Archive for the 'Broadside Ranch' Category

Northeast Flood 2010 - A personal update

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Hi, folks…

Well, it’s been an interesting few days. I’m writing this Wednesday evening, 3/31/10.

I live in Rhode Island, not terribly far from Providence. In case you hadn’t heard we’ve had some weather.

Before I go into any detail about the situation here, let me just say that, as of right now, I’m OK.

I have power, heat, internet, phone, water and sewer working, so far.

Healy’s OK, Betty and Columbo are OK. The roof is, as far as I can tell, fine. I’ve had some water in the basement, at the South end, where the furnace, water heater, laundry room and workshop are. So far I have been able to keep the water under control, and contained in the South end of the basement.

The servers, and the 2 basement studios, and my primary storage areas are, thus far, not inundated.

The Detailed Scoop
I’ve been living in my current house (which I call colloquially “Broadside Ranch”) for 18 months, and have not had any water in the basement. No water in the basement, that is, until a few days ago.

I have a wet/dry vac, so I went to work sucking up the water.

Then, this latest deluge happened.

Fortunately my basement isn’t completely porous…. and my vac could keep up with the water as long as I stayed up with it.

This morning, at about one AM, I couldn’t stay up any more… I decided to try to get a short nap… around an hour… that way I could keep up with the water… well. No, I actually slept for two and a half hours. By the time I got back downstairs, I had a borderline crisis on my hands, as the water was making its way into the middle space of the basement, when my servers (including the one that houses all my websites) and podcast studio are. I managed to get it under control, so that was good.

The influx of water seems to be tapering off, now, which is good.

I’m still keeping a vigil over the water, and vac-ing/pumping. Once the water stops coming in, I’ll begin the remediation process.

As of right now, there’s no need to worry about me, my pets, or my house.

Thanks, and best wishes.

Paul

An open letter to the Town of East Lyme, CT

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

There was a Facebook discussion I became privy to about the impending closure of Colonial IGA in downtown Niantic (the former location of Mitchell’s Market)… One of my FB friends offered a link to a story on the New London Day’s website about the store’s closing. I tried to comment, but i was not permitted… for whatever reason… it’s not relevant.

I was able to retrieve the comment I so lovingly wrote, and post it here for your benefit, if you are interested in the affairs of Downtown Niantic, CT.

As someone who grew up in Niantic, and has always, for good or bad, had a soft place in his heart for the town, I have to be honest. Niantic has nothing to offer young families, except costly schools and high property taxes.

The downtown is a dud, and has been since the casinos went in. Flanders, the next best thing (due to its proximity to I-95) has no character and nothing to offer.

There is no marketing vision for the town, to draw tourist trade. The beaches are lame, and as far as business goes, the only things that seem to settle in Niantic are beach-town-kitsch shops and pizza joints.

Grow a pair, Niantic! If you want to revitalize the downtown, then you need to make downtown vital! It’s not just about tourism, it’s about making Downtown Niantic a place what’s not only worth visiting, but worth returning to.

Make Niantic friendly to the people who hunger for what Niantic is uniquely positioned to offer. You could make Niantic the Kayak capital of Connecticut, for example, by offering excellent low- or no-cost launch facilities with adequate parking, and zoning breaks for businesses in the surrounding area.

I got my start kayaking in Niantic, and it’s a great place for it… you have the river, the bay and the sound, all accessible from Niantic waterfront… Exploit that reality, and draw the paddlers away from Old Lyme and Mystic, because Niantic has the better facilities and better access.

Kayakers are generally brand-conscious and have disposable income. Couldn’t you capitalize on that? Aren’t there some foreclosed properties the town could take over in, say, Pine Grove and/or Black Point, and sell them to marina developers to put in a “paddle-friendly park”, where there’s parking and needed facilities, but there’s also shopping for needed items, like nutrition bars, PFDs, bottled water, maps, paddles, maybe even boats… I dunno … put in a Subway… I’m just brainstorming here… and I don’t even have a vested interest in the town’s well-being anymore…. But I’ve been hearing about people whining about the impending demise of Niantic since the 70’s.

If Niantic REALLY wants to come back, it needs to make the downtown a place not only worth visiting, but worth returning to, again and again. Just for the record, Colonial IGA (formerly Mitchell’s) was not that.

As a post mortem, of sorts,, I currently live in Warwick, RI, because there is no decent-paying work in Niantic. You know what Warwick has? It has my job, my house and my kayak launch point. When, exactly, do I need to come to Niantic? I’ll tell you. To visit my father’s grave. I have 20 great years of memories in Niantic, but if that’s all Niantic has to offer me, I’m afraid my life has passed it by.

As NoThanksGiving Approaches….

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Well, the fist major holiday in the history of the new religion I founded is coming up (details here), and I’m getting ready. The movie viewings are pretty straight-forward, but the barbecue requires more planning effort than I usually expend ;)

Still, I’m working on it. I’ve got a grill…
Me, being a dork, in front of my new grill
…and that’s a good start, I guess :)

Dummyhead Rehearsal Video Leaked!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Holy Crappe! A Dummyhead Rehearsal Video!

See and hear Paul Tourville rehearsing vocal and guitar parts for the Dummyhead staple “PickThumb BooBoo” in the Studio at Broadside Ranch! Such excrement! … EXCITEMENT!!!… excitement!

Well, it finally snowed.

