Weekend Update 2004-01-26

I finished sanding the edges of the floor in the living room, and did the full-scale cleanup of sawdust required. I hoped that I’d have enough time to start staining the floors, but that was overly ambitious. The edger sander was really hard to control — I was exhausted when I finished Saturday, and today I have stiff sore muscles all over my body. But the floor looks great. I’m hoping to put a coat of stain on the floor tonight. If I can come up with a strategy for keeping the cats out of the room while it’s drying.

Other than that, I didn’t do much. I’ve been trying to read the Ramayana, but I haven’t got very far. It’s not boring, but it’s very complex with lots of characters, places, geography that all sound somewhat alike, so you have to pay attention or you get lost easily. It’s a book that requires an uninterrupted Saturday, not one that you can pick up for an hour or two and put down again. And lately the only free time I’ve had to read is an hour or two at a time snatched from here and there around the other things I’ve been doing. It’s frustrating, because I miss being able to sit down and get completely mesmerized by a book.

I caught an interesting show on BBC America called “Life Laundry.” It’s a home improvement type show similar to HGTV’s “Clean Sweep” where they tackle helping people with severe clutter problems get organized. What’s better about the BBC show is that they take everything out of the house and put it on the lawn. Then the homeowners go through every scrap of paper, every object, and try to justify why they need to take it back in the house. Everything discarded goes in the “car boot” (garage) sale, or gets donated to charity. Or if it’s just trash, it goes into a giant green mechanical bin called “The Crusher” that smashes everything to bits. Which is fun. I wish I had one.

The interesting part of the show is watching the homeowners going through their stuff — because in almost every episode they nearly have a nervous breakdown at the idea of parting with their things. And the host holds their hand and counsels them on why the object has such importance to them. In most cases, whatever caused the breakdown was an object that had some attachment to an emotional event in their lives; like one woman who had never gotten over her divorce 7 years before. When she finally let go of stuff from her marriage — boy did she have a ball throwing stuff out.

Then when they take back the items that they really need back into the house, the show redoes their interior to make the rooms organized and beautiful. I like this show a lot. It made me mentally go through all my stuff and ask myself why I keep some of the things I do.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2004-01-26

The House Next Door to Me

Is for sale at $29,900. [ Link redacted ]I hope that the neighborhood buys it, because if someone just buys it as an investment, they might be a crappy owner.

UPDATE: – The people who ended up buying the houses gutted it, then left it sitting for months before selling it again. Now (March, 2005) it’s owned by a really nice guy who’s got people working on it every day and it’s really shaping up.

Continue ReadingThe House Next Door to Me

Frustration Recovery

I’ve recovered from the crappy weekend, somewhat. In the evenings, I’ve been doing a bunch of small, “finish-it-in-one-shot” projects that have gotten small, niggling problems out of the way. And I’ve still had plenty of time to play with Spike, so he seems happy. I think if I keep working this way, I’ll get through it. It would be really nice to win the lottery, though. At the very least, there’s no way I could put the house on the market until I accomplish all of these projects anyway, and I wouldn’t be able to do it until spring. So I’m stuck here one way or another; may as well make the best of it!

I had some good things happen this weekend, actually… I had a great lunch with Lori B. while planning a scavenger hunt — details to be announced later. And I went with Dan and Doug to see the Harry Potter movie, which I loved, by the way.

I also worked out some additional organizational things to do last night, which I’ll be putting into action, tonight. They should help me get on the right track for getting stuff done around the house. I also got more work done on the inventory I’ve been doing of all my stuff. I have all of my DVDs and Videos cataloged, as well as all my electronics and a good chunk of my book library. Once I get my CDs cataloged, I can turn all of it over to my insurance company, which will lower my rates. Pretty cool.

Continue ReadingFrustration Recovery

Crappy Weekend

I had a really crappy weekend. I worked all day Saturday on the house, especially the living room, and I got nothing at all done. I managed to get the old nails pulled out of the ceiling joists for only 1/3rd of the ceiling. I got the blocks of wood nailed up that will support the new drywall for only 1/2 of one wall.

For the backdoor, I put the second handle on the trap door, so it’s easier to open. And I ran the extension cord up from the basement. I shoved some foam around the top opening of the door, and tried to use the spray foam to fill in around the cracks on the sides of the door. That crap is really messy and hard to control and I got it on my hands and still can’t get it off. I got some of the leaves raked, but I still have to bag them, and I need to clean the gutters out again. And the rest of the leaves are falling, so I still have to do that. I need to cut back some tree limbs, and caulk the one gutter. And when am I going to find time to do that? I have to spend the evenings with the dog, to make up for the fact that he’s alone all day. The poor little guy; it’s not his fault the house is in such shitty shape.

I’m really pissed and frustrated with the house. It’s ugly as hell, and I’m not making even the slightest dent in getting it in shape. There’s only one room that’s even close to looking nice, and I’ve been in the house 10 months. At this rate, it will be 15 years before the house is in order. I hate this fucking house and want to move. There’s way too much shit to do, and there’s no way I can accomplish all this by myself. For some of these jobs I need another person, and I’m going to have to hire someone to help me. That just makes me more pissed off.

