Happy Tour de France

As I muse, the second stage just finished. Two long and very successful career first time maillot jaune wearers in the first two stages. I won't bore you with the details, will save that for other topics. The first stage was won by Mark Cavendish. He has 27 TdF stage victories. But never worn yellow. Annually he tries to win the first stage. Usually the easiest time to win the yellow jersey. But has here-to-fore failed. So a big deal in itself that he finally won.

I'll digress with a tale from the early formative period of my career. One of our consultants was a real character. And was not an accountant, And was real smart. May be a causal relationship? So pretty much on a lark he sat for the exam. Passed on the first try. Which does not happen often. Even for qualified accountants. 
There is an odd relationship between Management Consultants and Accountants. I think Deloitte may be the only Accounting Firm left with a big deal Consulting division. There are all kinds of crazy independence rules that makes it hard. Anyway. Accountants tend to generate a stable revenue flow. Like an annuity. Their billing rates tend to be low since they are reliably busy all the time. Consultants on the other time generate a ton of revenue in good times. And very little in bad. They have exorbitant billing rates since they are not reliably chargeable. Put simply, Audit covers the cost of doing business and Consulting is sweet sweet gravy.
All involved look down their nose at the other party. And cruel comments are made about certifications, billing rates and implied value.
So. A CPA was working on a project with us. Happens infrequently. Usually when we needed someone to run a ten key in the days before spreadsheets. Depending on where you come down on the causal relationship between CPA and intelligence, he was either a really good one, or a dumb one. My recollection pushes him towards the dumber.
As word gets out that our consultant has passed the CPA, the Audit guy comes and asks the consulting character how he felt about passing the CPA. The consulting character ponders for a moment. Looks at him. And says "It feels like I should lower my billing rate."
The poor CPA type was surrounded by Consulting types who all laughed. The CPA type retreated into obscurity and the consulting character will live on in perpetuity in this muse.

Now. This is interesting, because?

He rides on a team where Deloitte has a minor sponsorship. Frequent readers may recall I retired from Deloitte what seems like a lifetime ago. We were mutually happy to see me go. I was not their prototype Partner. I mistakenly though being a Partner with a whole lot of money invested, driving a bunch of revenue meant my opinion was relevant. Turns out I was mistaken. So not any love lost.

Technically I was a Principal. Partners must have a CPA, which I don't. It would be a disservice to your musist and CPS's alike if I did. Collectively we called Partner types Partners regardless of specific distinctions. Then there are Directors. Which are basically non-equity Partners. But are not afforded the same courtesies. But, I won't go into that... 

As I'm watching the sprint. It was a sprint stage and Cav, as he is called, is a sprinter. So he's sprinting like a motha. Looks like it says Deloitte on his not yet yellow jersey. I think well, I'll be damned. Don't think too much of it. Figured I would be one of the tens of people to notice.

Then come the post race interviews. He's wearing a freaking Deloitte hat.

Now. Firms like Deloitte sponsor golfers. Rich mostly white, mostly males buy services from firms like Deloitte. Rich mostly white, mostly males watch a lot of golf. So firms like Deloitte get their names on golf hats.

After Lance some rich mostly white, mostly males (getting tired of typing that so we'll use RMW2M henceforth) starting buying really expensive bikes. Non-American RMW2M have been sponsoring cycling teams for decades. And someone in South African Deloitte figured out that "we" (Deloitte) should too. I figure I'm "we" since I am getting a check every couple of weeks just like clockwork.

Unclear how many of these RMW2M actually ride their ridiculously expensive bikes, but they do watch young skinny guys ride 'em. Any by purchasing these ridiculously expensive bikes have proven themselves to be manipulable. So maybe it'll work just like golf. And there's Cav in a Deloitte hat for the tens of RMW2M that might be watching and know just who the hell Deloitte is.

 I'll be damned.

I'll be damned.

There are 10's of Partners somewhere toasting whomever convinced them to sponsor a bike team!

In complete disclosure, your musist owns a few of these ridiculously expensive bikes. I used to ride them. A LOT, but the Quail Manor has cut into that for the time being. And then just when I was ready to get back on the bike in earnest, the phone rang with an opportunity to "make some bank". This is really another story that I will save for a potential future muse, but the "bank" is earmarked to add to the stable of ridiculously expensive bikes. So it is relevant to this discussion.

When last I mused. We had just commissioned a Murphy Bed. Before the Murphy Bed is installed your musist needs to move the desk and TV from one side of the room to the other and the associated data cables. And a couple of electrical boxes need to be relocated from the right side of a stud to the left.

Sounds easy. It's not.

Where the desk used to be and the bed will now be. There are two big assed boxes that were perfect when the desk and TV were there, but now present two problems:

  1. When moved, they will leave big holes to patch in the drywall. Drywall patching is a black art.
  2. There are two of them. We really only need one now. But there is this pesky code thing that you can not bury an electrical junction behind drywall. So we have to do something with the upper one.

SWITBO decides the bed really needs reading lights. OK. We'll move the upper box up above the top of the bed when folded against the wall and bury the upper junction in that box. But I wonder whether the existing wires are long enough, and exactly where is the power coming from...

I consult with CTC. He suggests it is just as much work to patch a big hole as a small one. Seemed like a good point. So we cut a whole panel of drywall out and go to wiring.

In my research for drywall repair I discovered "light drywall compound" which is supposed to dry quickly. When we went to buy the light compound we found the drying time was 24 hours just like the not-light "general drywall compound". Humm. It's Tuesday afternoon. The bed comes Friday. If I'm unreasonable to assume lucky we need two coats. Damn. That means all the figuring and cutting and wiring and repair and first coat of mud has to go on TODAY. Interesting.

