There's P in the Bathroom!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | 0 Comments

...and by "P" I mean PROGRESS!

The exterior grade plywood is down. Finally! We wanted to make sure that the subfloor was secure, so, using stainless steel deck screws (to avoid rusting problems), we screwed it every 8" into the joists(which miraculously enough not only were 16" on center, but were 8" wide and a couple were even doubled! That ought to be enough strength for a tile floor!).

After we got all the subfloor screwed in I consulted the forums* about how to stick down the Hardibacker. That's when I read that we should not screw the sub-subfloor into the joists. Tough nuts. It's staying put! I could not find a compelling reason to take up all the screws; go buy new, shorter screws; and re-do the whole floor. They said that there was a possibility of conflicting floor expansion causing popping/cracking in the floor. I will take my chances. I have seen tile jobs done in far worse conditions that are still looking fairly good years later.
I also read on the forums all these boo-hoos about the Hardibacker being impossible to score and snap. They were suggesting power saws -- which the manufacturer specifically says to avoid because of silica dust. I got the manufacturer recommended carbide bladed cutting tool and found that all their whining was unfounded. You do have to score it a few times, and we found that spraying the scored area with water really helped; but otherwise, it was simple.

If you ever find yourself in the market for one of these carbide cutters, please do yourself the favor of getting the ergonomic, cushy grip one (as seen here). It is a little more expensive, but OH! So worth it! It allows you to get the right amount of pressure behind your cuts, doesn't rip up your hands, and doesn't slip.

The Hardiboard took a long time to cut because we wanted to make sure that we cut it right the first time. Our walls are not square, which can make matching the shape difficult -- BUT I devised a method to allow us to match the skew of an area.

Using a large square (that's an L-shaped tool that is at a 90 degree angle), square up to any run in the area, draw a line across the area and make your measurements from that line. Take the longest length of one side of the line, measure in from the edge of the material that you will be laying in (I would add in a little extra to make the cutting go easier -- it was kind of a pain in the ass to try to snap off thin bits), square it and draw a line across the sheet. You will then use that line to start all your measurements from -- first from one side of the line and then the next. It really works! (I mean, that is if you had any clue what I just said.)

Look! We have a cut sheet of cement board in place! I feel like tile is just around the corner.

*I found A LOT of tiling forums during this project. SSB and I have been quite entertained and annoyed by them. Story to come later...


Leon J. de la Garza said...

wow, now im more then impressed..
i actually have no idea what you said near the end!

i speak english well.. but i'm not the best in technical english in any aspect..
except maybe computing, which is my field.. hehe

Words i have no clue what they are:
-impossible to score (dont understand "score" in this context)

i think thats it.. hehehe
i assume hardibacker and hardiboard are products... or something.. hehe well
good job!

Sylvana said...

Leon, that's OK. Most native speakers have no clue what any of that is either!

carbide is a kind of very hard metal that keeps a sharp edge for a long time.

Hardibacker/Hardiboard are brand names of cement sheeting/boards.

score in that context means to make a shallow cut to weaken the surface in a specific pattern so that when you try to snap the thing in half, it will follow that cut and you end up with the shape that you need.

a joist is a piece of wood that supports the floor. Cement floors don't need/have joists - the ground supports them.

Leon J. de la Garza said...

waiting for new post...


OldRoses said...

My bathroom floor is in urgent need of replacing and my toilet should also be reseated or whatever it is that you call it when the previous owners did such a piss poor job installing it that not only does it leak, but the seat doesnt' even sit right! Can I hire you guys?

Sylvana said...

Leon, I'm doing my best! ;)

OldRoses, I have a lot of people asking if we could do work for them, but I doubt that they would really want to live with our timelines! Although I guess I have heard some pretty bad stories of contractors taking MONTHS to finish a job IF they even finish it at all!
But we do a fantastic job. That and the low cost are the two main reasons that we do the work ourselves. plus, I just really like to do the work!!

