Archive for November, 2005

Odd phenomenon

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 at 9:04 pm

There seems to be a direct relationship between the amount of light in a room and the amount of dirt in the room – that is, the more light, the more dirt. Some would argue that the dirt was already there, but empirical evidence at this point leads me to believe that the extra light somehow created the dirt. Stranger things have happened.

But as you can see from the pictures, good news! I finally got the last (planned) recessed light in place, a Halo H27RICT (Remodel Insulation Contact air-Tight). It was a struggle – the plaster and lath once again put up a fight and the wire I’d left in place was just 6" too short. Crap. But I got it all in place, fired it up, and stood back in awe of how amazingly dirty our kitchen had gotten. Maybe these lights weren’t such a good idea… (just kidding)

Anyway, isn’t that wall just crying out for something? I’m thinking some floating shelves, hopefully ones that will match the existing cabinets. That oughta keep me busy… (after I finish the insulation work in the attic and do all the paint touchup)

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Posted by Nate in Homebrewing.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 at 9:52 pm

Ahh, beer. Four cases of beer. (I know you can see some empties there, but there are a few bombers and swing-tops out of sight that make up the difference.) That’s about 10 gallons of deliciousness. Two cases of a jalapeno cream ale and two of an experimental apple/caramel/cinnamon Belgian Dubbel. Holy night, indeed!

Paint update

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements, The Blog.
Thursday, November 24th, 2005 at 12:19 pm

I got the tape off the walls pretty cleanly Wednesday morning. I did end up using an exacto knife to help – I was having almost the opposite problem as Tuesday night, the tape was tearing because the paint was sticking so well to the wall and tape. But that ended up being easier to deal with and created very few spots needing touchup.

In response to the comments on the last post: Yeah, I think I knew I should be taking the tape off between coats but that really seemed like a huge pain because of all the edges involved… But now there’s a different pain, so maybe it would have been worth it.

I think if I had to do it over again I would leave the tape on like this time but paint the edges with an edging brush and try to keep the paint off the tape as much as I could. That’s really where the issue was, too much paint bridging between the wall and the tape…

As for images in the RSS, I’ll have to dig in a bit and see – it’s a bug in Blogger or Feedburner if they’re not showing up. Or your aggregator? Weird.

Road Trip!

Posted by Nate in Bruno, Travel.
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005 at 10:19 am

We’re off! Bruno’s crate is bigger than Karen’s car…

Son of a…

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005 at 9:30 pm

So there’s the awesome red. It’s really hard to get the full effect from that picture, it’s actually much cooler in person. Really "dramatic," although I hate to use that word in talking about a space or physical feature…

I wasn’t going to post – I have a million things I need to do before we leave tomorrow – but I wanted to show off the color and bitch about the tape. That wad of blue tape on the right side? That about sums up how I feel about it. See, it’s sticking to the paint a bit harder than I’d like, to the point of pulling up little edges as I start to take it off. And it’s a clean break that it’s peeling up, so it looks like if I tried I could peel off everything I’ve done including the primer. Which means… maybe nothing, but maybe that I screwed up and somehow should have prepped the original surface better? Has it not bonded well, or does it just need time? I don’t know. I’ve stopped messing for the evening since my current best hope is that I’m maybe trying to take the tape off too soon and the paint is too soft. That’s definitely possible, but tomorrow morning is the last chance I’ll get to take it off – the tape is rated for about a week of contact before it starts to permanently stick (to the wood trim), so I can’t leave it while we’re out of town.

Grr. So, I’m really happy with the color and the paint job itself is awesome. This latest development… not so awesome. No matter what tomorrow holds I’ve already got a good bit of really small annoying touchup work to do, and to blend in it’s going to need sanding. And from what I’ve read, you can’t / shouldn’t sand paint until it’s well and truly cured, which can be from 10 to 30(!!!) days! Son of a…

Kitchen update

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005 at 11:39 am

So enough with the geek posts! What’s happening to the kitchen?! Well, let me tell you: good things. Very good things. I was sick (still recovering, stupid tickly cough and stubby node) this last weekend, down and out Saturday, but together enough on Sunday to head with Karen to the Home Despot to buckle down and make some serious decisions about paint. And we did – not what we originally planned, but in the same family. (That grayish-blue on the walls is primer)

Why prime? The jury’s sort of out on this, since it was a previously painted surface we probably could have gotten away without primer, but I was a bit worried since from what I’d read kitchens can be tricky. Lots of gross buildup on the walls from cooking and general wear and tear can make it hard for paint to stick properly. So I washed the walls and opted for a primer, more specifically a gray primer. Despite a demonstration placard sitting right on the counter, the HD paint guys were sort of out of the loop on gray primer – and I didn’t know enough to insist on getting it mixed accurately. It’s close enough, though, and definitely helping. The final paint shows up WAY different on the few small spots that got missed with primer – the color over the primer is just awesome, rich and deep and warm.

