August 17, 2017 at 04:40PM

For 32 years now, one week each summer, the world has come to an end. Behold, Ragnarok: a weeklong battle event, held at a campground in Pennsylvania, whose name references an apocalyptic Norse myth. It’s part medieval history, part celebration of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and a dizzying array of people brandishing foam weapons and foam shields. With “storyline battles” straight out of “Lord of the Rings,” fighters take to the field for full contact combat. The sport is called Dagorhir (it means “Battle Lords” in Tolkien’s Elvish language) and its players fight each other with foam swords, arrows, axes, rocks, and shields. Only traditional garb is allowed here. Think tunics, flowing skirts, leather shoes. Some embrace the medieval, while others go full Orc. There’s a deeper sense of shared community that flows through each camp set up here where fighters camp out together sometimes in period tents and cook together. Some of the more established camps host nightly gatherings where IDs and period drinking vessels are both required. This year’s event drew more than 1,800 people according to organizers, a far cry from the 75 people who were there the first time the world ended back in 1985. — By Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Armed with foam shields and weapons, gladiators from the camp Rome charged into battle at Ragnarok XXXII. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

from Big Picture

from Blogger August 17, 2017 at 04:40PM

Want To Be In The Merc’s Time-Capsule!??

Its pretty early around these parts, 4:03 am to be exact but I just woke up with a very distinct impression that I need to put together a time-capsule for the Merc and you guys need to be part of it!!!

I hadn’t really thought of doing one and there were definitely other places we could’ve stuck it (helloooooo massive trenches in the foundation) but before the walls get closed up I’m going to get 1 or 9, you know, depending on participation enthusiasm, pulled together.

So will you send me something??!?

This is what I want:  Please print off one picture from your life today. It can be a selfie of you, your family, your dog, your house, your city, your favorite DIY project, your favorite meal, really ANYTHING (…well not anything, keep it PG) and write on the back of it:

Your Name
Your Location (doesn’t have to be an address, just the city you’re from)
Your Age
And then write about your life. What do you want someone long in the future to know? I mean, hopefully like reallllly long into the future cause these are going in the walls of my favorite place ever so…to be opened when I’m dead and gone? I feel really strongly that it needs to be about recording the good things that are happening in our lives right now.  This world is becoming increasingly darker and who knows what the future is going to hold, but I want our capsule, (whenever its found) to be a giant ray of sunshine!

The deadline for submission is a week from today, August 23rd. So you’re going to have to act really fast, especially those that are international. That is when the sheetrock is scheduled to start and the walls are being sealed. I would love to have a physical picture from you, but if you can’t make that happen with our tight turn around I still want you to be part of it! Shoot an email with the above info to with TIME-CAPSULE in the header.

Mail your pictures to:

Mandi Gubler
Santa Clara, UT 84765

Love you all and I can’t wait to have you be part of this!


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via Mandi at Want To Be In The Merc’s Time-Capsule!??

from Blogger Want To Be In The Merc’s Time-Capsule!??

Why Our Framing Bill Keeps Getting Higher and Higher…and Other Budget Updates

So we’ve come to the conclusion that there is not a single surface in the Merc that is straight. F’real. So many #mercperks.

Our framer had the walls and ceilings in pretty quick (like 4 days!!!) but we keep having him come back for more work. The latest is the ceiling in the kitchen. I was meeting with our AMAZING cabinet guy (can’t wait to tell you all about it!) and we realized that while the new opening into the entryway was level, the ceiling was in fact not, and the whole thing looked a little wonk.

The reality that we keep running into is, if we don’t fix the perks than the whole space is just going to seem off. For instance if we didn’t spend $500 fixing the ceiling than all of our cabinets that we are spending $20k on are going to look completely ridiculous. So we just have to bite the bullet and spend the money. GAH BUDGET WHY DO YOU HAVE TO EXIST!?

Another area that we are facing this issue is the back bedroom.

We are converting this doorway into a window, which didn’t seem like an issue at all, until we uncovered the wall and discovered that there is a massive metal beam holding the concrete block up. BLAHHHHHHH.

The plan is to take out the metal beam (that is hidden behind the white wood beam right on top of the door) and the concrete block so that the window can be the proper height (it will start about 6″ from the ceiling) otherwise its going to be teeny and look so weird.


Oh and we got our concrete bill. We had no idea what we were in for when we started. The cutting alone came in at $5700. Sure…I’ll share my paper hyperventilating bag with you. Deep breaths.

Luckily when our fantastic contractor did our bids he had a few different categories that we were able to creatively move money around it.

Our demo and concrete budgets were allocated like this:

The first 2 columns are the bids and allocated budget. The 3rd column (in blue) is what the actual cost was, and the last column is what we still have available in those categories, so we’re doing alright, but its stressful when you see the numbers come rolling in, because honestly who wants to spend money on concrete cutting!? Tile is WAY funner!! Because we did almost all of the demo ourselves we were able to take that $3k and use it toward the massive cutting bill. Luckily, we still have about $5k in our demo/concrete budget which is good because we had a huge snag with our HVAC system. Not to leave you hanging but it deserves a post all its own.

Sometimes making decisions with all of the #mercperks feels a lot like a 400 lb person sitting on you so you can’t breathe and aggressively tapping your forehead until you can name 5 vegetables that start with the letter K.

Also, I’d love some feedback, because we’re doing video with the reno, I’m still trying to find my groove when it comes to posting on the blog. I feel like there are every day updates that maybe get clumped together and glossed over a little because they don’t have a video with them. Would you guys rather see larger updates like I’ve been doing or do you want the day to day and a video stuck in when its done?





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via Mandi at Why Our Framing Bill Keeps Getting Higher and Higher…and Other Budget Updates

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August 11, 2017 at 07:22PM

President Trump has pledged to add 5,000 agents to the existing Border Patrol force of more than 21,000 as part of his border security policy. All new agents complete a months-long training course at the US Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, N.M. — By John Moore/Getty Images

US Border Patrol trainees run upon their initial arrival to the US Border Patrol Academy on Aug. 2 in Artesia, N.M. All new agents must complete a months-long training course at the New Mexico faciltiy before assuming their posts at Border Patrol stations, mostly along the US-Mexico border. (John Moore/Getty Images)

from Big Picture

from Blogger August 11, 2017 at 07:22PM


Dudes! We’re renovating our dream house, an old mercantile store build in 1928! Follow along from the beginning here!

I have so much to tell you!!

The most important being WE HAVE WALLS! Well…sort of. We have wall skeletons!

The framers have been at the Merc for the last week getting everything framed up and I LOVE IT!!

Sorry for all of the caps and !!!, I’m just really really happy about it.

Framing was one of the things that Court was pretty sure we could do ourselves, I was not on board with that idea. You guys know I love a good DIY but I am so glad we didn’t try to frame the Merc by ourselves. It took 2 guys to do in 3 days what it would have taken us 3 months to do. And that’s if everything was straight, level, and plum.

Which it wasn’t.

So just go ahead and add another month + divorce to that timeline and you’re looking at what it would have cost us to DIY it.

Instead we get to stay happily married and moving forward with the renovation. Well, mostly happy. See I had really high expectations for what the unveiling of the framing to the family would look like. For almost a year I’ve been working on this and I finally had something tangible for them to see, so I thought (rather stupidly) that they would be as overcome with joy as I was. I mean, is that too much to ask?

Apparently so.

Court keeps reminding me that even with studs, they can’t see the vision. Which I get, but still it made me feel a little bad that they weren’t wicked excited. Check out the video below!






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