Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jr.'s alternate reality

Says Jr.: "Silly papa - chasing people with scissors at Home Depot..."

This did not happen.  But we do go to Lowes & Home Depot with enough regularity that he knows that orange race car carts are at Home Depot and purple race car carts are at Lowes (his colors are not great either - but hey, he's not quite two).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bathroom progress

While Mr. was building the vanity for 2bath, 

(Back view, the shelves will be on the right in real life)

Jr. was demonstrating his developing abilities as a plumber.

Why use p-traps when you can use a squiggle trap?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Help Now, Not Later

3M has argued that charitable giving can be deferred until FI.

I disagree.

It is true that a society made of FI individuals could, in theory, give more and do more.  We do not live in a society of FI individuals.  People who need help need it now.  There is an urgency to adoption, to the unwilling homeless, to the abandoned, to charitable giving, that is not about to take a 10-year break until we reach our FI targets and can give 10% of our 4% safe-withdrawal rate.  Thus, giving must continue to happen now.

It seems to me that a disciplined person (I am not really one of them right now) ought to be able to give sacrificially while 'stashing along.  It takes a pretty low-money lifestyle, but that's a good thing, right?  Some friends of ours have a 1/3rd-1/3rd-1/3rd rule - spend-save-give.  This seems about right to me, and still maintains a higher savings rate than almost any household in the US.  Now comes the hard part of doing it.

Monday, November 25, 2013


In the kitchen...

(Notice that there are no more dreadful fluorescents.)

In 2bath...

Now the green paint finally looks like what I imagined. What a relief.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Poco a poco

We are inching along.  Jr2 is a lot of fun (and work), but Jr likes to help out at the house (climbing ladders, moving tools around, digging in the yard - y'know, 2-year-old help).  A friend from church has been an awesome help, giving me two half-days per week for the last two weeks, and we've made good progress.

THE KITCHEN FAUCET WORKS!  The drain needs one more clamp nut (grumblegrumble - for want of a $0.60 part...) but we are just about in business there.  The 2nd bath has all the new backerboard up, and the TOILET WORKS!  (You don't know how exciting this is...)  On towards tiling the shower and building the vanity. 

We are musing about open or closed shelving in the kitchen.  There's an issue that we need at least one closed shelf in the corner to cover up a PEX transition (block walls are hard to tap into when they are under an eave of the roof and the drill just won't fit in there...).  This could be a smaller, high-up shelf for spices, etc. and still leave room for nice open shelving for our prettier dishes.

After painting a portion of the ceiling I am wobbling on whether to texture it.  We'd just concluded that what the heck, a flat ceiling was not the end of the world.  Now I'm wondering if it is.  So Sr.G, the friendly Baptist jack-of-all-trades who does a lot of work in the neighborhood is going to get me a quote (of course he does drywall...).  I could also hopper-gun it myself, but I have been avoiding air tools to avoid the expense of a compressor.  However, with baseboard and hardwood floors in the future, maybe I should mensch it up and get one...  I'll start Craigslisting for it...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Doing WHAT Yourself?

What have we been DIYing recently?  Well, the new baby came, Jr2, we'll call him.  There's been lots of housework (not much on the new house, though), and one small DIY project my wife wanted me to do.  Any guesses?

Some hints (in order):
Steamer pot on the stove with LOTS of lemon and ginger in it  
Encapsulator (large one)


Yes.  We encapsulated a placenta.  We are that Mustachian - we don't even want to waste precious hormone-filled tissue...

(but I don't think I'll start a side-hustle doing this)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Decked in

The sunken floor is all decked in!

All the main room walls are textured!

Progress is slow, but that's okay. We are enjoying the work.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Week (and more) Lost

My dad died a week ago this morning.  The Saturday before last, as you saw, he was helping us with the floor in the sunken living room.  We'd had dinner with Mrs. & Jr. that Friday, and stopped by the house late in the evening so Jr. could run around and Mrs. could take the pictures.  He and I worked until about 3pm on Saturday, leveling the subfloor, cutting the panels for the deck, and just enjoying the simple pleasure of working together.  Then he went back to Tucson and we went to our evening engagement.

I will miss him.

He taught me to always use a level, always check square (I didn't always), and to nail straight and cut clean (still working on that).  He was always up for a building project, always patient when I made mistakes (often enough), and always happy to help me fix them right.

He loved Jesus, too.

"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."   
(Ephesians 2:1-10)

I will miss him, but I look forward to seeing him again.

 Jr., Mr., and Sr., ca. spring 2012.  It was the best photo I could scrounge from the Mrs.' blog. 

"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith." 1 Jn. 5:4

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Some progress

The countertops are coming along...

We got them connected where they need to be connected last night.

Also we got a stove and a refrigerator!

2bath is also coming right along, although the green color that I chose looks pretty scary in minimal light.

Mr. and his dad also worked on getting the subfloor laid in our sunken living room.

I am REALLY looking forward to getting lighting done in this house. It will make a huge difference!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Router Wookie

As the Mrs. noted, I did indeed cut the sink hole, and cleaning up the edges with a router was very...um...hirstutular? 

