Monday, July 26, 2010

Really, I have a lot to say...

I keep meaning to blog, but life (and Facebook) always seem to creep in there somehow. Well, I'm feeling writy so here are some seemingly random thoughts, though they've been rolling around for some time.

So what do you think of when I say 9-11? FDNY? TSA? Al Queda? Airplanes and skyscrapers? Box cutters? Death, and fire? Undeclared war by non-state actors. The PATRIOT Act? Gitmo? The 20th hijacker? All the conspiracies? "Heroes"? Afghanistan?  How Bush squandered all of that by getting us involved in a useless war which killed more American people than the attacks in the first place even though the enemy wasn't really in that country, and there were no Ws of MD; the fucktard.

I don't think of any of those either. Every time the date rolls around, or when I see those digits on my clock, I only think of one thing.  That's my friend Walter's birthday.  I want you to know what a fine fellow he is.  Walter listened to pretty much all I had to say at work for about ten years.  He would hardly ever let me get away with sloppy thinking or hollow arguments.  His friendship and our conversations made me a better person, a better thinker, and a better promoter of my ideas (which are too numerous to count).  He and I were inseparable, until the day that I was released from employment there in Sunnyvale.  In a lot of ways, leaving there was really good for me, but in one way it was a real drag.  I no longer work with the man who taught me most of what I know about computers, critical thinking, and Occam's razor.  I miss spending time with my friend.

And he's not just a computer guru.  He's a great father and devoted husband.  (And I'm here to tell you that you don't get that way by just falling off of a log.)  He is a careful and thoughtful man, and an asset to all whose lives he touches.

We used to get together for lunch every first Friday after another friend of ours left there - for years we did this.  It was a way for me to mark time, and since he now works too far away, we just can't anymore.  I really miss those times.  I owe it to both of them to find a way to re-connect.  THAT is what 9-11 means to me.

Friday, July 02, 2010

So, yeah, um remodeling

Our kitchen has always been not quite right.  It had a diagonal walkway through it which cut through the work triangle.  Not so great.  And the family room has had a bare concrete floor since, uh 1996 or 1997.  And there is this HUGE beam that hangs down like a horse cock into the doorways from the dining room and kitchen into the family room which used to be a porch until it was enclosed about 45 years ago.  Not exactly like a horse cock, but dark, looming and intrusive like that.  And the dining room has always been cramped because it was essentially a big hallway with doors ON ALL FOUR WALLS, in the middle, and three of them at least 4 feet wide.


Now, through the magic of construction debris, we have demolished that pesky wall between the family room and dining room.  Now there is just a few things left to do before we can enjoy our new kitchen:

1) Choose floor
2) Choose sink
3) Choose counters
4) Choose cabinets
5) Choose range
6) Choose dishwasher
7) Choose refrigerator
8) Create detailed plan for framing, electrical, plumbing, cabinets
9) Store items in spare bedroom to provide temporary kitchen and office
10) Move computer and office to spare bedroom
11) Clear family room floor
12) Provide dog door and floor space in living room
13) Fence corridor to dog yard
14) Provide temporary kitchen facility in spare bedroom
a) Counter with utensils (demolish)
b) Refrigerator
c) Microwave oven
d) Dishes
e) Washstand
15) Remove contents of cabinets to storage or temporary kitchen
16) Remove appliances
17) Remove counters and cabinets and sink
18) Remove lighting in Kitchen and dining room
19) Provide protection for windows in demolition area
20) Provide dust control measures for construction area
21) Remove ceiling and cellulose insulation
a) Kitchen
b) Pantry
c) Dining room
22) Remove all trim and wall board
a) Kitchen and Pantry
b) Family room wall adjoining kitchen and dining room up to ceiling
c) Dining room EXCEPT wall adjoining living room
d) Archway into family room from dining room
e) Pantry back and side wall
f) Built in bookcase in family room
g) Baseboards and doorway trim in family room and dining room
23) Remove electrical wiring per plan in kitchen, dining room, pantry, family room
24) Remove flooring and underlayment in kitchen to subfloor
25) Cut flooring to end under doorway into living room from dining room
26) Remove dining room flooring to subfloor
27) Patch flooring to match in doorway into the living room
28) Dispose of demolition waste
29) Reframe double opening into family room
a) Support kitchen and dining room roof rafter ends and ceiling joists
b) Support family room ceiling joists
c) Remove posts and beams
d) Cut family room ceiling joists flush to framing plane for wall under western kitchen and dining room roof edge
e) Provide posts and continuous 4” beam to support ceiling and roof loads in wall
f) Provide attachment hardware to connect posts to foundation wall and roof and rafters and joists to beam, and beam to exiting wall framing.
30) Reframe door opening into pantry wall and pantry extension into family room per plan.
31) Frame false wall behind refrigerator per plan.
32) Relocate natural gas supply to range location per plan
33) Relocate cold water supply to refrigerator false wall per plan
34) Revise heater ducting per plan
35) Install electrical per plan
36) Install telephone and Ethernet per plan
37) Install insulation in ceiling and walls per plan
38) Install and finish sheetrock per plan
39) Prime and paint walls and ceilings
40) Trim windows
41) Install cabinets
42) Install countertops and backsplash
43) Install sinks and disposal
44) Install finish electrical
45) Install dishwasher
46) Install flooring
47) Install baseboard and door trim
48) Install refrigerator and range
49) Move furnishings into kitchen dining and family rooms
50) Setup office in family room
51) Plan party to celebrate