mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
It was a mixed bag as weekends go.

The August Dormer Roofing Project of 2009 is officially finished. With the prospect of friends coming over on Sunday - one who hasn't been to Osage in years and one who's never been at all - I applied my energies to finishing the portion of the ceiling and wall affected by the leaking water. I have a little touch-up to do in the paint along the ceiling (you wouldn't notice if you weren't looking for it), but it's done and looks really nice.

That and a trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore was most of Saturday. That story, with an update on the shed project, is detailed here.

Sunday, Jami became feverish, hitting 101° or higher. Not sure what he's sick with, but he's a kid and the weather's been very changeable. Dinner with friends was postponed (bummer, that). By mid-afternoon I was feeling very out of sorts myself, but as I look back I think that was a product of a very bad sleeping night.

Dinner was chicken tenders made with Panko breadcrumbs, very successful there.

I have discovered the joys of MySQL and Wordpress. I've set up three websites so far: Bill Morris Music, Lezlie Revelle's Blog, and The Road Less Ordinary, a blog about responsible living, good food, and autism. What I'm learning there will serve me in good stead not only for personal projects but for work projects as well.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
It was a mixed bag as weekends go.

The August Dormer Roofing Project of 2009 is officially finished. With the prospect of friends coming over on Sunday - one who hasn't been to Osage in years and one who's never been at all - I applied my energies to finishing the portion of the ceiling and wall affected by the leaking water. I have a little touch-up to do in the paint along the ceiling (you wouldn't notice if you weren't looking for it), but it's done and looks really nice.

That and a trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore was most of Saturday. That story, with an update on the shed project, is detailed here.

Sunday, Jami became feverish, hitting 101° or higher. Not sure what he's sick with, but he's a kid and the weather's been very changeable. Dinner with friends was postponed (bummer, that). By mid-afternoon I was feeling very out of sorts myself, but as I look back I think that was a product of a very bad sleeping night.

Dinner was chicken tenders made with Panko breadcrumbs, very successful there.

I have discovered the joys of MySQL and Wordpress. I've set up three websites so far: Bill Morris Music, Lezlie Revelle's Blog, and The Road Less Ordinary, a blog about responsible living, good food, and autism. What I'm learning there will serve me in good stead not only for personal projects but for work projects as well.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
My garage is full. I've no room for projects like any serious woodworking. All of the available space is taken up by the mower, the garden tiller, the spreader, the shovels, hoes, rakes, and bags of fertilizer. I want a shed.

I'm going to finally have one.

But here's the challenge, and the reason I'm starting in January a project I hope to have done by Mother's Day: I'm going to build the whole thing as much as possible with reclaimed lumber and recycled supplies

When I see a building being torn down with a bulldozer, it breaks my heart a little bit because the ultimate destination of all that debris is the landfill. That's bad for a couple of reasons.

One, landfill space - or at least land that people are willing to have used for landfill - is limited, and landfills are filling up. Oh sure, there's plenty of land where we could create new landfills, but just try it within thirty miles of someone's back yard. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Two: that's a lot of wasted raw material. The lumber you find at your local lumberyard is coming from trees that are far younger than they were even five years ago. When I trimmed out my kitchen in 1995, all of the wood casings - stain-grade pine - were clear, with minimal color variations from growth rings. The trim you buy now, from young trees because all the mature trees were cut down long ago, is strongly striped, cut from trees so young the mills can't avoid the growth rings.

Every building torn down without reclaiming the supplies used to build it means that many more trees cut down, more petroleum used to harvest and transport, more of our planet's finite resources squandered because time = money.

Okay, that's enough activism for one day.

As I was talking about this, Michelle drew her fingers across my forehead, outlining the billboard that's been slowly forming there over the years.

"Aaaaaactivist," she sing-songed.

"That's a very big brush you're painting me with," I protested.

"Well, you have a very big forehead."

Back to the shed and the reclaimed lumber: To this end, we just returned from Habitat for Humanity Re-Store having purchased 106 linear feet of 2x6 - enough lumber for the floor of an eight by twelve shed (except for the two very long sides). Next weekend, we'll go back and grab a couple of twelve footers. I haven't drawn any plans yet, but the shed I have in mind will be on the order of eight by twelve, seven feet tall at the door, maybe nine feet at the peak. A small walk-in door and a window on the long side, a double-wide ride-in door on one end, a window in the other.

