Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trundling deep into the week already, yet thinking about last weekend at Camp Mather and Yosemite. I must remind myself that I work on a set schedule for something I may not exactly be that passionate about so that my family can do things like this:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now that I have shown some selected photos of the interior of our house - well decorated, tastefully designed, thank you very much (Kiera)...there is the curiosity that is the outside (and underbelly) of the house. It is this subject to which I now turn my attention, and the amount of work that lies ahead. I will start with the exterior. To wit, a photo worth at least 1,000 words:

From Our New House


What can I say about this 80s vinyl siding and choice of color scheme for the crappy faux blinds? I mean...fuckin' TEAL?!

Our doorway:

From Our New House


Upon closer inspection you shall find the current 30 amp electrical service connected to the house.

From Our New House


Now, for what will be the up-to-date 125 amp service once PG&E gets around to changing out the transformer for the neighborhood and bringing the line over:

From Our New House


What else do we learn from the above photo? Well, we already knew the house was originally stucco. What we DIDN'T know, and took a leap of faith on based on the inspector's best guess, was what the true condition of the stucco underneath would be. In order to attach the new electrical service, our electrician had to remove a section of the siding. He was the bearer of good news: "Looks like all you need is a good patch 'n paint job." He knew of some guys. They probably would have come in that afternoon, that's how the market is these days. Anyway, to remove some additional bits of the siding to expose the left side here...

From Our New House


...and another view:

From Our New House


...and to patch, paint (matching current paint on the, um, siding), haul all of that crap away, etc. cost us $300. Our inspectors, based on their survey underneath, had said that this area here showed the most dryrot...no major pest issues, etc. But the stucco here seems ok. In fact, most of the patching was for the damage that was done by the idiots who put on this siding in the first place.

It's not just a matter of us hating the siding, it's a matter of how it was put on and the potential for water to get in from the top, and get trapped further down. If this is the worst of it potentially, then we're in good shape. Guess who has a major project starting mid-late August? What goes up must come down!
Skunk hat, this from my mom:

"The skunk hat was made for fishing guide Bud Norton who gave them to his favorite fishing customers in the late '50s or early '60s. Bob had one made extra-large for himself and wore it a few times just for the hell of it."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Halloween, 1987:



The hat I'm wearing is, in fact, real skunk fur. I'll have to fact check with my dad for the story, but it was a Truesdell Furs creation, back when he was a relative youngster. Guessing it was a prank. The only link I could find online about Truesdell's, which at one time was run by my grandpa and later, my dad, was a realtor site indicating the old building has been sold. About halfway down the page.

At any rate, the crew in this picture - this being Villa Park, Illinois, which is where we moved to after we left Berlin when Dad took a new job at York Furrier in Elmhurst, later stopped by Baker's Square, and I bunched up the hat and cradled it in my arms "just so," to see if I could freak anyone out. The person at the front desk, speaking slowly as if concerned said "Um, that's...got to go."

UPDATE: Another link to the Truesdell building.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Livie pics so far this year:

Friday, June 12, 2009

In all of my political ranting and raving, I failed to mention officially in here that we have, indeed, bought a house. So what I mused about here has in fact come to pass. I still can't believe it. I have to rub my eyes on a daily basis.

Since closing on March 31st and moving in on April 18th, we've been slowly settling in as well as making some modifications. I'll probably spend the next few entries talking about the experiences, just as soon as I get around to taking a few snapshots for illustrative purposes. These shall come soon. But first, a couple of snapshots from right after clearing out the remaining bins/boxes for our family shindig last Sunday.

First, the front hallway:

From Our New House


Living Room:

From Our New House


Dining Room:

From Our New House


Pass-thru to the kitchen:

From Our New House


Potty etc.:

From Our New House


Master bedroom:

From Our New House


More to come.

I need to thank my lovely wife, Kiera for "willing this house to happen" for us. She handled much of the negotiating and management as a whole of this process. It would not have happened otherwise. Getting this house feels like a victory of sorts, of a long struggle to get beyond the debts that, at first, coming out to California with no real roots, and later, juggling day gigs, school for K, and trying to carve out a legacy in music, brought us. There was a fatalism that made us think we'd never be able to afford out here, but then we got lucky, we happened to be saving and living with in-laws in during the "last boom" years, which then collapsed the market enough to where we could afford a place here in a neighborhood we feel comfortable in. It ain't Pacific Heights, but the Dimond District is where we'll be for the foreseeable future.