Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project Update

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

We got all the furniture moved back into the den on Monday, and today Amy finished putting the bookcases back in order. This project is now officially complete!

Of course, once one project is done there always seems to be more. Amy has decided that she wants the same flooring in here office. Its a small room, so it shouldn't take too long, and I think we have just enough material left over that we will not need to go out and buy more.
I'll give myself a break, but soon we will start on this room!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project Update

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Just about done! I finished up all the flooring. I cut and installed all the molding. All that left is to clean up the mess, move the furniture back into the den, and a little touch up work.

Transition from hall to basement stairs.
I went with installing the wood at the top step instead of putting the strip of carpet back.
Looks good! I am tempted to do all the stairs, but I don't think I will.
The carpet is still fairly new.

Transition from the hall to the uptairs stairway
and the bedroom hallway
I think we will keep the carpeting in the hallway to the bedrooms

All molding is installed

While I was finishing up this project, Amy repainted her office and decided we wants the same flooring there. I will give myself a break and wait a couple of weeks before starting on that!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project Update

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Finished this end of the hall and installed the transition piece from the Hall into the Kitchen

Moving on towards the basement stairs

I'll add the transition piece tomorrow
Can't decide whether to re-install the carpet piece right below,
or add a strip of laminate hardwood

Finished the transition from the hallway to the entrance Foyer

This is all I have left to complete
After laying the floor here, I just have to install the molding

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hardwood Laminate Flooring Project Update

Friday, July 24th, 2009

I got started on the hallway tonight and made some good progress. Got some tricky areas coming up for tomorrow. Here are some photos of today's progress.

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project Update

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project
Jack and Amy's House
July 2009

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

I got all the molding cut and installed in the Den this evening. All that remains is a little bit of trim around the base of the fireplace and then move the furniture back in!

While I haven't started laying any of the flooring in the hallway, I did cut out the 1/4" gap at the base of all the door frames. The hallway is all preped and ready to go! I plan to start laying the floor in the hallway Friday Evening.

These will probably be the last pictures of the hallway without flooring.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SSPBDT Poker Night 2009-07-22

SSPBDT Poker Night
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The Players:
Jack Thyen
Jeff Martin
Tom Weick
Brian Ludwiczak
Scott Moore

For the first time since we began the monthly SSPBDT Poker Night, our SSPBDT commissioner Steve-O was not able to attend. Taking his place was Brian Ludwiczak, a newcomer to the SSP poker table.

For our eating pleasure, I made up some homemade Stromboli with a fresh homemade spicy Marinara sauce. Just in case that wasn’t enough, I pulled some left-over Lasagna out of the freezer and heated that up as well.

About halfway through the evening I heard my wife yelling for me! Apparently a phone call interrupted her bath, as I found her wrapped in a towel with a phone in her hand. It was commissioner Steve-O on the line, calling in to check on the status of the evening’s event. I put the phone on speaker, placed it in the middle of the poker table, and we had a short conference call with the commissioner.

Making a rare appearance at the SSPBDT poker table was Scott Moore, who unfortunately had to leave a little early, but not before raking in a total net winnings of $1.00.

Hopefully Brian will become a regular at SSPBDT poker night. He brought some new games to the table and also did an excellent impersonation of Steve as he walked away the big loser of the evening, ending up down $7.00.

The big winners of the night were Jeff Martin who came out $3.00 ahead, and Tom Weick who ended up plus $2.00. Fortunately (for me), I won the last hand, so instead of being slightly down, I ended up winning a whole $1.00!

It was great to take an evening off from my home improvement project to eat, drink, and play poker with the guys! A great time was had by all!

The proposed date for the next monthly SSPBDT Poker night is:
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 Project Update

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project
Jack and Amy's House
July 2009

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

I completed the flooring in the Den. All that's left in there is to install the molding and then move the furniture back in. Then I can start on the hallways. So far I am very impressed with the Pergo Laminate Hardwood Flooring. I would highly recommend this product!

Photos from Tuesday

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Poker Night! I don't think I'll get much done tonight, but I will be back at it on Thursday evening!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2009 Summer Home Improvement Project - Laminate Hardwood Flooring

Laminate Hardwood Flooring Project
Jack and Amy's House
July 2009

One of our summertime home improvement projects for 2009 was to put down laminate hardwood flooring in our den and hallway. We finally got started! Since I probably won't be going on any outdoor adventures until we are complete, I thought for the next few Blog posts I would post some photos and updates about how our project is going.

