ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
Jason
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:20 am

Funny. But it makes one think how 538 turns to 666 real fast.

I agree though. With topics like fire trucks, ghosts and licking, this is turning into the most popular ERE blog, so don't ruin it with discussions on politics and Nate "Why I should be commended for having Trump chance's of winning the election higher than everyone else who predicted a Clinton landslide" Silver.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:01 am

I'm done. I don't know what came over me. Back to regular programming.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:17 am

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Who is this fine looking man you might ask? Why it's Don Carlos Buell of course. https://www.civilwar.org/learn/biograph ... rlos-buell

I went hiking yesterday at a civil war battlefield (Perryville) and I'm guessing they were cleaning out one of their barns and all of this is trash. The house in the background (minus the vinyl siding ;) ) was actually standing at the time of the battle in 1862 and served as a temporary hospital. It still surprises me that we actually had a civil war for some reason although I don't know why it should.

My goal is to have the remodel done by Thanksgiving as I have family coming over. I'm close, with the fireplace being the last major hurdle. I really liked this picture off of pinterest:

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And so I've tried to replicate it. I still have to build the supports for the mantle and obviously paint it. A buddy of mine did the stone and tile work and that will soon be done also once we grout the tile and finish the stone at the bottom. Close, close, close!

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ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:11 pm

I am so close to finishing my living room but external events keep pulling me away. I've got a large group of people coming for Thanksgiving and I don't want to be working on this thing up until the last minute but it may happen. I literally have to finish the mantle and that's it but I just can't seem to get back to it.

My latest diversion is building a small deck with my carpenter buddy for a hot tub. It's pretty simple and we just have to build a fence around it tomorrow to complete it. We poured the footers on Saturday and built the deck today and you'll notice how beefy the floor joists are to support the weight of the hot tub. Normally I wouldn't show such a simple project but several of you asked to see and I am happy to oblige:

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ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:56 pm

Finished today with the privacy fence. We were able to utilize the fence section that had spanned the corner to the house so that saved on material. Pictures tell the tale:

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For reference, it took two of us 15 hours to do everything over three days.

halfmoon
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:20 pm

Thank you for the deck tutorial! It looks so neat and simple; now I'm thinking that DH and I could do this ourselves next summer if things look up. What do you plan to use for preserving the deck and fence?

Also: the fireplace is gorgeous. How do you manage to have such a talented buddy network? Of course, they're lucky to have your skills too. Somehow I feel that this harks back to the ERE philosophy. 8-)

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:19 pm

I think the client is going to stain and seal it to match the fence. That's their responsibility, we're done. ;)

You guys could totally do it, I've seen your work. As long as you can read a tape measure, know how to figure square, and know how to determine plumb and level, you're golden. I hope I'm taking some of the mystery out of construction.

If you are ever looking for talent in the trades, go visit a fire station. Seriously. Most firemen have side gigs or come from blue collar background . If they can't help you, they'll probably know someone who can. Yep, my tile guy is a fireman. ;)

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:22 am

Started bottling today and as I'll be doing about 55 to 60 bottles, I'll be doing this in stages. As Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I'll have a bunch of family coming in, I need to do a batch or two of this so I can give it away. Ironically, I don't even like wine that much but it's a fun challenge and again, bottles of wine make great gifts.

The red wine is a little thin unfortunately, but still quite drinkable. The white tastes much better. I've also got 5 gallons of pear wine to bottle up and I'm curious to see if people like it.

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:32 am

Pear wine sounds great! Does it taste like pears? I know that sounds like a stupid question, but I've had some dry fruit wines that didn't taste fruity to me.

Ever think of making brandy? DH set up a still years ago and made apricot brandy. The distilling happened before I met him, but I did help him drink it. :D

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:57 pm

@halfmoon

I bottled another fifteen bottles of the white today. The pear wine to me tastes a little weak on flavor unfortunately, which is bad since I made 5 gallons of it. So my plan is to have everyone taste it on Thanksgiving and if they like it I'll bottle as much as they want for Christmas. If they don't like it and if I don't suddenly grow a taste for it then it's going down the drain. :(

No I haven't tried making brandy. I've had good success with beer and white wine so far so I may try to fine-tune those preferences before I branch out too far. I was disappointed with the red and pear wine this go around.



