In high school, a group of friends spent more than 6 months every day playing and creating rock music in the Hoover High band room. Thanks to my side gig working at a golf course on weekends and evenings, I was able to fund a weekend recording session. We created an album that really captured such an interesting time in all of our lives.

Listen to it if you dare by downloading the mp3s

Cleaning my new Stainless Steel Grill

I’ve been using a tailgate charcoal grill for grilling for the past 10 years of my life. It’s been great for small meals. It is not fun to stoop-over. I read up on cleaning and found a method I found that seems to work best.

  • Step one: Super-heat. 500+ degrees with the lid down.
  • Step two: Once food bits and drips have burned off and stopped smoking you’ll be left with carbon.
  • Step three: Open the grill and using a Stainless Steel brush and a bucket of water, continually scrub the grill with regular dips in the water.
  • Step four: once the grates are clean, turn off the flame, close your lid and let it cool.

That should be all you need to do to basically steam-clean or self-clean your stainless steel grill. No chemicals needed. Just the cleansing power of fire and nature’s best solvent: water.

Indoor basketball suffers rain delay, cancellation.

Today we had Katie’s uncle and aunt over. They brought us a lovely potted plant with a broad tropical leaf to keep indoors. We swapped stories about getting used to living in a huge home and all of the adventures and misadventures that have come along since.

After, we went to the Icardo Center at Cal State Bakersfield to see Katie’s cousin Hannah play basketball in her final season with Cal poly San Luis Obispo. After a frustrating three quarters, the game was delayed due to a leaking roof.

The basketball game was called in favor of CSUB with a bit more than three minutes remaining in the game.

We then returned home to continue the marathon binge watching festival of Downton Abbey. So far we have powered through four and a half seasons in four days.

Remember to test on a small, inconspicuous place

We bought a table. A grand dining room table crafted from solid parawood. It came unfinished, allowing us to choose the color and style of a table without having to break our bank. Our furniture salesmen advised us to use General Finishes to stain/coat/finish our table.

We left with a plan. Tarps, sponge brushes, a large amount of blue shop towels, and two cans of General Finishes Brown Mahogany stain. A few weeks later, the table and chairs were delivered. I sanded with 120, then 150 grit sand paper. I sanded for hours. Every nook and cranny of ten dining room chairs and a large table.

We were told the chairs would be the most time consuming to stain and finish. We went to work on each chair. They came out with a nice brown look. It reminded us of driftwood — and not in a bad way. Sure we weren’t the superstar DIY furniture finishers. Sure we had a lot of staining mistakes. Most of them stemmed from attempting to use a water based stain in the summertime of the blistering Bakersfield weather. But we liked it.

Then we started on the table. It seemed a different color at first. We hoped it would dry differently. It didn’t.

We’re going to stain everything darker and hope it works out well. I’ve reached out to General Finishes on Twitter and privately on Facebook in hopes they will spot me a few cans of stain and topcoat or reimburse me for the $60 we spent on the products that resulted in this monstrosity: