Monday, December 22, 2008

There was over a 1' of snow blown into the back yard against the porch. You can't even see the terraced shape of steps at all, just a slope of crusty creme' brule snow. Since my flight was cancelled I spent today scraping the ice of our window sashes, shovelling, and knocking what ice I could out of the downspouts and gutters. The latter is nearly impossible due to our roof height. Hopefully they melt before they break off under the weight of all the ice and snow. Sunshine today bodes well for that.

We needed to paint before, but after a week of pounding wind and snow getting blown into all the little cracks and chips in the paint, and the forthcoming big melt, I think we're definately going to be up for a scraping, drying in the sun, and painting sometime this summer.

Hopefully my second flight out tomorrow morning will be ok, and soon I'll be somewhere where the weather is even worse, yay!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

winter wonder ness

Several days of snow have made for the most severe winter I've seen since I've lived in Seattle. The winds have made it clear which bushes need pruning ASAP so they don't continue to scrape against the house. A project for after the snow melts, for sure.

A spade and an entrenching tool are not adequate snow shoveling tools. I suppose I could have been stuck with only a trowel and a backscratcher, so I should count myself lucky, right?

The weekend I meant to either get a ladder tall enough to reach the gutters, or hire it out for now, was when all the snow first fell so that hasn't gotten done, but at least it isn't raining into them right now. Yet.

I've started to move things around in the living room, just the teeniest bit- its' largely still a storage area at this point; but even getting our crappy couch set up feels very nice. I sat in there and talked to Aimee on the phone last night and was very happy to sit in the living room for the first time.

The new Lexan windows in the basement seem to be doing fine in the temperature changes. I'd read they were more susceptible to expansion and contraction, but the silicon I used seems to allow adequate fluctuation. Benjamin and I set up the game table in the north basement room and geeked out a little today, which was wonderful. It'll need some more careful planning, maybe some different lighting would be nice, and the obligitory weapons and flags decor. I'm quite excited to expand the table by 2', and perhaps come up with some better storage/display structures more suited to the particular needs of gaming ephemera.

Now lets just hope we don't lose electrical service in the great ongoing bluster of Snowpacalypse '08.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The big stuff is mostly done, but there are plenty of things that need to be done to make the place feel more like a home, and also to not drive me nuts. Even if I'm out of it after work I try to do something for the house every day.

Yesterday: Switch & outlet plates installed, closet organizer assembled.

Today: Blinds installed, threshold saddle for the extra layer of rabbit carpet, peephole, security chain.

I had thought of going to MacLendon's to get some Lexan for the basement door, but I'm not sure I'll make it down there yet today.


No, I don't think I'll be pulling the glass out of any windows tonight after all:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Judging by the cover. . .

We finally have decided on at least temporarily-permanent-for-now places for the book shelves. This is a good thing as it allows us to fill them with books, and then place the boxes that were once filled with books into the stack of boxes to recycle or return to their loaners.

This means less boxes in the living room. Yay.

Our lovely friends Luci and Swante came for dinner tonight which marks the first real dining guests we've had - aside from Daniel eating pizza on the floor with us during our painting phase.

While filling my shelves I continue on my rigorous dispensing with dust jackets. I hate them. They slide off the books, they allow the books to slide out of your hand if not held just so, and they are wasteful. Well, my dispensing with them doesn't make them any less wasteful, but it does solve the aesthetic and kinesthetic problems of them being ugly and unwieldy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Glazing Putty.

Who ever invented it is my nemesis today. Oh sure, it does the job, but what about un-doing the job? I am standing in my basement, leaning on the window ledge, holding a heat gun to the casements and moving along a centimeter at a time, so that I can eventually replace the cracked glass . . . if I get the old one out before dark, that is. Very slooooow. Very boring.

Of course, if I could get the sashes out of the casements and do the work on a table, that'd be nice too, but no luck there.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Small Victories

We've gotten some more blinds in place- despite Ikea lieing to us about their stock levels, and sending Aimee on an hour long wasted wild goose chase.

