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Modify Your Tools As Needed

Dude and I are back on the job of scraping the glue off of the floors. Yes folks, we are still not finished with that nightmare. We’ve had to put it on the back burner up until now so we could accomplish some other things that needed to be done. We were also really sick of dealing with it and simply needed a break.

Now the time has come to get back to dealing with it. We started out a couple of days ago just using our little scrapers to get the job done. That wasn’t going to well because we still had too much to scrape off and it was just taking too long. At this rate, we were not going to finish until the New Year (no joke). So Dude set out to make some modifications to his tools.

I’ve got to hand it to the guy; he’s always looking for creative ways to make his life easier. He’ll keep trying over and over again until he gets it right. At this point we (I should say ‘he’) was getting desperate. We can constantly hear the clock ticking away and our days just flying by as this house doesn’t get finished. So now we have to concentrate and persevere and just get this done!

So today was the day of modifying the tools he has to find something that will work better and faster than the tiny scrapers we were using. While I continued to use the small scraper Dude went off and worked on some inventions. Each time he would make a new one, he would try it for a few minutes and then he would move on to a new invention to see if it would work better. Here are all the modifications he made in a day!


Milwaukee with a sawzaw blade and a scraper drill bit held together by a vise

Crowbar with a tungstein held together with a vise

Milwaukee with a sawzaw blade and a Cut-Fix metal grinder blade held together with a vise

Milwaukee with a sawzaw blade and the tungstein held together with a vise

The best one has been the good, old-fashion crowbar with a drill bit scraper that is held together by a couple of vises which double as handles. It seems to be working out okay. The master bedroom, the down stairs hallway and Tinki’s room are all done. The upstairs hallway and the library are on their way of being glue free, as well. I never thought I would love the look of plain concrete in the house, but believe me, after looking at that nasty glue for months, I practically want to kiss the newly uncovered concrete!

Dude should be finished with all the scraping on Saturday (tomorrow and Friday we have to be at the office so we’ll lose two days of work). He said that he’ll go over the floors with a sander and get the last little bit all nice and smooth and then we should be good to go. He also said that we’ve pretty much lost at least a month’s worth of working time to this stupid glue.

Maybe once it’s done, he’ll slow down on the cuss words! Nothing makes a man angrier than scraping glue off the floor. He told me that he felt by doing this that our talents were being wasted. Well I have to tell you that I don’t really have any talents so what I don’t have can’t be wasted, but I agree with what he says when it comes to him. His talent when it comes to all things construction is pretty much above anyone else I know (and I’m not saying this just cuz he’s my Dude). It really is true. He can do just about everything known to the construction world and make it look simply brilliant.

I really think that’s what he is waiting for, his bright moment after the darkness of the glue and mud!

P.S.- WARNING: I do not condone any off this and please don’t try this at home!

Let’s Hear It For Fashion, Dude

Dude loves the Fashion TV channel that they have here in France. He watches that channel (along with Luxe.TV-I do like that one) every freakin’ day! He calls the Fashion TV network a mindless way to pass your time. He’s got a lot of mindless time on his hands! He says he watches it cuz they have interesting stuff on there. Yaah, right! They’re called “Babes”.

I don’t really care for the channel. I think that most of the people that are interviewed on it are a bit too strange and the clothes they show on the fashion show runways are clothes you would NEVER see anybody wear. Granted there are the few and far between fashion shows that have some great stuff, but 99% of what they show is just crap, although, it does provide super funny entertainment now and again. It has given us quite a few laughs, I’ll admit. Especially cuz their tag line is “F People”. They say it all the time and it’s absolutely hilarious! I don’t think they consulted any English speakers on that one. The first time our 15 year old daughter heard them say it, she laughed for half an hour.

So the other day while Dude was being mindless, he actually found a designer that he liked. He told me that he was going to buy some of his items for winter. I told him that the stuff was great if he were in Scandinavia and was trying to bring out his Viking heritage.

Here is the stuff he raved about (and he was serious, too, folks). The guys name is John Galliano:

So, I have to admit the guy is creative but he is also a bit weird, big surprise.

Here’s the problem (for Dude). He is now banned from buying anything this guy sells cuz just the other day John Galliano made headlines in Paris. What did he do?? He was making racial slurs. Big no-no. Now, cuz of that, he isn’t getting any of my hard earned money. I’m sure that’s just gonna break him and he will call me personally to apologize.

