Thursday, May 29, 2008



Monday, May 26, 2008

Our home remodel is coming along. Most of this past weekend was spent painting in the master suite, though I did spend a half day with a couple of other '50s Chrysler product owners.

This picture is taken from the church parking lot behind the house. The structure on the left side is our new back deck roof. If you look carefully to the right of that you can see another unpainted wood structure. The pictures after this one are a closeup of that structure.
We now have a pergola with the slats canted towards the southern sky. This simple structure is designed to allow most of the sunlight through in the winter months while providing over 50% shade in the summer.
This design of pergola is used in Australia. Google solar pergola and you can find references. I could not find many informative American references, but did find American contractors saying that it would look bad.

The angle is not exactly correct. For Denver, if the slats go East/West, the ideal angle is 26.5%. That is what these slats are set to, but the slats are a few degrees off of true East/West.
The pergola is working. Dianne has commented that she notices the cooler temperature. Subjectively we believe the house is about 5 degrees cooler. The final test will have to wait until winter.

Our new shower is tiled. The glass block window between the toilet and the shower allows some natural light though.
We are hoping that many of the final touches can be completed in the master suite this week, though we are still waiting for the Talavera Tile sink that matches the tiles in the shower.

Though the house remodel is moving along quickly, until a part of it is done there's little to show.

WARNING: Car stuff below!

As I mentioned I spent a few hours this weekend with some other car people. We met for breakfast, and then drove over the the Cussler Museum. One of the people recently bought a 1958 DeSoto convertible. It can be seen in the rear view mirror.

And my car from the DeSoto.
Our cars at the museum.
Clive Cussler is an author. I have not read his books, and doubt that I want to. He has made enough money off the books to support a very large collection of cars. Each of his books features one of his cars, and he writes himself into each of his books as a minor character.

He rotates the cars from his collection through the museum. One room is dedicated to cars of the '50s, and the other has older coach built cars.
Above is a 1955 Chrysler 300. Below this Clive Cussler's wife's car.
The coach built cars, primarily from the '30s, show an amazing level of artistry. The rear view mirror on one car had decorative scroll work on the back. I saw two cars by the same maker, each with a different decorative grill, and one with a glass hood ornament.
This is a 1918 Cadillac Sports Phaetom that was owned by Flo Ziegfeld of the Ziegfeld Follies. The staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. When someone from our group asked how anyone could get into the back seat the the worker demonstrated how the chauffeur would lift the cowl over the passenger's legs and open the door.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We have started remodeling the master bathroom and closet. In this first picture you can see the framed new walls. The room on the right will be the closet. The is a pocket door going in to save floor space.This is the wall between the shower and the water closet. The boards going across are supports where handrails can be added in the future if we ever need them. It is not clear in this picture, but there is a window frame built in this wall. There will be glass blocks so that the shower will have some natural light.
Both the shower and the water closet will have vent fans.
I wish this next picture was the only problem we have had or will have. The plumber did not ask where we wanted the shower valve. The shower head will be on the wall to the left, but the old plumbing was in the wall far wall, and that's where he put the valve. It is now moved.
Before we started the floor would squeak as you walk across it. To fix that I went around putting screws in the sub floor. Even then there were places that the old sub floor had to be removed and new wood put down to stop the squeaks.

There are two other parts to this project. There will be a deck off the back of the house, and the second bathroom upstairs will have a stackable washer/dryer installed. We don't want to have all our bathing facilities torn apart at the same time, so the second bath is waiting until the first bath is usable. We have started the work on the back deck.

Foundation pier were poured. Only the closest pier in this picture is for the deck. The others are for a pergola . The slats will be positioned to let sun though in the winter, but provide shade in the summer.The fascia board was removed, along with some rotted wood.
Well, what happens when you remove roofing? It rains! The contractor tried to put plastic up to keep thing dry if it rained, but last night at 2:00 AM Dianne and I were up taking care of leaks. The clear plastic in this picture is the contractor's. The black plastic is part of what I did in the rain. We also had an old tablecloth and other plastic.
The contractor came out today to put up a better protection. This heavy plastic tarp extends over the ridgepole, and down onto the new roof framing.

Lastly, I highly recommend Democracy Now on TV or radio. It is broadcast on over 300 stations nation wide. To find the times and stations in Vermont go to In Texas go to In California go to In Washington go to