Monthly Archives: October 2006

The Demolition Party

Since we began this project, we’ve always said that we were going to have a big demolition party and let the kids ride their bikes and scooters in the house and write on the walls.    Last night we had our gig and, in short, they’ve turned the place into a squatters hollow.

Some key shots:

Masters of Destruction:

There are some other great pictures on my Flickr siteJJ was taking a bunch of pictures, too, and will probably have some on his site.

The night itself, while fun, was also pretty emotional.  I don’t have a lot of experience with death, but I kind of left the party with the same sad feeling that I had when my grandfather died.  It was our last night in our house.  We lived in that house longer than anywhere since we moved out of our parents house 15 years ago.  We had two kids in that house.  We put a lot of work into it.  The fact that it is about to get demolished was pretty emotionally overwhelming.

We know that long term it will be for the better, but for the short term, it is pretty sad for us.  Craig starts construction on Wednesday.



Filed under Funny Things, General Thoughts

You Wanna Make $530 the Hard Way?

Well, we had the infamous yard sale this weekend. We had a great showing based on the Craigs List post and I think that between all of our friends, the property made about $2,000. Fortunately, our neighbor had a big estate sale on the same day which drove a lot of traffic.

The day started like this:

By 10:30 or so we were looking like this:

By 12:30, we were sick of negotating with yard sale people and simply wanted to get stuff out of our house.

We were in the car, fish tacos and chivalas were calling us, so everything left was free.  The old Chinese man in the picture above took an entire box of punk rock CD’s and cassettes.  It was great.

We felt that the day was successful though, we netted about $500.  Not bad for 5 hours of work, but it could have been a lot more had we CL’ed the whole thing.  The nice part was that everything was gone in a matter of 5 hours.  No dealing with strangers showing up at your house late and all the headaches associated with selling something in CL.

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Filed under Funny Things, General Thoughts

Fish Don’t Fry in the Kitchen…

…Beans don’t burn on the grill.

Well, it’s not quite a piece of the pie and it certainly isn’t in the sky, but we are offically residents of the Archstone Willow Glen apartment complex. We were very plesantly surprised. The place is clean, it feels secure and, most of all, it seems very quiet. I’m not sure what we were expecting, and perhaps are expectations were a bit low, but all in all, we are very pleased with ole AWG. However, I still refer to it as Ghetto Arms.

When we moved in, there was new paint, carpet and linoleum. I’m convinced that there was a murder in our unit, but hey, you take the good with the bad, right? Parking is a bit of an issue for me, but we got a reserved spot right out our door for Holly. Our toilet was leaking the first day and the staff came right away and took care of it. I’ve heard from friends that response rates were a bit of an issue, but we haven’t seen it.

The clock is now ticking and adjustment has been hard, but we are surviving and it could be a whole lot worse.  We’re very lucky to be in this situation.

Movin’ on up.

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Filed under Apartment Dwelling


We received our Personal On Demand Storage (PODS) unit this weekend. It’s a good thing that my Tetris skillz are tiz-ight cause we gotta jam a bunch of ackward shaped things into this big box. We got picnic benches and rocking chairs and all sorts of things that we want to keep, but don’t want to take to the apartment. So, like most suburbaniites, we are jamming it into a big box for 8 months while our house is being built.

The POD system itself is pretty cool. Well, the POD itself is just a big box, however, the delivery of the system is really cool. They have a huge hydraulic lift on the truck that jacks the box up a few feet off the bed of the truck (~8 feet off the ground) and then the truck pulls out from underneath the box and it is lowered gently (we hope) to the ground.

There are a few more pictures on the Flickr account here.

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Filed under Planning

Bye Bye Birchie

We’ve had a huge birch tree in front of our house for the last 50 years or so.  While it is a great tree, it unfortunately was going to be in the middle of our new living room.  We can’t have a giant tree blocking the TV, so it had to go.

The whole process seems very real now.  We are in the midst of packing boxes and separating into 3 piles: apartment, POD or sale.  Our loan closes on Monday and construction is still slated to begin on 11/1.

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Filed under Construction, House

The Onion on Remodeling

From the Onion & my new friends at Four Square Renewal.

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Filed under Funny Things

Window Shopping

Wow!!! Wouldn’t that be cool if our house some how ended up looking like that?  A’las, probably not.  Too much to clean anyway.

We went window shopping (as in actual windows, not just looking at things we can’t buy) last night and I fear that we are going to blow through our first budgeted item.  At first glance, it looks like our champagne taste and beer budget are going to be off by almost 50%.  Not good, but we may be able to do some creative things to cut down costs.

We really like the Kolbe & Kolbe windows.   We just feel that that look classic and seem durable.  However, they are also fairly expensive.  We ended up cutting out a lot of the window panes, which at $30 a piece, should have saved us a couple of bucks.  One interesting thing that I learned is why panes are actually in windows.  The goal of the pane should be to get the eye to stop at the wall.  So in our case for example, we have a fabulous view of our fence, we probably want to have more panes so that the eye stops at the wall.  On the other hand, if you have an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge, you don’t want panes impacting the view at all.  With 40 some odd windows and $30 a pane, I’ll deal with looking at the fence.  Some roses or other creeping vines and it’s all good (yes, I know that someone will point out that roses or creeping vines will destroy the fence and end up costing more than the panes).

Another creative thing that we can do to cut costs is to buy the Kolbe & Kolbe windows for the front of the house and then go with something less expensive for the sides and the back that aren’t seen as often.  I don’t know how this will affect the resale value of the house.  I suspect that it would be minimal, but I would think it strange if a house had a bunch of different window brands in it.  I probably wouldn’t notice, but I would think it unusual eventually.

We also have a few windows that are pretty small.  The bathroom and laundry room for example.  We really don’t necessarily need fancy pants windows there.  If we can save a few hundy here and there it adds up to real money eventually.


Filed under Construction