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Category: housing

01/14/07 08:07 - ID#37686

brick house

When they demo'd my walls we discovered there's brick behind them. Who would have expected that? Not necessarily a good thing, but I guess if the house burns down, my neighbors will be fine. I'll be roasted in a brick oven though. Oh well, saves money on cremation later, haha.

It's been a while so thought I'd show you a quick walk-through. This was before they broke two transom windows though. Oops.

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Category: housing

12/08/06 05:41 - ID#36795

Earthquake Insurance

I know, I know -- I haven't been keeping up with what's been going on with me lately. Mostly because, why would you give a damn? But also because, it would irrevocably dispel any illusion you may or may not have of "that twisted! living the life of luxury in San Francisco!" At least I have that going for me.

So anyway. Have you ever known something you didn't want to admit, and made up a convincing enough story that other people believed it too? And then somewhere along the line realized you're still going to have to pay for this mess, so you might as well come clean? Well, that just happened to me. Luckily, my general contractor is willing to work out a payment plan for the additional work I was hoping wouldn't have to be done, but obviously has to be done.

This may not make sense to anybody else -- and it's small comfort to me now -- but I consider this more of a rescue mission than an investment proposition. Guess I can't stand to see a great place that deserves more wasting away. Let's look at the pix one more time to see what I mean.

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Yeah. I really can't see myself making dinner in that kitchen.

Oh! My title. So my general contractor tried to convince me I have to gut the entire top floor apartment. I really wasn't thinking that was necessary. We debated back and forth. He had many interesting arguments. I think my favorite was, "we're due for another earthquake -- better to have drywall than plaster." Great! That's just what every homeowner wants to hear before sinking a bunch of cash into a renovation. I have a better idea! What if I take out earthquake insurance, wait for the "big one" to strike, then rebuild on the insurance claim? That seems like the right answer to that scenario.

Anyway, tonight it's off to see The Killers, Modest Mouse, The Raconteurs, and The Shins at Bill Graham Auditorium (within walking distance of my soon-to-be-condemned hovel). After that I'm on a strict austerity program.

p.s. - this would be a great time for that contractor boyfriend to materialize. Anyone?

p.p.s. - Happy Birthday Tony! And to all you other Saggitarians. Mine's on Sunday!


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Category: housing

11/28/06 12:39 - ID#36789

It's always something...

The kitchen & bath remodel is moving along. Luckily they didn't need me for much of the demo phase, except when they uncovered a hornets nest (literally) in the ceiling on Friday. It's amazing what you can co-exist with peacefully without even knowing it. But the hornets didn't take kindly to having their territory invaded and you do NOT want to get on their bad side.

After alternately feeling somewhat on top of things and outright panicking, I decided to take a short-term view of my part of the project. (This will probably bite me in the butt when it turns out the floor tile I like takes 3-4 weeks delivery time, but I'll work on dependencies like that next.) So I asked my general contractor what's the first thing he's going to need from me? He says, "the rough-in valve." Say WHAT? That does NOT sound like something I should have to pick out. Then he explained it's part of the shower system and depends on whether I want a thermostatic mixing valve, volume control, diverter for tub to shower, etc. Oh yeah. I probably do need to figure that all out! So I got right on it.

I thought Black Friday would be a fine time to go bathroom fixture shopping, since who in their right mind does that? Turns out I was all too right. Apparently nobody does, since the bathroom supply stores were all closed. Doh! So I did my homework online, then found what I needed locally yesterday. One thing down, about two million to go. ;-)

UPDATE: Pictures added. You asked for it!

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It's images like these that keep me awake at night.

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The toilet remains for obvious reasons.

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Where the tub was.

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View from the kitchen through to the bathroom.

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I really wish my kitchen sub-floor went all the way to the outside wall.

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On a happy note -- I think my sis-in-law really liked her birthday present!

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Category: housing

11/12/06 07:06 - ID#36780

kitchen?

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Potential kitchen layout plus/minus some details the Ikea Kitchen Planner couldn't deal with. Still a pretty impressive layout program. It even calculates how much this layout would cost in my choice of Ikea cabinets.

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Potential kitchen materials if I went with a cabinet dealer I can't afford. Oh well.

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I'm tempted to get one of these antique Asian kitchen chests for the pantry. Not as practical as built-in cabinets, but looks cool. We'll see.

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I'm pretty sure about this engineered glass tile for my bathroom floor.

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And this crazed blue tile is on a massive close-out sale, so I think my shower enclosure could look a lot like this. Except white on the top (not that peachy color). And probably not all those transitional pieces. They look expensive.

But I still want to use the water-blue mosaic tiles for the border, and shower floor.

Ok, I've got to get back to it. Just wanted to see how it looks.

p.s. - I miss my [inlink]twisted,134[/inlink] fire chicken kitchen, even though I had it for less than a year, and I've basically been w/o a kitchen ever since. Is there something about me that refuses to enjoy something I've worked hard to get? Don't answer that.

p.p.s. - I've recently come to the same conclusion my friends have been pounding into me for a few years now. I need a handyman boyfriend. Anyone? I am totally serious. Handywoman girlfriends also considered.