Well, now poor Dude has to have some more mindless time cuz now he has to find a new designer to buy from so he can be all chic and French. That’s what he says, anyway. I’m not so sure about that. We live in the French countryside, he would definitely be the only one wearing this stuff especially since the people in Paris don’t even wear this stuff!

Go on with you bad self, Dude. The Fashion TV channel is calling your name. And yes, that’s a tag line too. I don’t really feel that way 🙂

Cat Poop

The first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is to open our blinds and French doors which lead out to our wonderful terrace. Then I step out and take a look around at the beautiful trees, the view of the Mediterranean and I listen for a few minutes to the Cigales.

Well, this morning I awoke to a big piece of cat poop (the size of pigs-in-a-blanket) on my lovely terrace! Boy was I pissed! I don’t have a cat. What the heck was that doing there?? There was no way I was going out there with that chunk of stuff messing up my neat and tidy balcony.

So I did what any woman would do. I called for Dude and told him to clean it up. That’s right. Don’t even start because all you ladies out there would do the same thing.

Here is how it went

Me: “Dude! Come here! I need help with something!”

Dude (coming into the living room): “What?”

Me: “There is a piece of cat poop on the terrace. Get it.”

Dude (making a ewww-that’s gross face): “I don’t wanna get it.”

Me: “Look at it. Just look at it! Some dumb cat decided to poop on my terrace. You have to get it or the wind is gonna pick it up and blow it in the house! Then there will be a chunk of cat poop on the living room floor.”

Dude: “I don’t want to look at it. I don’t want to get it.”

Me: “You have to get it Dude. You can’t leave it there. Just throw it over the terrace and into the neighbor’s yard. It is probably their cat anyway.”

Dude: “I don’t want to get it!!!!”

Me: “GET IT!”

Dude (as he leaves the living room): “I hate my job.”

Dude finally comes back with some toilet paper in his hand.

Me: “I don’t think that is enough toilet paper. What are you going to do with it?”

Dude: “Flush it.” (Then he goes to get it and realizes how gross and big it is) “Ewwww! That’s sick. Dumb cat… Really?? Did he jump up on our 4th story balcony just to do that!”

I start cracking up as he is carrying it to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet. Mostly because the face he was making was so funny.

If this ever happens again, I’m setting a trap for that dang cat. Nothing that will kill it or anything. Geesh people, I ain’t cruel! You can be sure it will teach the darn thing a lesson, though. Besides there is a perfectly good balcony next door to ours that would be just as useful in the future. Poop Cat can just go visit them from now on.

And for those of you who like photos, I hope you are not disappointed. I purposely did not take one. I don’t need anyone complaining that they threw up all over their keyboard or brand new IPhone.





Dude the Assistant

At the company I work for, we need to have polystyrene boxes to ship out our items. After months of searching we finally found a new vendor. Our old vendor decided to never email, call, or acknowledge the fact that we had placed an order with them, even after 3 months of attempts to get a hold of them by the girls in the office. When we finally did find someone new, a very difficult feat, they told us it would take about a month before delivery. In the meantime, we began to get very low on the inventory of these boxes.

One week before delivery we got a call from the vendor to let us know that they would be at our office in a week. One of the girls in the office reminded them that the driver needed to have a small truck because he would not be able to fit into the entrance of our complex. Also, they needed to have a lift gate due to the fact that we were receiving 8 pallets. They said, “Got it!”

The big day finally arrived. The driver called to alert us that he was on his way. The girl in the office wanted to be sure that the truck he was driving was small enough to fit into the entrance and the parking lot. The driver replied “I am driving a large truck. No one told me”. Yah-I knew that would happen.

About 30 minutes later the driver arrived. He parked his truck way out front and wanted to be sure he was in the right place before attempting the delivery. We assured him he was and he was thoroughly confused on why his hommies didn’t inform him of the restrictions of our complex. He also said that he was not informed that we were on the 3rd floor of the building and he could only get the pallets to the elevator because his contract said so. Really??

He then leaves and tries to maneuver his truck into the gate. While doing this he ends up blocking the entire street out front because he thought it was easier to back into the complex and leave driving forward than the other way around. I’ll give him that.

As he proceeds into the gate, he realizes that some guy has parked his Maserati right in the middle of the one lane in and out of the place. Homeboy was about ready to take it out! Awesome! He then has to go around and find out what dummy would park his “belle voiture” in such a dumb spot. He finally finds the guy who, of course, runs out to move his car and then proceeds to continue his way backing into the complex. Hommie did good. I was really proud of him. He actually made it through the gate with just inches to spare on both sides and backed in all the way to our building. He was even able to leave some space for other cars to get by since across the parking lot is hotel. The guest would not have been too happy if they couldn’t leave for their day’s outing.

