Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

I have some updates coming on some little projects around here. I'll be posting them here and there, due to the holiday season and cleaning out boxes and the construction messes around here I haven't been as prudent with posts. I'll be sure to get back on track with updates, lately been trying to fix the little things that seemed to have been hanging out there.

It's that time of year again.  Where one year ends and another begins. A time for resolutions, a time for turning over a new leaf, a time to reflect on the year past. Universally it seems that tonight is a celebration, whether the past year has gone well or not so well, its spent looking forward to the year ahead. Hoping that things get better than the year past. Some people blow it out tonight, they go to NYC, they have big parties, or they go out and celebrate with complete strangers. Other people stay in, celebrate it with family, or even just a loved one, keeping it simple.  Any way you cut it, we hold a lot of value in recognizing tonight and spending it with others, everyone wants to know what others are doing, whether they will make it or not, and who they are spending it with. Its a special night for sure, especially this year, a decade ends and another begins. So at 12:00:01 2010 where will you be at? What will you be doing? and who will you be with?  Make sure whatever you make of tonight you cherish it, cause it only happens once a year, and once in your lifetime.  Because maybe thing that puts a smile on your face on New Year's Eve, might just be as simple as remembering last years.

Happy New Year and New Decade to all my readers, friends, family and loved ones!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Eve of the Celebration

Tonight is a special night, for tomorrow myself and many others celebrate the birth of Christ.  This evening many people are preparing last minute items for the big day.  Others are spending time with family or loved ones.  Its a special time for kids, the excitement builds for the big morning when they see what presents they may have.  Its a special night in so many ways for sure.  Its special for me, this is the first Christmas Eve in this house.  I really have to count my blessings on what I have.  I have a roof over my head when many are losing theirs, I have a job that enables me to live a good life, I can provide plenty for myself and extend that to others.  I'm really glad I have the means to fix this place up, I've turned it around from what it was, and it will get even better. The blogs have been a success from what everyone says, and my projects are getting plenty of interest all over the internet. I'd like to think I'm pretty humble, so it was tough for me to start promoting the things I do, I didn't want to come off as someone who is full of myself or someone that is just trying to get ahead.  Everyone is taking an interest to what I do, so its pretty cool, and we'll see what comes of it, I'm glad people can relate to what I do and say. Hopefully it gives some people new ideas or insight, or even something they can relate to, thats all I'm really looking to do.  When I look at everything I have going this Christmas Eve its pretty amazing and I am truly blessed.  I am really thankful for all of it, and all the friends and family that have gone above and beyond the last few months.  Its interesting, there are no gifts under this homemade tree.  All the gifts I need are all around me.

I was expecting this Christmas season to be totally different than it is.  So its definitely bittersweet sitting here this Christmas Eve.  Being here in this house, thinking about how life has changed, thinking about what tonight was supposed to be like.  Its a struggle for sure.  For me it goes back to my first blog post.  What's in my heart still isn't here.  My heart has this missing piece, and only one thing can fill it.  Its amazing how awesome everything is going, yet how one part of the heart can make things so difficult.  I always knew what was in my heart was important, I always knew what it meant, this isn't one of those moments of you don't know what its got until its gone. I'm not that guy, I appreciate every moment, I'm not oblivious to it.  This is a moment when you know what you're missing, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.  As you can see from my blogs I am the sort of person that gets things done, that makes something out of nothing.  So for me, when you can't make something happen, because no matter what you do, the outcome has nothing to do with you, its like being bound and gagged. I hope I've done what I can, it seems I've done all I can do and more, and probably too much.  So I sit here this Christmas Eve and pray for help that I get what I'm really missing inside.  I'm going to watch the lights dim, I'm going to celebrate the Birth of Christ, and I'm going to thank God for everything I have, cause right now I need to trust in the fact he has given me all I need at this time.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

unbelievable... again

The tree got some more play on another great blog.  I'm glad people out there find it interesting, hopefully it gave some people some ideas or ambition to try something like this themselves.

DIY Christmas Tree on Design Sprout


Thursday, December 17, 2009


I really don't know what to say.   Made it again to Apartment Therapy!  I am truly blessed that people are actually interested in the stuff I do. Follow the link below!

DIY Christmas on Apartment Therapy!


