Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Feduhrawl Hollydaih

Washington Post:
Senate leaders vowed to take action this week. However, under the Constitution, such a bill is supposed to originate in the House, which is not scheduled to convene again until Thursday because of the Rosh Hashanah Jewish new year holiday.

I could have sworn we had a seperation of church and state in this country, especially under a liberal democrat controlled congress. I wasn't aware that the Jewish new year had been made an official United States Federal Holiday. Funny, . . . I'm at work, but congress isn't at a time when they all say the sky is falling.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sheetrocking Begins

The insulation in the breakfast nook is completed and I set up dad's sheetrock lifter. It's large and awkward at times but you really can't do without it. Beth shoveled the plaster from the demolition into the trailer this last week and took it to the county dump/transfer site. This weekend we got the sheetrock up on the ceiling. It's a slow start on the sheetrock, but the cabinets won't be ready soon anyway so we've got plenty of time to let the schedule slip. I've gone from thinking the kitchen will be done for Thanksgiving to maybe done for Christmas. It really hasn't been that bad. The stove and refrigerator have remained in the kitchen and work. The kitchen sink has been kept functional and the dishwasher was a roll-around model anyway, so we're really not doing without anything. Countertop space is the only thing missing at the moment, that and having half the kitchen in the kitchen and half in the dining room.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PGE's Electric Car Charging Stations

Several New Electric Car Charging Stations Now In Portland-Area

I have to laugh at parts of this article.

Currently the charging stations are free. I can't wait until some guy pulls his electric car up to find an extension cord plugged in that leads into the bushes to some homeless bum and his electric blanket.

They also plan on utilizing power from the car's during peak power usage. I can just see it; you commute to work and pull up knowing you've got just enough charge to make it home, so you plug in to top it off. Then you come out after work to find your car dies three blocks down the road!

They will eventually install debit card readers to pay for your fill up. How many times will you find that someone switched cords during half the day? Will they charge you for a fill up but not credit you for draining your battery during peak usage times?

Liberal Educators

Monday, September 22, 2008

Electrical / Insulation

Almost all the tear-out is done. The green and white tile will come up later exposing the original fir flooring. This will get covered with 1/4 inch plywood to make a smooth surface for new linoleum. The ceiling lathe and plaster is staying, but will be covered with sheetrock. With 9 foot ceilings, losing a 1/2 inch won't be noticeable.
The few electrical changes are all but done. I still have to route the wire for the second oven, and later install a couple of new breakers and tie in the wires to the breaker panel. This picture shows the backside of the original circuit-panel / fuse box. You're looking at the north wall of the breakfast nook. The panel is in the entryway to the side of the back door to the porch. The new panel is in the basement (under where the dishwasher will go). The old panel is still used as a junction box to tie some of the new breakers and wires to the original wiring. About 1/2 or 2/3 of the house is still original wiring.
Here I'm getting started on the insulation of the exterior walls. This is a shot into the breakfast nook. It'll no longer be a breakfast nook so I'm going to have to call it something else. To the right will be a baking center (mixers and maple cutting board countertop), but to the left will be the fridge, microwave, toaster, and second oven.
Here's what I'm thinking for countertops. It's a Corian style solid-surface material. I can buy it over the internet for $400 a sheet (30" x 120", 1/2" thickness). Beth is thinking some sort of light green wall color, and we're thinking a medium grey stone tile look for the flooring sheet vinyl. (basically the same floor we have in the upstairs bath).

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I'm losing track already, is this week 3 or 4. ( 3-1/2?)

Beth has been busy ripping up the vinyl and particle board from the floor. Exposing more of the green and tan tile squares. I've been puttering around with the electrical. Drilling holes and pulling wire around to the different plug boxes. It's a challenge getting the wire through the studs in a corner. I've been fishing a string through using bailing wire to push it and then hook it. Then I tie the string to the electrical wire and tape it up. Then push and pull a few inches at a time.

This weekend I plan on insulating the exterior walls and maybe some sheetrock work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The BIG (left) news

The big news today is the uncovering of the scandalous activity of Governor Palin. Allegedly she installed a tanning bed in the governor's mansion.

