Photo Download (T-61)

There’s plenty to catch you up on, but I also have a task ahead of me: get these damn photos up on the site.

Well, first and foremost, my best friend Jeremy has gone back to Illinois for a sweet job and for a great change of pace. It definitely sucks that he is gone, but I think that in the long run it’ll be for the best. He was a blast to have around though, and he’ll be missed.

In other news:

– I’m fully booked the next two weekends for hiring conference goodness. The first conference is this upcoming weekend – I’ll be flying out to Chicago on Saturday afternoon and return on Tuesday afternoon. I don’t know anything yet about who I’ll be interviewing with, but honestly, and between you and me, I am not all that interested in that area to work and live in. If the opportunity is awesome, then I’ll have to rethink, but this is mostly a chance to practice interviewing and visit Chicago. Like I said, I’m still going to do my best to knock the interviews out of the park, but I think I’m mainly focused now on what is scheduled for the weekend following: a trip to San Diego for another hiring conference. That’s the one I’m hoping pans out, as it will include opportunities for the entire West Coast and Las Vegas. The more I think about it, the more I’d LOVE to go back to Vegas now. Weird, isn’t it? I was so done with that city. Or so I thought. I think I was just done with the job and needed a change. But the area, its conveniences, …gambling…, closeness to LA, …well, it’d be cool to go back. Speaking of which…

– Finally made the Las Vegas trip a concrete event – heading out there the first weekend of August and staying at the Flamingo this time – in one of the newly renovated rooms that are now called the GO rooms. Totally swank, with multiple plasma HDTVs around and all sorts of upgrades. It’s gonna be SWEET. Can’t wait to use the pool too, not to mention gamble gamble gamble!

Alright, so I really didn’t have ‘plenty’ to catch you up on. Here are some pictures to make up for my grievous lie:

So yes, I know this first set of pics is awful late in coming. But they’re cool to look at.

24 May 2007 – Went to visit the Royal Gorge with Dad and Pat

Dad at the bridge road
Dad at the bridge road24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 400
The trademark point
The trademark point24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Dad walking to the bridge
Dad walking to the bridge24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Dad likes to point too
Dad likes to point too24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Nice picture of the bridge over the 1000-ft deep gorge
Nice picture of the bridge over the 1000-ft deep gorge24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
There's dad walking across the bridge
There's dad walking across the bridge24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
A nice vertical panorama of the gorge from the bridge
A nice vertical panorama of the gorge from the bridge24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Detail of the bridge - notice the WOOD planking. No gracias.
Detail of the bridge - notice the WOOD planking. No gracias.24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
 
24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
24-May-2007 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
24-May-2007 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
Looking straight down - notice the bridge's shadow
Looking straight down - notice the bridge's shadow24-May-2007 11:51, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
There's dad on the edge
There's dad on the edge24-May-2007 11:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Me on the bridge
Me on the bridge24-May-2007 11:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 

Now coming back to June. Which was last month. Okay, so what. KD & Eric threw a little party at their house when they came back from their honeymoon. I thought it would be a great time to drink heavily. It was awesome. The videos illustrate how silly it got. Good times.

22 June 2007 – Drinking at KD & Eric’s

22-Jun-2007 19:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 19:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

During the last weekend that Jeremy was here, we all went to the restaurant Buca di Beppo – didn’t take too many pictures actually, but it was a great, HUGE Italian dinner. I hadn’t been to a Buca di Beppo since Carras’ going-away in Las Vegas back in 2004, so it was cool to go back to one. Also, before Jeremy left, I took some pics with his adorable dog, Kahlua. Magnum, Jeff’s dog, also got in the pics as that guy is a total camera hog. 🙂

22 & 26 June 2007 – Miscellaneous Pics

A true Buca di Beppo feast
A true Buca di Beppo feast23-Jun-2007 19:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Smiling Erin
Smiling Erin23-Jun-2007 19:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Me and Kahlua
Me and Kahlua26-Jun-2007 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Kahlua laying down but Magnum looking cute
Kahlua laying down but Magnum looking cute26-Jun-2007 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Bye Kahlua!
Bye Kahlua!26-Jun-2007 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

And finally, my most recent photo set from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. No, there’s not a zoo at my work. But the area of Cheyenne Mountain does indeed have a zoo, which is nestled up against the mountain. After having now been there today, I gotta say it’s a pretty incredible zoo. Not a huge zoo by any means, but it’s a well-designed zoo with just enough animals to see. They actually have one very noteworthy exhibit: this zoo has the largest collection of Reticulated Giraffes (which means spotted giraffes). They’ve built a really amazing pavilion for people to visit them, so that you can buy crackers and feed them to the giraffes at their head level. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures below. Anyways, it was fun!

