Friday, July 4, 2008

Been a while...

It has been a crazy hectic month. We've been working on unpacking and deciding on furniture and all kinds of stuff.

This post is just to let you know we are still alive.

I'll post more this week.

Two sets of parents in three weeks. Got to clean.

Now playing: Jonathan Coulton - Kenesaw Mountain Landis
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The keys are ours

So here it is. We have the keys, the loan is funded, Fulton sold a house and all is well.

We are going to try to set up a webcam for those of you unfortunate enough to live in colder climates.

Click here for it.

I don't think it will work until around noonish on Wednesday.

It still hasn't sunk in.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Almost there.....

Here are some highlights from the last 11 months.

You can click on this to view the slideshow larger.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Closer and closer (April 19)

This week the saw a lot of action. Sinks, faucets, more lights.

The tile that we were so stressed about came out great. The pattern was good but not overwhelming. They must put the lame tiles at the top of the stacks.
One less thing to worry about.

The tile was grouted and covered with protective paper and the backsplash was done. The kitchen is really coming together and we can't wait to see the appliances.

The master bath was almost complete and it was nice to see the shower wall completed.

They had started patching and texturing the various holes and dents in the walls and our Central Vac unit was in.

We drove up this Saturday to see some strange fabric type stuff on the driveway. We weren't expecting carpet until next week so this was exciting.

This seemed to match. How could this be? We thought for sure it was going to clash.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Terror Of Tundra (April 12th)

With the outside of the house complete (aside from some touch up) we drove up to the same old thing. We are so over it that we didn't even take pictures of the outside.

We aren't over it but we really didn't take any pictures.

The day before we had stopped to look at the house and there was this crazy red substance on the floor. This had to be some sort of sealant for the concrete or permanent Passover protection.

Either way it went from the front door to the back. I assume they applied to the rest of the kitchen area but at this time it was only as wide as the entryway.

We were able to look through one of the bedroom windows to see they had started installing the entertainment cabinet. When we were at the design center we almost passed on this option, the cabinets in the model were really nice but it seemed an unnecessary extravagance. After seeing it installed we had no remorse.

The tile all looked exactly the same as we really only saw the top of the stacks.

You'll remember it's been months since the design center, the tile we picked is only a fading shadow of an image. We really didn't remember it but we knew it had some decent variation.

When we looked at the tiles they looked way too uniform.


"Oh crap, did we pick that?"
"No way, ours had variation."
"Yeah, I know. This doesn't."
"Our tile is cooler than that."
"Well that's nice. Too bad they are installing this lame stuff."

". . . We've got to stop them."

So off to the Design Center we flew. We really like the project manager Paul and we agonized about calling him on a Saturday.

He'd want to know if the wrong tile was shipped.
What if it's not the wrong tile?
What if it is?
Check the paperwork!

"Do you have the paperwork for the tile?"
"No it's at home"

"Hello Paul, It's Fred. Listen, man, I'm sorry to bother you on the weekend... What's that? You're in the line for Magic Mountain??"

That's right. He was on vacation and had taken his family to Disneyland.

Paul was totally cool about the whole thing, and after he heard our concern he called the tile people and had them stop working while we went to confirm the choice. We knew we had picked tundra terrain. We knew the boxes said "TD TERR". This all seemed right but the color was just so wrong.

The reason we were heading into Tempe was to sign some new paperwork they had drawn up with the adjusted pricing. On the way there we saw these people moving their brand new furniture to their home. The delivery charges must have been incredible for them to go through this.

We got to the design center, saw the tile we picked was definitely called Tundra Terrain. That was what was being installed in our home. This didn't really make us feel better because they must have changed Tundra Terrain in the last 11 months. Our tile didn't look like what was in the design center. We could just hear the conversation from the manufacturer:

"You know this Tundra Terrain is so cool it just isn't selling!"
"Yeah people are stupid."
"I know what we should do!"
"Let's make it dull and boring."

We'll have to live with it.

Some other highlights this week:

We had some of this installed in the house.