Well it has finally happened. I finished my remodel I started in January:

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My goal was to finish before Thanksgiving and thank goodness I've done it. I am ready for a break, both financially and labor-wise from the remodeling business for a while. I'm happy with the way it turned out and tomorrow I'll put the furniture back into place which is pretty damn exciting. Good times.

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The last piece of the puzzle was the fireplace. I finished grouting the tile yesterday which was the final step before completion. Here is a picture of the mantle that I was basically copying:

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And my version. I built the little table next to it to hold the receiver and dvd player for my television.

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While I was building the mantle it occurred to me that I could incorporate a hidden compartment. As I needed a place to hide my gold and precious jewels :lol: I thought this would be fun. So what do you guys think?

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Don't worry, the gun and money are fake. Haha. The crown molding stays in place with magnets and a pin system. We'll see if anybody notices on Thanksgiving but I seriously doubt they will. I feel so mysterious. :D

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:22 pm

ffj wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:57 pm
While I was building the mantle it occurred to me that I could incorporate a hidden compartment. As I needed a place to hide my gold and precious jewels I thought this would be fun. So what do you guys think?
I think I need your address. You know, for census purposes. :P

Seriously, your remodel job is outstanding! I really like the color of the walls against the white moulding and the floors. Dang.

If the pear wine is weak on flavor, it sounds like a great candidate for the concentration of distilling. Just sayin'.

SavingWithBabies
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Location: Midwest, USA

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:08 pm

Wow! That looks amazing. It must be satisfying to complete that.

I'm guessing that small table will blend in more when you have furniture in the room but you might consider a wall mount receiver shelf. They aren't very expensive and it keeps the receiver up off the floor. I mean something like this (not sure if I like this one or not but you get the idea):

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017JVEYO0/re ... =hyprod-20

I suggest this without having tried one -- just always liked the idea.

ffj
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:48 am

@halfmoon, Saving

Thanks for the compliments. As I am partially color blind you can thank my wife for any pleasing color combinations. That is her job in this relationship. :D

I'm going to set up the t.v. and receiver as well as the speakers and subwoofer today. If that table doesn't work quite right I will definitely keep the suggestion for a wall mount in mind. I am trying very hard not to let the television and all of its accoutrements dominate the room.

Hmmm, I wonder what distilled pear wine would taste like? Maybe it's time to build a stovetop distiller. Haha

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:03 pm

Had a fun little project today. During the colder months I do a lot of hiking for several reasons. First, unless it is below zero, I can dress according to the weather and still be relatively comfortable, secondly, no ticks or chiggers, and thirdly and probably most importantly, very few people get on the trails when it is cold or rainy and I like having vast swaths of real estate to myself. It's so much easier to see wildlife too.

I also like to sit and ponder and one of the parks I go to doesn't have a whole lot of places to sit comfortably so I sneaked a bench someone gave me onto the property a couple of years ago as an experiment to see what would happen. Lo and behold, and I'm guessing because I had to carry this thing a mile the park service and everybody else has left it alone. So.... today I thought I would press my luck.

I acquired this pile of old fencing for free and I thought I would put it to good use.

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There is a new pond on the park property and I thought it needed a place to sit so I can think deep thoughts while I pet my dog. ;) It took me a couple of hours to build and it might get taken away but other than my labor and some screws lying around it was free so we'll see what happens. It looks out of proportion because it is, haha, no design awards here, but it's really comfortable. I think it's heavy enough that nobody is going to pack this thing away willingly. :D

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And here is what I get to see everyday when I go hiking. Deer really are beautiful animals.

