To save money and the headaches of trying to describe what i wanted the stairs to look like, i built them myself (NOTE: I used salvaged siding, which isnt painted yet, and still have to add trim.) Anissa painted the porch, after i replaced all the wood that was previously damaged. This was my first step of stairs i ever built and it was challenging, but doable.
Here is what the old stairs looked like, with the old porch wood. The windows were out at that time for rebuild:
We also decided to DIY tackle refinishing the original wood floors. I used a hillbilly mix of stains to get the color we wanted. This room has a whole bunch of wood trim (enclosing the double door area, around windows, doors, picture rail, etc) which is going to look great when it’s done and in (interior wood work is one of the most expensive parts of this project.)
Here’s sanding in process. We’re using a big drum sander and floor edging sander (rented both.) Anissa started to strip the redwood built in, as you can see in the back of the picture. That will be all nice wood finish when done. We’re also going to strip the paint off the fireplace and refinish the redwood mantle.
Here are the recently completed craftsman built basement hatch doors. Anissa is in process of putting the finish on during this picture:
The doors will go here (and look so much better:)
The interior doors are built (made from vertical grain douglas fir) and i started to hang them:
Met with the electrical inspector last week and got sign-off to have the new 200A panel lit by PG&E:
The inspector also signed off on the new roof and Will Piazza did for me. I served some time as his laborer, and was successful in not falling off that roof– which is about an 8/12 pitch– steep.
Lastly, im in process of working with a structural engineer to get plans for my garage improvements. I will be making it taller, bigger, and with a tall open ceiling for plenty of access height for my lift. The single garage door opening will be replaced with dual carriage house doors, built by the same woodworker who did the basement hatch doors and is currently finishing off the front door and side gates / fence. The front door and side gate/fence panel should get here in a couple weeks.
Here’s the before starting point for the back, detached garage:
Progress is good. Lot’s of work. I’m missing working on my car stuff.
In my job, it seems with good work also comes evil. Building big internet shit over the years has helped enable better open communication amongst all– but, at the same time allowed easy means for anti-constitutional government to monitor all communication of it’s sheep (without warrant or cause.)
Lately im working to bring together the smartest Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering professors/students/minds in the world (thus why i’ve been traveling to universities) to build a more efficient, high horsepower, geo-replicated, utility computing grid. In doing so, we can save power, enable more advanced computing to help cure disease, enable learning, etc– but at the same time computing power will be more centralized– which allows anti-constitutional government to establish more control. Why does more freedom seem to demand more control?
On a good note, these universities sure are accepting of an uneducated goon in welcoming me. That’s changed my perspective. Look forward to continuing to work with MIT, Georgia Tech, CMU, Mich State and whomever else wants to play. I’m speaking at Georgia Tech in a couple weeks.
As im typing this, im damn lucky…. sitting by myself on an original Morris Settee with my feet kicked up on a Roycroft footstool. Not only that, but im doing so in the original Grand Salon / Music Room of the Roycroft Inn– staring at a beautiful room surrounded by wall murals of the eight man made wonders of the world (with the Roycroft being the eighth,) painted by Alex Fournier. Built in 1905, this room served as a lecture hall for Elbert Hubbard (founder of the Roycroft’s,) many known musicians entertained in this room as well. As I sit here, i’m inspired…… to tell you about my experience today on “the other side of the coin.”
After i finished my work today, i took a quick visit to check out the Graycliff (Martin family summer place) home that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Nope– while beyond amazing, that’s not my biggest inspiration today (do a search and check it out.) My biggest excitement occurred at a small diner down the road from Graycliff– in a small “town” called Derby, NY.
I decided to have a late lunch at this diner, as it wasn’t McDonalds and looked older mom and pop– which i normally dig. Going inside, i had a seat with the other customers at the time….. about 3 pairs of fat women who looked to probably be hanging out in there all day. The waitress was nice and took my order. Chicken Burger w/ fries and a diet pepsi.
In walked Scotty. I knew his name, as everyone greeted him coming in the door.
Scotty asked the waitress for a salad and a pop. People sure talked loud in this place. Lisa (the waitress, i now knew her name,) said OK about the pop and asked Scotty if he wanted a glass of ice water. Scotty looked confused and slightly peeved– “No, i want a pop, like i said!” Being the high toned sum bitch that he now seemed, Scotty obviously didnt get the intent there. She quickly got him his pop.
After reminding Lisa that he didnt like black olives, Scotty turned on the smooth moves…. “Where does your boyfriend work?” he asked Lisa. She replied with a friendly “he delivers mail and works as a cook, Scotty. Where does your girlfriend work ?”
After a slight pause…… “I don’t have a girlfriend, but i like a girl that works over at Timmy Hortons (coffee/donut chain.” “Why don’t you ask her out, Scotty?” she countered. Scotty stuttered and changed the subject…. “Hey, my birthdays coming up.” I learned that Scotty’s birthday is on October 20th, he’s going to be 52. Shortly thereafter, Scotty left without even saying goodbye to anyone. Nobody seemed to notice.
About 5 minutes later, Jim came in…. “Hey Jim.” “How you doing, Jim.” “Jimmmmmmm!” everyone separately exclaimed.
“Scotty just left, he had a salad and a pop,” the waitress told Jim….. who seemed to at least act that Scotty’s salad choice was valuable.
Jim countered with something even more exciting to the group…. “I just got back from The Walmart and picked up a new shirt,” he boasted bobbing around his Walmart bag. To the surprise of everyone, he pulled out a brand spanking new Buffalo Bills tshirt that everyone got very excited about. Talk continued on for a few minutes about that shirt. Jim got so excited, that he had to go into the bathroom and put it on. Then he left, without saying goodbye. Nobody seemed to notice.
At that point, it occurred to me that compared to my normal world— this was feeling like the Twilight Zone. Everybody seems very nice, but talked very slow. They seemed very interested, but not interested at all at the same time.
When Lisa came back to refill my own diet pop, she asked what i did. “Ah, im just traveling around,” i explained. I didnt have to offer up anything more, because it was hardly as interesting as Scotty’s crush who worked at Timmy Horton’s or Jim’s new shirt that he got at The Walmart.
This experience was amazing to me. Roycroft art, Hubbard philosophy, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and impactful history…… and a typical dialog in the diner of Middle America sticks with the most impact.