Saturday, November 12, 2005

I know I should really update this thing more often. I always thing about it, usually when I can't get to it, like at work, or when I'm off to the gym, or out shopping. When I get home, there's always a video game calling my name, or projects to work on, or other interesting things.

Lately, I've been on a home improvement / painting kick. I took two weeks off work to stay at home, burn up some use or lose leave and genally relax for the first time in eight months. Last year I was traveling 3 weeks a month to Alabama and couldn't really take any time off. Then I applied for and got a new job, which meant packing up and moving halfway across the country. Then I felt like I couldn't very well report in and then take a week or two off from my new job, so I wanted to wait a month or so. And then we had Hurricane's Katrina and Rita to deal with. Blah!

So the end of October came and I said enough. The temperature finally dropped below 90 degrees, allowing us to open the house up. I love have the windows open as much as possible, or I did until I realized our neighbors have a hound dog that howls at anything and everything. God I hate that dog. Now I know why people poison their neighbor's dogs. I wouldn't do that; I love animals too much. But I do yell at it. And grumble at the neighbors.

Anyway, I was in a painting mood. I took an old bookcase and painted it ivory, then scuffed it up and distressed it, then stained it brown. Gave it that old, country cottage look, and I think it turned out quite nicely. I was on a roll and decided my other bookcase needed something, but what? I thought and thought, and visited a half dozen different stores and lots of websites looking for ideas. I thought I could paint it a Moroccan theme, or Mexican, or put petroglyph paintings on it. I debated mosaics or decopage. Finally, I found it. In an import store, I saw a beautiful antique cabinet and decided to copy it. The bookcase was a plain dark wood, nothing fancy, but pretty and in good shape. I painted the entire thing a bright (shockingly so) turquoise blue. Then I sanded off as much as I could without tearing up the grain. After several sheets and pads of 60 grit sandpaper, I had most of the paint off and the remaining paint was nicely settled in the grooves of the wood. I like it. I think it's quite pretty. Now I just have to repaint the room it's in so it doesn't clash so badly.

Civilization 4 also came out while I was on vacation. I lost a good 4-5 days to that game. I've always loved sims and city-builders and this one didn't dissapoint. It's got a few bugs still to work out, like the fact that nukes do practically nothing to your enemy, but I'm sure they'll put out a patch or an expansion pack.

And last weekend, we went to the Texas Renassance Fair in Plantersville, TX. It was nice. It was probably a third larger than the Maryland Ren Fair. The weather was nice, althoug a tad on the hot side. It's the first weekend in November and the temperature was around 90 degrees. Sheesh. We saw Tartanic, a bagpipe rock group, and I picked up their CD. We watched the Mud Show, which turned out to be a very entertaining half hour of them asking for donations. We wandered around for several hours, snacking on empanadas, alligator bites, cinnamon pecans and various sundry faire food. The parade at noon was fun, and I saw some really nice costumes, along with some really bad ones. One lady had a full-length peacock feather cloak, and another guy was wearing a gorgeous red leather armor outfit.

Monday morning came, and after two weeks of sleeping in, the last thing I wanted to do was get up at 6 am. I gave serious thought to calling in sick, but ultimately dragged myself into work to accomplish a few things. Next week - Texas Recycles Day. Then off on another vacation to visit the parents for an early Thanksgiving. They're going to forget why they hired me.

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