Sunday, July 23, 2006

Raising a Barn

Well not exactly a barn, but I think I may have channeled a little Mennonite team work when work officially started on my basement project about two weeks back on the weekend of July 8th. I posted the plans for the basement back in May, and as expected the plans were really just loose expectations, more about that in a sec. The morning of the 8th really started a few days earlier, when I was speaking to my friend Rod. Rod probably has the most handyman street cred out of my gang of friends, by virtue of buying a old house that needed some work.

My conversation with Rod went something like this,
me: "Rod, when do you think you will have a weekend free, I'd like your help with my basement?"
Rod: "This weekend, or mid-august."
Me: "I'll see you this weekend then."

Then I proceeded to call/email everyone and anyone to fill in my basement renovation crew. Thankfully I have a lot of good friends, and family and we put together quite the work force. Most of whom you can see here:

(from left to right, Trevor, Me, Chris, Rod, Alex, and Gabe)

Missing from that picture is Kevin who came by later on, and my sister Jenn and my lovely wife Erin. While Erin generally avoids power tools, we got her to drive a few nails, but where she proved indispensable is keeping the crew supplied with screws, nails, 2x2's, food, and drink.

Following the summoning of the crew was three of the most intense days of basement clean up. What had started as a sort of lackadaisical clean up effort in June became a full court press. Erin and I had a lot of late nights getting the place ready, and making sure all the supplies were in order. Which of course they weren't but they were pretty good.

Now as I was saying my plans were good guidelines, but the first thing we did when Rod showed up Saturday morning (besides all enjoying a good cup of coffee) was change all the plans. :)

The overall room layout stayed pretty constant, but details of which frame goes where changed, but in the end it was for the better, besides, I did invite Rod because he knows what he is doing!

Here he is over seeing the placement of the first frame.

This frame went up with the first of many mistakes. Alas we are all rusty at this, and we made some of the same mistakes as we did in Kevin's basement, like not counting the top and bottom sill plates in our measurements for the length of each stud. Consequently, we raised and lowered the first two frames before we finally got into the swing of things.

By early afternoon we have 3 frames well in place and took a much needed food break, see me mad with BBQ power as I grill not 1, not 2 but like 13 pieces of meat, with cheese all at once (cheese was added later), while drinking a beer (the beer was drinking so fast the camera shutter speed couldn't capture it)!

Satiated with food, and mad with building prowess and power tool power, Trevor went of a Tapcon rampage.

Worked progressed long into the night, people dropping off one by one, in the end we did a phenomenal job, framing every wall that needed framing, roughing in most of the electrical, and getting a good start on framing the ceiling. It always amazes me what a group of engineers can get done, in spite of our education :)

Well that's the first report from the basement, I will report back with more, like the cool lighting box Trevor and I built late into the night, and the plumbing Erin's Dad and I changed. I figure this blog entry is a good start.

Night all

Friday, July 21, 2006

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer!

I don't need to say anything more - it's back!!
Well here is a little something for Mom and Alex. Since Alex, the once and always ninja turtle himself, and the rest of us permenently imprinted by rewatching the movies time and time again, could probably be stamped as Turtle fans, I must say I didn't know this was coming, but now I'm interested. As my english skills are now failing me, I'm just going to press the submit button.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cat in a basket

Well hopefully this cute cat in a basket will distract you all while I continue to not post. To say I've been busy is a bit of an understatement, but I wanted to post something. This is Loki in a basket, he is getting big, and is super energetic! He is pretty much a perfect cat, which of course makes him a bit of a pain in the ass, otherwise he wouldn't be a cat!

Anyways look forward to future posts about:
Jam Making
Erin's Trip to Tucson (Hopefully posted by Erin)
Power Sanders
and the Basement

The basement of course being my prime time consumer.

Oh and here is a link to bloggers blog of note for today, I wanted to capture this for Erin because its the blog of another Woman PhD Candidate, and her musings about science. I haven't had a chance to look at it depth, but the Blog of Note link is usually good.