Monday, August 25, 2008


Here's a 20-second exposure of the lights this night.

Fun with a flashlight and the same exposure.

Floating Art

Swimming Cities Of Switchback Sea appeared in Beacon Harbor last weekend. This was the scene early Sunday.

Click to read about them.

I hate it when my typeface mysteriously changes.

Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky (Peter Gabriel, "Here Comes the Flood")

More reasons to mistrust artists.

Almost Done With Grape Arbor

One wire is up, the ends are braced, and the solar light caps are on.

We still need to plant the vines, string the lower wire, train the vines onto the lower wire, and secure the caps. We watched the caps light up last night - it looked like a UFO landing site.

When Jerry isn't looking some day I will add additional bracing in the form of a wire running from the bottom of the end posts to the top of the next post in. Each wire will have another turnbuckle, and the triangle between that, the outside post, and the top brace should make all well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back Outside

Circumstances beyond my control dictated that we needed to tear down a fence between our yard and Jerry's and erect a grape arbor.

The first picture shows three things. One, the fence is down and laying against my back fence. Two, the second dead tree has been lopped off. Having the fence down made that easier. Three, the first post for the arbor is in place.
Jerry helped dig a few post holes.

Tamping the soil around one post. We did not cement any of them.
Almost all posts are up, but at differing heights.

After dinner, Jennifer and I zinged them all off to apparently uniform height.

Tomorrow I brace the ends, set the wires, and then we plant the vines (they are in the foreground under the rose of sharon... you can also see the remains of the dead tree in the background).

Finished the Living Room

Trimmed the third window, ...
...the passage to the DR, ...
... put the TV in. The TV sits atop an old Jensen speaker. It still works.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

If Anyone Gives A Shit

We did not remove the front door, reframe it, and furr it out like the windows. Instead, I had to deal with this just as we were putting the trim on. See that the wall is about 1.5" out from where the door frame king studs are.

Solution? Furring with nicer pine attached to the open side of the jamb. I made sure it was solid.

The door is trimmed.

Quick Update

We're about 90% finished with the living room.

That's our new couch and the fan that our electrician installed last week. It is a very weak light but we don't care because we don't want a lot of light in this room.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Culinary Adventures At Vaclav's Hovel

Jennifer and I canned some of the bounty from the garden (just about all you see in these jars - even the dill - came from the garden). The summer squash and zucchini on the left were canned in a water bath, the dill pickles on the right are closed by hand and reefered.

Cara made fried green tomatoes, which we all enjoyed at dinner that night. I had never eaten one but I will gladly pester her to make them again.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Living Room Floor Is Done

We started putting some trim in, as shown in the next two photos.

Here is specific info on the floor.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Living Room Floor

Jennifer tacks the felt down. We chose felt over paper for because we think it keeps the noise down.

Jennifer asked if we could do it diagonally; I hemmed and hawed and finally said, "what the hey."

Jennifer whacking the flooring nailer. Her shoes are called "Chacos" by the way. She loves them.

Using a basher block and hammer to set a new board.

Looking back at what's done

Looking at what's left to be done.

We had a rainbow today.
We'll finish the floor tomorrow. We were going to go to the beach, but I think we gotta put that aside. Even if we go for an hour, it's a five-hour excursion, easily (1.5 to 2 hour drive to Long Beach, NY).

Hole Gone

' nuff said.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting Rid Of the Hole In the Floor

With the grate up and against the wall, you can see the duct here is old and collects a lot of crap. I found $.50, a few pieces of Lego, a spoon, an old battery, and a lot of dust, cat hair, and feathers.

Ductwork is now removed.

The plenum is easily visible now.

Looking up from the basement. The box that surrounded the hole is now gone.

Getting the old, short joist out was a bitch.

It's gone now. You can see where it used to be because the wood is lighter, and you can see that some subfloor planks ended on that joist. Great, so I decide to put in two joists because the ends of those planks are all shredded.

First joist goes in. I cut them to 12' where the distance from sill to beam was about 10'. I beveled the ends that went on the sill and the beam to make them easier to pop in, then used a screw jack to push them in place.

Second joist in place. Notice long afternoon shadows....
Tomorrow I will cover the hole and we'll put in the LR floor.

Oh yeah - I had to swing these replacement joists around without disrupting a gas line, a fridge, ductwork, water pipes, and all within less space than was ideal.

The "Paul, are you crazy?" project is almost over.

Saw Gets a New Shoe

I replaced the shoe on the Skilsaw, finally. The old one is in the foreground. For some reason I can hear Laura chuckling as she reads this.
My brother tells me there is an archetype or a story called My Grandfather's Axe. "This is my grandfather's axe; I replaced the handle twice and the head once, but it is still my grandfather's axe."

I am uncertain of the origin of the story or the meaning (is it about thrift? rememberance?). If anyone does, holler.

I just found out that this is the Paradox of Theseus. Go live it up with ontological paradoxes if you like.

this is the saw my brother gave me. i replaced the shoe once and the blade many times, but this is still the saw my brother gave me.

Why did I change the shoe? The old one, pointed to by the arrow on the left in the photo below, has a hole to hold a thumbscrew, which pressed down on a rip guide that goes through the adjacent channel. The threads in the thumbscrew hole were stripped. The new shoe, pointed to by the arrow on the right, has an additional guide for the rip guide, and the hardware for tilting the saw and adjusting the depth is a little better than the original.