A Whirlwind Windy Weekend

Even though the weekend didn’t go exactly to plan (see also: I didn’t make it either the Hash Christmas party nor the Gingerbread Trailer competition at the Yacht Club on Saturday night), I had a fairly activity-packed couple of days.

What Would Happen…
…if you were to arrange a charity even and no one showed?

There were five portrait stations set up for Saturday’s Help Portrait event. We were told that twenty-five families has signed up to have their portrait taken and get a framed 8″x10″ print, for free. I’m not sure how many of those twenty-five families showed, but I know that our station had only one so I’m guessing the number was nowhere near twenty-five. WTF. I doubt seriously that I will volunteer again for Help Portrait, at least not with the Roswell group. While I certainly made the best of my day, including the four hours I stood around with friends, I don’t consider it the best use of a Saturday.

ITP Flickr Pic
This is what you can get by waking up early and getting a bit lucky.
Worth Getting Up Early
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have some photo editing skills either. 😉

This was taken at daybreak on Saturday morning, before eating a fantastic breakfast at the Thumbs Up Diner in Roswell, and before heading to the Roswell Visual Arts Center for the Help Portrait fiasco.

Thermostats: Easy To Replace — In Theory
After Help Portrait I returned home to install the new programmable thermostat I purchased at lunch on Friday. In an attempt to ease the pain of replacement I had purchased a Hunter thermostat to replace the Hunter thermostat that’s been in the house since I purchased it in 1999.

The first hurdle was figuring out how to shut off the power to the thermostat. After trying three or four circuit breakers which seemed logical, I played a wild card and cut the switch that is connected to the furnace — bullseye.

The old unit came off the wall nicely (after taking a photo to guarantee that I correctly remembered that the red wire went to the red terminal, the green went to green, etc) and I was set to install my first thermostat. And then there were problems.

First, the new Hunter thermostat doesn’t have four, logically labeled terminals. Instead this unit can handle a heat pump as well, so the manual described how to hook up any system from two to five wires. And, unlike the old thermostat where the terminals were labeled “RED,” “GREEN,” “YELLOW,” “WHITE” the new terminals were labeled “G,” “Rc,” “Rh,” “W/B,”, “Y/O”. Not wanting to fuck this up, or deal with the ramifications of fucking this up, I studied the differences in detail.

After convincing myself that I understood the proper connections, I then had to figure out how I was going to stuff so much wire into a slender thermostat. The old Hunter thermostat was spacious compared to the new one.

With all of the wiring figured out, I then had to figure out how the new thermostat was going to attach to the wall because, why on Earth would the thermostat manufacturers not standardize their size or wall connection positions?

Replacing a thermostat is also a great way to see what colors used to be part of your house’s interior. I now know that my hallway was once white, and bright yellow, in addition to its current robin’s egg blue. And because of this, as well as the holes in the wall which are now evident because of the different shape of the new thermostat in comparison to the old one, I’ll be taking my handiwork apart off the wall so that I can patch and paint (the whole damn hallway most likely). The second install is always easier, right?

What’s It Like To Go Through Swamps In The Winter?
Were it not for the wind and the lack of warm air yesterday’s Black Sheep Hash would have been masterful. The trail had swamp, and brier, and swamp, and woods, and swamp, and, well, you get the idea. My only real beef with the trail was that I am too clumsy for my own good. After nearly busting ass numerous times I finally caught my food on a root/vine/evil leprechaun and was slammed to the ground, bruising my right elbow and shoulder. I also somehow managed to get a nice three-inch scratch above my left breast, while wearing two layers of shirts!

Believe it or not this was the second Black Sheep in a row after which I consumed no beer. I had one, most awesome and much needed cup of soup, and then one fairly warm Coke. After all the beer I drank last week I took Saturday and Sunday off as a recovery period.

RealiTV Update: And Then There Were Finally Three
You know there are spoilers, right?

Well, we’re coming close to the end of another season of The Amazing Race. I have to say that I am not displeased with the three remaining teams, though I have no clear favorite remaining either.

I took particular notice to the times each team was departing at the beginning of last night’s episode. An exact time was given for Team Hotre Dame, Team Home Shopping and Team Docs With Boxes, however when Team Tattoo left the graphic said “Last team to depart.”

I was really ticked off when it looked as if Team Tattoo’s six-hour penalty was going to be nullified by the wait for the earliest flight to Seoul. In fact, if all four teams had boarded that first flight I might be done with The Amazing Race forever — what’s the point of issuing a six-hour penalty if all teams are penalized by at least that much by having to wait for a flight? When Team Tattoo missed the first flight and was then forced to wait until the next day, I knew that justice was going to be served and the three teams that I wanted to be in the final leg would be.

I had a moment of concern when Team Home Shopping didn’t follow their instructions properly and wound up taking a cab to the skating rink instead of walking or taking the subway. At first I thought that they might have to go back and do that segment all over again, but then I realized that they’d only have to wait out a thirty minute penalty which wouldn’t allow Team Tattoo a chance to catch up. People, read you damn instructions thoroughly! At this point in the race it amazes me that people still gloss over their instructions.