Monday, December 14, 2009

O Tannenbaum

So this is a time of cheer, a time to be near; to family, friends, and loved ones.  Also a time to decorate the place you live with decorations and ornaments to remind us of the spirit of the Christmas season. Most normal people buy a fake tree, or cut a tree from a tree farm. Then they bring it to their residence and place some decorations and lights on it and make it fit their style or taste of their ideal Christmas. I've always had an apartment, haven't had many decorations, haven't had much space for a large tree. So I haven't acquired many of the decorations and lights for Christmas time. I had three strands of lights, green, red, and white; their most famous use for was a party I had four years ago at the beginning of December. One of the best memories that ended up being the beginning of so many more.  Anyway, I basically have no other decorations for a tree. I always wanted a modern, chic, interesting tree but I didn't want to spend a lot of money this year on decorations or a tree because I'd rather spend that money giving presents to others.  So what's a guy like me to do for a tree?  I needed to come up with something fast because I've been preoccupied.  Well, why not build a tree?  I used all reused items I have laying around. I've changed a lot of things around here so I had some things that I could put to use. It's not exactly super chic because I busted it out very quickly, but it gets the job done, I spent a total of $2 to get a plug, and it brings some Christmas cheer.  Its pseudo modern in its shape, definitely industrial in nature. This was something fun to do Hopefully this shows that you don't have to buy everything at a store, with some creativity and some ambition you can make something out of nothing.  Some of the best decorations or gifts are the ones you put some love and/or work into, remember that when you are giving someone a gift this year!

2x4's, framing nails, green vinyl covered chain link fence, string, paper, wrapping paper cut into decorations, the lights I had, an old chandelier, wire, and of course I had to use a little bit of duct tape!

follow this link for the pics...
O Tannenbaum Pics

Saturday, December 12, 2009

lighting change

Well since the fall season is over and we are into the Christmas season a lighting change was due.  So I picked up some red and green bulbs for the front porch to start lighting it up holiday style! These have been up for awhile, totally forgot to post this.  I'll have to get some other decorations up fast!  Christmas is nearly here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

do you smell that smell?

There is one thing that everyone can agree on that is better in this house than before is the smell!  As soon as you walked in here previously it smelled of a combination of stale cigarettes and wet dog.  Now since everything has pretty much been painted, cleaned, and the basement gutted the smell is a million times better.  Add in some great air fresheners and voila!  No more nasty house.  I don't really have a pic or anything since they haven't figured out how to get port smell over the internet to scratch and sniff screens, so you will have to take my word on this one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Just wanted to take this post to apologize for the lack of post yesterday.  And to let you know that posts might be intermittent over the next month depending on time, schedule and finances. This month I really need to make it through my life that is still packed in boxes, clean it up and trim it down to what is really needed, which isn't much.  I also will be working on the house pulling together some things that still need attention and working on completing things in the basement. So watch for blog posts about those items.  If I can get everything that is started, finished, it would be exactly what needs to happen.  This next month I'll also have to decide on a direction everything will be going, right now everything is still clear as mud. Too many difficult times, unanswered questions and things beyond my control have made reevaluating the plans very difficult to do over the last few weeks.

Monday, November 30, 2009

oops.. forgot some light..

Here I go and pull a Brett Favre and unretire the lighting series, just for one day though.  I forgot all about this light because its been up for awhile.  It was installed in the bedroom, I figured one place in the house could have a decent light from the start. This again is a light pulled from storage that was an Ikea purchase.  Provides great light. Unfortunately I had to leave the textured/sunburst ceiling for now, but the light distracts the eye from that a little.  I apologize for the pic, it was taken with the point and shoot, the real camera was packed up and I didn't feel like getting it out. I guess this is the last post in November, wow, Christmas around the corner.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

last of the light...

So I believe this is the end of the lighting installment.  The dining area had a classic chandelier.  I thought about painting the brass on it or something to that matter but I thought the style wasn't enough contrast to the new, so I replaced it.  I used another Ikea fixture I had in storage.  This light provides good light straight down for a table and provides a little more intimate atmosphere instead of blasting the whole room with light.  This fixture in combination with the fixture over the bar area gives enough light in the space and provides a nice atmosphere. Click the jump for some images. I hope you liked all the lighting changes. Now onto some more items that are hanging out there that need some attention.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

a break in the light...

I just wanted to take the post today to update on some changes on the blog and take a little intermission on the lighting updates.  As you may have noticed I updated the sidebar a bit to clean things up and also added a "share" button to the blog and the posts.  This will enable you to easily share to bookface and other social networking sites, if you'd like to share something I blog.  Please hold on firmly to your chair, I have finally joined the masses and started social networking.  I know, I just blew your mind.  I've been lame, I know, well I've changed my outlook on it and have started getting on board.  I figured since the blog has been somewhat of a hit (thats what some people have indicated anyway) that I should spread my identity further and share a little more.

Friday, November 27, 2009

light to the other side...

