Monday, March 31, 2008

Feeling A Little Blue

The sanding in the laundry room is going much better than I thought it would. I decided to forgo the brute force of a random orbital sander and just use a finish sander with 100 grit. I just need to get the loose stuff off, which there isn’t much, and any dirt.

Tonight after work I was able to get two walls sanded down. I’m not sure what to do about the water heater, though. That thing is just going to be in the way for the rest of this project. I’m not willing to go without hot water mid-week, so I’ll just need to work around it for as long as I can. I can see that there will be no hot water available this weekend. I’m going to warn everyone now that my last bath will be Friday morning and after that it will be my own natural musk sent until Monday at the earliest.

I swung by Sherwin Williams on lunch and picked out some paint chips. If I want to paint this weekend while the water heater is un-hooked I need to seriously start thinking now about a color. I’m still leaning towards the lighter blue shades and I’ve sort of settled on Sherwin Williams Hinting Blue – 6519. That may end up seeming too gray come Friday, so I may also go with Tradewind – 6218 or Balmy – 6512. (User Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer to see the colors) I want to buy paint on Thursday. Once the water heater disconnected, time will be of the essence. The last thing I want is to be waiting behind a bunch of people Saturday morning trying to buy paint.

So I need to sand two more walls and the ceiling. Wipe everything down. Put on a coat of primer. Then caulk any unsightly wide seams. Then be ready to paint Saturday morning. That is very ambitious, and I’ll be amazed if it actually happens.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t decided on a trim color, or if there will even be a trim color. I hate picking colors.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Not As Close As I Thought

I thought I was going to be gluing splinters together to finish the laundry room ceiling with beadboard. I knew I had the 10 footers in the garage, but I seem to remember them being much worse than they really were. When I went out to get them today to finish up the 4th section, I found that were was still 5, 5-footers and a 3-footer out there left over from the second haul. I remember now that I set them aside as being inadequate, but really they weren’t that bad either. The 5-footers all had spits at the ends, but all of them had 3 to 4 feet of usable wood. There was plenty.

So, I got all 4 sections up. The last one gave me a little trouble. I think the initial board was a few degrees off and so none of them quite match up with the other sections. Once I get it trimmed out it will only be noticeable to me. One more reason why I’ll need to sell this house.

There were a few comments about color over the last few weeks. Green is out of the question and so I was going to go with cream or yellow. Someone mentioned blue, and I must admit, my initial response was, “Blue! That would be hideous”. At the time I was picturing a dark blue. Then I got another comment today and they suggested a “grayed down neutral”. And then I thought, what about a sort of gray/blue color.

In fact, I’m think something like what is in the picture above. That is really not a good representation of the real color that the beadboard is now. It is decidedly more green in real life. The picture came out odd because of the lighting, but I like it. I would not have all of the variations, but one of the lighter shades there. One of the gray/blues. I’m weeks away from painting, so there is no hurry to decide.

I also made the medallion to cover the area around the light fixture today. This will cover the area where the boards don’t quite match and tie all of the other trim together. Next on the agenda is hours and hours of wonderful sanding. I can hardly wait.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why Must I always Be So Difficult

Man, that was a lot of work. If I had installed the beadboard on the ceiling perpendicular to one of the walls I could have easily finished today. As it is, I’m only half way done. Going with four sections of diagonal beadboard really made this a much harder job that it should have been. Of course, its going to look totally cool when I’m done (Fingers crossed), so it will be worth it.

I averaged a little more than 2 hours a section, but the first one took a lot longer than the second section. Because the room is a rectangle and not a square, none of the angled cuts were 45 degrees. The first couple of boards took a while to work out the proper angles.

I kept telling myself there is probably a fairly simple mathematical equation that would give me the angles, but I never took geometry, so I stood on the ladder like a savage with a board and an adjustable angel trying to figure it. I could feel my brow getting thicker and my posture becoming more simian the longer I stood on the ladder. Fortunately I figured it out just as the grunting began.

Once I worked out the two angels the work was pretty straight forward, but very time consuming. Each piece took a minimum of 3 trips up and down the ladder and two trips to the saw. Only once did I need to pull a board off and recut it or make adjustments, so it could have been worse.