I would like to employ the help of my friends in scouting for supplies. I need:

2 x 4 lumber, at least 8' long
3/4" plywood
1/2" plywood
3 windows, about 3' high by 2' wide
1x4 lumber, at least 8' long (or 1x6, or 1x8, or...you get the picture)

If you see any of these things by the side of the road with a "FREE" sign on them, grab them for me won't you? Or let me know where they are.

The Re-Store typically doesn't carry 2x4s, and when they do they're usually the checked and waned castoffs from lumberyards. I can purchase 2x8s and rip them down if I need to.

They also don't usually have plywood in any quantity.

So, that's my goal: build my own shed using reclaimed supplies. I like the green nature of the project, but I also just like the idea of having a shed.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
My garage is full. I've no room for projects like any serious woodworking. All of the available space is taken up by the mower, the garden tiller, the spreader, the shovels, hoes, rakes, and bags of fertilizer. I want a shed.

I'm going to finally have one.

But here's the challenge, and the reason I'm starting in January a project I hope to have done by Mother's Day: I'm going to build the whole thing as much as possible with reclaimed lumber and recycled supplies

When I see a building being torn down with a bulldozer, it breaks my heart a little bit because the ultimate destination of all that debris is the landfill. That's bad for a couple of reasons.

One, landfill space - or at least land that people are willing to have used for landfill - is limited, and landfills are filling up. Oh sure, there's plenty of land where we could create new landfills, but just try it within thirty miles of someone's back yard. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Two: that's a lot of wasted raw material. The lumber you find at your local lumberyard is coming from trees that are far younger than they were even five years ago. When I trimmed out my kitchen in 1995, all of the wood casings - stain-grade pine - were clear, with minimal color variations from growth rings. The trim you buy now, from young trees because all the mature trees were cut down long ago, is strongly striped, cut from trees so young the mills can't avoid the growth rings.

Every building torn down without reclaiming the supplies used to build it means that many more trees cut down, more petroleum used to harvest and transport, more of our planet's finite resources squandered because time = money.

Okay, that's enough activism for one day.

As I was talking about this, Michelle drew her fingers across my forehead, outlining the billboard that's been slowly forming there over the years.

"Aaaaaactivist," she sing-songed.

"That's a very big brush you're painting me with," I protested.

"Well, you have a very big forehead."

Back to the shed and the reclaimed lumber: To this end, we just returned from Habitat for Humanity Re-Store having purchased 106 linear feet of 2x6 - enough lumber for the floor of an eight by twelve shed (except for the two very long sides). Next weekend, we'll go back and grab a couple of twelve footers. I haven't drawn any plans yet, but the shed I have in mind will be on the order of eight by twelve, seven feet tall at the door, maybe nine feet at the peak. A small walk-in door and a window on the long side, a double-wide ride-in door on one end, a window in the other.

I would like to employ the help of my friends in scouting for supplies. I need:

2 x 4 lumber, at least 8' long
3/4" plywood
1/2" plywood
3 windows, about 3' high by 2' wide
1x4 lumber, at least 8' long (or 1x6, or 1x8, or...you get the picture)

If you see any of these things by the side of the road with a "FREE" sign on them, grab them for me won't you? Or let me know where they are.

The Re-Store typically doesn't carry 2x4s, and when they do they're usually the checked and waned castoffs from lumberyards. I can purchase 2x8s and rip them down if I need to.

They also don't usually have plywood in any quantity.

So, that's my goal: build my own shed using reclaimed supplies. I like the green nature of the project, but I also just like the idea of having a shed.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
It's done. It is only right that I begin this by thanking the people who made the new roof possible.

Chris, I don't know where you get your energy but you amaze me.

Kent, Kevin, someday you're going to tell me "no." I won't blame you.

Rob, I enjoy your company more and more.

Brother William, you were an unexpected blessing.

My friends, I cannot express enough how grateful I am for your help and your friendship. Truly, I could not have done this job without you.



And now, on with the story:

I had hoped - with what now seems ridiculous optimism - to have the roof done in one day. After all, we were only re-roofing the dormer in the back. Ultimately, it took two days.

