pedal. Mary had been wanting to do it for a long while now, and we'd totally spaced out on the fact it was this weekend. Originally, we were going to be in Napa Valley for a friend's wedding, but due to the drawn out nature of our project, we passed.

So, last minute, we hung out in Portland, waking up at 6am to ride over all the bridges in Portland. The views are pretty amazing, and it's cool to ride on bridges that are normally full of cars driving 70 miles an hour (the Marquam and Freemont). My favorite bridge is the St. Johns Bridge. It was designed by the same guy who did the Golden Gate (and he liked the St. Johns better). One of the really neat things about it is that when your crossing it heading east, Mt. St. Helens is perfectly centered in the bridge.

The weather was beautiful, and the ride a lot of fun. There were a bunch of people whining about it being the "Bridge Walk" or the "Bridge Crawl" because there were some traffic jams, but I'd expected that. What else would happen when you have 18,000 people doing an organized ride? My only real gripe (other than the gripers) was that people had no clue how to ride in a group - they would swerve suddenly and erratically, and they had no idea how to stay right when riding slowly.

This was Mary's longest bike ride ever (just a little longer than her ride when we did reach-the-beach a few years back).

After cleaning up and eating some yummy food on Hawthorne, we drove back home and worked on the patio again. We finished up the second half of the round (2nd) patio and worked a little bit on swapping out stones in the first patio. Because of my mis-order, we ended up with two shades of bricks, and they didn't get mixed as well as we wanted. So we swapped some of the darker stones for redder stones. It's a pain in the butt to fit the stones back in, but we think the overall effect will be really nice.

We were just too busy to get any pictures of the progress on the patio, and I'm just too lazy to put up the couple of bridge pedal pictures. So you'll have to wait and hold your breath.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Our cats are smarter than yours...

Well, the cats have figured out how to open the sliding door.

We went to bed last night with all the doors closed nice and tight. We woke up, and the sliding door was open way wide and Jade was outside dancing through the tulips.

In the past, our cats have been able to open regular, hinged doors by either pulling or pushing them to open. But the sliding door is pretty heavy - it's got glass in it. I'm just waiting to find where they've hidden the crowbar - and the opposable thumbs to use it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Weekend Off

Mary and I took the weekend off. There were several reasons for this.

For one, we were a bit worn out from working on the path.

Secondly, the local stone place didn't get the right stone in stock before the weekend (they actually don't know if it'll be available next week either - it's starting to border on incompetence).

Third, we were invited by Mary's parents to hang with them in Bend at the Thousand Trails campground. It's a part of a chain of campground facilities (kinda like KOA, only nicer (I suspect)).

So, we drove over to Bend and hung out for a couple of days. We lazed in our lawn chairs, read books, grilled steak, swam in the pool, etc. Life was good.

But now the week begins, and back to work we go.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Another Weekend, A Few More Stones

We worked some this weekend to complete the path. Saturday started off a little slowly and we had a lot of little decisions to make. It's surprising how many little things you have to decide when planning the patio. And the little things really matter down the line.

We also took a nap during the hottest part of the day. mmm... nap.

On Sunday we got a late start because we went to church, and then picked black berries with Gin (mother-in-law). Of course, by the time we'd finished, it was the heat of the day, so we took another nap.

The actual work on Sunday flew by, we got a lot accomplished in relatively little time.

This view shows the patio in front of the house. Note that we've left a lot of the bricks out until we get the brick saw in a week or two. We figured out the fastest system for laying the bricks - I hand them directly to her from the wheel-barrow, thereby avoiding an extra touch for each of the bricks. With another person helping, we would have been able to go much faster - using the third person to do the final path prep in front of our brick laying.

As you can see, we decided to keep the center pattern (the square bricks) simple - all the bricks are lined up straight, and the path curves in spite of the straight squares. We figured this would look nice (and it's shaping up like that), plus it makes laying the bricks a lot easier.

This shows the path extending down the side yard toward the semi-circle patio. The square bricks are now "pointing" straight down the side path which was a nice side-product of choosing the straight pattern (as opposed to trying to curve those lines). Mary also added several rows of bricks on the semi-circle - almost out to its final radius.

The whole project is going to look very nice when it's done. A beautiful path, bordered by beds of pretty flowers and plants. You just have to close your eyes and imagine.