1 July 2007 – Visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Erin at the Zoo's entrance
Erin at the Zoo's entrance01-Jul-2007 10:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Giraffes!
Giraffes!01-Jul-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Our first cracker customer of the day
Our first cracker customer of the day01-Jul-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Me feeding our first brave giraffe
Me feeding our first brave giraffe01-Jul-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
The giraffe was coy
The giraffe was coy01-Jul-2007 10:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Extreme closeup - giraffes are actually kind of cute
Extreme closeup - giraffes are actually kind of cute01-Jul-2007 10:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Wood lickers
Wood lickers01-Jul-2007 10:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
More giraffe goodness
More giraffe goodness01-Jul-2007 10:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Erin taunting the power giraffe
Erin taunting the power giraffe01-Jul-2007 10:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
 
That's the Will Rogers Shrine as seen from the Zoo
That's the Will Rogers Shrine as seen from the Zoo01-Jul-2007 10:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 9.0, 10.487mm, 0.005 sec
Giraffe in Shadow
Giraffe in Shadow01-Jul-2007 10:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
He's ready for his closeup
He's ready for his closeup01-Jul-2007 10:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 
Giraffe Cliques
Giraffe Cliques01-Jul-2007 10:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
Giraffes love their crackers
Giraffes love their crackers01-Jul-2007 10:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
Here's the new baby giraffe at the zoo - so cute!
Here's the new baby giraffe at the zoo - so cute!01-Jul-2007 10:50, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.001 sec
 

And that’s the extent of the pictures, for now.

And before I end this post, I just wanted to also put it out there that thanks to all the advice you have provided, I’m going to be putting my house on the market – to sell. As my Uncle Richard succinctly put it: “Just sell the fucking house and move on”. No truer words have been spoken.

My private dream: I’d love to buy one of those high-rise condos in Vegas to live in, if I end up back there. How freakin’ cool would that be?????!!!!

What to Do? (T-73)

It seems every time I have a clear path ahead of me, that unexpected bend in the road knocks me off track.

Like I talked about last week, I had my first interview with Oracle – and while I haven’t heard anything about that in definitive terms, other stuff has served to make me confused. First, today I met with my realtor Stacy. She didn’t have exactly happy news to tell me – but it’s not entirely surprising news either. Basically it comes down to the fact that I’ll barely be able to break even if we sell the house for about $12K more than I bought it for, because in the year and a half I’ve lived here, I’ve paid very little towards principal. Not good for me with respect to trying to make much money come selling time. So now that really makes me have to consider – do I stay another year, pay more principal, and hope that the market turns around so I can possibly sell next year? But if that’s the path to go down, then I need to find a job here…and who knows how much I can get for one out here? Then I’m headed out to Chicago in a few weeks for a hiring conference… I’m SOOOOO overwhelmed / confused / scared / undecided.

So that’s my dilemma for the time being in the big picture. In the little picture, today I actually was tasked with stuff to do and it felt nice to be needed again. Truly needed. I can’t wait to have a real job again.

And finally, I’ve resumed putting up more pictures of the Europe trip – although I’m drained after this last page, which is of Day 5 while we were in Paris. There were a ton of pictures. And the next day has just as much, which means it may still be a while till I get that done. Anyways, that’s the latest. Oh yeah, I drank a lot on Sunday and didn’t hike Pikes Peak. But maybe next week?

KD & Eric Got Married! (T-80)

Those crazy kids tied the knot on Sunday Afternoon!