Sunday, in a single day we cleaned down to the plywood, a surface that hasn't seen the light of day in fifty years. There were four layers of roofing up there - shingles/tar paper for three layers, and roll roof/tar paper for the last. Tear-off was a much greater chore than we anticipated: it took most of the day.


We also found quite a lot of damage to the roof decking. It took three sheets of plywood to fix it all. While we were at it, we sistered two rafters, damaged in the ice storm of '84 and never repaired.

And the morning and evening were the first day.

Monday morning, ready for roof. The bright strip on the long edge and the lighter surface in the bottom-right are new plywood.
Today, we applied the roof. New aluminum drip edge on all three sides, a layer of 30# roofing felt and a layer of rolled roofing. Wednesday we get to find out if all this work was worth it: it's supposed to rain. IF there is a leak, and I don't anticipate there will be, at least I know this roof well, so tracking it down won't be a huge struggle.

And only two trips back to Home Depot and Lowes for supplies!

And the morning and evening were the second day.

Click to see all the pictures of the project

Casualty Report

After a day of climbing around thirty feet in the air with no injuries, late in the day I became the first (and only, as it happens) casualty. A piece of plywood large enough to use as a bookshelf was thrown from the roof (without a safety check first) and struck me on the right side.

I had my right arm up, carrying a sheet of new plywood, so the injury runs from my right breast to my right elbow. I can still use everything, but I may have a bruised rib or two, and it hurts to reach for, say, the rear-view mirror. It's uncomfortable to sleep on my right side. Even soft T-shirt fabric hurts against the skin of my right arm.

It's all manageable, though. I'm pretty tough. I just won't be doing any endurance guitar playing for a week or two.

And, yes I have photographs, though in deference to the more squeamish among my friends, I will not post them here. Should you wish to see the damage, go here. (Ladies, now's your chance to see me shirtless :)

And that's it. Two days, not six, though I'm still resting tomorrow. Mostly, anyway. A day at my desk in air conditioning, lifting nothing heavier than a coffee mug is resting by comparison.

Gratitude

I'm grateful that the weather wasn't its usual August-Oh-my-friggin'-sweet-sufferin'-Lord-HOT (though it was still miserable up there.)

I'm grateful that I'm capable of doing this work myself (within limits, but that's another story for another time).

I'm grateful that my friends recognize those limits and worked to keep me safe.

I'm grateful that my hurts are the worst suffered, and that they're mine and not someone else's.

I'm grateful that the job is done, even the cleanup!, though there are some odds and ends left to do.

Mostly, I'm grateful for the selfless help of friends.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
It's done. It is only right that I begin this by thanking the people who made the new roof possible.

Chris, I don't know where you get your energy but you amaze me.

Kent, Kevin, someday you're going to tell me "no." I won't blame you.

Rob, I enjoy your company more and more.

Brother William, you were an unexpected blessing.

My friends, I cannot express enough how grateful I am for your help and your friendship. Truly, I could not have done this job without you.



And now, on with the story:

I had hoped - with what now seems ridiculous optimism - to have the roof done in one day. After all, we were only re-roofing the dormer in the back. Ultimately, it took two days.

Sunday, in a single day we cleaned down to the plywood, a surface that hasn't seen the light of day in fifty years. There were four layers of roofing up there - shingles/tar paper for three layers, and roll roof/tar paper for the last. Tear-off was a much greater chore than we anticipated: it took most of the day.


We also found quite a lot of damage to the roof decking. It took three sheets of plywood to fix it all. While we were at it, we sistered two rafters, damaged in the ice storm of '84 and never repaired.

And the morning and evening were the first day.

Monday morning, ready for roof. The bright strip on the long edge and the lighter surface in the bottom-right are new plywood.
Today, we applied the roof. New aluminum drip edge on all three sides, a layer of 30# roofing felt and a layer of rolled roofing. Wednesday we get to find out if all this work was worth it: it's supposed to rain. IF there is a leak, and I don't anticipate there will be, at least I know this roof well, so tracking it down won't be a huge struggle.

And only two trips back to Home Depot and Lowes for supplies!

And the morning and evening were the second day.

