The WordPress stuff has moooooved

It has come to my attention that at least one reader had this feed in their feed reader. So I am posting this in case there’s others. I apologize; my referrers all look like people are coming from Twitter, so I didn’t think I’d lose anyone by moving to a different URL – which I have.

I’ve moved the posts about WordPress and related stuff to: All new writing will be found there now, so please change the URL in your feed reader.

And thanks for reading. You’re the few and possibly the proud. When my readership reaches the dizzying double digits, you can say you read me when.

9Westy – For Sale

1982 VW Vanagon, Westfalia (camper), diesel

$2500 OBO

I have been in the process of turning 9 Westy into an art car for several years. I am expecting, so I won’t be able to finish the project, and I need to sell the vehicle.


All camper equipment is intact. I have replaced the curtains (but retained the originals) and replaced the foam and upholstery for the lower bed with new high density foam pads. The upper bunk is original and in excellent condition.

I have not used any of the propane equipment. The previous owner said that the propane tank had been reconditioned. I have used the fridge on both 12 V DC and 110 V AC electrical and it worked fine.

The camper pop-top and forward luggage rack have been removed from the Westy, and are intact and in good condition. The pop-top canvas is usable but I was planning to replace it.


I haven’t started the vehicle in a few years. Until that time, it was in running condition and may still be. Maintenance and repair work has been performed by a factory trained VW mechanic, and includes: oil pressure switch replaced, brake line replaced, ignition switch replaced, valve cover gasket replaced (and various engine parts cleaned and painted), and more. I have receipts for maintenance and repairs performed.

The engine is a factory reconditioned engine. The dash has been removed, but is intact and can be re-installed.


To turn the Westy into an art car, I have been in the process of removing the paint, bondo, primer and galvanizing layer from the body of the van.

Most of the van (approximately 70%) is bare metal at this point. There are areas of rust penetration on the body. Most of the bolt-on parts on the van exterior have been removed and bagged with their hardware. This includes mirrors, lights, bumpers, etc.


The van is located in a garage near downtown Durham. The buyer will need to provide a way to tow it. The camper top is one block from the van, and the camper top, forward luggage rack and a few miscellaneous interior parts are stored at my house. The camper top is heavy, and will require several adults to lift.

I am happy to share more details or answer questions about the mechanical condition of the van, or what I planned to do with the project.

To find out more about diesel vanagons, see the Yahoo! group

Diesel-Vanagon. “”:

Many photos: “”:

Dear internets,

I suppose it’s time I let you know… I’m going to have a baby, come next spring.


* Not too sick, but lots of stomachaches in the evenings in the first three months. It’s kinda better now.

* Yes, we’ll probably find out the sex.

* May 14th.

So, well… now you know.

painted and repaired

see before: “Paint and Repairs”:

and the lovely, lovely after:

new gate, new siding, new paint!

red door!


We even washed the windows:

clean windows

So far this year we have…

* Had an underground oil tank removed

* replaced the gate to the back yard

* had all the windows restored to working order, cleaned and painted

* had a damaged part of the house re-built

* had all the gutters replaced

* replaced the door to the screen porch

plus numerous small repairs and projects. at the moment, J is stripping and restoring all the HVAC registers, which are pretty gross with paint and rust.

and there’s oh so much more to do…

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!