Bathroom - Day 17

Saturday, October 27, 2007 | 0 Comments

After a couple of weeks of seemingly no progress toward a finished bathroom floor, we finally got some things put in as opposed to all the taking out that we have been doing.

The first sheet of plywood was a huge pain in the ass! The first piece I mis-measured and we cut it 1" too short!! I swear I made the measurements 4 times and even had SSB check them. I really don't know what happened. But it was a good thing in the end because while we were redoing the piece, Elle's husband stopped to take the flange off (see previous bathroom post).

The second piece we cut the waste pipe/flange hole too big. This was a matter of us second guessing ourselves. One lesson learned here was "start with more than you think and re-cut if needed". It seems like a lot of wasted time - but starting over from scratch to replace a ruined piece is no example of efficiency either.

The third piece was perfect. We even decided with this piece that we would lose the floor heat vent that we both hated so much.
No, it wasn't because we were to lazy/afraid to make another cut in this piece of wood! We had legitimate reasons for not cutting the hole. The vent was right next to the tub, so it filled with water; it was on the floor so things dropped into it; and the duct was that plastic accordion crap, so every time the heat kicked in all you got was a cold blast of air. Not pleasant when you are in the shower!

As you can see, the plywood makes a substantial difference over the pine boards. In fact, it is starting to look like an actual floor!

I was so excited that I couldn't wait to see what the tiles might look like!

Ooooo! Don't they look pretty? We are still deciding on the grout color. SSB wants sand to imply water on a beach. I wasn't sure if sand would go with the tiles, but it seems to look nice in this picture.

And of course I had to see what the new flange looked like!
It's a shame that this flange will be covered by the toilet; what a pretty color it is!


Leon J. de la Garza said...

seems like toilet is beginning to loook like one :P

Regarding you question,
umm.. i can't speak for the majority, cause, to tell you the truth I don't know..
I myself am not handy at home improvement stuff..
My father is..

I really dont know haha...
But i see your floor is wood..
I think it's easier to handle than the typical cement/concrete houses built in mexico..

I don't really know why the difference..
Maybe because we dont get any earthquakes, tornados or nasty hurricanes..

But yeah.. if your gonna fix the toilet here... you're gonna have to break some concrete...
:P as well as fixing a shower, or pretty much anything.. hehe

anyway, be well..
I was recently able to record again, so i have the "podcast" up on my blog.. hopefully you'll be able to understand somthign hehe..

Shannon said...

I'm, once again, so impressed with your DIY home abilities. If you're ever in Vegas, I can totally put you to work.

BTW- I've been reading your blog but I haven't had time to write a quality comment. Sorry :(

Sylvana said...

Leon, thanks for all the question answering! I am intrigued by your blog - and I even visited it to see if I could read enough of it to understand the posts (comprendo un poco). I am looking forward to practicing my skills!

Shannon, I don't know if you could live with our timeline! ;) We are putzers, even when we are in desparate need of getting it done.

I am guilty of visiting and not commenting lately too. I keep hoping that things will calm down, but then more stuff happens!!

"What Is Going On Here?!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | 0 Comments

Well, we were robbed again. And this time I was there. I was the first to spot him coming in, but alas, no phone within reach so I couldn't call 911 right away. I tried to get my coworker's attention while she still had time to call, but she didn't hear or understand me in time to call.

I didn't find it scary, I was actually kind of pissed. But I managed to contain myself enough to do exactly what you are supposed to do - NOTHING! I've seen enough COPS to know that desperate people do very, very bad, stupid things if they feel cornered or threatened. You have no idea what the person is on, how desperate they are or what kind of weapons they may have brought with them to get the job done. You give them what they want, get them out the door, and lock it so they can't get back in. That's what you are supposed to do...

My boss, on the other hand, gave him what he wanted then followed him out the door. He was apprehended by an older gentleman in the alley. Thank goodness!! I hope that this is the end of that!

