Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cara's Room: The Movies

Turn your sound off or down or else you'll hear our radio blaring.

EXCLUSIVE: Cara's Room, Sunday


Reseating the windows. I did four today, as Jenn painted.

Disposing of the old sashes. Notice how the house is painted parallel to the stairs? Come up with a theory on that, send it to me, and if it is correct I will mail you a candy bar.

Using a laser-level to mark the walls where we are putting a chair rail. This is a $9 job, so it's not very good. Came with a bunch of other stuff that attaches to a suction base, like a light, an extra hand, and a parts holder. Home Depot was trying to dump the crap, so we figured for $9, how can you go wrong?


Painting the upper part.
Painting the lower part.

That's a Wagner power roller. Jenn loves it, but hates cleaning it. She cleaned it about four times today because she changed paints.

Cara's Room, Saturday

Jennifer primed the walls and finished sanding as I was dicking around with crown molding and stuff.

Crown Molding, Part II

Jennifer looking for studs to nail into. Yes, we've heard all the jokes.

Our fancy stud finder on the LH edge of a stud...

...centered, now... the thingie, and, ...

... it marks the wall with graphite for you.
Oh, we were talking about crown molding:

Crown Molding, Part 1

Compound mitre saw (single bevel).

Test wood.

Test wood scraps...


Test pieces that fit like crown molding and are cut correctly!

I used these as guides on how to position the molding and cut it. I used this page:

for help.

The problem was that I assumed the molding is 45/45/90 molding, and it ain't. After I got THAT figured out, we resumed cutting with the correct bevel and mitre, and started hanging it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

For Mom And Grandma

The dogwood in back.

Grandma's Peonies are alive again, 220 miles away.

Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus, Grape Hyacinth.

I Hate Carpenter Bees (my earth day suggestion)

God help the insects who come between me and my house, and these little fuckers are some of them.

They serve no goddamn purpose on the planet except to eat wood - not wood on trees, you see, but finished and painted wood on your HOUSE.

To top it off, they hover around, dangling their little fucking insect paws, and buzz loud enough to disturb ME, and I am HALF FUCKING DEAF. Other people tell me they can hear them EATING THE WOOD.

I ain't takin this shit no more. Carpenter Bees, meet your match:
That's a low-end Prince tennis racquet. Never played the game much, so here's how it comes in handy. This is a carpenter bee cut in half by the strings of the racquet, after my not-as-hot-as Maria Sharapova serve on it's ass:

This one, below, wasn't so lucky and I had to step on him after I McEnroed him:

This is a perfect solution - I get better at tennis, I get rid of the bees, and no chemicals are used.

Next to my arguments about teeth, insects are just more proof that the "intelligent designer" was a fucking moron.

Someone tell me to "get to a meeting" - I dare you. I'll hunt your sloganeering ass down with my $15 Prince racquet!!!!

More Products We Like

It doesn't have to be power tools - we got thrilled over these three, simple products, each of which sells for under $10.
The first is this joint tape. At first we did not like it, but when we noticed it was less prone to getting air bubbles like conventional tape, we now LOVE it.

This is another product for taping that we like. Instead of buying 8' lengths of corner beads, you use this. It works just as well, and it don't get banged up in the car on the way home. It's tape with two parallel pieces of metal running the middle. Enlarge the picture and you'll understand.

This looks like just about what it is: a pastry bag. Fill it with joint compound, and filling concave corners before taping becomes easier.

It's sold in the masonry section, where people buy it for putting mortar between rock or brick.

Concerning Safe Arboricide

A concerned reader writes:

Hey Paul,

While I appreciate (and really do admire) your planning in the downing of the trees, and the subsequent positive outcome, I think you were crazy (ok....and brave too) to take down those trees yourself. It reminds me of a close friend of ours... [who] decided he could prune his own trees. He is a local ER physician, quite agile and had all the proper equipment, except a safety harness. Yup you guessed it.....he fell 50 feet and shattered his he[e]ls, ankles and a couple of much needed fingers and a wrist. He also took out a window in his pool cabana along with a skylight. Then he was out of work for 6 months healing. He is lucky to be alive! [We]... were planning to use his equipment to take down one of our nearly dead, and destroying the foundation trees when he was done. I called the "tree men" was done, ground out and hauled away in one morning. [My husband] suffered no loss of work and is still alive today as a result.

Please be careful......Finn needs you in one piece!

Rightly said, and so noted. I am not 19 anymore, except in mind. In my defense, the scale of the pictures is deceptive, and at no time was I more than 10' in the air. Whenever a large limb was to drop I made damn sure no one was with in 50' of the tree. But a 10' fall can be just as bad as a 50' fall in some cases. While not a surgeon, being laid up or disabled for any amount of time can be ruinous in many ways.

Hell, I've gone my whole life without hearing half of what people say and you see where that got me.

For what it's worth, I have dropped much larger trees in the past when I had the proper equipment - 75' eastern white pines, and 50' Asian Mulberries, none of which were in convenient places. When it came to the ones between mine and a neighbor's house, though, I called the pros. He trashed my neighbor's hemlock hedge, and he had to pay for it - not me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back Inside

WARNING: Shameless product endorsements to come.

Jennifer starts painting the LR walls. That's a Wagner power roller. It works very well and you can cover a lot of surface fast.
Using a stud finder to mark where the crown moulding will go. I forgot who made the stud finder but a nice feature of it, aside from it being very accurate and being able to find wires in addition to studs, is that it can mark the wall for you with a little pencil.
The compressor and nailer. We did not need a 60 gallon Campbell-Hausfield. The nailer works very well, we fired it several times to adjust the depth. Nailed a piece of scrap wood to the floor doing it...
Shot of Cara's BR closet and hallway. Almost all of the upstairs sheet rock is in place; two small pieces remain to be placed.

That's the worm-drive Skilsaw, hanging on the door, that Pat gave me five years ago. I love it. Just ordered a new shoe for it.

Cutting Down a Tree

These two trees are dead. I managed to get the one hanging over my neighbors fence down with out killing anyone. I did it in flip-flops with a folding saw, a battery-powered reciprocating saw, and a circular saw.

I managed to do it by tying the trunk of the tree being cut down to the tree remaining, so that when it fell it just slapped back against the remaining tree.

No one got hurt, nothing damaged.

Don't need no professionals.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

%$#@ It

We got ready to do some workJennifer wanted to paint some
I broke shit
fuck it.