Thursday, September 30, 2010

Water damage update!

Not too bad, they fixed it ...for the most part. The pipe and the hole are patched up....but now there is still a rather unsightly blemish on the ceiling. So now I'm thinking it is up to Cheryl and me to get the paint and plaster up to par. The water rings are still there as well. So it may be off to the home improvement for some paint!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cupcakes and Damaged Ceilings.

My poor blog! I have been neglecting it for the past several days! However, there is a "somewhat" good reason. There simply has been little or nothing to blog about! Cheryl and I have been living our somewhat 'boring' lives trying to not rock the boat until our next project come back online. So basically, nothing exciting or "blog-worthy" has been happening for the last week or so. That is, however, until last night. It started out pretty cool: Cheryl made some cupcakes with a small silicone muffin tin. Pretty cool since you don't need any cupcake wrappers and can just pop them out naked...Ready to eat! The challenge was to make them 6 at a time because the "tin" can only make 6 and we only have one. Everything was going well, until Cheryl heard a dripping sound coming from the bathroom. It turns out that the minor discoloration above the shower was the upstairs neighbors bathroom drain leaking! Well last night was the sudden catastrophic failure of the coupling fixture and about 40 gallons of bathwater flooded down into our bathroom. The Play on words "Falling Apartments" comes to mind. The building is about 40-50 years old! Well, long story short, the landlord is over there right now repairing the damage as we sit in Panera sipping coffee and trying to stay out of the way. Hopefully it will be repaired in full ( including the gaping hole in the ceiling!) by the time we get done, but I'm sure that may be more than we could hope for. It's most likely that the pipes will be fixed and not the plasterboard. So least I have something to write about! Hooray! I'll try to keep a little more diligent in my writing frequency. Hopefully I'll have good things to say instead of small tragedies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Makes A Great Restaurant

Cheryl and I have been looking for the past several months for our new "hang out place". Put simply, a place where we can order some good affordable, food with a comfortable atmosphere. Our new favorite place is the Panera bread store in the Coralville Mall. I thought this worth mentioning because we have visited several Paneras before and I was never quite impressed with them as I am with this one. After much consideration, I pinpointed several things that made Coralville stand out when the other ones fell a little short. One thing is that the tables in the lobby area are always clean (despite being busy!). You might think this is the way things are suppose to be done, but the other Paneras had issues and never seemed to be on top of things. The second is that the coffee, ice, and condiments are always stocked and ready. There is nothing more frustrating that ordering coffee only to have the coffee refill station always empty! Next would be the floor. The Mall Panera is always clean and the people there do not run a vacuum over your toes when it comes time to clean things up. ( did I mention that it is usually pretty busy! Makes you wonder why this Panera can do what other, slower ones can not.) In all, you might notice that I have not mentioned the food. I found this a little confusing because the bagel was good, as well as the coffee, drink and service at the counter. BUT it was the Lobby that made me feel at home and ultimately made me and Cheryl want to come back. So three cheers to the Panera in Coralville, Iowa. They have gained another regular customer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Problem with Jiffy Pop!

It's tasty and fun to make....when things go well. I am batting about 500 on the attempts at making the perfect jiffy. You see the problem comes when I try to remove the cardboard top from the aluminum. It''s perforated so you should have an easy time removing the tab, but I think I have been removing a little too much because the aluminum top seems to come separated from the bottom, causing some really cool fireworks! Well after Cheryl hosed me down with the fire extinguisher, she made me go for a second attempt. ( Cheryl MUST have her popcorn for movie viewing!) With this one I had a little better luck with a swirling motion instead of the shaking motion. This is the way jiffy is suppose to look like! Light fluffy and delicious. so if you are feeling adventurous and looking for a change, Give jiffy a try and try your luck at getting every kernel to pop. ( Oh! It''s better than microwave popcorn...especially when you don't have a microwave in your kitchen. )

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Subterranian Monster! The House centepede

Our cute little under furnished apartment is located partly underground. This has caused us to have a few uninvited guests that are grizzly and creepy at the same time. At first, it was an insect that I had never seen before ( there are only about a BILLION different species) so I thought that I should see if I could find out about this one. This picture was taken in our bathroom, a place they apparently LOVE to frequent. Cheryl was understandably creeped out and instructed me to remove it. Now I admit that the creep factor for me differs from bug to bug. Butterflies and certain beetles I find beautiful and interesting. BUT spiders, scorpions and centipedes I find frightening (roaches are the worst!) So, knowing that certain insects MIGHT be venomous, stingy, or "pinch-y", I decided to play it safe and cover it with a cup and slide paper under it to keep it away from human contact. However, this little guy had other ideas! First of all, it is FAST! I meant supersonic spirally roach-like fast! The kind that may you drop the cup, paper and bug as if you picked up a red hot iron! The kind of fast that makes a guy like me jump off the floor yelling "Gyaaaaaaaya!" Luckily it landed in the open toilet ( thanks to Cheryl, who had the foresight to open the lid for the flushing) and we were able to send it to a nice dark and damp dwelling where he could spend the remaining years of its life with fellow creepies. After looking a little online, I was impressed that there were about as many people as I that were having this strange encounter with this creature. They did not know what it was either, but decided to blog about it (Just like myself!) After a little more digging ( no pun intended) I found that this creature is called a "House Centipede". They are apparently "good" for humans in that they eat other troublesome insects, but I believe, as most other folks apparently, that No insect is good for my house. They can stay outside with the rest of the creepy crawlies and let us live in our insect free environment. Here is what the Entomology department of Texas says:
The house centipede (Figure 3), Scutigera coleoptrera, is often seen in and around homes where dampness occurs such as closets, bathrooms or areas underneath homes. House centipedes are nocturnal and search for insects at night. This species of centipede reaches about 1 ½ inches in length and has fifteen pairs of long, slender legs. The back legs are used to capture prey by using a “lassoing” technique. House centipedes are beneficial, but many people consider them a nuisance pest in the home.