Our friends Mark and Mary got an incredible deal on granite counter tops and they had finally been installed. They looked really good. The backsplash up against the new hood came out great. This is their actual counter top up close.


kraP oN (April 5th)

This week, we drove up to find the house colors had changed. You can see from this picture compared with this one.

They had used the same paint for the whole house and it was supposed to be two-toned. I had no idea it was supposed to be different and would have been happy with the color the way it was but I really like the addition.

The big news this week? Lights!

In case you can't tell where the light is in this picture, Barb is touching it.

In all seriousness, the lights are cool, but words can't express how much Barb liked them. The best light ever.

The cabinet guys had to remove the wall plates so they could install the cabinets. This gave me an opportunity to see if I could reach the wiring that we had installed earlier. I was able to reach in and pull it out. You can see the yellow cable here.

Even though I knew it would work it was cool to pull the cable through and see it. It was like seeing an old friend.... who was bright yellow.... and had been buried inside a wall for a couple of months.

The cabinets in the basement were up and they looked cool. There was a counter and a hole for a sink. Coolness.

Finally, we couldn't let our brick remain upside down. This is much better now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Heat Heart Chill (March 29th)

As we drove up this week, we could see more of the house had been painted and the house was comfortably ensconced inside the wall.

Take careful note of the paint over the entryway to the right. You'll need this for future refrence.

The inside was appearing less and less perforated as we got more lights and covers over the HVAC vents.

There really is supposed to be an "R" added to the end of that as in HVACR for Heating, Ventalation, Air Conditioning, and Refridgeration but acronyms longer than four letters are just not acceptable in a civilized society.

The refridgeration part is the coolest (That pun is unfortunately unavoidable and absolutely not intentional. But, since it's already out there...) but we just discard it as if to convince ourselves we don't really need it. but, oh my friends and loved ones, we do... we really do...

A quick note:
For some reason I start talking about how Refrigeration works below. If you are not interested in an odd but conceptually accurate explanation of the process, skip to the first picture of someone you recognize.

The whole things works on the second law of thermodynamics which states "Heat hate hot Heat heart chill".

Ok it doesn't really say that but it does say a lot of stuff about entropy and equilibrium in a system and that's all just crazy talk.

Simply put:
Heat pretty much hates other heat. It can't stand to be around itself. It will always try to get away from itself. Forever.

Imagine heat as fussy, cranky, lunatic people with big spikey hair.

Heat is really just looking to get enough space so that nobody messes up its hair. Heat NEEDS it's hair looking good, man.

We'll call this HairSpace and it's constant (this is the entropy equilibrium part).

Heat hates bad hair so much that when given an opportunity, it will gladly leave whatever area it is hanging out in and move into whatever it can touch that has less heat in it. Less crowded, more "hairspace", better hair.

So how do we use this behavior to get cold air in our house? We play mean games with heat. We make heat go on a long trip with all of its family, it's friends, it's friend's family, their friends and their friend's families. We put them in a HUGE triple decker bus. Plenty of "hairspace" on that bus.

Then, when that bus is outside, suddenly, we shrink the bus down to the size of a VW Beetle. Much less "hairspace" now. As you might imagine, Heat starts freaking out. Pouring out of every opening it can find. Screaming about hair and stinky cousins. Heat comes out so fast that if you put your hand near that area, you would feel heat jumping across into your skin.

After a short time, enough heat has left the car so that the heat still inside has calmed down and is pretty much ok with the hair situation. It would still like to go somewhere else if it could find less heat, but the heat outside is about the same as the heat inside the VW Beetle and there really wouldn't be any benefit to going outside.

Then, as the little VW is heading inside, we suddenly make it as big as a triple decker bus again. Check it out!! All kinds of empty seats and room for spikey hair.

For a brief moment, the heat inside the bus is happy. It doesn't need to go anywhere. It doesn't have to worry about it's hairdo. Plenty of space for heat. As a matter of fact, there's more space for heat than the amount of heat on this bus!

Guess what? Heat goes nuts. This bus has WAY less heat in it than the air around it.

