Monday, February 26, 2007

The Geek Station

As you might imagine from our Classic house, one of its original charming properties was the telephone and cable - or rather, complete lack of the latter, and extreme shortage of the former. There is but one telephone line, and never, NEVER had there been any incoming cable. We had a cable line put in for broadband, but it was going to be a bit of surgery to put coax anywhere else, so we have just been TV-Free since move in. The cable line connects to the basement, where we have our Geek Station. Check out the sad incoming cable line as it is feeds the gear propped up on wire racks, where the power is yards in the other direction.

We are completely dependent on our aging D-Link Wireless Router for our connectivity, which routinely drops my connection several times daily and requires rebooting.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Did Somebody want a Pony?

After prying off what appeared to be flooring material off of the walls in the basement, I found this strange window to the garage. What could it be? It’s too small for most useful purposes. Milk delivery? Perhaps it’s the walk-up counter for someone’s 1930’s basement business? Somebody kept a pony in the garage and opened this to feed it?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Basement Clearing & Demo begins

The good news about the Sewer incident is that we’ve already made great strides in clearing out the basement preparing for the Project. The bad news was that most of the items stashed there were RUINED and taken to the dump. Ok, I’ll be honest. Most of the items stashed there were ruined back in December, and we dumped them in our driveway and just did the dump run last week. Pity our neighbors.

In order to get the new ductwork in, we have to completely demo the existing basement ceiling, which is covered in this tongue-in-groove flooring material. Miscellaneous other built-ins, like this white cabinet, also need to be removed. While basement built-ins are theoretically a good idea, the quality is sadly lacking, and the first several inches have been contaminated during our recent Spate of Bad Luck.

Demo Tools: hammer, rubber mallet, crowbar, reciprocating saw, gloves, mask, googles, brute force.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The Micro Bath

As a frequent traveler, I consider myself a connoisseur of small bathrooms. Routine elements of my life include Hotel bathrooms, Airplane restrooms, and extraordinarily small airport stalls with doors that inexplicably open inwards with the toilet paper spindle blocking the opening such that it’s impossible to accommodate both a Real Person and Luggage.

While I don’t mind a small bathroom (not like I read in there), I have some definite ideas about its design. The standard hotel configuration (sink and bathtub opposite, with the toilet in the middle) is out, for the same reason that I don’t want to furnish my living room with two double beds. A pocket door is a Given. A shower must be at least 36” x 36”. Shower heads must not require Shower Limbo to wash hair.

And then there's Code. Fortunately the Seattle residential code is posted online

so I can check whether my radical bathroom ideas will pass muster.

After tinkering around with Visio, I've arrived at what I think will be the Plan. No, it does Not Include the Hotel Bathroom:

And here it is in Visio Splendor:

I've changed the hot water tank location to make it easier to remove the tank when it blows 10 years from now; also built in a bigger (32 x 48") shower.
It all appears neatly in compliance with Code, so other than power/lighting, I'm just about there.