And I’ve got the pictures to prove it! See Below. You’ll notice that it was a beautiful day and Jeff did an awesome job marrying them. And I did an awesome job escorting people out of the background – as you’ll see in pics below, there’s a terraced rock step area behind the ‘altar’. There were a few people back there just chilling, which is all well and good, but for background to wedding pictures, you want there not to be guys in FUBU shorts and stuff. Just call me the Bouncer.

10 June 2007 – Mr & Mrs Pilarczyk’s Marriage

Susan and Jeff before the wedding
Susan and Jeff before the wedding10-Jun-2007 13:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Jeff's parking pass for being a minister!
Jeff's parking pass for being a minister!10-Jun-2007 13:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
The gazebo where the wedding took place
The gazebo where the wedding took place10-Jun-2007 13:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 9.028mm, 0.006 sec
 
The groom awaits
The groom awaits10-Jun-2007 13:06, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
Another view of the gazebo
Another view of the gazebo10-Jun-2007 13:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
10-Jun-2007 13:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Picture of the lagoon
Picture of the lagoon10-Jun-2007 13:08, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Eric talking to KD on the phone
Eric talking to KD on the phone10-Jun-2007 13:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Waiting for the ceremony to begin
Waiting for the ceremony to begin10-Jun-2007 13:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
 
Susan and Jeff practice for the ceremony
Susan and Jeff practice for the ceremony10-Jun-2007 13:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.9, 23.1mm, 0.006 sec
Who invited the male models?
Who invited the male models?10-Jun-2007 13:21, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Susan and Me
Susan and Me10-Jun-2007 13:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Susan and Jeff
Susan and Jeff10-Jun-2007 13:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Jeremy, Me, Dave, Susan and Jeff before the ceremony
Jeremy, Me, Dave, Susan and Jeff before the ceremony10-Jun-2007 13:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
The minister in repose
The minister in repose10-Jun-2007 13:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 

I wanted to get these pictures up sooner than later – my track record on big amounts of photos being posted is not exactly good. But I got some email feedback from Heather today and that was motivation enough to get me moving. Now I just need to finish my two-month-old Europe photos.

Quick News Update:

– Jeff installed (I helped a little) my new Alpine iPod stereo into my car – it’s ridiculously awesome. Still have to finish the install by properly running the cable to the new CD changer; hopefully Jeremy will help me with that.

– Speaking of Jeremy, he’s going to be moving back to Illinois in a few weeks because he has an awesome new job and it’ll be great for his career. Sucks though – he’s my best friend out here and it will be pretty damn sad to lose him. It’s kind of a big reason why…

– …I’ve realized I don’t want to stay here anymore after I’m done with the military. I seriously love my house, but that’s not a good enough reason to want to stay in a city. I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here, but I’ve long since been a fifth wheel here so it’s necessary to move. Now, where am I going? Don’t know. I’m open to going to many different places, include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio/Austin, or Chicago. I am planning to put my house on the market though – hopefully it’ll sell. Guess what, though?

– I had my first phone interview finally, with Oracle. That job would be the one in Minneapolis for a year, and Atlanta afterwards. Honestly, I think I did really really well on the interview. Definitely, going to TAP was extremely helpful in preparing for interviewing skills as well as the many books I’ve read on career changing. Preparation has proven to be quite the right thing to do when trying to approach the unknown. Anyways, I didn’t get an offer just yet but it sounds like it is a very good likelihood that I’d get it in a month or so. So we’ll see.

– I did just get off the phone with my original recruiter at Bradley-Morris and I think I will sign up for the Chicago hiring conference in July. I got some un-asked for flattery from him – he said that everyone he talked to out here in Colorado Springs all knew me and had nothing but good things to say about me. That was nice to hear. Maybe he’s lying, but I’ll prefer to believe him.

– I think I’ll be hiking Pikes Peak this Sunday. Wish me luck.

And that’s the most recent stuff to talk about. Hope you’re all doing good out there in the rest of the country and the world.