The cutting and wiring and repair all go pretty well. The research further suggested there are two types of drywall tape. The paper kind and the fiber mesh kind. The YouTube for the fiber mesh kind made it look like the way to go. And it is supposed to be stronger. So we got the fiber mesh kind.

What I know now. Is that YouTube may have been optimistic. The fiber mesh is well and good, but you can see the fiber mesh through the mud unless you leave it pretty thick. If you leave it pretty thick it looks like a lump. Unless you are a drywall mud trowel maestro. Which, thanks to SWITBO pointing out every imperfection, I know now that I am not. 

I'm mudding, in my minds eye just like the YouTube guy. Meanwhile Ann is all "that's not the way he did it". And I'm all like "I know, he has skills". 

Weanwhile, on the new desk and TV side. We'd planned for the potential that the desk and TV would move so there are data cables buried in the wall where I now need them. But holes have to be cut. Arms have to be inserted and rooting around must occur. There are pictures, but I recollect there might have been some last minute changes that are undocumented. So I can't remember are the cables on the left side of the stud, where I need them, or the right where I don't.

We start with holes for the boxes we knew we'd need. Root around and find the data cables. Now. The box is on the left side of the stud and the electrical box where worst case I know I can get power is on the right. There is an unterminated piece of romex in the box so it must go somewhere.

We really don't want to can an unnecessary hole to patch. Ann suggests we drill a hole in the stud up by the box where we need power and look around. I'm thinking OK, lets say we drill the hole and can actually see a cable, how are we going to pull it through the stud hole. So of course I drill the hole. 

Son of a bitch if there is not a piece of romex that we can see. By some miracle I did not nick it with the drill. But we need a bigger hole. So out comes the Dremel and I go to cutting. After awhile it was decided we bite the bullet and cut a proper hole in the drywall so we could root around. Seconds later we have the correct wire pushed through a nice roomy hole in the stud and have another drywall patch to make.

We're still married, the pictures for once look WAY better than it actually looks, and the patches look like a barrio bondo job. The second coat goes on. Not sure it's getting better! But that's the last coat since it is now Thursday morning and we have to declare the mud sufficiently dry so we can paint.

We have paint left-over from construction. We open the can, in the house, where we are going to use it. And it smells like something died. Stirs up nice though. So figure, the smell will go away... Four hours later, all the windows and doors are open, and it still smells about as bad as when it went on the walls.

Googling indicates that this happens with Latex paint. Now we need to make a trip to the paint store. The paint guy tells us the stink is because there are "herbicides" dying in the paint. Once they all die the smell will go away. A second coat with fresh paint will cut off their oxygen and they'll die more quickly. The herbicide thing obviously makes us giggle, but he said it with confidence and it is a big word so we smile and buy our paint.

He's obviously full of the well known substance on the herbicides, but was right about everything else.

After paint, it still looks like barrio bondo. But it all matches.

The bed arrives. It covers or at least breaks-up the patch so a little harder to see. The installation is a bit schlocky, but everything works and it's sufficiently comfortable that our guests will be comfortable. But not for long!

The fit is actually just about perfect. We wanted it to align with the top of the bathroom door, or the bottom of the bathroom door trim. Aligns like to the 16th of an inch.

We installed the lights and they work as advertised. Which they damn well better have!

Ann made the installation hers by cleaning it a lot. I made it mine by labeling it a lot.

Turns out the space between the bed and the closed barn doors is fine. The space at the foot of the bed and the desk is just enough. Barely. If you're careful. Ann confirmed that the stand that folds out to support the foot of the bed creates a pretty significant toe and shin hazard by hitting it several times as she was cleaning before the bed even got made.

A couple of pieces of foam pipe insulation will hopefully create a less threatening getting around the end of the bed in the dark environment. Time and stubbed guest toes will tell. Who wants to be first???

Here are some shots of the finished product.

The bottom of the bed, the part you see when folded-up is dry erase white board and works great. If you look carefully you will note that the trim on the bed matches the sizes of the trim in the closet and bathroom doors.

All in all came out pretty sweet.

Meanwhile. In Avian and plant news.

We have quite a harvest of Dove babies. One nest got built under the front porch roof. It contains two chicks that seem to growing by the minute. As I muse they are looking like they might be getting ready for first flight.

 Parent and two chick heads.

Parent and two chick heads.

Another nest got built next to the Cistern Gauge. I tried to adjust CisternCam, but not enough width of field and I HAVE to see the Cistern Gauge.

Saw a teenage quail strutting around it's name sake manor. Dan (of DnT next door) inadvertently uncovered a quail nest with two eggs. Scared off the parents. But they returned so presumably all good. 

The Roadrunner has been around, but not the last couple of days. We must not be on its weekend circuit. Or it takes weekends off?

All the Fuchias Ann planted around the property were deceased when we got here. They were apparently marginal to begin with and the 117 degree days and no rain must have been a bit much. Lost a few other things, but nothing that seemed to anger her too much.

And. It's been raining. Got 1.7 inches last week. Set some records. The Cistern Gauge indicates it is full. Used the raise a hose until it stops running technique to determine it should hold about 6 more inches before it overflows. Big question is will it overflow via the overflow or overflow out one of the downspout screens where the water goes in from the roof. Frequent readers will recall we reworked the overflow this winter. Raised the overflow so we can hold quite a bit more water. Tested it then, but be nice to do a proper test with real rain. Does not look like will get to see this trip...