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Category: housing

09/17/06 12:20 - ID#36749

DIY Pigeon Control

I bet this would work:

Radar controlled robo-falcon keeps birds away

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"A fake falcon and a radar-activated cannon work better at keeping birds away from oilsands waste than the current system, according to research from the University of Alberta."

I think the Governator should jump on this bandwagon. Any press is good press in an election year. Which reminds me, why haven't I gotten my personal phone call from him urging me to vote? Now that I have Vonage I'll be able to post a copy of the message. It's pretty frightening. Maybe that would scare the pigeons, haha.

Oh yeah, I found the above link when I wondered if there might be an alternative to the classic fake owl pest deterrent. A fake owl would be pretty funny, which I like, but a fake falcon would be cool and different. Which is probably why they don't seem to be readily available.

p.s. - I dreamt I was there for the Halloween party and realized I still had to make rice krispee treats and pumpkin cheesecake tartlets. But I didn't have any of the ingredients and I was afraid if I left to buy what I needed to make them I would miss the party. That's the story of my life right there.


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Category: housing

08/29/06 01:42 - ID#36742

A shot in the arm

It turns out my last tetanus shot was in 1991. So I'm already living on borrowed time.

Seems like some other crazy things have happened. Oh yeah! I ran into someone I used to work with, like, 10 jobs ago back in Boston. I was at this Irish Pub with Larry to see his friend Mark's band play, and Beth was there with a friend who Mark had just moved in with. Freaky! I checked out her web site and it's like we've been living these parallel lives. If you've ever had one job that launched you on a particular path and everybody there later hooked everybody else up with the next job, you might know what I mean. Not to mention all the other hooking up going on. ;-)

What else? Oh yeah, this one contractor came in and asked me if this was a former crack house. Maybe it is, but that comment did not endear me to him. I get enough crap like that from family and friends, I don't have to take it from someone I'm going to pay to haul away the four layers of debris-encrusted carpet I just tore out. (Ok, my family and friends are pretty diplomatic to my face. But I know that's what they're thinking!)

Anyway, I wasn't sure I liked this guy, but he was here and ready to go. And when I asked if he had a shop vac he said I could borrow it, so that clinched it. I ended up buying my own girl-size shop vac later, but it would have taken me approximately 7.5 more years to suck all the crap out with just mine. Might as well just break a few more mirrors while I'm at it.

p.s. - wow, I just read everybody else's posts and realized just how boring my life is, considering getting a tetanus shot is one of the highlights. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention, my friend Beth also volunteers for the Marine Mammal Center, the same one where Kolby [inlink]twisted,11[/inlink] was rescued oh so many posts ago!

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Category: housing

08/21/06 09:50 - ID#36738

Rome wasn't built in a...

come to think of it - how many days did it take? Don't answer that.

Thanks for the encouraging words (e:Libertad) ! I could use them!

Wish I could fly you out here to help me. But if suburban Buffalo is too far to be enticed, I'm guessing I can't afford to entice you here. Or maybe I can't afford not to?

Anyway, two more pix:

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Fluffy, we hardly knew ye! Unless you're the one who peed on my carpet. In which case we knew ye way more than we wanted to.

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By chance I took a look inside the oven today. Guess they didn't do much baking!

No horse or cow, but I believe I see a camel.

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Category: housing

08/20/06 04:43 - ID#36734

Gone, but not forgotten

My upstairs tenants have moved out. They left me a few momentos to remember them by. No where near as bad as I expected though. I'll probably give them their full $200 security deposit back.

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Coal (?), broken glass, paint and other debris along the front stairs

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For some reason they kept a bail of hay in the bathroom rafters. I'm not sure why they would do that, or why my bathroom would have rafters.

I just spent the morning doing a first pass clean up, and pulling up two layers of carpet. There's still 1 layer left in most places. You can't imagine how gross it is. But the good thing about carpet and linoleum is, it doesn't really matter how gross is it, since you're going to tear it out anyway.

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Same thing with painting walls. I wonder if I should save any of these phone numbers? I'll get a shot of Fluffy's epitaph now that I've cleared off my digital camera. Fluffy rated a spot over the fireplace.

Don't worry (e:Paul) I will have this all cleaned out by the time you get here. Although probably not by the time Dad and Jean get here August 30. They want to spend two of the seven days they're here working on the house. I know it's futile to argue with them, and I could use the help. But I better get the gross stuff done before they get here.

It's not all bad. The layout is way better than the middle unit, which really should be the first floor for one big unit, but I can't afford that.

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Living room upstairs, should look like the middle unit [inlink]twisted,292[/inlink] some day.

Just don't go into the kitchen.

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Category: housing

01/22/06 03:49 - ID#36631

Nesting

While I was waiting for my iMac to arrive I decided I'd better paint the freakin' living room.

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It's bright!

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So the living room is a wake-up color and the bedroom is a more soothing green.

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I don't think I posted an exterior shot here before.

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Buchanan Street in Japantown.

p.s. - maybe now I should start to think about putting in furniture.


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