As we watch him park and open his roll door, we notice that he doesn’t have a lift gate. What commercial truck the size of a ship doesn’t have a lift gate? He, Dude and I just stood there for a minute confused and wondering how things are always so messed up and full of nonsense here.

Well, end result, now he and Dude have to lift out and lower, by hand, all 8 pallets.

They start with the first one and when they get to the elevator we realize that it is too narrow and we can’t even fit the pallets in there. So I go and get a razor blade knife so we can down size the pallets and get rid of them. As Dude and hommie start bringing in the pallets one of them gets knocked over in the truck and an entire side of the boxes are now all black. Great, I can’t send them to my customers like that! Now what are we gonna do, wash all the boxes in the bathroom? Not to mention that some of the lids broke.

As the guys get about half way through, hommie looks like he is gonna die from all the strenuous work! He seriously looked like he had never done physical work in his life! He was sweating and wheezing something awful. By the end he was in the bathroom practically taking a shower to feel better.

Once the 8 pallets were in the entry way, we had to get really busy breaking them apart because, guess what? It is now lunch time and the mad dash to leave the building is on. Lesson-do not mess with French people and lunch. You will not win. People start coming out of the stairwell and elevator like there is no tomorrow and land right into an entry way full from floor to ceiling with boxes. Boy, the looks we got. What, no one has ever seen and entire area filled with boxes. Geesh!

So as we are trying to get around the lunch crowd and use the elevator both Dude and I are sweating like pigs. Now it’s only us two, cuz remember, hommie goes just to the elevator (his contract and all). It’s hot and humid and we are in a building that has no air condition. Thank goodness the Mistrals were blowing that day, cuz even though the wind was warm we still got a breeze every now and then!

As we are trying to break up the pallets Dude is getting in the elevator with as much boxes as possible to take up to our office to hand to one of the girls in the office to start stacking them in some sort of orderly fashion. Now the game of pass the buck and Tetris is on.

I am down on the ground floor doing disassembly then I hand off to Dude who takes the ride in the elevator with them, then hands them to the girl who stacks them up. We had a pretty good assembly line going there. All in all it took about 2 hours to just get some stupid boxes into the office. The whole thing should have taken 30 minutes!

Once all the boxes were in the office, it was time for clean up. We had wooden pallets to put in the garage, and all kinds of trash in the office from the wrapping around the boxes.

I have no idea what we would have done if Dude wasn’t the assistant helper for the day. Us girls would have had a heck of a time!  Now our boxes were all neatly stacked and I was really anxious to make an igloo or some kind of cool tunnel that we can go through when entering the office outta them. They were just stacked in the corner begging to be played with!

It would be hilarious to make all our couriers walk through a box tunnel before entering the office area! What a photo op 🙂 I am sure cute Fedex guy would do it. He has a great sense of humor.

For now, being the professional I am, the boxes are still in the corner. Every once in a while, I look over at them and want to play, though.

Rugby?? Mais, Oui!

French commercials are amazing .

All I got to say is “Rugby is AWESOME”!!! Where can I buy tickets to their next game!!!!!


Adventure Dude

Dude hit the ground running today. Last night he got a call from a friend of ours who just bought a flat in Biarritz (that needs a ton of work) and asked if he could come straight away to do the fix up work.  “How soon is straight away?”, Dude asked. “Tomorrow”, was the answer from our friend.

Ok-better jump on that ticket. It turns out that there is no TGV from Marseille to Biarritz. This meant that Dude had to take the SLOW train. No kidding-there is such a thing here. The trip was going to take him 9 hours and 2 changeovers. All by himself?? No French?? Good luck with that.

Once his ticket was bought it was time for the packing. Mind you, this is 22h00 at night (I forgot that part). Dude’s train leaves at 11h20 the next day and not only does he have to pack his clothes and man-toiletries, but also his tools.

I will tell that story a bit later. What an ordeal!

This morning we get up and Dude finishes his packing. He has accumulated in a short period of time three suitcases, his computer bag, and a cot (the apartment he is working on is empty and he is just going to crash there). Nothing like waking up to work!

At 10h20, I was like, “Dude, we HAVE to leave in 10 minutes, you only have your confirmation. You haven’t gotten your ticket, yet!”

He says. “I’ll be ready! Oh, can you make me some breakfast?”

