Noise, Noise, Noise In The Attic

My tribute to Aerosmith.

Today’s Daily Challenge
Stand at arm’s length from a table or desk, put hands down, and push down as you bend your elbows.

These desk push-ups give a good stretch to the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back. They can also help to develop strength in your arms as you use them to propel your upper body down and back! Bonus: This challenge gives your heart rate a little boost, so it feels rejuvenating, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time.

I may try this later.

Today starts my seventy-millionth (margin of error 100%) at getting my weight down to where I want it to be.

Saturday, Frustrating Saturday
My Friday evening was uneventful because my Friday afternoon was one of little comfort so all I did was take MARTA back to my car, drive straight home, and spend the rest of the night there.

Because of this I was “well rested” (as close to that as I get these days) and awake early. “What should I do on the what will probably be the only nice day of the weekend?” I thought aloud.

Nothing thrilling came to mind.

Have I mentioned that I need a Life Reboot recently?

I kicked around the house all morning until my frustration level and hunger reached a peak and I left the house desiring a good lunch.

As I drove all over Man’s Creation I settled, boy did I ever settle, for some fair Chinese food. Still not having “A Plan” I thought about driving home and then taking the mountain bike out for an urban exploration.

And then I got home and was tired. I laid on my bed and before I knew it I was taking a nap.

I awoke from my nap certain I was hearing noises in the attic, but it was afternoon, nothing is usually up there at that time. I convinced myself I was hearing my neighbor do work in her driveway. I was wrong.

Now absolutely certain I heard noise coming from the attic I popped up there, and sure as shit when I swung the work lights to my left I saw a squirrel.


But what could I do? My attic is no way or shape the place a human can chase vermin, so I yelled at the top of my lungs, scaring it to a hiding place.

My next trip that day was to Lowe’s to buy some Great Stuff to fill the holes through which I am certain these creatures are coming and going, and to look for any sort of Miracle Elixir to deter animals from making my attic their pad.

Sunday, Somewhat Productive Sunday
As I talked to my mother on the phone I watched squirrels jumping from my neighbor’s sweetgum tree to my oak tree. I need to hire professional tree people to take this pathway down (this is not for the amateur as these limbs are quite high). Fear not amateur chainsaw wielders, there is plenty of work in the back yard, I can certainly have a Chainsaw Party sometime this winter.

After hanging up I went up on my roof with my pole saw and took down a large branch from that oak tree (one that I could fairly safely take down as I stood on my roof) to remove a convenient jumping on/off point. This led me to doing some more bush tree trimming making two large piles on the street for the City to take away.

I found a nice woman’s sweater on the street in front of my house yesterday. I hung it on my mailbox all day hoping the owner would return. She did not.

After relaxing a bit it was time to go back up to the attic to spread the Miracle Elixir once I was certain I would have a close encounter with a squirrel. Even on a mild day the attic was warm, so much so that I had a hard time spreading the Miracle Elixir and forgot to spread it everywhere.

While up there I saw where the squirrels had defeated my steel wool barrier by pushing it straight into the attic. This infuriated me to the point where I went outside with my ladder and attempted to plug the holes with Great Stuff. I was only mildly successful.

Oh yeah, along with the proliferation of turd I found another “gift” in the attic yesterday. I vaguely remember a day over the summer where I thought that I had smelled death. I was right! Apparently one of the attic shitters ate where it shits because as you can see below it noshed on some of the poison I put up there earlier in the year. I am assuming the skeleton below is that of a rat since I am told that squirrels will avoid eating indoors.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Skeleton Crew”
Skeleton Crew
Taken with my little Nikon 1 V1. This camera works fairly well.

The Times They Have Changed
Along with the work light my attic has held a radio since I first started my insulation replacement project nine years ago (shit, has it really been that long since Jeannie left me?). Back then I tuned the radio to 96.1 (96 Rock) to entertain myself as I replaced shit-riddled blown-in insulation with nice, clean, fiberglass insulation.

When I turned the radio on to scare the squirrel I heard nothing but shit emanating from the radio (Robin Thicke? Miley Cirus?). Ugh. 96 “Rock” no more.

