Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kitchen Renovation

Hey do I have any readers left? I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost my 2-3 fans after my 9 month hiatus. Well, serves me right.

Since I moved in to this flat in 2010 I’ve wanted to renovate the kitchen, which was about the only room in this now 105 year old apartment that had not been renovated recently. After much planning, mostly on the part of Mackenzie, we finally came up with a basic design that we liked, which required the fridge to be in the corner, on an angle. This is somewhat unorthodox, but we’ve lived like this since some time in 2011, so clearly we approve.

Well, we started shopping for cabinets in probably March, and it took us until the end of June to really confirm what we want and order cabinets. Based on a delivery late this week – 9/18, we hired the contractor to start demolition on 9/15. Well, the delivery date of the cabinets got moved up a day to 9/17 – but more on that later. Here is a shot of the kitchen from before the work started, after clearing all our stuff out:


Dig that sweet 1980 styling!

After the first day was over the cabinets and walls were down, but the ceiling was still up and the lovely vinyl flooring was still there. It was pretty cool to see the bones of the house, however:

By the end of day 2 the vinyl flooring was up (although there were a couple of layers under it, above the plank subfloor that weren’t ripped up!) and the ceiling had come down. This is a good shot of the ceiling, showing the attic and the roof boards. It sort of looks like a barn:

Day 2 - It looks like a barn

Day three (today, 9/17) was sort of a bit underwhelming – they started the rough electrical and installed the recessed lighting which was a late edition to the project after we realized that since we ripped out the ceiling, we would be foolish to not include them.

Day 3 - Recessed Lighting

There is also some 3/8 inch plywood over the plank flooring.

Day 3 - thin plywood subfloor over the planks

There is some more lumber outside to help reframe some “issues” from previous work. The most egregious of which is this knocking out of the base of one of the studs:

Day 3 - look at that notching

Well, the house has been up a long time with that, so I’m not too worried :).

Anyway, so that’s the current status and I will post more, but there are some adjacent stories worth telling, about delivery of some important parts of the new kitchen.

1) We bought a new fridge, which Mackenzie fell in love with, and met my ideals of french door top, freezer below. We ordered it the friday before labor day and it was supposed to be delivered on 9/11 – but after the delivery truck came about 50 minutes late, we could not accept delivery because the power cord to the brand new fridge was cut almost all the way through. We have delivery rescheduled to next thursday, 9/26. Hopefully that will do down without a hitch… we’ll se.

2) So the cabinets were supposed to be scheduled today, 9/17. This was going to make our lives tricky since the house isn’t all that big and we would have had to store all the boxes until they were ready to be installed. Clearly the room isn’t ready for them, there is plenty of work to do before the sheetrock can go up – its going to be at least Monday before cabinet installation can begin. And we would have to spend the rest of this week and the weekend squeezed out of our house. Well, luck shown on us with this delivery snafu – for some reason they decided to use a full semi truck to bring them to our house, on a small side street in the middle of the City. The driver decided it was not worth risking pulling the trick down the street, due to overhead power lines, after arriving half an hour after the delivery window (terrible traffic today). They’re going to come back Monday morning, in a smaller truck, That should be much better.

posted by neil at 8:35 pm
under home ownership  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Site Outage

Not that anyone is reading, but the blog has been down for the past week or so, as my web host had been in the midst of a very protracted hardware upgrade, and the temporary status were permission issues on the website that i was not able to fix unit this AM. Service is now restored, so you can return to your regularly scheduled non-updates (book post coming in a week or so though!).

posted by neil at 10:53 am
under meta  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Not very good at posting

It turns out I’m not very good at posting here. Maybe I should turn my keys in?

posted by neil at 10:08 am
under Uncategorized  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lazy Saturday

This Saturday I woke up early and did some cleaning in the kitchen while listening to an episode of Bullseye. I was very interested in the Brian K Vaighan interview, and I thought I might go and get the first collection of Saga at some point. A little bit later I went to the coffee house on the corner and got some breakfast and did some work, and was reminded that it was Free Comic Day via a post on facebook. I decided to see if my neighborhood comic store, Isotope was participating, and they were, so I decided to head over there at 11 o’clock when they opened at 11:00. I picked up some free comics I plan to give to my nephew when I am in Chicago later this month and the Saga Graphic Novel.

I spent the rest of the sunny day at a long, several blood mary brunch at Absinthe, a couple of hours in the Suppenkuche beer garden, an impromptu cookout at my house, and then hanging out at our neighborhood bar late that evening with some friends in from San Diego. It sounds like I did a lot (ok, not really), but I never really went more than 3 blocks away from home. Lazy!

posted by neil at 8:50 pm
under adventure,Milo,rambling  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Only two weeks later…

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. We had visitors in from out of town both weekends – although only had a guest staying with us this previous weekend, which was cool. Wohali and I walked around the neighborhood yesterday, taste testing macarons from the four stores that sell them. We tasted pistachio macrons from each, and crowned Chantal Guillon the winner, with a very natural taste which was not too sweet, and a well textured cookie.