Click to see all the pictures of the project

Casualty Report

After a day of climbing around thirty feet in the air with no injuries, late in the day I became the first (and only, as it happens) casualty. A piece of plywood large enough to use as a bookshelf was thrown from the roof (without a safety check first) and struck me on the right side.

I had my right arm up, carrying a sheet of new plywood, so the injury runs from my right breast to my right elbow. I can still use everything, but I may have a bruised rib or two, and it hurts to reach for, say, the rear-view mirror. It's uncomfortable to sleep on my right side. Even soft T-shirt fabric hurts against the skin of my right arm.

It's all manageable, though. I'm pretty tough. I just won't be doing any endurance guitar playing for a week or two.

And, yes I have photographs, though in deference to the more squeamish among my friends, I will not post them here. Should you wish to see the damage, go here. (Ladies, now's your chance to see me shirtless :)

And that's it. Two days, not six, though I'm still resting tomorrow. Mostly, anyway. A day at my desk in air conditioning, lifting nothing heavier than a coffee mug is resting by comparison.

Gratitude

I'm grateful that the weather wasn't its usual August-Oh-my-friggin'-sweet-sufferin'-Lord-HOT (though it was still miserable up there.)

I'm grateful that I'm capable of doing this work myself (within limits, but that's another story for another time).

I'm grateful that my friends recognize those limits and worked to keep me safe.

I'm grateful that my hurts are the worst suffered, and that they're mine and not someone else's.

I'm grateful that the job is done, even the cleanup!, though there are some odds and ends left to do.

Mostly, I'm grateful for the selfless help of friends.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
All the drywall is hung, and it's down to taping and mudding. There are several butt joints that I will struggle with, but by and large the rest of it should be straightforward. The goal in applying the joint compound is not to make it easy to sand, but to make it so that sanding is not needed. I use up - some would say waste - a lot of mud, but it does make the end result less dusty.

I'm very tired. I've gotten to bed no earlier than 11:00 for the last couple of weeks, closer to midnight on few nights - very late by my standards - and that coupled with the amount of physical work I'm doing during the day has worn on me. I'm looking forward to a somewhat earlier night tonight.

We are childless. Michelle's parents, back from a trip to Tennessee, are keeping the kids overnight. We took advantage of their absence to go out for dinner (a disappointment, of course. Will we never learn?) and pick up some desserts we'd have to skip were Katie at home.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
All the drywall is hung, and it's down to taping and mudding. There are several butt joints that I will struggle with, but by and large the rest of it should be straightforward. The goal in applying the joint compound is not to make it easy to sand, but to make it so that sanding is not needed. I use up - some would say waste - a lot of mud, but it does make the end result less dusty.

I'm very tired. I've gotten to bed no earlier than 11:00 for the last couple of weeks, closer to midnight on few nights - very late by my standards - and that coupled with the amount of physical work I'm doing during the day has worn on me. I'm looking forward to a somewhat earlier night tonight.

We are childless. Michelle's parents, back from a trip to Tennessee, are keeping the kids overnight. We took advantage of their absence to go out for dinner (a disappointment, of course. Will we never learn?) and pick up some desserts we'd have to skip were Katie at home.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
The worst part is over: the new header over the South window, bridging the termite damaged wood, is in.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, though still dusty, dirty, and unpleasant. Decades-old chewed-through wood and a whole lot of termite poop is no fun when filtered through a circular saw running at several hundred RPM.

What I didn't know going into it was that the exterior sheathing was also weakened, so when I pulled on the cut sections of the studs being displaced, a hunk of sheathing broke off. The siding wasn't damaged so the envelope of the building is still (more or less) intact, though come Autumn and cooler weather I'll need to remove the siding in that area and install new sheathing. No problem, I've done that before.

The only things left to do in the room are to finish hanging the drywall, mud the seams, paint the walls, trim the windows and doors. In project order, they also happen to be in descending order of ickiness, so as I said,

The worst part is over.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
The worst part is over: the new header over the South window, bridging the termite damaged wood, is in.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, though still dusty, dirty, and unpleasant. Decades-old chewed-through wood and a whole lot of termite poop is no fun when filtered through a circular saw running at several hundred RPM.

