Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Final Kitchen Photos

The project is not technically finished. . .we still have contractors letting themselves in with no notice at all hours of the day (note: the dogs LOVE that), but we have a usable kitchen!

We passed final inspection last week, after we failed the first one. There was a problem with the hood, which is actually commercial grade and requires a separate breaker. I should have suspected there might be an issue when I turned it on and it sounded like a 747 was landing in my living room. Don't get me wrong--this thing is awesome--but it required just a little more electrical work than expected.

These are the pictures taken by the cabinetmakers--we never got a chance to take a "finished product" shot, since the movers came at the same time as final installation was occuring. We're very pleased with the results--it was a pain in the ass to get here, but worth it!

Friday, November 30, 2007


As a colleague of mine put it: In the race between the contractors and the contractions, the contractions won by a long shot!

So, if you haven't heard, our little Xmas baby surprised us by arriving on Thanksgiving! Nolan Christopher Long was born 11/21 at 12:35 am. Despite being 5 weeks early, he is in perfect health and did not have to spend any extra time in the hospital. Pictures are up here and here. Margie and John have christened the kid with his official Long handle: Nolong.

Because the timing was awesome, Nolan was ready to come home before the floors were ready to be dry. Finishing was happening at the same time, and the smell was overwhelming even for adults, so we checked into the Four Seasons for a few days. We are home now, and the kitchen is nearly complete. Stay tuned for a post on the kitchen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

OMG! My Kitchen is a Kitchen!!

I came home today to discover that my first floor is now a LIVING SPACE, no longer a WORK SITE!! All the garbage and shit is cleaned up, the paper covering is off the floors, and the appliances are mostly installed. It actually looks like my house again. Check out the photos--they're a little dark because the lights haven't been installed in the kitchen yet.

Of course, the big challenge is still the floors. Floor guy is blaming the wood once again for delays--which is convenient since it can't defend itself. The boards are installed, but now they need to sit again. Uh, didn't they just sit for 2 f'ing weeks? If this wood sits around any longer it's going to have to go on welfare.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Paint and Tile

The tile backsplash has been mostly installed. There's still a weird little section that's not finished, and it looks like they have some grouting to do. Also, it looks like someone was having fun stacking little plastic buckets on the counter.

They have simultaneously been painting the room. The paint is Benjamin Moore Harvest Gold, which sounds like a hideous appliance color from the 70's, but the color looks great in the room. It's pretty close to what was in there before, but is a little richer and warmer. I love that the way the painted soffits look against the white ceiling.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


What was formerly known as the biggest project bottleneck, the granite countertops, are now installed! Here are some kind of dark pictures of the counters. They look much better in the daylight, the stone is flecked with blue eyes that show up if you look at it from an angle.

The honor of biggest remodel pain in the ass now goes to. . .THE FLOORS! For some reason the wood is not acclimating to the house. Don't even ask me what that means, but $200 worth of space heaters are down there trying to suck every last bit of moisture out of it as we speak. I am hoping that they can actually start installing the shit in a few days.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Floor Genesis

Work on the floors has begun. The contractors put the plywood down in the media room, to even out the bare concrete floor that was under the carpet. It looks a little like a shooting rampage happened in there. . .the floor is littered with .22 caliber casings. Seems appropriate for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whatever you do. . .

Don't lose your iphone. And not just because it's expensive--you will spend days trying to get the goddamn thing working again. I love my iphone, but all the SPECIALNESS makes it a complete pain in the ass to deal with if there is a problem.

I stupidly left mine on a plane, and a very nice gate agent rescued it, but I think I have spent about 5 hours total trying to get mobile again. In two days. Because if you read this blog, you know I don't really have anything else going on, right??

Monday, 3pm. Lose phone. Call ATT and ask them to suspend service. This they can do, but you lose all voicemail and access to the number. Fine. Also, I learned that once a SIM card is killed, it stays dead forever. No resurrecting or reusing.

Monday, 5 pm. Find old phone-- Samsung BlackJack-- which is an ATT branded product, and was previously registered to the same number, same network, everything. Yes, phone can be reactivated, but I have to bring it to an ATT store and pay $40 for a new SIM.

Monday night, 7pm. At ATT store. Get new SIM. Have to totally change mobile and data plan because iphone is SPECIAL and Samsung IS NOT. Phone appears to function.

Tuesday, 10am. Voicemail is not working. Gives busy signal instead. Call ATT and explain problem. They tell me that iphone has SPECIAL visual voicemail, so they need to turn that off and give me the NON-SPECIAL voicemail instead. Am perplexed as to why I was told all about how my data and calling plan had to change at the store, but they neglected to flag the more important issue of totally different voicemail requirements. 11am, fixed.

Tuesday, 3pm. Recover phone from airport. Totally unrelated clusterfuckiness ensues, but we don't hold Apple and ATT responsible, but rather UNITED. Am very tired of dealing with the issue so put off reactivating iphone until tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8am. Turn iphone on, tells me SIM card is not valid. Call ATT, who tell me just put the card from the Blackjack in, and everything will be great! Great! You know where this is going, right? Voicemail still no worky!

Wednesday, 9am. Call ATT to explain ongoing voicemail problem. They walk me through resetting the voicemail, and they supposedly re-enable visual voicemail, again with plan changes for SPECIAL phone.

Wednesday, 10:00am. OMGWTF voicemail still not working!! Come back to my desk to discover 4 missed calls, all from people I know would leave voicemail. I call the phone myself, and get a message asking me to re-enter the phone number I am trying to call. Fuck, call ATT AGAIN. This time get one useless tech after another, including an escalation rep who got pissy because I actually had a better grasp on the use of the phone than she did (and I am a tech idiot, where are they finding these people??)