Some more lighting that was changed was in more inconspicuous areas, such as the hallway and entry.  For these areas the existing fixtures were replaced with a single bulb, flying saucer, from Ikea.  Provides good light and doesn't draw attention to areas that don't really need it.  These fixtures are super inexpensive as well, so if you have an apartment or a house and don't want to go crazy but would like to change out some of the fixtures these really are a good buy.  FYI, when you are out buying your compact fluorescent bulbs check out the displays for the lighting color (at the home improvement warehouses).  They finally are making bulbs in a few different color hues for your preference.  Remember they will look different depending on your paint color as well.  I hope your Thanksgiving went well!  Christmas is right around the corner already!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

light is better than darkness...

I mentioned one of the easiest ways to spruce up a place is with some new hardware. Another simple way to make a place feel more modern is by lighting.  And a good place to find some relatively inexpensive fixtures is of course Ikea. Each year they get better and better with selection and styles.  I've had some Ikea fixtures and a few others for quite some time, I bought some for my apartment and have held onto them since. So I cracked open the lighting bins and started pulling out the fixtures.  Above the pseudo bar counter in the kitchen there was a ceiling fan I pulled down.  I mentioned it in a previous post, I attached the image again to illustrate what it was.  To replace that fixture and to bring a little more interest to that part of the kitchen/dining area I have installed a track fixture. I can't begin to describe how difficult it was to install this fixture by myself, the track is kind of stiff and hard to manipulate alone to install.  After awhile the tape was my best friend for the night and did a decent job of holding it in place.  This fixture provides some good light and is a little more aesthetically pleasing to me. Jump = Bunch of Pics

give thanks

Take a minute today to thank God and the people in your life for what you have, and maybe don't have.  You'd be surprised how a little gratitude would mean to your family, friends, and loved ones. Often with the hustle and bustle of a day like this its easy to forget to say thank you. I won't inundate you with my thank you list, cause its a long one.  But thank you for reading this blog, if you tune into it you must care a little bit or be taking something away from it.  If you helped me in any way with this house or anything associated with it, thank you, I couldn't have done it without you.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving! No pic of a turkey, I thought I had one, but couldn't find it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

let there be light...

The light in the center of the kitchen was a typical 3bulb fixture with a glass moon cover detailed with brass.  To make it a little more inconspicuous I replaced it with a square acrylic lens fixture, fluorescent and again Energy Star.  This light will only really need to be on when you need some extra light for preparing a fantastic meal or baking some cookies, so I wanted it to blend in when its off.  I'll have some other fixtures in the kitchen/dining area that will grab your attention so I didn't want this light to stand out too much. Pics after the jump of course. Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

light unto my path...

We'll start this little miniseries with the utility lights and move our way up to the more important ones. The light above the sink was an old dual bulb T8 fixture that almost burnt my hand when I took it out. Last thing I need is another scar, besides one from that light wouldn't be as cool of a story as the scars on my arm.  That thing was obviously burning some serious energy.  I replaced it with a dual bulb T5 fixture, Energy Star rated of course. I should have taken a pic for scale between the two fixtures, the T5 fixture is about 1/3 the size, the whole fixture is the size of one of the old bulbs.  Actually provides more light and I'm sure is way more efficient.  Trying to keep it green as I can within a budget.

Monday, November 23, 2009

the light shines in the darkness...

This post is the preview for a series of posts on the lighting changes that will be taking place this week. Its kind of like a PBS special, the same subject with a little piece, each episode, all week long.  Make sure you follow closely to see whats crackalackin!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

shelter for the transport

I previously mentioned that the garage door had an opener but the remote was missing. And I mentioned I picked up a remote, well I'll be honest I haven't been using it.  It was such a beautiful day today, nice and warm and the sun was shining.  I noticed it cleared up because I saw the moon again tonight, and felt it was getting pretty cool. I looked at the garage and thought why haven't I used it for the car?  So this is the first night the car will be sleeping in the garage. The weather person is predicting some snow on this Friday..  The holidays are approaching fast and winter is coming, making sure the garage door is in working condition before I really should be taking advantage of being blessed with the garage. Worked fine for the first time, we'll see how the morning goes. Pics after the jump.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

pain in the neck

Painting the ceiling is well... the title says it all.  The previous color was off white with a random nicotine finish. The living, kitchen, dining and hall have been freshened up with some ultra white. Also I think I have a permanent white dotted complexion and hairstyle, I should've used yellow so I got the sweet iced look!  If you've painted a ceiling you know what I'm talking about.  Since this is completed now, the existing light fixtures have started packing their bags. They understand that they don't belong here anymore, the door handles and hinges said either lose the brass or its time to get out. I didn't get involved, they can work it out.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I figured there needed to be some demolition since there hasn't been any in awhile. The valance above the kitchen sink said a snide comment, and ironically more than one person mentioned its appearance. So the sawzall and I talked to the valance. Ergo, removal.  Pics after the jump. The after image will have to come later, some painting needs touched up around this area. Well, back to work, still many things to do. Gotta keep plugging away, as hard as it all is.  TGIF.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