What I didn't know going into it was that the exterior sheathing was also weakened, so when I pulled on the cut sections of the studs being displaced, a hunk of sheathing broke off. The siding wasn't damaged so the envelope of the building is still (more or less) intact, though come Autumn and cooler weather I'll need to remove the siding in that area and install new sheathing. No problem, I've done that before.

The only things left to do in the room are to finish hanging the drywall, mud the seams, paint the walls, trim the windows and doors. In project order, they also happen to be in descending order of ickiness, so as I said,

The worst part is over.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
My father-in-law made a comment once about how I must "love to do drywall." It was his way of complimenting me on how well I hang the material, and it's true I do a fair job of it, but it's not because I love it. It's because I've had a lot of unwilling practice.

The entire house was drywalled in 3/8" - the standard now is 1/2". You would be justified in asking, "But Bill...that's only an 1/8" difference. Why does it matter?" The answer is simple, if you've experienced it. That extra 1/8" makes the wall feel much more substantial - it doesn't give when you lean on it, and it deadens the sounds from outside a little more effectively.

No matter whatever else it has going for it, it's also cheaper. You can still buy 3/8", and I have for patching interior walls once or twice, but the demand isn't as high any more.

Tonight's work took a lot longer than I anticipated it might because of the electrical switches by the front door that control the yard lights, porch light, and room lights. The yard lights were installed long after the other two with the switch in an electrical box all by itself. Now, consolidated, all three switches are in one box, and it looks much neater.

I am afraid of drowning. Indeed, I have written about it in this very journal. I have an even greater fear of fire in this old house, and working on the wiring scares me to death. The old wiring is all paper and fibre insulated , and flakes and crumbles as you work it. Once of the reasons I'm staying up as late as I am is to assure myself that there's no smoke creeping out from behind the switch plate, no warmth in the walls.

To date, I have never mis-wired anything. I've no reason to think I did tonight. I'm just paranoid about it.

I have often complained that this house is underbuilt. The floors are bouncy, the ceiling (floor in the attic) won't support the weight of an adult male more than three feet from the center line. Not the wiring I worked on tonight. Damn, that was a lot of work.

A quick primer on home electricity: Nomally, on any circuit that supports nothing but lightbulbs, you'd wire with 14ga. It's lightweight, easy to work with, and supports up to 15amps. That's 30, 60watt bulbs, or 120 15watt CFLs.

For kitchen circuits, where you have things with heating elements like toaster ovens and spouses, you'd use 12ga. It supports up to 20amps. It's heavier, stiffer, much harder to work with. (I don't use it very often, although when I build my dream house there won't be a circuit anywhere in it less than 20amps, but that's another story.)

Where this work sucks, no matter what gauge wire you're using, is when you're in the cramped quarters of a switch box. Fingers in a space only 4" x 4" x 3" can find no leverage.

The three switches I reboxed tonight, controlling at most two lightbulbs each, were wired in 12ga. Casualties on this round? Ohhhh, you bet.

To sum up: Another 4' down, about 11 feet to go. The room is swept, tools put away, curtains rehung.

Casualties: both hands are beat to shit, for which the strict medical term is "abraded." Numerous small cuts from the wires, scrapes from the drywall and box edges.

My right foot is also numb, but that's from having a small dog asleep in my lap for the last forty-five minutes and is unrelated to the evening's work.

 


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
My father-in-law made a comment once about how I must "love to do drywall." It was his way of complimenting me on how well I hang the material, and it's true I do a fair job of it, but it's not because I love it. It's because I've had a lot of unwilling practice.

The entire house was drywalled in 3/8" - the standard now is 1/2". You would be justified in asking, "But Bill...that's only an 1/8" difference. Why does it matter?" The answer is simple, if you've experienced it. That extra 1/8" makes the wall feel much more substantial - it doesn't give when you lean on it, and it deadens the sounds from outside a little more effectively.

No matter whatever else it has going for it, it's also cheaper. You can still buy 3/8", and I have for patching interior walls once or twice, but the demand isn't as high any more.

Tonight's work took a lot longer than I anticipated it might because of the electrical switches by the front door that control the yard lights, porch light, and room lights. The yard lights were installed long after the other two with the switch in an electrical box all by itself. Now, consolidated, all three switches are in one box, and it looks much neater.

