Tag: Renovation

Group Writing 20190119: Renovating Memories

 

Scientists now tell us that every time we pull a memory out of long-term storage, we then re-write it, and in this rewriting, it may get changed. This may play into some instances of what has come to be known as the Mandela Effect. Someone asks, “Does the Coca-Cola logo have a hyphen or dash […]

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Bathroom Blues Redux

 

A few days ago, I wrote about my mother’s lavatory renovation project. Probably close to ten years later, my father was finally ready to renovate the lavatory himself. A lot had happened in the meantime. For one thing, my mother had finally decided her children were old enough that she could divorce my father and she moved out. My father had reached retirement age and qualifications. Given he was a police sergeant, that wasn’t as hard as for some occupations. He only needed to be at least fifty years of age and have more than twenty years on the force. He had been counting down the days until he could retire. And then he stayed on the force about another five years. However, in preparing to retire, he wanted to find a small town like the place he had grown up and retire there. He started looking for such a town, taking his weekends and vacations to find a place he liked.

He also started preparing the house to be sold. Part of this meant getting through the backlog of renovation projects and repainting things. It so happened that I was unemployed at the time. The job market was not terribly hot. I had been applying a lot of places but had yet to get any bites. So, I got to stay with him and help with repainting the house and conducting appropriate renovations.

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“Emergency” Renovation

 

As Mark Davis says, “Trump makes everyone better.” Well, maybe not the sad section of the “conservative” commentariat driven mad by the Great Big Ugly Man, but his administration has been a refiner’s fire for lifer politicians like “Cocaine Mitch” and Lindsey Grahamnesty. In the same way, his presence has unmasked the long-hidden corruption of our federal law-enforcement and intelligence community, last disinfected in the mid-1970s by the Church Committee. Now, President Trump’s threat — to use two laws (not a pen and a phone), passed in the 1970s and 1980s, to legally reallocate particular current appropriated funds — is sparking a renewed interest in reforming national emergency authority. More goodness!

There are real concerns, from multiple points in political space, about presidents being granted, or asserting, “emergency” powers. Many real concerns seem to arise from confusing language, prompting misunderstanding. All the real concerns should be distinguished from false claims, like those of Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the original illegal alien amnesty “Gang of 8.” His posture of worry about what a future Democratic president will do is a howling fraud, both because he knows everything we will review below, and because he has proven himself allergic to real border and immigration control. Likewise, we may discount CNN, the paper dying in darkness, and all those poor souls discombobulated by the Great Big Ugly Man. Setting all the false fears aside, let us consider the real concerns.

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Renovation: Bathroom Blues

 

My father had some very good qualities, but when it came to renovating the house in a timely manner, he seemed to have several things going against him. For instance, as a policeman, he worked shift work. Shift work can lead to sleep deprivation, which is especially trying when one is trying to sleep off-hours with dogs, cats, birds, and kids running around the house. In his job, he often dealt with some energy-draining situations. Let’s face it, being a policeman in some cities does not bring one into contact with the finest folks in town. He also tried to get as many “union jobs” as possible to scoop up the extra pay. Union jobs were basically where the police officers could be hired as security for companies. For instance, the local McDonald’s franchise liked to keep spaces open in their parking lots for active customers, which could be difficult on Friday nights with teenagers hanging out. So, they would hire off-duty police officers to walk the lots and keep the kids moving. Poor sleep habits, lots of overtime, and dealing with the dregs of society and teenagers (but I repeat myself) did not make Dad the most energetic guy when he was at home. He wasn’t champing at the bit to keep the house in shape or renovated.

My mother was not someone who believed in nagging. Nagging takes more energy than just doing something for oneself, if one actually has the skills to do it. But my mother really did not have the skills to renovate a room well, but after asking nicely a few times, she just got tired of waiting.

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Renovation Update

 

Shameless plug: January Group Writing: Renovation has lots of open dates. We really don’t need me writing another Charmin post, let alone the next baño bit. Consider yourselves warned. More

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The Renovator

 

I was not one born to the hammer as most General Contractors who specialize in residential renovations are. Instead, as the son of an office jockey, I was plenty happy to spend my days playing sports and riding bikes rather than building tree houses and forts, or earning a few bucks an hour picking up trash on a job site, as most of my peers did in their youth.

What first drew me to building was the income; it was the best summer job a college freshman could wrangle. But it was the sweat and the sawdust that captured me. The tangy smell of wet pine surrendering to the screaming saw and the hot, dusty scent of summer mingled with the pop of nail guns, loud country music, sunscreen, and sweat. This, it seemed to me, is what work should feel like. Maybe I was tired, maybe I was sore, but the cold beer in my hand was well earned and delicious, and there, where once there was just dirt and scrub, sat a freshly framed house.

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Josephine Garis Cochrane: American Sorceress for Domestic Life

 

Everyone knows necessity is the mother of innovation, and good help is hard to find. These two idioms must have combined in the mind of Josephine Garis Cochrane who needed clean dishes for the frequent dinner parties she loved to host, despite the careless servants who chipped her china when cleaning up afterwards.