We had the store taped off while the police took evidence and we wrote our statements and customers were still trying to get in!! (we had to keep the doors opened for ventilation as flammable fluids had been used this time too.) One lady walked right past the sign I had outside that said that we were temporarily closed, ducked under the crime-scene tape to come in to see if we were open. I asked her how she could not see the tape that was blocking the entrance. She said that she thought it was a joke. Right... I told her, "For future reference, if you see police tape saying DO NOT CROSS, you do not cross it. If you want to see if we are open, you get a phone and call."

Another lady was pissed because she might have to wait a whole half hour to pick up her prescriptions. I said, "These are special circumstances. We can't help that we just got robbed." DUH!! Most places make you wait that long anyway!

What is wrong with people?

A lady came in, about an hour after we re-opened, with way too much make-up on and a cocky stride. I figured that she was either a drug rep or a reporter, neither of which we needed at the moment. She was a reporter wanting an interview. I told her, "We are directing all questions to the police department. They can give you any information that they deem necessary." She said, "Oh, we intend to talk to them, but--" I said, pointing to the door, "Good, you should go do that." She looked surprised, then started to ask me again about interviewing us and getting some pictures/footage. I said, "Look. we are NOT giving interviews. We will NOT allow cameras in the store. You need to go to the police if you want any information. They are right around the corner."(pointing to the door again). She started to argue with me and I just said, "NO. NO. NO. I'm saying NO! Do you understand that word?" She gave me a look of disgust and threatened to film the outside of the building and get interviews from our customers. I said, "OK. You go do that." And I pointed to the door. She swung around, motioned to her lackey, and left in a huff.

I like my job, but right now I am seriously considering looking for other options.


Lyvvie said...

Did she have a Quick Quotes Quill too?? Geez, what a mess. Such a hassle of the job. It shouldn't be that way. And who was this mysterious stranger who tackles robbers in alleys?? What a(dumbfuck) Hero!

Have really enjoyed your "This Old House" series, fantastic!

Heather said...

I can't believe people - walking through the police tape? That's insane! I'm sorry you had to deal with all that!

Leon J. de la Garza said...

Some crazy stuff...
i've never witnessed any kind of crime...
or not least not that i can remember..
i actually dont know where you work or what you do...

I work at an office, no costumers... just the team, programming.

so, not many chances of getting robbed..

anyway.. it's good that everything turned out alright!

Leon J. de la Garza said...

oh and.. yeah..
you'd be surprised how "americanized" Mexico is (at least the big cities).. (about your home depot question)

"AG" said...

YES, I think you should look for another job. Your safety is #1!

People have such an astonishing sense of entitlement, don't they? Robbers, customers & reporters.

Lyvvie- Yay for (dumbfuck) heroes!

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, you know, I wouldn't doubt that!! She was the type.
I thought the guy that tackled the robber was a (dumbfuck) hero too, but I'm sure he wasn't even thinking. He heard some lady yell, "Get that guy!" and he just reacted.

I am SO glad to hear that someone enjoys the DIY posts! We often joke that we should do our own show. We could do a web-cam show. I can guarantee that it would be FAR different than any that you would see on TV.

Oh, and can we come visit you when you move? :))

Heather, as if it weren't bad enough that we were robbed, then we had to deal with idiots like that. I was exhausted by the end of the day!

Leon, I knew someday I would witness a crime. I was always afraid that I would be completely useless as far as remembering details -- but I actually DID!! I was very proud of myself!

Do a lot of people in Mexico do their own home improvement? When I was in Costa Rica they seemed to be pretty handy around the house.

AG, I was thinking about entitlement. Why does the reporter think that she has some right to the details? Why do those customers feel that they have a right to NEVER having to wait? There was a reason for the behavior of the robber -- he was in crazy addict mood. But those other people were just being inconsiderate. I forgot to mention that a reporter from PioneerPress called to get an interview. I told him the same thing I initially told the lady from the StarTribune. He said, "OK, no problem. I was intending to call them next. I'm really glad to hear that everyone is OK. Have a good day." That's how it should be! I thanked him for his kindness and understanding. It gave me renewed hope for the world.
Up yours StarTribune!!