I am afraid of drowning. Indeed, I have written about it in this very journal. I have an even greater fear of fire in this old house, and working on the wiring scares me to death. The old wiring is all paper and fibre insulated , and flakes and crumbles as you work it. Once of the reasons I'm staying up as late as I am is to assure myself that there's no smoke creeping out from behind the switch plate, no warmth in the walls.

To date, I have never mis-wired anything. I've no reason to think I did tonight. I'm just paranoid about it.

I have often complained that this house is underbuilt. The floors are bouncy, the ceiling (floor in the attic) won't support the weight of an adult male more than three feet from the center line. Not the wiring I worked on tonight. Damn, that was a lot of work.

A quick primer on home electricity: Nomally, on any circuit that supports nothing but lightbulbs, you'd wire with 14ga. It's lightweight, easy to work with, and supports up to 15amps. That's 30, 60watt bulbs, or 120 15watt CFLs.

For kitchen circuits, where you have things with heating elements like toaster ovens and spouses, you'd use 12ga. It supports up to 20amps. It's heavier, stiffer, much harder to work with. (I don't use it very often, although when I build my dream house there won't be a circuit anywhere in it less than 20amps, but that's another story.)

Where this work sucks, no matter what gauge wire you're using, is when you're in the cramped quarters of a switch box. Fingers in a space only 4" x 4" x 3" can find no leverage.

The three switches I reboxed tonight, controlling at most two lightbulbs each, were wired in 12ga. Casualties on this round? Ohhhh, you bet.

To sum up: Another 4' down, about 11 feet to go. The room is swept, tools put away, curtains rehung.

Casualties: both hands are beat to shit, for which the strict medical term is "abraded." Numerous small cuts from the wires, scrapes from the drywall and box edges.

My right foot is also numb, but that's from having a small dog asleep in my lap for the last forty-five minutes and is unrelated to the evening's work.

 


Eye strain.

Jun. 8th, 2009 09:11 am
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
For monitors here at work, I have a 19" 16:9 and 17" 4:3. The two new monitors I bought for the home office are 22" 16:9. My eyes are struggling some to see the little tiny screens here.

It's like my work is far, far away...

With all the construction I did from Friday on, and considering the amount of dust raised by it, my sinuses feel like I have an advanced infection. I've got that broken-glassy feeling above my soft palette, and my voice sounds like Joe Cocker.

Eye strain.

Jun. 8th, 2009 09:11 am
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
For monitors here at work, I have a 19" 16:9 and 17" 4:3. The two new monitors I bought for the home office are 22" 16:9. My eyes are struggling some to see the little tiny screens here.

It's like my work is far, far away...

With all the construction I did from Friday on, and considering the amount of dust raised by it, my sinuses feel like I have an advanced infection. I've got that broken-glassy feeling above my soft palette, and my voice sounds like Joe Cocker.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I've decided on this particular project to relax a bit, and not try to rebuild the house in one day. My usual pattern is to devote as much time as is humanly and logistically possible to seeing the completion of the project at hand. When I was childless, I'd get up a little early, put a coat of mud on the drywall seams so it would be dry and ready for the next coat when I got home from work.

Not anymore. I just don't have the energy - nor do I wish to wake the kids.

I did finish the project for work - a bit of promotional material that we'll print, laminate, and provide to potential customers as dinner placemats for the break room. That done, I let my blood sugar crash and napped for a bit, then started in earnest on the living room wall.

The process involved removing all the remaining drywall nails, setting a new outlet box for electricity and networking - remembering how to read the cat5 keystone jack wiring diagram was a small challenge  - and replacing the insulation I had to remove along the way.

Power restored, jack connected to the router, the tools are put away and the living room cleaned up for the night. Messy business, drywall, and I haven't even started mudding yet.

The real challenge is coming: I haven't yet dealt with the termite damage above the South window. I have a plan of attack there, I just don't want to. The termites turned a lot of wood pulp and the paper backing on the old drywall into mud which subsequently dried, adhered to the insulation. It comes away in moldy, dusty chunks and is, so far, the most unpleasant part of this whole project.

Casualties: left thumb and left elbow, a small cut each from hard contact with protruding nail heads.

Progress: about eight feet. Fifteen feet to go.

