Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's time to make postcards

I just realized that it's time to put together address change postcards to everyone again. I'm going to see if I can't put a picture of the new house on them somehow, possibly as a watermark or background print.


And heeeeeeere's our new HOUSE!!!

Friday, we took possession of our new house. We're thrilled with how well it all turned out.

It's really hard getting good photos of the house because to do it justice I really need a fish-eye lens. Bear with me; we'll be bombarding you with photos I'm sure.
Note: I'm using a new "group photo" display feature from Flickr, where I store my pictures online. All of these picture thumbnails are tied to my Flickr account, so you can click on any of them and get a Much Bigger version.

As you can see from the outside shot, the front door has a round top. What you can't really see is that the door's about 8 feet tall. The front hall has a 25' arch to it, which is really only photographable from the top of the stairs.

The music room is to the left as you walk in. There's white wainscoting on the walls and we painted the top section with a dark blue… or what we thought was a dark blue. Well, hell, it looked dark blue on the paint chip! As you can see from the pictures below, it's really more of an electric blue. We're going to have this part repainted with a much darker blue before we move in.

The stairs are classic. There's a cherry first step (and it's a good time to note that most of the floors throughout are solid hardwood, a nice dark cherry) and hardwood banisters and these rather nifty metal rails.

There's a guest powder room in the main hall. It's a bit on the narrow side (the Babe refers to this as "the airplane bathroom") and we painted it with the same blue color as the music room. Yeah, it's getting repainted, too.

There's a large storage area under the stairs.

The living room couldn't be better lit unless you removed the roof. There are windows most of the way up the eastern wall (and the ceiling's 30 feet up) and numerous lights in the ceiling. The gas fireplace is faced in rock and that goes up all 30 feet to the ceiling. One of the shots here shows the floor vents, which have a hardwood grate on them. (I think that's cool.)

There's a built-in TV well next to the fireplace that has two levels. The upper level will be used to hold art of some kind--we haven't quite figured out what yet--but the new TV will go into the bottom one. In a pinch, though, we could use these for bunkbeds--they're certainly big enough.

The kitchen adjoins the living room. The cabinets are cherry, too. I've put a couple of photos of the refrigerator in just because we like it: it's one of the new "French door" models that gives you room for a whole turkey on a single shelf. I'm looking forward to trying this aspect out in a few months.

Mind you, I'm still planning on having the second refrigerator and the small upright freezer out in the garage still. We'll have sodas and beer and oddments in the second fridge and the freezer will have all those things you always store in a freezer.

The living room is open and you can look up into a gallery/upstairs hall area, or, conversely, look down from the gallery into the living room. We're worried about the cats jumping up on the half-wall upstairs, losing their footing, and plummeting to the living room 15 feet below, so we shall have to see about teaching them that it's a bad idea without actually having them learn this empirically.

The laundry room is next to the entrance to the master bedroom (which is downstairs, hurrah for the Babe's knees!). It's a laundry room, y'know, so there's not a lot to say about it… except that there's more of this solid cherry floor. That's perhaps a little silly; after all, you'd like to not have a floor that'll take water damage or stain easily in a work area. But there it is. We'll probably be putting a protective rug down on this so the floor doesn't get too badly chewed up.

I couldn't get any shots of the master bedroom simply because the camera won't shoot a wide enough picture. The master bedroom's really well-lit, has off-white berber carpeting, and we're going to be painting it something colorful. Our current choices are leaning towards plum.

The master bathroom is very well made, which is something of a pity because we really hate travertine. Unfortunately, that's the choice we got: dark travertine or light travertine. The builder did an excellent job of fitting it all together, but, as the Babe says, it still looks like wet paper bags. *sigh* We'll be getting a price on what it'll take to rip out all the travertine and replace it with something we like, though it's probably not going to happen right away.

The fixtures are nice, the workmanship's first-rate, and they spared little expense. But we really dislike the bathroom. It's the one thing about this house that we'd have liked some other choice on. I'm looking forward to ripping the travertine off the walls and floors.

The master closet adjoins the master bath. It's big: about 8' x 8'. I couldn't get really good shots of the master closet, either, but you'll get an idea from what you can see.

The upstairs bath is finished in tile. It's better than the travertine, although it's still a bit on the dull side. There is a skylight, though, and we'll be painting this a sage green.

The upstairs hall has the gallery wall on one side. There's an alcove with a built-in desk (more cherry) at the end of the hall. The Babe's probably going to put her sewing machine in the alcove for now: there's a lot of light and she can be connected with what's going on in the rest of the house.

Susan the Wonder Child has a large bedroom right off the stairs. Her closet is as big as the closet in the master bedroom downstairs.