I've got some clothing storage solutions in place, and some in progress, hopefully I'll be able to have more than suitcase worth of cloths available to me on a daily basis without having to dig through random boxes. This project is the result of having copious built in shelving in the old place that afforded me never using a convetntional dresser or anything.

We have new fixtures in the rabbit room. Aside from some furniture for the buns to play on, that room is pretty well in hand; yes!

Our phone service is up. Same number as the old place. Mom and Dad sent their old double hand-set system to us so now we can use them as an intercom to chat from opposite sides of the house. Very important feature.

It doesn't even feel like we've been there a week, even though we have . . The 4 day weekend that was mostly either visiting friends, or cleaning the old apartment has a lot to do woth that feeling. It will be nice to spend a weekend at home. Our new home. And do some home-on-the-weekend things. . . I wonder if it will be this weekend.

Just around the corner is christmas with all its running around and travelling. Then there is the emotional hangover month of recovery for Jan. We're not going to be able to have a house warming till Feb. at this rate.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

not much to report

I went for a run through our neighborhood this morning, and I didn't even get jumped. HA! no really, it was completely uneventful. Our neighbor two doors down has pretty Christmas lights up all over her rhododendrons. We have seen our next door neighbor in the McMansion a couple of times. He is a young-ish stocky bald white man who drives a VW Beetle and has a bulldog. He has a silver fake Christmas tree right next to the piano and the weird ugly horse head statue. He also has man friends who came over bearing pizza and beer this weekend. No, we are not *spying* so much as we are keeping an eye out on the neighborhood. It's called a "neighborhood watch" and all the cool suburbanites do it. We need to know what is going on with the Joneses in order to keep up with them!! I think we might build our own concrete wall, taller and more awesome than Bald McMansion Man's wall, so he knows who the alpha neighbors are.

Today we got nice wooden blinds for the art room - Ikea was all out of the neat aluminum ones but we really just wanted to get it DONE. Also got Nathan a cool cube storage thing for his clothes. It's meant to be a bookshelf/TV shelf but it will work great for clothes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Center Square for the Win


We are out of 1004 E. Republican. It is clean, and empty, and the keys will be in the mail to the landlord tomorrow.

I am so tired of moving things, the relief at having it finished is incredible.

Many thanks to all our friends for their help, to JennaXide for her truck mavenry, again tonight, and to everyone for putting up with us being completely off the radar for November. We'll see you soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

bound by chains and wires

Thanks to my duty as the used-computer-monger in our family, my sister sent me her old laptop and WAP to send off to ebay and it happened to arrive today. As my computer is still sitting in the old apartment, and the room where our cable is hooked up is a pile of book shelves and boxes, this is most fortuitous. I write to you tonight from the comfort and peaceful environs of our rabbit room, via the height of internet technology, the 'wireless signal'. I was actually surprised to find a number of other wireless networks in the area. I was unsurprised to find them completely unsecured. I guess I know how I'll launch my Empire of Spam now.

I'm sitting in this chair, but it is darker now. Jasper is munching on seeds, methodically, and stretching out on his porch. Tomoe is curled up behind me in the nook between the chair and the wall. I have a beer at hand. I am very happy to just sit here for a bit.

At some point, hopefully before too long, we will get the art room into order, and we'll be able to start computing, and painting, and sculpting, and whatnot in earnest. Or, at least as the mood strikes. I still need to go up into the attic and connect the last new outlet into the existing circuits.

Now that you can see our bright cheery colors, I'm sure you agree they are improvement over the booooring bland beige the walls were covered with when we arrived. Right? You do agree, don't you?

It's okay if you don't. . . I happen to love it. :)

services rendered.

Cable is up (dsl cancelled)
Phone service will be cut over Monday or Tuesday (720 number will be the same, if you have that one)
Mail is forwarded for me. Juno must do her own, according to USPS.
All my banks and insurance companies etc have my new address.
My sister's old laptop and wireless access point arrived today, so I'll likely get that hooked up tonight for Juno's laptop. I'd still like to put cat-5 throughout the house someday though... we'll see.

Fun Minutiae

Well, fun for a Haus Frau and her man, anyway!