Lyvvie said...

When I move you can visit anytime, you can visit before we move; Scotland is wonderful. Japan will be wonderful, New Zealand will be wonderful and if I have my way (Which ultimately we women always do) Australia will be the final wonderful in a long list of wonderfuls. Take your pick, or pick them all.

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, as we should! ;)
And I like all! If only I had the money, I would be there for every move!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Most people = dumb and dumber. :( It is a sad true phenomenon, the result of educated smart folk having less kids and dumb-dumbs like Britney Spears popping 2 before she turned 25. But anyway, I have my own strong biased opinions on all of that stuff.

Can't believe you were robbed...AGAIN!
Can't believe an old fart was courageous/dumb enough to apprehend the bad guy!
Can't believe people think police tape is a joke. :(

And I agree with Ag; our society breeds people with an unhealthy sense of entitlement. Dumb people, no less.

DUMB = word of the day! :P

The person that owned the house before us had redone the entire bathroom shortly before we bought the place. He was not a very good plumber. He didn't seat the toilet properly and it leaked. We didn't realize it until months later as the moisture was being trapped under the flooring. It wasn't until the staining showed through the vinyl flooring that we realized we had a problem. I reseated the toilet, and at least the leak was solved. I figured that we would get to the flooring in a year or two.

Ten years later...

We started replacement of our bathroom floor about a week and a half ago, and I think we are finally done with the demolition. Although ripping out layers of flooring can be fun, it can also be quite frustrating -- especially when you are doing it in your house's ONLY BATHROOM!

We started by trying to get the vinyl off the underlayment. That was a slow go and we discovered that there were some problem areas with the underlayment. We decided to take up the problem underlayment and replace it.

The guy used ringshank nails and LOTS OF THEM!! In one 3"x24" piece alone he must have used at least 12 of them! So it was a bitch getting it up -- and it got worse. As we pulled up the underlayment, we found even MORE problem areas that would need to be addressed. So we pulled up the whole underlayment to fix them.

After we got all the underlayment off (almost a week after starting thanks to that hammer happy a-hole), we were down to two layers of 1" thick pine planking between us and the joists. And there were a couple of areas in the floor that could not be repaired correctly no matter how we tried to engineer a solution.

SO, we forged ahead to rip out the top layer of 1" planks to replace it with 3/4" exterior grade plywood. That would allow us a sturdy, FLAT subfloor for our tile job.

Most of that was a breeze as the nails had been in the wood for over 100 years. There were a few areas that couldn't be pried out, because they went under the wall. For these areas we used a very sharp chisel and a variety of saws to cut the wood flush with the wall. The saw that we found most useful was a this jamb saw.

Once we got all that wood out the way, we could finally start building it back up. FYI -- the treated plywood at Home Depot sucked!! We got ours at Menards instead.

We had a problem with the cast iron toilet flange. (The flange is the waste pipe fitting that connects to your toilet)The flange is supposed to have support under the lip via the flooring. There was really no way for us to do this properly without taking the flange off the cast iron waste pipe. I checked a few DIY forums and they all said the same thing -- piece of cake. Just wack the flange with a hammer to remove it. Then get a new one, pack with oakum and lead solder it back on. Right, sounds absolutely simple (sarcastic tone implied). Not knowing how hard I could wack the cast iron without breaking the very-expensive-to-replace-cast-iron-waste-pipe, I decided to try and engineer another solution -- but I didn't have to. Flange supports to the rescue! We could just cut the plywood to fit over the flange and use the support kit. Not the most ideal situation, but it would do in a pinch.

The first piece of plywood we cut was going perfectly until the second to last cut out of 7 cuts. I don't know what happened. I measured four times!! It was so depressing I nearly cried. It was a $32 piece of lumber, and it was our best sheet! SSB offered me a hug and then laughed, "Do you think that this happens on construction sites? One of the crew gets upset because they made a bad, costly cut and one of the other guys asks if they need a hug?" It is a funny thought. I bet they really could use them too!

