6/29/11 (19:12)
  • got the pergola wood delivered today. we're getting everything ready for our patio project which starts on the 9th. if you're reading this and you know where i live, then you're invited to come help us tear up the back and side patio. should be back breaking fun.
  • we decided that part of the back patio will be raised and have a pergola on it. this will also double as a space to put (hopefully) all of the dirt that we need to excavate where the pavers are going. the concrete will be disposed of off-site. set three of the six pergola posts and built the raised bed, so that was pretty good progress.

  • 6/23/11 (17:22)

  • went to the doctor today to check out my ankle. people at work said i should go so i followed their advice. the doctor literally told me nothing i hadn't already found out on the internet. i had self-diagnosed it as a level 2 sprain and she said the same, she said to keep doing the treatment i had been doing, etc. actually, she did give me a timeline of six weeks before i'd be back to normal. we'll see about that. i'm gunning for 2 weeks because i'm an indestructable teenager. did give me a referral to have it x-rayed as well as to get physical therapy which i may do even though i already know what exercises they're going to have me doing.
  • i just finished my itunes "checked and unrated" smart playlist. that means i've rated all the songs that are on my ipod. i started this project about two years ago and it's finally done. when i got the new computer i lost a few thousand songs worth of ratings so that extended the process. good to be done. last song i had to rate was tom waits' rain dogs. i gave it 3 stars. i still have 3318 songs to rate that aren't on the ipod. i'll do that next, but that'll go slower.
  • here's how things progressed:

  • june '10 progress:
    stars # of songs % of total
    1 481 5.5
    2 4979 57.8
    3 2098 24.3
    4 691 7.7
    5 361 4.1
    8610 24.9

    october '10 progress:
    stars # of songs % of total
    1 790 5.6
    2 8064 57.6
    3 3387 24.2
    4 1180 8.4
    5 586 4.2
    14007 38.3

    january 2011 progress:
    stars # of songs % of total
    1 995 4.8
    2 12,082 58.7
    3 5,049 24.5
    4 1,638 7.9
    5 805 3.9
    20,569 55.4/37,102

    6/23/11, finished!:
    stars # of songs % of total
    1 1385 4.0
    2 20566 60.1
    3 8564 25.0
    4 2446 7.1
    5 1232 3.6
    34193

    6/19/11 (10:44)

  • worked yesterday for meryl's brother's company. meryl is the property manager of his company and they have a house in sf that is being rented to a few different people. there was an old staircase that was condemned by the city, so meryl and i took it down in order to save money for the company. i worked on an hourly basis, but i think i gotta bid this stuff out from now on. it was a fairly unsafe thing to do so for the amount of time/risk we put in it, the reward wasn't great. after we were done with it, i helped meryl bring some paint back to the property for the painter. as i was putting it in the laundry room (one and a half steps down a walkway without a door) i twisted my ankle and hurt my foot. this happened once before when playing basketball about 11-12 years ago. not fun. it's really swollen now and walking is a no go. it's ironic because the most dangerous thing we were doing that day was taking down a rickety old stair case that goes to the second level and it wasn't even anchored into concrete piers of any kind; it was just resting on grade. but with literally the last 5 gallon bucket of the day i hurt myself and am out of comission for a few days at least. it knew it was bad as soon as it happened. hearing a pop is never a good sign. ugh.
  • luckily it was the very last thing i had to do for the day and i had an ace bandage in my truck (i should have been a boy scout), so i wrapped it up quickly to help keep the swelling down. meryl drove us to the nearest gas station and i was icing it within 10 minutes. got home 30 minutes later and took some aleeve and iced it throughout the night. will rest all day today and start moving it around tomorrow so it doesn't heal too tightly. probably back to work on tuesday. meryl took good care of me yesterday, but i'm on my own today. maybe i'll watch a foreign movie or something.
  • only have two pictures of the shitty staircase. it went up to another unit that i guess they're not going to be renting any time soon. as stated, the four posts holding it up were not secured with simpson ties or even concreted into the ground. they were just resting on the ground with a couple toenails. very poor workmanship, which made the demo a bit hairy since you're making it less and less stable as you go and the highest point was probably 16 feet off the ground since it's right next to another stairway.




  • in other news, juan and his wife finished up with the exterior paint yesterday. i'm glad we did as much prep as we did and then handed it off to him. i don't think that the results would have been as good if we had him do everything and i don't think they would be as good if we did it all either. i'm probably best at painting and electrical, though i could keep up with a professional painter better than i could keep up with a pro electrician. so, it worked out that we basically had two crews take a couple swipes at prepping the house; and it needed it. they did a real good job and have a real pride in their work. he was real easy to deal with as well. solid guy and painter.