10:30 am. Transferred to India, I mean Apple. Get a rep named Kim who asks me right out the gate "Are you familiar with our AppleCare program?" Probably not the best time to upsell, Kim. 40 minutes later and multiple test calls later, the problem is fixed. To her and Apple's credit, Kim is the most competent person I have spoken with so far. She sounds really relieved once the problem is resolved. I think she knew I was about 10 minutes from postal.

To recap: Still love my iphone, but am really questioning my devotion to it after spending 4-5 hours trying to get it working properly. For a product that prides itself on usability and out-of-the-box easiness, this is just stupid. I just hope the next time I hear the little Marimba ring tone it doesn't send me into pre-term labor or something.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Remodel Progress Report: Week 6

So close. . .yet so far away. Things are at a standstill until the granite fabricators can get the countertops in here. They won't measure or put you on the schedule until the cabinets are fully installed (which was done at Week 4). The templates are complete, there's a little drama about the island piece, but if all goes well they will install on 11/5. Once the granite is in, the appliances, hardware, and tile can be installed, and we'll hopefully have a working kitchen by 11/9.

First, a view of the (almost) finished cabinets.

Next, today's view: drywall is sanded (notice the plastic covering everything, apparently that shit is DUSTY), walls ready to be painted. Despite the plastic, you can get a good sense for how the room is going to look when its finished.

Here's where the hood will be. The contractor did a nice job of covering up the pipe [that would be a soffit, your construction term for the day]. There's a view of the little chimney through the skylight.

Views from the living room--island and dining room.

The drywall in the bedroom is also finished, and they are supposed to start on the floors down there tomorrow. This will involve the use of a .22 caliber nail gun to drive the plywood into the concrete floor base in the media room. The dogs (and neighbors) are going to love that!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ann Coulter Upgrades

Maxim has a great piece on perfecting that lovable douchebag Ann Coulter. Thought I'd repost since I can't stand the skinny bitch. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Cabinet Installation has begun.

Here's the island, viewed from the kitchen, near the sink.

The same view--me and the Bump make a guest appearance. The look on my face pretty much says it all.
View of the island from the living room.
The sink will go in the cabinet below the window, and the refrigerator to the right in the empty box. The oven, microwave, and warming drawer will go in next to that on the right of it.
This is the corner on the right side of the kitchen--on the other side of the short wall is the dining room.

Stay tuned for more pictures, the cabinets should be finished by Monday when the granite fabricators come.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sheetrock aka Drywall aka PROGRESS

Walls are going back up! My house looks like it's beyond the Green Zone at this point, but hey, whatever gets the job done. One nice touch was finding some dude's clothes in a pile by my front door. Classy!

In this picture you can see the pony wall [this is my new favorite construction term. It replaces sheetrock, which is an awesome word.] where the plumbing is routed up for the island.

The skylights went in yesterday, which is good in case we get any more early rain.

Another sign of progress--appliances were delivered. Most are in the garage but the wine storage is hanging out in the living room.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Phase I complete--Video

Electrical, plumbing, and structural all passed inspection this week, so next week we get our walls back! Sheetrock, windows, and skylights will be installed next week, and some of the appliances delivered.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Plumbing and Electic

Phase I of the remodel is complete! That means the structual work is in place. The kitchen is framed and ready to go, and plumbing and electric are going in. We have our first inspection next week--once that passes, the drywall goes back up.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Baby Names

Tina from Texas has some baby name suggestions. So everyone (y'all?) can quit pestering me about what I'm going to name the little parasite.

1.Xanatini - you can call her Tini for short which is almost Tina which is a great Princess name

2. Agave - in honor of how her parents met.

3. O'Shea - which is the real name of your fave rapper [Clong--yeah, yeah, I'm white, I know.]

4. Ice - if you want to use his stage name

5. Sofia - because everyone loves champagne in a can

6. Willie - she can be your personal wildcat.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Poor Bedroom

The sacrifices its making for the new living room/dining room/kitchen. . . They're putting the structural beams in, which apparently involves tearing half the drywall out of the bedroom. Tile and Fireplace have been destroyed, gah.

The top of the fireplace.

The ceiling, with the new beam (yellow).

The New Floorplan

The configuration is beginning to take shape. I was so excited when I saw how the new floorplan would actually look, since I have no spatial capabilities and couldn't really envision it from the architect's drawings. Despite being a total mess of exposed beams, studs, and insulation, it is starting to look nicer already.

Here's a view from the entry. This photo is a day old, if you look at the next one you'll see that the posts have been changed.

New beam and posts.

The framing has started as well. Here's the view of the future coat closet and pantry from the dining room side.

Framing has also started for the half-wall between the dining room and kitchen. There will be a built-in cabinet on the DR side, you can see where they're building the box for that.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Live! On YouTube! View the Destruction!

Here's a video that Brandon made walking through the construction. Like the geek he is, he narrates it. Pay attention to the part where he trips and almost brings a post down with him.

You can see the old window frames, linoleum, and old knob and tube ("stick and post" as Emily Litella calls it in the video) electrical system in the video. There's also footage of the master bedroom, where they are installing support beams in the ceiling. Keep your fingers crossed that there are no earthquakes between now and when those beams actually go in. . .

The Wall is Down

The wall between the kitchen and the living room is down. There are temporary supports holding the building up in its place.

We noticed what we think are old window frames along the back kitchen wall.

The original old linoleum is also visible where the posts have come out. It's pretty cool to see how the house has evolved over the years.