The sun is working again

Or rather, our solar system is working again. The engineer from Poco came by yesterday and found he had mis-wired something previously. D’oh. I’m amazed it worked at all before. But we’re back to cranking power into the grid. Now if PG&E would just come by and replace the meter outside with the spiffy new ‘time of use’ digital meter, I’d know exactly how much power is going where. Hopefully within a week or two they’ll get this done.


We had frost last nite…. the barn kitties were not impressed. They’re considering not renewing their contracts unless we do something about the cold or else let them inside.

Thanksgiving is done and gone. The rain came shortly thereafter. and so followed the rainy day indoor projects. Woot. Elizabeth came over on Saturday and set into cleaning up some of the projects that I just can’t seem to get a handle on. I think she takes personal offense that one of her friends could possibly be so damn unorganized. And she’s right. I just cannot keep up with the StineFallout. I resumed cleaning up my desk, going through files and boxes, sorting and organizing. Elizabeth? Welllll……
First there was the space under the kitchen sink.

Sort of (definitely) left in disarray after Art finished installing the water to the fridge. Elizabeth arrayed it. Even put down cork shelf paper to try and make the warped cabinet floor look sorta slightly better. It worked.

Then there was the cabinet over the washer and drier, again, a husband-cache of everything that could be tossed or shoved into a small space.

Not anymore. Art doesn’t know what to do with that space now, it’s too organized.

And then, slowly she turned. The Pantry, in all it’s cluttered glory.

She sighed. I cringed, anticipating scathing comments. They never came. I could all but see Elizabeths brain compartmentalize every item she touched, giving it a place and putting it there. Giving each item friends to share the space. Slowly, the floor became visible. And then, there was, as she so elequently put it….room for a small girl and a dog and a half. Amazing.

I continued to tackle the office, going only as far as my desk and the surrounding terrain.

My desk (mid project)

Art’s desk (perpetual state)

A lot of stuff is going up here. We have a full attic. We need to use it.

So, not a bad rainy weekend. Got stuff done. Gently pushed Art to get some of his stuff done. He’s trying. Thanks go out to Elizabeth, a friend to beat all other friends. And to the Japanese hired help. He’s cute, a great supervisor and he didn’t barf once this weekend.

why does everything have to be so goddamn big?

We just got back from the movies. The movie was fine (Bond flick, not the BEST Bond flick ever, but good enough). We had dinner prior…sort of a combo dinner at a steakhouse. The dinner came with dessert, which we just had delivered to the table boxed to go. It was this GINORMOUS slab of chocolate cake, enough to feed about 4 people, with a tub of hot fudge sauce. Who needs all of that??? Good gawd, no wonder people in this country are obese. In Europe, that would be a small child’s entire birthday cake. Then we get to the theater. Their “theater size” popcorn??? Any guesses???? You could hide a baby in the tub. You heard me….a baby. Maybe twins, if they’re small. 172 ounces. Again, you heard me. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO. I understand if you’re feeding an entire row of people, maybe my freshman class in highschool (granted, it was a pretty small school). Their large soda almost requires a hand truck to get it to your seat.

I’ve think I’ve figured out the nations population control plan. Since birth control doesn’t seem to be catching on real great with the young, poor and stupid we, as a nation, are just going to be fed to death. Like goldfish, eating until we drop. Supersizing everything until we’re so large we can’t fit into our supersized SUVs and no hospital bed will be able to support us, assuming they can get any of us out of the house to get us to a hospital where the nutritionaly aware doctors and nurses can shake their heads in shame and pity at a nation of slovenly suicide (a la Gilbert Grape, people, watch the movie).

Where’s my gym card. I feel the need to sweat a little. Pleah.

We must be cursed…

Just when I thought this experience with having work done on the house had panned out – our solar system has a 2nd failed inverter. We managed about 5 days of up time before this one failed. It was nice while it lasted. The solar guys will have to make at least one more trek up the hill next week to fix/replace this one. I’m sure they’re less than thrilled… but then, neither are we.