The good news is, I’m going to have enough beadboard. From the second load I got, I was able to get 19, 5-footers, 8, 4-footers, and 2, 3-footers. I have 9 of the 5-footers left and several of the smaller ones. I also still have a half dozen of the 10-footers left over. Even though they are in bad shape, there are long stretches here and there in them that are good. It is going to be close, but so long as there are no major screw-ups I should have enough, and be able to finish tomorrow.

The next step is going to be really, really fun. I need to sand down the whole room. It is going to an extremely messy process. There is still a lot of dirt on the wood and I think a lot of the paint is going to come off as well. There is only one layer of paint, but I’m pretty sure it is going to turn to dust when the RO sander hits it.

If I can get it sanded and primed during the week next week. I can start to trim the room out next weekend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Huba Huba

This charming young lass - "A Winning Miss" - came from my new favorite blog....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of Design

As I mentioned the other day, I went back and got some more of the salvaged beadboard to put on the ceiling of the laundry room, but there is a bit of a problem: The stuff is too short. I knew this when I bought it, of course. The room is 9.5X5.5 and most of these pieces are in the 3 to 5 foot range, with most being over 4-feet. You need to keep in mind, though, that this is salvage, so those 5-foot pieces may only yield 4-feet of usable wood.

So I started to think about ways I could make it work. Below is a crude picture of one idea.

I only drew in one of the 4 sections, because, as I’ve said time and time again, I basically a very lazy person. Just use your imagination to picture all 4 sections looking like the one with the lines. Anyway, the idea is to put short pieces in diagonally and then cover the seams with trim. The big circle in the middle will be a somewhat plain wooden medallion of some sort. I’ll make something myself, but nothing too fancy. I mean, this is a laundry room, after all. The light fixture will hang in the center of the medallion.

The four little rectangles at the center of each wall are the brackets above. I ordered them from yesterday. They are 1.75X4X8 inches. $7.00 each. Then there will be thin strips of wood (think door-stop) with some type of routered edge that connects the brackets to the medallion. These strips will cover the seams were the beadboard ends meet. Finally, running in-between the brackets and the corners of the room will be a 1X3 crown molding that will cover the seam where the walls and ceiling meet.

To do it diagonal I need at least 4 pieces of wood that are 4.75 feet long, and then others that are progressively shorter. I think the second pieces on either side need to be about 4 feet long. So, I will need 8 of those. If I can’t get enough long ones I will do an almost identical design, only the pieces will be perpendicular the wall instead of diagonal.

Tomorrow I will start to go through the new load of beadboard I picked up over the weekend. I should know in a day or two if I can do the diagonal method.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Four Walls and an Old Man

I finished putting the beadboard up on the four walls in the laundry. I’m going to call it a resounding success because I didn’t drive a nail through any water lines, drains, or electrical wires. When I did the upstairs bathroom, I was putting in the last 3 pieces of beadboard under the sink. I thought I had 1.5-inch nails in the nail gun, when in fact I had 2.5 inch nails. I shot one through the brand new hot water line and another through the brand new ABS drain. Not one of my finer moments, but it was a valuable lesson

The room is small, so it is not easy to get a good shot. Because the room is so small (9.5X5.5), and with the tall ceilings (10.5), the vertical beadboard on the walls makes for a bit of an optical illusion. The room suddenly seems much taller. I think it is a nice effect. The plan is to paint the room a pale yellow. Green is out, because I used that too much in the house already. White would be a bit stark. It needs to be a light color, otherwise the room could seem like a dank pit. Who wants to do laundry in a dank pit? Not me.

Here’s what I started with in the way of salvage beadboard. That ran me about $250.

Here is what I’ve left with. Those are all 10-foot lengths, but really, there is not a lot of usable wood in there. I decided I want to do the ceiling in beadboard as well, so I went back to the gentleman whom I bought everything else off of. I don't want to reveal who this person really is, so we’ll just call him R. Hillman. No, wait, that’s too obvious. How about Ray H.

Ray H. is a noted local historian and salvage person. I have not had too many encounters with him, so I can’t say I know him all that well. My odyssey of getting the beadboard from him started months ago and it had nothing to do with beadboard.

