3-30-09 (19:42)
  • yesterday jon came over and helped with the garage project. problem: garage has three cross beams/joists running from opposing top plates, all three have fallen off the top plate on one side or the other. south wall is about 4 inches out of plumb. north wall about 2 inches out of plumb. south wall is partially off the foundation. solution: i rigged up a 4x4 in the middle of the garage and 2 2x8s on the south wall. using two come-alongs we pulled on the wall. doing this we were able to get the bottom of the south wall back on the foundation. replaced part of the mudsill and attached it to the foundation and rest of the south wall. we were unable to get the top of the wall any significant amount closer to the north wall. after jon left i extended the cross beams by sistering a 2x4 to them. this sistered 2x4 now rests on the top plate on all three beams. they're attached to the top plates using hurricane ties. overall it was a mixed results type of day. i really would have liked to get the south wall within 2 inches of plumb, but that was not to be. even if i had adopted the word for word plan of the engineer i don't think that the come alongs would have had enough power to move the wall. the wall itself isn't the problem, it's more that in trying to move it we were trying to move the entire roof and west wall that became a problem. the good news is that the band-aid that we applied should make the structure a little more stout. it's now at least partially attached to the foundation and the cross beams are holding the roof together a lot more than they were when they were dangling in the middle of the garage. ultimately this project is probably going to require a professional to lift the building, replace the slab foundation, and straighten it. no idea how much that would cost or if there is an easier way to get: 1) the building straight 2) a new foundation (which is badly cracked and not at all flat/level).
  • didn't do any work on the house today. next priorities are: tying up a couple small loose ends with the garage. finalizing the plumbing (hook up rough-ins to main water supply) and electrical (hook some things up to the panel, rough in power for the range hood, which i completely forgot about) in the kitchen. moving onto the next phase in the kitchen.
  • it's really useful to be able to do this stuff. there are definitely plenty of things i can't do and plenty of gaps in my knowledge, but i think i have the broad strokes down at this point.

  • 3-29-09 (10:50)

  • dad was supposed to come up to visit this weekend, but has bad headaches so that didn't happen.
  • worked on meryl's project with her two dads for about six hours yesterday. built a makeshift roof, covered it in cloth and built a couple hanging stands for the projectors. she's working on the finishing touches today. she threw her back out last night while sneezing, though, so that's going to be tough. thankfully i haven't thrown my back out in a while.
  • friday was a day off for the alumni house staff, but i went in and worked on the slate project. got 5 big pieces in so that was a success. the slate project isn't near done, but i've taken care of all the major, visible patches so that's nice. also worked on a fire safety issue. a productive day.

  • 3-26-09 (11:19)

  • the tournament hasn't been as good this year. my teams have all sucked, there haven't been many big upsets, there just isn't an interesting narrative to the tourney thus far.
  • allergies continue to kill. have tried many methods, but nothing has worked so far. i'm going to run the air purifier more often. have tried all sorts of otc drugs as well as local/organic honey. next up, standing on my head while chanting the hare krishna mantra. that or just toughing it out.
  • plumbing has been more of a pain than anticipated.
  • meryl's almost done with her project. that'll be good because she'll be less stressed and be able to help with the house again.
  • need to do my taxes.
  • money doesn't grow on trees, but when you sell blood and bone marrow it does grow in your body.
  • bulbs.com has good prices and availability, but there seems to always be a problem with an order. i've ordered several things from them for myself and the alumni house and there's always a missed shipment or a broken bulb or something. that said, they're good about fixing the problem.
  • found a lot of structure problems under the old laundry room and the main bathroom. my guess is that there was a steady leak in a toilet as well as one for the clothes washer. when we do the bathroom (next big project) i'll have to reframe a lot of the bathroom. that'll be interesting.
  • of all the types of pollution i think that noise and light pollution are the most underrated.

  • 3-22-09 (21:53)

  • didn't get much done on the house this weekend. went to santa cruz yesterday to visit luke and help him on his house. we ran an ethernet cable to his tv and i gave him advice on all the things he should do. also played on the xbox and had a good lunch. good visit.
  • did get the sink water supply roughed in. ended up wasting most of my day moving the drain down a few inches because we got a deep sink and garbage disposal. wanted to make sure we're going to have enough pitch on the drain.
  • still need to run pipe to the frig and work on the rough in for the bathroom which shares a wall with the kitchen.

  • 3-19-09 (22:22)

  • put up the sheathing for the shear wall today. plumbed the gas pipe yesterday. wasn't able to do the pressure test as i would have liked, i must have been doing something wrong because i couldn't get any pressure in the system. did go under the house and did a visual (water/soapy water) test on every connection in the system. found one minor leak on the opposite end of the house, so it wasn't associated with my work. took the fitting out, put some pipe dope on it and tightened it up. all seems to be well. there was only one gas connection to be made so that's done. took out some extraneous pipe. eventually i might have to expand the system when we get a heating system (probably will do that after the kitchen is done).
  • next will work on the water supply for the sink and frig. shouldn't take too long, hopefully get that done this weekend.
  • march madness is upon us. this is the best time of the year for that reason and the daylight savings shift.
  • worst time of the year for allergies which are killing me right now. would love to have an allergist run some tests so i know what to do/avoid, etc. we've gone through 4 boxes of kleenex in 2 weeks. seems as though my allergies get worse every year. none of the otc drugs i've tried have worked.
  • listen to car talk just about every time i'm in the car. i download each new episode and i've gotten a lot of older episodes using itunes gift cards.
  • ucla escaped tonight. i knew that if they were going to win it was going to be with defense and, sure enough, the last play was a great defensive stand with collison and shipp coming up big. collison in particular did a great job guarding maynor. "president" obama was featured on espn giving his bracket picks (baraka-tology). he picked vcu over ucla as well. asshole. he's also going to be on jay leno soon. the guy should get back to work, not sure why he's wasting his time with distractions.