related break - update II

Well the picture says it all... Funny in so many ways. So the technician said they were going to replace the actual LCD panel if you remember from my last post.  Well that didn't work out, he called a few days later, said the panel part replacement cost was about four thousand dollars.  So needless to say the part price exceeded the value of the tele under the warranty plan.  I took the tele back to the store and lo and behold got a store credit for the value, I didn't even have to beg.  I didn't end up losing too much on it since I got such a good deal originally, so that was blessing for sure!  I'm happy I can get some new technology in lieu of getting the same thing. I have my eye on something pretty sweet, holding out until the sales coming up to save a few bucks hopefully.  All I can say is thank God for the people that invented Hulu, I know my insanity would be far worse without it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

mother nature is a vandal

Someone knocked off my mailbox!  Just kidding, I think it was just working its way loose and the beautiful  breezy fall day blew it right off.  So I duct taped it back on, just kidding no I didn't, the neighbors might stop and beat me up. I actually used electrical tape, black blended in a little better.  I'll have to work on a more permanent fix, Maybe it's time to get that modern mailbox I had my eye on awhile ago.  Or maybe its a sign I should get out.  Who knows...  Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

a new low

I had a request for more writing in my posts, some of my latest ones were getting short, so I'll be sure to step it up, hopefully this one is better...   Well I never thought I would do something like this. I have a confession to make.  I used peel and stick tile. There, I said it, its done, let the fallout begin. Get off the floor and back in your chair.  Everyone that knows me right now is reeling. I pray this sin will be forgiven.  Remember a post awhile ago when I ripped up the nasty floor in the kitchen. Well since I am torn on many levels on whether or not to proceed with bigger plans, I had to do something to make it look finished and more livable.  So against my better judgement I went with a designed to sell solution. It turned out ok and gives it a better look for sure, just not my ideal way of handling it.  The images are after the jump. The good thing though is the installation was a breeze.  Near the end of the install I thought to myself... "If life only went as easy as this peel and stick tile"

Monday, November 16, 2009

paint - again

I've been procrastinating on this little painting project. The front window.  It's been staring me in the face, I keep ignoring it.  I figured I would just give in and give it a go, it turned out way easier and better than expected.  Hopefully I gave the passers by a little sunshine while I was at it.  Bonus image after the break.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

long weekend

it was a busy weekend with life and working on the house. I'll be back on track this week with updates, some updates are imminent.  Ever feel like this?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

monkey wrench

Just wanted to apologize to you for not updating this week.  Been K-razy busy with all kinds of stuff. Had to change the plans on a whim. I was slacking before and didn't have any posts made already and I haven't had much time to post anyway.  We'll get some stuff up soon. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

another night

I wrote the majority of this awhile ago, but was refraining from posting it, I thought maybe I would read it later and feel different after some time, but it hasn't happened. Its somewhat embarrassing and weak to some I'm sure, but people need to know. I thought I could separate feelings from this house, but I've fallen short on that.  Its a new month already, I'm late I know, its hard to believe its November, physically I was expecting to be in this house, mentally and emotionally I'm so far from where I ever thought I would be in life.  I have to be honest, I can't hide what really is going on inside these walls.  This has been tough. The work has been good, really far less difficult than I actually thought! Plenty of progress has been made.  I'm blessed I have some good people around me that have really helped out when they've had time, not only with labor and knowledge, but also support in other ways where I really need it. The place looks a little different in a good way and will look even better very soon....  continues after the jump.

backyard dog

Puppies really enjoy big backyards.  You are probably wondering if its mine, it's not, just visiting.  Right now a puppy probably isn't the best idea for me, but who knows what the future holds.

Friday, November 6, 2009

exterior update

Well it completely slipped my mind to post the exterior changes.  This was something I mentioned from the beginning, I had a witness, I said day one I am taking those shutters off.  Well actually it was day two, but I forgot to post it. So the shutters have been removed and I also removed the victorian style trellis on the porch.  I snapped a quick pic tonight, its after the jump. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to the first post to compare images, and catch up on anything you may have missed in between.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I apologize for the lack of a post yesterday, I had some inquiries on why, thanks for the concern. I was dealing with some personal stuff that was overwhelming me and wasn't feeling up to it, or down with it, or whatever the cool kids are saying now. But I'm back with something for you tonight, I don't want to lose you. Painting, does it ever end? In between all of the other things posted so far, painting is an ongoing process. I can only handle so much of it at one time, especially if you don't have anyone helping or just hanging out with you, it goes pretty slow and feels like you aren't getting anywhere.  Most of it is done, trying to finish it up. So I haven't really posted images because if it's unfinished then it can't be that interesting, right.  Well I figured I'd drop a couple images of the hallway to show that it has been painted, and the door hardware is on. Since there have been requests.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

laundry and lifting

Tonight was the type of night that helps you keep things in perspective, not like I haven't already been doing that; but this was just another set of events that solidify what life is about.  I'm praying for more than a few people that had some health issues today.