LATE UPDATE: I’ve been creating more of my old Hobie tapes as iPod/iTunes playlists and during this process I rediscover a bunch of the music that I totally was addicted to back in high school and college. So tonight I was working on my Pioneer Tape #3 and had to rip a few more of my CDs and while flipping through one of my huge binders, I saw my Oingo Boingo CD collection and paused: Holy Crap, I hadn’t listened to them in forever. So I rip all their albums right then and there and immediately was brought back to high school times. Hell, even now I am dancin’ around to these amazingly good songs. My favorite after all this time is still “No One Lives Forever”, specifically off the Boingo Alive 2CD set. What an amazing recording. I highly suggest you dig out your Boingo CDs and enjoy the 80s and early 90s all over again. You won’t regret it. And play NOLF for me, won’t you?

Legs Hurt (T-89)

It would probably have something to do with the fact that I bicycled down Pikes Peak this past Saturday morning!

My dad saw in one of those tourism guides this really cool ‘Thing-To-Do’ in Colorado Springs: Bike down Pikes Peak. Here’s the website link for the company that does it (www.bikithikit.com), because if you really want to bike down the mountain, you have to do it through this company or one just like it, as special permits are required. Those of you who don’t feel like visiting the website though, here’s the scoop: you meet at this place in Old Colorado City at 6:15am and after signing away all the waivers, getting fitted for a helmet, and getting some grub, you pile in their van (which has the bikes you use on top) and drive up to the summit of Pikes Peak (weather permitting) via Pikes Peak Highway. You definitely want to do the morning run (a morning and an afternoon one are offered), as afternoons here on the Front Range are notorious for turning stormy like clockwork at right around 3:30pm. We had a small group (only 3 of us) and there were 3 staff members to go with us, so it was kind of nice. Apparently once summer vacation gets into full swing that’s when it’s super packed. Anyways, our weather was tremendous this Saturday morning. Crystal clear skies and beautiful temperatures. Melissa, Sara, and Daniel drove us up the road, which is actually quite a scary ride, especially in a big ol’ van. There are numerous points on the drive up there when it’s a nice big drop off off to the side and as we were heading up the mountain, I realized the road was really steep in most places, especially as you really head up the mountain. The views were astounding though. Finally, around 7:45 or so, we were at the top of the mountain and after a few briefings on safety and operation, we were on our way. The van follows you from behind so as to block any cars from running you off the road, which is very nice. I ended up going the slowest because honestly I haven’t been on a bike in forever and when you’re that high up and on that steep of a road, definitely nerves came into play. By the end I was going faster, but at that top part, where you’re freezing, the wind is blowing like hell, and the road is filled with bumps and it’s really not even a road at many points, it’s a tad overwhelming. But those were the only things I could even think about calling concerns as the adventure was amazing! You can see forever. It’s invigorating being out there before most people are up yet on a Saturday. The road was very sparse with traffic at the top. Closer to the fishing reservoirs it definitely got more crowded, but still, you’re immersed in such amazing natural scenery you don’t care. And all you hear, while you’re FLYING down the road, especially in the last third of the ride, is the wind. It’s awesome. Dad and I definitely had an awesome time. The pictures below can speak to the amazing journey it is – and if you ever have the inkling and the opportunity to do this, don’t even hesitate. Sign up. The fee covers the bike and helmet rental, the fee to get on the Pikes Peak highway, free food and snacks before and during, and a free lunch at the end of the ride at the Wines of Colorado restaurant, which is definitely a great way to end the trip. So do it!!!!

2 Jun 2007 – Bike Riding down Pikes Peak!

A pretty sweet stitched together photo from the summit - right side had a bad line though!A pretty sweet stitched together photo from the summit - right side had a bad line though!
A pretty sweet stitched together photo from the summit - right side had a bad line though!
Here's the route you drive up and bicycle downHere's the route you drive up and bicycle down
Here's the route you drive up and bicycle down02-Jun-2007 06:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
02-Jun-2007 06:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 141
 
