The plan is to install a new mast and meter in a better location on the house (where the wires won't cross over the roof at no more than five feet clearance), run conduit back to the same room in the basement as the old panel, install the new panel there, put in a 100-amp breaker and run a feeder cable to the old panel. That way I can leave the horrible mess of electrical spaghetti untouched for now, and as I remodel rooms put new circuits in the new panel and retire circuits from the old panel until I can remove the old panel completely.
I don't know where the position he's trying to fill falls on entry-level/expert-level scale (since it's apparently not on our careers page yet), but I can say that it's been a good company to work for and a good team to be a part of.
If you're interested (or if you're interested in any of the other positions open), let me know and/or send me your résumé.
The bathroom is still tantalizingly incomplete. I bought window and door casings from Second Use and cut them to size, but now they're sitting in my basement unsanded, unprimed, unpainted, and uninstalled. And of course I still haven't done anything about the tub/shower valve escutcheon, although I did fix the broken screw in the shower arm drop-ear, so it's solid again.
The main point of this update is the most recent bit of yard work Jen and I did last weekend. It's been unseasonally good weather the last week or so (it stopped today, naturally), so first Jen got out and raked up all the leaves, sticks, and dead morning glory from the side yard.
And since it's an "event", I hope I'll see lots and lots of people. Hint hint nudge nudge.
In any case, my score is out there in Jeopardy land, and *if* I passed and *if* my name comes up in the random selection of passing applicants they might contact me sometime in the next year to interview for being on the show. In San Francisco.
I know for sure that at least a couple of people on my friends list have taken the test -- how hard was it when you took it and how did you do?
I am so sick of working on this bathroom. Rather, I'm so sick of working on this bathroom and having one stupid thing after another break or go wrong, or just be poorly designed (or have the instructions not match the equipment).
But before I start ranting, here's the progress so far (and there really has been a lot of progress, just a whole hell of a lot slower than I wanted):
Since we have a little one who will be bipedal any day now yeesh, Jen's been after me to put up a baby gate at the top of the stairs. The instructions said it needs to be installed into a solid if not structural elements, which presented a problem. The staircase has sidewalls, but they have about three 2x4 studs each -- you can wiggle them about an inch either way without even needing any effort -- so I couldn't install the gate into the obvious opening. There are structural columns at the top of the stairs which are in place of the original outer wall of the gable cottage but which now form one of two arches from the addition on either side of the fireplace -- one into the stairwell and the other into the living room. But they're too far apart for the gate.
Our agent called last Wednesday to tell us that she had forwarded the last set of photos to the underwriters, and they wanted two things: a photo of the area where the rubbish pile was from the same vantage point so they could see it was the same area; and a coat of protective sealant on the garage door. When I asked what the hell "a coat of protective sealant" meant, she said "a coat of paint."
“Honey, you’d better come home — there’s water coming out of the ceiling…”
I noticed a couple of drips in the parlor on Wednesday — Day One of Seattle’s fall monsoon season — but since it didn’t more than drizzle yesterday I couldn’t really check up in the attic to tell where it was coming from. Today it rained harder and longer, and Jen (who had only a half day at work today) called me at about 2:00 to say that the dripping was a lot worse.
I got home, went up in the attic, and fairly quickly discovered the source of the leak. The attic venting “system” in our house is six hooded vents spaced along the sides about three feet up from the eaves and a ridge vent. The vent over the parlor had an obvious area of wet rockwool underneath it, so even though I couldn’t see any active dripping in the ten minutes I was up there that was obviously the source.
I had to make a trip to Home Depot to get an extension ladder, and then climbed up on the roof in the pouring rain to find something looking almost exactly like this:
… Except with moss instead of straw. There were two problems: the nails in the bottom edge were missing or loose, and from the inside I could see daylight along the bottom of the vent, so wind-driven rain could easily get inside there; second, a careless roof repairman at some point had tossed away a scrap end of a shingle which had hung up on the top side of the vent, allowing moss to grow and water to pool up.
I had half a tube of sticks-in-the-rain squeezy tar left over from Nate the Handyman installing the bathroom vent hood, so I climbed back up the ladder with the tar loaded in a caulk gun and a brick trowel as a scraper. I cleaned out the moss and dirt as much as possible at arm’s length (I stayed on the top of the ladder rather than trying to crawl onto the 45° rain-slick shingle roof), and then squeezed all the remaining tar under the shingles and edges of the hood.