A friend had bought some salvage millwork from Ray H. that came out of the Vance Hotel. He told me there was a lot left to chose from and I should contact Ray H. ASAP if I wanted any of the good stuff. I called Ray H. that afternoon and got his voice mail. I left a message with my name and number and told him I was interested in looking at the Vance Hotel millwork. It took Ray H. 4 days to return my call and he called while I was at work.

I immediately called him back and again got his voice mail. I left another message, the same as the first, only this time I left both my work and home phone. Ray H. called back 4 or 5 days later, again while I was at work. This went on for more than a month. My messages became more desperate and the tone of my voice more irritated. The tone of Ray H's messages to me didn't seem to change at all. I started to get the feeling this is business as usual for Ray H.

I was about to give up when another friend told me there was a cache of beadboard in D&D Motors and Ray H. had the salvage rights for it. Word had it that Ray H. needed help in getting it down. The Vance Hotel stuff was just something I wanted to look at. I really didn’t have any immediate need for the millwork, but the beadboard I could use right away in the laundry room. The added benefit of maybe getting a discount in exchange for labor made it all the more interesting.

I called Ray H. that night and once again mentioned the Vance Hotel, but only briefly. This had been about 6 weeks since my first call and at this point I felt like I was calling a woman for a date for the 10th time and she had never returned one of my calls in the past, “Yea, whatever - the Vance. If you want to do it, lets do it.” I quickly moved on to the D&D Motors beadboard and told Ray H. I would most likely buy all of it and I would help pull it down. I also mentioned I had an old pick-up and I could transport it.

Ray H. called me back within the hour.

As you can imagine, he was very interested in my pick up truck. This, of course, is The Boss 1971 Ford F-100 Custom Camper Special (a.k.a. “The Beast”). So we worked out a deal to meet at the D&D Motors and I would get a discount on the beadboard in exchange for my labor and truck. This is Ray H., though, so it would take several more weeks, and as many phone calls for us to actually get together and get the beadboard out.

Ray H. is a very nice gentleman, but he tends to do things on his on personal schedule, regardless of what yours is. I don’t think it is malicious. I think that is just the way he is. Today I called because I wanted to get some more of the beadboard to finish off the ceiling. I called Ray H. and left a stern message about how I was in the middle of a project and I did not want to play phone tag for a month. To his credit, he called back in 20 minutes. I went over and bought enough of the same beadboard to do the ceiling. It was another $49 worth. I didn’t bother to mention the Vance Hotel to him. I’m still not sure what happened to that.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back At It

I’m trying to get back in to the swing of things this weekend. Aside from the unfortunate events of last weekend, I also had family in town. None of these things are conducive to plowing through a project.

Today I picked up where I left off with the utility room. I’m putting up salvage, 10-foot long pieces of 1X6 double-bead beadboard. They are going vertically on the wall, so imagine all of the fun of installing a wood floor, only you’re doing it on a wall. Some boards can take as long as 20 minutes to finesse them in to place. Lots of up and down on a ladder with tools between your legs and in your teeth.

I had finished the 3 easy walls two weeks ago. These were the walls with no plumbing on them. Today I started in on the wall with the laundry hook-ups and the water heater. The pace pretty much ground to a halt.

Not only is it time consuming to measure and cut holes for water, gas, and electrical outlets, but I’m also at the bottom of the pile with the salvaged beadboard. I had kind of planned it this way. Much of this wall will be hidden behind appliances and shelves, so this is a good spot for some of the more questionable pieces of wood. Still, I’m spending a lot more time at the wood pile picking just the right piece of wood.

It took me 5 hours today to install just 9 pieces of wood. That is a blistering pace of 33.3 minutes per board. This also included draining and moving the water heater. This is earthquake country, so that baby was strapped to the wall pretty good. I also had to be very careful marking the studs so I could sink the lag bolts for the strapping back in to the studs. More careful measuring.

I toyed with the idea of a tankless water heater, but in the end decided it was not in the budget at the moment. The current water heater is almost new, and a few years back I put in a new vent flue for it. It turns out that I can’t use the current double walled, insulated vent flue for the new tankless water heaters.

