The Wallpaper Removal Project

Posted in What? on February 16th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Those who know me well, know that I am as good at working on home improvement projects as I am at, say, thoracic surgery or the study of lower paleolithic prehistory. As well, I am as interested in actually doing home improvement projects as I am, for example, in getting hit in the skull with a baseball bat, contracting a terminal disease, listening to country music, or eating ratatouille.

Steaming the wallpaper!

When I moved into my house in November, 1993, one of the walls in the kitchen, and in the hallway, was covered in pink wallpaper. As well, the light switch and electric outlet cover plates were also pink. As the years passed, many visitors to my home suggested that perhaps I might entertain the notion of the idea of the concept of the thought of eventually removing the wallpaper and cover plates, and repainting the walls a different colour. Obviously I wasn’t moved enough to do anything about it.

When my colleague and friend, Kathryn, saw the walls for the first time, she took it upon herself to begin nagging encouraging me to give serious consideration to removing the wallpaper, insisting that it was a relatively painless process, and could be done quickly. Such as it was, her constant pestering encouragement continued until I caved in agreed to give it a shot. Use of a wallpaper steamer would make the project easy and quick.

With that in mind, on Monday, Kathryn, and I began and completed the wallpaper removal project at my house in a mere four hours or so. Turns out she was right, and I actually had fun doing it. But imagine our surprise when we began removing the pink wallpaper only to discover that the wall behind was painted…pink. Not only that, but the exact same shade of pink as the wallpaper. Er…why would someone wallpaper a painted wall with the same shade and colour as said painted wall? We’ll never know.

In the meantime click on the picture or here to see some photos from the event, as well as a short, 27-second movie clip of the wallpaper removing action!
Next up, painting. The colour I’m liking at the moment is called Scotland Road. The three smaller colours (top to bottom) in this combination are Neptune Blue, Southern Breeze, and Parsnip.

You Can’t Be Serious: Tennessee Woman Sues Janet Jackson

Posted in What? on February 9th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: In yet another in a never-ending series of insane and idiotic examples of “this can only ever happen in the USA”, a Knoxville TN woman is suing Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, MTV, CBS and Viacom, alleging that she and millions of other viewers suffered “outrage, anger, embarrassment and serious injury“, as a result of the nano-second baring of Jackson’s right mammary gland during the Super Bowl halftime show. The woman is seeking billions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages! She has not specified what serious injuries she suffered as a result of the incident.

This woman needs to sit down and shut up. How do people come up with this garbage? What lawyer would take this on willingly? (Well, maybe that’s not a leap of faith, actually…)

Here’s hoping this is dismissed as fast as the Al Franken/FOX News lawsuit was last fall.


Posted in What? on November 12th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Mom discovers her son has a blog.

Mixed-Bag Special

Posted in What? on July 27th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Have you heard about flash mobs? Flash mobs are performance art projects involving large groups of people. Mobilized by e-mail, a mob suddenly materializes in a public place, acts out according to some loose instructions, and then melts away as quickly as it formed.” (From Wired News.)

:: I’ve been living at what feels to be a fast speed of late. Since early June, it has felt as if the weeks of summer are moving faster than normal. Beginning with the Evidence Based Librarianship Conference on June 5-6, things took off. On June 7 I flew to NYC for the SLA conference, followed by a week of holidaze there. Upon my return, I saw the Moody Blues perform, and the last weekend on June saw my surprise birthday party, and a 4-day visit from my parents as well. Two weekends ago I drove to Winnipeg for a week, the impetus being a 32nd-year high school reunion, which as you may have read, was a total blast (from the past) of fun. In two days, I drive to Calgary, then on to Washington State to see Steely Dan perform at The Gorge on Saturday. Upon returning, I’ll be working backstage with the performers at the EFMF again (12th year in a row). I’ll have more details about this soon.

:: As a lifelong fan of Warner Bros cartoons (Bugs, Daffy, Foghorn, Elmer, etc.), I’m pleased to learn that Warner Home Video will finally be releasing a 4-DVD set of Looney Tunes on October 28th. Fifty-six of the best cartoons will be included, all digitally remastered, and apparently looking great. More details available here.

:: Margaret sent me a link to the MoOM: Museum of Online Museums. Check out the Museum of Soviet Calculators or the Singing Postcards site from BBC Radio. But the Moist Towelette Online Museum? Dirty Swedish Book Covers (Svensk snuskprosa, omslag 1925-84)?

:: BTW, it’s Monday, July 28th, 11:56 pm MDT as I post this. The date above is earlier because I began this entry on Sunday, in draft format.

Long Weekend

Posted in What? on June 30th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: It’s Day Three of a four day long weekend. July 1st is a national holiday in Canada, and the outgoing provost of the University of Alberta closed the campus today as a gesture of goodwill after eight years on the job. My folks are still here, until the morning of July 3rd, and my mother is cooking up some spaghetti carbonera at the moment. I am most definitely eating too much food, feeling stuffed all the time, and I haven’t been exercising.

I know, none of the above is too interesting. Saw The Italian Job today, after suspending disbelief, it proves to be a rather fun, mindless summer movie. I’m looking forward to seeing Ahnold in Terminator 3, and will most likely indulge in Legally Blonde 2.

A Tree Grows in Edmonton, Then Another

Posted in Random Thoughts, What? on May 31st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: My head seems to be in the clouds somewhere. I’ve had a quiet day, except for the morning (see below). Earlier this week, my neighbour, while I was at work, planted a bur oak tree in my front yard.

The new bur oak tree in my front yard

Growing up in Winnipeg in the late 50s/early 60s, we were surrounded by oak trees, and planting this little tree reminds me of that time, and gives me a good feeling. In my backyard, a Manitoba maple is growing, having seeded itself four years ago. I noticed its little trunk poking up through the large wood chips in the area where my Juniper pines are housed. I was amazed that this could happen – how could a seed make its way into the soil through those wood chips? In any event, I’ve let it grow, and it’s now well over six feet tall.

:: I always feel a bit odd this time of year. It’s the literal calm before the storm. Today is May 31st, already one-quarter of the summer months is over. Next week at this time I’ll be in NYC, and the next few days will move at light speed until I leave.

The Manitoba maple tree in my back yard that self-seeded

Part of me wishes I could escape and find peace and calm waters. My house is a complete, disastrous mess, and needs to be industrially vacuumed! The left side of my neck is almost 100% locked up, despite having seen the chiropractor on Thursday and Friday. I am never sure why my mood is subdued at this time of the year. I wonder if it is because the next few weeks will fly by, and it will suddenly be July and we will be preparing for the fall. It’s as if the May-Aug time period, when the sun is warm and the days are long, are too compressed. Regardless, I am feeling melancholy and nostalgic, and I know there are other reasons contributing to this.

NYC will be exciting, exhilarating, overwhelming, draining. It is not the usual NYC trip I take – as I’ve mentioned, I’ll be attending a conference for the first five days. I will see many people I like a lot, and meet new ones, and have the pleasure of introducing Geoff to SLA and NYC concurrently.

:: This morning I had my hair cut, and afterwards, having contemplated it for years, had my hair streaked the colour of copper red. Yes, you read that correctly. Call it a momentary lapse of mental coordination, or the least damaging thing I can do to my body in honour of my impending half-century birthday.

Copper Head Boy

(The other options include a body piercing and a tattoo.) Now I will face the public, and gauge others’ reactions. Will my friends and colleagues be truthful? Really, what does it matter? I did it, I like it, that’s all that matters. And I’ll fit right in when I get to NYC.