As we were cutting the replacement piece today, Elle and her husband stopped over. Her husband said that he would take a look at our flange for us (he does commercial building maintenance for a living). About ten minutes later, he had the flange removed! YAY!! And they couldn't have come at a better time. SSB was just about to cut the hole in the sheet for the flange. Now we can do it right and no more wood wasted!

I asked Elle's husband about replacement flanges. We went to the computer to find an image of the one that he was trying to describe to me. I showed him a couple of cool plumbing websites that I had found. As we ogled the nifty plumbing gadetry and talked shop, Elle looked over at SSB and laughed, "Boy, we just love to talk about toilets too, right SSB?"

He said that we should be able to find the part in just about any hardware store -- which almost always means "good luck finding that!" Our local hardware store had no idea what I was talking about. And two more hardware stores later without the goods, I was getting the idea that it might be a special order. However, Home Depot redeemed itself by not only having the part, but in cast iron, just like I wanted!
Oh, joy!!

We are still without a toilet, as of yet. Our neighbor has been good enough to allow us to come over to use hers in the meantime. It's great to have such wonderful neighbors and friends. And you know, you really don't know how much you depend on that porcelain device until you don't have one!!


Leon J. de la Garza said...

Well.. just so you know, I'm leon..
I'm actually at work but haven't got much to do right now.. so i came to your blog via Laurie's blog..

I read your whole.. toilet journey..
seems like a total headache... or.. maybe just pain in the ass (literally) :P

I see you bougt some stuff over at home depot...
I'm actually working for them right now, updating their HR system, but i'm in mexico, so i don't know how relevant that is..

i got a blog too.. but it's in spanish.. so i don't know if you'll understand it.. it's a kind of podcast thing... kinda thing..

And last but not least,
i have to say im impressed, i dont know the least bit about how to change a toilet, although i guess in need of doing i'd have to learn how..

have a good one!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I can appreciate the value of a good toilet. I pee like every hour (small bladder). I'm glad you have a strong bladder and kind neighbours! :)

Sylvana said...

Leon J. de la Garza, welcome to my blog! I do read Spanish a little, but verbal and aural are kind of beyond me.

Are there Home Depots in Mexico?

Mrs. L, believe me, it has been tough on all of us! And with all the crap (no pun intended) that has been going on in my life lately -- who knows when I will see my lovely porcelain friend again!

I tried to get my dad to come down for a visit to get him away from the circus, but he said that he had too much to do, or he was going to go camping. On the surface he seems to be doing fine, but I can tell that this incident is going to trouble him for a very long time. He said that the dad/owner of the building is planning to tear it down and put up a memorial park in it's place. He asked me if I thought he was selfish for not wanting that across from his house. Of course not, actually, as he was telling me about the plans, I had been thinking the very same thing.

I heard that the state AG told the town to stay silent about the incident. I'm with him on that. Everyone is boo-hooing about not being able to drool over the details -- but what gives them any right to know? It is a very private town and this was a very private thing. We all know what happened. Let these poor families grieve in private! They certainly don't need microphones shoved down their throat or to be followed around by camera crews. What happened there really doesn't concern the rest of the world, save for maybe getting better police screening (although I reinterate that this really had nothing to do with him being a cop -- it just incidentally happened to bring up that issue).

Since my parents weren't going to be here this weekend, we went ahead with our plans to tear out the bathroom floor and finally tile the damn thing. We found the perfect tile online and drove down to Dubuque about 5 years ago to buy them. I think it is about time that we actually make use of them.

Saturday was far too nice a day to be inside ripping up rotted bathroom flooring, so I planted most of the 400 spring bulbs that I bought over the last couple of weekends. By the end of the day, my back was sore.

Sunday we actually got to ripping out the flooring. You know what, trying to get vinyl flooring off plywood is a pain in the ass! We ended up just ripping out one whole piece of 1/4" underlayment because half was rotted and half of the other half has nothing under it to support it! And the bastard that put the damn stuff in used threaded nails on everything. What a nightmare. And in the process of trying to get the underlayment out, I pulled something in my back.

