2-27-09 (05:46)
  • updated the academy page. did the recap.
  • good article.
  • can't sleep, allergies killing me. probably the down comforter. didn't have any allergies until i was about 25.
  • got the recessed lights in. started wiring them up, may finish tomorrow or i may watch a movie. maybe both. three way switches on either side of the lights makes it a little more difficult. overall, though, the can lights have been insanely simple to install. i really enjoy electrical work because it's some of the most gratifying work you can do. it's tough at times, but, unlike painting, it feels like you're always moving in the right direction. painting is good for the final result, but prep work and going over the room several times (once to clean, once to remove hardware, once to sand, once to patch holes, once to sand patches, once to spot prime, once to mask key areas, once for the first coat, once for the second coat, once for the touch ups, once for taking off the masking) gets really obnoxious. when you're done with a wiring project you've got light where there once was none. plus, anyone thinks they can paint, but not everyone is willing to even touch electrical work. it's also a more cerebral job - how do a i wire a three way or four way switch, where am i going to run the romex, what size circuit will i need for an appliance that uses 2200 watts, what does the code say about stapling requirements, what size box should i use for 5 pieces of 14/2 romex, etc.? if you don't get those things right then it's a bit more serious than being able to see roller marks on the ceiling.
  • nice to have a president you can respect. it feels like my entire adult life has been marred by that last idiot's rule. the office of the presidency is actually relevant again. i don't agree with everything obama stands for or has done, but he's at least respectable. you can have a conversation with the guy. frankly, i think he's a better leader/speaker than nader, but that's about the only area where i think he's superior. if i had my way i'd have nader pulling obama's strings. obama selling nader's policies. that said, given the fear-addled state of our economy, being a great leader may be the most important quality going forward. so much of this crap is a downward spiral and feedback loop of fear. the media says we're in a recession so everyone stops spending money. then the media reports that so people start laying workers off and tightening budgets. the media reports that and we all start pulling money out of the banks and they collapse. i'm not saying there aren't serious flaws in the economy (there are), but i do think that a lot of this is worsened by people's overreaction to it. since most people are essentially sheep, it's very possible that the most valuable thing right now would be to have someone who we trust say everything is going to be okay, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, go spend money. obama can do that better than nader regardless of the fact that he's already pushed back his withdrawal of troops from iraq timeline or has had several cabinets appointments go sour or pulled lobbyists into his administration against his campaign promise. i used to feel that the president needed to be a good leader to those in the white house and an intelligent policy thinker. but with the financial crisis i'm learning that sometimes idiots (i.e., the majority of the population) just need a good team captain to rally the team together after an interception.
  • meanwhile, the republicans are looking like a bunch of assholes by holding out votes and refusing to bring anything of substance to the table. they're also looking like complete panderers with guys like their new chair (steele) and jindal (who gave the response to obama the other day). they look as lost now as the dems did just a couple years ago.

  • 2-19-09 (19:31)

  • put together a couple saw horses today. built at least partially from stuff that was laying around the garage which is nice.
  • didn't go to my class today.
  • cleaned up the garage and got another pull board on the leaning wall. next i'll need to attach the 4x4s to the foundation, jack up the cross members and start pulling the wall back into position. that'll be a big day.
  • next step in the kitchen is to rewire the lighting in the dining room and breakfast nook. after i get that sorted out i'll wire the kitchen lights and outlets. after electrical i'll do the plumbing, replace the rotten wood and close up the walls. could use some drywalling practice and i'm going to get plenty of it.

  • 2-16-09 (16:10)

  • rained almost the entire last 3-4 days which slowed down some of our activities on the house.
  • we have about half a dozen leaky spots in the roof which means we now have at least as many pots, bowls, and buckets catching drips in the attic and the first floor.
  • framing is essentially done. still need to replace some rotten wood. might need to frame the opening for the window. also have some sheathing to put up, but the substantial framing is done. started working on the electrical yesterday. we bought some can lights and insulation. will also work on the plumbing in the coming weeks. yesterday was productive. i worked for 12 hours and felt like we got a decent amount done. even worked a bit on the garage, just laying the groundwork for pulling it back into position.
  • today was less productive. ran errands and haven't gotten any actual work done yet.

  • 2-9-09 (14:57)

  • cabinets arrived today. look pretty good. kitchen isn't nearly ready for them yet.
  • updated house pictures page.

  • 2-8-09 (18:52)

  • missed the pro bowl today. it's usually not very exciting anyway.
  • saw ucla cream notre dame yesterday. first ncaa basketball of the season so far. they looked good. aboya is improved and holiday is as advertised. with kevin love they would have had a shot at the title again.
  • made decent progress on the kitchen. demo is done and started framing.
  • originally the kitchen was a small boxed in room between the dining room, breakfast nook, and laundry room. yesterday i tore down the walls to the laundry and breakfast rooms. today we tore down most of the wall to the living room. we framed up a bit of that wall, but still need to construct the knee wall. tomorrow i'll do that and hopefully frame up one of the other walls as well. also need to do some lawn maintenance. reason i have tomorrow off is because the cabinets are coming.

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    2-7-09 (19:27)

  • going to try to watch as many of the aa nominated pictures as possible before the awards. i've seen all the best pic noms so far so that's good.
  • kitchen demo is almost done. i took down two of the walls today, one more to go. it's a lot more open now with the pocket doors out. hopefully tomorrow we'll get the wall separating the tv room and the kitchen down. would also like to get some electrical done. also need to finish making the hall closet organizer.

  • 2-6-09 (17:51)

  • started ripping up the rest of the floor in the kitchen. actually it's the floor in the old laundry room, but i'll be part of the kitchen in the future. laundry room will go where the tools are when the garage is done so the tools can go there. if the inspector had seen the state of the kitchen we'd be working on getting drawings together for the city. we'd also be saving our nickels to pay for the permits. the city may or may not have been cool with the plan (which includes drastically altering three walls) and could have required an engineer or architect (or both) to sign off on our plans. it could have cost us an extra $1000.

  • 2-4-09 (15:52)

  • electrical inspector came by today. apparently we picked the right electrical contractor because the inspector knew him well. he told us some stories, looked at the main panel, asked if the grounds were properly bonded and then wrote the approval sticker and left. whew. dodged a bullet. now it's time to move on with the kitchen.

  • 2-1-09 (15:02)

  • superbowl is supposed to start right about now.
  • we've been busy moving stuff into their places. got the bedroom closet up and running. i built a custom shoe rack for meryl and we attached it to the wall and mounted a couple bars for hanging clothes. cleaned the bathroom. started prepping the garage for the work that needs to be done there.
  • updating the photos page. might be uploaded by tomorrow morning (its several gigs so it takes a long time). usually takes a couple hours just to run the update.

  • steelers by 5.