Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In which I flash my stash

Got wood?

I know it kind of looks like bacon, but it's actually walnut. There was this little walnut tree back by the pool. After we took out the weedy plum tree (which dropped sour plums all summer onto the pool deck) there was the saddest walnut tree evar which leaned to the left about 45 degrees. Since the walnut trees are alleopathic we wanted it gone. So I cut it down.

Since the trunk was about five inches across, I decided to saw it up into some bits to make "something" out of. I have about eight pieces about an inch thick and about two to three inches across. I suppose I need to figure out what to make now.

There is enough to re-saw up into thin pieces so I could glue up a panel big enough for a serving tray. Maybe I'll serve walnuts on it.

And the doors are coming along nicely if a little slowly. Every day I try to make a bit of progress. All the hardware is there, the doors are painted, and the wall is nearly ready for priming. The picture below doesn't show the drywall compound.
One thing is that the adjacent wall (to the right) is going to get demo'd in the kitchen project, and I'm not finishing that edge. One of my gentle (and attractive) readers was by the other day and asked, "Are you really going to remodel the kitchen? You have been talking about that FOREVER."

Yeah. You got me there.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

OK, a poem for my loyal readers


in something we trust
our safety assured by something all powerful
our illusion after all

as we come we go
as ourselves
by ourselves

our leaving occasions a reflection
on our life
on our illusion
on ourselves

safely passed
we are only now
truly safe

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If I write it, they will come

I don't mean it in that sense, of course.

But I was wondering what does it mean that I am writing about one post a week.
Too busy?
Disrespecting you loyal fans?
Nothing pithy on my mind?

I'll go with, I was working on finishing up those doors. They are painted on the inside and primed on the outside. The plan is to have the house painted sometime soon before monsoon season and we're just priming the new stuff for that. The other thing to do is to replace the kitchen window similarly so we can finish the outside and get it ready for paint. We should also replace that siding too and remove the window on the back porch that is mostly covered by cabinets. I think it will be just about the end of the year before all that comes to pass... Houses are a lot of work. I suppose I could PAY someone to get it all done, but that would break a lot of longstanding habits.

Oh and the wall is now insulated!!! Hooray! Tonight we dance - tomorrow we hang sheetrock!

Subject change:
When I started writing all of this nonsense it was because I was trying to be hip, because I sensed that there was a great big interwebs world I was missing out on and that I was just a noob. I quickly came to depend on it as an outlet for creative thoughts, for ranting a little, for telling a joke or two, and for relaying news of my latest "adventures" like building stuff.

I got a little carried away in the beginning. Now I think, sometimes, that I'm phoning it in now and again. But when the thought crosses my mind to hang it up, I hear Ricky Ricardo in the distance, "Bob! You got some splainin to do!"

So I'll keep coming back here and writing "it". I just need you all to keep coming back to read it too, OK?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tahoe, Baby

So we took off Friday for our home away from home, Lake Tahoe. Every year when we come up here something is disappointing, sometimes the disappointments are crushing. Not this year. The worst that has happened so far is that we didn't have bar soap. That got taken care of.

The cabin is great, the view is awesome, and we have four bedrooms to spread out into. The picture above is the lake about 150 feet from the front door.

See you all on Monday!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

More of the same

Well, despite having no pictures to show for it, I have made more, and I might add STUNNING progress on El Puerta Grande. There is now exterior trim - and we all know how important trim is. There was lots of little fiddly patching with wood filler and the ever delightful sanding. So from the outside it looks like unpainted doors in a primed frame.

But I digress.

So yesterday we went to San Jose (leaving the house was scary, but we had a map) for Aunt Mary's memorial. There were lots of hankies at the service and about 200 people there in the church. After the service we all headed over to Mary's house a few blocks away. What can I say, it was a time where you are happy to see all of your relatives, and you all say that you are there to celebrate your lost love one's life, but deep down it really reminds you that she is gone.

My older blood relatives are down to less than a handful. Mom's still there, one last aunt and two uncles. Unless something really unusual happens, I'll be attending their memorials too someday. Eventually (in twenty or forty years) all the fresh faced kids that were there yesterday will attend something to remember me. Only it won't be in a church. And I better come up with some behaviors that they'll remember as endearing or it will be a very short memorial.

And how about those funny political candidates? I'm voting for the guy with the stick-out ears. I sure hope enough people in those other states do to.

I haven't written any poems in a while. That's good for me since I only wrote them when I was depressed, but bad for you 'cause I write such awesome poems. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

El Puerta Grande

Yeah, so the doors... They look like this now.

Not surprisingly it was a lot of work to get this far:
Get some doors, door framing and a bunch of hardware - check
Demolish existing plaster wall without making a mess of the rest of the house - check
Demolish existing frame - check
Go to dump - check
Go to Home Desperate and get more framing stuff - check
Calculate and triple check all the numbers for how it will all fit - check check check
New framing and flashing - check
Build a threshold from a plank of oak - check
Modify door frame components - check
Make hinge mortising jig - check
Mortise door frames for hinges - check
Install door frame perfectly centered plumb and level and stuff - check
Install threshold - check
Set up doors for mortising
Discover matched doors are not really a matched pair after all
Return to Home Despot and return doors
Get new doors and some insulation too
Bring doors home and mortise them for hinges
Hang up doors

I was absolutely thrilled and relieved that the doors fit as well as they did.

Now all we need is exterior trim
Painting in and outside
Install the insulation and replace the wiring in that wall
Finish the wall with sheet rock, paint trim, etc etc.