My back was still aching and pinching this morning so I got to work a little later than I had intended. SSB gave me a ride since my back was still bothering me. As we were about to turn down the street to the store I told him, "Just drop me off at the street. You know how crazy the parking lot behind the store gets in the morning." As we came around the corner, I could see several cars parked behind the store, some sideways. They were cop cars!! SSB pulled in, and I jumped out to find out what was going on. The cops were being pretty tight lipped, but I did manage to pull out of them that the store had been robbed shortly after opening, everyone was OK, but the guy got away.

Robbed?! YIKES!

Apparently the guy came in the back door with a soda bottle full of some kind of accelerant, poured it all over the floor behind the pharmacist's counter, then approached the cashier's area where he dumped the rest right next to our front end manager, and threatened to light everything on fire if they didn't give him some drugs he wanted. He was completely obscured by gloves and mask so they couldn't get a good description. Elle gave him what he wanted and he left without further incident. Apparently he even said, "Thank you. I'm sorry" after she handed him the drugs.

I always knew in the back of my mind that something like this could happen, I just really didn't ever want that to be true. Elle was really shaken up, but she kept the store open the whole day. The place reeked of whatever he spilled on the floor. We had to keep both doors open just to avoid contact highs.

Our front end manager came up to me after the police let me in the building and said, "You know, I have always said that we should always have some one else here at 8:30am... in the back, just in case something like this happened." She was talking about me. My schedule is very flexible, it has been since the day that I started. It is part of what has kept me at the job. She seems to be very jealous that I can come in later in the morning -- but she forgets that I also stay later at night. How did all this become my fault? So what if I had been there with them? What the hell would I have done? She obviously has heard the tales of my heroics on the bowling lanes; but how would my special powers of loudness get them out of that mess? My mere presence would have probably just pissed him off. I have that effect on people.

I've had my fill of excitement for a while. I would like just one week of no dramatics/tragedy/trauma. Just one week!


sideshow bob said...

Not having a toilet sucks!!!

"AG" said...

That's scary!! I'm glad you weren't there!

Michael Manning said...

Glad you were okay! That's like a scene from "The Twilight Zone". What a crazy world we live in!

At the extreme risk of completely outing my identity, I am going to blog about this because, how could I not?!

I will, however, refrain from using any keywords that might trigger hits from search engines, and I ask that any commenters do the same, because I will delete any that I feel will direct too much traffic to this post. Especially NO NAMES.

Sunday afternoon a friend called to tell me that my home town was on the news. We flipped it on to hear about the horrible crime that had taken place there earlier that morning. SSB immediately went online to find out more.

He said that it happened in an older rental property two blocks from the police department. Well, I could only think of two places that matched that description and one of them happened to be right across the street from my parents' house

I called my sister and she confirmed it - it was indeed that house. She said that she didn't know much more than many people were killed and that it had something to do with a love triangle.

I called my parents who said they had been home at the time, but were OK. They said that they woke up to what initially sounded like someone banging on the windows. Dad quickly figured out what it was once he had a few seconds to wake up. He is a Vietnam Vet. After being in a war, you just never forget a sound like that; it's in you, a part of you. He realized that mom wasn't with him and went looking for her.

My mom had already run to the front porch to see what was going on. She said that as soon as her hand hit the porch door, she knew that it was gun fire, but still went out on to the porch. And he was there, getting into his truck, about 20' from where she was standing! Luckily he didn't notice her. She told me I was the second person to scold her for going out on the porch. I told her, "You hear gun fire, you go in the OPPOSITE direction!"

Dad caught up with her just as the guy was peeling out. They stood there together in bewilderment. The remainder of the minutes that passed I will leave alone out of respect for the privacy of the people involved.

What a tragedy! These kids seemed like such nice kids. They were having a pizza/movie party -- no booze apparently. That's just about unheard of in that town, especially with it being seniors+ and homecoming weekend!

They were just kids. And so was he really. I know a lot of people are concentrating on the fact that he was a law enforcement officer, but he didn't do it because he was a cop. It really was about a guy enraged over a broken and insulted heart.

I just can't imagine what he thought might come from it. Did he think he was going to get away with it? The town has less than 2000 people! He had to have known he would be spotted and recognized by just about anyone.

And even if he wasn't thinking, why the instinctual jump to such a violent solution? He wasn't cornered. His life wasn't being threatened. It was only his pride. Their lives to defend his pride? I don't see the balance there, and I don't know how he could have.

And, no, this is not a good case for gun control. The real truth is there are probably more guns in that town than there are people. And there are more bars than churches. And there are lots of people doing stupid things, a lot of people getting dumped and laughed at, and you know what, we don't shoot people!

And this is not a case of young people with guns. A large portion of the kids 14+ own their own guns. We are a hunting community. Having guns is part of the culture. These kids don't shoot other kids.

It's the person that shoots the person. And, no, I'm not with the N R A. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a strong leaning liberal. And I am a liberal because I am a very rational person. And being a rational person, I know that when you add all these things up, it is clearly not the access to guns or the person's age causing the problems. It is people -- their attitudes and their emotions.

This is obviously an isolated incident or everyone would have heard about this town a long time ago. Something in this particular guy cracked. Period.

My heart goes out to all the families that lost kids that day. A terrible loss on all accounts.


Astoria said...

I heard about it, and like with anything that happens like this it was first shocking, then as you learn of some of the details, it was so sad. I instantly thought of you, and if you knew anyone who may have been touched by the tragic events. I am glad that your family is safe, and for it to be right across the street, how lucky they are that weren't hurt!

Shannon said...

I'm so happy your mom was safe. I, of course, heard about the incident (interestingly enough I was a the CNN center in Atlanta that day and it was everywhere), and wondered if anyone I knew in WI was affected. I'm happy your parent are ok.

"AG" said...

I thought of you because of the location (state) and am glad you are OK.

Michael Manning said...

In Cincinnati, the first 2 months of 2007 we eclipsed 2006 which was the worst homicide record since 1972. I am so looking forward to leaving shortly!

Sylvana said...

Astoria, the bedroom that we stayed in the time you came with us to visit was the one that over-looked that house.

Shannon, not many people know of the town. I always have to tell them the nearest big town. Oddly enough, the whole thing seems to have blown over in the news even though my dad says that there are still reporters all over town.

AG, up until I heard what my mom had done, I was mostly concerned about my dad -- even though I already knew from the reports that they were not of the victims. My dad was a Marine in Vietnam and still has flashbacks and mental health issues stemming from that. He certainly doesn't need to hear gun shots in the middle of the night!

Michael, Cincinnati seems like it would be such a safe place too. Hope you move some place nice! Good luck!

Astoria said...

Crazy! When I saw the place via the broadcasts I thought it looked familiar, but then I thought I was just thinking I remembered it. It's so crazy what people are capable of, and that love can drive people so crazy! I just hope that for the families involved they are able to find some comfort in the memories of the lost, they were all so young. Uh, it's just so sad!!

Crisis Averted

Monday, October 01, 2007 | 0 Comments

We had Fry and Mo over Friday for some of my deep dish pizza (see the "Sylvana Recipes" menu in the sidebar). Well, actually that was just a bribe to get Fry to take a look at my computer. As you may recall, it went into a comma about a month ago while I was surfing the net.

They LOVED the pizza, and the cat. Mo sat on floor of our kitchen and snuggled with the cat for over an hour. I have never known a cat to sit still for that long let alone participate in a snuggle session for that long! They joked about sneaking in and stealing the cat, and then Mo started having an allergic reaction to him. It was BAD. She said that she had been around cats before and never had that kind of a problem, but I guess she's never snuggled with any of them for over an hour before! So, no cat for Mo.