Like crazed zombies determined to reach the brains, the heat from inside the house starts pouring into the bus. (We help by blowing a fan over the bus as it goes by so as much heat as possible sees the seats on the bus. When the air passes the bus, the heat in the air jumps off the air and gets on the bus.)

When there is less heat in the air there is space for heat in it. When it touches our skin, our heat jumps off of us and goes into the air. We feel cooler as we warm the air. Hooray for us.

We then take that big busload of heat and drive it outside. Squeeze the heck out of it and start the process all over.

It really looks like this.

In our case the "car/bus" is some non-toxic material like Freon (Which was invented around 1930 specifically to keep people from dying because their refrigerator was leaking. Prior to Freon we used to use ammonia and chlorine gas.)

This is where all the magic shrinking of the bus happens. We have three of these things.

Inside the house we had cabinets. This was good to see, more definition of space. More house-like. The color was good and we have stuff to put in them.

How's that for coincidence?

Guardian had to come and finished the wiring with their various plugs and jacks. I am sure something isn't connected correctly but I won't know until sometime past the 20th of May.

Remember the floor boxes we installed at the beginning of this saga? We had to put the brass covers on these because the tile was coming.

Here you can see all of the necessary tools for attaching brass covers to floorboxes. Pay particular attention to the donuts.

Never forget the donuts.

They also needed to grind down the concrete to make it smooth. There were a few sections that were marked for grinding. It would seem that the guy who grinds concrete uses special flourescent lighting to see where to grind.

Boxes covered, we are very excited for the tile to come in.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pirates and Paints

This has nothing to do with the house.

I've never seen a motorcycle pirate before.


Mark had bought a new range hood and asked for some help installing it. This was going to be a good time. New stuff, power tools, ham and candy. The unmentioned unseen scale that all friends have was tipped far onto his side so this was my chance to not be a total leech.

I like doing this kind of stuff and it sounded pretty easy. Little did I know...

When we got there they had dyed some eggs for Easter. I thought they looked kinda cool and took some pictures.

On the way there we stopped at the house and things were progressing. The roof tiles were set. The exterior was half painted and the inside had its first coat of paint.

The kitchen has a lot of holes for stuff. Way cool. Our last kitchen had one outlet and a triceratops we would use to get orange juice.

But our new view is the best...

The hood install took about 15 minutes.

Getting the duct work right took at least 5 hours. The last hood install guy decided to use the cabinet above the hood as some sort of pre-exhaust chamber. Strange set up but we fixed it and their hood rocks.

Ham was good. Cool eggs. Hood worked. Not a bad day at all...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We don't need no education (March 15)

This week a lot was accomplished.

We drove up to find some guy in our garage cutting something.

As we got closer we realized he was cutting trim; and where there's trim, there's jamb; and where there's jamb, there's door.

THIS was cool. A front door. We are firm believers in the front-door paradigm so this was satisfying.

While we were marvelling at the front door, we almost missed the flooring had been poured over the basement side.

They had dug and built the basement but had left the top of the basement ceiling (main level floor) as bare plywood over the trusses. With all of the work that still had to go on between the floors this wasn't surprising. What was cool about this is they built the rest of the house a couple of inches higher so when they poured this smooth-crete kinda stuff it would match up perfectly.

It matched and looked cool. A complete floor.

We spent some time with one of us walking around upstairs (simulating various emotional states) while the other was in the basement evaluating the noise levels. Even though the bare concrete was still loud during "You ate ALL the ice cream?!?" and "Why CAN'T I get a new computer!!", it was perfectly acceptable during, "Dominos is here" and "I can't find my shoes". Once the carpet was installed it would be nice and quiet.

One thing I found entertaining was the result of the plumbers work when lining up the battubs with the drains. Apparently, they couldn't get them on right from the tub side.

So they cut a hole in the other side to match them up. The best part was how disgusted the drywall supervisor was when he came back to inspect the work.

During these months we had only a vague idea of how much property we really were buying. We knew it wasn't really big but had no idea what the space felt like. We needed a wall.

Fortunately one was included in the price.