Even though she was a nineteenth century woman of means who was married to a successful businessman, Cochrane was undaunted by the prospect of hard work. She became so frustrated with the incompetence she saw on display in her grand kitchen that she began to wash her own porcelain wares by hand.

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Renovation: Fodder for My Soul

 

As I sit down to eat my lunch, I pause and ask the Lord to bless me and the food I am about to receive as a gift. I like to think of how each particle, each molecule of useful material is used by my body as it performs its active functions and grows new hair, blood, skin. Each nutrient helps to renovate me, with the Lord’s blessing.

In a similar way, I see each moment of my life as fodder for my soul. I am constantly consuming experiences that can be used by me to maintain my active connection to the Lord and help my soul and the souls of those around me flourish and grow.

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January Group Writing: Renovating Humor

 

The surest sign of age is the loss of the vital powers that once came with ease. The mind may be the first thing to go, as my wife has been telling me for years, but weakening flesh is the cruelest harbinger of failing vitality.

I well remember the first unmistakable sign that things were slipping away too quickly to notice. We had a tree stump in the backyard that had to be removed. So, manly man that I used to be, I buttoned up my sleeves, pulled on a pair of gloves, policed up a long crowbar and a rock to serve as a fulcrum, and set out to show that stump who was who. I got the bar lodged underneath the stump, pushed down with all my might, and…the stump refused to budge. I grunted and groaned, kick and cussed for about twenty minutes, unwilling to accept my ignominy. Fortunately, my nephew dropped by and, seeing that I was in great distress, offered to help. Now Nate is a giant of a man and a kill trained Marine who’d served three tours in Iraq, so I figured he’d just add his muscle to mine. Instead, he wrapped his arms around the stump, let out a groan, and pulled it up roots and all.

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Renovation: A Personal Work-in-Progress

 

I’ve never related to people who want to makeover their bodies: tummy tucks, eye lifts, nose jobs, face lifts, liposuction, and other miscellaneous alterations to the body. I’m certainly not against physical beauty, or even using make-up to enhance whatever attributes nature has given me. But when women say things like, “It makes me feel better about myself” or “I feel like a more complete person.” I have one response: “Really? That’s all it takes?”

We live in a society that thrives on the superficial and elevates those people who are willing to spend thousands of dollars to improve their looks. Some people will say, “Doesn’t she look great?” or “She looks half her age!”

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Restoring a Shipwreck

 

So you have a home restoration project and you think you have troubles? Consider the plight of the marine archaeologist, who has discovered a historically-significant wreck and has to decide whether and how to restore it.

Start at the beginning. You have found a wreck – a historically significant one. A lot of shipwrecks discovered in the Gulf of Mexico are found when a site survey for a planned oil well is done. Alternatively, it was found because a historic wreck was suspected to be in the area, and scanning of the ocean bottom was done. Either way, your wreck is under water. In fact, much of what remains is under the sea bottom by the time you find it. What does it look like?

Figure 1: Remote Sensing Survey Results

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Unexpected renovation; or, a return to writing

 

You might think that starting this off in the obtuse poetry of a balding and portly 20th century academic is a little strange, and you’d probably be right. Wally Stevens can’t compete for notoriety against the likes of Lemmy Kilmister, Jeff Chaucer or Steve Harris, and as for me let’s face it, outside of my […]

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“Must See” Movie: Peter Jackson vs. Ken Burns

 

https://static.wirtualnemedia.pl/media/top/Peter-Jackson-They-Shall-Not-Grow-Old.jpgMany thanks to Ricochet member @ejhill for alerting us in advance, from Britain, to the December US Fathom event showings of Peter Jackson’s World War I Centennial documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. His review put the film on my “must see” list, @she provided a helpful reminder to the community on the first day of the December showings, and @eb provided a brief review. Viewing the film in 2D (it is also available in 3D) prompted reflections on renovation and invited contrast with other war documentaries. Ken Burns’ Vietnam War PBS series especially came to mind, starkly contrasting with Peter Jackson’s big screen documentary.

I respect EJ Hill’s technical assessment but have a slightly different view. Viewing the entire film in 2D, I cannot comment on any 3D issues. Aside from that disclaimer, I wholly endorse Peter Jackson’s vision and technical decisions. If you were turned off by Mortal Engines or soured at some point in the six episode Middle Earth franchise, know that all that money and technical talent has been harnessed to faithfully bring to life the Great War that was said to have inspired Tolkein’s stories.

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The Renovated Man

 

I am born anew of Spirit. Each day I am made new again, and I learn the lessons that are before me easily.

Children learn rapidly. They are sponges of information absorption. They have not yet filled their heads with nonsense that prevents learning. Indeed, we sometimes fear they will learn the wrong things, which has led to the adage, “Little pitchers have big ears.” Our capacity to learn has not diminished from the day we were born.

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January Group Writing: Renovation

 

There are two major monthly Group Writing projects. One is the Quote of the Day project, managed by @vectorman. This is the other project, in which Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with […]

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