Off and on storms tonight, those the worst is North of us. Grapefruit-sized hail, according to the news. For us, just noise and (hopefully) rain. I'm hoping it will break the humidity, which was terrible today, like wading through air.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I've decided on this particular project to relax a bit, and not try to rebuild the house in one day. My usual pattern is to devote as much time as is humanly and logistically possible to seeing the completion of the project at hand. When I was childless, I'd get up a little early, put a coat of mud on the drywall seams so it would be dry and ready for the next coat when I got home from work.

Not anymore. I just don't have the energy - nor do I wish to wake the kids.

I did finish the project for work - a bit of promotional material that we'll print, laminate, and provide to potential customers as dinner placemats for the break room. That done, I let my blood sugar crash and napped for a bit, then started in earnest on the living room wall.

The process involved removing all the remaining drywall nails, setting a new outlet box for electricity and networking - remembering how to read the cat5 keystone jack wiring diagram was a small challenge  - and replacing the insulation I had to remove along the way.

Power restored, jack connected to the router, the tools are put away and the living room cleaned up for the night. Messy business, drywall, and I haven't even started mudding yet.

The real challenge is coming: I haven't yet dealt with the termite damage above the South window. I have a plan of attack there, I just don't want to. The termites turned a lot of wood pulp and the paper backing on the old drywall into mud which subsequently dried, adhered to the insulation. It comes away in moldy, dusty chunks and is, so far, the most unpleasant part of this whole project.

Casualties: left thumb and left elbow, a small cut each from hard contact with protruding nail heads.

Progress: about eight feet. Fifteen feet to go.

Off and on storms tonight, those the worst is North of us. Grapefruit-sized hail, according to the news. For us, just noise and (hopefully) rain. I'm hoping it will break the humidity, which was terrible today, like wading through air.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
Registered "Map's Edge Media" as a fictitious name with the state of Missouri this morning. I expect that within two weeks, I'll have at least a dozen pens and two pads of stationery with that name on them arrive in my mailbox, all for free. Nothing like registering a business to get the promo items rolling in!

I'm sure there will be more to do, though since I'm selling services and not goods, per sé, it will be far less complicated than Seamlyne was. No inspection from the Fire Marshall, for instance. We've got a call and email in to the accountant for more info on that.

So, next: business cards; updated website; make the workspace more...er...workable.

This weekend: drywall in the living room, and - at least - primed, by Sunday evening.

Late Edit: had a quick chat with CFO a few minutes ago. He doesn't foresee closing the business in October, but he does think it's going to be a rough couple of months - and it's only going to get more uncomfortable for DataGuy as the plan is to tighten the screws on him and keep them tight for the rest of his working relationship.

I had always planned to move into more of a managerial capacity, I just didn't expect to be managing DG.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
Registered "Map's Edge Media" as a fictitious name with the state of Missouri this morning. I expect that within two weeks, I'll have at least a dozen pens and two pads of stationery with that name on them arrive in my mailbox, all for free. Nothing like registering a business to get the promo items rolling in!

I'm sure there will be more to do, though since I'm selling services and not goods, per sé, it will be far less complicated than Seamlyne was. No inspection from the Fire Marshall, for instance. We've got a call and email in to the accountant for more info on that.

So, next: business cards; updated website; make the workspace more...er...workable.

This weekend: drywall in the living room, and - at least - primed, by Sunday evening.

Late Edit: had a quick chat with CFO a few minutes ago. He doesn't foresee closing the business in October, but he does think it's going to be a rough couple of months - and it's only going to get more uncomfortable for DataGuy as the plan is to tighten the screws on him and keep them tight for the rest of his working relationship.

I had always planned to move into more of a managerial capacity, I just didn't expect to be managing DG.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
4" x 10' black, corrugated pipeDear dad,

I found your pipe. No no, not the one in the picture of you smoking outside your barracks door at Fort Bragg before shipping out to Okinawa. I'm talking about the pipe you buried - that 4" x 10' long black corrugated pipe you put in the ground to drain water away from the foundation. That pipe.

When I was putting in the new patio by the deck, I had to dig away quite a lot of dirt to prepare the site and I found the pipe. Digging it out took a lot of effort since it had long ago filled with dirt through the drainage holes in the sides making, for all intents and purposes, a very long and very heavy dirt sausage.

