Crossing Over

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Just like the introduction to my blog states...

"My work, and our single income household keeps me very busy. I hate to admit this but sometimes so busy that I don't spend as much time with my kids and family as I want to, or as I should.... Although I am not always with them - they are ALWAYS with me...."

Last night I missed a major family event due to work...

Last night Jonathan "Crossed over" from Cub scouts to Boy Scouts.

Our Pack makes it this a big event! It is called the Blue and Gold Banquet. In years past (when I have been able to attend) all the Cub Scouts are awarded all their final pins, achievements, and awards. When that is all finished, the Boy Scouts are invited to join the Cub Scouts on stage, and all Cub and Boy Scouts stand in their respective dens with their leaders. The Boy Scout leader then starts calling the boys (one by one) that are 2nd year Weblos to "cross over" from Cub to Boy Scouts. The Pack has a wooden bridge built, and when the scout's name is called, their old Cub scout leader walks with them to the Cub Scout side of the bridge, and sends them (alone) over the bridge to the "Boy Scout" side. The Boy Scout leader then meets the scout on the "Boy Scout" side of the bridge, welcoming them into Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scout leader then takes off all the "Cub Scout" paraphernalia, (awards, pins, badges, kerchief, etc) and then awards them with their new "Boy Scout" paraphernalia (Kerchief, Boy Scout Manual, and Epaulettes). The Boy Scout Leader then congratulates the new Boy Scout, and assigns them to their new den. (Cub Scouts are dens of boys all the same age. Boy Scouts are dens of proportioned numbers of boys from 6th - 12th grade.) Because the boys that have always been together as Cub Scouts are broken up among the Boy Scout dens, they may or may not have any of their Cub Scout friends assigned with them to their new Boy Scout den, so the scout will be assigned a mentor from his new den. The mentor then helps the new scout out as he adjusts to the new den. It's really neat to see the newest "little guys" - being accepted into their new dens with the older boys (up to 12th grade).

So, for years I have been able to attend most of the "Blue and Gold" Banquets, but this year because I had to work, I was unable to attend this years festivities, and (subsequently) missed seeing Jonathan "Cross Over". I was very disappointed. As I write this, my eyes welled up, just thinking about having missed Jonathan "Crossing Over".

I am very proud of Jonathan, and I hope he knows how proud I am of him.

I think we need to have a little party "congratulating" him, but tonight (already) we have our first official "monthly parent meeting" for Boy Scouts...

It should be very interesting!..

HHW

Well, today is the first day in a seven day stretch of days off. I took three days off in front of a regular four day off weekend. Wanting to continue being productive, my goal for today was to collect as much of the the hazardous waste that has been collecting around my house over the past year or so, and get it dropped off at the Scott County Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

I hope to have my task complete by 2pm. It is 1pm now. I am waiting for my wife to come home from “Guatemala Day”. Guatemala Day is a charity event St. John’s School (my kids’ school) holds every year on Valentines day, which the school donates all the proceeds to a needy school in Guatemala. It is basicly a carnival. Face painting, cake walks, fish pond, sucker wheel, shooting baskets for prizes, a huge raffle, and other kid friendly activities. The kids all love it, and look forward to it each year, and it is a worthwhile activity, as it benefits a needy school.

When She gets home, I will take all the hazardous waste to the recycling facility, and will have accomplished some of the “de-cluttering” I want to get done.

This pile includes:

- 17 Gallon sized paint cans (of varying content and quantity)
- 1 five gallon paint can (the remainder of the off-white paint that was used to paint our house when it was built)
- 6 fluorescent light tubes.
- 1 gallon of pesticide (that was used in our old house - circa 1997)
- Miscellaneous containers of used motor oil.
- 1 gallon of brake fluid (container is starting to corrode, and I am afraid will start to leak)
- 1 quart of brake fluid (container is starting to corrode, and I am afraid will start to leak)
- Some old cans of stain and polyurethane
- Other miscellaneous cans and bottles of chemicals considered to be hazardous.
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On an unrelated note - Last night while taking Molly out for a poo… I noticed something very upsetting. My driveway heaved, and put a large long crack down the length of my asphalt driveway. I have prided myself for keeping good care of my driveway (compared to my neighbors around me) and of all the driveways around, mine was in “better than average” condition… Now I am going to have run crack filler along the crack and hope for the best…. It looks like crap, but at least it will prevent compounded damage to the area… DAMN!

Closets

Updated 02-09-07 - See botom of post for update
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Well, I am easily three quarters the way through the task(s) that I wanted to get done on my days off.
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What I have wanted to get done is one of those nagging little tasks that have been hanging over my head for the past year to four (depending on how you look at it).

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The basement has been seven-eighths finished for the past five years. I had decided on finishing the basement myself, and started quite some time ago. The bulk of the project took me well over a year to complete. Once I got the building permit signed off, the house was in a “livable” state. The only things missing were some finishing touches (like finish woodwork - trim, paint, and… Closet doors!)
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This year I have an 18 year old graduating from high school. That means an open house some time this (early) summer. We have decided that there are a few tasks that we want done on the house prior to an open house taking place, and getting as much of the last little bits of finishing done to the basement.
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Late last fall I bought the needed closet doors and the wood trim to get the doors finished. I had started staining them, and after the first coat of poly was put on (because of cold temps) the project had to be stopped. (I tried to finish them inside, but the fumes were overwhelming, and unhealthy.) I set the project aside and decided to wait till spring. Since then I have been stumbling over the doors (set aside in the laundry room for safekeeping).
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After spending so much time at work over the past two weeks, I got the urge to get something “productive” done around the house, and so I decided to hang the closet doors during this set of days off - knowing full well that I would have to take them down to finish the polyurethane job later in the spring.
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As of Thursday night, I have the doors hung, and plumbed, and the trim cut (but not stained or varnished yet) and tacked in place with a couple of nails.

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As careful as I was while finishing the basement, when I put up the studs, my framework was not exactly perfect, and so when I install my finish carpentry (which is a lot more detailed than framing) I find places where I am just a wee bit off.

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When I plumbed the doors, I found where the door frames were just slightly off. If you are in the rooms, and look hard enough at the edges of the closet you will see the differences - but you have to know to look for it, and where to look for it. Over the length of the closet doors, I have about half an inch that the frame was askew.

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This picture is grossly exaggerated, but the black lines represent the finished framework, and drywall. The red lines represent a perfectly plumb edge (the closet doors). I just have to use the trim to cover the small gap.
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It’s not bad, and like I said, unless you know to look for it, you probably would not see it.
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The other thing is my drywall finishing was a bit short, and so I need to fill in some gaps with spackle. (You can see where, if you look close enough to the picture of the top of Zachary’s closet, you can see what I mean.
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One nice thing about working on a project like this is that I get to listen to my XM radio and (because they are on when I work, and have to listen to them a day later (I record their shows), I get to listen to my favorite radio buddays (yes, spelled wrong) Ron & Fez!
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I also got to do some decorating in Zachary's room that I have been planning for a while.
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I am pleased with what I have accomplished thus far, so tonight, after the kiddos go to bed (and maybe even after my wife goes to bed!), I think it is going to be a beer and movie night!
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UPDATE: 02-09-07
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I did not find a movie that I wanted to rent last night, so instead, I was in bed reading my new "One Man's Wilderness" book (that I got for Christmas) by 8:30 pm. The room was so quiet, and peaceful, and the book was so calm and relaxing...I was asleep by 9:00 pm! I woke more refreshed than I have in years!

I have been in a bit of a slump

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Yeah, I have had a rough few days... I have had two days off in the past 16 days. I worked 7 days, had two off, and am just finishing up working a 9 day stretch (I have been training a new employee during much of this time - which is added stress). The weather is very cold - (which I do not mind all that much, but it gets everyone in the house a little crazy with cabin fever..)

But, things are starting to brighten up now... On the upside - Today is my "Friday" (even though it is a Tuesday), and I have three days off with nothing significant planned for any of the days. I feel like getting some productive things done... I have a couple of ideas in mind... But I am going to wait to see what "solidifies" out of those ideas... It's also tax season - and that is looming over me, and around tax time each year, I try to "purge" our household of old (unneeded) paperwork that tends to gather

Also, maybe one evening I can take the kiddos out for some ice fishing!! I'd LOVE to get that in, and perhaps a movie or two... (DVD Rental from
Redbox.)

One other little task I'd like to get done is now that I have my new phone, I need to get a carrying case for it. I have checked into it a little bit, but not found anything that I really like, at least not yet...
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We got a significant snowfall this morning. We were supposed to get a "light dusting" but (from what I can tell) it looks like between and inch or two... It is kept us VERY busy at work this morning.
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It's about time

The older I get the less I care about the cold.

This morning when I arrived at work, the outside temp was -16 degrees Fahrenheit. (That was just the air temp. The wind gave us a wind chill of -25 degrees!)

Oh, did I tell you I have no heat in my car? I have a little bit, but the themostat is stuck open, thus the coolant never heats up enough to warm up the interior of the car...

Call me crazy, but I kindof like it when it gets this cold.. In a odd sort of way..

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