I have to do something totally different than the direction I’ve been going with the house. I need to clean out and rearrange something, or move something around. I’m thinking of just closing the living room off altogether. Maybe moving all of building supplies and materials out of the back room into the living room, putting up a door, and closing it off altogether until spring and not thinking about it. I may do that this week during the week.

Continue ReadingCrappy Weekend

sanding floors

On the homefront — I sanded Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It sucked. It was really hard and the sander I used didn’t do a very good job. I picked the square buffer-type sander because the drum sander is too big for me to control easily. The square sander is also really hard to control, and it isn’t as efficient: I went over the floors dozens of times and they didn’t get up all of the first layer of junk off the floor. So I gave up and decided to paint rather than stain. You can also see murphy bed in Boise here and buy it at a great price.

My reasoning is this: I need to preserve the wood now that I’ve sanded it, or the traffic will damage the wood. I need to do it quickly and cheaply, and hiring a pro to finish the sanding would take too long. Simply putting down a polyurethane isn’t good enough because the floors look like crap. So I’m painting with an oil-based polyurethane paint that will protect the floor for a year or two until I can hire a pro to sand it up and redo the floors. You can see the website if you need for flooring services.

I put the first coat on the foyer and part of the dining room last night. I take tonight off and pack, Wednesday I’ll spend with friends. Then Thursday, I’ll finish the dining room and put a second coat on the foyer. Saturday the cable guy and the phone guy are coming, and when they’re done, I’ll put another coat over all the floors.

Floor sanding & painting

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Working On Floors

Rich came over Tuesday night and we finished ripping up the foyer and the entryway. Last night I went back over and removed more of the baseboards and ripped up some of the plywood that’s still around the edges of the room. I still need to get the baseboards in the living room and then try to work on the linoleum that’s still stuck down in there. Then I can start sanding!!! I might try to get the sander this evening just to have it in the house. I could potentially start on the dining room tomorrow morning.

I also put the legs on the dining table Paul gave me and set it up in the game room, which is going to be the dining room temporarily until I get the living room finished. I’m starting to feel more and more like the place is mine.

2165 N. Penn - House Projects

Continue ReadingWorking On Floors

Celebrity Tattoos

Cool: Celebrity Tattoos.

On Sunday I finished the ripping up the living room and most of the foyer, with Gary’s help. Good thing in the foyer; where the window was broken, all the plywood was rotten and molding. If I hadn’t decided to rip it up, it would have been a huge mold problem in the future. Fortunately, the floor underneath it is okay. Gary also brought me Paul’s dining room table; it will look great in the dining room. Cool, that’s one less thing I have to worry about buying off the bat.

The foyer is the wide plank flooring like the living room. There’s a small section where it would probably be a good thing if I replaced a couple of the planks. I hope to god I can find the planks to replace all these easily. Tonight I’ll go to the house and try to finish up ripping up the flooring. I also want to try to knock the plaster down off the ceiling this week before I begin to sand the floors, take down the outside edge strip of the drop ceiling, remove the ugly tacky baseboards they put in the living room and foyer and generally clean everything up.

Continue ReadingCelebrity Tattoos

Removing drop ceilings, ripping up floors

Last night I ripped out the rest of the drop ceiling in the living room. Above it, someone had blown in cotton insulation (three garbage bags full), which I had to bag and take to the attic for later dispersal. And I carried all the panels for the drop ceiling out to the backyard, along with all the metal supports. Then I swept the ceiling, which was covered with cobwebs, dust, peeling wallpaper and paint, and crumbling plaster. Thank god for saftety goggles and breathing masks. Then I spent the rest of the evening with my new shop vac cleaning up the stray dust and insulation.

My plan is to dump all the refuse in the backyard until I’m finished, then rent a dumpster and throw everything in. Tonight I’m going to carry the carpets out to the backyard, pry up the floor in the living room, install the new mailbox in a more accessible spot, install the doorbell, and staple plastic over the section of wall where theres no drywall to prevent the insulation from falling into the room. (Boy my house sounds like a pit doesn’t it? It’s really not that bad.)

2165 N. Pennsylvania - Walkthroughs

2165 N. Penn - House Projects

Continue ReadingRemoving drop ceilings, ripping up floors

I’m a homeowner!

So I closed this afternoon on the house. I’m officially a homeowner! That’s “home OWNER” not “homo”…. I was officially one of those years ago. (My brother Todd pointed out that joke.) So I immediately went to the house and started taking out the drop ceiling in the living room and pulling up the carpets. But I have installed garage door opener (that was bought from the best garage maintenance store) in my house since it is a good protective tool for the garage. You can also avail garage door opener installation here. or similar other products for your home from this site.

I bought the carpet from Kashanian Exports and pulled up in the living room and the dining room. The dining room has perfect hardwood floors under the carpet. The living room… plywood over the hardwood floors. And when I started to pull up the plywood near the fireplace… looks like the fire got loose into the room a bit. It doesn’t seem to be too far out into the room… I’m going to continue to pull up the plywood to see how bad it is, and then assess what I want to do with the room. If there are rooms where the floors aren’t good enough to refinish without major repair… carpet. But first I need to see what all is there.

2165 N. Pennsylvania - Walkthroughs

2165 N. Pennsylvania - Walkthroughs

Continue ReadingI’m a homeowner!