02-Jun-2007 07:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
02-Jun-2007 07:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
02-Jun-2007 07:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
Dad at the Railway summitDad at the Railway summit
Dad at the Railway summit02-Jun-2007 07:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Me giving the thumbs upMe giving the thumbs up
Me giving the thumbs up02-Jun-2007 07:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Somehow I missed these the first go-round: Here's my Dad at the top before the ride startedSomehow I missed these the first go-round: Here's my Dad at the top before the ride started
Somehow I missed these the first go-round: Here's my Dad at the top before the ride started02-Jun-2007 08:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 
And me too!And me too!
And me too!02-Jun-2007 08:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Blurry pic of the van at the topBlurry pic of the van at the top
Blurry pic of the van at the top02-Jun-2007 08:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
Another group of folks who were getting ready to snowboard the mountainAnother group of folks who were getting ready to snowboard the mountain
Another group of folks who were getting ready to snowboard the mountain02-Jun-2007 08:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
02-Jun-2007 08:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Typical Tourist...Typical Tourist...
Typical Tourist...02-Jun-2007 08:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.013 sec
Here's the beginning/end of the road!Here's the beginning/end of the road!
Here's the beginning/end of the road!02-Jun-2007 08:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 

And to finish off the pictures of my bathroom project, I present to you one last pic with the new lighting and the new shelf I put in. There are still things to be fixed because of installation ‘concerns’ (okay, I’ll fess up: the old lighting, when removed, showed that the electric casing with all the connections was NOT centered on the old or new mirror. And my new lighting only has a central circular connection to the wall, so that still has to be patched over as we had to get ‘creative’ in bringing the wires to the middle; plus, the two remaining walls need to be painted pure white as well). Regardless, my bathroom rocks. Now I really have to think as to what I would want to do next to my house. I think my living room needs some reorganization, but nothing major or Lowe’s related…? Anyways, back to work for another fun week, I’m sure. Oh joy.

03-Jun-2007 19:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 124
 

Nearly completed (T-94)

The 5-day Memorial Day weekend I just had was not exactly relaxing, but productive for sure!

Besides hanging out w/ friends at night, most of my weekend was spent working on the bathroom with Dad and Pat, so my ‘vacation’ was much more work than even my real ‘work’ is. Which leads me to explain why I was so damn tired at work today and why I came home and just passed out. But I’m awake now and before I return to sleep, I wanted to post my complete picture set of my bathroom renovation, from beginning to end. Okay, the true end has yet to be reached (the whole replacing the lights and putting up the shelves) but those pictures will come soon enough. I’ll also get to posting pictures from the Royal Gorge which I visited with Dad and Pat on Thursday. Get this – this upcoming Friday I’ll be riding down Pikes Peak with my Dad on bicycles. This should definitely be interesting as long as the weather holds out, which it usually does until the afternoon. I hope I can take lots of pictures from that, as it should be amazing.

Alright, so here’s my photos from the bathroom project:

The Lisa Dr Master Bathroom Renovation Project – May 2007

You wanna know what the catalyst was that actually got me working on this? The damn towel bar. Last weekend, I had just finished drying off after showering and when I put the towel back on the rack, the bar just fell off the wall. I couldn’t snap the bar back on (although I know what I was doing wrong now), so I was like, Fuck It, I’ll Just Buy a New One… and that my friends, is the starting point of this whole endeavor. For now I was thinking, hell, I’ll get the towel bar that will match what I’ve been planning. But now that I had gotten one piece of my new bathroom, it was time to just go for it, and with a long weekend approaching, what better time?

And to be honest, I’ve been planning how I wanted this renovation to go for a pretty long time. You can see past journal entries with my drawing proposals, and I think the final result is pretty close to those. And because of my hours and hours of hanging out at Lowe’s researching what I wanted to install, the only time I really spent this weekend was fortunately on installation and not what I wanted to do. Except for the walls – I still hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do with that until that afternoon.

I definitely couldn’t have done this without my Dad (and Pat) so much thanks goes to them for helping and doing so much on this project. Plus, the books below were INVALUABLE to my efforts and I heartily recommend them to anyone else considering some DIY work:

– Popular Mechanics’ Moneysmart Makeovers: Bathrooms (This book is an AMAZING resource for all aspects of this project – got this for 75% off at Barnes & Noble’s discount rack; best deal ever)
– Stanley: Complete Plumbing (helpful for figuring out the nuances of plumbing, pipes, etc)
– Stanley: Complete Tiling (essential for making decisions on what to use for my floor, installing, removing fixtures, etc)
– Lowe’s Complete Guide to Paint and Color (extremely helpful for painting techniques)
– DIY Channel: 10 Weekend Bathroom Makeovers (great for ideas and instructional how-tos on certain techniques)

With all the reading I had done for this project, really I was mentally ready. But my biggest holdup had been fear of actual execution – but as you’ll see below, that quickly went away. Especially once you’ve completed ‘Demolition Day’. You’re committed at that point!

