Monday, March 26, 2012


So if you had a choice would you prefer a puncture wound from a dog bite or a smashed nail from a log?

How about both, one on each hand. On the other hand how about some plain old rotting skin.

Healing up nicely.
Fine now but we all know what's to come, or should I say come off. 
Speaking of coming off. Tender for sure. Hard to explain this one. Have had it on this hand a couple times but never the right hand.
 Enough of my hands, now lets move on to more exciting projects

 Today I will dry tamp one more layer of  Topping mix, wait 28 days and then tile.
Here is a tile tub surround I did for a neighbor.
A bathroom remodel and another site built shower. Yep thats me.
Waiting on the shower rod.
This was a tricky tile pattern.

So, time to get outside and get to work!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Yes it's cramped, but well organized, for me anyway. No one else could ever find anything, but I can. It's my job.

Nut's, bolts and hardware
Glues, Tapes and driver bit collection
Not Satomi
Over 60 different containers of tools and supplies and a cord for every need
Gray, blue and red 
110 volt cords
220 volt cords and 3 tool bucket totes for the little ones and a peak into the back room
Phone and receptacle center up to 50 amp 220. Electric water heater for the shops radiant floor tubing. Someday this system will be replaced with a more efficient heat source. For now my shop stays cold in the winter.


So if you are following with my my train of thought, today was my day off. I do not know how to sit still. Especially when there is always so much to do. So on my day off I decided to clean up my shop, again. Shop cleaning and organizing is an ongoing process, it just depends on the level of messiness. The worst messes are after wrapping up a remodel job and all my tools come back home. Like today.

A nice feature at my shop is the concrete floors and all my major tools and toys are on wheels. With everything out I can concentrate on clearing off all the work benches and returning "stuff" back in place.

Start off with the Otis Golf Cart and my 1990 Harley
Front end tool boxes
Just waiting to go
Four saws and a welder
Two saws, one wood and one metal
Small Miller Wire Feed Welder
Table saw and a chop saw, the basics along with portable air

My next blog will show you the inside.


How could we not go for a ride today. Tee shirt weather and I told myself it was going to be a day off, working for others anyway.

It always amazing me how my Harley just sits in the garage under blankets for 10 months with just the Battery Tender plugged in and it fires right up. A little dusting, a few pounds of air in the tires, a simple safety check and good to go.

Which we did, 9 miles up scenic HWY 152 to the Emory Pass Vista. On the way back down only one goof in a pickup crossed over the center line in front of us to park on our side of the road. I didn't flip him off but I did raise my arm in a questioning gesture.  Two miles down we saw a fresh empty Bud Light case on the side of the road that wasn't there on the ride up. I have a word for these type of people.......

My favorite Biker Babe

Always a looker. 1990 FSXTC
I've promised myself I will ride more often this year.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This project was over 19 years in waiting. 19 years ago I first went up and down what is simply called an Alternating Stairway. Other names include Ladder Stair, a Monk Staircase, a Ship Ladder, a Lapeyre Stair or more conventionally know as the Alternating-Tread Ladder Stair. Originally designed by Thomas Jefferson for I believe the Monticello House but I was never able to find a copy of his drawings. Still looking.

Today, after 10 days of waiting, I finally connected up with two neighbor guys and in less than 10 minutes our 265 pound stair was up and out of our way.

To celebrate I had two beers with dinner.

Now it's on to tiling our shower floor and installing two more earth floor sections. Not much left to do after that so it won't be long now and we can move in.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reward Meal

Or that's what my weight trainer calls it. After eating plain food all week I am allowed to relax a little bit and add some spice to my life. I started with a cold beer. Wow!, that was good. I also had two bowls of miso soup and fish from Japan with my salad.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Men in Black

It has been an interesting last few months. On might say a painful experience, a pain in the neck.

During the summer I hit my head and compressed my C5-C6 disc. A life changing experience. Short term, the last 6 months, has seen me grumpy due to all the inflammation in my neck and shoulders. No relief from Chiropractors. Massage therapy lasted an hour. More beer and Snickers.

