Dreamblog – My Brother’s Suicide

vcmtrkWarning: Disturbing.

My brother must have had some kind of terminal disease or something.  He came into the room where we were sitting and took something or did something that would keep him from breathing.  He was fine at first but then started freaking out before collapsing on the floor.  Everyone got up and walked away leaving his body right there.

They started going through all his belongings and fighting over who was going to get what.  I walked away and felt tears running down my cheeks thinking about how nobody even cared about him.

I walked over to an area that looked like some kind of band stand.  Some kind of guard was standing there in a marching band uniform and handed me a flower on a super long stem.  I reached for a stack of plastic chairs so I could sit down.  A truck had pulled up and used a large rubber tube to suck up his body.  It got stuck and the vacuum ripped his body apart.  Black goo flew everywhere including on me.  I went to a puddle of water in the street to wash some of it off.  There were fish in the puddle.

That was one of my more disturbing dreams.  Usually they are just weird.  I wonder if it is some kind of reflection of my psyche.  I imagine my brother was actually me.

Read more of my dreams.


Germany or Bust

grmnytrpI just got an offer to spend a couple of weeks in Germany.  An offer I can’t refuse because there’s no way I will ever travel outside the US in the future.  At least highly unlikely anyway.  We will be visiting the areas that my ancestors come from.

I don’t have any paid vacation time left so I would have to take it as unpaid which is fine with me.  The boss is out in training today so I emailed him asking for his approval.  He basically said he couldn’t spare me to be away for that long.  I replied that the trip is more important than my job so I’m sure we can work something out.  We’ll talk tomorrow.

Basically, I’m telling him that I am going on this trip and whether I come back to work here afterwards is entirely up to him.  I’m already tired of this job anyway so even though I’m sure I’ll freak out for a while I won’t really miss the job.  I’m sure he will work it out with me but I like to consider the extremes.

Assuming the worst happens, though unlikely, I would enjoy taking another year off while I shop for land.  Perhaps get that part-time job I’ve been thinking about.  Change is good.  I’m tired of the full time thing anyway.  Work is for chumps.  I made all the money back in a few months that I spent on my last sabbatical.

It’s likely that all will be fine.  It would have to pass through multiple levels before they let me go and I seriously doubt a company fires a person for wanting some time off for vacation.  I’m not worried.   Germany, here I come.



DIY Outdoor shower with hot water

I’ve been wanting an outdoor shower for years for many reasons.  The primary reason is that using the shower inside fills the house with humidity that is extremely unwanted in Texas in the summer.  Even the exhaust fan doesn’t help significantly.  An outdoor shower avoids all of that.

I finally decided to do something so I shopped around on the internet finding the cheapest one from Walmart.com for around $29.00.  I almost went with that but what’s the fun of buying one that’s already made.

Not sure exactly what I was going to do, I went to Home Depot and looked around at the parts.  I finally decided to go with a simple PVC pipe design.  I bought a single 3/4″ pipe and all the parts I would need including a $4.50 shower head.   I could have gotten a nicer one but this is a prototype that I wasn’t even sure about.  A cheap one is fine.  The whole thing cost me $24.00 after taxation.

The most complex part might be the bottom.  It needed to stand by itself so I used a T fitting as the base.  For a third foot, I used another T to come out the back and connect a faucet.  Any cheap faucet will do so it will connect to a hose.  Yes, it works in reverse but that’s fine.  Actually better if you think about which way the pressure goes.  I used a washing machine hose to go from the faucet to the garden hose.  I had it handy so it cost me nothing.

The top of the shower consists of a simple 90 degree bend, a 45 degree bend and a screw on adapter for the shower head to attach to.

After verifying everything fit together, I cemented it all together and waited for it to cure.

A cold shower may be fine for some people but warm is definitely better.  I like to take my showers in the evening so I am clean when I go to bed.  Not a big fan of sleeping in my own filth.

I connected the other end of the garden hose to the drain faucet on the water heater.  The hose runs through a hole in the garage where other pipes and wires pass through.

In the summer I keep my water heater set to a lower temperature.  A lot of heat is not required during the summer and it saves money on gas.