A Little side note: If you read further on the texas page, it suggests that you NEVER pick up a centipede because many are poisonous or have sharp fangs and claws that could cut into human skin and cause a rash. Not that I was going to run out and pet one of these things anyway.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Autumn Butterflies with the Cats

So yesterday we spent a little time outside enjoying the cooler weather. We took the cats outside so they could run around when I noticed several butterflies hanging out. Normally I would not bother trying to capture them with the camera, but this blog has been a little boring without my own pics to add daily. So I ran in, grabbed the camera, and shot a few pics to add. The butterflies are not that special. In fact, they are rather common around here ( not in Michigan as much). The Buckeye and Hairstreak were looking a little worn, however, the Dusky wing Skipper looked pretty awesome! It's unfortunate that since I stopped carving, the blog has been neglected. There just isn't much to blog about without daily progress pics to report and show off. Ah well, Thanks for hanging with me and with a little luck, another great project or adventure will begin again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood ( part 2) Is OURS!

We finally got the second part of the English Dubbed Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood series. I must say that Funimation is doing a GREAT job with the voice acting and dubbing. As you might remember, Cheryl and I watched the Japanese versions ( also on Funimation) and there are things that you just "miss" when you are forced to read the subtitles. Well, finally, the reading is over and you can sit back and catch ever emotion and expression that the Anime illustrators intended. If you have not yet seen it, it is available for viewing ( for free might I add) at on Funimation right now. ( check it'll thank me!) And then go out and buy it! There are commentaries on the DVD that you can't find on the website. Now to be fair... I still like the original better. ( Just a touch) I could write forever on all the things that I find better, but alas this is enough. The Brotherhood series is more action and adventure! There is still a good storyline and part 2 ( episodes 14-26) are where the story REALLY deviates from the original anime and holds true to the original Manga. Well, Rather than write a book, Hopefully this will just tweak your interest enough to check it out. Find it on Funimation now! Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Subaru Work horse

My poor car is getting up there in years and if you managed to view previous posts, you will remember that it recently hit it's 300,000 milestone! Well it has been over 6000 miles since then and yet another small cosmetic thing has stopped functioning properly. M y defrost is intermediate now. There was no warning, just poof! One day it stopped working. But here is the kicker...If I run over the rumble strips on the highway...It pops back on! Add this to the laundry list of other things like, seat belts, AC, radio speakers, Jerry rigged wiper blade arms, body rust, parking brake, gas lid lock, trunk lock, and probably a few other things I'm all adds up to my poor car is getting old. It's sad, because the car runs great, gets great gas mileage, and starts for me every time I ask it too. I'm sure there are still many miles left in it, and I'll try not to be like my dad who falls in love with vehicles until they die on him ( die as in: never ever coming back, FINI, The end, Kaput!) Well, the defrost does work for the moment, and it is not winter yet, so I'll just have to live with it for the time being.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Star Trek Mania in Iowa

Cheryl and I passed through the supposed birthplace of Captain Kirk. (perhaps the most famous captain in Star Trek) The history behind it is that in his bio, he is born in some small town in Iowa. I guess the mayor or someone important in Riverside, Iowa had a brain storm to make it their town. After a few requests from the Star Trek Creator, the deal was truck making it official : that Captain James T. Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. Well you can imagine what this has done for tourism in a small sleepy town! The folks seem to have taken it to the next level as well, building large scale models of the ships and shuttles to be displayed for all to see. The museum was closed when we got there, but there were a number of events planed for the next few months. Too bad I'm not much of a Trekky. I'm knowledgeable on the basics, but no where near the fanatics that go to those trekfests. Well anyway, a little more info on the surrounding areas of Iowa. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It is difficult to put into words whenever a new anime comes out that totally blows your mind! If you follow this blog ( sorry for being lazy in my day to day posts.) you will probably note that I have blogged about Claymore before. It is truly an awesome anime to behold. Beautifully drawn, well dubbed, and a totally immersing story that grabs you and refuses to let you go even when you finish the series. I'm STILL yelling for more! (A second season perhaps?) If you enjoy the anime, you will also enjoy the manga because for most of the first 23 episodes, the manga follows dead on. However, the manga is continuing and I wait frantically each month for the next chapter to arrive. As for right now...Funimation is airing Claymore for FREE on it's channel/website. FUNIMATION.COM Enjoy! You will not regret it!


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