Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Posted by Peter

Here's a picture of a few of the "small" lake homes that we saw this past weekend on our anniversary trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.:

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New stairs

Posted by Peter

IMG_0009-2.JPG, originally uploaded by onebigswede.

We hired a carpenter over the weekend to build and install some stairs onto our house leading from our patio sliding door to our brick patio. He did a great job - finishing the job in about 5 hours.

After he finished building the stairs we stained the stairs with some "black walnut" colored stain to match the stairs to the new patio set and patio a little better.

Finally we bought a new fire pit and had our first fire on our new patio. A busy and eventful weekend!

Weight Loss

Posted by Peter in ,

At the beginning of the year i realized that I was at my heaviest weight ever, and that I really needed to lose some weight. I had lost weight before, dropping about 25-30 pounds the previous time using the workout plans in the "Body For Life" book and at

When I started working out on February 1st I weighed in at about 252 pounds. I've been working out for about 4 solid months now, and I'm now weighing in at 218 pounds. I'd like to lose another 10-20 pounds before I'm done.

People are now beginning to ask me how I lost all the weight, and what they can do to achieve the same results. I tell them that it is all pretty simple.

1. Eat less, but more often. (i eat 5-6 small meals a day)
2. Exercise more. (I exercise 6 days a week. 3 days of weights, 3 days of aerobic exercise)
3. Be consistent.

There is no easy way to do it, you just have to start doing it, and keep with it. It isn't a diet so much as a lifestyle change. Once you've been doing it for a month or two it becomes habit, and your body starts to crave the exercise.

beforeafter.jpg, originally uploaded by onebigswede.

Some resources I've used in my weight loss journey: a fitness website that allows you to keep track of your weight loss and fitness over time. Good information and healthy recipes.
Body for Life: The book that has really helped me understand fitness and losing weight.

Sunset in Shakopee

Posted by Peter

Do you have a leak in your sprinkler line?

Posted by Peter

leaky sprinkler line?, originally uploaded by onebigswede.

My wife and I just put in a new patio. In the process we now have discovered that there was a leaky sprinkler line in our yard (see picture). In case anyone needs to fix their own sprinkler line - here are some instructions i found online:

Sometimes you'll have PVC that's broken under the ground, especially in an irrigation system. And it's very simple to fix - it's very cheap, too.

What you need to do is identify where the break is - we're going to imagine there's a break somewhere in the line. You cut off both ends on either side of the break with your hacksaw. And then once you cut through it - it's very easy to cut - once you cut through it, you want to clean and sand the cut ends because you don't want any of what we call burrs to corrupt the seal.

What you'll then do is get a coupler, which is simply a tube which on both ends will slip over the PVC. And you want to make sure it fits properly first, what we call a dry fit. And then when it does, you're going to use some of the purple primer, which will ensure a good seal. And you simply dab this or swab it around the cut end as well as inside the coupler. And that just takes a moment to dry, but you want to make sure that it is dry before you proceed. And then you coat each part with PVC cement. And a good, liberal coating is best. Doesn't have to be neat; no one's ever going to see this. And if you miss a spot, you're right back where you started because you will have a leak. And while it's still wet, you want to join the two parts, and you will wipe off any excess. And you're done, and it will be sealed good as new.