Dave, weren’t you supposed to…

Yes. Yes I was supposed to do a lot of things. Like keep my site more up to date than this for starters. Oh, and run a marathon a couple months ago. My goal of running a marathon had to get postponed until 2015 for medical reasons. My lack of site updates… well I have no good excuse. That’s just plain laziness.

However in an attempt to not appear to be a total looser, here are some things that  I have accomplished in the past 4 months (in no particular order)

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The Year So Far

I could sum it all up in one word. Cold. But that’s not very interesting, so I’ll think of a few other words to add to it.

The year started off with a bang! Well more accurately, last year ended with a bang. Fortunately, (after a 2nd trip to the body shop) the damage has been repaired and my truck has been restored to it’s former glory. I had my truck repaired at Riverdale Body Shop in Schererville. According to their website, their repair process involves disassembling the affected area and determining if there is any “hidden damage.” Well, they didn’t do that. When I picked it up the first time, I got about 100 yards down route 41 before I noticed that the alignment was still off. Hmmm…. the impact tore out the fender liner and obviously hit the front wheel. Why on earth would they have thought to check the alignment? I called them right away, but was told that they’d have to call me back to schedule the alignment. I was disappointed to say the least that they would have missed something so obvious. At least the cosmetic work was done well.

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David’s ISSMA Solo 2014

My son competed in the ISSMA solo and ensemble contest again this year. Some jackass was supposed to video the whole thing, but realized about 30 seconds in that he had instead taken a still photograph.

Its a good thing that I was — I mean that the jackass was recording the audio with another device. So without further ado, here’s David’s solo for this year. He did an excellent job, and walked away with a gold medal! Good job, kid!

Grandparents and Grandkids

With everyone together in one place this weekend, I had to take the opportunity to huddle everyone together for a few pics. This was taken right on Rend Lake in Southern Illinois. Me and the kids were in town to see my nephew Josh Nelson getting married. My Dad was the officiant of the ceremony.
2013-09-21 16.44 Touched Up
Now for the nerdy part: This is actually a composite of 2 different photos. Each of the two pictures had 1 person who wasn’t smiling and/or looking at the camera. I used Gimp to blend the two photos together and make one good out out of 2 not so good ones. I’ll bet you can’t tell who those two were!

Here’s a few more pics from the trip:

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

It’s another one of those multi-subject, catch-up posts because I’ve been lax about updating the site. So in no particular order:

Something New

Here's the Avatar at the bottom of my stack

Here’s the Avatar at the bottom of my stack

I picked up an Avatar 4×12 speaker cabinet for my guitar rig last week. I’ve been keeping an eye out for one of these for a while now. They’re pretty highly regarded in the guitarist community. They’re well built, and loaded with the right speakers they have some killer tone! I frequently keep an eye on the used inventory of my local Guitar Center. I saw this one pop up and had to have a look at it. I grabbed an amp head and a couple other speaker cabinets and just had a field day swapping between cabinets to compare the sounds of each. This thing sounded better than any other cabinet by far. And to top it off, it looks like it’s brand new! Not even a dent in the tolex! So after a little price negotiating, I walked out of there with my new speaker cabinet for a fraction of what it would have cost to purchase it new.

Joe Orange Belt TestAnd just this past Friday, my son Joe tested for and advanced to Purple Belt in Tae Kwon Do! During the test, you have to break a board while demonstrating proper technique for a particular kick or punch. Last time Joe advanced, that part of the test gave him the most trouble. He was a little nervous about it. Despite his apprehension, he was able to break the board on his first attempt. Go Joe!
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Long Overdue Update

Ironic, isn’t it? The more things happen and the more things I should be posting on here, the less time I have to do it. So what’s happened since the ringing in of the new year? I’m sure I’ll forget something but here goes anyway:
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Stolen Truck Recovered!

2010 Chevy Suburban LTOkay, so it wasn’t really stolen because it technically wasn’t mine yet… but now it is! As of 9:30pm last night, I am the proud owner of a 2010 Chevrolet Suburban LT! I would have taken a picture last night, but it was so foggy and this truck is so long that a picture of the front wouldn’t have shown the back and vice versa.
Oh it feels good to drive a truck this big again! Jenn is jealous because it has a remote starter. The boys are happy because it has a DVD player. I’m happy because it has mirrors, a working 4 wheel drive, and the steering wheel doesn’t make strange squeaky-balloon sounds when you turn. You’d have to have seen my Cherokee lately to really appreciate that last bit. Speaking of the Cherokee, they gave me $500 for that beat-to-shit conveyance! I was prepared to take anything over $300 for it, so that was a bonus!