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:38 am

I find it so cool that you're committing stealthy acts of improvement to public lands. 8-)

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:28 pm

It's really more for me to be honest. :)

But if others get something out of it, then that's great too. I use this place a lot because I can let my dog run free and I don't have to worry about other people or dogs or cars that might run over him. There are so few people that use this place even in good weather I rarely encounter others as long as I stay on the trails and go where cars can't. It kind of reminds me of the Great Smokey Mountains which is the most visited national park in the United States. One mile on almost any trail and you've lost about 98% of anyone who is in the park at any given time. Two miles down the trail and the place is yours.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:47 pm

It's been a really dreary and windy and rainy day here on Christmas Eve. We have the day off, as we traveled yesterday for one side of the family and tomorrow we travel again for the other side and Tuesday we travel once again for another smaller get-together. Yesterday involved my family and while we were all sitting around after a large meal and exchanging of gifts I happened to spy this old cookbook.

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This is my mother's cookbook which was a wedding gift in 1962. What was interesting about it is that all of the recipes are all really simple, with all basic ingredients. Also, everything is explained really well as far as spices, basic definitions, measurements, etc. It's kind of refreshing really. I like the layouts too.

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I joked that I was going to cook every recipe in the book and in fact I did make a meatloaf from it tonight. However, for some reason they had some kind of fascination with gelatin back then and here is a recipe that just baffles me. I mean, who would eat this? Perfection indeed. :D

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There was another thread about growing gardens for free in which I responded that no such thing existed. :) And today kind of emphasized that with a major score in compost. There is a horse training facility near my home and I've been watching what they've been doing with all the stuff (hay and poop) that comes out of the stalls when they clean them. I stopped by the other day and asked about getting some of it and the guy running the place was very gracious and offered me the finished compost for free! That really surprised me so after getting a couple of trailer loads today I gave him some homemade beer and Christmas candy. Look at this stuff, it's like gold for a garden.

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I spread it on my garden around the chicken tractor. Every week or so I move the chickens so they can poop and dig in a new spot. In the spring I'll get rid of them when I'm ready to till the garden up, and the cage that holds them will be made into a 40 foot fence to hold climbing plants and support others like tomatoes. I tried really hard to find a used dog kennel for cheap but it just didn't happen so I had to buy a new one, which I considered a fail but it should last me a long time with care.

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Did anyone notice the dog on top of the compost pile? That little guy was a hoot and fast as lightening. He's the horse trainers dog and I'm assuming he's a Australian Shepard or a mix of one.

halfmoon
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:57 pm

ffj wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:47 pm
However, for some reason they had some kind of fascination with gelatin back then and here is a recipe that just baffles me. I mean, who would eat this? Perfection indeed.
Obviously your mother never belonged to a rural Pennsylvania garden club. :P Mine was a garden club president, and I was dragged as a preschooler to an endless round of ladies' luncheons that ALL starred Jello. Jello with carrots, celery, marshmallows, olives, pineapple, green beans, mandarin oranges, cottage cheese...and let us never forget the dreaded Tomato Aspic of Doom. Get thee behind me, Better Homes and Gardens. :evil:

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:19 am

Haha, oh I remember the multiple times my mother made Jello and bananas, which as a kid really wasn't too bad but there is no way I would even make Jello today. It's such an odd product. But come on, what child wouldn't love Jello and celery with green beans? :D

I googled tomato aspic, holy shit that looks disgusting. Thankfully we never suffered that atrocity as kids. My condolences. ;)

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:49 am

This Jell-O exchange led me to wikipedia because I never considered exactly what it is. After reading the article, I still kind of don't. It's a jelly so its like the same substance that a doctor or a considerate sex partner will use before sticking their finger up your ass (at least the ones I know). Apparently the first Jell-O patent was taken out by the inventor of the steam locomotive which might be a useful FYI to all the Jeopardy people on board.

It just leads one to the inevitable conclusion, that the human race, at its core, is fucking insane. I mean the idea of dedicating well over a hundred years of scientific and manufacturing resources in order to mass produce a food product that replicates in appearance, taste and constitution something that you could picture coming out of an extra terrestrial's anus just about sums up what we dedicate ourselves to around here.

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