8 Simple Rules For Walking On My Hardwood Floors

FloorsTo my family: As we near the completion of the flooring project this would be a good time to point out a thing or two. Brazilian cherry is known for its beauty and durability -indeed it’s renowned as an extremely hard hardwood- but to preserve the quality of this material and honor the tireless work that went into its installation certain steps must be taken:

  1. No high heels. Some of us remember the dimples they left on the floors in Albany and it wasn’t pretty.
  2. No soccer cleats. That may sound like common sense, but you know what they say about common sense.
  3. Do not carry items that are sharp or have angular edges while traversing the Brazilian cherry.
  4. No open flames are allowed in rooms with the new flooring.
  5. It is impractical to keep the dogs off the floors and it would be cruel to have them de-clawed so they must wear Muttluks Hott Doggers Dog Boots or other approved footwear.
  6. Please stay on the runners and area rugs and avoid stepping the exposed wood portion of the floor.
  7. Promptly wipe up standing water.
  8. Immediately report any incidents involving the floor. You are better off fessing up immediately than being caught later.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Tool Time

A lot of paint cans are now made of plastic and if you try prying them open with a screwdriver you butcher the lid. That’s why I picked up one of those little metal tools for popping open the cans that you always see at the paint counter. Works like a charm —and I also discovered what the round end is for: opening beer bottles.

This makes perfect sense. Adding a little beer makes paint go on smoother and contributes to the overall quality of the project. And nobody ever cut off their fingers off while painting.
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When the Fir Flies

Bob’s Trees asks:

“Do you yearn for the yearly family trip to the woods, the smell of a fresh-cut evergreen, and the experience of dragging the family tree through the snow?”

Yearn? Dread is more accurate, because in the past our yearly family trips to Bob’s have threatened to ruin Christmas before it even started. Like the year of the ice storm, when cars were doing 360s in the road on front of the tree farm. Or the time I lost my shoe in the mud —and then the car got stuck in the same mud. Or when I accidentally tied the doors of my car shut. I could go on and on. Freezing weather, rain, snow, slop, filthy stinking dogs, crying children, bitter arguments —these are the spirits of Christmas past at Bob’s Trees.

So naturally, if it goes too easily I get suspicious.

Friday we drove up the hill at Bob’s, found a tree, cut it down, and had it on top of the the car in no time at all. No fuss, no muss, in and out in five minutes. How is this possible, I wonder? There must be something wrong with this tree. Will a colony of spiders hibernating deep in its branches come to life and infest the house? Will I get home and find that it’s shed all of its needles? Will it mysteriously burst into flames?

There’s no way to tell, but meanwhile I am keeping an eye on this tree that came to our home without struggle or strife. Either there’s a catch somewhere or after twenty years we’re getting good at it.

The Truth About Women

The truth about women is that women rule the world. They are sensible and sane, and when driven to action they are extremely effective. Don’t cross them. The Glens Falls Post Star this morning reports:

FORT ANN — A 43-year-old woman has been charged with felony assault for allegedly beating a man with a piece of lumber, police said. Barbara A. Weaver, of Route 40, allegedly hit a man she knows in the back of the head twice, causing injuries that required treatment at Glens Falls Hospital.

Ouch. Wonder if she read our item about choosing the right wood for the job?

As for women being effective, watch this video of a woman catching a bat in her house. Yeah, that’s cool —but look closely and you can see her male companion cowering outside the door, handing her the bat catching supplies. Dude!


Mulchapalooza Redux

Last load of mulchSorry to neglect Keyboard Krumbs, but work’s been a beast. And I really needed to deal with that mulch situation.