  • we also had the new front window installed on friday.




  • so, after we got home yesterday we painted it. i even got in on the fun despite my injury.


  • i have about 300 songs left to rate, which is good news. i still have 3k to go after that, but none of those are on the ipod. i've never been a big fan of projects that take longer than a day or two, but the last few years it seems that's all i've been doing. the slate project at work is always ongoing, the house and its various projects, rating all my songs, etc. i'm getting a little more patient as a result, but i'm still and impatient person.

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    6/16/11 (22:03)

  • down to about 500 songs to rate. yay.
  • there's a real shortage of public heroes. guys like weiner and tiger woods and others really make it difficult to believe in anyone anymore.

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    6/15/11 (17:12)

  • went to luke's yesterday to swap out his old garage subpanel. as the day went on we added more to the list of things to do. ended up adding two additional circuits on one wall and one on another. swapped out the old panel and put in the new one. swapped out a bad three way switch and called it a day.
  • busy busy busy.

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    6/8/11 (18:43)

  • about 1,000 songs left to rate on the ipod. still have another 3,000 left on itunes to rate after that, but those are lower priority. the end is finally near. lost today's ratings (about 120 songs) because i plugged in the ipod, unplugged it and then plugged it back in without going through the proper steps. if i lost all my ratings data, i'd probably hunt down steve jobs and fucking tear him apart.

  • 6/7/11 (20:28)

  • exterior paint is making progress. should have it looking pretty presentable by the end of the week. took off half the downspouts today so that the painter could make it look good without having to mask them off. will reinstall after he's done.
  • dad is coming up this weekend. also will do more work on the slate patio at work this weekend.
  • also have a cabinet and shelving unit that i need to build for meryl's dad/stepmom sometime since i've been putting that off for a while.
  • lots going on these days as usual.
  • game four between miami and dallas is tied right now. before the series started i felt that miami was going to win. they have two of the big three categories that i look at in the nba playoffs: defense and superstars. the coaching advantage goes to the mavs. i figure that dirk can win two games for them and terry will need to win a third. who will step up to win the fourth? fact is that the mavs just don't have a big third guy. they can do it by committee, and that may happen, but it's not looking great right now. dirk's performance these playoffs has been as good as i can remember in a while. he's been unstoppable, though he did miss one notable shot in the last game (the chance to tie it at the top of the key).
  • meryl's brother's wedding was last weekend. it was a big production with events spanning a few days. weddings are funny because they bring together friends and family like only funerals do. they're also very much centered on two people so i don't think i'd ever want to be the subject of such an event. too much pressure and attention.
  • will upload new pics tonight.
  • also stopped by to see my grandma on the way back home. she's turning 75 so that's a good milestone.
  • next big project may end up being the exterior of the house - breaking up all the concrete, installing a pergola, and installing pavers or some sort of concrete driveway. after that is the second bathroom and the laundry room. from there on it's smaller projects. a little wiring, some painting, etc. nothing too huge. at that point it will be good to help others with their projects and visit the family a little more.
  • going to luke's next week to install a new electrical panel. should be a pretty simple job. may need to install a trough junction box, but other than that i don't see any issues coming up. it's just a matter of doing the work.
  • when we went to a house that meryl's dad was renting for his wedding related stay in san diego, i was looking around and thinking about doing all the different phases of construction. it struck me that the only thing i wouldn't mind doing from soup to nuts on a project that size is the wiring. i could do a little plumbing on one of the bathrooms or the exterior gas range, or i could build the pergola or maybe the forms part of the foundation or do the drywall/painting in one room. but only electrical is something that could keep my interest for an entire job in a moderate to large sized home.

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    6/1/11 (17:56)

  • worked 10 hours on the slate project at the alumni house the other day. it's one of those neverending projects and the first picture below shows you part of the reason why. it's either settling or there's a root underneath that will continue to bring water up and force apart whatever patch i put there.



  • there's another portion that i tried to get to as well, but it turned out to be more than i could handle in a day. about 25 pieces popped up while i was replacing two pieces. turns out that there was a glue down patch done before and it didn't hold. so i had planned on fixing (grind off old glue, clean, let dry, apply new adhesive, affix) that yesterday, but it rained. the rain was no good for the two pieces i patched there so they popped up today as well. rain and cementitous products don't mix well for the first few days. forecast didn't say anything about rain on tuesday and i didn't have a tarp so i got kinda screwed on that one.
  • i've found a new adhesive for this stuff that i think will do well for this application. called the manufacturer and they said it should work well too. if it doesn't, though, then i'll have to progress to a thinset and be done with the damn thing. been avoiding thinset to date because of the building up and prospect of lippage.