Friday, July 17th, 2009

  • We emptied all the bookcases and moved the furniture into our dining room and hallway.

    The current status of our dining room (at least that hardwood was already down when we bought the house)
  • Next we tore up all the carpeting, foam carpet pad, tack strips, and hundreds of staples used to set the foam carpet pad in place. It was close to midnight before we called it a night!

Photos just after
start of project:

Hallway looking into the Den

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

  • We took a trip to the dump to dispose of all the old carpeting and material that we
    tore up.
  • We drove to Lumber Liquidators in Simpsonville, SC to see if they had anything better than what Amy picked out at Lowes, or to see if they had the same stuff at a better price. We were not impressed with Lumber Liquidators
  • We went to Lowes and purchased (36) boxes of Pergo Laminate Flooring, (20) strips
    of quarter round molding, and miscellaneous other tools and material.
  • The project came to a temporary halt as my buddy Johnny called and invited us to go on
    a late afternoon / evening sunset sail on Lake Jocassee (see previous Blog post)
  • We could not really have gotten started anyway as the instructions say the wood needs to get acclimated to the temperature and humidity level of the house before beginning.

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

  • I completed the most difficult section of the Den, including around the fireplace,
    alongside the built in bookcase, and the transition from the den to the kitchen. This was a little slow going as I was still learning and there were a lot of different cuts to make.

Photos from Sunday:

Monday, July 20th, 2009

  • Since it was a work day, I only had a few hours to put towards the project. However, since I was now in the wide open section of the den, things move very quickly. I hope to be able to finish up the Flooring portion of the Den on Tuesday.
  • Then I will work on the molding in the Den.
    I need to 100% complete the den before starting the hallway, as some of the furniture from the Den is setting in the hallway right now.

Photos from Monday:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunset Sail on Lake Jocassee 2009-07-18

Sunset Sail on Lake Jocassee
Saturday, July 18th, 2009
Jack, Amy, Johnny
Oconee County, SC

The complete set of photos is posted here:

Our Summer Time home improvement project plans for this year include laying down Hardwood Laminate Flooring in our Den and Hall. I have been putting off getting started because I knew it might take several weekends to complete and I like to get out hiking during nice weather.

However, with the heat of the summer coming on, I don’t generally like being outside as much, so on Friday evening I said, “Let’s Tear-er Down”. We moved furniture out of the den and into the dining room, and started tearing up carpeting, foam pad, tack strips, and pulling up hundreds of little staples used to set the foam carpet pad in place.

Saturday Morning started with a trip to the dump to dispose of all the stuff we tore up, and then on to Lumber Liquidators in Simpsonville to see if they had anything better then the stuff Amy picked out months ago at Lowes.

We were not impressed with Lumber Liquidators, so it was back to Lowes to purchase (36) boxes of Pergo Hardwood Laminate Floor, (20) strips of quarter-round molding, and other miscellaneous tools and material.

As we were unloading the boxes, my cell phone rang. It was my buddy Johnny Corn asking if we would like to join him for a late afternoon / evening sail on Lake Jocassee.

I almost turned him down because while I have no problems procrastinating when it comes to getting started on projects, we had already torn up the house and once started I like to get finished as soon as possible!

However, the instructions said you should let the wood get acclimated to the temperature & humidity of the house before getting started. Plus, it was forecasted to be a beautiful afternoon and evening and depending on how long the project takes, it might be a while before I can go on another outdoor adventure!

So we met Johnny at his house and followed him on to Devil’s Fork State Park to launch the boat. Unlike a past attempt at sailing Lake Jocassee, this time we made it all the way without any wheels falling off Johnny’s Boat Trailer.

The boat ramp was a madhouse when we arrived. It was mostly people leaving for the day, but we still had to wait about a half-hour before we could get the boat launched.

Shortly after hitting the water to start our “Three Hour Tour” of Lake Jocassee, we popped open a few beers and Johnny kicked up the tunes on his IPod, starting with the Gilligan's Island theme song.

It was a beautiful afternoon, but then!

The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed! If not for the courage of Johnny Corn, the Moondance would be lost, the Moondance would be lost!

Three Stranded Castaways

No, actually the weather was perfect! Just enough wind for sailing, but calm enough that you are not worried for your safety or more importantly about spilling your beer. This was Amy’s first time on a sailboat and she really enjoyed the experience!