24 May 2007 – My Bathroom before the renovation

My MBR bathroom in its "before" state
My MBR bathroom in its "before" state24-May-2007 16:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
View of the mirrors
View of the mirrors24-May-2007 16:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Your days are numbered, vanity
Your days are numbered, vanity24-May-2007 16:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Almost time to say goodbye, old linoleum
Almost time to say goodbye, old linoleum24-May-2007 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
View with the wooden shelving unit gone
View with the wooden shelving unit gone24-May-2007 16:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
An idea of what the new tile will look like
An idea of what the new tile will look like24-May-2007 16:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

25 May 2007 – Demolition Day

Dad arrived in the morning to help me tear all the guts out of my existing Master bathroom. The first goal was to get rid of the vanity/sink combo. What a bitch that was. First, we discovered that the existing vanity had a back wall and no big holes for the vanity to allow the supply valves through. So we had to cut those out after first trying to disassemble them. That was a lot of effort but fortunately, it did come out eventually. Also, while I went on a Lowe’s run, Dad got the mirror off the wall without shattering it (which was one thing I was sure would happen!). While that may sound like not much work, it in fact took from 9 to Noon, at which point Dad went home. I then proceeded to take the toilet out, which went much easier than I expected thanks to all my books. Then the REALLY fun part occurred: taking the linoleum out. It was easy enough to peel that stuff off, but it was the remaining adhesive that was the real beyotch. I did get adhesive remover (like wallpaper remover), but you have to cut through the paper so that the remover can soak through. After cutting at the floor like a mental patient, I then let the remover soak for an hour, then it was scraper time. Thank God I had bought that scraper or else I would have left my back and vertebrae back there in agony. After many pauses to pick up all the pieces, my wooden subfloor was finally cleaned off and ready for tomorrow’s fun: Putting all new tile back down.

I duct-taped the HELL out of this mirror preparing for the shatter that never happened
I duct-taped the HELL out of this mirror preparing for the shatter that never happened25-May-2007 08:39, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
An emptied out vanity cabinet
An emptied out vanity cabinet25-May-2007 08:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Picture of the piping for future reference just in case
Picture of the piping for future reference just in case25-May-2007 08:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
My Dad affected by the sewer fumes, presumably... (I see where I get my weird faces from)
My Dad affected by the sewer fumes, presumably... (I see where I get my weird faces from)25-May-2007 11:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
The vanity and sink are outta there
The vanity and sink are outta there25-May-2007 11:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
You can see how the mirror had been glued up
You can see how the mirror had been glued up25-May-2007 11:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 141
 
The baseboards are gone and the toilet is next
The baseboards are gone and the toilet is next25-May-2007 12:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
More baseboard removal
More baseboard removal25-May-2007 12:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
The toilet tank taken off...
The toilet tank taken off...25-May-2007 12:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
...and at it's new home for the next few days
...and at it's new home for the next few days25-May-2007 12:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
The toilet bowl lifted off the ground with the sewer plugged up
The toilet bowl lifted off the ground with the sewer plugged up25-May-2007 13:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
There's the wax ring that keeps your bathroom from filling up with swamp gas
There's the wax ring that keeps your bathroom from filling up with swamp gas25-May-2007 13:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
It looks worse than it really actually is
It looks worse than it really actually is25-May-2007 13:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
25-May-2007 13:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Peeling the crappy linoleum up...
Peeling the crappy linoleum up...25-May-2007 13:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