Now get out of my attic and off my lawn!

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed
One of my coworkers went on vacation last week but her car wouldn’t start so she left it at the office. My boss volunteered to try to start the car and take it to get a new battery for her (these are people in my work drinking group) so I volunteered to meet him at the office and “help” (in quotes since I am no mechanic). I needed an excuse to get out of the house after a long day of chores.

We jumped the car and took it to a local Napa Auto Parts to get the battery replaced. With success under our belts we celebrated by going to a sports bar, Firebird (now officially renamed “The Bird”) where we watched football, baseball, and hockey as we drank beer and ate chicken wings. By the time we left it was pissing down rain and I made the slow drive home where I passed out well before 10pm.

And For The Twelfth Time
I will be making my twelfth call to my insurance company in order to settle this medical lab billing fiasco.

According to my insurance preventative medical visits to doctors in their network the patient’s responsibility is 0% of the cost. For the past ten months I have been receiving a bill from the medical lab saying that I owe them $450. Each time I received a bill I’d call the insurance company and ask them to fix this.

The past bill, and accompanying robocalls, have informed me that the insurance company has settled, and that I still owe them $450. What part of “patient responsibly 0%” adds up to $450? Is this the “new math?”

Today’s call will be a conference call between myself, hopefully my HR Rep, the insurance company, and the medical lab in order to settle this bullshit once and for all.

I Am Full Of Fail
I am wearing my green Chucks but forgot to bring my replica Wayne Chrebet NY Jets jersey with me to work. I assume that I’ll find my way to a sports bar tonight to watch a bit of the game before heading home.

Stupid 8:40pm start! Last night there were two NFL games, one that started around 8pm for the East Coast and one that started around 11:30pm for the West Coast. This is what should happen on Monday night because starting the game at 8:40pm screws us East Coasters.

Today’s Personal Project
Get some exercise. Watch the Jets win. Get a good night of sleep.

At best I am guessing that only one of those comes true.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – Tired, fat, feeling that my eyesight is getting progressively worse.
Current Music – Silence at the moment. I think I shall change that directly. I am now listening to a KEXP “Music That Matters” podcast.
Website Of The Day – Once my insurance fiasco is over at least one of the two companies with whom I’ve been dealing will be reported to the Better Business Bureau. I am certain that this will do nothing but give me some satisfaction, but it must be done.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – “nothing” — I did a bunch of yard work yesterday which was certainly hard work
Morning Weigh-In – 213 pounds (October 1). I’m mad because I forgot to check again this morning (I am certain that I did not lose weight, in fact I probably added a pound or two this past week) so I’ve created an OmniFocus reminder to weigh myself on Mondays and Fridays.

Foot Mileage – 0.0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0.0 miles
Gym Visits – 0 (0 cardio)

Days Of Bed-Making – 0

Vegetarian Meals – 6
Carnivorous Meals – 9

Marta Rides To Work – 2
Bike Rides To Work – 0

October Goals
– clean my basement to the point where I could have people over
– hire a plumber to replace my malfunctioning faucets
– submit to important documents, neither of which I can talk about at this time
– walk no fewer than 75 miles

2013 Goals: Measurable
– Get my weight down to 190 pounds so that I can wear a 36″ waist pants comfortably
– Completely read ten books, audio books permissible
– Dissolve Sharpened Stone
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Completely run at least one 10k
– Fix all (or at least most) of the things which are wrong with the ITP Estate

2013 Goals: Unmeasurable
– Simplify, simplify, simplify
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions
– Start, and continue, to make my own bread using my bread machine as well as using the technique outlined in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
– Read and discard magazines during the month in which they arrive (even digitally)
– Take two real vacations, perhaps one abroad
– Take a more proactive approach to meeting women (read “stop being such a pussy”)

Books I’ve Read/Heard In 2013

  1. Pages 1.7 for iPad (Timestompers Guide) — by Sean Wells
  2. 60 Mountain Lion Tips — by David Sparks and Brett Terpstra
  3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business — by Charles Duhigg
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy — by Douglas Adams
  5. Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness — by CC Chapman
  6. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love — by Cal Newport
  7. Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life — by Steve Martin
  8. Who Am I: A Memoir — by Pete Townshend