This is also why I try to keep a blog post or two in my back pocket, in case something or if I'm really lucky someone comes by and I can't accomplish anything on the house. The beauty of a bare ceiling in the basement enables you to do whatever you want.  Namely make a hanger bar out of a piece of pipe for your laundry.  But, not only does this provide a place for your freshly laundered linens.  It also doubles as...

Monday, November 2, 2009

related break - update

Well, I have been getting the full court press from everyone on the TV status.  Sit down, take a deep breath. The television is broken.  At least the TV can be replaced, the important things that have broke lately could never be replaced. I honestly don't really care that it's broken, it's just a TV, they make them everyday. It is a loss, not so much material, more emotional; if the TV could talk it would tell of some great times spent by me, the one I love (in my best David Gray voice), family, and friends enjoying it. I remember an indoor picnic in front of it not too long ago that was just plain awesome! Hit the jump for the unbelievable outcome of this situation.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Well this place had a pretty good electrical situation.  The panel and wiring was newer, and was actually labeled fairly correctly.  But the basement has been turned off because of the amount of wire that needed pulled back and checked.  Today a large part of the day was spent finding out what was going on with some leads for the basement and a some switches upstairs.  A great friend was kind enough to lend me his expertise and help me check and test a bunch of stuff.  Successfully we figured out why the light at the back door wasn't working!  And why the lights on the back porch weren't either! Some insane three-way switching was done for some reason.  So everything has been figured out and now I can get the lights and some outlets up in the basement. Very soon all the electrical will be done and completed. Truly a glorious outcome to that mess. Jump = Pic

Saturday, October 31, 2009

heavens above

One of the hardest things to capture with a camera is the moon.  Especially with any haze or cloud cover.  The moon looked incredible tonight!  From plain vision you could see the surface.  I sat in the back yard tonight, admired and looked for some help from the heavens above, maybe tomorrow will help as well.  It was pretty clear so the moon and the stars really could be seen well.  Of course I grabbed the camera and did what I could without a tripod, I didn't label what box I put it in and I didn't feel up to uncovering any more treasures, I came across some earlier today.  Oh, look at the time, make a wish; hit the jump, for the pics.

All Saint's Eve

Well some treaters came by, not as many as I was anticipating.  But I made a few kids really smile so that was really nice, nothing like seeing a child light up with joy, it made me smile seeing their excitement. I do have quite a bit of candy left, so I will be breaking out and adding a hundred or so pounds in the short term. Or you could come over and eat some of it so I don't. There is plenty of chocolate and peanut butter! I'll reuse the wrappers to recover the sofa, you can see I might have enough. Today was a beautiful day outside, I snapped a picture out back, hit the jump to see it. I also got some more progress done on the house, put some new outlet and switch plate covers on, makes the paint job look a little more finished. Took down one of the nasty ceiling fan/light fixtures that was above the counter in the kitchen, I didn't take a before picture, but the after pictures are here. I have some fixtures that will be going up to replace all the existing ones, as soon as the ceiling gets painted. Finished up all the hardware on the doors, makes a huge difference. For the most part a good day as far as work getting done, one step closer. To what, I'm still figuring out. Jump = Pics

Friday, October 30, 2009

paint trays

Well more got done, thankfully.  After family came through once again progress continues.  I can't stress enough how much family and friends really come through in times of need, I am blessed with some awesome people around me that don't have to care, but they do. And its not even what gets done, its just having people around who care to share some time together and make you feel a whole lot better.  Some more things got painted upstairs and the floor I think might be finished downstairs. The rolling machine knocked that out fast!  A future post will show how that turned out.  Paint trays were filled and then emptied again and again. The main living level is looking better and better. The mantle was painted by some awesome painters and a built-in cabinet in the dining area got a coat.  No pics yet, finishing touches need to be applied. Some leaves got raked and even the candy got put into bowls for tomorrows onslaught of neighborhood kiddies. I can't go a day without a post, even if it isn't a mind boggling change, it wouldn't be fair to those who want an update. So I shot some "artsy fartsy designer" pic as my snow covered friend would put it, for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

