Whatever...

A blog with no real purpose

Hoosier Restoration

So I've been looking for a Hoosier cabinet for a little while. The apartment I'm in has almost no counter space or cabinets in the kitchen, so getting one of these old kitchen units was the most sensible choice. Here's the catch... Nobody makes these things much any more... Yes there are a few custom places that will do it, but I don't really want to spend a fortune on this... So I sent my parents off on the mission since they're retired and enjoy hunting down things at auctions... Well, last Monday they got one, and it didn't cost a fortune fortunately... Here's the next catch... It needs some restoration... So I'm thinking to my self, no problem, so long as the tambour is ok, I can handle anything else... So they dropped it off, and naturally, the tambours are shot. (tambour is the group of wood slats that slides in a track like on a roll top desk) (I can do tambour, but its a huge pain in the ass) So, now, I don't really have something useful at the moment... What I have is probably a month long restoration project... By the time I'm done buying sandpaper, paint stripper, new screws, and a couple replacement latches, paint and sealer, I will have spent a ton on this unit... 'Course it'll be quite nice, and serve my needs forever, but damn, what a pain...

At this point, I've got the top almost completely taken apart. The shelves are all stripped as is the face of the unit... One of the upper doors is completely stripped, and the other I have to wait on some special sandpaper for... I've got 6 of 54 tambour slats stripped. The top is really in pretty good shape except for the nasty paint job on it and some missing glass... The bottom is a little different story... Apart from it having been painted blood red at some point inside, the drawer supports that hold the two silverware drawers under the sliding porcelain top need to be replaced. The jar rack on the inside of the lower door is hanging on by a thread, the bread drawer needs to be straightened and a new lid installed, the livejasmin back panel is cracked, and two legs are loose and missing their feet...

Now with all that wrong with it, and needing to be stripped and painted completely, we still got it for a decent price... I've seen units that I would consider as not much more than firewood go for over a grand... So in the grand scheme of things, I suppose I should be happy, and really I am... The thing is, I really hate sanding... Ugh!

Just when you think

I've been pretty surprised as I've gone through my new house at what I've found... Sure I expected the worst based on the home inspection and my gut feeling, but there are things I just wasn't really ready for...

The first of these was the fire damage in the old section of the house... Based on some of the newspaper I found stuffed around the jasminlive window as insulation, I'm guessing the fire was in the early '40's... At the very least, I know it was before the late 50's which is the date on the papers I found in the walls of the addition... (hey, don't be so shocked, newspapers were an accepted form of insulation for a long time, and as it turns out, it really helps tell the story of old houses...) Structurally, the charred lumber is fine. It's burned about an 1/8" to a 1/4" in the bad areas, which means when you scrape the burned portion off, the boards are down to what we normally use in construction today, except the lumber species is probably higher quality than what we get today.

The one that shocked me today (almost literally) was when I got up in the ceiling over the bathroom to sort out the electrical, I found that not only had all the wire splicing been done without a box, which is scary enough, but sadly normal enough as well, but the exhaust fan had been wired in with SPEAKER CORD... Yea, that super thin wire with the clear insulation that is supposed to be used for running low voltage to your speakers... Naturally, I have left the exhaust fan out of the electrical mix at the moment due to that, and the fact it just vents to the crawlspace/attic, which is going away in the interest of some additional ceiling height. (I'm tired of walking in to the lights on the bottom of all the ceiling fans, I swear the people that had it before must have been midgets)

I assumed that had to be the worst... I couldn't conceive of something more blatantly wrong that I'd find... Right on schedule, Murphy's Law came around and kicked me in the ass when I pulled the sheetrock down from next to the front door... The outdoor light next to the front door was run on thermostat wire. Now, most people don't know what that is, so let me explain a bit... Typical thermostat wire is either two or 4 wires in a single jacket. When you strip the jacket off, and look at the individual wires (which are all still insulated), one wire is about as thick as the edge of a CD. Strip off the insulation on that one wire and it'll be about as thick as a small paper clip wire... Let me spell this out... N O T G O O D!!! So naturally I currently have no front light at the house either... I'm going to have everything put back together, correctly, and safely by the end of March, when I move in... Granted, I'll have only renovated the bedroom, and living room completely, but the electrical in those, plus the bathroom, and parts of the kitchen, and dining room will be done so I won't burn the place down by turning on a light.... I'll also have all new plumbing throughout, and most of the electrical done in the 3 rooms in the basement, plus fresh paint on the basement walls and floor. The kitchen, bathroom, and all the rooms in the basement are slated for renovation, but they will have to wait a bit as I'm quickly running out of cash on hand... I should be able to get to the bath by the summer, and then the kitchen some time next year if all goes well... The basement rooms will get done a bit at a time as they are more just labor, and some construction materials that I can pull from shows...