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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18 Responses to Noise, Noise, Noise In The Attic

  1. Debbie says:

    I think there are record number of uses of the word shit in today’s post. Your repertoire of curse words isn’t lacking so perhaps it was just the word of the weekend! 😉

    Not quite sure where our weekend went. We went to my niece’s outdoor wedding on Saturday… at 5… when it was 87 degrees. It was a lovely event, but damn it was hot. My sister and niece requested that we stay until 8, we were providing transportation for the grandparents, but said grandparents were ready to blow the pop stand at 7. Who were we to argue with our elders??

    Yesterday Steve was at the office all afternoon and I was home with a migraine (it was back this morning, damn cold front). I rallied enough to play my pretty pony and then cook up a big pot of jambalaya.

  2. Steve says:

    What WHAT?? Debbie is on the blog before me. Would someone kindly check to see if the earth is still spinning on its axis?

    The weddin’ was quite lovely, a shade warm, but at a lovely location- on a deck overlooking a “lake”. (note to Barb and Allan- a lake would make the garage-majal even more scenic). I was not sad to leave before the wild partying of the young-uns made me feel old. I believe a requirement of the bridesmaids was at least half of the skin showing had to be tattooed. Charming. But I’m sure I was one of the few in the crowd enjoying the music playing during dinner- lots of Frank and Satchmo.

    Yesterday should have been a fairly quick jaunt to the office, but the proposed start time of 14:00 became 15:30. Since I arrived at noon to do the prep, I had plenty of time for other end of quarter paperwork.

    And homemade jambalya last night was excellante!


  3. Barb says:

    nice pic!

    it was an interesting weekend. I got a Fitbit from the inlaws as an early Christmas present friday night – couldn’t get the software to load on the old compters at the house. But – it did work on Allan’s laptop saturday. Just a new toy to play with, but at leaat it helps me to know when I’m being lazy.

    We went mtn biking at Chicopee Saturday with Michele & Drew, they have PLENTY to do before he starts the new job in November. If you haven’t heard the saga of Drew’s new car, ask him about it. The VW dealership people are being assholes, they are going to have to file a lemon law lawsuit against them.

    A lovely venison dinner Saturday night on the deck with an almost surprise appearance of Mango & Kat, I think there is going to be a bike maintenance night Wed. at Mango’s.

    Sunday was floor tile day for the mud room. I got to help, this is the first time I’ve actually been home & no one else available to help. It wasn’t that bad, but I gotta tell you, 20 x 20 tile is heavy, it was an exhausting afternoon. I think I will select smaller tile if I ever get to help again.

    White chicken chili was the call for dinner last night, plenty of leftovers, and I will be it will get a little hotter each day.

  4. Barb says:

    OH yeah – and GO FALCONS tonight!

  5. @barb : BOOOO! HISSS!

    Well, I just got off the phone with insurance and lab companies and am being told that the matter is handled. I’ll believe it when I stop getting bills and phone calls threatening to send me to collections.

    I almost ordered a Fitbit Flex(?) from Amazon over the weekend. I can’t recall why I didn’t.

  6. Martha says:

    I did lots of yard work this weekend. I’ve been using a rope saw for some of the higher limbs, there is a bit of a learning curve but once your get the technique down things go pretty quick. Now I’ve got a ton of limbs to get out front.

    We hit Taste of EAV for a bit on Saturday, but instead of tasting, we hit Argosy for a late lunch/early dinner. I had the plancha burger that everyone raves about…it was good but I didn’t think it was anything special (the 50/50 burger at The Drafting Table is much better). I didn’t care for the bun…too soft, like wonder bread. We where going to check out Flux but I did a number on my back at some point so we just went home.

    We checked out the Cyclocross at Grant Park yesterday, saw CMB and Coach both riding with the Cat 4s…they both looked great. Then we stop in at the Drafting Table to watch the end of both the Bengals and Colts…

    Only 5 hours until closing…no delays yet (but I’m not holding my breath)…

  7. Barb says:

    yes, I got the Flex (its a wristband & waterproof, I think I’d lose the other kind).