pumpkin carving finished

Well pumpkin carving has happened. (insert suspense)  I have a ton of respect for those people out there that can really make great carvings.  It's time consuming and tedious if you are trying to get creative.  I've been thinking about what to carve, I didn't want to do the crazy mean pumpkins, this time of year doesn't have to be evil stuff.  I wanted to do something that was creative, but was also meaningful, nice, and people could relate to. I did my second idea first, cause I thought it might take two nights, but I knocked it out.  Just this summer I was blessed to go to NYC for the first time in my life.  It was an absolutely incredible weekend!  Walked everywhere, got caught in the rain like a movie, Bryant Park, Central Park, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Times Square, Dylan's Candy Bar, and saw Jamie Cullum at Carnegie Hall!  And that's not even why the trip was so incredible!  So somehow when I was thinking of what to do, the trip and this idea just jumped into my mind, and sums up a lot. Hit the jump for the finished product. (more suspense)


When you are looking for something you need after moving you inevitably come across things that stop you right in your tracks. I think everyone has been there during some move. You totally forget about that... what was it... oh yeah, the knife you wanted so bad to carve pumpkins and what you came across takes you to the place, the time, the sight, the sound, the smell, the feeling, etc, etc, etc... Many times a laugh is shared over its discovery, or a smile, a kiss, or maybe some tears, and you take that discovery and hang it up or put it on the shelf as a constant reminder, its part of making a new place familiar.  Rarely though, between moving and rediscovering these treasures, something has drastically changed in a way you never wanted or imagined.  So the question is... What do you do when you find it in every container, in every room of the house, and on all that you posses?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The quickest way to spruce up an interior is with some new hardware.  After some fresh painting on the doors, they shed their brass knobbed glory and picked up some new brushed silver lever handles. I would have liked to got some sleeker ones, but for now the budget conscious ones will have to do. Besides, these doors may not exist some day, or I'll be moved on before I get to that point. Some matching hinges were also applied to complete the hardware transformation on the interior doors. This gives the old a little flavor of the modern.  Finally!  Uncle Jonathan's corn cob pipe!  Hit the jump for more!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

unrelated break

Well I must admit I have been slacking on the house work for sure.  But I had good reason to tonight.  I was blessed with the opportunity to go to the Cavaliers home opener!  You might have been watching it on TNT.  You might have saw me, I know I was on camera twice. Once walking in, they were filming people coming through the turnstiles, and of course I walk right past the camera, head shot.  Then during the game I was in the background of one of the shots when they were interviewing a fan for a contest, you could see it on the jumbo screen.  Pretty funny.  But anyway, I was really blessed with getting to take it all in from a suite with a great view and great food!  Thanks to my boss for giving me the chance to go, and thanks to the outside company that gave the invite!  I took some pics with the phone for posterity.  The Cavs should be pretty awesome this year, they jumped way ahead early but ended up losing, no worries, plenty of games left, you can't win them all. Totally unbelievable seeing Shaq in a Cavs uniform. What an awesome time!  Being in a suite is a blast, I remember an awesome night there for a Coldplay concert a couple years ago.

More pics after the jump, including Shaq's first tipoff at home!  (I just figured out how to make the jump so I thought I would test it out)

Monday, October 26, 2009

basement teaser

From walking around the house and looking at my posts I think I've contracted ADD. Anyway, so I changed my mind on the order of the basement.  Logic would approach from the top down, kind of like a two minute shower. I wouldn't put a garbage disposal in so I could wash my vegetables at the same time. But I digress, the basement floor was dusty and dirty, so after cleaning the best I could, I decided to go ahead and start painting it. This works well cause now I can stage some other stuff down there and also stop tracking dust and dirt up and down the stairs.  This is a little teaser of it, you can see the fresh grey paint sheen. The finished product will be up soon hopefully.  I guess I'll have to wait until it dries to get that paint can.  Don't worry, I didn't get painted into the corner, I was able to get out to post it. Don't be afraid to click on the pics I take, they open into a larger version so you can see them better, I like taking the photos, so I extend to you some higher res enjoyment!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


So when you own a house in a kid friendly neighborhood trick or treat time brings all the kids out.  I heard from one of the neighbors that there usually is a lot of traffic, so I thought I better get prepared.  Hopefully there is enough candy.  Pumpkin carving will have to commence as soon as possible, check back for the glowing results.  And yes, those are eco orange bulbs, leave it to me to find those.  Come by for plenty of chocolate and peanut butter!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

unrelated / related break

So if this blog were a book my first post would be what is called foreshadowing.  If you haven't seen or read the first post, scroll to the bottom and do so immediately.  Because what are the odds after posting that, a few weeks later, I would be taking in an Elvis impersonator show. You couldn't script it any better.

related break

Tip of the Day.  Be very, very, very careful when moving LCD flat panel televisions.