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Here in Rhode Island, after last year’s “stranded school bus” debacle, in typical Post-9/11 American Over-Compensation, schools closed before a single flake had fallen. Where and when ever possible people were encouraged to work from home, take a vacation day, or otherwise just not leave their homes.

I was perfectly happy to work from home yesterday.

The shoveling, tho…

In the words of too many aging action stars, I’m getting too old for this shit. Well… I can still shovel. I haven’t been reduced to utter incapacity… but… while I never enjoyed shoveling snow, I think I’ve reached a point where I actively dislike it.

Then there’s all the gear you have to have. You need at least one shovel, and a scraper/brush for each vehicle… then you need enough warm and dry clothes to actually spend a couple hours out in the wet and cold; probably more than once in a single storm. Then you need salt or some other melty-goo… I dunno… I’m not ready to throw int he towel and skip winter altogether, but I might look into some sort of advanced snow removal methods next year ;)

Pruning the Hedges of Many Small Villages

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Well, now that the bulk of the leaves are off the trees, It’s time to call in the tree people (and the leaf people) to get the trees overhanging the house straightened out.

Whee.

Of course almost all the trees in question are on the property lines, so… I have to coordinate with my neighbors. Engage social skills NOW!

We’ll see how this goes.

Putting the studio back together

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Well, as is sometimes the case, I had to use my personal recording studio for something work-related. Trouble was, not everything was hooked back up. Compounding the problem is that the room I’m using as my studio is a plaster-walled bedroom with hardwood floors. It’s a very hard room. The ring-time is obscene. So… since I needed to record some voice segments for the phone system at work, I figured I should come up with some sort of sound damping solution for the walls.

I looked at Auralex foam, but at a hundred bucks per 32 sq. ft., I’d be thousands of dollars into damping that room before I had a satisfactory result. I then remembered something a salesman at Caruso’s in New London, CT mentioned to me in passing about ten years ago. He and his bandmates put old mattresses over the windows of his house to restrict sound leakage during band rehearsals. Now, I was not about to go out and buy a bunch of mattresses… but maybe hanging cheap comforters on the wall would do the trick!

Well… I went to a local thrift shop, and found a couple comforters for around $20 a piece… but I had just seen similar-sized units at Target for the same price. I went new. So, I snagged three Full/Queen comforters and tacked the up to the walls. Sure, they’re hiddeous, and don’t match, but they make a huge difference.

Leopard Stripe behind Desk
Here’s the awful leopard stripe thing behind the desk.

beige and black behind drums and guitar rig
Here’s the other two (one black and one beige) behind the drums (which disappear in front of the black) and the guitar rig.

In other news, for the first time in years, I have pedals hooked up to the Fender amp, and the talk box is ready to rock.

Talkbox mic
The intimidating talkbox mic

guitar rig
The Fender amp mic’ed, cabled, pedaled and ready to go

main vocal mic w/ copy stand
…and I finally have a semi-permanent spot for a main vocal mic w/ copy stand! Whee!

I’ll put up some better pics when I have them, but for now, this will have to do.

Moved out, but not moved in yet.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Well, I’m finally (nearly) free of the weight of the apartment. I still have to pay the lease buy-out. Still… I’m all moved out, which is a tremendous load off my mind.

Now, I’m trying to move into the house. My microwave is plugged in. That’s a plus. I still have just the tiny beer fridge. I can see the kitchen counters. Whee!

I got a sofa, love seat and a couple tables… so I’ve got that going for me. I still haven’t pinned down exactly what I’m going to do about the home theatre setup. I have to get a screen to hang from the ceiling, and work out where the projector and PC are going to go.

The studio is still a shell of its former self, although the major equipment is at least in the right room.

I’m not sleeping on the floor. I need to clean the floor-sanding dust out the closets so I can hang some clothes.

The servers are back in the kitchen (rather than in the basement, like I planned).

Oh, and the shower is still not working yet. Sponge baths in the basement next to the deep sink until I can get that figured out.

Still… It’s marginally livable. …plus, it’s paid-for, which is pretty awesome. And, best of all, the family upstairs with the kids that run and scream and cry 23 hours a day are still upstairs… back in West Warwick!

Falling off the map for a few days to move

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Hi…

Well, the big day looms large in the headlights. The bathroom’s not complete, yet, but I HAVE to get out of that apartment!

Part of the move is getting my Cox business account moved to the house from the apartment. Well, Cox needs 5 days to do the move. That’s 5 business days. grr. What does that mean?! Well, I have to get the machines moved out of the apartment, so Ursus Pacificus will be going dark for a few days, while I wait for Cox to turn on my new service at the house. I expect the new service to be on early next week. So… Don’t worry… I’ll be back! Soon! Reall!

–Paul

Floors DONE (finally)

Friday, June 20th, 2008

It’s been a long time coming, but the flooring contractor finally showed up Wednesday morning and got cracking.

Fishtank Stain
Fishtank stain. Nice… Oh, and dog pee. Sweet.

LR Doggie-Wee Stains
More dog pee. Did they ever let the dog out?!

Raw LR floor
Yeah. The dog peed EVERYWHERE!

Stains sanded first (1)
Wow. I never thought it was possible. The Tank stain is GONE!

Hitting the stains first (2)
…and the pee stains… GONE!

All sanded... before first coat
Sanding finished. Getting ready for first coat…

First coat after drying overnight
First coat, then next day

Just finished the last coat
FINALLY! Pretty. Oh, so pretty!

The only drag is that I can’t really work on the bathroom this weekend, while the floor cures. Grr. I guess I’ll use the time to get moved out of the apartment.