Word has come through the IH community that Kentrol, a long-time maker of fiberglas body tubs for the Scout, Jeep, and Early Bronco community, will be ceasing production of all of their fiberglas parts at the end of September. While I knew they wouldn’t make new tubs forever, I hoped they’d keep going until I could pony up $4K for one.
My neighbor has been perfecting a backyard auditorium for the last couple of weeks, and he’s got it working pretty well. He stretched a viewing screen across the back of his garage and ran power and sound through two ports in the wall (he’s an electrician), so all he has to do is drop his projector on a picnic table, hook up the cords, and it’s showtime! Friday night was a screening of Monsters University with friends, which was better the second time accompanied by a cold beer and some Junior Mints.
We have a lot of unfinished projects at the Lockardugan compound. On Friday I parked the catalytically-challenged CR-V next to the pile of brush I’d cleared two weeks ago, and resolved to make it disappear. I started stuffing it into the Scout on Saturday morning and cleared out about 2/3 of it in two trips, which helped make the driveway look a little less ghetto. That job was cut short in the early afternoon by social obligations: the local co-op was holding a beer tasting a few blocks over, and we had some friends meeting up with us to check it out. The event itself was fun; there were about 15 homebrews lined up around the backyard with some snacks and a live guitarist playing under a canopy. While Finn played with some neighborhood kids, I chatted up a number of the brewers and was invited to check out a couple of the local clubs, which sounds like it could be fun.
After the event we followed our friends to their place for drinks and dinner. We’ve not visited with them before but easily felt at home, and Finn fit right in with their kids. Several beers, Moscow Mules, and hours of conversation later we ordered some dinner and stayed out late on the back porch amongst the crickets and the stars, which was a lovely way to end the day.
I started Sunday by fixing a leaky water feed to the fridge, which had sprung a leak after being moved a few weeks ago. Repair meant replacement, so I picked up some new hose and ran it down to the basement. Then I moved outside, where the cherry laurels we bought months ago have been waiting patiently to be planted in the front bed. After a good rain on Saturday night, the ground was soft and pliable, so the first hole was easy to dig. I mixed some conditioner in with the soil and moved on to the second, which required the removal of a clay downspout and a stand of peonies. Hopefully a couple days of watering will help the cherry laurels settle in well, and we can keep a bunch of the plants we moved to make room for them.
Dinner was a feast of local produce and a thick grilled steak; we doubled up on our CSA to make up for being gone last week, so Jen spent the better part of the afternoon stuffing the fridge full of fruits and vegetables. We have a lot of food to get through before next weekend, but luckily Jen is a pro at making menus out of anything.
To the four-piece brass band outside Union Station (trumpet, trombone, Souzaphone, drumkit) this morning playing Sir Duke, and the guy with the bubble machine absolutely flooding the air above G Street: Thanks for that, guys. I needed that more than you can know.
To the asswipe that sawed the catalytic converter off the CR-V today while it was parked at the train station. And thanks to the local PD for patrolling the area so well.
We flew back into Baltimore at midnight last night, after about an hour’s delay on the ground, and got to the house after 1AM and a bumpy cab ride. Our plans to explore Kansas City on Monday were curtailed by a 102° fever, unfortunately, so we missed Legoland and the science center, although we were able to check out the King Tut exhibit and Union Station before an afternoon party and a dip in the hotel pool.
Kansas City really impressed us. Everyplace we looked was clean, well-maintained, and dynamic. We ate like royalty, from breakfast to barbecue, and sampled artisinal ice cream and locally brewed beer. And it was great to meet our new extended family, who made us all feel welcome. Apart from the flight delays, the whole trip was a pleasure.
After a trip to the Target clinic this morning, we found that Finn is most likely suffering from Coxsackievirus, which is treated syptomatically, meaning there is a lot of cold fruit and yogurt on hand for Finn. If she’s feeling better tomorrow morning, she gets to go back to camp and life will return to normal.
Its 7:59 local time and we’ve all had 3 hours of sleep. Our 9:30 flight didn’t leave the gate until 11:55 last night, and the KC airport is 30 minutes from our hotel. Circadian rhythms had us all up early for bland hotel breakfast, so were all wrung out and grouchy. Look out Kansas City, here we come…
That bit of fence you see on the far right was invisible on Friday evening. The whole right side of the garage roof was covered with two layers of canopy from the trees above. Wires hung above the fence line were fouled with the branches of fast-growing (maple? birch?) which were multiplying and threatening our phone and cable service with every strong gust of wind. I got to work with arbor saw from the roof of the garage and took the high stuff down, then continued taking them down from ground level. My electrician neighbor assured me none of the wires on that pole carry power, so I gingerly trimmed and sawed and hacked until I’d cleared three small trees out with a handsaw, ending when I was faced with stuff too tall to drop alone. When I was done, I built a pile of brush the size of an import sedan next to the driveway. Having that area clear makes a huge visual difference from the road as well as from the backyard.
Lots of other stuff happened this weekend, including a river birthday party, garage reorganization, a long-needed gutter cleaning on the east side, and a backyard screening of Despicable Me 2.
Sunday continued with more work: a trench dug in our backyard in preparation for the addition of hardwired power (The house came with knob and tube hung from porcelain insulators off the office porch, which the building inspector made us remove before we moved in. I’ve been making do with an extension cord run from the greenhouse, which has hardwired power, for five years. My electrician neighbor looked at it and told me it would be a snap to run wire from the greenhouse to the garage, so I busted out the shovels!) Finn and I saddled up the bike train and rode downtown for some lunch, and then took the scenic route home.
Then we tuned up her starter bike, checking the tires and adjusting the seat and handlebars for her size. After that I was beat, so we came in and read books for about two hours, taking turns reading each page. She’s getting better, and faster, and I finally recorded about two of her books on video. Then we made two pizzas from scratch (homemade dough!), and after she went to bed, I kegged the hefeweizen.
This morning I’m paying for it in aches and pains, but it feels damn good to get all of that done.