Apparently between having the panel hooked up while sitting in the box and placing on the stand the next day, something went wrong. Broken wrong.  So apparently I did something wrong, bumped, hit, twisted, I don't really know, but anyway, the television is jacked up.  So its on the bottom of my prayer list under something that isn't replaceable.  Needless to say it was pretty frustrating when you turn something like that on and its haywire.  Especially when you kind of want to take a break and just chill.  Oh well, apparently the big guy upstairs wanted me to get some work done instead of watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Just kidding, I would be probably be laughing to Flipping Out or Top Gear over and over again, if you don't know what it is, you need to know.

Friday, October 23, 2009

kitchen floor

Well I really couldn't take it.  The kitchen floor was pretty disgusting so it got ripped up. This sheet vinyl, or whatever material it is was in really poor shape and couldn't be cleaned, so its gone. As you can see from the pieces it broke into, it was in brittle shape. Not really sure what to put down or what to do with the plywood that is underneath, that will be for another day. The grand idea is totally reconfiguring everything, but the brakes are applied. Would like to know if the hardwood is under this plywood, but if I go that far there is no turning back.  So until the many factors involved in that decision are aligned, a temporary fix might just have to be in order.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


No pic today, sorry to my followers.  I spent tonight trying to do little things here and there.  Like getting a garage door opener that functions with the garage door; success.  Now I can get in and out of the garage while inside the vehicle, a blessing of convenience.  I painted more, trying to tie some loose ends up on some of that, which has been an ongoing process. I messed around with some stuff in the basement that will be detailed further in a future post. I probably did something else as well...

Tonight was a night to forget; but if I had the ability to forget to remember, I wouldn't need to forget.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

related jealousy

A friend from work and her great family are moving into a new home just down the road from me. I'm lucky to have some more good people so close.  They have a gem inside that totally blew my mind.  When I saw it, I immediately wanted to cut it from the walls and transplant it.  Words cannot describe, and this picture does not do it justice, I snapped it with my mobile device.  I thought about going back and getting a better quality image, but I couldn't wait to post this. Like I said before, to each their own. I am in the process of getting a petition going to cease and desist the destruction of this.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

energy star

Well the hot water tank worked correctly during the inspection.  After, not so much.  Oh well, probably better stop working now than when it would have been more inconvenient to replace.  Since the basement is empty now it made things easy to do. The old tank basically was almost hot sometimes, and luke warm at best at other times. So in keeping with staying as "green" as possible within a budget, a new energy star hot water tank has been installed. I would have preferred to gone to a tankless system, but at this point I couldn't justify the cost.  So picking an efficient tank had to do. I'm blessed I have some nice hot water now, makes a shower after all this hard work much more enjoyable.

Monday, October 19, 2009

where the party shower ends

No its not a previously unknown work by Shel Silverstein.  This is literally where the party shower ends.  After demolishing the walls the plumbing Christmas tree (as my plumber so eloquently put it) was hanging freely.  So the three shower head monstrosity was taken down and lines capped.. So technically the party shower could be reincarnated. I should probably put a voting app on the blog to see what the readers think. But I digress, this, along with some other plumbing and gas lines were cleaned up and simplified. This should make things a little bit safer by removing the excess gas piping, connections, and bad valves that had been put in over the years.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

basement waste - again

This really makes me sick but theres not much I can do about it, its what was here already. Thats right, this is the second dumpster full of basement stuff.  So if you were counting thats almost 30 cubic yards of stuff that was crammed in the basement, not including the stuff I saved for reuse. Happily no more dumpster in the driveway, makes it look a little less like a foreclosure or construction site.  Hopefully this stuff makes some nice wood chips and other items once its sorted and recycled.  That's the bar top by the way, popular with all that have seen.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Tip of the day:  always remember where you set the paint can lid; preferably place above floor level.

I thought to myself, why is the floor so slippery? Then hopped my way to find the camera laughing the whole time. Well, then hopped back to get the pic as if I caught it right after it happened. That's what they call Hollywood magic. I could do nothing but laugh after this, too funny.  Brought some laughter into the day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

paint and puppies

So this is what happens when you have a puppy cruising around while you are painting. Hmmm, what's outside, lets get up on the window sill and look. Oops, white paws.  Nice paw print though, I think CSI won't even have to come in and use their high-tech super duper X5000 ultra infrared, ultraviolet, subsonic print device to catch this criminal.  CSI is on again this season by the way, right now its looking like this year won't be nearly as good as the last few years, but maybe I will be proved wrong.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

doggy fence

Well the doggy fence had to go, I'll probably take it to Habitat. It was a bit unsightly in its inner city playground style, well I guess it wasn't that bad I'm exaggerating, its kinda fancy with the green vinyl on the chain link. It just doesn't work for me, to each his own right?

