Saturday, April 25, 2009

The man cave

Drew has been working very hard on finishing the inside of the man cave, a.k.a. our new deluxe two-car garage. He insulated and drywalled (with some hired help), then textured and painted the walls. Seriously, the walls look nicer than the walls inside our primary residence.

He gets Handyman magazine, an endless source of fun project ideas. From the plans in the mag, he built this super cool and handy tool caddy for all of our manual-labor yard implements. This is so much nicer than the clump they had been in before, and the cheesy plastic hanger I had installed at my old house.

We recently had copper gutters installed on the front section of the garage. They look very cool and classy and remind me of my working-in-the-copper-mine days. We got an estimate for the copper gutters last year, at the peak of commodity prices when copper was $4 a pound.

For this small section you see in the picture plus aluminum for the rest of the garage, the price was something like $2500!!! Needless to say, we did not opt for them at that time. Prices have plummeted since then (see chart), and contractors are hard up, so we scored a much better deal.

The man cave is not finished, but it is comin' along nicely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter and AWG fundraiser

Spring is a busy time for me (Lucy). Besides lots of out of town trips for field work, fun yard projects, and nice weather to ride our bikes, I also spend quite a bit of time putting on the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists' annual silent auction and wine tasting scholarship benefit. I have only been involved for 5 years, but this year was the Chapter's 20th annual event. Each year we solicit in-kind donations for unusual artsy objects and items of geologic interest - stuff like cool old geology gear, rocks, mineral samples, fossils, art, jewelry made with natural stones, etc - and set them up in silent auction format. Then we host about 150 members of the local geologic community, feed them hors d'oeuvres and lots of cheap wine, and see how much money we can raise for 3 scholarships to women geology students.

It is a boat load of fun, and gives all us tomboys a chance to put on some fancy clothes and get out of the jeans and hiking boots for a change. I've made some good friends and professional contacts through this group of smart, fun, and motivated women. Plus, it gives me a chance to give back for the scholarships I received as a college student. Karma is a good thing. This year it looks like we raised somewhere around $2300.

Today is Easter and Drew somehow didn't have to work this weekend. I think that is our own little Easter miracle! Yesterday we went for a very nice but chilly mountain bike ride with Allison and then we colored eggs.

I love coloring eggs. I remember back when I was a kid in my huge family, I think we must have done 5 dozen eggs. That would be too much egg salad for just Drew and me to eat.

This morning, we had ambitious plans to join our good friends the Wedges and their friends at sunrise service on the top of Hidden Peak (+10,000 feet). We looked at the weather forecast last night and decided to celebrate spring by sleeping in on our new mattress set. Good choice. We did manage to go for a walk to Coffee Garden before meeting Andy and Rhonda for brunch and later joining them, Jim, and his friend on a 45 mile road bike ride around the valley. Great ride!

So spring has finally arrived, as indicated by these quail in our backyard. Hooray, we made it through winter!