Since we had limited time before sunset, we didn’t fully explore the lake and check out any of the waterfalls. We got just far enough for a nice view of Jumping-Off Rock, before turning back.

Our original plan was to view the sunset on a nice sandy beach area, but that spot was taken by two dudes who had obviously consumed far more alcohol than we had! So Johnny found another spot that turned out to be just perfect!

It was a gorgeous sunset and the evening twilight afterglow was spectacular as well. Amy and I are so glad we took Johnny up on his offer! Even though it slightly delayed our home improvement project and the almost 2-hour drive kept us out way past our normal bedtime!

It was a wonderful evening! Thanks Johnny!!

The complete set of Photos from our sunset sail of Lake Jocassee are posted here:

And if you are interested in checking on the status of our summertime home improvement project, the photos will be posted here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bob's Big Break

Bob’s Big Break

Normally I just post trip reports and photo links to my blog. But today I thought I would share a true story about one of my hiking buddies, James Robert Smith (aka Bob).

I met Bob about 8 years ago on one of my online hiking group message boards. We both share a love for hiking and the outdoors and we have become very frequent hiking buddies. We have also gone on camping trips including several where our wives got to know each other. We have become close enough friends that Amy and I invited Bob and his wife Carole to our wedding last year.

Bob works as a letter carrier (aka Mailman) for the US Postal Service. This is a good blue collar job that pays a fair wage and offers good benefits and excellent job security. A typical middle class American type job, which is a good step up from how Bob was raised

Bob grew up in poor, rural Georgia. If you have seen the movie “Deliverance” you know the part of Georgia where he was raised. As one of eight children, whatever money his parents had was spread very thin. As a result he was not privileged to things like medical care and a formal college education.

Bob’s father ran a used book store, so while money was always tight, there was never a shortage of reading material. As a result, Bob developed a love for books at a very early age and eventually started creating and writing some of his own material.

Over the years he has sold numerous comic book scripts and short stories. But nothing that would ever give him the chance to make enough money to quit his job with the US Postal Service!

In 2006, Bob’s first full length novel was published. The Flock, by James Robert Smith

I probably would not have heard about this book, but since Bob is a buddy of mine, I bought one of the first copies available and read it immediately. I am not sure what I was expecting, but this book far exceeded my expectations! I would recommend this book to just about anyone!

However, as of right now, most of the public still has not discovered Bob’s work and he still has not made enough as a writer to quit his job with the US Postal Service!

Having known Bob for the past eight years, I can say that he is one hell of a nice guy! And most people who meet him in person would probably agree!

However, Bob does have a dark side! He can be very critical and is not afraid to say what he is thinking. Especially when it comes to online forums, blogs, message boards, etc.

Some of the things that Bob posts on message boards are downright shocking! I am sure there are many people that know Bob only as an online moniker think he is a total asshole! It is this dark side that lead to his big break!

It turns out that Hollywood Producer, Don Murphy is a real person.
This guy has produced several blockbuster hits including “Natural Born Killers”, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, and both Transformers Movies. He likes to troll the internet to see what people are writing about him.

Bob was a frequent visitor to the Blog of writer Eddie Campbell.
Several years earlier, Don Murphy made a movie based on one of Eddie Campbell’s Books, “From Hell”. I have not read the book or seen the movie, but Bob had. And apparently Bob did not like the movie, and had posted several negative comments on the Blog.

So Don Murphy stumbles across Bob’s posts and gets defensive. The next thing you know, a heated web battle erupts between the two. Don got so pissed off that he needed to find out more about Bob in order to gain some ammunition. He discovered Bob’s book and purchased it with intent of obtaining some good Bob Bashing material.

It turns out that Don Murphy actually loved the book and sees potential for a huge summer blockbuster hit. He went ahead and purchased the movie rights for Bob’s book.

It was a nice payday for my buddy Bob, but still not enough for him to quit his job with the US Postal Service.

However, if the movie is a hit, this could definitely change!

Questions Remain:

Will the movie ever get made?
Will it be the next summer blockbuster hit?
Will the movies popularity cause Bob’s book to hit the bestsellers list?
Will the publishing world start jumping at the chance to publish some of Bob’s other novels?
Will Bob finally be able to make a living as a writer and quit his job with the US Postal Service?

Only time will tell, but I am looking forward to finding out! It sure would be nice not to have to wait until Sunday to get a hike in!

Here is a link to the official press release: