Backyard Stuff

Charlie caught a mouse and tried to bring it in the house... it was still sort of alive. cat catch mouse, baby mouse, bring inside, charlie caught a mouse, cat, night, squeak
Eating potatoes and sweet corn from the garden.
backyard garden, corn, potatoesgarden harvest, corn, potato, grow, fall


Work Trip to Denver, Reno and LA

This was as good as a work trip can get, 4 days 7 flights in 3 cities, Denver, Reno and Rancho Cucamonga California (yes i know it's a funny name). Denver was 95 degrees but the mountains and downtown were fun to see. Here's a walkway crossing over to downtown Denver.bridge in downtown denver, walkway, architecture
In Reno i stayed downtown so at night i walked around the streets and the casino's.RENO sign, the biggest little city in the world
In the morning after work i took the rental car up the mountains a few thousand feet and had a great view of the city below.view of downtown reno, from the mountains, tree
Reno can best be summed up as a Mini Las Vegas. Instead of lots of people there's only a few hundred, instead of lots of casino's there's only about 3, instead of a main street that takes forever to walk down, the street's only a couple of blocks. But there was the same number of old fat people riding around on those motorized scooters.

The only betting i did was put $10 on MSU and the Lions to win their first games. MSU ended up winning by 24 points. We'll see how the lions first game goes.
betting line, college football, reno, spread, team, saturdaybetting line, pro football, reno, spread, team, sunday, lions
Next i flew over part of the Grand Canyon to Phoenix Arizona. It was a really clear day and i could see for at least a hundred miles.
view from plane, grand canyon, aerial, arizona
view from plane, blue lake, aerial, arizona
Downtown Phoenix
flying into downtown phoenix, stadium, airport
That flight was great until we hit some turbulence before landing and the lady behind me "filled up" at least 2 barf bags. Once again my lack of a sense of smell payed off.

I had a 2 hour lay-over then flew to California. The next day they said the high temp was 107 although the whole day my car said it was 120 outside.
120 degree temperature, california, rancho cucamonga, hot
After working i had a few hours to kill until my 11pm flight home. I tried to go for a hike in the mountains. After about a quarter mile i realized that walking up hills when it's 110 degrees and sunny isn't a good idea, so i went back. It felt like i was breathing into a hair dryer on high. So i drove around some more, saw all the smog people talk about in California and realized how much i hate doing their mandatory U-turns at lights.
I prefer "Michigan Left's."
road into california, smog, straight road, hill
But then i sat in the airport for a few hours, flew to Atlanta, had a 2 hour lay-over, then flew home and arrived at 9:30am the next morning. Except for the sitting around at airport terminals it was kind of fun.


Random Pictures from 2010

I didn't feel like creating separate post for all of these so i just put them all together. They are some of the random things i've done in the past few months.

This was a smoke stack at one of the GM plants i visited last month. It was either in Dallas or Kansas City, i can't remember.
GM plant, smoke tower, walkway
Waiting to fly home in the rain.
sitting in a plane, in the rain, engine sitting in a plane, in the rain, on the window
Truck frames at one of the GM assembly plants.
GM assembly plant, truck frame
Good luck guessing what book this is. Although if you know me you probably have a good chance at guessing it. Katie will probably know since it's her book that i borrowed.
reading harry potter on the floor, in the sunlight reading harry potter on the floor, in the sunlight
Unfortunately some animal has been eating the tops of almost all my sunflowers. I started with 20 and i'm down to 4. It is not going to end happily for one of us.
garden sunflower, tomato vines
Tigers game tigers stadium from centerfield, lights
Fireworks afterwords
tiger stadium fireworks at night games, premium game
Washing the cars and watering the driveway
jack watering the driveway, washing cars
Somebody's cookin' chicken
cooking chicken on the grill, backyard BBQ
Grandma and Jack
grandma and great grandson
Some pictures from the Toledo Zoo.
toledo zoo polar bears playing in the water toledo zoo jellyfish, purple toledo zoo jellyfish, purple toledo zoo elephants
No those weren't my footprints, honest.
wet cement, concrete footprints
This lady didn't see that part of the road was missing. She was too focused on that Big Mac.
crash into mcdonalds, drive off the road
Just trying to fit in at the LA Dodgers game.
LA Dodgers stadium, center field, game
Before going on the Price is Right they take your picture in front of this green screen where you can select different backgrounds. They give you a card then try to get you to buy the picture afterwords. I just saved the proof from the site. Now John and I didn't see a lot of other dudes going up there and i didn't really want to go. It was weird. But whatever, glad i did.spinning the big wheel on the price is right

Bored at Home

A while ago i made a stand to hang bananas. As usual i looked at a whole bunch of different versions and didn't like them. So i made this. The base tube is PVC and the arm and hook is aluminum.
how to make a banana rack, simple, strong, aluminum

simple banana rack, pvc, aluminum, strong
I also bought a crock pot a while back and i've used it a few times. This was corned beef brisket with 2 soups and lots of vegetables, oh and as much garlic as Emeril would use.
crock pot cooking, ingredientshow to cook with a crock pot, potatoes, gravy, meat, carrots So far i've done beef, chicken and pork. The beef brisket was the best. Next i'm going to try just adding ribs and barbecue sauce. I've heard it's great.

Kitchen Counter

I was thinking about building a counter between my kitchen and living room. To see how it would look and if i would like it i tried it out an old counter on some milk crates.
kitchen counter test, measure for size
Then before i went camping i went with my sister to the Haworth outlet/reject store and got a counter top for $9
. The store is really cool, the kind of place where you never know what you'll find. And everything's super cheap.

I traced the wall shape onto a piece of cardboard, copied it onto the counter and then cut it out.
cutting out a kitchen counter, bar, island
I mounted the counter, which is really heavy, to the wall using some metal brackets. Then
made the leg and foot rest from PVC pipe. I'm still debating whether i'll keep it. If i do i'll paint the PVC some kind of brown color.
wood and PVC island counter, bar top
wood and PVC island counter, bar top, how to make

Movie Review - 3.5

I've been slacking with the reviews but now there's 2 that i think are really good and worth writing about. Earlier i wrote about Inception which is still by far the best movie i've seen this year.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
girl with the dragon tattoo, sweeden movie postergirl with the dragon tattoo, original movie
First off, it's not what you think. F
rom the title i thought it was going to be some teen girl movie starring Hanna Montanan or something. Ooooohhh but it wasn't. It was based on a best selling book by Stieg Larssons. Who i'm guessing is from Sweeden because that's what language the movie was in. You have to watch it with subtitles. It's more then two and a half hours long and the first half of the movie made me feel very uncomfortable. It was weird. They showed stuff you don't normally see in movies from the USA. It's about a 40 year old movie that the two main characters are trying to solve. It's really well thought out and easy to get drawing in to the very in-depth story and characters.

Great movie, but still creepy and uncomfortably weird, 8 out of 10.
8 thumbs up rating, movie rating, good

The Book of Eli
the book of eli, denzel washington, movie review, movie poster
book of eli fighting scenes, wasteland, moviedenzel, book of eli movie, surprise ending
Simply put, it's Mad Max, except replace gasoline with a "special book." And replace Mel Gibson with Denzel Washington. And there's this annoying girl that follows him around. But other than that it's basically the same. Even though the entire movie was this sort of grayish color, visually it was awesome. The story was cool too, except for the annoying girl. And, at least for me, there was a huge twist at the end that i didn't see coming.

Looked cool, the action was good, the story was ok, i'd watch it again, 7 out of 10.
7 thumbs up rating, movie review, book of eli

Halfway Garden

The backyard garden halfway through the season.
Here's what it looked like just after planting. I put the grass clippings down so no seeds would wash away. I also used Preen to help control the weeds. That and grass mulch worked pretty well. till and mulch backyard garden, prepare to plant till and fertilize rows in garden
View from the roof while i was up cleaning the gutters and trimming the tree branches.
garden view from above, michigan soil, clay
The beans, cucumber and potatoes grew the fastest.
garden green beans, sprout first, grow well backyard garden, cucumber, huge cucumber and beans, from garden, clean
Again this year, the only thing i really care whether or not it grows, is corn. I planted three rows and it's doing ok. The shade from the tree isn't helping. Then i also found out afterwords that i should have soaked the seeds for 24 hours the day before to help it start germinating.
corn seed sprout, shoot corn seedling, sprouting, michigan garden corn rows, 1 month after planting corn husks on stalk, ready to pick, garden
I also planted some corn along the side of the garage. A couple of them are doing great.
rows of corn by the side of the garage
String for the 4 different types of tomato plants
string and lathe for tomato plants garden rows, wood stakes and string to support plants garden sunflowers and tomatoes
The bamboo shoots came up earlier in the year. Now all of the their energy is going into their roots, which are really starting to spread.
spreading bamboo roots, rhyzomes, invasive