But think about that poor dog, fenced in there, staring at a backyard playground of almost an acre. Talk about torture. I remember discussing this during the first walkthrough, let the dog have a little more real estate to play with. I just noticed how the sun isn't shining in the first photo with the fence and it is shining on the second photo, hmmmm maybe a sign from above that it was the right move to remove.  I'm rhyming like Bill Shakespeare, look out.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Could it be? No? Already? They said it couldn't be done. It should have taken longer.  Yes it should have, actually it could have been done quicker.  Thanks to those who helped, you know who you are. The basement is virtually empty! Thank God! There is some final selective demolition to be done, like the cement board glued to the wall (that party shower deserved what it got), and some plumbing and electrical that needs cleaned up.  But for the most part the basement is demolished, onto cleaning and painting.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

bonfires cause memories

Well the neighbors were nice enough to invite me over for a bonfire that they had going. I am pretty blessed to have some good neighbors and a neighborhood you can have a nice bonfire. Reminded me of some fantastic nights in the country with friends, family, and loved ones... Wish those memories were still getting repeated over and over...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

party shower?

Did someone say party shower?  I think the sledgehammer did.  It's gone, I'm sorry to all of you that may have been a devoted fan. After weighing the options it was demolished.  Now that it isnt there, it is much, much better. There was some consideration of using the space for a bathroom, but another spot is a better option if that happens. Its lack of existence makes a huge difference as you will see...

Friday, October 9, 2009

paintbrushes and pizza oven

Outside the showers bounce and trickle down the windows, the sound of the autumn breezes rustling the leaves. Inside the bristles strike the walls, the paint brings life to a neglected place. The sound is quiet, almost inaudible, but yet is thunderous and echoes through the rooms.

basement trouble II

After some awesome friends and family chipped in their demolition skills, carrying muscle, and cleaning ability, a lot has been accomplished.  You can see now actually where the bones of this old house are. You can see more walls came down.  Also plenty of electrical wiring, speaker wire, and enough coax cable to start a television studio has been cleaned up. The party shower is still there, after some debate I think its totally coming out, it's in an awkward location for potential future development. I can't figure out what it might have been originally, one theory is where the coal was kept.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The good thing about this whole basement demo is all the insulation that was tucked away in every part of the ceiling, walls, and crevices. Apparently the party room needed to be soundproofed.
This will be [re]used in the attic space for more thermal value. Bonus!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

God's Creatures

This happened the other day..  Walking out the back door and see two does passing through the yard.  Had to snap a quick pic so the mobile device had to do. Of course I know people that want me to get a bow so I don't have to leave home to hunt.  Pretty amazing to see, I won't hurt them.  If it would have been a buck and a doe I probably would've started gathering the wood from the garage.   Genesis 6:19

unrelated break

Well a break was needed from the house. So I went to the Mat Kearney concert at the House of Blues, was looking forward to it for awhile. I must say it was a pretty awesome show, check out his music if you have never heard.  Diane Birch opened up, she was great as well. Attached is a very low quality pic from the mobile device. Mat Kearney is in the left third of the frame, white shirt, black fedora, bad pic, I know. Check out his website, you can tell its him.

basement waste

The unfortunate part of demolition is waste. Less is more, the famous quote by Mies. That's what I'll be doing after the basement is cleaned up. But til then this 15 cubic yard dumpster is packed tight, with more to be taken away. A lesson for everyone, if you don't need it and can do something just as well without more stuff, make it happen. The first step is reduce. The good thing about this waste is that it will be separated and recycled. I saved what I could for future use, but so much was riddled with excessive nails that it would have taken weeks to remove all of them. So for now this is taken away and move onto more removal. More to come...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

basement trouble I

Well here it is.  The trouble, I didn't take some totally before pics because I got to carried away with demo, so during will have to do. Sorry for the quality of the first couple, the mobile device was used, the camera was offsite. The basement was completely finished, top to bottom, drywall ceiling, furred out walls with drywall, carpet and padding on the floor, insulation in everything. It was stained and smelled less than pleasing. All trimmed out with mouldings, baseboard, etc.  There was a large bar built by the basement stairs with a bar sink and shelving.   And to top it off a party shower was in progress!  This apparently was the party room. Well since then demolition has ensued. The insulation in the furred out walls was fiberglass batt, directly on the block walls. For those that don't know that is a problem, moisture coming through the block walls will eventually get into the fiberglass batt and make it moldy.  So the insulation needed to be removed, some of that had already started in places where moisture was prevalent.  These pics are after phase I demo.  More to come in phase II.