  • 3-15-09 (21:53)

  • meryl's making me watch tv guide's sexiest men in movie history. hope paul newman wins.
  • finished the rough electrical today. not sure how to wire the under cabinet lighting because we haven't purchased them yet.
  • also installed some blocking for the overhead cabinets. should add some for the range hood as well. after that and a couple small things i'll move onto the plumbing. after that it'll be insulation and flooring time.

  • 3-14-09 (18:15)

  • wired a few more circuits today. one for the dishwasher, one for the garbage disposal (which i also ran to an exterior receptacle for weed whacking and the like), and one for the north wall outets (3 of them). need to run one more for the frig and another for more outlets and the exterior light outside of the kitchen entry door. also going to run one circuit for the undermount lighting. after that i'll be done with the kitchen-related electrical, at least until it comes time to hook up some of the lights at the very end of the project.
  • next up is plumbing. running gas to the stove, which is currently only electric. running water to the sink and 3/8" water to the frig (for the ice maker and water dispenser). also discovered that it would be a good idea to address some of the rough plumbing issues for the bathroom while the other side of the wall is exposed. that'll add time now, but make life easier when the bathroom is renovated.
  • had planned on working on the garage tomorrow, but it's slated to rain and meryl needs to use it for school work.

  • 3-12-09 (15:33)

  • pg&e showed up an hour late. missed class, but we're officially done with pg&e so that's nice. got to talking with the guy and he was actually pretty cool. talked about his house in georgia and what he wants to do with it, talked about his divorce, his racing, his wanting to travel the country, etc. he even knows a neighbor of ours which was neat.
  • got a decent amount done in the last couple days. wired a few outlets in the kitchen, finished the wiring for the overhead lights in the kitchen, started getting rid of the old clothes washer plumbing.

  • 3-11-09 (15:04)

  • new kitchen window is in. window from laundry room is out and patched. patched around the new kitchen window until i ran out of stucco mix. would love to run to home depot to pick some more up and finish the scratch coat, but i'm waiting for pg&e to show up.
  • they said they'd show up today, but they showed up yesterday and had a problem with the LB connector at the base of the service head. eventually they just sealed it and rescheduled the service appointment for today. it's after 3p and they're not here yet, i'm guessing they forgot about me or something. this is the essence of dealing with pg&e. monopolies are wonderful.
  • never got around to posting my little tour of sodas:

  • leninade 7-14-08, 17:30.
    smooth, not overly carbonated, no syrupy texture, not very lemonade-y
    kolashampan 7-14-08, 20:05
    sort of like an orange cream soda, from el salvador. right amount of carbonation. more strange than good.
    boylan sugar cane cola 7-18-08, 16:44
    brewed smell, smooth, more coke than pepsi, unrefined flavor
    berghoff famous rootbeer 7-21-08 19:00
    henry weinhardtesque, not too much different from average rootbeers like ibc
    dr. browns cream soda 7-25-08 13:43
    slightly too much carbonation, high fructose corn syrup and you can tell. not wonderfully smooth. pretty standard as far as cream soda goes.
    san benedetto 7-25-08 14:35
    pretty good orange soda. has bits of orange (or something) in the soda that sorta freak you out at first. nothing stunning. refreshing.
    americana root beer cream style 8-1-08 19:20
    microbrew root beer - only brew 600 gallons at a time. very unique flavor, smooth texture. sassafras root, vanilla, and licorice flavors. complex flavor, yet can still be enjoyed to quench thirst. pure cane sugar. right amount of carbonation.
    fentiman's victorian lemonade 8-8-08 19:30
    a fermented lemon drink that is brewed with ginger and herb extracts. smells and tastes like a lemon beer, though it has only .5% alcohol by volume. the brewed flavor drowns out everything else for me, not enjoyable.
    route 66 root beer 8-10-08 18:02
    pretty standard root beer to my taste buds. about as good as ibc, maybe a little smoother. metallic after taste.
    cock n' bull ginger soda 8-10-08 20:12
    powerful taste, not smooth like ginger ale. too much ginger. couldn't finish this one.
    mason's root beer 8-10-08 20:39
    smooth root beer from la area
    sunkist float (orange and cream) 8-11-08 20:15
    creamy, slightly carbonated half and half bar flavor. good.
    green river 8-13-08 18:00
    sort of a cross between sprite and ginger ale. a nice, solid, basic soda.
    moxie
    solid cola, better than pepsi.
    colombia
    hank's root beer 8-17-08 19:00
    creamy, good root beer. one of the better ones so far.
    red ribbon root beer
    brewed root beer that didn't do too much for me.
    ramune melon flavor 8-22-08 19:00
    coolest thing about this soda is the process involved with opening it. you take off the cap and push it down to pierce the top. this shoots a little marble from the top into the bottle. interesting. the soda itself is decent enough, but nothing special. it's all about the bottle here.

    3-3-09 (18:53)

  • sold some white blood cells today. helped pay some bills. also doing bone marrow this month. should actually be out of the hole by the end of the month.

  • 3-2-09 (20:11)

  • finished installing the can lights in the kitchen. they're on 3 way switches which made it a little more complicated. miswired one of the lights, but it worked fine after i fixed that.
  • selling some blood tomorrow. definitely need the money. it seems all i do is work on ,think about, and spend money on the house.

  • started installing the new kitchen window. not done yet because it started raining pretty heavily.