As I was deciding to fly or drive to San Francisco (SF) from Los Angeles (LA) an article for the new BoltBus LA to SF bus-line came to my attention. So, I decided to make this an adventure and try out the new service.
$29 Dollar round trip ticket: LA Union Station to West Oakland BART station $14 each way plus $1 service charge. Seriously? This I gotta try.
The bus arrived on time to only five guest and myself. I was pleased. Although, I could see it could have been like flying economy class if it was full. The seats are leather, and sit high – luxury styled with no wheel well seats. The bathroom is stainless steel and airliner small. No surprises. Additional amenities; cup holders, spring loaded foot rest, ample overhead storage, two plugs for each pair of seats, air conditioned, free Wi-fi, and a distinctive new bus smell.
The ride itself was smooth and stayed on time. Driver was no-nonsense and quick to board. There was a thirty minute half-way point break in Coalinga, CA. – Burger King parking lot. Thank goodness I packed my own meal and snacks. Heading out again at 1:10 PM. There was a brief ten minuet stop in San Jose. Then, directly onto West Oakland BART Station.
The reverse trip home was an identical experience with a few more people. The only real complaint I have about both trips is the Wi-fi connection is not as fast as I would have liked and they blocked Netflix.com. Even other streaming video sites required major buffering time. However, the connection was still fast enough to do my online work.
But, don’t kid yourself, you are sitting for six and a half hours. Then again, for twenty-nine bucks and you get to enjoy the California scenery fly by on your way to San Francisco or Los Angeles! I highly recommend.
Update: since my experience in November 2012, BoltBus has added an additional stop in San Francisco on this line.
You have been a faithful and glorious companion. We have seen many many things; San Diego, New Orleans, San Francisco, Mexico, Baltimore, New York, Miami, Washington DC, Japan, Santa Barbara, PCH, Hearst Castle, Fort Lauderdale, Monterrey, Hawaii, Cayucos, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose, Palm Springs, almost every nook of Los Angeles, many things we can not mention here, and you accompanied me to work via the Metrolink train nearly everyday for eight strong years.
You are made of stars!
Paint strippers can be caustic and expensive especially when you are restoring eighteen double sash windows and all of their hardware. I tried this solution to salvage my vintage window hardware. It’s simple, easy and works like a charm.
Supplies: Old cooking pot, DAWN original dish washing liquid, wire brush and a few hours.
Simply place the hardware in the pot and fill with water. Add a few table spoons of DAWN. Set to low on the stove. Bring to a shimmer NOT a boil. A boil will cause it to bubble over. Now let it on low for four to six hours testing and adding water occasionally.
I used a pair of pliers to hold the hot (be careful!) hardware while I scrubbed with wire brush. Viola! Paint be gone and any old gunk too. At this point, you can polish if you want them to look “new.” I prefer the existing brass patina and simply rubbed them dry.
Now, it needs to be said that this will take dedication. Lots of it. No, not the arguing with the teenager – that’s easy. The training of the dogs!
Please take time to review the many resources available online and at you local library that discuss the systematic approach to achieving this magnificent dog euphoria.
END THE POO HUNT
I have elected to crate train my puppies and maintain control of water, food, play time and most importantly, potty time . . . at least until the desired behavior is achieved. Along with our selected style of positive training we decided to train the new puppies to do their business in the same 4 foot by 4 foot location each time.
This is tedious! However, the payoff of cleaning and maintaining a tiny area as opposed to the entire yard seems well worth the effort.
RAISED GARDEN BED
I recycled 240 red bricks I had laying around into a double-wide square brick wall. Then, lined the space with weed resistant fabric, pebble filled to about 1.5 inches deep for drainage, piled on and tamped down twelve bags of top soil. Lastly, topped with two rolls of 2×4 feet sod.
I used the dog pen as my loose template for the layout. I built my wall around it and used no mortar or glue. This is free standing and only four (4) bricks high. I improvised some steps at the last moment. This is really a mid-length solution, as you can see from the photos – I’m merely a dirt farmer. This should last two Summers until the backyard renovation.
The metal pen will gradually be phased out as the dogs behavior is shaped and they take ownership of the space.
It just recently occurred to me that this is in fact a Lifestyle site, not just a DIY site.
So, I decided to see how well this (phone) could handle all the things I need to accomplish for a full blog post. You know, see how well I could accomplish this post while not attached to my laptop, chained to a desk at home.
• my most recent post was completed using my Motorolla Razor smartphone.
• Downloaded and used the WordPress app to organize and format.
• I dictated the entire post and only used the keyboard for corrections and fine tuning.