26 May 2007 – Laying the Tile and Getting the Walls Right

The next day, Dad and Pat and the dogs all came up promptly at 0900 (to be known as the start of the work day from here on out this weekend). Today’s fun was to be focused on getting the room’s floor and walls worked on as you can’t really put all the other items in until those core functions are taken care of first. Obviously the first thing to do was to get the floor put in place. I had chosen to go with individual vinyl tiles for my floor as it was one of the easier things to do-it-yourself and not too expensive nor does it take a lot of work and time to install. I had definitely considered going the ceramic tile route, but my only holdback on that was all the necessary prep and post work needed for a proper tile floor. Getting a concreteboard subfloor, properly mixing the mortar and applying it properly, placing the tiles without fucking it up, letting the mortar set, then mixing and applying the grout, cleaning that all off, sealing the floor properly….yeah, maybe one day. But not this time. With vinyl tiles, it’s all about laying an adhesive primer on the floor and then laying the self-adhesive tiles on the floor in the right place. After that, you’re done. Sweet. So that’s what me and Dad did, with Dad becoming an expert tile cutter in the process. That did take a few hours, and then Dad and Pat went home for the afternoon.

At this point, I knew I had to still figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my walls. I had always envisioned a split-wall design with a chair rail being a breakpoint for the walls, but I just couldn’t find the right color. I initially envisioned a solid color for the blue lower part of the wall, but none of the blues I looked at meshed just right with the blues on the tile…but that was because there are two blues on the tile and trying to pick just one is nearly impossible. Then I thought maybe I’d tile the wall up to the chair rail point, but like I mentioned above, tiling takes a LOT of work. It looks great, for sure, but that’s if you know what you are doing. I don’t, at least with tile just yet. But with paint and color, I certainly do. So while wandering around Lowe’s for inspiration, I actually did find it – at the faux finishing section of the paint aisle. I found a few ideas immediately right there, first with a metallic finish that I thought would be cool and then a secondary stippling idea that I wasn’t too impressed with but I took home anyways just to consider it. At home, I realized the metallic idea, while cool, just wasn’t right for what my bathroom tiles had in them. Then the stippling idea took center stage – and I then saw that it matched the pattern on the tile perfectly. So back to Lowe’s I went and got those supplies (the base paint, the translucent glaze and a stippling brush) and applied the base coat that afternoon. You had to let it dry completely before putting the glaze on, so off I went with my friends that evening to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3!

Perhaps Dad is reacting to the adhesive smell?
Perhaps Dad is reacting to the adhesive smell?26-May-2007 10:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Me hard at work tiling the floor
Me hard at work tiling the floor26-May-2007 10:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
I LOVE tiling
I LOVE tiling26-May-2007 10:53, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
All the full tiles in place
All the full tiles in place26-May-2007 11:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Now the fun part with custom-cutting tiles to fit the small areas
Now the fun part with custom-cutting tiles to fit the small areas26-May-2007 11:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Ta-Dah!
Ta-Dah!26-May-2007 12:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
The base coat of Midnight Blue satin paint up and ready
The base coat of Midnight Blue satin paint up and ready26-May-2007 19:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
A slightly lighter view
A slightly lighter view26-May-2007 19:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 141
Getting an idea of the color with the tile floor
Getting an idea of the color with the tile floor26-May-2007 19:21, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Where the new vanity would go
Where the new vanity would go26-May-2007 20:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

27 May 2007 – Finishing the Paint and getting the vanity/sink ready

My faux finishing needed to get completed before we could do too much so that was what I got knocked out of the way first – going to town on the blue base coat with the Bluebell glaze on a stippling brush. I made sure to practice my technique on those parts of the wall sure to be covered by the vanity, so I think that by the time I got to highly visible walls, I didn’t do that bad a job. I’m sure experts would agree that my end result is not exactly what stippling is supposed to look like, but I like the end result and it looks freakishly like the blue pattern in the floor tiles, which is what I was going for. So score one for me!