Our first act in our new house was to put the kitchen together.  It is so nice to have so much room! We put our pretty ceramic bowls, cups, and milk-pouring cow into the glass cabinet. We got two tall, kind of narrow Billy bookshelves to use at the top of our stairs as the "larder". Then, we had fun larding - I mean, putting food away.  We also got a storage cabinet at Ikea but haven't put that together yet. Right now we're still living out of my travel cosmetic bag - but at least we know where all the other bathroom stuff is!  I've put away most of my clothes - all that I could find in any case. All the clothes I wear on a fairly regular basis are in the closet and bureau upstairs.  All the dressy clothes, goth-tastic outfits from days of yore, and (right now) summer clothes are in my second closet downstairs. Two closets! I am such a princess. Poor Nathan's been keeping his clothes in the linen closet in the hall until he gets some bedroom clothing storage. He will be using the art room closet. This may sound unfair but bear in mind that *I* used the art room closet at the last place for my clothes! 

Washer and dryer work well - though the dryer tends to run pretty hot. I will not leave it running when I'm not home. It does shut off, at least on the timed dry setting, but it is so hot that I don't trust it alone.  Water pressure is acceptable - not as good as the last house. good thing I only wash my hair once every other day. I still haven't tried the dishwasher yet, but we have a bunch of dishes in there ready to go! I was waiting until we used enough dishes to fill it. Cable is up and running as of yesterday - as evidenced by my typing here! - and it is super fast. yea!  Living room is still full of boxes though there is a path through the boxes. art room also has a path and a "desk" - that being two plastic bins where my computer is currently sitting. 

*Finally* made it to the gym the other day. Good gym, not too busy at 8:15AM on a Monday. People seem pretty friendly.  The QFC (supermarket) is in the same plaza. Good store, produce seems fresh and good, not as big as the QFC up on Broadway. There is no bulk foods aisle and they do not carry Nathan's favorite bowls of noodles.  It is less busy than Broadway, and is frequented by more little kids and older people and fewer super flamey gay men, punks, goths, and weird little old ladies in rainbow clown outfits. *le sigh* 

We've been clearing out the old place this week. hoo boy. It's one big allergy attack in there right now since we stirred up all the dust and opened up that dusty old attic space that we stored things in. We only have one or two more carloads of stuff to bring back and we're outta there! also, we have plenty of cleaning to do.  It feels so weird to be over there. It feels empty and sad.  Landlord has already rented it. He will be going over there today to measure it - presumably for new carpets?? For the next tenants' sake I really hope he replaces carpet and paint.

Upcoming priorities: * leaf raking
* getting Nathan some clothing storage!
* putting together the bathroom cabinet
* putting the art room together
* continuing to unpack boxes, sort, get rid of more stuff. 

I look forward to the day when we are able to sit in our living room!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Weirdos Have Landed

We're in!

Thanks to our aweomse friends, the move was about as painless as such a thing can be (still a huge hassle and alal that). But we loaded, unloaded, and were at the Georgetown Liqour Company for food and beers in about 4 hours. Outstanding.

There are still piles of things at the apartment- This computer and the DSL being one of them. We're back over here since Aimee needs to get her data for work digitally everynight, and to empty the fridge while we're here. Should have broadband installed Tuesday at the new place.

We relaxed with the rabbits and watched a dvd while sitting in our new bedroom, then passed out. Today we unpacked most of the kitchen and assembled some shelving to make a larder on the stairway landing. No pictures yet as the memory card didn't make the trip over here. Oops.

More to come!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Please can we be done soon? thx.

T minus one day to liftoff. Thank goodness I've got only one shoot today and have time to pack a ton of stuff. As we assess the number of things to be assembled, disassembled, sorted, packed and prepared we think, um, It's A Lot! so we are pushing Official Move Time forward to 2PM tomorrow instead of 11AM.

I am still excited, but kind of worn as well. my eating and exercise habits have been really thrown off by all our work. I've had lots of takeout and fast food and not enough vegetables or fruit. Who wants to shop or cook amidst all this?? We did get the bunnies more lettuce yesterday and so I will have a salad and Thai leftovers for lunch today. The majority of my exercise has consisted of cleaning, painting, and lifting boxes. Hey, it's better than nothing.