I guess it worked, since it continued to rain hard for another three hours or so and there’s no more dripping. Someday when we have money again (ha!) we’re going to need to have the roof completely stripped and re-laid, since apparently there’s more roofing than sheathing at this point.
… Since the last post. And the bathroom’s still not done, dammitall.
I kinda ran out of PTO (well, not really, but I ran out of time I could stay away from work without making my boss mad), and then we moved in. You’d think that moving in would mean I’d be able to get more work done, but actually living here means I’m not alone when I’m here and thus liable to being called away to look after the baby, lift heavy things for Jen, install shelves in closets, fix the internet connection, and all the other obligations of daily married-with-children home life. Plus it’s very difficult to work in the evenings as either we’re eating dinner, I’m giving Jen a break from the baby, or they’ve gone to bed and the noise would wake either or both.
We moved in on September 25 pretty much without a hitch. We used Mountain Movers, who I have to recommend, as they were tireless, efficient, and professional. I managed to severely roll my ankle going down our porch stairs, and it still hurts two weeks later. If I hadn’t been wearing my combat boots I’d probably have sprained it.
Jen’s been getting lots of unpacking and organizing done. The house looks almost entirely like a home and not a storage facility, although we don’t have the books out yet — mostly because the parlor, where the bookshelves will go, is being used for temporary drywall storage.
Speaking of drywall, our friend Chris has been coming over on weekends to help out. Together we got all the necessary blocking (for nailing/screwing edges) installed, the outside wall insulated, the ceiling drywall hung (not that well, sadly), and about half the wall drywall and cement board hung.
Yeah. So, I’m never drywalling a ceiling again without a drywall lift. That shit is heavy. And next time, I’m cutting the drywall from the back side, because I guess thirty years of playing D&D and other tabletop RPGs has left me able to precisely conceive and measure a top-down plan but nearly incapable of measuring, drawing and executing a bottom-up view. Suffice to say that one piece of the ceiling went up fairly well with a minimum of fitting, but the second, more complicated piece ended up with either half-inch-plus gaps or overly-tight, creaking, breaking spots around the edges. There’ll be a lot of filling with joint compound in my future when I get to the taping stage.
Also, when I say we got about half the drywall and cement board up, I kinda mean the middle half, vertically. The plan is for 42″ tile wainscoting with drywall above. The walls are 95″-96″ high. Cement boards are 36″ wide, leaving a ~6″ gap at the bottom to be filled with a strip of cement board. Drywall is 48″ wide, leaving a ~4″-5″ gap at the top. I still have to fill in those gaps. (Oh, and I discovered that there’s a 1/2″ difference in the floor from one corner of the bathroom to the other. Luckily, the two walls on which I’ll have to cut base tiles at an angle will be mostly concealed by the toilet, sink, and dresser, so I hope it won’t be all that obvious.)
I’m pretty sure I can get the rest of the drywall and cement board up this weekend (Chris is busy). The only pieces larger than 36″x60″ are the closet drywall walls, which are standing on end and thus will be easy to maneuver and install. I need to install the floor cement boards, but for some reason I’m very nervous about mixing the thinset, even though it looks dead easy on TV. This is probably the same nervousness that makes me a lousy cook — when they say “mix until it’s the consistency of peanut butter” I get all anxious; do they mean creamy Jif, or do they mean that oily runny organic stuff? So I’ll be reading the directions very carefully and as much as possible mixing precise weights and volumes together.
I’ve already figured out how to cut all the remaining necessary pieces out of my three and a half remaining sheets of drywall and my nine remaining sheets of cement board, and then I’m going to have to figure out exactly where my tiles will have to sit vertically to
- make an entirely seamless pattern extending from wainscoting to shower surround,
- end up with my top row of 2×6 black bullnose tiles overlapping the cement board/drywall joints in both areas, and
- not end up with slivers of tile either at the floor or at the tub/wall joint.
I was going to take precise measurements and create a scale drawing in Adobe Illustrator, but it occurs to me that just attaching a bunch of tiles together with masking tape and holding them against the wall will probably be easiest.
We just found the camera cable today, so I finally got all the progress pictures loaded onto the laptop. I’ll see about posting those tomorrow while Jen is off getting her hair done and leaving me with the baby (can’t drywall with a baby, y’know, so I might as well blog).