What?? The man doesn’t have time to eat. He is standing there in his underwear and slippers (very sexy I might add) and wants to eat and we need to fly NOW! Good grief! So I go and make him his breakfast (and ironed his shirt) and quickly helped close up his suitcases while he ate. At 10h40 we were out the door.

Down in the garage, while we are getting ready to put everything in the car, a wheel of one of the suitcases just breaks and falls right off.  Really and truly, no lie. He starts freaking out! It’s a sad thing to see in a grown man who, not 10 minutes ago, was looking sexy in slippers and underwear. The suitcase that failed him happened to be the one with his tools in it and it was a heavy duty one, too.

While I go and pull the car out of the garage he is scrambling around in there to find another suitcase to put his stuff in. Remember, our garage has half our belongings in it. It is pretty full in there! It felt like an eternity just to find another dog gone piece of luggage. He finally finds a suitcase big enough to be a proper replacement, but it’s stuck behind a pile of boxes that goes from floor to ceiling. With no time to waste, since the train won’t wait for commoners, he gives a big heave and topples over every box that was surrounding the suitcase he wanted. Stuff goes flying, since some of the boxes weren’t closed and taped, and he ends up tripping and almost falling trying to get out of the garage!

I started picking up the fall out because some of the boxes had my shoes it in it! The horror for any woman is to see her shoes flying through the air and landing all over the garage floor! Meanwhile, Dude is working his butt of trying to change out suitcases. He finally manages to do it and while he gets in the car to take off, I am still trying to do clean up.

I quickly jump in the car and off to the station we go. Now it is 10h55 and he is driving like he is Mario Andretti. Normally in Provence, this kind of driving works. Everyone here drives like a complete loon and most of the time you’re scared for your life. Today, however, we get behind two of the slowest cars you could imagine. What makes this day so special in the life of the provincial?? Step on it, grandma!

Good thing the station is about 5 minutes (give or take) from the house. When we arrived there was, of course, no parking space. We pulled up to the front of the station and unloaded the luggage and I told Dude to go stand in line to get his ticket while I found a parking spot. I finally did, WAY IN THE NORTH OF FRANCE, and went running the whole way back to the station. By now it was 11h05 and I walk in to see him standing in line and the guy behind the ticket counter is talking on his cell phone! Come on! This is not break-time, I don’t care if you live in Provence! Get busy and give the Dude his ticket! Tik-Tok time is awastin’.

Finally Mr. Ticket Man gets finished with his “I’m on the clock, but I am taking a personal call” and processes Dude’s ticket. I’m sure that was very difficult for Mr. Ticket Man.

All looked good now. We got to the platform, Dude and ALL his heavy suitcases with about 5 minutes to spare. Yahoo! What a team J

When the train arrived, he was able to find a spot for himself and his affairs. A nice gentleman helped us out with putting all the suitcases on the train. That was a nice surprise after the hectic morning.

I waved bye as the train pulled out of the station. With 2 stops to go and a lot of luggage, I hope Dude makes it. I’m sure a phone call will be headed my way in no time.

Say “Bye” to Dude. Here he is in the station ready to depart with all his stuff. He looks a little nervous, I think.


What a Girl

Today on my way to work (still feeling like crap thanks to ongoing allergy problems and no packages in sight to be delivered), I get in the elevator with dude and he is checkin’ himself out in the mirror. Really? (There is a full length one in our elevator). I swear to you he is a better girl that I am!  Well, of course, now he’s gone and done it. He’s gotten himself into a conversation with moi and here it is:

Me: What are you doing?

Dude: Just checking out my shirt, I’m not sure if I look good in it.

Me: It looks fine on you.

Dude: But does it fit me right? It doesn’t make me look fat does it?

I roll my eyes. What did he just say???

Me: No, it doesn’t make you look fat. You look good in it. I swear you’re such a GIRL!

Dude: No I’m not. I just want to make sure I look good. You do that.

Me: I know, I’m a girl!

The he just starts laughing at me, like I’M the weird one. Go figure.

Me: You ARE a girl. How come every time you get into the car you gotta fix your hair and check yourself out in the mirror?

Dude: I want to be sure my hair looks good.

Me: I don’t even do that.

Dude: Yes, you do.

Me: NO, I don’t. When have you ever seen me check out my hair in the car.

Crickets. I hear crickets. Complete and total silence. Dude’s got nothin’ on me.

Me: See, told ya. Never.

Then he just gives me a goofy grin.

Me again: Dude, you’re SUCH a girl….

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