So what is the color? Well, until I get a second and possibly third coat down, I’m not going to post any pictures, since it will change with each coat. I will say, however, that’s it’s bold. And looks great!!

One last picture showing the gas hookup to the stove. Nice and big copper loop so we were able to get good clearance from the wall without stressing any pipes.


Posted by Nate in Uncategorized.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005 at 10:41 am

Still look for that RSS aggregator to use on your machine? Want to know when we update our blog? Look no further: RSS Owl. It’s head and shoulders above any other free solution I’ve tried, is written in Java so it’s cross-platform, and allows imported bloglists in OPML format so you don’t have to re-subscribe to everything. (Looks like you still have to tell it to auto update feeds) It also features:

  • tabbed feed panes!
  • Allows you to use any browser internally, so you don’t have to view links in stupid IE
  • Tons of smart options to configure
  • Good filtering and searching
  • Did I mention it’s free?

So. If any of that makes you excited, or if you understand it at all, you’ll know you need to check this thing out.


Posted by Nate in Uncategorized.
Monday, November 21st, 2005 at 1:53 pm

Branching out a bit on the blog, but I’ve found this little guy to be so useful over the past week I figured I should mention it. I’m a little late to the party on this – it’s been around for a few months – but I only stumbled on it last week: I’m referring to the so-called PocketMod. It’s hard to explain, easy to use – I recommend immediately throwing one together using the online application, printing it, folding it, and seeing how cool it is. Then keep it handy for a week and start jotting things down in it – I use mine primarily for two lists: shopping (both hardware and otherwise), and a to-do list. The front cover is a weekly schedule by day, the back is a month calendar, and the last two pages are year-long calendars. So useful. And totally customizable – there are pages you can add for storyboarding, music notation, note-takeing, etc! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Bruno’s 1st Birthday

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2005 at 11:35 am

Yesterday was Bruno’s 1st birthday. He had a party. We got him a doggy birthday cake from the craziest store in the world, Lulu & Luigi. It was like wheat wafers and yogurt or something. Here’s a picture. He and his friend Casey split it, and it sort of ended up all over our basement, but what to do, a dog only turns 1 once! Casey’s mom and dad, Sonja and Greg, gave Bruno a squeeky ball and a doggy energy bar for when we take him hiking or something like that. Nicole and Gretchen brought him a bacon and cheese biscuit and an awesome tug rope with a bone attached to it. There was also people cake – I’ll try to post a picture of that soon – it said Happy Birthday Bruno and had candy bugs and worms on it, because Bruno likes to eat bugs and worms. hee hee. All the people friends in attendance also got to sample some of Nate’s latest brew, Bruno’s Porter. mmmmm. And of course, there was much admiration for our awesome new skylight and recessed light in the kitchen. Bruno also got another present in the form of the first snow of the season! We were wondering how he would react to cold and snow, and it seems that he is a big fan. Last night and this morning on his walk he was bounding around, playing in the snow and flying around on the ice, happy as could be. Yay! And we may not ever have to shovel our deck or back walk, because he spent quite some time eating the snow off of it. Best. dog. ever.

Reality check

Posted by Karen in Day to Day, School.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005 at 1:34 pm

So I took too many classes this semester, then my classes turned out to be really hard, then I ended up HATING one of my classes on so very many levels, then I found out last week that I’m doing all of this for no reason because it turns out I don’t actually need these credits, but it’s way past the deadline to drop a class or even change the grade basis. So instead I just get bad grades. I’ve never gotten bad grades before. It’s a humbling experience. In addition to all of this, my research project has seriously picked up, and I was already behind with it so now I’m waaaaay behind, and getting behinder by the day.

So I had an exam this morning. I knew I wasn’t prepared well enough going in to it, but it was like my brain just sort of decided it had reached capacity and wasn’t interested in letting any more in, so my efforts at studying hadn’t been very helpful. Let’s just say that the exam didn’t go well and leave it at that. To ward off the impending tears I immediately took off after it was over to go run some errands. And of course the coldest rain imaginable was coming down. And just as I started to let myself get all oh poor me, I got my much needed reality check.

As I was waiting at a stoplight, I saw a blind woman get off a bus and make her way to the corner. She was having a hard time pushing a little cart of her things with one hand while using her cane to find her way with the other, all the while getting soaked by the coldest rain imaginable. She stood at the busy corner, trying to figure out if it was safe to cross the street. She decided to go and stepped off the curb right into a deep puddle of the coldest water imaginable. It startled her and she paused, and then kept going. And there were my tears again, but this time not the poor me kind. I imagined how terrified I would be if I were her, just trying to cross the street, even on a less busy corner or without the rain or the puddle. The courage it must take.

I have another exam on Thursday, this time in the class that I hate. I feel pretty certain that it too will not go well. But I also feel pretty certain that there are more important things in life than grad school. Sometimes you need to just buck up and quit your whining, and sometimes you need a little help seeing that.