Thursday, September 30, 2010

Timberlake and Fallon: The History of Rap

Totally worth five minutes of your time. Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Soldier Boy, you name it. Pretty funny.

The Mothership

Progress on the house has been a little slow going in that most of the changes are not of the major new/old wall changes like the first week or so. The electrical is all getting redone and is almost complete, plumbing and gas lines moved and in place, fireplace bricks joined to drywall, cabinet designs getting finalized, etc. Here's a recent photo of the disaster zone that is our family room and kitchen. Thankfully all of the lights you see will have dimmers and are on separate switches/zones, otherwise the code name for this project would be "mothership."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Egret and the Anole

Brought to you by the same producer of Jozy and the Anole but just rated PG-13 or maybe even R.

We have had an egret visting our street lately and I have been trying to figure out what the story is. This is him outside my office window. Beautiful bird.

It took me a while to figure out what he was doing...until I saw this picture.

And these two.

The poor Anole had almost no chance.

Click here to see the prequel to The Egret and the Anole.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Referee At Work

I was out of town last week so I did not have to figure out where to work while the house was getting ripped up. The first week of the remodeling project I was able to work at a good friend of ours' house (thanks Molly and Joey!) and it worked out pretty good. The only downside to Molly and Joey's place is that my office mate had to go to doggy day care each day. This week I decided I would try to work at our friend Mark's house, to which I could take Jozy and she would be able to spend her day with her friend Maggie.

While Jozy had an awesome day, I had one that was less than productive. Jozy just couldn't really handle being in such close proximity to her friend and allow me to get in the zone and get work done. She also couldn't handle Mark's cat Jack too well, so there were some occasional barking fits that drove me a little crazy. Thankfully, Mark, referee in soccer and in the dog world was able to help me out a bit. Here is the referee separating the two dogs and maintaining a little order.

Yes, Maggie was jumping up on the table in order to take a break from playing with Jozy.

As soon as I got home tonight I cleaned up my office and made it a workable space again. The contractor says it should be quiet enough for the next couple of weeks that I'll actually be able to work out of the house. Otherwise, I'll be calling up Molly and Joey and Jozy will be going back to Woof and Whiskers...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shooting at People

Tried paintball for the first time today. My clothes may tell a different story (yes, I got shot on my back right pocket when I was laying down behind a tree trunk), but I was pretty good at not getting shot. I was also pretty good at shooting *at* people, but not very good at actually shooting people. I went through 2.5 rounds of ammo with zero kills. Apparently my inner pacifist was doing the aiming.

Doors, No Doors and a Few Bells

More progress to report on the house! This was an unexpected change for us, but when we saw the door get taken down between our dining room and the kitchen, we decided it looked really good. So we opted to remove the door for good and open it up to be double its size. The hope is that this means we will actually use that dining room...I am not sure that we ever have!

What you are looking at here is the view from the kitchen, through the enlarged opening and into the dining room. Feels 100% different from the previous closed off space.

And on the other side of the house, new doors. This is a small change, but seriously, our doors were in major need of attention and these just look 1000 times better. Now we need to figure out how to prevent Jozy from scratching them up...

Of course, she is trained on how to ring her bells to go outside, so this will help. The biggest problem is that she forgets the bells exist when squirrels are around.

Friday, September 24, 2010

1 Million Miles

Continental starting tracking lifetime flight miles sometime within the last year or so. The deal is that if you reach 1 million life time miles on Continental flights, you get permanent silver elite status. Two million and you are forever gold. I just passed my 500,000 mile milestone (506,093 to be exact) and am now counting down to the first gate.

Morgan Freeman: Bring It to Our Country

First rule of negotiating: If you're trying to persuade someone to do something, get Morgan Freeman to say it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Building Walls and New Habits

In other project news: our walls and ceiling are slowly coming back!

I have a feeling that it will be tough to remember what all of that wood paneling looked like before long. I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is gone.

In the meantime, Jozy appears to have developed a weird habit of sitting on the base of the fireplace. She could never do that before because the stereo was there. Who knew that she had such a deep rooted desire...

Despite this odd behavior, she continues to impress with her cuteness.

The Cooktop

Picked out our cooktop the last couple of days, along with an oven, microwave and a warming drawer...not sure what that last thing is but apparently my wife wanted it as much as I wanted the tray ceiling so that works for me. My food will look just as good as this if not better.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OK Go - White Knuckles

Dogs and music. Two of my favorite things. Combine them and you have a winner. I am sure this video is all over the internet already but originality on posts can be overrated...especially when dealing with dogs who do tricks.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I'm upset that I didn't get to experience the first day of the air condition being replaced and moved to the attic...because apparently, one of the biggest steps taken today is not just what you see (a ceiling has reappeared), but what you hear. Silence.