Look, I never guaranteed that the mulch would be gone on Memorial Day, I just said that I’d start working on it. Good thing, because had I made a guarantee, it would have ended up filed in the same place as Rick Dutrow’s guarantee, but not Joe Namath’s guarantee. So what did I do on Father’s Day? I got out there and finally eliminated what was left of the %$!&# mulch pile that had been mocking me for three weeks. I hope no one notices how thick it is in certain spots, or how well mulched the areas way under the bushes are, or how some of it may have inadvertently fallen over my neighbor’s fence. Ooops.


mulchA lot of people in my neighborhood, the ones with the lush green carpets for lawns, actually make a face when they walk by my sorry excuse for a front yard. But I’m going to show them. That photo to the left is $120 worth of mulch, and by 8:00am today I’ll be outside spreading it in the flower beds.

On this Memorial Day, enjoy your parades and parties. Fill up the cooler with beer and head for a picnic. Throw a hamburger on the grill. But while you’re celebrating, take a moment to remember those who sacrificed to make all this possible.

And remember me and my mulch.

Instrument of Destruction

I’d like to learn to play a musical instrument before I die. With any luck, that gives me another thirty or thirty-five years, which should be plenty of time. It’s not that I haven’t tried, like during my fourth grade fling with the trumpet. Never got the hang of that, but I could fake it passably enough to march in the Carle Place Memorial Day Parade. After I quit taking lessons I was afraid to tell my parents, so I’d leave with the trumpet in morning and hide it in the back yard. Long story.

Since then there was the guitar, the piano, the harmonica, the guitar again —and once after seeing a bluegrass show I wanted to learn how to play the banjo but had the good sense not to buy one.

But now I believe I’ve found something that might work for me: the ukulele. It only has four strings, so if you do the math it must be 20% easier than a guitar. And as you can see from this video, there are some cool things one can do with a uke:


Those with discerning tastes may also wish to see Gus and Fin playing The Buzzcocks classic “What Do I Get.”

Boys’ Life

I spent an hour at work yesterday watching YouTube videos of kids blowing things up. It was great! And no, I was not goofing off, I was doing research! It reminded me of when I was a wee lad, burning and exploding things with my friends.  We’d build model airplanes and blow them up. We’d build model cars and set them on fire. We’d build model airplanes and cars with firecrackers inside them so they’d blow up when we burned them.

Estes rocket engines were attached to anything and everything. There were rocket cars and rocket boats and once a rocket Frisbee, which was swell until it caught fire. And we didn’t bother with the Estes electronic ignition system, instead we jammed fuses into the end of the rockets and lit them with a match. It’s a miracle I’m not called lefty today.

The strangest thing I remember doing was lighting small fires with my friends and putting them out by urinating on them. A shrink would have a field day with that, don’t you think?

All you hear now is people complaining about the dumb things kids do and post on YouTube, but you know what? The only difference between now and 35 years ago is video cameras and the internet —and a society that seems bent on taking the boy out of boyhood.

Lawnmower Man

My standard of quality for grass is that it’s more green than brown. I know this makes me a pariah in a neighborhood of men who carefully cultivate and manicure the lawn, but to them I kindly suggest it’s time to get a freakin’ life. Plus it’s dangerous. Don’t they read the paper?

PITTSTOWN, N.Y. — A 65-year-old town man died today when the riding lawn mower he was operating flipped on an embankment and caught fire, trapping him underneath, State Police said.

DULUTH, Ga. – – A 35-year-old Fayette County man was killed Monday in a tragic accident. James Osborne Studdard, 35, was killed instantly when the lawn mower he was riding flipped over and fell about 8 to 10 feet off a terraced lawn. Capt. Frank Huggins of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said, “No foul play is suspected.”

PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. – – A Perry County man is killed after a lawn mowing accident. Deputies say 70 year-old Bill Mohr had been trimming the grass on a steep embankment outside his home, using a zero-turn radius lawn-mower. Officers say it slid down the hill and rolled over into a small body of water in Mohr’s back-yard, pinning him underneath.

BURLINGTON, Ky. – – An 86-year-old man was flown to University Hospital Tuesday afternoon after he suffered second-degree burns during an accident while refueling his lawn mower, according to Boone County emergency communication reports. He suffered burns to his hands and legs, reports state.

I will not poison the birds and bunnies to make the grass green, and I will not die for my lawn.