Financial worry always come to mind when one is not working. What if I can't work doing what I love to do. I told myself stiff neck or not, come March, I'm going back to work. What else could I do. Some told me you just to have to deal with the pain.

I have given up Disc Golf and taken up weight training. I ask myself, did 35 years of the twisting motion do me in or just old age at 57. I now walk around conscientiously thinking about not hitting my head. A concept I will need to follow for the rest of my life along with staying in shape and watching my diet.

In once since I'm lucky, it could be worse. While the space between the joint is almost gone I have no nerve issues. My recent diet changes and exercise program feel like they are helping. I have seen a noticeable reduction in the inflammation. Most days it's gone although this morning being 63 degrees here in the office I feel a bit stiff. After this blogging I will do my exercises.

I had always hoped taking a vacation in January to visit my folks up in my home town of Seattle would give me the rest needed to heal me up. In one way it did but not how I had expected. More life changes. A new life in a gym or at least that was my personal trainer's wished.

Back in the early 90's I was having a back issue. Not sure how it happened but I joined Golds Gym and found Lee Ramos, an aspiring professional body builder and trainer. Lee did wonders for me and I had a pain free, competitive Disc Golf season and memorable carrier reaching a ranking of one of the top 100 in my division. Thanks Lee.

After 3 months in the gym with Lee

Days of wearing white

I had always kept my time with Lee in the back of my mind and thought how great it would be if I could bring him here to Kingston and train us all. I thought that maybe while is Seattle I would look him up again. You Tube was the answer.

Arm Training by Lee Ramos - YouTube - Lee Ramos Profile and Pics!

Lee was not easy to find. I stopped by the old Gold gym and they sent me to another gym. He was not there either and their referral also came up empty. Back on the web I found W8 Lift  W8LIFT Personal Training Studio  I sent the owner, Dave Brinkman, an email and a few days later I had a message in my in box, Tom, give me a call TeamLeeRamos

W8 Lift was only only 3 miles from my folks downtown Bellevue Apartment. I set up a consulting appointment with Lee at 9 am. Lee asked me to come back at 7 pm and we would begin. Begin what I asked? Circuit training. Huh? OK!

I borrowed a Nike outfit from my dad, Satomi the camera, and off we went.

Lee started me off with 10 minutes on the tread mill and then ran me through 90 minutes in the gym. How do I do that again? It all felt so foreign to me. I was clumsy and only using 5 pounds weights, gee, what a wimp.

Tread Mill

First Stretch

Second Stretch

Assisted Hamstring Stretch

Never in my life have I felt a stretch like this. Literally took my breath way. I thought Lee was going to ripe my muscle from my bones. He pushed harder. Ahhhh! Then he did the other leg. Ok now get on the floor and we re going to do your   Gluteus Maximus.

Ahhhh! stop, stop......
My breath returned again.

Actually when he was done my legs felt good. I don't think I would trust anyone else but Lee to do these kind of moves on me.

So now it's on to the flat bench and leg lifts to work the abs and back

Another Abs routine
From here we moved over to the Incline Bench for a series of dumbell routines to work the arms and shoulders. Head back looking up. Lee's method here was to give my neck support while doing the moves. This head postion is also part of the new techniques being used. For me to isolate the specific muscle being worked along with something I didn't quite grasp about nerves. A clarification question I will have to ask.

Side Dumbbell Raises, 3 reps of ten

Tom, stop here

Working the Biceps

I think this is called a Front Dumb Bell Press for the shoulders

I had hoped Satomi could have documented all the moves and routines to help me remember them all but earlier in the day I had been messing with the camera settings and we were moving through them so quickly that she was only able to document a portion of them. 

More Stretching

On to the legs
More legs
The Triceps
And last, the Lat Pull Down machine.

Without a gym in Kingston it is up to me. I will fill you in more in a future post.