Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Support our Troops, Packs, and Crews

Just as the Girl Scouts have their cookies, Boy Scouts, Cubs, and Venture Crews sell popcorn. My son's troop has chosen alternate fundraisers because we don't want to interfere with the Cub Pack affiliated with our troop. They raise their entire budget with popcorn sales. We try to support them and they, in turn, support our fundraisers. Since there is a great deal of overlap between the families, we're better off with that strategy.

This year, it is possible to support our military while supporting the Scouts. The order form includes a $25 slot for "Support the Troops" popcorn order. You can support the Troops while you support the troops. I think the Girls Scouts got there first with their cookie sales, but it's still a good idea.

If you have a local Scout unit, please support their efforts - even if you don't eat popcorn. If you don't have a local unit and you'd like to take advantage of the "Support the Troops" option, let me know. I can put you in touch with our Cub Pack and we can get that popcorn out to some young men and women who just might like a snack.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The table top and chair above originally had green legs. The table top was badly scarred and the finish had been damaged. I used a citrus-based stripper which eats through old finish (and vinyl gloves) very quickly, but which doesn't have an offensive odor and doesn't strip off skin. Thank goodness.

The project would look better if I'd done what I normally do when finishing furniture, which is to stain first, then add polyurethane as a protective coat. I don't much like the combination product. It works, but it is NOT faster. It is cheaper, proving that you often get what you pay for.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cake Wrecks

I just spent 25 minutes I couldn't really spare reading (and looking at pictures) on a web site called Cake Wrecks. Some of the cakes are funny, some are creepy, some are amazing. A few definitely require a "No eating or drinking while reading" caution.

Contents - 'professially' prepared cakes that have gone horribly wrong.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


If you're allergic to latex, do NOT believe the nice salesperson at the paint store when they tell you that vinyl gloves will protect your hands from paint stripper. I'm thinking maybe nitrile, but I'm open to suggestions

Odorless mineral spirits aren't. Well ventilated location was definitely a good idea on that one.

Photos to follow when the furniture is finished.

Friday, August 08, 2008


The wedding is in about 16 hours. My middle son will marry his childhood sweetheart.

Actually, they didn't much care for each other the first 10 years, but they first met when they were 7 and 10. Pretty much normal reaction for kids that age.

People keep asking them if they're nervous. They think that's funny, and a little annoying. They know there will be adjustments, but they're looking forward to them with anticipation rather than trepidation.

They found an apartment this week. A little last-minute, perhaps, but it's a good location for both of them, fits their budget, and is roomier than most in that price range. It's also upstairs from the landlord.

I spotted the ad in the local paper last week. It took a few days for them to reach the landlord and make an appointment to check the place out. They invited me to go along, so I did.

Turns out the landlord is a local elected official - one I'd voted for, and will again. She spent some time talking about how folks in this part of town just 'go with the flow', taking things in stride. She even gave examples from her work. She talked some about the stores and churches in the area. We're already quite familiar with those, since we just live a few miles away. Then she mentioned that if my son had any interest in the local Knights of Columbus, one of their most active members is a neighbor.

Oh yes, we know him.

The landlord made it clear that she had other prospects to interview, but stood outside and chatted with us for another 20 minutes or so. While we were standing there, the neighbor stopped to wish my son and his bride-to-be congratulations on their upcoming wedding.

When the landlord told my future daughter-in-law they'd been chosen, she said that the other couple, much decorated tattoo artists, frightened her and would likely frighten the neighbors. It's got to be easier to 'go with the flow' in your office than in your home -- and the personal reference from the neighbor certainly didn't hurt.

Then there were all the moms, grandmoms, and friends who have been asking St. Joseph to intercede on their behalf. I don't think the other couple had a shot.