If you have ever been to our house, you know that the air condition is super loud. Well that is no more, thus giving Jozy the atmosphere she needed to meditate about whether or not she likes the new 9 foot ceiling with more lights and a place to put a ceiling fan.

Tom Morello: The Lights Are On In Spidertown

Any song that starts with the lyric "Stand back stormtroopers attack" is either gonna be really bad or jump to the top of your favorite list pretty quick. This one was the latter for me. Now when I tell you that this guy was a guitarist in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, you'll need to trust me, 'cause this is nothing like that at all. And trust me, it's really fun to listen to.

Stand back stormtroopers attack
On a bright May Day, man I'm gettin' soft
I don't know what do you think?
Looks like 10 fat pigs at a 9 pig trough

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Hood

Well, we finally picked out a kitchen hood yesterday. Here's a couple images of what it will look like.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#1: Football. #2: Beer. #3: Women.

This looks like a really cool video documentary covering the 2009-2010 Manchester City season. The title to this post is a quote from a fan in the trailer. He follows this priority list with:

"....this is probably why I am single."

Check it out. Worth a few minutes of our time for sure. If you are a Man City hater, then you can unite under the fact that these guys are trying to buy their way to a championship and have failed thus far...but I would imagine that this film is worth it just from getting the chance to have some unique insight into the life of an EPL fan. Check this description out from the Umbro blog which describes the film in more detail:

Rather than a conventional story of the season told through simple match footage, Blue Moon Rising is much more of a blockbuster, following a group of City’s supporters who travel to watch the team home and away in their own converted people carrier they’ve christened Helios. We follow these guys throughout the film, and it’s their commitment (and their eccentricities) that fans of any club will recognise – teaching their children to dislike the colour red, and claiming to vote Conservative simply because of the party’s colour are some of their more outlandish ideas.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Just had dinner at Jolie's Bistro and the art on the wall is all by Rodrigue (of the famous Blue Dog paintings). This one entitled Louisiana Legends was on the wall behind us. As a childhood Yankee fan, the fact that Ron Guidry is on the back left is pretty cool.

Finally...A Place to Sit

Today was the first day all week that the crew left something in the middle of the room. Considering the fact that it is the sheet rock that we need, I'll let it slide. Jozy was just happy that she finally had a place to sit.


Here's a sample assembly of our counter top (quartz), tile and back splash choice. Our cabinets are gonna be a dark wood so it should compliment this color scheme pretty well.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This may or may not be hard to appreciate via these photos so I am showing a comparison.

Now you see me.

Now you don't.

That's right, the wall is gone. That happened a lot quicker that I thought. Cabinets are gone also. I think we are pretty close to the definition of gutted.

The trained eye may notice that the 9 foot ceiling frame was completed today as well. The progress so far is just awesome.


Kitchen sink faucet choices are mind numbing. I'm leaning towards this one though. Kinda has a cool retro look/feel. It's all up in the air though...and the clock is ticking. Don't get me started on door choices.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

...adding architectural interest

"The basic purpose of a tray ceiling is to break up an ordinary flat ceiling line and add a variation in height to create architectural interest."
They ripped out the cross beams across our ceiling and started to frame the tray ceiling today. I'm not sure my wife was sold on what I think is one of my pet requirements for this project, but I think the extra height in the family room is gonna be pretty cool. Jozy was admiring it already.

Oh yeah, and in addition, to the kitchen, family and laundry room, we asked them to rip out the wainscoting in the foyer so a third of those walls are down today as well.

And this is what is under our hideous yellow kitchen floor. Maybe we should save money on kitchen tile and just go with the dark concrete....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Has Anyone Seen My Couch?

Jozy doesn't quite know what to make of the family room with no walls, ceiling or furniture.

It feels good to no longer procrastinate...

Day 1 of our remodeling project is underway and they ripped out our ceiling and all of the wood paneling in the family room. Next thing you know, that wall you see in the center of the top picture will no longer exist. Hard to believe we have finally started.

Gotta say I am relatively happy with the clean job site at the end of the day and the progress made. It got pretty noisy at points so I took some of my afternoon meetings out in the back yard in the shade of the pecan tree. Tomorrow I will be off site all day because the power will be cut for the majority of the day. We already have a couple of game time decisions being made on things but I am taking them all in stride. So far so good!

Monday, September 13, 2010


We spent the weekend with my wife's parents who are almost always up for something new. Here they are trying the new (resurfacing) fad of frozen yogurt that you can mix from the "salad" bar of various candy-like items.

Frozen yogurt and designer cupcakes appear to be the new thing these days. There was a yogurt shop every other block in Houston last weekend - seemingly as popular as coffee shops.

Using the points...