My office… ah, my office. It's roughly 12' x 20' although it's not a complete square. The floor isn't cherry in this case; it's actually a laminate that looks a lot like it. The original plans called for the same carpeting as elsewhere, but I also know how much coffee I spill. And I've dropped bits of popsicles on the floor in my office in the old house (which also has an off-white carpet) and I've left stains in orange and purple from the food coloring. A laminate floor with a rug over it seems the safest way to go. I'll need to pad the bottoms of the computers and other equipment so I don't gouge the floor.

I should mention that there's CAT-5 networking throughout the house, so I'll have the cable modem coming in here and then feeding the rest of the house via a patch panel. No more wireless connections with so-so signal strength; everyone will have a direct-wired connection. If we still need to provide access to some location that isn't near a wall plug, I can mount a wireless router in the same room or very near and the signal strength will still be good.

The guest bedroom adjoins my office. There's a smaller closet in this room. There's unheated storage access in the closet and this is where I'll probably be storing some of the stuff I don't need high-priority access to.

There's not much else to show you, except the garage. Perhaps the biggest thing we can say is "Look at the garage while it's still clean and uncluttered!" We're about to get a bunch of storage cabinets so we can put all the garage miscellany away as we move in. The Babe has spotted some really good ceiling-mount storage racks that we can use for things like camping gear, Xmas ornaments, and other lightweight stuff.

That's the house. We're darned proud! We're going to be doing some additional painting and then we'll move in.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Everything's done for now

The house has been turned over to us (with very few things left to correct--nail holes in the molding in one spot, a vent that needs fixing, adding the peephole to the door--all little things). We closed on it and got every last bit of paper in to the title company, which was a zoo, as the underwriter kept asking for more and stranger pieces of paper as we got closer and close to the close.

It's Friday night. I'm going to have a really biiiiiiiiig drink and call it a week. I'm going to sleep in some Saturday morning, then get back to work.


It has been an exhausting week...

...and the week isn't over yet.

I was in SoCal all week for my new job--yup, I'm now officially a captive and I'm very pleased about it!--and now I'm back. It was a somewhat harrowing adventure flying home: I ended up going to Portland instead of Eugene and then cadging a ride with a bunch of flight crew back to Eugene in the middle of the night. Did you know you can fit 6 people into a Hyundai Sonata if you're all very friendly and everyone's moderately narrow-hipped? You can, but it still ain't much fun. But I did get home at 4:30am, snagged a few hours of sleep, and we went out to do our tour of the new house and then closed on it.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I *am* a grandfather!

Lori talked to the Babe today and said that I can definitely be a grandfather. Both her and Phil's biological fathers have died so there's a dearth of grandfather types around. I'm seeuw heppy!


My political score

There's a fun political test though OKCupid. My score didn't surprise me.

Third Way Liberal

You scored 70% Personal Liberty and 34% Economic Liberty!

A third way liberal believes in little to moderate government intervention on personal matters and moderate to high government intervention on economic matters. They tend to be opposed to war, police powers, victimless crimes, and what they may consider to be a corporate state or rogue capitalism. They generally support personal liberty and believes in a social safety net or welfare state. They support self-ownership and privacy. Third way liberals are essentially the "mainstream" left and left of center.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 70% on Personal
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 20% on Economic

Link: The Politics Test written by brainpolice on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

By the way....

That last post was post #300. It proves that I've had a lot to say at times over the last 18 months.



The Babe's stepdaughter Lori--who is a beautiful Japanese American woman--and Phil Kim--who is a very handsome Korean man--had their baby yesterday, September 18th, at 4:53 AM. 6 pounds 10 oz. 19 1/2 inches with lots of wavy dark hair with blondish highlights and dark grey-green eyes. Her name is Raegen Hae Ji Kim (Hae Ji is Korean for Larry's daughter, very smart, and lots of love). Mother, father Phil, and child are doing great!

I don't get to claim full grandfatherhood--a step-stepdaughter isn't quite the same--but I can be a bonus grandfather.

You know, I never thought this'd happen to me. It's nice. :)


Is Ken Lay really dead?

If you're like me--and you probably are, given that you're reading this blog--you were deeply disappointed that Ken Lay croaked. I don't really mind that he's dead; I just wanted it to happen s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y. The guy deserved far better than to fall over dead and skip out. The selfish prick got away with tens of millions that will never be recovered and his worthless trophy wife will get to spend it.

I didn't hear many of the details about his death, other than the fact that a lot of cronies and Administration supporters stopped just short in their eulogies of saying he was some kind of martyr. But I really really really would have liked to see the body. Just for the satisfaction value alone.