With the exception of the head-band matching, this leg of the race seems like one that I would have thoroughly enjoyed — that white water rafting looked like a lot of fun and I would have liked to tried the speed skating. (After sitting around doing little at Help Portrait I think I know what it feels like to be the Detour that no one chooses.)

I will dole out a little credit to Team Tattoo. Even though they had no chance in hell of catching up to the other three teams it appeared as if they did all of the challenges this week, including the Speed Bump of washing a tank. Now she needs to dump that dude’s ass…

Next week we crown a new winner! Will it be the first all-female team? There is a 66.6% chance of that happening….

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – sore, meh, feeling I’ve set myself up for disappointment
Current Music – silence as I type
Website Of The Day – While waiting for families to arrive on Saturday I was introduced to Flickriver, a neat way to see photos from Flickr.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Sunday: hashing (~5.5 miles)
Morning Weigh-In – didn’t want to know
Pages Of 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die Read – 77

Foot Mileage – ~5.5 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 33 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Days – 1
Carnivorous Days – 4

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

December Goals
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run no fewer than 75 miles
– Prepare Sharpened Stone, LLC for 2011
– Lose two pounds
– Eat vegetarian at least one day a week
– A couple of secret goals which I will not divulge

2010 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 185 pounds (starting weight was 198 pounds) [update: On July 1 I’ve sadly gained weight; I’m at 203 pounds]
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Sharpened Stone.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Get the Black Sheep stats out of Excel and online, completed
Ride in no fewer than two 50 mile or 50K bike rides, completed
Complete my Taco Mac Passport requirement of 125 beers, completed

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in PHP and CSS Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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15 Responses to A Whirlwind Windy Weekend

  1. Barb says:

    We didn’t watch Amazing Race yet, but read what you wrote anyway, figuring if team Tattoo didn’t get booted I might give up as well.

    Going thru a swamp on a cold windy day, well, another reason why I rarely hash anymore. I am way too much of a wimp for that.

  2. Terri (SW) says:

    re: Amazing Race-

    a) When’s the finale?
    b) Wanna get together and watch it?
    c) Wanna place a bet on the winner (…and I hope to god it’s not Notre Demon)?

  3. Steve says:

    Nice pic! This was down at the river?

    Too many chores to complete yesterday to make it to BS, but it does sound like it was fun- except for the running and the swamp!!


  4. Terri,
    a) It appears to be on next Sunday, Dec 13th, at 8pm — depending on football
    b) Sounds great
    c) Sure! (btw – I completely forgot about our Amazing Race iTunes competition)

    Steve, thanks. There is a small parking lot on Willeo Rd at which I parked, walked down to the waterside and took the shot.

    View Larger Map

  5. Terri (SW) says:

    Okay…I’m all in for Team QVC.

  6. Terri, get together at my house or yours? Pizza? Beer?

  7. Terri (SW) says:

    Either way…I am going to work my butt off this week so I can go to Betsy’s Hog Mountain on Sunday.

  8. As much as I love Betsy I don’t think I’ll be at Hog Mountain. I’ll be in Marietta (Sandy Plains Rd) Saturday night for a party, and I’m traveling to California for a business trip on Tuesday. therefore I doubt that I’ll want to drive all the way to Braselton for a hash on Sunday.

    I’ll plan to watch Amazing Race at my house, and if you are up for coming over just let me know on Sunday.

  9. Stacy Fox says:

    Wait…whaaaa? Did I hear Amazing Race Finale viewing partay? 😀

    I actually like team QVC – they crack me up. That blonde is SO FUNNY. I keep thinking she’d be perfect for you if she only cut her hair.

  10. Stacy, you are welcome to come over to my place Sunday if you want. I’ll have football on all day, are the Packers on locally? What’s really funny about Sunday is that the hash will be (just) nine exits north of you, perhaps you’d rather go to it???

    I don’t know how well Brooke, or is she Claire, and I would get along. That is if I could keep up with her… 😉

  11. Stacy Fox says:

    Wait – the hash is WHERE? Hartwell? Or South Carolina? *grin* Otherwise no hash is ever north of me.

    Oh I’m totally game for coming by Sunday if you don’t mind! It’ll be like last year. 🙂 Do we want to do dinner?

    It’s Brooke and I only know that because she’s called Claire “Claire Bear” a few times. Which….yeah. Really may be a too bit peppy for you come to think of it….

  12. Seriously, the hash next Sunday is off exit 129 — Braselton. Come to think of it, I think the hares are staying in Hartwell the night before, perhaps *that’s* why Hog Mountain will be in Braselton on Sunday.

    Of course you are welcome to come to my house. Dinner is a great idea. I was thinking of making some pizza dough and we could make our own pies — or we can do anything else, doesn’t matter to me.

  13. Stacy Fox says:

    Fabulous! Count me in.

    Though, huh… maybe I’ll go bimbo me some Hog Mountain first? 😉

  14. Barb says:

    I may come watch with y’all too, maybe. I’ve been ITP a lot lately, gotta make sure my OTP card doesn’t get revoked. Allan is working Sunday.

  15. Terri (SW) says:

    My attendance is totally based on how much work I can get done. It’s the end of the semester and the grading is drowning me :(.

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