Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Staggering Sunapee

Some short clips to show a 3 1/2 week old Sunapee walking.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Visiting Sunapee

We took advantage of Toby & Steve's visit to introduce them to Sunapee. We had a nice drive to the ferry again and saw Sunapee stumble around in his pen with his brother & sister. He's 3 weeks older and can sort of walk now. Mostly he takes a few awkward steps then loses his footing and sprawls on the ground. I took a few videos of his efforts which I'll post later.

For now, here are all the still photographs of him (and his friends in neighboring pens of various ages).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tycho & the Cat Tree

Our friend Dean came by Saturday to check out the demo and provide an opinion on the removal of the wall. He had 5 year old Quinn and 2 year old Tycho in tow, leaving Jennifer home for a hopefully quiet day with 3 month old Tate . While Matt, Brian and Dean enjoyed time dodging lead paint in the demolition zone, I happily entertained the kids in the clean half of the apartment. Quinn was content to sit and watch Shrek 2 but Tycho had a ball wandering between rooms and was most interested in the kitties. What he really wished to do, of course, was climb the cat tree. I think Marin was happy I kept him from climbing.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

RIP Red Vinyl Booth

The corner booth in our retro kitchen seemed like it would be nice. Everyone who has visited or seen pictures has commented how neat it was. I agree in theory. It would have been neat if it was functional. It could be fun to sit there with some friends and enjoy a burger with fries & a milkshake, if I ever made such things. The problem was, in order to make such things, I needed that table for my work space. How could anyone use such tiny counters for anything except a microwave, drying rack and staging area for dirty dishes? Ok, I admit, the whole place was designed before microwaves. However, wasn't it designed in an era that predated take-out? Wasn't it an era of home cooked food? How could anyone cook with shallow countertops and 12" vertical space?

I digress. This is about the booth.

I can count on one hand how many times people have sat at the booth with me to eat anything, and it was limited to cheese & crackers, breakfast with Betsy & Evan (the morning sun is nice), and lunch there while unpacking from the move in November. Otherwise, the table was pushed towards the wall to allow more space for movement and less of a reach to the outlet for the coffee maker, not permitting access to the short side unless you slid around the bend. Our downstairs neighbors, who are blessed with an identical booth,have the same experience.

Many people suggested trying to sell it, along with the "vintage" stove. I took one step in that direction, taking some photos, but never posted an ad and was happy enough to just toss it out the window. Even the Got Junk guys commented that while everyone else is going retro, we're tossing retro. Oh, well.

On a final note, I always referred to it as the "Johnny Rockets Booth", tho I can't say I've ever eaten at one. Unknowingly, Simone has confirmed this though with her February photo album of Aileen & Jack. Aileen's birthday dinner was at Johnny Rockets:

Looks a lot like this, don't you think?

Knob & Tube

Not surprisingly, the electrical system of the building is a bit outdated. Hopefully we can replace all the knob & tube wiring in the dining room & kitchen. I'm pretty sure the system is not thrilled with the strain of modern day electrical demands. Some areas exhibit exhaustion, with what looks like singed wire and blackened surrounding materials, such as where the fridge lived.

Kitchen Project: State of Chaos

As expected, all 1048 sq feet have been turned upside down with this project. Kitchen items are everywhere: in boxes in the living room (plus dining room table & chairs), in boxes in the bedroom, in boxes and on the booth table in the entryway and dish washing paraphernalia in the bathroom.

Kitchen Project: Demo Clean Up

The dreaded question of clean up was quickly solved with a call to 1-800 GOT JUNK. A friendly crew arrived Sunday afternoon with two large open-top trucks. Luckily, the new dining room window opens fully (old window only opened one side), so the folks parked right beneath it and they dropped all the debris right out the window. It was rather noisy, and the only complaint I noticed was from a next-door neighbor who gave me the hairy eyeball from behind her lace curtains as I took pictures of the ordeal from the sidewalk.

An action shot of Matt tossing some dry wall.

