Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Let there be lights!

We added this metal "spider" with 24 arms to the perfectly ordinary double buld bent glass "landlord" fixture in our master bedroom. Add 24 crystals, and hit the switch...Ta-da! A whole new look, without even changing the light fixture, or turning off the power. If anyone knows where to get more of these "spiders" or something similar I'd love to know.Next we move to the Dining room, where we wanted to go in a more modern direction. So, now we have a hovering UFO...
...And the electrified version of an oil lamp moves to our rustic Knotty Pine kitchen. I'm still not happy with the creeping ivy on the wall paper though, so that will be updated soon enough.
And last but not least, here is our new end table/table lamp. Why did these ever go ut of production?

Too Yellow?

Well, we started painting the house, but Sam thinks its too Yellow. Here's some pictures:

I also changed out the front doorknob, and added the cool tiki bird trim:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Striking the blinders from the eyes...

...of our house, which are the windows, which are the windows of the soul, of our house.
So besides the roof, which we'll get to soon enough, the worst thing about our new house were the security bars on each and every window. The elderly previous owner had had them installed when her husband had died. Well they had to go, and here we have a little HOW TO lesson for you on removing window bars, only use this information for good.

1) Get yourself a cheap angle grinder with cut off wheel ($29.99 at http://www.harborfreight.com/)
You will also need saftey glasses. I'm no saftey wuss, but believe me you will need them, or you will need to do this with your eyes closed. I use Ray Ban knock offs from the hardware store, but even with these you will get grit and ground metal in and around your eyes.
You will also need a large flat head screw driver, and a set of vise grips.
2) Get yourself something strurdy to stand on: A step ladder, a rolling invalid chair, or a piece of plastic patio furniture.
Here is your adversary:
A close look reveals the one-way screws which you can't even get a grip on with the best vice grips.

Time for the power tool!

3) Using the cut off wheel, cut a nice deep slot into the one-way screw right through the meatiest part.

You will end up with a screw head looking like this:

4) It is doubtfull you will be able to turn your newly slotted screw in the normal way. So insert the screw driver, laying on its side, so as to give yourself a nice torque multiplying length. Then its lefty loosy away.

5) Once you get it loose, you can unscrew it in the normal way.

6) On windows with a emergency exit feature, you will need to go inside to finish the job. You will find something like this:

7) Unbolt everything with the vice grips. Don't worry, none of it is spring loaded.

8) Once the cables are free, simply pull them from the outside of the house, leaving unfortunate holes in the plaster work. But that's a project for another day and another blog.

9) If you aren't as big as me, you may need some help pulling the larger ones off.

10) Ta-da! You are left with a naked window, with holes in the stuco, or siding. But again, that is a project for the next day and/or blog when I paint the house.

So there she is without the bars. Much, much better. Starting to look almost homey.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Some important updates - since 6 months ago

Wow, so much to catch up on...

Me and Sam got married 12/27:

And we adopted a small dog, whom we named Frankie, about a month ago:

Lots more to come about both these things in the next few upcoming posts, then back to the housework.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 36 (the present): Mowing the lawn, and cleaning out the garage

I'm not about to pay someone to mow my lawn. Come on, I don't pay anyone to cut my hair, why would I get someone else to mow the lawn. The only problem with this is that I didn't own a lawn mower, and between the house and the wedding, it didn't look like I would be buying one soon. Luckily, the house came with one...This manual rotary mower came with the house. I mean, I think it came with the house when the original owner bought it in 1954. Modern genetically engineered suburban lawns, however, are much, much thicker and tougher than what they had in the 1950's when Wally and the Beav were using this mower to earn some extra cash to buy a catchers mitt. I mowed the front lawn with it, and area roughly 20' x 20' at the most. That took me three tries over the course of a week and a half, and I felt like I was going to die. It was as hard a shoveling snow. I suspect the blades aren't too sharp anymore. The blue thing leaning there is my other lawn mower, which I highly recommend if you are working on your golf game, but until you perfect your swing its hard to get an evenly trimmed lawn.

I also found this in the attic over the garage.Why the previous owner choose to save a dilapidated, rusted BBQ, and then went through the trouble of putting it int he garage I don't know. It must have sentimental value, or else maybe magic powers. In this picture it looks like its going to take a bite out of you when you go to flip the burgers.I'm pretty sure that this, along with all the old tube powered electronics that were up there were the making of a death ray. Possibly to shoot down planes, but maybe to take out the entire moon. I'm thinking something like this:

So since I needed a mower ASAP, before the lawn ceased to be a lawn and became a meadow, I went looking on Craigslist. What I really want is a Flymo Hover mower but they are rare, in this country at least. I think it may be a liability issue. Flymo's are all over Europe and have been made since the late 1950's.I did find this one for sale here in the states. But seeing as how I hate the environment so much, I find it hard to buy it from these hippies at http://www.greengardentools.com/
Now I am the, at least temporary, owner of a $40 electric mower of indeterminate age made by Sunbeam. I think it looks like a villian from the "Brave Little Toaster" movie, though I did add the googly eyes via photoshop.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Day three: demolicious!

As far as I can tell, the previous owner had been an employee in the aerospace industry somewhere around here. I found an ID badge from somewhere called Vega aircraft. At least I think that's what it said. When I find it again I'll post a picture. As far as hobbies go he was a Rock Hound, with a garage workshop for polishing, tumbling, and shaping them.
Besides that stuff, the garage was filled with the sad medical detritus of someone who got old, got sick and died at home. I still have a hospital bed, a wheel chair, a walker, a pair of crutches, and an invalid chair with built in commode

Now, I've had workshop envy for quite a few years now, In fact I tell people that I bought a garage, and Sam got the house, But there was no way my 1960 Chevy Parkwood was going to fit in the garage with the 4 walls of the workshop intact. So, like a bad tooth, it had to come out. It took about 2 hours of grunting and sweating and destruction, but with a little help from Nick we made short work of that wall.It took us longer to find an empty dumpster to chuck all the garbage into. If you need a hospital bed, walker, crutches, wheel chair or the like drop me a line. I think I'm going to keep the commode chair, its just the right height for sitting and working on motorcycles, and it rolls.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day Two: Just some more pictures

Okay, on the second day we didn't get much done. I had to work. Sam did a lot of cleaning. Here are some more pictures of how the house looked when we moved in, or when we looked at it with the realtor.

Our nearly all original knotty pine kitchen with ranchcraft hardware, and faux exposed brick (and Steven our realtor).

Here is our dining room as furnished by the previous owners. We got to keep the the cute fake oil lamp. Its going to move to the kitchen when we redecorate.

Here is our awsome tri-tone green bathroom. Sam loves the wallpaper, but I think it is just one too many colors. And as I've said before, if anyone has a line on a green toilet drop me a note please.

Well, Sam didn't just clean. When I got home from work I found she had ripped all the bad wall-to-wall carpet out of the two bedrooms, and deposited in the drive way. This revealed some beautiful hardwood floors that had been cover for something like 50 years.

The Master Bedroom.

The Study.

The Trash.

As anyone who has done this sort of thing before will tell you, this pile is just the tip of the iceburg.

I apologize for the boring layouts, but I haven't had time to play with the blogger editor much, so I don't know what I'm doing.