The one I was looking at is $931.00 on-line, plus another $250 for a vent kit. I would also need to install a secondary air intake for it. The same exact model locally costs $1,300, plus $300 for the vent kit. Go figure. Not only was there the cost, but I’m too impatient to wait for delivery of the on-line one – I don’t want to put the whole project on hold for a week or two – and I can not, with a good conscious, pay $419 more for the same exact thing if I buy it locally.

So, I’ll remain in the dark-ages with my 40-gallon behemoth of a water heater for a few more years. I feel like such a savage every time I look at it now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Well, He’s Gone

I’ve now lost two cats in two months, both to sudden illness. I think its appropriate, and almost a metaphor for his life, that while Sadie slid almost peacefully and quietly in to death, Mortimer literally went kicking a screaming. He died, just as lived. There was no way he would go unnoticed.

It started last night about 4:00 AM with a single, load meow that echoed through the house. I went down to the kitchen where he was laying in front of the heater. He had kicked the towel that I had covered him with off to one side. At first I thought he was just cold, but he was in front of the heater. I covered him back up and sat with him for a while and gave him some water through an eye dropper. His breathing was very shallow and slow.

After about 10 minutes his breathing quickened. He was almost panting and soon he let out another single, load meow. His back legs began to pump again and it was obvious he was in a lot of pain. After about 10 seconds the pain passed and his breathing stopped. I thought he was dead, but then the slow shallow breath started up again. This went on for about an hour and a half, and ever 15 or 20 minutes he was wracked with another round of pain. By 5:30 it was all over and he let out his final breath.

Below are two of my first posts on this blog. Its the story of how I found Mort. I’ll just finish with that.

Sunday, April 10, 2005
His Name is Mortimer

Everyday when I get home from work Mortimer runs out to my truck to greet me. I park on the street and have to make a U turn at the corner before I can pull in. As I pass by the house he starts down the steps of the front porch. By the time I’ve made the turn and am pulling up to the curb he is already at the sidewalk. Before I can get out he has come around to the driver’s side and is sitting in the street waiting for me. I scratch him on the head and ask, “How’s it goin’ buddy?”. Mortimer is my cat. This happens every day.

I took Mortimer in as a stray about 4 years ago. He is 10 or 12 years old, jet black with a few gray hairs. He was a feral cat and was mean and ugly. When I first saw him he was so skinny it was hard to look at him. His big head with the jowls of a tom cat was out of proportion to his starved body. He was missing a lot of fur and had a few scars on his face. His right eye was permanently dilated. No doubt the result of some past injury he sustained in a fight. He was mean. He was the king of the alley behind my house. To him the world was put in to two categories. Everything was either food or competition for food. Other cats ran when he came by.

He was not afraid of me at all. He never ran from me if I approached but he would just hiss and then slowly walk away, occasionally looking back to make sure I wasn’t following too close. My yard was completely fenced and I had no dog so he usually took refuge there. One day while I was mowing the lawn he was sleeping under the honey suckles. As I approached with the mower I figured he would move. I got closer and closer and he didn’t move. I had the mower less than a foot from him and he still didn’t move. I thought he was dead. I pulled the mower back and touched him with my foot. He lifted his head and hissed at me as if to say, “Just go around me you asshole”. I turned off the mower and went inside and got him some food.

I opened a can of tuna and put some on a plate. I took it out to him he immediately started to devour it. I slowly put two fingers out and scratched the top of his mangy head. I then made the mistake of running my hand down his side. When I got past his shoulders he attacked. It was quick and vicious. His attack lasted no more than 3 seconds and then he quickly moved off just out of my reach. My arm was shredded. There were deep, purple puncture wounds, long scratches and lots of blood. He slowly inched back in towards the food keeping his good eye on me the whole time. That would be the last time I would touch him for several months but I still fed him every day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Mortimer Part II

When last we left our hero he was eating tuna and I was bleeding profusely. This was about 4 years ago. As I said, it would be a long time before I would try to pet him again but I continued to feed him everyday. After a few weeks of this I decided to see just how much he could eat. I had been slowly increasing the amount of dried cat food I left for him. He would eat it all no matter what. One day I was in the backyard sitting in the sun and Mort jumped over the fence expecting food. I obliged. I gave him a big hand full and watched him eat it. I gave him another handful and another and another. He continued to eat everything I put down. I would say he ate about 4 cups of food in one sitting. All that food in his skinny body made him look like a snake that had just eaten an ostrich egg. I figured he was just going to get sick so I stopped. He eventually waddled over to the honey suckle bushes and fell asleep fat and happy.