Take that, PG&E

PG&E can go hang now… our solar installation is officially working now and during the days this weekend, we generated plenty of power – enough for the meter to be spinning backwards at a pretty good rate. In spite of the cost, it feels good to be able to generate our own power w/o contributing to any more environmental issues here in CA. I expect to end up with a zero $ bill by the end of each year from now on. Yea!


The weekend is finally over. We had a rare spell of dry/warm weather this weekend, so I took the opportunity to do some stuff I should have done during the summer (when it was dry and warm EVERY day). Ah well – better late than never. When we had the gutters put up last spring, there was some dry rot repair that the contractor did and the bare plywood has been in the eaves out back every since. I meant to paint it sooner, really I did. Anyway, its all primed and painted now. I think next year, we’ll probably paint the whole house outside, since every time I do work around the outside, I notice that the previous owners used a variety of different shades of ‘similar’ looking paint, but not much seems to match.

And to keep Lisa from posting any pictures of the other tasks not done for the past 18+ months, I got the water line to the fridge installed today. What a pain. I’m really thinking it would have been a good idea to have made the previous owners fix it. Or else, I should have done it immediately after the house was fumigated. I met all sorts of interesting spiders among the ducts, pipes and wires in the sub floor. Even wearing a Tyvek bunny suit, one managed to bite me. Fortunately, it must not have been one of the nastier ones (brown recluse or black widow), since my arm doesn’t appear to be rotting off yet. Crawling around in between the low subfloor, ducts, etc reminded me of caving in college – as I recall, I was not so keen on caving then and it doesn’t seem to have improved since then. The whole crawling on my belly like a bug just doesn’t work too well for a guy my size.

The good part about crawling around under there is now I have a much better idea as to what’s down there and I also found a heating duct that had come loose which I temporarily fixed. At least we won’t be heating the sub floor now or providing a home for whatever was nesting in the open pipe. The previous owners were such hacks – everything I find that isn’t part of the original construction seems to be some hacked up solution, whether its electrical, plumbing or now, heating/AC. Hack hack hack.

let’s put some money on it, shall we?

I hate to resort to this, but I am going to have to. I am reaching out, hoping that someone out there has some suggestions on how to get something done here.

There are two things that desparately need to get done around here, and no amount of pleading begging nagging shaming sobbing bribing bargaining or sweet talking has managed to accomplish.

1. Water. To. The. Refrigerator.

I have been pleading with Art to get this accomplished since we moved in, to no avail. I am reduced to buying bags of ice and filling the bin, then pretending that my freezer made it and that there is an unlimited supply. Every weekend he promises, every Monday I refill the ice bin from the bags I buy at the grocery.

2. Clean up and organize the “workspace” in the barn.

I purchased a really nice rolling tool bin setup with a table/backboard shop light from Sears. 3. years. ago. It has YET to be put together and utilized. Some parts of it are still in the original box. We moved it, in the boxes, from the house in Fremont. Tools lay scattered on the floor, on the workbench, on bales of hay, in cardboard boxes, in places you would never imagine tools would be found. I cannot make progress “helping” to clean it up, for reasons I will not go into. Yes, some of the shit is mine. And if I could GET TO IT, I would get it put where it belongs.

I will get rid of my grandmothers boxes in the carport and the spare room, I will organize my Jack Accessories in the barn office RIGHT THE HELL NOW…. if I can just get him to focus on these tasks at hand. I will gladly shut the hell up about all sorts of other things (except the office, that’s #3 on the hit list, and will remain), if we can just get these things DONE. I’ve offered to help, it does no good. I’ve offered to do it myself, but that would mean throwing away a ton of shit that I’m sure Art would rather I not throw away. I’m thinking about just hiring someone to come in and do both things, what say ye? Help!!!!

Pictures to follow.


Remember when rap used to be exclusively a black thing? (‘cept for tools like Vanilla Ice and, um, other white tools trying to be black) Well, not anymore.

Now it is white.

And female.

With bangs and a ponytail, dammit.

Her girl parts are nifty….appearantly. Nifty enough to have a song written about them. Note her crazy eye. The floating fallopian tubes that tie themselves into knotted hearts and then rupture really disturb me. Really.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep tonight.


I’m way too sensitive.