Monday, May 19, 2008

The Case Against Stairs

I hate stairs. Funny talk from a man who's building a two-story house with a finished basement, but the land dictated that choice. I don't like climbing stairs, and I really don't like wiring around them.

Not only do stairs create a gaping hole in the middle of the house that you have to route wires around, but they have big, thick structural assemblies that are nearly impossible to send wire through, especially considering that the wire has to be behind wall covering over its entire length.

And wire, in the course of a single circuit, does not always contain itself to one floor, so the electrician, meaning me, has to climb those stairs. A lot. I'm gaining great appreciation for ranch-style architecture.

That said, or vented, I'm very pleased with the design of the house, and I think I'll feel comfortable living there when I eventually do. Even without siding, we get compliments on the house; wait 'til they see it finished.

Of course it won't be truly finished for a long time, but it will look finished from the outside before we go.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cleaning Out the Cobwebs

I am sitting here working on Web site stuff because I realized that I had fallen behind on the daily pictures (just one day this time, thank you very much) and the blog, then noticed that the banner is now so old that it still has snow-covered trees in the background. True that Spring has been a bit slow in coming, but I don't want to give you the impression that we're all freezing here.

On the other hand, this is one of the few times when I am not jealous of the weather in California, where many members of my family are coping with a severe heat wave. I'm not sure which is worse, but I guess the end of the summer will jog my memory.

Anyway, getting back to the site, I'm working on a new banner, throwing in a picture from last weekend, and vowing to take lots of pictures tomorrow and have Karen do the same. There will be some construction and a trip to the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium. WIlliam's going to a party, but I don't know if Karen is, so there may not be pictures. On the other hand, we're planing to move a bathtub around the side of the house, which might provide more than a few comic possibilities.

I built a wall today! The plumber needed us to have the wall of the top floor shower enclosure done so he can put the feed plumbing in it. It isn't attached to the ceiling yet, because the drop ceiling we're putting in that bathroom hasn't been done, but it's braced and nice and solid. We'll see how good a job I really did when I try to hang drywall on it.

Lots happening at the house now that the weather is decent: plumbing, electrical, septic, pump installation, and siding are all in the works. I will be taking some time off work soon to speed things up. And of course, I'll keep you updated here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Bit Chilled

It's cold. It's May. Something is wrong with that. I've noticed, looking at, that it is not particularly cold in Burbank or Fresno, California. Really. I noticed that. We're supposed to have nice weather in the week coming up. When I'm at work. And when I don't have the time to work on the house much. New Hampshire weather is not my best friend right now.

On the other hand, some progress is being made on the house. Bathroom fixtures have been delivered, and I have given the plumber the go-ahead to put me on his schedule. We will have two or three estimates on the siding in the next few days. And although I haven't had lots of time to work on the wiring, it's actually coming along nicely, and I have most of it pretty well thought out, save for a few lights here and there that are waiting for some measurements, and the knotty problem of running wire from the panel to the meter around a nasty corner where the floor joist is very close to a concrete wall. But I'll work all that out with some family help.

Meanwhile we are all keeping busy, me with work and the house, Karen with work and the house, Thomas with school and, well, video games mostly but also looking for a job, William with school and just being a kid, and Daniel who is busy enough with just the aforementioned kid thing. We are all making preparations for the big trip, trying to figure out what we can't get along without, which is surprisingly little, and making sure that Thomas has everything he needs to get a good start in his new life as (gulp!) an adult.

It makes for a busy life, but we've had that for quite some time. But now it's a busy life that seems to have more of a sense of direction. I won't say that our planned year in California will be without difficulties, but it probably won't be any more of a struggle than the past several years have been, and it will give us a chance to reconnect with family and friends, and special places, and special activities that we have so much wanted to share with William and Daniel. When a year is over and we are ready to head back to New Hampshire, if only for awhile, I think it will be with a much better handle on who we are and where we want to go from here.

Oh good grief, I'm getting awfully serious! Must be the late hour. I'd better get to bed before I start writing a self-help book!