I mused as to your mindset when you buried it, digging the long trench by hand with the old tile shovel. Filled with dirt, the pipe was no longer fit for drainage, though I know for a fact that drainage was your intent. The proper use of this stuff is to surround it with gravel to allow water (but not dirt) to pass into the pipe and thence downslope. There was no gravel, and thus the pipe filled with dirt. It was probably wasted effort within just a few years.

I love you dad, and miss you, but more than once I have paused to say, usually out loud, "Dad, what were you thinking?" The more I find, the clearer the picture gets.

As I was growing up, you were always rushing somewhere to do something. Many times you were running away from something else: running away from debtors to bring your family to Missouri; running from the Aviation World News and your partner Ron to try your hand at Amway and Nutrilite Vitamins: fleeing that to start Medical Information Services with Norm. Shortcuts were a habit. To stretch the analogy, you always wanted to build the building without bothering with the foundation or, for that matter, the roof.

You applied the same philosophy - or, non-philosophy - around the house, too. So, here's what I think.

The back of our house, as of May, 2009Your favorite home improvement book was a large paperback volume the size of a Chicago phone book, with a blue cover and black and white pictures, published in 1970 or so. I still have it, though it's in the pile to go to Goodwill. I'm willing to bet  you looked at the chapter on "Drainage" and saw a picture of a 4" black corrugated pipe sitting in the bottom of a shallow trench. The heading and picture were all you needed. You were off off to Sutherland Lumber Company to buy the pipe as fast as our Ford Pinto could carry you.

Had you read the chapter, you would have gotten the rest of the story. The gravel, and the dry well or bubble outlet at the far end. I think you did that on a number of projects.

Is there a point to all this? No, dad, not really; I just want you to know I'm doing my best with what you gave me, genetically and practically, and, sorry Pop, I hope I'm improving upon it.

Love,

 - Wm

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
4" x 10' black, corrugated pipeDear dad,

I found your pipe. No no, not the one in the picture of you smoking outside your barracks door at Fort Bragg before shipping out to Okinawa. I'm talking about the pipe you buried - that 4" x 10' long black corrugated pipe you put in the ground to drain water away from the foundation. That pipe.

When I was putting in the new patio by the deck, I had to dig away quite a lot of dirt to prepare the site and I found the pipe. Digging it out took a lot of effort since it had long ago filled with dirt through the drainage holes in the sides making, for all intents and purposes, a very long and very heavy dirt sausage.

I mused as to your mindset when you buried it, digging the long trench by hand with the old tile shovel. Filled with dirt, the pipe was no longer fit for drainage, though I know for a fact that drainage was your intent. The proper use of this stuff is to surround it with gravel to allow water (but not dirt) to pass into the pipe and thence downslope. There was no gravel, and thus the pipe filled with dirt. It was probably wasted effort within just a few years.

I love you dad, and miss you, but more than once I have paused to say, usually out loud, "Dad, what were you thinking?" The more I find, the clearer the picture gets.

As I was growing up, you were always rushing somewhere to do something. Many times you were running away from something else: running away from debtors to bring your family to Missouri; running from the Aviation World News and your partner Ron to try your hand at Amway and Nutrilite Vitamins: fleeing that to start Medical Information Services with Norm. Shortcuts were a habit. To stretch the analogy, you always wanted to build the building without bothering with the foundation or, for that matter, the roof.

You applied the same philosophy - or, non-philosophy - around the house, too. So, here's what I think.

The back of our house, as of May, 2009Your favorite home improvement book was a large paperback volume the size of a Chicago phone book, with a blue cover and black and white pictures, published in 1970 or so. I still have it, though it's in the pile to go to Goodwill. I'm willing to bet  you looked at the chapter on "Drainage" and saw a picture of a 4" black corrugated pipe sitting in the bottom of a shallow trench. The heading and picture were all you needed. You were off off to Sutherland Lumber Company to buy the pipe as fast as our Ford Pinto could carry you.

Had you read the chapter, you would have gotten the rest of the story. The gravel, and the dry well or bubble outlet at the far end. I think you did that on a number of projects.

Is there a point to all this? No, dad, not really; I just want you to know I'm doing my best with what you gave me, genetically and practically, and, sorry Pop, I hope I'm improving upon it.

Love,

 - Wm

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