The Shade Project

The guest bedroom in my condo had blinds on it’s only window that let in too much light, even when they were closed. This made for early wake ups. I went to Home Depot to look for a six foot long pull down shade that would block out as much light as possible and found shades rated as “Blackout Lighting”. Back home, I double checked my window measurements and the next day purchased the shade. It was cut to fit the window and I was given the brackets needed to install it.

After paying at the self checkout area, I left the brackets in their small bag at the register. I realized this when I got home, and drove to the local hardware store in town. I got the last set of brackets they had that looked like the ones from Home Depot. Once home, I discovered these brackets did not fit the ends of the shade, so I decided to go back to Home Depot.

I stopped at the self check out and asked a worker bee if they found the bag I forgot. He looked at me like I was from Mars, turned away without a word, and starting talking to someone else. I went back to the windows aisle and got another package of the brackets I was given on the first trip, paid for them, and headed home again.

These didn’t fit either. Back to Home Depot. I found the guy who originally gave them to me, and he instantly assured me I was mistaken, they would fit. My verbal response to this assurance convinced him to go back to the shades section with me where I proved I was right. The ones he gave me earlier were for smaller shades, not the larger ones. I grabbed the correct ones, paid for them, and went back home.

These brackets were the correct ones. The overall install, counting the excessive car rides, went from about 10:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon. This is the norm for me with these type of DIY activities. But the shade works as intended and does make the room a lot darker than the blinds did.

I posted this in the “Life” category because I couldn’t bring myself to create a “Life as a Hapless Idiot” category.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Look forward.

My wife and best friend, Elaine, passed early in January of this year.  A knock-down blow.  I’m dealing with that, but my goal is to reach the point where seeing her picture, or an event shared popping into my head, will bring me a smile instead of sadness.  Not there yet, no rush, that’s just the goal.  I’m working on it.

But enough said.  I share this personal information because this brings about some changes in my life going forward, and I plan to write about it all here.  I felt providing an explanation for these plans and events was a good start, and will not be addressing my loss any further.

With the good advice of relatives and friends, none of the big changes I have in mind are for the near future.  But I can start some preparation soon that will serve me well whether or not the path I see now comes to fruition or not.

I plan to sell my condo which I own outright, and get into a much smaller place.  I had originally planned to put the condo on the market in spring or early summer of 2019, but now have put that off for possibly a year.  It needs some work (some windows, some paint, some flooring), and I need more time to get that done and search for my new home.  If I can pull it off financially, I’d like to be living in my new place before the condo is sold.  The additional monthly cost for that scenario would be the condo fee, the electric bill to keep the inside temperature adequate, insurance, and whatever service fees for the heating and air conditioning system arise.  I know, this seems risky, but it would make things a lot easier.

My new place will most likely be a rental, the cost of which will be covered for years using funds from the condo sale.  If this new place is not exactly what I’m looking for it may not be my permanent choice.

That’s the plan I’m working on.  There will be bumps and stone walls to be encountered for sure, and the plan will be altered, but goals mentioned remain the same.  Wish me luck.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde


One of the reasons I went to Baltimore this week was to see my son perform in a community theatre presentation of the horror / musical Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.  Henry has been active in Baltimore theatre for many years since moving to the city in 2008 and works with two community theatre groups, The Glyndon Area Players, and Third Wall Productions.

I’ve missed only one Baltimore show Henry was in, and every one I have seen was a very professional presentation, covering all the bases well.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is a Third Wall production and Henry will be working with the Glyndon Area Players in some capacity later this summer on Hello Dolly.

Henry’s performance of both the good Dr. Jekyll and the not-so-good Mr. Hyde was magnificent.  His songs were strong and clear, and his stage presence equally so.  Rather than continue with the proud papa schtick, I offer these links to reviews of the show found in the Baltimore media:

Jekyll & Hyde at Third Wall Productions
This is a lengthy, rave review and Mr. Cyr is a the end.  So scroll down if you must.

Theatre Review: ‘Jekyll and Hyde – The Musical’ at Third Wall Productions
Not quite as strong a rave, but still professes the boy’s skills.

That’s my boy.