Let's see . . .
The governor's mansion is her home where she lives. . . She bought and paid for the tanning bed with her own money. . . Tanning beds sell for as little as $1600. . . She's a good looking woman in a career where looks count. . . Living in a state with little daylight hours. . . Light therapy and vitamin-D are necessary for health. . . She's a woman who cares about how she looks. . .

Yep the left-wing media sure have a scandal here!

Monday, September 15, 2008

You Know You've Got Too Much Money . . .

when you have to hire a "forensic accountant" to make sense of your finances.

What is a forensic accountant? Does he figure out how your checking account died? (The wife did it, in the kitchen, with credit card tied to a blunt object).

kitchen status

No pictures at the moment.

The walls are now stripped down to the studs and cleaned up. We still have most of the flooring to tear out. We're removing the vinyl and 3/8" particle board and the tile under that to get down to the original fir floorboards. The stuff comes up easy enough, it's pulling out all the staples that held the particle board that is a pain. ( Hey Beth, I have a job for you . . .)

I'm starting to place the new outlet and switch boxes and begin running some of the electrical. The hardest part of that is figuring out what to connect to what circuit. The existing circuits are a resuult of several modifications over the 80 year life of the house. Anyway, Sunday, I stood in the kitchen with all my diagrams and spreadsheets of the existing circuits and finally figured out a reasonably simple plan. It only involves two new circuit breaker circuits. One for all the plugs in the old breakfast nook, and one 220v for the second oven we'll eventually put in.

The cabinet guy is supposed to show up today to measure things out.

I'm starting to get estimates on countertops, but I'm also thinking I might do them myself. There's an internet company that will sell solid surface material directly to the homeowner. (most all stores only sell through installers). The stuff (Corian, etc.) cuts and routers like hardboard and glues together with epoxy. You don't have to be neat with the epoxy either because you just sand and polish down the seam afterwards. I think I could work it. It would save 50% of the cost and that's $1500 we could use elsewhere.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Won't somebody think of the children. . .

Or "why I don't like lying socialist democrats".

Here's an article lamenting the increase in the number of "homeless" children in state schools. It states that Oregon has about 16,000 "homeless" children in our schools.

It then goes on to quietly admit that not all these children are living on the streets. Liberals are classifying children living with relatives as homeless.

Let's get this straight: if your son (who drives your Beamer to high school every day) is living with your sister's family, while you and your wife spend the year circumnavigating the globe in your 25 meter yacht, this makes him "homeless".

Liberals in their drive to make our country a socialist nation are doing their best to classify the most people they can as "in need of government help".


Met with the local cabinet shop last night. Decided to go with them over HomeDepot. HD would have been about $8500 and the cabinet shop will be about $10000. A difference of $1500. But that gets a better quality cabinet, custom fit to our room (no filler pieces in between cabinets), without the problems of fitting a standard factory size cabinet into the one or two problem places.

Instead of going with clear finished cherry we've decided on alder with a cherry stain. This will provide a more even color and the natural cherry darkens in sunlight. The darkening looks fine, but it doesn't darken where the doors cover it so when you open the door you get an ugly look. Alder is cheaper but with the labor to stain it's a wash. The real savings will be installing them myself which I was going to do anyway with HomeDepot.

The countertop brand the cabinet shop carries priced out very expensive (with installation) so I'm still looking.

I said to Beth 'with the cabinet's higher cost we could do cabinets this year and countertops and appliances next year'. I don't think she took me seriously.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Got my vote

Now here's a vice-presidential candidate I can support!
Hand me a brewski, heh?
Governor Palin at the Little Norway Festival, Petersburg Alaska.


Well we're two weeks into the kitchen remodel and already behind schedule.

I didn't recall just how much work demolition of Lathe and Plaster can be. I only figured one week and it's definitely going to take two full weeks. That's ok we still haven't ordered cabinets yet. The estimate from the local cabinet shop came in and it's quite a bit more than factory cabinets from Home Depot. I just have to convince Beth that factory cabinets will be fine.

This week is more lathe and plaster and tearing up old flooring.

