Ta da! I finally caught a break in the foul Fall weather (before Winter set in for good) and got it primed and painted. MUCH better!
And in case you're wondering what all the fuss was about, here's what it looked like before (and why I had to bump it to the top of my to-do list!):
Oh, and while I was at it, I finally decided to just throw caution to the wind and remove this 'who-knows-what-it's-for-or-why-it's-there' piece of awesomeness:
And nobody died.
Oh yeah, Happy New Year!