Before you do this, I must caution you that using the drain valve may cause it to leak since it has usually been sitting unused for many years.  Don’t worry too much though. You can buy a replacement valve at Home Depot if necessary.  This kind of connection is also not good for permanent use because the hose could burst and flood the house.  If things test out OK, you could replace the valve with a pipe to the exterior and put the valve outside.  I might do just that if the shower works out as a long term thing.  In the meantime, be sure to turn off the water at this valve when you are not using the shower to avoid unnecessary leaking.

So there you go.  The whole project took me around an hour or less.  Easy peasy and funly wunly!



Dreamblog – Surfing the Earth

srfatmI haven’t blogged my dreams very often lately.  Mostly because they are so bizarre and indescribable.  This time it was worth writing down.

I was on the space shuttle getting ready for reentry.  As we began to touch the upper atmosphere, I was suddenly outside with a board strapped to my feet.  It was not like a surf board.  It was more square and thin like a piece of plywood.

There was a lot of turbulence and it took all my effort to keep the board ahead of me so I would not be burned by the heat of re-entry.  The shuttle was nearby but getting ahead of me.  As I did my best to keep my balance the shuttle eventually disappeared ahead of me leaving a trail of smoke and fire.  I worried that if I didn’t keep up with it I would end up landing somewhere on earth that nobody would find me.   I angled the board for best aerodynamics without getting burned.  I wondered what it was made of to keep it from burning to a crisp.

I entered the lower atmosphere and had slowed down to a nominal speed.  I imagined that it would be better to land on water than hard ground so I did my best to find a lake or ocean.  The shuttle was long gone so I was on my own.  I saw a lake that seemed to be in my trajectory so I steered towards it.   I didn’t want to land in the middle or it could be a long swim so I adjusted to end up near the shore.  I came in fast and skipped across the water until ending up right near the bank where a large group of people was cheering me on and helped me out of the water.

Well.  That was different.

Read more of my dreams.


Sauce Class

Img_0277Yesterday I took a class downtown at the Culinary Institute of America on making sauces.  An acquaintance talked me into it and I didn’t want to turn her down so I went with it.  It cost $185 and used up half my Saturday.

I kind of enjoyed it.   I can’t say I learned a whole lot.  There were a couple of demonstrations and then we were divided into 4 groups and set loose with some recipes.

It was kind of fun cooking on professional equipment in a big stainless steel kitchen with other people.  Each group had 3-4 dishes to prepare and in the end we all sat down to a huge meal.  It was all good.  I learned to make a Hollandaise sauce that I also learned is 90 percent butter and 10% eggs.  Certainly not good for your heart and I will not ever be making it for myself.  Still, I always wondered what “Holiday Sauce” was.  It’s not easy to make.

I’m also not used to cooking such large quantities.  I usually make enough for one meal for one person each time.

I would say, if nothing else, it was worth the $185 for the experience and the entertainment the the opportunity to wear the spiffy chef hat.


“No vegetables, Please.”

Wow!  It’s amazing what you will see when you’re out in the public.  Even more so in a restaurant.

Today I was having lunch in a Chinese restaurant when I overheard someone at another table ordering.

He actually ordered a dish and said, “No vegetables.”

This man obviously eats meat only and never touches vegetables.  That’s sad.  He gonna die!  Goodbye vegetables, hello heart disease.

I know.. I shouldn’t judge others but…Damn!  Really?


Guerilla Solar – The Dreaded Letter Arrives

I got home from work today to find the dreaded Smart Meter letter in my mailbox.  “We are happy to announce that in the next few weeks you will bet getting a Smart Meter.”

Now I will be unable to hide my guerrilla solar power installation from the man.  They will immediately detect reverse current.  I wonder if I’m screwed.

I googled it and read one guy’s story where the power company granted some kind of amnesty and allowed him to sign up for net metering without a bunch of electricians and inspections.  I’m not counting on that but I can hope for it.  I better go out and tidy up my installation so it looks good and hope for the best.

If I have to spend a lot of money getting it up to code and all that then I might be better off just turning it off until I move out to the country which should be in a year or two.

I guess I’ll just wait for the phone call and see what happens.  I feel sick.