As spring turned to summer and summer to fall the weather turned cold and wet. Mortimer took up residence in the little recycling area I had set up in the corner of the yard. There was a small shelf with a roof and a burlap cover where I put cardboard. It was the same height as the fence rail that it sat next to so he had easy access. I would go out every day after work and lift up the flap and there laid Mortimer curled up on top of the cardboard. I would put down a handful of food and then carefully scratch him on the head as he ate. I had progressed to an opened palm on the back of his head and neck but still stayed above the shoulders.

One day I heard a dog barking in my backyard. I must have left the gate open. I looked out the window and saw Mortimer making his way along the fence rail to his cardboard home. The dog was barking at him every step of the way. It was a medium sized dog with short white hair. Easily 4 times Mortimer’s size. I figured I’d go out and chase the dog out of the yard. As I walked out the backdoor Mortimer saw me. He jumped off the fence over the dogs head and started trotting across the yard to me. He acted like the dog wasn’t even there. The dog took out after Mortimer and I took out after the dog hoping to get in-between them before the dog shredded Mort’s behind.

As the dog bared down on Mort his instinct must have kicked in. Just before the dog attached Mortimer swung around and jumped on to the dogs head. He started to tare in to that dogs head the same way he tore in to my arm several months before. It was all over in a few seconds. The dog yelped and backed off a few yards. I could see blood coming from 2 or 3 scratches on the dogs face. It wasn’t too difficult to chase him out of my yard after that. I gave Mort his handful of food in his cardboard home and went back in the house.

We went on like this and Mortimer was gaining weight and looking good except for the fur. He still had big bald spots. I thought is was a skin disease or something but I would find out later he was doing it to himself. In his aggressive attack on his fleas he would pull out clumps of his fur. I’m still not sure if he pulled out his fur in order to get to the fleas or if the fur removal was just a byproduct of him trying to kill the fleas. Once the fleas were under control his coat would come in thick and shiny. To this day when ever I see large clumps of black fur around the house I know it is time for more flea juice on the back of his neck.

Regardless of the fur problem he was starting to look good. He had a little home and a steady supply of food. He was able to clean himself on a regular basis and he had put on a few pounds. I was thinking about bringing him in the house but he never seemed interested and to be honest he still seemed very aggressive and I really didn’t trust him. One evening I went out to give him his food and he wasn’t there. I left it for him and didn’t think much of it. The next day after work I went out to feed him and last nights food was still there. The next day the same thing. I started to think maybe he had been hit by a car or picked up by the pound or something. I took a walk around the block hoping I wouldn’t find him dead in the gutter.

That night it rained very hard. This was in December or January. I had been feeding him for about 8 or 9 months now. I still hadn’t seen him in a few days and I was starting to think I would never see him again. I was watching TV and I heard a cat meowing on the front porch. I opened the door and it was Mortimer. He looked fine except the tip of his right ear was missing. He looked up at me as if to say, “I’ve had enough of this crap. I want in”. I opened the door wider and he walked in. I sat down on the couch and he made his way around the house checking everything out. He eventually came back to the couch and jumped up in my lap. I still didn’t trust him. I leaned back to keep my face a safe distance from those claws. I slowly petted him on the head and carefully ran my hand down his back. After a few minutes he began to purr. We sat there for a few minutes and then I got him some food.

That night and for several nights after that he slept in the bathroom. I still didn’t trust him. I would find out later that he had been trapped and neutered. The ear was clipped so if he was trapped again they would know he was already fixed. Slowly we gained each others trust and he has turned out to be one of the best pets I’ve ever had. He is always there when I’m working on the house. Everyday he runs out to my truck and greets me when I got home form work. He also knows a trick, or maybe it’s a fetish. Whenever he sees me holding a paper bag his eyes bug out and he gets down in to a crouching position like he wants to pounce on something. As I put the bag on the floor his butt begins to wiggle back and forth and he takes out for the bag. He hits the bag at full speed and most of his body goes in. His back feet continue to run and he pushes himself along the floor inside the bag until he smacks in to the wall or a piece of furniture or something. He sits there for a few seconds in the bag and then climbs out. I pick up the bag and move it across the room and he races in again – smack! This continues until I get tired of it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Might Dig A Grave Tomorrow

I’m taking Mort back to the vet on Monday and I’m pretty sure it will be his last time. Despite being able to eat and drink a little, he continues to get worse. He can barely walk now, his breathing is labored, and he has a little blood coming out of his mouth. It really sucks.