The next morning she was feeling good enough to go to the new coffee shop in town. Their coffee is pretty good, the prices aren't bad, and the atmosphere is nice. We even played a little pool and darts. That's right. This coffee shop also has a game room on the second floor. Weird!
I would just like to say that we are all very smart people, but the dart machine set up is very confusing!!

After that, it was off to Toys R Us for SSB, JD, and I. They were having a special event -- a free exclusive Pokemon download! MANAPHY! We also got a $5 coupon toward any DS game with every download. Mo had given us some money to get her Pearl to get the download. I had gotten her hooked on Pokemon the last time they were over to play video games. While JD was playing her game to get the Pokedex necessary to receive Manaphy, I was purchasing a game with my $5 coupon -- Tak: The Great Juju Challenge (I'll let you know how it is). It ended up being $5.30 after the discount. It was listed on the shelf as $29.99. I wasn't about to ask. JD got a Mario game with his.

We double checked to make sure that all the Pokemon games did indeed have their Manaphys and then left. As we were buckling up, JD asked if I had Mo's game. Uh, no, it is in your DS. He told us that he had taken it out after checking for Manaphy and now could not find it!! Out of all the games he had with him, he loses the only one that wasn't his!

We searched the car. No game. We scoured the store three times. No game. We asked the clerks. No game. The download was only scheduled for 12-3 and it was now 2:55!! I ran back to the game department to buy another Pearl. They were completely out. I had to buy Diamond instead. The download tech agreed to stick around until we could complete the download on this new game. What a nice guy! It takes about 20 minutes to get the Pokedex. As I chatted with the tech about Pokemon while JD prepared the game for download, SSB came up to me to with the lost Pearl. AH!! I never let on to the guy that we had found it. I thought it would make him feel better thinking that had really saved us rather than to find out that we had found the lost game afterall.

And that wasn't the only crisis averted this weekend -- Fry and SSB were able to retrieve all my files from my computer AND get it fixed and running again!!

YAY!! I have my computer back!


Michael Manning said...

Sylvana: With small Nieces and Nephews, I've noticed Toy's R Us used to have better stuff! The place you described reminded me of Miyagis on Sunset Boulevard in L.A.!:)

Scott said...

Sylvana, I *used* to think we both spoke English, but since I couldn't understand half the phrases you used in this post, I'm beginning to reconsider.

Pearl? Diamond? Pokedex? Wow I'm feeling old.

Evil Spock said...

Wait, you have a DS with Pokemon on it?

Do you have Animal Crossing? SSB and yourself need to head over to Keystone and visit our denizens!

Sylvana said...

Michael, yeah, I have noticed that it is not what it used to be either; but the prices weren't bad.
Not familiar with Miyagis. Hectic?

Scott! You've come out of hibernation! Good to see you.

Pearl and Diamond: the names of the two games in the newest Pokemon video game series.

Pokedex: this is a device that keeps track of pokemon related things in your game. It's like an electronic pokemon encyclopedia.

If you like adventure video games where you solve puzzles, collect lots of things, need to learn a lot of stats, and get involved with critter combat -- I would highly recommend knocking over the nearest kid and trying out their Pokemon game.

Evil Spock, talk to me about Animal Crossing. I don't know anything about it, but have seen it in the stores before.

Evil Spock said...

Animal Crossing is hard to describe. Basically you live in a village with animal neighbors, and you spend your "days" doing stuff like fishing, bugcatching, raising flowers, and other things.

Its a DS game, and you can visit other villages through WiFi. Two years ago (before I discovered blogging), I wasted a lot of time playing the game. Like an hour a day.

I have Pokemon Pearl, but I haven't played it once.

Sylvana said...

Evil Spock, I like raising animals. Maybe I'll pick this up.

I have Pearl too and haven't played it but to get the Pokedex for the Manaphy download. I am still working through Sapphire. I got a Jirachi download for Sapphire. It is coming along nicely -- I keep it in my party for it's versatility. Plus it's cute!