Ultimate Measurement

Ever wonder what three games of Ultimate Frisbee looked like?

No?  Yeah, probably not but I’m going to show you anyway.  I always wondered how much distance I put on during our games and it turned out a few other folks were interested as well.  So this afternoon I wore my GPS watch while playing our Sunday game.

Total Distance ended up being 5.59 miles.  The first game I know was 1.72 miles and I think the third game was longer than the second.  I’ll admit I rank among the more active folks on the field but I’m not alone in putting in this much distance.  Might even be a few others who run more than me.  Pace was about 13:31/mile.  A lot of that is walk and jog followed by brief sprints; repeat as necessary.


Here, there and everywhere.

Talking With My Mouth Full

Last evening I headed out to dinner with my ASL class.  We were meeting up with the ASL class from our local community college (they were about on par with us knowledge-wise).  The dinner had one rule – no talking.  Sign language was the only thing permitted.

Er … yikes.

All told though, it went over really well.  I know about 300 signs so conversation was possible if a bit simplified.  We relied on the basics – names, home towns, jobs, etc. and grew off of that.  Nothing terribly complicated.  No one was willing to discuss global political ramifications of anything through finger spelling though someone did tell a story about King Kong squishing his lady friend.  Trying to explain *why* I wanted to learn sign language was a challenge, especially when I was asked by the instructor of the other class.

It was interesting to see how the other class did signs that I knew.  Stay, for example.  Our version involves the Y shape coming down in front of the chest whereas theirs involved the same motion but slapping the palm.  That slap motion threw me off a bit until someone finger spelled it for me.  They knew some signs we didn’t, we knew some they didn’t.

The night did reinforce that I need more practice in reading other people’s signs.  I can’t pick up on finger spelling very fast.  That’s mostly due to lack of practice but Steph’s offered to learn ASL so given time I’ll get better.  I’m thinking about recording myself doing ASL and then finding a way to randomize the videos so that I can watch and figure out what is being done.

I also learned a whole new respect for the way deaf folks have to go through life and the daily challenges they face.  For instance, No Talking also applied to dealing with the restaurant staff.  That meant we had to point out our orders on the menu.  Easy enough.  Now try asking for a refill.  Or ketchup.  Or salt.  Or a lemon (as one person did for their fish).  Fortunately everyone ended up with what they wanted along with a hearty dose of laughter.  The waitress picked up quick and even learned some of our signs.  Earned a hell of a lot of tips.

But there was some cheating, I have to admit.  We could hear what the waitress was saying and adapt our signs to it.  For instance, when it came to asking for condiments, the waitress got in the habit of running down the list – Ketchup? Mustard? Tartar Sauce? and then someone would nod or sign Yes.  A deaf person wouldn’t have that advantage (even reading lips isn’t perfect).

I’ve only got one more week fo ASL, then the summer off, and pick up again in the fall if I so choose.  I do think I will.  Last night proved that it was a lot of fun and very rewarding.  Besides, if I can teach Steph, then maybe we can have a private conversation anywhere we go.

And since this whole thing is about ASL, here’s a music video … done in ASL.  Enjoy!

And now for something completely different …

Since most of my posts lately have been about the remodeling project, I present to you two pictures that are *not* about the remodeling project.

Edward Hopper’s NIGHTHAWKS is one of my favorite paintings. So much that I have two versions of it – one by Hopper, the other by Stephen Pastis of Pearls Before Swine fame.  This is what you see when you walk into my office.

It's hard to tell the difference.

We also gave Tim Tam a bath today.  As you’d expect, he took it well.

This will likely be the last thing I see before I die.

A Shortage of Bamboo

According to the remodel schedule, today was the day that our new bamboo floors would start being put in.  If all went well, by the weekend we’d be able to move our furniture back into the house.  I cannot tell you how much we’ve waited for this moment.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been living in the office and bedroom (when we weren’t out at the farm).  It’s been a less than pleasant experience.  We’ve both craved being able to have our couch back and another place to sit and relax.  Heck, to be able to walk through the house without having to wear shoes would be fantastic.

Of course, it wasn’t meant to be.  When the flooring guys showed up, they immediately discovered that the variance in our floors were too much.  For bamboo you want less than 1/4th inch and ours ranged from 1/4th to 3/4ths.  They’d have to use some self leveling concrete to fix it and by some, I mean uber-bucks lot.  Enough that Steph and I had to take a few steps back and come up with a new plan.

That new plan is to do the kitchen and dining room in bamboo plus a small spot near the front entrance.  The rest will get carpet (picked out in a rushed 30 minute session at the store).  The carpet is on back order and won’t be here until April 30th (the same date as our delayed counter tops).

I’m not going to lie – I’m pissed.  The floor has been exposed for over three weeks.  Why our contractor didn’t let the flooring people know that there might be potential problems angers me.  A decision could have been made weeks ago and all this last minute stress would have been avoided.  On the plus side, what little bamboo is going in will be done by this weekend.  We’ve already decided to move in furniture – carpet or not – so that we can stop being confined to two rooms.  Then it’s just one more week and this whole project will be done.

Knock on wood.  Or bamboo, as the case may be.

Mad with Power

A paraphrased chat conversation I just had with my wife:

Steph: We don’t have enough circuits.  The electricians have to put in a sub panel.

Me: Seriously?  This is all your fault, you know.  You wanted more power.  I said, “No, you’ll go mad.”  You said, “No, I won’t.”  And now look at you, seeking to take over the tri-state area.

Steph: Wow, that was good.  *bows*

Me: Thank you.

Yes, life is getting back to normal.

Update From The Construction Zone

Drywall is up and Steph’s been painting like Michelangelo possessed.  My tasks have been simple – door knobs, paint roller washing, and a ton of cleaning.  The room is actually looking like a physical room once again.

This next week is looking to be a big one.  The counter tops are due to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday.  Before that can happen, the cabinets have to go in which means they’ll hook up the heat once more and we’ll be able to live in our house once again.  Not that I don’t mind staying at my in-laws for most of the past week but I think we both miss the comfort of home.

Not much else to say so here’s a few pictures.

Walls stripped bare.
Drywall up, mudded, and sanded. Steph's in the corner doing the painting while I play the role of official photographer.
At the end of Saturday with the first coat thrown on.
Looking through the kitchen and to the rest of the house.
Sunset at the farm.


Lack of Ink

Run Dry


My word count over the past week and a half has been less than 250 words.  I don’t suspect that this will increase much in the next week or two.

Anyone reading the blog knows the reason – the house is a construction zone and it’s pretty much impossible to concentrate when the place is torn up like that.  Plus at nights I’m working on cleaning, moving stuff around, and so forth.  Even making a simple meal takes five times as long as we don’t even have a flat surface left outside the bathroom or basement freezer.

Today marks my first day back at work since last Thursday so I’m hoping the sense of normalcy helps somewhat.  If it does, I’ll get something written besides a blog post.