When I saw the blood yesterday for the first time, I thought maybe he had some dental problems, but I opened his mouth and didn’t see anything. I also massaged the sides and under his jaw to see if there was any pain. There wasn’t. Last Monday, the vet inspected his mouth as well and didn’t find anything. The blood is an extremely small amount. It is just tiny little spots on the sheets on the morning where his mouth was. This is new.

It would be nice if it was just a bad tooth, but I’m not going to get my hopes up. That would explain the weight loss, but he never really stopped eating. For the last three days he has eaten a half to a whole can of cat food throughout the day. He never really stopped eating, he just eats a lot less, and he just keeps getting weaker.

Most of the last 48 hours has been spent laying on his side, with a rapid breath and a thousand yard stare. He may not make it to Monday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Might Be Loosing Another One

I lost one of my cats, Sadie, in January. She went down quickly with liver failure. It was very quick. One weekend she seemed fine, and then the following weekend she was buried in the backyard. I’m not accustomed to dealing with these sorts of things, so it was tough.

At that time, my other cat, Mortimer, was as healthy as a horse and routinely beating up a big Siamese tom cat on the back porch. He’s no spring chicken, but he was a bruising 15 pounder that roamed the neighborhood and feared nothing. That was just 2 months ago.

Now he is 10 pounds, has a little trouble getting up, and when he does get up, he walks slowly and unsteadily. He eats, but not like he used to. Two months ago if I opened a can of cat food and split it between the 2 cats, he would wolf down his half and then push Sadie out of the way and finish off her portion. Today, he barely managed to eat a quarter of a can and that was over the course of the day.

I first noticed he was walking funny last Wednesday. He’s always climbing trees or fighting, so I didn’t think much of it. Then on Thursday he was walking in the kitchen and caught his back foot on a stool leg. He immediately dropped to the floor and started screaming bloody murder. He was on his side with his leg pulled in and it was shaking badly. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was the matter.

When I went to inspect his foot it was extremely tender. Both of his paws on his right side were. There was no swelling, and he could walk, but it was a slow, awkward walk. I took him to the vet on Monday and there is no infection and no apparent injury. The vet was baffled, other than to say, you know, he’s not a young cat anymore. He’s well over 15 years old. He’s HIV positive. He has a deep ear polyp that causes a reoccurring respiratory infection. He is blind in one eye and missing half of an ear, most likely from fighting before I took him in. He was a feral cat for his first 10 years or so and lived a brutal life. Frankly, its amazing he’s still alive.

Still, just two months ago he was doing fine. Naturally, it is easy to think that he lost his best friend Sadie, and that has affected his health. If the truth be told though, they didn’t really like each other. He was completely indifferent to her, and she was terrified of him. They did not hang out together and never slept in the same room. The only time he paid any attention to her was when he would randomly attack here once or twice a week. And this wasn’t cutesy cat play I’m talking about either. Mort is a pull-no-punches and take-no-prisons kind of cat.

So, I’m not sure what is going on. I refilled his prescription of the respiratory ailment, even though that is not bothering him now. The vet did notice what might be a tumor on his thigh. It is very small. Then today, I noticed a slight lump on the back of his neck. It is extremely shallow, and I’m not sure what it is. If I notice it getting bigger, he’ll go back to the vet. Right now, it’s wait and see.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

What Ever Happened To The ‘80s Porn?

I just know this is the question that is on everyone’s mind. What did Greg ever do with that big bag of 1980s Porn that came with the house. Inquiring minds want to know! Well, inquire no more. The big bag of porn has been dealt with in the only appropriate manner I could think of.

I hid it in the wall for future generations to find.