• Camera phone photos.
• Color corrected, cropped, doodled with basic camera software options.
• connected via my data plan and/or wifi.
• Checked formating via browser app.
• I even approved feedback.
I must admit, this was much easier than I anticipated. There goes another excuse for not maintaining a fresh lifestyle site.
A spare of the moment re-purposing that supplied some breathing room and much needed relief.
My Mom and I are feeling empty nest again with my kid back to Hawaii for school.
Looking for a distraction she mentioned the pile of family and friends’ photos that were piling up and looking a bit messy. It was also making her sad that she could not see all the faces she is so proud of. Transfer of emotion and all that, I guess.
So, I popped into action; I grabbed the project board I made for my son a few years ago, while in High School (You know, the one to keep all his school and extracurricular activities organized!).
We spent the next half hour reminiscing and pinning up all of those little but important photos. It was a great moment.
It is a temporary solution but, now she can clearly see what she is so proud of and can pull them off the board as she finds proper places and frames for them.
I realized with this small impromptu project, that that organization advice rang true – you have something around the house that will work better and harder, you just need to take another look around.
It’s such a positive change in her personal culture with very little effort. It refreshed her bedroom and made her happy, which makes me happy.
I say, “Look around. Is there something simple you can do to increase your happiness quotient?”
Mom has been heaping her earrings in a cardboard egg carton since we downsized from her standing jewelry box. It was a great temporary solution but, it has long ago outlived its usefulness. Time for an upgrade.
A DIY upgrade, naturally!
I wanted to display her collection out in the open yet be functional for her Hollywood glamour inspired room.
I think it works.
* Window screen mesh, enough to cover the frame that you’re going to use.
* Picture frame. Wood works best. No glass or backing required.
* Staple gun.
* Box cutter.
* Pair of old scissors, as they will dull if cutting screen mesh.
* Padded work surface (blanket and floor).
* About an hour of your time.
The assembly is fairly straightforward.
Trim window screen with 1 inch allowance on all sides.
Begin by tacking the screen down with one staple at the center of each inside gutter of the frame. This is the one chance that you have to center and align the screen. Remove staples with flat head screwdriver to readjust.
Now, you can begin to secure with more staples, evenly. Remember to keep tension on the screen as you add staples. However, not so much tension as to make the screen buckle or bubble. It helps if you alternate opposite sides while adding staples to maintain proper tension. The larger the frame the more staples will be required. Do not add too many staples as you will be adding more later.
Once you have secured the screen smoothly, use scissors to remove each corner , as shown in the picture. This will insure that you will not have a bulky corner when finished.
Note: you may find that you need to trim the screen edge a little more. The allowance should now be no greater than twice the size of the width the frame gutter.
Using your hands, being careful, begin folding the rough edge the screen over onto itself. Add more staples to secure. This should create a smooth outside folded edge. Repeat on all sides.
This is a fun gallery inspired way to display a jewelry collection.
I also made a small 5×7 stand up frame for her studded earrings as they need to be handled from both front and back, often.
Now I know what to do with all those great frames I find at the thrift stores or yard sales.
These would make great gifts.
• Larger hole size chicken wire would be a great alternative, for scarfs storage.
. . . or perhaps for cloth napkins in the kitchen or dinning room.
• Paint the screen for a more modern treatment.
• Embroider the mesh for a more folk art feel.
• Half mirror, half screen.
• Also cutting shapes from screen, crimping edges and tethering to larger frame with ribbon may work for stud earnings.
Apartment Therapy reminded me of how fun making your own costume can be.
Thanks John Gleeson Connoly!
I have had this interesting vintage crate around the house for years. It has served many faithful functions. Until recently, I did not allow it in the house because I have freshly refinished oak floors and could not bare the idea of letting this crate scratch it up. So, banished to a corner in the kitchen it went and remained. Now, it has an upgrade and is a very welcomed re-addition to my home.
And, with the addition of the rubber wheeled casters, it can literally go any where in my home . . . happily.
Supply List: I paid less than $10 total from my local hardware store. I already owned the screwdriver.
Simply invert the wood crate and space out the casters evenly in the corners, not too close to ensure you do not split the wood. I would say about half an inch from the edges would be adequate. Also, the depth of the screw is important, make sure it does not go all the way through. Being careful, insert and tighten the screws all the way down.
I attached the caster to make a basic top loading style. However, you could easily place the casters on the short or long side making a rolling storage shelf.
A grouping of these would make for interesting side tables, shoe racks, plant stands, additional bathroom storage. So many possibilities!