    Keeping our fingers crossed for you Martha!

    Bengals game and a nice ending for Jerry…… I don’t know what the Colts did.

  8. Martha says:

    Seattle was undefeated… they played the Colts…Seattle is no longer undefeated!!

  9. Steve says:

    Martha, what is a plancha burger? And a cable saw? The only thing I can think of is the little thing I used to take camping with a ring on both ends you put your thumbs through…

    I did want to swing by the CX yesterday, especially since I was intown, but it was not to be. Maybe I’ll race Serenbe!! That could be fun.

  10. I’ve had good luck with my pole saw though I did get it stuck for a little while yesterday and feared that I wouldn’t be able to get it out.

    I like the Plancha Burger but don’t understand why everyone raves about it. Sure it’s good, but…

    I thought about Taste of EAV but after my lunch there was no way that I was going to be able to eat again on Saturday afternoon.

    Jeez, I just thought about three things I meant to mention in today’s blog post. I’ll mention one here and save two for tomorrow — I made French Toast yesterday! It was far from the best French Toast that I’ve ever made (I whipped the batter up w/o a recipe) but it did use up the last of the eggs and bread that I had laying around.

  11. Martha says:

    I have no idea what a plancha burger is…tasted like a regular old hamburger to me??

    Maybe I’m not using the right term…it’s like a chain saw blade with ropes on both ends. You throw one end over the limb then just start pulling! So I guess just a bigger version of your camping tool.

    I the chain got stuck for a bit yesterday… after a little bit of tugging I threw another rope over the limb and waited for Jerry to get home to help…but the limb ended up falling under its own weight before that happened. Now I need to get out there with the chain saw and break up the larger ones.

  12. Ah, I see. My pole saw is a long, telescoping pole with a curved saw blade (like a sickle) and it has a rope with a handle that you can use to prune smaller branches as well.

  13. Steve says:

    Martha, are you trying to use this saw alone? It’s a 2 person device (now that I understand what you’re talking about).

    I’m still fighting the good fight with my chain saw. I’ve had a little improvement, after adding, as the Car Talk guys would say, something with “Miracle” on the bottle!

  14. Jenka says:

    It’s times like this when I really wish I had a TV. With both the Red Sox and the Braves in the playoffs, I’ve spent more money at sports bars this weekend than it would probably cost to buy a TV. And I don’t really want to go to a sports bar tonight but the Red Sox are playing at 6:00! My liver and bank account can have a rest after the World Series. I’m sorry, I meant to say, my liver and bank account can have a rest after the RED SOX WIN the World Series.

    I ate the krap outta a plancha burger last month. Dang.

    Missed you all at Atlanta Streets Alive yesterday. For such bike-y people you all didn’t even show up! It was fun! I took my first spill, turned left in front of a guy and we crashed into each other. Because I’m an idiot. Got some fairly significant road rash but the piece de resistance is a MAGNIFICENT black ‘n’ blue on my ass. It’s splendid. I’ve never had a bruise of this grandeur! Martha, your bike is fine. Wish I could say the same for myself. Heh!

  15. Barb says:

    Jenka – Streets Alive would have been way more fun than putting down floor time….. I wish we could have gone to that.
    I don’t know where they advertise it, but I didn’t even hear about it until Saturday.
    bummer about the bruises & road rash…..

  16. Steve says:

    Had I given the whole “Sunday work schedule” a little more thought, and had the idiot decided before I was already on the way in” I’m not sure we need to upgrade that piece”, I could have been a part of it.

    Ahhh road rash. Been there, done that.

  17. bob says:

    We were at streets alive, what a great thing Atlanta has. Proof that if you build it people will come, and they did by the thousands!

    Did the cyclocross race in Grant park before streets alive, a week of drinking in Vegas is NOT good training for a race. I think I still finished mid pack but damn it was tough.

    I’m surprised Travis doesn’t have road rash, he took a couple diggers on Sunday. One was spectacular too, hit a curb and went flying over the bars. Tough kid, after a little break got back on the bike and was jumping off curbs again. Good times.

  18. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    I must have missed the invite.

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