7-28-09 (20:35)
  • try to work an hour or two after getting home to get the electrical done a bit sooner so the focus can go back to the kitchen. still need to wire up a lot of the fixtures, but the switches are almost all done.
  • speaking of electrical. i called the electrician who did our service and who i have worked for in the past to touch bases with him. he called back later and said he might have some work for me. this is a good thing money-wise. i also think that career-wise being an electrician would be pretty fun. since it appears as though i'll need some dental work done in the future it would also be good to lay the ground work for getting full-time employment with benefits.
  • meryl has been working on the underlayment for the hardwood in the kitchen. we're going with red rosin paper, but the more i think about it, the more i think we should have gone with kraft paper. ugh.
  • not sure why there's much talk about sotomayor being confirmed. should be a no-brainer. she's a bit quick to imprision people for my taste, but she'll do. the report i heard said she consistently chose prison for defendants (both white and blue collar) more than her peers. don't think that contributing to the police state is really the way to go, but she seems solid otherwise.

  • 7-26-09 (18:28)

  • not as productive today as yesterday. had to go into work for about 4 hours, 5 hours lost when you factor in drive time. painted the second coat in the kitchen in the morning, though, so that's done. onto the flooring now. could do the overhead cabinets if we felt like it.
  • all the electrical is roughed in for the lights that i've been working on this week. hopefully that'll be done by this time next week. drywall hopefully up in the laundry in that time as well. we decided we're going to pay someone to do a bunch of stucco work - mostly on the laundry room exterior, but also by the front door to finally get that finished up. hope to get that done the first week of august.

  • 7-25-09 (22:26)

  • got a lot done on the house today. on thursday i started working on running some electrical to a switch near the sliding glass door in the laundry room for an exterior light that we're going to have there. that ended up taking me down a slippery slope into electrical hell. i started working on one circuit which led me taking out all sorts of wires running all over the place. next thing you know we don't have light in the laundry room or office. so now one light turns into me finally tackling: hallway light, laundry lights, exterior light by laundry room, office lights including getting the sconces to be on the switch, front door exterior light, door bell, front foyer light. so thursday i was planning things out and trying not to open up many walls in the process. today i got almost all of that stuff roughed in. electrical is a challenge in existing conditions because you have an ideal way of running a circuit, but then there is the reality of the situation. do you really want to open up the walls in the office so you can put in a new electrical box that will fit more wires so you can run the next circuit with less wire and less hassle? in this case i opted not to do that. i only opened up one small section of wall in the laundry room and put in one new box by the front door (but it won't require any patching because of my amazing cutting job). electricians generally don't take this into account because they generally don't bid in patching the drywall/plaster. when you're the electrician and the drywall guy then you think about the process a bit more. of course it does mean that a few of the lines aren't properly stapled within 8" of the box, but i don't really see a way around that. so, by this time next week we should have a door bell and lights in places that we didn't before: front foyer, front exterior, hallway and the sconces in the office will be operational.
  • also got a first coat of paint on the kitchen walls. this is the second color we've tried, hopefully the last.

  • 7-22-09 (18:43)

  • top obama voting areas: d.c. with something like 90% of the vote going to obama. hawaii (his birth state) with over 70% and vermont with about 70%.
  • vermont is interesting because it's so rural and has so many farmers, yet is the second biggest state supporter of obama. seems like a contradiction to some. to me it's the best of both worlds.
  • another early day at work today to continue power washing the windows and patio. that patio is ridiculously dirty and could probably use another washing to clean up more of the grout.

  • 7-21-09 (18:54)

  • finished updating the vermont trip page.
  • also the pictures should be working.

  • 7-21-09 (15:48)

  • woke up before 6a today to get to work by 630. had to pressure wash both the patios in anticipation of some big event that they were having at the alumni house. tomorrow i have to do the same to finish the last bit of the patio and go to work on the windows. don't want to know how much water i used.

  • 7-20-09 (14:17)

  • bad news.
  • working on trip page for the weekend in vermont.
  • unimpressed by the new prodigy album.

  • VERMONT TRIP

    7-16-09 (10:29)

  • started painting tuesday, but it turns out the color is too orange for our taste. got some more samples and will try again when we get back.
  • this weekend is my birthday celebration. meryl had been keeping it a secret, but she let it out in comical fashion the other day. we're going to vermont to see the ben and jerry's factory and have a good time in general.
  • a stucco guy was supposed to come by today to look at putting new stucco on the laundry room exterior, but he's 45 minutes late so i'm guessing he doesn't want the work.

  • 7-12-09 (13:54)

  • you probably won't stay tuned for the entire 20 minutes, but you should. great topic coupled with thoughtful and intelligent real world insight.