Lets see... I bought this place why?

The wisdom of teeth

Where the hell does the name wisdom tooth come from?... I suppose they don't come in until you're older and supposedly wiser, but how is it that they haven't ceased to exist through evolution... Simply put, they're useless at this stage...

I had one ripped out of my skull today. Yes, I said ripped... That's part of what they have to do you know... first they have to rock it back and forth like a tent spike, and then they have to actually rip the ligaments that hold the root to your jaw. Apparently, they do that with the rocking, and then further with the twisting that happens... All in all not pleasant to think about...

Here's the kicker in my case... Doing what I do, I work with tools... Frequently I have to pry things, and or grab them with pliers and twist/rip them out/apart... I know what's going on inside my mouth regardless of the fact is was completely numb... You can hear the ripping folks... That's the most disturbing thing I have ever heard in my life...

Don't get me wrong, it had to come out as it had developed a nasty crack that led to an infection, that led to the right side of my face gaining a couple pounds...(very puffy) I suspect the rest will be on their way too... However, that doesn't make it any more pleasant to look forward to live sex chat...

All hail the drug Motrin... Yea yea... It's not exactly one of the souped up drugs like Tylenol with codeine, but damn if it doesn't work pretty well when the dosage is double the maximum recommendation... (yes, that is the amount the dentist prescribed after I informed him his first prescription didn't touch the pain) 800mg every 4 hours I believe will take the edge off just about any pain...

Gasp!

Well contrary to any thoughts and evidence indicating I've pretty much abandoned my blog, I have not... There hasn't been much I wanted to discuss professionally, even with the massively stupid show we did in January...

If you are ever asked to do a show at The Four Seasons Miami, you should think twice, thrice, and thenturn them down regardless of the paycheck... That place is a nightmare to load in to...

I should however be writing about my new house... Oh the adventure that has become... Apart from the people that sold it being slobs, the place has/had some serious issues... Plumbing, Electrical, Wallboard/plaster/paneling hell, Dog urine soaked carpet, cracked structural beams, missing load bearling walls, major fire damage from the past, etc...

I'm taking loads of pictures... I should start posting the damn things...

Updates...

Since I have a bit of time on my hands this weekend while I let the hole in my mouth heal a bit, I grabbed all the pictures of my house, and the renovation that is currently on hiatus... I'm finally going to get a picture or two (or 40 if I feel like it) up to show you all why I haven't had any time to actually blog... Suffice to say at the moment, that renovating a house by yourself takes a tremendous amount of time...

(somebody get me some more Motrin, my back and hands hurt just thinking about diving back in to that Monday...)

There are few things that are driving me as nuts lately as realtor web sites... Almost every single one of them has stopped posting the actual address of the property, and only gives you the zip code. Personally, I'd like to take a drive by the places in question before I deal with the actual realtor. There's just no point in my putting up with one of them until I at least know I'm interested. The other thing is that these people simply don't keep on top of their web site content... There are houses listed that have been sold for weeks, if not months on some of them... Realtor.com is the worst since it doesn't actually belong to any of the realtors... Lots of properties there have just been forgotten about, and the add stays up month after month...

I found one yesterday where the email address for the realtor in question was wrong... Come on folks, setting up a web page isn't exactly brain surgery... I'm not talking about the bells and whistles here... just get the friggin content accurate...

As usual, its been ages since I posted anything... As usual, I've been busy... Let me sum up for a moment, and then I'll get to the point...

We're doing 4 shows this month. 3 Operas and 1 corporate job... The first opera is an established client, and the other two are new, but with many people involved from the other opera company... They're nice shows, that while we don't make a killing on them, they are always good filler events, and they run some payroll through to keep our regulars from defaulting on their rent... The corporate I mentioned before, so I'll just say that its insanely large and move on...

Here's the thing... The trucks pull out for the corporate gig on the 26th... All the other shows will be up and out the door before that... We're somewhat behind schedule for a variety of reasons... There is a blizzard dumping on us right now... I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I asked people to stay here as long as I did today... Most of them live close by, but when it comes right down to it, these are still just shows... I'd rather loose my main client and go out of business than see someone get hurt getting to or from my shop in whiteout conditions... Somehow the show will go up, and it will be ok if not perfect regardless of us working a full day today, and tomorrow... We'll see how the roads are around noon tomorrow, and make the calls then... Hopefully they'll have things cleaned up by then, but I'm going to drive around a bit first and see how they are before I ask anyone to come out in this crap again...

I'm not happy with what this show has done to me mentally... My friends and employees always have come first... Not to say we didn't work crazy hours, but I've never asked people to work through blizzards or the equivalent before... The number at the bottom of the invoice is bigger than what I've done in the past, but its not worth getting anyone hurt...