We're thinking of using some AMEX points to pay for the home theater part of the renovation. I'm checking out the 3D Blu-ray home theater system that was just released by Sony this past summer. I don't understand half of what it does but it looks like it is a pretty cool setup: 3D, blu-ray, internet and Wi-Fi enabled, DLNA, wireless rear speakers, Dolby TrueHD surround sound, etc.

Right now, our TV wouldn't even play the 3D but we could always upgrade that part later.

I'm pretty interested in the DLNA compatibility of the system - just started reading about it. Not 100% sure that the Mac will work with it so I need to do more research unless someone else out there will tell me: can I stream media from my Mac to my new potential Sony DLNA compliant system?

At the starting gate...

It's been slow going...but the kitchen project is about to start. Demolition on the 3 rooms that are being gutted and remodeled starts tomorrow. It was more than 1 year ago that I posted the original plans (and 4 years since we started planning) and said this was really happening so if you are a skeptic, I understand. However, I can guarantee you that the boxes are coming down from the attic and that we'll probably be pulling a late night getting stuff out of the way.

The scope is bigger than the kitchen, so maybe I'll start calling it Remodel Phase 1. Phase 2 is scheduled to start in the year 2025.

Here's a recap of the scope:
  1. Tear down the wall between our kitchen and living room and leave a island (or peninsula) in its place. Essentially, this makes 2 rooms into one space and will open up half the house.
  2. Tear down all wood paneling in the kitchen, living room and laundry room and float sheet rock.
  3. New cabinets.
  4. New kitchen floor.
  5. New counter top.
  6. Tray ceiling in the living room.
  7. New stove top and oven.
  8. Redo the laundry closet - add laundry sink, new walls, new cabinets.
  9. New lighting all around.
  10. New molding, painting and lots of odd jobs throughout.
  11. New AC unit and moving our it to the attic to decrease the noise from it.
  12. Set up interior and exterior sound system.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Premature Celebration

This has many parallels to a NFL player celebrating before he gets to the end zone and then missing the touchdown. Amazing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cajun Signs: Thank You

A few signs from Johnson's that are pure local:

1. Thank you for the boudin
2. Today I had the best plate lunch ever...

And oh, by the way, that heart to the right reads:

3. My heart belongs to beef jerky

Near death experience...

Went for a family walk in Girard Park this morning with my wife's parents. Jozy got so hot she eventually jumped in the pond and I had to pull her out due to the raised walls that circle it. That was Jozy's first near death experience...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Current background on my phone - that is one happy dog with her frisbee.

Clubfeet - Six Days

Clubfeet's Six Days is on repeat this week as I drive into the office. It's not often that electronic music hits my play list as frequently as this tune. Very chill.

Clubfeet - Six Days found on Electronic

Here's another one called Count Your Lovers. The video is a little racy but SFW. This song took me a couple of listens to warm up to. As soon as I hit the chorus at around 1:49 I was pretty much hooked. Another good tune from this Australian band.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I've been here before...

Last time I was at this table, this waiter asked me if I was sure I wanted to watch the MLS. This time, the TV switched over to the Mexico vs Columbia game without me even needing to ask. I'm currently trying to figure out if this is a strange coincidence or if this guy deserves a big tip.

I'm pretty sure I am easy to recognize here...I'm the only guy who sits by himself eating dinner, reading his Kindle and asking to watch soccer. As a result, I'm leaning towards big tip.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Jungle gyms are so yesterday...

We spent the day trying to find kitchen designer shops in Houston that would be open on Labor Day. This was a hard task but we had some success. Along the way we stumbled across this gym set for kids: bench press, treadmill, elliptical, and an exercise bike. Kinda puts my old slide and monkey bars in an interesting perspective.

Dynamo Fans

Houston Dynamo fans at the game vs. San Jose last night. They did not go home happy...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Goode's BBQ

Just kicked back some Goode's BBQ in Houston. Headed to the Dynamo game tonight next.

My team played our third game today and completely crushed some team 10-0. Pretty inconsistent weekend from the guys with some good lessons learned along the way. Overall it was a pretty good first weekend to start the fall season with, topped off with some bbq and some MLS this evening.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Chess Games

Chess game at the neighborhood Starbucks. I'm a chess player in an alternate life.

Fall Kickoff

First soccer tournament of the fall and we are off to a bit of a rocky start with one loss and one tie. We only have 12 of our 21 players with us so we are missing some key elements...but we still could and should have done better.

Soccer can be a frustrating sport where you play a game, do really well, but lose by multiple goals, and then in the next game you play poorly but get a better result. Despite the frustration, the team managed to hang out as a group and have some good laughs during down time so that was good to see. And quite honestly, the game we lost was full of some really good ball movement, some of the best I have seen by the group.