Fall back into the groove.

It’s official that summer is over and this one went quick. In June we a beloved friend from Germany come and visit. Only one week though. :'(
We were hoping on doing more, but time limits us all. Then we had another dear German visit us in July. Not the same German, but apparently we’ve made rounds and met people in Germany. Then came August where we had childhood friend from Seattle come visit. That was a good time too. Let’s just say people from Seattle don’t hold their beer as well as a German. So now that our hostel is closed for the fall, we move on to new things.

Also as a side note, the blog updates of 2011 have been few and far apart. Not for the lack of trying, but for the busy schedule. It’s some what depressing when I think of how busy I’ve been, but I don’t have much to show in accomplishment.

Storms in the spring resulted in some hail damage on our roof. After dealing with insurance companies and quotes from roofers, we’ve got new roofs. The roofs were covered, but there were some additional changes that we had done that created out of pocket expense.  We had solar attic fans put in for our solarium room and our attic.

Yeah, it looks small in the picture, but it moves a lot of air. On a sunny day as high as 1550 CFM. It will even run a bit on a cloudy day. It just depends on how bright it is outside. It’s also very silent. It makes about as much sound as our DVR player. So that’s not bad. It has a thermostat that turns on around 60 deg. I am planning on modifying that when I have a chance so that I can turn it off or set my own thermostat to adjust the temperature I want it to turn on at. At least in the sun room. So far I am happy with it. It also has a tax rebate up to 30% so that is nice.

So the Halloween time has come and passed. I tried to get this post in before that time period, but I am having issues with centralizing my photos. I have them, just on different memory cards and devices. It’s making thing a bit more difficult. Not to mention the latest bugs with bluetooth in Ubuntu 11.10 make it difficult to get photos off my phone.

Here is my costume construction.

It took about 4 hours to mold the mask using shape lock plastic. It took 4 hours to shape the mold, another 1 1/2 hours to paint.  The fabric is from “Joanne Fabrics”, three yards for $18.18.

Here is some side shots of the mask close up.

The hat took another 3 hours. What can I say, I’ve never stitched a hat before. I also created a coif to attach to the mask and cover the face and head completely. That entailed cutting three separate pieces of two dimensional fabric and fabric in the correct patterns to fit my 3D head. This took me another 2 hours to make. Again, I’ve never sewn a coif before.

The finished product.

Here is a close up from the side.

The robe I made four hours before heading out to the bars for a Halloween drink. I sewed the arms to fit first, then attached them to the torso of the costume. The seams were all folded in on the stitch and double stitched. I was going out drinking in this puppy and I was worried about snagging it on something. I had to make it heavy duty to survive the beer-a-thon that was coming. Mmmmm Czechvar!

Addition to this I also sewed two more costumes for my wife and daughter. They were Heat Miser and Snow Miser from “The year without a Santa Claus”. I have photos of that, but I don’t know if they want them on the “Internets” so I will leave them out for now. I totaled the time for my costume and it was around 22 hours in the making. My wife’s and daughter’s costume, I don’t know, but I’m sure it took longer then mine.

Then came Halloween which means having to decorate for the trick or treaters. This typically takes 3 hours to get everything setup, but this year we did it in two. Here is one side of the drive way.

It looks better at night with the lights. I don’t have a tripod so it’s almost impossible to get a good shot of this at night.

Other happenings as of recent. I had to travel to Boston for work. I got some nice photos of the occupy Boston.

I saw many, many tents, but not a lot of people. Either they were hanging out in the tents or most of them were on a pee break when I happen to walk by. Happy Camping.

Working in Boston is ok. This last trip was some what of a break since there were less then 10 people in an office. It was nice to still do work and take a break from the daily chaos. The last day must have been a dog day. I say this because I was being following around the office all day.

This is a 3 year old bulldog named Tyson. I was listening to my MP3 player and I keep smelling something stinky. I looked under my desk and there was a very panting bulldog slobbering on my shoe. I made the mistake of scratching the puppy behind the ears. This guaranteed me an escort everywhere I walked in the office.

This bulldog charms you with its pathetic look on it’s face. I am not a dog person and I can go as far as to say that I can’t stand dogs, but this dog definitely had me laughing with it’s breathing noise and waddling.

Another favorite of mine while in Boston is Jacob Wirth and Company. The German food is not exactly German, but the beer can be. It’s the only place other than NYC where I can find Radeberger on draft. Mmmmm Lecker!

I was in Boston till last Friday. I got most of my work done, but found that I still need to fix a few more issues. So I will probably have to head back in February. Brrrrrrrrrr! We shall see how occupy Boston is holding together by then.

Upon my return, a wonderful German delivered me a bottle of something special from the Czech Republic.

This is the 1 liter bottle from the Czech republic too. Not the .75 liter. Needless to say I’ve had it 4 days and I am half way through the bottle. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO MAKE IT SOOO TASTY?
UPDATE: After a 2 year email and phone call campaign to the state of Pennsylvannia, I can now get Becherovka here as well. Ohh happy days.


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