Week 4: electrical
week 5-7: subfloor, sheetrock, and taping and finishing.

Mice, Wasps, and Treasure.

Here you see a little mouse nest next to the heating duct. About 5 feet from the floor. You can see where he chewed away the insulation to the metal duct. Hope he didn't get Asbestos cancer.
Above the kitchen sink windows I found this. Luckily it's been abandoned for some time. We did have the stucco of the house redone about a year after we moved in, so that's been about 8 years ago.
Paper Wasps. No honey.
Interesting color striations.
Here's some of the buried treasure we've found. It looks like a house key, but I wonder what the stamped numbers are about.

Weekend 2, Lathe and Plaster

We've finished the lathe and plaster tearout in the main kitchen area, but still have the breakfast nook to go. The white stack in this picture is a heating duct going up to the 2nd floor. It's a standard sheet metal duct, but is wrapped in Asbestos. Since the asbestos is contained in the wall and the inside of the duct is metal we'll leave sleeping dogs lie.
Here's the west wall. It looks like this is where the original sink was located. Strange it wasn't under the windows, maybe the windows were added later.
The lower half of the north wall. Here you see where a lot of new electrical and plumbing was ran when that was redone years ago. The white/gray column is the chimney of the furnace and water heater.
Here's the upper half. You can see where this chimney also had an duct for a wood burning kitchen stove. However, there is also an original wiring box for 220 volt. Whether the original was a wood stove or whether the wiring is not quite original I can't say.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

You are here. . .

Paste this into Google Maps search.

33.784824, -117.896615

Satellite view and zoom.

I found this one myself while dog paddlin the surf board in calm net waters. It's been a slow day.

Palin's Speech

Read the transcript (mostly, a lot was cookie-cutter poli-talk.) in the Huffington Post that Gordon's blog linked.

What struck me was how the editor Boldfaced the print in the two sections of the speech which criticized Obama. I can make numerous guesses as to why but I'm not in the mood for political rantings.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

End of the World?

Reminds me a little of some bad science-fiction plots.

On September 10th, 3am (ET), the world's largest super-collider will fire up for its first shot. It will fire protons around a 17 mile circumference ring and smash them into each other . . .

. . . Just to see what happens.

One thing that could happen is the creation of microscopic Black Holes. Black Holes which could grow and devour the earth.

Monday, September 1, 2008

World's Worst Movie

Well not quite, but darn close.

1997 remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Michael Caine and somebody Dempsey.

Trust me, don't rent it, don't netflix it, don't bother.

Walls and Floor demolition

Labor Day. Began removing some baseboard and door/window trim, then started on the floor for the heck of it. One reason I'm pulling up the floor is the top of the current vinyl is 9/16" above the hardwoods of the hallway. That's quite a toe kicker actually. I'm taking it down to the original Fir flooring. The rest of the house is Oak flooring, but kitchens and bathrooms were done in Fir. There is some remains of an early sheet flooring under the cabinets. Just some fiber backing material (asbestos?). That was removed and the square yellow and green tile put in. This was covered with 3/8" particle board with the white vinyl on it.
I set my skilsaw to just cut through the particle board and cut the vinyl and particle into roughly 12" squares. Made it easy to pry up with a crowbar. I've only completed a part of the room today. ( I'm ready to go back to work and get some rest. )
The stove area. An empty hole, a 120v plug and gas pipe for gas stoves and a 220v plug on the floor for the electric. Other than replace the plugs with new for good conductivity, I'll keep both options. The stove is moving, but only a few inches to the left.
How it currently stands.

Cabinets are out.

Well all the cabinets are out. No buried treasure. Only the Tooth Powder and two mouse holes. Also some evidence the window is leaking slightly. I'll see what I can do to simply clean it up and caulk it.

I managed to extricate what's left of the sink as a unit. I changed the hard-wired disposal into a wall plug and plug-in cord. The plumbing I out-fitted with new parts that I feel comfortable with disconnecting repeatedly. Now the sink can be disconnected in about 5 minutes and moved out of the way as we work.
I didn't think we had that many cabinets, but we managed to completely fill the trailer with wood. Beth will get it down to the recycling center this week some time.