Summertime Projects



Summertime Projects

Hello all Helpful Hank here, today I would like to talk about summer projects. We all have them. Some of us will do them before we go on Vacation some after and for some like me. They happen all summer long.

Kitchen, Kitchen
We own a home built in the late 70’s early 80’s. I face a lot of updating repairs and renovation. Sometimes starting one project can lead to another project. Case in point, when we had our Inn in South Lake Tahoe and I was renovating rooms we discover a leek in one of the bathroom shower. This led to us having to replace not only the floor for that unit but the sub floor as well. (Time to call the professionals.)

In any event, we all have our summer projects. My project currently is refinishing our kitchen cabinets. This is a great way to give your kitchen an easy up date.

Use the dust and grim to your advantage.
There is a lot of sanding involved when refinishing cabinets. One thing that I found in this process is that if I gave my cabinets a good first sanding then when back and wiped each area with a damp sponge before I went back with my second sanding the sawdust worked for me as an abrasive to help take the top clear coat off. There was also less dust in the air from sanding. For my purposes, it made the sanding portion quicker as I did not have to sand down to bear wood. (I am staining the cabinets darker.)

Enhancing your stains color.
I’m sure that the paint store would not make it as a recommendation but I often add a little latex paint to my stain to enhance its color. Since my partner wanted a strong cherry hue to the cabinets, I added some red paint to my red mahogany stain. Just about a half a cup. I mix it up with my brush lightly as I want the it to sit on the bottom of the can. Using the stain this way it is better to brush it on as you can pick up some of that red in your first coat pulling stain from the bottom of the can then with your second coat just lightly dip your brush in the can so your not pulling the red. I tend to put on four coats of stain alternating the red and the dark stain. Working my brush until I have it just the right shade. You can see some of the project pics here.

Summer time can be a good time to get this type of project done as with the heat comes much faster drying time. The one thing I would note is not to run your swamp cooler while trying to dry the stain on the cabinets it puts to much moisture in the air.

Clean the swamp.
We are coming up on the official start of summer and the temps here in the valley are going to go up. Swamp coolers are an effective way to cool down the house here in the desert. Though humidity is a factor in their use, (No go above 50%.) for the most part it isn’t an issue. Here is what the issue is. Making sure that the filters are clean and or replacing filters that have out lived their usefulness. You can pick up new filters at Lowe’s or Home Depot for around 7 bucks a pieces depending on size and type. Cleaning your filters and replacing them when necessary helps your swamp cooler to run a lot more efficiently.
One of the things I like to do ( because we have three dogs) is take a couple of incense sticks placing the stem in the filter and lighting the incense thus drawing the scent into the home. Make sure, once the incense has completely burned to take the stick end out of the filter.

One-year anniversary
As you may or may not know, June 16th is the one-year anniversary of the passage of marriage equality in California. Though the law didn’t stand long, (We intend to have it passed again.) those who were able to get married are still married. It is important that we press forward to over turn the band on same gender marriage.

To that end on Saturday June 13, 2009 nh8wear and Bad Baby Attitudes wear were launched. . nh8wear Bad Baby Attitudes features message shirts and sweatshirts for Adults and children alike. Right now it’s focus is on marriage equality and 10% of the profits will go to the M.E. campaign.(Such as the CVMEC, and others.) I am the graphic artist for the designs on the shirts so I thought I would give it a little plug. Take a look and I’m sure you’ll find a shirt you can’t live without.

Some may wonder why I do not use the term “same sex marriage”. Marriage isn’t really about sex it’s about two people committing to a life together whether they are of different genders or of the same gender. I hear and read comments all the time equality being gay with nothing more then sex. I read just yesterday a comment by Gene Simmons of Kiss, in which he states that gay couples on average tend to have multiple partners inside their main relationships. Although he says he could careless one way or the other, he clearly making a point.

I find his point not only to be inaccurate but hypocritical. He is inferring that our relationships our beings are just about sex. Our relationships are no different then anyone else’s. As a matter of fact we tend to be, overall more committed then straight couples married or unmarried stone for stone. I myself have known a great many same gender couples that have been together more than 35 years. I cant’s say the same for my straight counter parts. We have been denied the right to marry and still our relationships endure committed and faithful.

Statistics show us that median duration of first marriages that end in divorce: Males: 7.8 years, Females: 7.9 years and, the median duration of second marriages that end in divorce: Males: 7.3 years Females: 6.8 years. Less then half of those who marry make it beyond 15 years. Cleary our heterosexual counter parts do not hold marriage as sacredly as the profess to.

All the time you hear, heterosexual males talk about how many partners they have had with pride. Case in point Wilt Chamberlain. Now if Richard Chamberlain had written a book and bragged about having sex with over 2,000 men he would be called disgusting by a great many people and especially men. On the other hand, Wilt Chamberlain was greeted with an “Atta Boy” and “He is such a Stud.

As I say, it is rather hypocritical and inaccurate to make such statements. Perhaps we should put no ignore what these celebrities have to say. The only problem with doing so is that there are a great many that take words like Gene Simmons as being accurate and turn around and use these inaccuracies against us. Once words are spoken, written, spoken, they are out there whether they are true or not. I know I keep harping on this but we as glbt citizens have to be out, aware, engaged and, involved. Not doing so makes us invisible. Silence = Complacency.

As we celebrate the anniversary of the decision to allow same gender couples to marry. We must keep in mind that it was short lived and we still have a battle ahead of us. We cannot let someone fight this battle for us. Each of us has got to get involved. Whether your glbtq or straight If you believe in equality for all you have to get involved. Whether you were one of those 18,000 who were able to get married, or are part the rest of use who felt we had time to plan the perfect wedding or felt when we found the perfect partner we would get married. I suspect a few of my Same gendered married friends have become even more complacent since the ruling to up hold prop 8 and let those who’s marriage took place before the ban stand. They probably feel it is not their battle anymore. They are wrong! It is their battle and they need to get involved. They are making their marriages invisible, dismissible, forgettable by the majority of the population. After all, it is only 18,000. But, 18,00 is a large number and it shows that we are committed to the sanctity of marriage. Think about it, 18,000 same gender couple were married in a five-month period and more would have been married given the time.
Now is not the time to rest on your laurels, GET INVOLVED! This is the only way to protect your marriage from being dissolved.

As we celebrate this year anniversary, we know we still have a lot of work ahead of us. I for one would like to see next election get us our right to marry back but we all have to become visible. Whether we desire marriage or not we have to fight for those who do. That poem that ends “ and when they came for me there was no one to stand up for me” Starts with not standing for others. Enough said. Get Involved.

Helpful Hank Tips and Hints: Always check to see if there are mistake paints and stains at the paint counter. A dented can of stain still works just as well and can be a fraction of the cost same with mistake paint. Take your doors and drawers off and out before sanding

You can contact Helpful Hank with Questions, Comments, Tips and, Deals here by leave your comments and questions

Helpful Hank is written by Russell E. Bertlow © 2009 All rights reserved. No portion of this blog may be reprinted in part or whole without the express written permission from Russell E. Bertlow


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One Response to Summertime Projects

  1. Good blog! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day! “A crime which is the crime of many none avenge.” by Lucan.

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