After that was done, then it was time to determine ideal placement of the vanity with the sink on it, and to also get the baseboard and chair rail replacements, which is what Dad and I spent some time at Lowe’s accomplishing. Once we got back (Lowe’s on the weekends is certainly more crowded than on weekdays and evenings, let me tell you), Dad was able to show me how to successfully use my brand new jigsaw to cut pieces of baseboard and install them (even using a finishing nail set!). They went home and I ended up finishing most of the baseboards, securing the vanity to the wall, installing the new Delta faucet to my sink, and mounting the sink to the vanity and wall. Finally, I was able to succesfully reattach the toilet to the floor and have it work again, without leaks. Sweet. After all that excitement, I went over to Jeff’s for Game Night, which involved a great round of Uno Attack! (I have yet to meet someone who after playing this game didn’t Love it) and a game called Shout at TV which I rocked at. We even played a second round in which 7 of them played against me and I still won.

My stippling efforts done - I like it!
My stippling efforts done - I like it!27-May-2007 13:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Where the vanity would go
Where the vanity would go27-May-2007 13:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
My window seat slash tool bench
My window seat slash tool bench27-May-2007 13:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
First piece of baseboard installed
First piece of baseboard installed27-May-2007 14:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
The sink and faucet are one
The sink and faucet are one27-May-2007 14:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Vanity in its new home
Vanity in its new home27-May-2007 16:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
With the sink now in place too
With the sink now in place too27-May-2007 17:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Baseboard behind the toilet installed...
Baseboard behind the toilet installed...27-May-2007 17:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
...because it was time to make the toilet work again
...because it was time to make the toilet work again27-May-2007 17:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Final piece of long baseboarding installed on the towel wall
Final piece of long baseboarding installed on the towel wall27-May-2007 18:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Detail of Toilet and Sink
Detail of Toilet and Sink27-May-2007 18:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
There's my tool bench again
There's my tool bench again27-May-2007 18:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Grimacing Susan at Game Night
Grimacing Susan at Game Night27-May-2007 21:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Dallas loves game night
Dallas loves game night27-May-2007 21:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Dave and Jeff getting some snacks
Dave and Jeff getting some snacks27-May-2007 21:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

28 May(+) 2007 – Finishing Touches

Day 4 of the project found me ready for it to be done. It was very cool to have done this on our own, but after a certain amount of time, I think I was ready for a break but I also knew it had to be done. Regardless, I probably wasn’t the most happy person this day; grouchy may be more accurate of a term. Added to my mood was the fact that I hadn’t connected the faucet correctly to the sink (it leaked the first time) and that we had to get more plumbing stuff as the supply lines from the old faucet were too short for this one and we had to get more drain pipe. Luckily Dad knows a thing or two about all this stuff and was able to get it all working wonderfully. Sorry for being a jerk that day, dad! After all that fun, including hanging the new mirror (which went pretty easily as it had one of those self-leveling hanger bars), Dad and Pat left and I did some of the easier finishing touches, like putting up all the new chrome fixtures and painting the upper walls white (turns out that while I thought the original color was white, I was wrong – in fact it’s quite obvious now that it was a very off white/brown color; who knew?). All that remains now is for the lighting to be replaced and for my shelves to go up. I think I’ve found a place for my vertical shades-of-blue harbor painting as well. Sweet.

Anyways, here are photos from what my bathroom currently looks like (sans new lights and shelves). Expect to see the 100% completion pics sometime this upcoming weekend.

Working on the fun plumbing aspect of the vanity and sink
Working on the fun plumbing aspect of the vanity and sink28-May-2007 11:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 183
Ah...done. You can see the blue rug back in place as well as the new chrome TP holder
Ah...done. You can see the blue rug back in place as well as the new chrome TP holder28-May-2007 18:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Towel wall
Towel wall28-May-2007 18:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
28-May-2007 18:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Notice the new mirror and shelf over my sweet sink
Notice the new mirror and shelf over my sweet sink28-May-2007 18:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Towel wall
Towel wall28-May-2007 18:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
29-May-2007 21:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
View from the shower
View from the shower29-May-2007 21:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 141
29-May-2007 21:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 141
 
Detail on the Delta faucet
Detail on the Delta faucet29-May-2007 21:04, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 141
Detail on the sink
Detail on the sink29-May-2007 21:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
29-May-2007 21:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Hand towel and mirror detail
Hand towel and mirror detail29-May-2007 21:05, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 141
 

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