Friday, September 26, 2008

The Power of Cheapd

Yes. Cheap = awesome + personal satisfaction. With the winter months coming, Elisha and I need two cars - motorcycle riding in Oregon during the winter isn't very fun. Wet, nasty and relatively unsafe, I'd rather just avoid it. When a friend of mine started looking for a new car (it was time) it awoke in me a desire I've had for a while - to own an AWD Subaru. Of course, if I had my way, I would have bought one like Ben did - a $20~k 2008 WRX. Alas, I just can't afford it, my budget was much lower. Much. Lower. However, Craigslist prevailed as it always has, and I picked up a beauty (ok, an ugly duckling) of a 1993 Subaru Impreza wagon for $1400. It came with a roof-rack (essential for the snowboarding trips it was destined for.) Other than that, it had few endearing qualities, short of it's subaru & awd-ness. Elisha and I dubbed it the "Mountain Goat."

What was so ugly you ask? I'll show you:

Yes, this is the roof. Sun+ice+snow+negligence = nasty paint. :( Poor Mountain Goat. So, gearing up with my trusty tools (and many of my father-in-law's that I couldn't afford) I set out to fix this problem myself - given that professional paint jobs run $1000-$20,000. Yeah, not going to spend the value of the car on it's paintjob. Anything looks better than what it is.

Trusty Tool!

Sanded to a glossy, err, shine. More of a luster, actually.

All taped up and ready to go!

All primered up.

All shiny after it's first inaugural wash as a black car!

I learned a big lesson about painting cars - fiberglass bumpers do not like 80grit sandpaper. I scratched the crap out of my bumpers. Oops. However, an ingenious idea to the rescue! Spray-on truckbed liner! This stuff is fabulous - I 1/2 wish I had painted the whole car with it!

Preppin' the booty for some truck bed liner:

Pretty bumper.

Nice 'n shiny after it's first wax job this morning:

All done and ready to take on the world!

Now, it's not the best paintjob in the world - I didn't spend 80-zillion hours on it like I should have to achieve a super-duper paintjob. However, for the $100 and 15 hours of work, it's pretty nice. To do it properly would have required another $50 and another 50 hours (Seriously - it's incredibly labor intensive.) Would I do this again? Most likely not - unless I had another junker car that desperately needed a paintjob and I didn't want to spend any money on it. Some neighbors of mine came by while I was painting and asked what I would charge to paint their car - I had to laugh. This job is ridiculously difficult, and I will never question how much a bodyshop charges for painting - it is amazing how much sanding it takes to get it right, and I just stripped it - I didn't go through the sanding process properly (because I honestly didn't care.)

Now I have a car I'm not embarrassed to drive down the street in, and I'm excited to take to the mountain! Yay for cheap solutions and internet-how-to's!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


What The Duck rocks my socks off. It is a super funny comic strip aimed at photographers. I read their posts religiously. So when I read this one this morning, I couldn't help but share it with all my lovely blog readers. I think most photographers will get a kick out this.

Friday, September 12, 2008



People shouldn't blog when they're feeling melancholy. Nothing interesting is ever said and it usually is a big gripe about life.


People shouldn't blog when they're tired. They just make a lot of typos and not a lot of sense.


People shouldn't blog when they're frustrated. It usually hurts other people's feelings.


People should blog when they're happy. It usually is nicer for the world to hear about the good things in life. Like Andy getting a job. We're very happy about this. VERY happy.


People probably shouldn't blog when they're feeling romantic. It's usually gushy and mushy. But then again, we like gushy and mushy. So maybe they should.


People definitely should blog when they're nostalgic. All the best lessons, memories, and life are stored in nostalgia. I like remembering.


People should blog when they're thoughtful. Being full of thought is often interesting. It often reveals more about oneself. It often reveals more about every one else. It oftentimes takes a bit of thought.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our second (shorter) honeymoon

Hey ho neighbor. I'm pleased to say that life has slowed down to a more convenient pace (ie - I can no longer use the "chickens running around with their heads cut off" analogy to describe our life). I'm getting caught up on photo editing, we had a fabulous weekend in Coeur d'Alene last weekend, and this weekend we shot an AWESOME wedding at McMenamins Grand Lodge and then headed up to Sunriver to finish out the weekend relaxing, playing tennis, and hanging out with the fam. Blissful.

I know that Andy talked about how fantastic Coeur d'Alene was already, but I have to reiterate the splendiferousness of our trip. It could not have been more sublime. We arrived at our cozy B&B, the McFarland Inn, and began our weekend of relaxation. The inn is darling and was immaculately attended to. The owner lady wasn't the most pleasant person in the world, but she may have been a little pissy (there is no better word to describe it) because she thought we were arriving on Saturday, instead of our planned Friday. Somehow, when we reserved the date, we had a bit of a miscommunication about this important detail. It was fortunate that she had our room available when we showed up, but she was in poor humor with us the rest of the weekend. Either that or she's normally just a grouch. Fortunately for my low tolerance of grouchy people for prolonged periods of time, we didn't see her much the rest of the weekend but for a few moments every morning when she brought us some of the most fantastic breakfast we've ever had. And how can you be annoyed with a grouchy person when they're serving you yummy food??

Friday we wandered around downtown Coeur d'Alene and browsed the little shops, strolled along the world's longest board walk (see photos below in Andy's post), took some snapshots of the Coer d'Alene resort where we stayed the second half of the trip, listened to an awful drumming band jamming near the waterfront, and gleefully indulged my obsession with playgrounds - especially ones that are designed like castles!

Saturday involved sleeping in until 9am, eating aforementioned fantastic breakfast, renting kayaks for an hour and rowing around the lake, swimming in the lake (which was awesome and the perfect temperature for swimming), and then renting sea-doos and doing silly things with them, like trying to throw each other off and into the water. Fun!

Afterwards, Andy and I got cleaned up and he took me out to the nicest dinner at a floating restaurant! It would have been perfect, but I had an upset stomach and the food didn't settle well with it. We headed back and collapsed into bed exhausted around 11PM.

The next day, we took much slower. We got back massages, enjoyed checking into the Coeur d'Alene resort where we got upgraded to one of the nicest rooms in the place which is normally like $500 a night (woo hoo!), and talked about our goals in life, our values, and other important things. It was so awesome to sit and refresh ourselves with what we're looking forward to, what we value, and so on. Many of the things we discussed, we both felt/knew subconsciously to be true, but there is sometimes so much value in discussing these feelings and assumptions out loud. In the evening, Andy convinced me into a trip to Cabelas which I happily harassed him about. Considering that he "loathes" shopping without a purpose, his request went awry with what I know of his personality. So, I've modified my perception of his personality; It's not that he doesn't like shopping, he just likes shopping for things that interest him (and apparently home decor and women's clothing are not one of those things).

This trip was our first chance since Christmas to take a break and relax. We've been so busy that we really haven't made time to just have fun together. It was so refreshing for us to do this and it made us determined to include more time just for the two of us to have fun together.