Apr 25, 2013


  When I started this blog just a few fleeting months ago I set myself a goal. I am to post at least once a week. I’ve always been one of those people that thrives with consistency. It’s also a kindness for you, my readers, to know something new will show up in a relatively timely manner. I must admit my folly though. 

  Recently my other hobbies, which there are many, have taken center stage. With the weather getting marvelous I could specifically no longer ignore my two wheeled interests. All of which needed some repair and attention.

  My bicycle was the easy fix. Needing only new tires and tubes. My scooter on the other had needed a little of everything. Tires, brake pads and front disc, exhaust and even a freaking new throttle cable. I ride the heck out of that little thing, I’ve enjoyed it so much over the last 5 years that I made the decision to finally get my motorcycle license. (not required for a 50cc scooter in Missouri) This last weekend, down right all of my time was spent in a motorcycle safety course. Even though I’ve been ridding a scoot for a while I’m amazed how many things I learned during the course. I wish I had taken it sooner and I highly recommend taking one in your area if you’re considering some two wheeled freedom.

  Don’t fret though, I have many, many, more home related projects. In the near future I plan to unleash hot furious restoration upon my backyard patio. Not to mention I’m currently formulating my number one summer expenditure. PROJECT: TOTALLY RADICAL SUPER EXCELLENT GARAGE RESTORATION. I may change the name though. 

Apr 17, 2013

The great outdoors

  I don't know how it is where the rest of you live, but around here it magically decided to become spring. Which means I’ve finally had time to assess my jungle yard. According to my neighbor, the original owner was an avid horticulturist and was out working on the yard every chance he had. Fast forward to the year 2013 and it resembles the way Dorothy found the emerald city in Return to OZ. It’s completely overgrown and and in total disrepair. From what I’m told it has been at least two years since anyone has taken care of it. I’m guessing thats a conservative number, considering my hedges are so large they cover portions of the driveway. This full blown wilderness is now in the hands of a man who has never owned a yard and suffers from severe allergies. More then once, my friends have referred to me as “bubble boy.”

  Like most things I know nothing about, I shrugged and proclaimed “how hard can it be.” Relying on a combination of faith, raw luck, and general chutzpah I’ve made a first stab at getting things under control. I can tell this will take years rather then weeks, but I have a vision and to be honest I'm finding yard work to be strangely relaxing. Maybe it’s because I spend my days on a computer, but its nice to go out and play in the dirt.

 I always thought a yard was three feet, then I started mowing the lawn. ~C.E. Cowman

Apr 8, 2013

Little grey box

  One of the really great things about my house isn't the house itself. It’s my neighbor Shirley. She has lived in her house next door for sixty years and was very close friends with the original owners of my house. I’ve only had the pleasure of talking to her a few times, but each one has been filled with insight into the life and times of my house and the people who built it.

  Recently she stopped me to ask why I didn't use the heated gutters during the last snowfall... When I stared blankly back at her she just laughed and said ”Somewhere on your back porch is a little grey box with a switch. Paul (the original owner) installed it himself. I told him he should have labeled it.”

   Thusly, I’m officially adding “electrically heated gutters” to the growing list of reasons why I can call this place The Home of Tomorrow. A tiny part of me hopes for one more snow just so I can use them.


Apr 1, 2013

Cocktails for 30

  For around 15 years or so my friends and I have held an annual cocktail party. It all started back when a good friend, who would later become and excellent brother-in-law, decided it would be really funny to see a bunch of punk rockers, goth kids, and general slackers get all trussed up in suits and dresses. Not surprisingly, he was right. It was hilarious, and we had a heck of a good time. What started as a good idea became an excellent tradition. This last weekend I had the privilege of hosting the 2013 Cocktail Party. My friends unanimously decided my new house would be the perfect location for such a swanky party.

  Never one to take the easy road, I spent the last month collecting glass wear and hors d’oeuvre trays from thrift stores. All of which, I’d decided, had to be period correct. I must say St. Louis and its surrounding areas are full of incredible finds. I managed to quite quickly fill my bar with every kind of glass a drinker’s heart could desire. Highballs, lowballs, champagne and martini glasses. I’ve got it covered and with abundance. Most of them are of the silver rimmed, Dorothy Thorpe design style. Tres chic.

  This was also the first big party I had thrown at my place. Every inch had to be clean and shiny. To explain the level of obsession that came over me, I used my electric car wax polisher to buff my tile floors to a glossy shine. My girlfriend looked at me like I was insane. Being the sweetheart that she is, and to keep me from going truly crazy, she took over the job of the hors d’oeuvre preparation. Which was perfect, because while I have many hobbies, cooking is not one of them. I’m lucky I haven't poisoned myself yet.

  By the grace of whatever divine being you believe in, the party went off without a hitch.  Everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves and I was told more then once that my time capsule of a house made the perfect setting for a cocktail party. I won’t lie, I was beaming with pride all night from the complements I was receiving. And I also won’t pretend that I didn’t enjoy the opportunity to regale an audience with my knowledge of vacuum tube based home intercom systems.

  I think my favorite moment was when one guest asked me if it was ok to take food into the den. He said, “Everything is so clean and retro. I was afraid to go in without asking first.” A friend who overheard the comment said, “Don’t worry, your grandma will never know you ate food on the good sofa.