Now to make sure I know where all the nearest gas stations are…

Villa del Sol Mexican Restaurant

On Sunday, August 19th 2012, the Isom family embarked on a mission of discovery and exploration. We decided to check out the new Mexican restaurant that opened up in Merrillville on the corner of Rt 30 and Taft called Villa del Sol. The previous Mexican restaurant that occupied this building was pretty dark, dingy and overall terrible. It didn’t last long. I didn’t have very high expectations, but I was willing to give it a try. Here’s what the family had to say about it:

And if that patio wasn’t enough, then you had to check out some of the wood carving art that was for sale throughout the restaurant. I’m pretty sure Tim is going to cough up the $2500 to purchase this one.

Deck Demolition

This summer we have decided to reclaim 3/4 of our yard by obliterating the swimming pool. Why bother keeping up a pool here when Jenn’s mother has a far nicer in-ground pool only 2 minutes away. I’ve already drained the pool and started dismantling the frame, but one extremely large thing stands in my way: the deck.

I started out by pulling nails and removing each board one at a time. While nice and tidy (and devoid of nail hazards) it was going to take me forever to dismantle the deck that way. Today I decided to take a different approach. His name is Milwaukee but you can call him Mr. Sawzall.
The deck is coming apart considerably faster now.

Hopefully I’ll have it down by the end of next weekend. I’m going to need to get more saw blades…

Paint, Stain, Trim and Closet Organizers

T minus 2 weeks and counting until the arrival of our 3rd child. Apparently that means that the entire house needs to be re-organized and remodeled. David and my new Miter SawAfter my first attempt at cutting solid oak trim with a dull hand saw, I quickly realized that something a bit more heavy duty was required. I had long since wanted to purchase a compound miter saw, but never really had the justification to do so… until now. Say hello to my new Rigid 12″ Compound Miter Saw. I decided to give Home Depot a little more of my money and purchase the Rigid “Miter Saw Utility Vehicle” as well. At first I wasn’t sure it was worth the extra money, but after having assembled and used it, let me say that it was the best thing I could have done. It’s nice because in a matter of seconds, I can pack the saw away in a vertical configuration and wheel it off to a corner of the garage for storage. When you have limited space in your garage to begin with, this is perhaps the best accessory imaginable. It also makes it a simple task to whip the saw out for quick jobs. Instead of having to set up saw horses and a work space, all I have to do is wheel this out, pop it up and start making cuts.

So aside from the trim, we’ve also been painting and building shelves. Jenn picked out this awful pink color for the baby’s room. Imagine if 200 Care Bears all ate 5 strawberry This is what I imagine Care Bear vomit looks likemilkshakes each, and then vomited in a room… That’s what this pink looks like. I tried to take a picture of it, but my camera fails to pick up the excruciating pinkness of this pink.

Thankfully, the boys room is almost done. We painted it blue, I cut down the loft bed by about 10″ for Joe to use, put up some heavy-duty shelves made of 3/4″ oak plywood and I put in a new Closet Maid closet organizer.

Only a few more weeks left and then I get to rest… for a little while anyway. We intend to keep the trend going and soon hope to continue our remodeling efforts in the basement. It’s about time I built that bar / office I’ve always wanted. (Yes, you can have an office in a bar. You just don’t always get as much work done as you originally intend.)

Memories of a Hurricane Past

Fun Facts:

  • October 15th, 2005 – Jenn and I were married.
  • October 16th, 2005 – We landed in Riviera Maya, Mexico ready to soak up the sun for 5 days at an all-inclusive resort.
  • October 17th, 2005 – I turn 29 years old. There was much tequila involved. I don’t remember much.
  • October 20th, 2005 – Hurricane Wilma makes landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, and extends my stay in Mexico.

The following is the journal that I kept on my PDA while Jenn and I (and about 1500 other people) were hunkered down in a storm shelter waiting for Hurricane Wilma to pass us by. For years I thought this information had been lost. Only recently did I discover an old backup file from my PDA that I had created before it’s demise.

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