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November 2011

October 2011

All Hallows' Eve


Halloween's here! The streets are swarming with miniature wolf-men, mario bros, snow whites and hello kitties.  This is the first year I've stocked candy while staying in a house instead of an apartment.  I estimated three bags of various candy bars and suckers would suffice.  It looks like I'll make it through the night without running out and having tricks served back as a penance.

Lucia didn't know why everyone was knocking on the door and getting treats.  As the night passed by she grew a little bolder waited by the door to see what other creatures were stopping by.  It's only her second Halloween so she's still getting use to all the tiny ghouls and goblins walking through her yard.

Halloween trivia - some say trick or treating started in England during the Middle Ages.  During All Hallow's Eve and All Saints Day, children would go door to door and ask for Soul cakes.  In exchange for the cakes the children would pray for the souls of those in purgatory.  It was thought each prayer released one soul.



Breed discovered

Many people ask me what kind of dog Lucia is.  I don't have an answer except to say "a good dog".  Fortunately, I stumbled upon a photo of what could be her twin.  After a little more research I think I've confirmed what other breeds are in her bloodline.

Here are a few photos of other dogs that match her color and appearance:

Not Lucia


Still not Lucia


Also not Lucia

Here's what Lucia looks like.

My Lucia

The first three all claim to be Beagle/German Shepherd mixes.  I haven't found any other dominant breeds that come close to her physical characteristics.  So it looks like I have a new answer for queries besides saying "a purebred Russian street dog" 

Last summer project

I decided to tackle staining my deck before the weather got any worse.  And by the looks of future forecasts, the timing was none to soon.  After four days of prep work, cleaning, brightening, and finally staining- my deck went from looking like this-

  Before deck

To looking like this-

  After deck

I haven't pursued a long-term home project in awhile so this was more of a test of patience than a laborious task.  There were a few hiccups along the way as I learned what application method worked best for different parts of the deck.  I tried a manual sprayer, a deck brush, a stain pad and a variety of brushes before I finally decided a small brush worked great for the railings, while the stain pad made short work of the deck flooring itself.  I used a standard deck brush to knock out the underneath with one quick coat.

All in all, the project required 3 gallons of epoxy wood stain, a pint of powdered wood cleaner and 1/2 gallon of wood brightener.  I applied two coats to the sides and top flooring, and used one coat for the under-bottom of the deck.  Luckily, after I finished, the rain waited a few days before passing through again.  Otherwise, I would have ended up with a cedartone dalmation-spotted deck.

The skinny ghost-like thing on the deck is a covered patio umbrella.


Italian loses it at the water pump


After six years of faithful service, my Aprilia scooter finally had it's first part failure.  Actually, I can't blame the scooter since I was really to blame.  During my commute home one night, I failed to notice a leak and the higher temp than normal on the tempature gauge.  End result- I blew out my water pump. 

I dropped it off at a local shop and had them order a new pump.  The scoot needed a new rim for the rear tire anyway so I brought a spare I had for them to swap out.  As is often the case, getting Aprilia parts can take a week or more.  The new pump was no exception.  But a couple weeks have now passed and today the shop called and said "Stop by tomorrow to pick it up - We finished the repairs".  Bellisimo!