How it all piled up together. Note a piece of the red vinyl booth. Ahh, freedom from that darned thing.

Kitchen Project: Scheduled Demo

We've reached the point of no return. Brian and Matt started tearing down walls Friday night (before I'd finished my packing up of all kitchen contents!) By Saturday evening, the kitchen and dining room were reduced to studs and two giant piles of rubble.

Enjoying a well-deserved beer on our "deck", enjoying a sunset and the sights of the N-Judah train rumbling by.

Click here for all Kitchen Project photos

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kitchen Project: Unscheduled Demo

While the window crew was installing our new windows, we had a bit of a flood in the kitchen. Our insurance company sent over a drying crew in the evening who tore up sections of wet flooring. We can now see what other incarnations of kitchen floor came before the latest black & white laminate. Also, they did a faster test and confirmed we do in fact have asbestos in one of the layers.

So, on the one hand, there are now 4 or 5 super fans and 2 industrial dehumidifiers running in our home for 3 days. It's a little noisy.

On the other hand, they did some of the planned kitchen demo work for us.


In the hopes of improving our energy bills (upwards of $190), actually warming up inside, and perhaps even closing our windows to the noise of the trains, we replaced the windows in the dining room, living room and both bedrooms.

Matt & Brian picked up the front ones, because SF requires them to be wooden, we had to paint them first. This was quite a weekend project.

Yesterday, the crew came and spent all day (8:30am-6pm) installing all the windows. It's quieter already.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Puppy Has a Name!

The puppy will be named Sunapee. Hopefully he'll enjoy many visits to Colby Point, swimming in Little Lake Sunapee.

Kitchen Project: HazMat Testing

Step one of the on-site kitchen project began Monday with downstairs neighbor Chris and his testing kit. Conveniently, Chris consults with hospitals on their hazardous materials. There are a few new holes in our kitchen: a 1.5x1.5" square in the corner of the floor has been taken out for asbestos testing (about 4 layers of flooring), a 1x4" section of paint was scraped off for lead testing, a 1/2" circular hole drilled into the corner from the dining room, and finally, the most interesting, one missing wall tile for who knows what testing - asbestos I think?

The tile removal was the most fun to watch. Chris brought up what looks like a bubble boy suit, which he proceded to tape to the wall below and above the targeted tile.

Matt had the honor of becoming Bubble Boy and reached in to access the tools that had been placed in a little interior pouch. Chris sprayed some stuff to wet down any potential hazards via a tiny access hole.
The hammering began.
The hammering continued. We hadn't considered the effects of hammering a chisel into the kitchen wall. On the other side is our leaning ladder shelf, off of which a few things flew.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I haven't used a car ferry in quite a while, but we had occasion to do just that this weekend while driving out to look at puppies. The dog breeder lives on Ryer Island which is accessible by either of two ferries or an out-of-the-way bridge. We took the larger ferry, dubbed "The Real McCoy". I kid you not. It has to cross quite a current despite the narrow path.

We did also drive past the other ferry, which is a cable ferry. Very neat.

An unexpected side-effect was hearing a new instruction from our TomTom John Cleese voice. We felt as if we'd heard all his instructions but this was new. Unfortunately, it was not quite as amusing as my personal favorite, "bear right, beaver left".


On Sunday Greg, Matt and I drove way out to Diamond P Labradors in Walnut Grove, CA, to see the current litters of puppies. We couldn't help but adore the tiny, 5 day old male yellow lab puppy who hadn't yet been claimed. Despite me being a bundle of nerves regarding puppy/dog-ownership, we filled out the paperwork and put down a deposit on this little guy. He'll be ready to come home with us May 3rd.

Just for fun, we also enjoyed watching these 3 week old yellow puppies

and seeing these more ambitious 4 week old puppies walk like drunken sailors to come say hi.

We are now in full research mode to prepare ourselves, our home and the cats for the puppy. Of course, we're also batting around a few names. We'll happily take suggestions!