Walnut cuts like a dream, though, with saws, drills, and the router. 

The countertop connector holes went in real easy-like, and I now have the hardware to do the butt joint.

But manipulating that whomping big (10' x 2' x 2") slab of walnut required some engineering - the cradle I laid it on to drill the countertop connector holes is pictured below.  It required flipping it from front to back.  By myself. 

But all is well!  Hoorah.  Fridge and stove came today, and the kitchen window is the next target - then the kitchen might be close to being done-for-done!

For the record, the countertops are beautiful, and we got them from Hardwood Lumber Co. in Ohio, and are finishing them using umpteen coats of Waterlox original, topped with one or two final post-install coats of Waterlox Satin.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The sink

Mr. finally worked up the gumption to cut the hole for the sink...


He did a great job. He didn't "butcher" the countertops at all. Haha

Is it not beautiful?

I love it.

Wait until you see the industrial faucet... It's a beautiful thing.

Friday, September 13, 2013


When leaving comments
on timesheets my workplace,
why not write haiku?

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Doors

I should take more pictures.  The trouble is, Mrs. has the iPhone, I have a silly Droid (Defy XT + Republic Wireless- great for sand, sun, rain, and affordability - not so hot for pictures).

But, all that said, with help from Mr. Miner Sr., we have two new doors on the house!  The garage and the kitchen both have nice foam-core steel entry doors, hung plumb and level, and very snugly weatherstripped and foamed in.  Huzzah! 

Also, I am hiding from the sink cutting job.  It will be an expensive cut if I botch it.  So I won't botch it.  But I am avoiding it...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We've definitely turned a corner.

Now, after a good day's work, the house looks BETTER, not worse! I think that we are inching toward (first world) livability!

Yesterday was a big day for texturing walls (the female contingent) and priming and painting cabinets and sealing countertops (the male contingent). Another couple generously donated their vacation day and doubled our work.

Now for pictures! Notice the sealed floors and the textured/painted walls; especially the red in the kitchen ;-)

Cabinet painting shop...
Countertops. I love them.

Sink cabinet; big cutout for my awesome apron sink ;-)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Progress? Also, vacuums.

Slow but steady progress on the cabinets, but the first week of class has been a bear.  Hooray for the Monday holiday!  I would like to get countertops installed by then?  Yeah?

AND - vacuum repair is a total scam-ola.  They contain 1) an electric motor connected to 2) a blower.  They also have to be leak-tight.  That's about it.  There are very few circuits in a vacuum, and with a multi-meter, you should be able to figure out what is going on in any of them.

All that to say, the Mrs. was shocked to see her vacuum flash blue and let out smoke (pro tip- never let the smoke out of electronics, it cannot be put back in, and it makes them stop working; it's pure magic).  I looked it over, and sure enough, the REALLY TINY AND CHEAP switch (buried under a clever-looking plastic mechanism) had blown up.  It was a teeny slider switch, rated to 11A at 120V.  It looked like it should not have been rated above 1A, it was so chintzy.  Time passes, I go to Ace, get the best-fitting heavy-duty switch I can find, drill a hole in the decorative case where the switch should go, wire her up, and hey presto - an Electrolux with a retro-modern nickel-plated toggle switch.  It has a very crisp snap to it, and the vacuum works like a champ.

From the heady days of the wasp-waisted housewife holding a powered cleaning machine up by one finger comes the Ultralux by Electrolux.  You can imagine the four-pointed shiny stars that should be dazzling your eyes.  Now smack a Gemini-capsule style toggle switch between those feeble blue plastic rockers, and go forth to vacuum.

 It's very modern.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Saw, saw, saw away...

It's a little dark to see the cabinets, but there are now four of the six bases done.  The reason it is a little dark is 1) I have a not-so-hot camera on my phone, and 2) I took this shot at about 2am.  I am very thankful to have all of my digits, and there were not even any close calls (though I bunged up one cut, but it was a finished-end veneer piece, and I detest cutting thin, bendy material on the tablesaw).  As a general rule, though, it's probably not a great idea to use power tools when your eyes don't focus anymore.  At least not the tablesaw.

We got the countertops today.  There's an enormous skid in the garage, containing 547lbf of walnut countertops.  I's excited to install it.  Once the cabinets are done...

And, hilarity without end, I have a journal paper final draft due tomorrow.  Haw haw!  Do all the things!  Except sleep, that's not how you do all the things.

And I teach my very first real undergrad class tomorrow (at 7:30am)!  Not that I haven't taught before, but it was just programming in MATLAB, and not Thermodynamics, which I thoroughly love.


Monday, August 19, 2013

The latest round...

Mr. got the floors stained, now they just need to be sealed...

Mr. and Jr. demonstrate to me what color the floor will be when it is sealed. I love it!

The cutout where the bookshelf will go... Sunken living room is behind it.

Front doors.

Mr. built the first kitchen cabinet. Thanks, Ana White! It is one sturdy piece of furniture!

Drywall is coming back up in many rooms...

But not in the master bath...

View from the master bedroom door...

So open! I love it!

And... I am fat and pregnant. 2 months left to go...