  • 7-11-09 (12:03)

  • would like to take a moment to highlight the life of a great mind. charles dalziel is known to only a few, but he saved thousands of lives and is in just about everyone's home. he was a cal grad who also taught electrical engineering there. later, he went on to invent the ground fault circuit interrupter (gfci). it's the outlet with the little red/black buttons in the middle that you find in wet areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. most people won't ever have to thank him for his invention, but if you ever drop a toaster in the bathtub and only get a brief shock, he's the one to thank for your life. added some stuff to his wiki page the other day because it's pretty sparse.

  • 7-10-09 (22:18)

  • thursday was pretty productive. meryl's dad came over and we installed the sliding glass door in the laundry room. it weighs like 150lbs so getting it up into place was tough. the frame needed some straightening once in place, but we got it done. took about 2 hours to install and waterproof it. after that meryl and her dad went to work on the bathroom demo. they took out the toilet and sink as well as most of the lath/plaster and tile on the walls. i went at the cement step by the kitchen entrance with the rotohammer. got it broken out and chipped into small pieces so that we can dispose of the concrete over time.
  • meryl is away for the weekend so i'm tackling the kitchen texture myself. still trying to fine tune the curved archways so the pvc bullnose doesn't show. worked on that and primed the small half of the kitchen as well as the ceiling in the main part of the kitchen. we need to prime first because we're doing a knockdown texture and the joint compound will dry at different rates depending upon whether its on the drywall or the mud. pain in the ass. everything takes longer than i hoped.
  • painting should be done by end of day tuesday; at least that's the plan. texture should be done this weekend. hope to finally patch the stucco this weekend as well.
  • went to a neighborhood watch meeting a couple nights ago. rep from oakland pd was there giving us tips on being safe. basically he said that being afraid and aware were real important. not real helpful. mostly a waste of 90 minutes.
  • after the kitchen is done i hope to catch up on all the little things, the half done projects that have been sitting around waiting for a spare few hours to get finished off. front door lights, door bell, stucco, painting stucco patches, and all the rest.

  • 7-7-09 (21:38)

  • hopefully the michael jackson nostalgia doesn't last much longer.
  • this two week period will always be remembered by me as the time i turned 30 and people told me i was old, and the the time when a shit load of people died. palin committed political suicide. fawcett, mj, mcnamara, mcnair, mcmahon, and malden.
  • hope to prep for texture tomorrow. will also waterproof the opening for the sliding glass door in the laundry room. hope to spray texture on friday, install door thursday. saturday final coat of stucco beneath kitchen door. need to give that a few weeks to fully cure before paint, unfortunately. should have gotten to that last week. finding a good texture took a few tries, but i think we found a good way of achieving what we're looking for. not sure it'll come out perfect on the rounded corners and archways, but i'll do my best.

  • 7-4-09 (21:42)

  • some big fireworks being blown up in oakland today. i think oakland gets into it more than any place i've been. it sorta fits into the lawlessness that many in this town seem to embrace. saw a guy pissing on the street today.
  • meryl's dad came over thursday to help with the sliding door in the back. before he came we started taking out the drywall and we purchased the replacement door from hd. 6' slider for under $300, thought that was a pretty good deal. we took out the old door which proved a bit more difficult than anticipated. then meryl and vince worked on swapping out the door and the door track so that it would open the way we wanted it to (the default is right to left, and we wanted it to slide left to right). while they did that i built a temporary wall in front of the doorway so that we could demo the crappy framing job that was there before and basically start from scratch. the laundry room was once a covered patio and it's framed at 24" o.c. and in generally poor condition. about the time they were finished i was finished so we worked on taking down the old wall and then started framing in the new one. yesterday and today i worked on that some more and finished it up. meryl worked on the drywall in the kitchen; it's starting to look really good. just some fine tuning left to be done before texture and paint.
  • this morning we went to fenton's for my birthday breakfast. had planned on ihop because they were reputed to give freebies on your b-day, but that turned out to be false. after breakfast we came home and got to work on our respective projects. the framing in the laundry is complete and looks real good. need to water proof the opening and then it'll be ready for the door, which will go in on thursday when vince is coming again to help. door is pretty heavy so we definitely need another set of hands to get it done.
  • after a day's work we went to fuddrucker's to claim my free birthday sundae and have dinner. then we saw food inc. overall a good day. hopefully tomorrow will be even more productive.
  • so far i've hauled in a couple pairs of basketball shorts from meryl and a kick ass camera from my grandma. will have photos of the house online within the week.
  • allergies don't seem to quit. i'm thinking the high dust volume in the house is a contributor. also the overrun weeds and grass probably aren't helping.