Much else fun and excitement was had, enough that makes me want another weekend to relax, but in other, very important news, I sold my car this morning. I posted it friday afternoon on Craiglist, and now it is gone to its new home. I suppose I could have gotten a few hundred dollars more if I tried harder/waited longer, but I made more than my bottom line, and it seems like the people who bought it really like subarus, so I know it will be appreciated. It feels weird to not have my own car, but I do have access to one, plus a zipcar membership, so it will be OK!

posted by neil at 7:41 pm
under adventure,food  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Oops missed a month – anyone want to buy my car?

Oops, here we are a month later, on Tax Day Eve, I filed my taxes and had my refund before my last post, so tomorrow doesn’t mean much to me. If you’re waiting until the zero hour to file, good luck to you!

Anyway, the biggest thing of note from the past month is that I have decided to sell my car. Mackenzie and I each own a car, but we only have one reserved parking spot, and parking is not getting any easier in our neighborhood. Plus, I only put a few thousand miles on my car in the past 16 months, and that was mostly from doing summer trips in it, where I just decided we should take my car, even though it is less fuel efficient. Basically my car is less practical, so it’s going to be the one that is sold. I joined Zipcar to cover the few times when we each need a separate car.

I did the first step of the process, smogging my car, yesterday, and I am going to get it detailed Wednesday. After that it’ll be time to take a few photos and post on CL. And then the scary fun shall begin.

posted by neil at 9:03 pm
under daily tribulations  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A small technology post

I’ve been using Things to help keep track of tasks at work for the past 9 or so months. In the past couple of months I’ve had the need to try to export things so others can see what I am up to – which is a feature the program lacks. It does have a an AppleScript API which is somewhat documented, but I had never really used applescript before. I spent a few hours across a couple of days, but I was able to make a script to do more or less what I wanted. However, when I tried to turn it into an AppleScript application, I found that there weird characters and strings in my output. A little bit of googling showed me that they were constants, but in neither the Things docs nor in any AppleScript documentation could I find a good way to deal with said constants – besides just comparing to them and converting to my own strings as necessary. Anyway, I put it into github, so maybe this silly program will help someone else out someday. It works more or less, but I still don’t know why you can’t overwrite an existing file :(.

posted by neil at 8:45 pm
under technology  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Sequestration and Me

A brief note to say that I got my tax refund from the federal government 10 days after I filed my taxes. Oh, and I filed on a Sunday. It only took CA 5 days to get me my refund.

This is a boring post, but you gotta take the good with bad folks. Or in the case of my blog, the worse with the bad.

posted by neil at 11:09 pm
under Uncategorized  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Oops, the week is almost over!

Here we are, it’s Saturday and I haven’t posted this week. I even had an idea, but I am a slacker. Oh well, I’ll talk about it now anyway.

There is a hidden gem in the city of San Francisco. Actually it’s not really a gem, it’s more of a semi-precious stone, and it’s not really hidden, heck I’ve even see it advertised on TV. I’m talking about the Presidio Bowling Center, a simple laid back (albeit kind of small) bowling alley tucked away in the Presidio. I’m not a huge bowling fan, but it’s fun sometimes, and my friend Erin wanted to to go bowling in the city last Sunday, so we went there. It’s not super cheap (is bowling cheap anywhere these days>) but it’s less expensive than the ’boutique’ bowling alleys in SF (Mission Bowling Club and Lucky Strikes), and super laid back. Nice to go, bowl a couple of lines and have a beer or two (nothing on tap, but a good selection of bottles).

Oh yeah, here i that TV ad, it’s not that impressive, but I’m trying to include more than just text:

Here are a few more things from this week:

  • I paid my first payment to my very own mortgage (remember, I had a shared mortgage for the TC until the condo conversion loan finalized in January. Yes, I owe more posts on that TIC Conversion experience).
  • Evidently the Pope stepped down, but wants to have his cake and eat it too. I wish this wasn’t news, by the way.
  • And the scariest thing this week, some guy in New Jersey shot a lamprey with a bow and posted it around the internets:


posted by neil at 8:58 am
under rambling  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Food Review: The Dekopon

I first learned of the dekopon almost two years ago while listening to the Splendid Table podcast. If you don’t know, the dekopon, known as the Sumo in the US is probably the best citrus fruit to have ever existed. Developed in Japan in the 1970s, it is a hybrid of a seedless mandarin and a variety of tangerine. The fruit peels easily, as the rumply skin is not really attached to the fruit itself. The membrane that divides the sections is rather soft, and is easy to chew. And the the inside of the sections is a wonderfully bright, smooth orange, almost like some sort of fruit chew candy. And then there is the taste – vastly sweet, but with enough acid to balance, the taste of this fruit is like some sort of embodiment of the platonic ideal of citrus.

This year seems to be the first year of bumper crops, as I have heard reports of them being available in Chicago and Boston, as well as having them fairly readily available here in California, where they are grown. Evidently the season lasts through the middle of April or so, and I recommend my readers make an effort to try one or more while there is time!

image courtesy of freshelectrons

posted by neil at 6:02 pm
under food,Product Review  
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