This big bag of porn – there must be 30 or so magazines – has been floating around the house for several years. I keep meaning to get rid of it, but the house is so big, and I use so little of it, that it can end up in the corner of a room with lots of other crap, and then be forgotten about for months or years.

It was in the closet under the stairs in the kitchen for a few years {aka "The 80s Porn Closet"}, and then 2 years ago when I did the kitchen it ended up in the room that is now being turned in to a utility room. It is kind of funny that while it has been sitting on the floor there, I’ve had a few parties and get-togethers of old-house folk. These are the type of people who love to check out old houses and snoop in to weird back rooms that are still a work-in-progress, which for me, is most of my house.

On a few occasions I’ve been standing in this room with the big bag of porn on the floor explaining to people my future plans for the room. It is sort of a “The Tell-Tale Heart” type of moment where I suddenly remember that there is a big bag of porn sitting in the middle of the room and one of the curious guests could peek in to it at any moment. Instead of the sound of a beating heart from under the floor boards pounding in my ears, I imagine other sounds coming from the big bag of porn. I never lingered in that room long.

Most of the porn is the standard Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler, but there is some Japanese porn, and then there are the real low-budget porn magazines with titles I’ve never heard of. The production qualities are really poor on these low-budget magazines, and, if the truth be told, the woman aren’t that attractive. I think the only thing worse for a woman than being in the porn industry, would be to be at the bottom of the porn industry. They’re 25 year old magazines and it makes me wonder where those woman are today. Those low-budget ones were a little depressing to look at.

So, I’m now working on the utility room – I have 3 walls covered in beadboard so far - and it was finally time to deal with the big bag of porn once and for all. Before I beadboarded over the opening to the cavity under the stairs where I found all of the long-lost belongings of Mrs. Petch, I printed up the blog entry of how I found the big bag of porn, and the blog entry of how I found Mrs. Petch’s long-lost corset and bottle of Cod Liver Oil in this same cavity under the stairs. I put the blog entries in to the big bag of porn and shoved it under the stairs and boarded it over.

It’s going to be an odd find for some future house owner. It may be an odd find, but honestly, who wouldn’t love to find some 1890 cabinet cards of scantly clad young women hidden in a cavity some place in your house. I think if it is found in 20 years, it will be kind of odd and creepy. If it is found in 100 years, it'll be a treat.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Back From The Dead

Boy, that flu just killed me. It has been 2 weeks and I’m still coughing my head off, no appetite, my energy level is nil, and I’m just out of it. Despite this, though, I have managed to get some things done. I just haven’t had the energy to blog about it.

I spent about an hour each evening out in the garage cleaning the salvaged beadboard. The dirt that was caked on to the back side was thick. It came off easily, but it was time consuming and very messy. There were also a few straggler nails that needed to be pulled out. The final tally is 72, 10-foot pieces, and 5, 8-foot pieces. That comes to 760 lineal feet of 1X6 redwood beadboard. The final cost was .32 cents a foot. Not bad. The one odd thing about it is, for some reason, it is milled on both sides. Both sides have the same exact double-bead profile milled in to it.

This will all be going in the laundry room. It is now all stacked up on the dining room floor waiting for installation. I spent most of yesterday doing the last of the demolition in the room. There were still some nails and some lath here and there. Also, because the room is 10.5 feet high, and the beadboard is 10.2 feet long, I had to add a nailer near the floor.

The nailers are just pieces of 2X4 added between the studs about 6-inches off the floor. I had considered cutting the beadboard down to 9.5-feet and then adding a frieze at the top, like I did in the mudroom. Since it was so close to being long enough, I decided to raise it off the floor. By doing that, it will reach the ceiling, and then I’ll cover the gap at the bottom with a base board.

It dawned on me as I was about to start the installation that I hadn’t decided what to do about the floor. This is what started the whole mudroom project. I needed to build a doorway so I had to decide about the floor. Next thing you know, I'm finishing up a 7 month project that was supposed to take a few weeks. I’ve decided I’m going to repair the redwood floors that are in there. They’re not too bad, but a few small sections of board will need to be replaced. Below are shots of another local house where Joel, the owner, refinished the old 1X6 T&G floors. This is the same thing I have. I think they look great.