Tuesday, March 26, 2019

2019 Shamrock Shuffle recap

2016: didn't take a picture this year
I've run the Shamrock Shuffle every year since 1997 except for 2007. I've run this race in lousy weather, hung over and even once after an 18-mile training run the previous day. I've always enjoyed it because I use to run it fast, set new personal bests and knew lots of people at the event. There was often a lot of post-race partying as well. I'm starting to think it is time to let go of the tradition. Surprisingly, it's not the race fee that is driving this. And it isn't quite my ego...I know I will never duplicate my PR of 31:03 (April 2, 2006). But I am feeling my age, as the elders like me say. Physically, when I run more than 3 miles, my bones start to rattle. No, what is really driving this is the event is no longer my playground. Yesterday morning after I checked in my gear, I didn't see anyone I knew until about just before they closed the corral. In years past, I would have seen so many familiar faces.
To be clear, I'm not rushing into anything. I do have a couple of friends that still run it and we meet up afterward to have our token beer and then some coffee, and if time permits, brunch. But if we move, I don't see myself driving in from Barrington or flying in from Memphis to run this thing.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Spring is arriving

A week or two ago, I said to Nightingale that Spring is coming.  I elaborated that yeah we would probably get one or two light snow powderings (we did) and it wasn't shorts and sunscreen weather but we could safely downgrade our winter coats from parka to jacket.

So I haven't done my usual beginning of the year project post yet.  I've actually completed a few so far.  I installed a new toilet in the first-floor powder room. This project was more complicated than it had a right to be.



First off, I was willing to pay a plumber to simply fix the running water by simply replacing some old parts within the toilet.  I know that isn't worth their time so I tried to sweeten the deal but agreeing to replace the basement toilet.  I got some takers but they were so expensive it just wasn't worth it. 

One company wanted to charge me approximately $1K a toilet with a service plan.  Colossal waste of my time.  I have to remember from now on when I use Yelp to find vendors, ignore the phone calls.  The point is so that I can look at offers, not get phone calls from people trying to talk to me over the phone like I'm a teenager from the 80s.

I ended up buying a toilet from Costco and doing it myself.  I had actually asked my cleaning lady if she had a recommendation and she sent me a picture of one while she happened to be at Costco.  It was on sale for $180 and included everything you need, although I sprang for a non-wax ring and I have to admit, my in-laws were right about that.

And luckily I bought two because the tank connector leaked water after being connected to the water supply.  Had I only bought one toilet, I would have had to take it back, but instead, I swapped out the good tank and brought back the second toilet.  The basement toilet, which works fine but has some cosmetic cracks, will have to wait.

I also hired a plumber to fix the leak in the upstairs bathtub faucet.  This was worth the $230 ($40 per cartridge and $150 service call) because I would not have been able to do it as quickly and efficiently, or really at all, as a professional.  This is the exact reason I try to do the things I can so that I can shift my limited money to pay for situations when I have to outsource the work.


In the basement, we got rid of the wood burning fireplace.  While I had that crew in, I also splurged and had them work on the leaky shower.  It isn't perfect but it is better than it was.  Total cost for that project was approximately $1600. 




I really hope that is it for now.  However, I know there are some more coming.  I need to finish those quarter rounds on the porch and maybe touch up some of the paint.  Next, I need to power wash the stone pavers and the house.  I will do this in two jobs.  I also need the gutters cleaned and re-balanced. 

I want to get the area under the deck landscaped so it looks pretty when we try to sell and also so that it is less maintenance. 

Finally, we had to address the crown railing on the top of the front porch. 


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