Monday, December 19, 2005

holiday slacking

Well as you can tell I've been really slacking off with respect to writing here lately. It's the holidays and life is crazy, as I'm sure yours is too, so you understand. Thanks, I knew you would.

So much has happened since my last entry that I don't know where to start. I won't be starting with pictures of what I've been working on though since I just found the battery charger for the digital camera this morning. Hopefully that'll be up and running this afternoon and I can get some pictures up here.

So I'll try to fill you in using my literary photo album, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, you're in for a long, painful read!

Last week I wrapped up the end of the hardwood flooring install, and my knees have been rejoicing ever since. It looks fantastic and has lots of good character. Looks much better than the cheap laminate fake wood floor we had in the kitchen. We saved that though, and will probably use it in one of the less-used spare bedrooms in the future.

And with having the floor down, I was finally able to install the last kitchen cabinet and the final countertop in the kitchen (the peninsula cabinet and breakfast bar). It looks really nice, and it was so nice to finally install that. It's been sitting in our basement for the better part of 2005 just waiting for this moment.

Beth is almost done with the painting out in the new area, which is great. Once that's done, we can put all the electrical coverplates on and get the final electrical inspection.

The bathroom floor is also done, I installed a tile-like product in there called Adura. They're glue-down laminate tiles 16" x 16" but without grout between them, they butt up against each other and the seams nearly disappear. It's supposed to be really tough, so it should hold up well in the laundry room. The shower is also installed, I got that up last week, just have to do a little finish caulking around the doors.
I passed the last drainline pressure-test this week too, so I've got the greenlight to proceed with installing the bath fixtures and then get the final inspection on the plumbing. I really can't wait for that since our dining room is currently full of boxed plumbing fixtures (toilet, pedestal sink etc...). So we might even be able to see the floor in the dining room again soon!
The final tie-in joint on the drain line continues to plague me. The inspector didn't like the reducing fitting I used, said it had to be reinforced with a stainless mesh since I'm installing it above ground, then proceeded to inform me that he had never seen a pipe like the one I'm trying to connect to, so he didn't even know how I should do it. Big help there.
Well... The only fittings approved for above ground connections between cast-iron and PVC are straight couplings (4" to 4", 3" to 3" and so-on). Well, that means I have to chip out about 4 more inches of concrete around the pipe (in addition to the 2" I already chipped out) then somehow cut off the cast-iron pipe in an area where I can't get a chain cutter in and connect my PVC to that cut end. Piece of cake right??? I'll keep fighting with this one this week, hopefully get it done soon. Thankfully I have my grandfather's electric hammer, what a cool tool! It's literally a mini jack-hammer that runs off electricity instead of air. It's been really handy for chipping out the concrete.

I decided I needed a break from the usual home project work last weekend, so I tackled a side-project: optimizing storage space in the basement. I've had this idea for a while but never made the time to implement it.
The band rehearsal area in the basement has been slowly getting more and more crowded with non-band related stuff, so I had a great idea. I built a big drum-riser with storage for large items underneath it. I'm always sitting when I play my drums, so I had spare headroom, so I went up 14"! Wish I had a picture to put in here, but if you recall from paragraph 2, no pictures right now... It's so rock-n-roll. It's like playing in a seedy bar with a rickety old stage, but right in my own basement, plus it stores all kinds of crap under it completely out of site.
Between that, and my selling off of misc stuff from the basement, I was able to get rid of a large chunck of shelving and open up the band area quite a bit. Makes the whole basement feel bigger.

Thursday last week I managed to get out for my first ski of the season, went over to Como with a friend of mine after work. It was great due to the fresh 6" of snow we got last week. I can honestly say this year was the first time I've ever been able to go out on my first ski of the year and have good snow. I'm usually so excited to get out that I ski on the first 1/2" we get with grass and rocks sticking out everywhere. Well I've been so busy this year I wasn't able to get out on the bad snow, and fortunately we got some good snow early.
Went out again Sat to Lake Elmo, which was good classic, but the skating sucked. They don't really know how to groom well out there and most of the trails are classic only, so the skate lane tends to suffer. I'll stick to classic out there I think. Just need to get some classic ski's waxed up. I did set-up a wax bench in the basement though, thanks to all the new free-space I was able to make down there.

Alright, enough rambling for now, I'll write more when have some pictures to go with it.


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