paint and repairs

it’s definitely time for some paint work:

Definitely time for paint

on one part of the house, the painter also found some rot. he’s also a carpenter so on his recommendation, i asked him to take out the rot and repair the damage.

it started with just the corners and the top…

rot removed

and then he realized that the brick veneer wasn’t attached, it was just kind of balancing on the foundation and lightly held in place by the rotting siding that had been removed.

so i gave the go-ahead to take off the brick.

let's take the brick off too.

which is going to allow him to access all the water damaged structural areas:

water damage

water damage

it looks like bad flashing around the chimney allowed water to move along the chimney and soak the wood repeatedly. i think a bad gutter was also to blame – it soaked the ground, water moved up through the masonry and soaked the wood at the bottom.

the flashing has been fixed – in fact the rotted out wood was all dry despite a good rain the day before – and the gutters will be replaced.

i’ll also be getting rid of the obnoxious herringbone brick veneer, which never looked right.

Strange week

Several things are different this week.

J is taking a class – where I work! So we eat lunch together every day. He gets amazing catered food served on a white table cloth, I carry my cafeteria lunch (which is also quite good, I should note) up to his “reserved” area and sneak a place at the table where all the students are eating. But they all are curious when they find out I’m an employee.

Things are being done to the house!

New gate

This is our new gate. I really loved the old gate and felt it was part of the charm of the house, so I asked them to reproduce it exactly. The old gate was next to some crappy fencing; they improved over the original by carrying the scalloped design into some picket fencing. This will all be painted white (except for the beautiful redwood post caps, which I’d like to seal) – by the painter! Who is starting tomorrow and will scrape and paint all the peeling wood on the windows and everywhere else.

I’m shooting video! At work!

Work is pretty cool right now

I’m in charge of a project to produce four video tutorials for our intranet. We’re doing them in the style of old educational films. It’s a really fun project. We were lucky to find a room in our building that is perfect and almost never used.

Effective methods: indoor s’mores in the summer

With heat indexes well over 100 all weekend, building a fire in the fireplace was right out of the question.

We didn’t really want to go outside, either. Even at night.

We wanted s’mores, though, and although I am sure we’re not the first to hit upon this, it was a novel idea to both of us: roast the marshmallows over candles.

candle s'mores!

Fondue forks make an excellent way to hold the marshmallows over the flame. They don’t get quite as hot all the way through as they do over a big fire, but this method is fairly effective. And delicious!

fun at work

i have an unusual project at work right now – shooting video tutorials. the boring tutorial part is being dressed up with some distracting, creative stuff to suck people in. it’s immensely fun. and i get to use video editing software and really make good use of the Mac i have at work. i can’t imagine tackling this project with a windows box. i’m sure it can be done, but i wouldn’t know how to do it, and i wouldn’t already have all the software i need.

once upon a time i wanted to be a filmmaker. that didn’t happen, but i wonder now if i missed becoming a film editor. i don’t really have a strong enough eye to be a good cinematographer or even director, but i’m pretty detail oriented and i generally find editing to be quite enjoyable. it’s the same combination of creative and technical that i find satisfying in web work. who knows?

welcome to the modern age.

after many years of waiting and much debate over technical merits and philosophical problems with the various vendors, J and i are now owners of those modern day marvels, “smart phones”.

indeed yes, they are iphones.

theoretically they are on trial in our household; we have thirty days to return them for a full refund and cancellation of contract. however, after only a day i am already in love with mine and things would have to take quite a downturn for me to return the thing.

here are the two experiences that really turned my head…

1) shooting a video and editing it on the phone. eleven years ago i did this the old fashioned way, with a big camera, tapes, and a copy of final cut “borrowed” from a filmmaker friend. i scored web streaming hosting for free via other friends. the thought of accomplishing all of this so casually on a little slab of glass that i carry in my pocket makes my mind melt.

2) walking the dog in a new neighborhood. we routinely scout neighborhoods where we might like to live. i used the maps and directions function to navigate to the neighborhood, then we planned our route through the neighborhood using the map. since i’m incredibly directionally challenged while on foot, i appreciated having a map with my current location right in my pocket. it was so bloody hot, i really didn’t want to miss a turn while on foot and get lost. the real killer was that as we were walking i was able to bring up the online listings for houses we saw that were on the market.

there’s also been lots of fun and “goofiness”: with the video calling, camera and being able to check things on the internet wherever we are.