The bunnies have done so well with their confinement. We've been keeping them in their cage whenever we are not home now. Yesterday we did not let them out until 9:30. Poor buns! They were understandably pretty hyper. We are planning to move them and their cage to the new house tonight. We do not want them upset by all the crash bang boom that will be going on here tomorrow. Also, there is no way we can make people lift furniture over our bunny gates in the doorways.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

color me goodd.

The rabbit room is done, the trim is touched up and only the smallest or details need to be attended to paint-wise. We have plans to lay a second layer of carpet in tomorrow, and a tack down 1/4" round moulding to keep it in place and keep the edges from tempting industrious lagomorphs. Win.

The art studio has been given a second coat and the streakees covered up. The harvesty orange is still quite vivid, but after a few days of drying, did settle in to a color more closely alligned with what we wanted. We're keeping it. Its jolly and warm, and once it has some art on the walls to break it up I think we'll be very glad we did. Thanks to Mr. Diedrich for the help in whipping it into shape this evening.

Brushed aluminum blinds look pretty slick in the dining room and bedroom. Fabric cell-shades are on order for the living room. Juno has the floors clean and has oiled the butcherblocks twice now. . . they are nice and golden.

Lets move in!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lime Rickey

is the new color of our bunny room. Nathan, bless his pointy little boots, primed and re-painted the room. I haven't seen it yet but I hear it's great. ;) It is still in the spring green family but is a softer shade than the previous, Tequila Lime. also, we did without the purple this time around. It is sooo hard to tell what a room will look like based on the paint chips.... those Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore digital room coloring things aren't especially accurate either. We are not sure yet what we are doing with the art room. We may keep one or two walls Hearty Orange, or start from scratch. I suspect we may have accidentally been sold the glossy version of that paint instead of the eggshell. no way of knowing that until it had dried!! bah.

I went to Ikea yesterday and got simple aluminum Venetian blinds for dining room and bedroom. Ikea is even more fascinating and wonderful now that we have a house. I restrained myself from going on a shopping spree..... good thing there's almost always a traffic jam between me and Ikea otherwise I'd be there far too often for my own good. While N has been working on the paint, I've been packing, sorting, etc. I discovered that most of our tupperware pieces have matching lids! lo and behold, they were hiding underneath other things all that time. Also, most of our pots and pans have lids too. who knew??? maybe next I will find the mates to all the solo socks.

I got a couple of congratulatory checks last week, with which I bought a beautiful egg tempera painting by an acquaintance named Lis Ivec Wright. She does these beautiful, stylized version of saints. I got Saint Brigit, who is holding a candle and looking mysterious. It's a gift to me but also a gift to our new house.

OK, now I am just procrastinating. will post more later.

we are moving in 3 days!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

objects in mirror

Three colors in two rooms. At least two of them are far more intense than the Benjamin Moore online color viewer suggested, and will be repainted.

Many thanks to Ben and Don for their help priming and painting this weekend!
Walls in bunny room and art room are primed. They look better already and all they have on them is very light gray primer! Now I kinda wanna paint the bedroom but that will have to wait until after we've settled in. We have decided on 2 lime green walls and 2 purplish blue walls for the bunny room. I think it will be whimsical and adorable. I am a little concerned that it will be a bit much. we shall see. Our friend shampooed our carpets on Thurs. We came over today and I vaccummed the heck out of them and got some of the white stuff up, but there's still this sticky soapy residue all over the carpets. GAAAAHH! any words of wisdom about the care and feeding of carpets? I think we will have to ask our friend what's up, and see if he can come back to do a rinse job. It just doesn't seem right. bah humbug.

Tomorrow we get paint for the bunny room and then paint paint the two rooms. After that we will just need to get the crap off the carpets and sweep n' mop up the last of the plaster dust and we'll be in business.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fully Operational

We have power.
We have heat.
We now also have water!
Now that we are fully operational we shall lure the rebels to the nearby forest moon CRUSH THE ALLIANCE, once and for all!

The art room is prepped and ready. Are all the patches perfect? Um, no. But they'll do. I pretty much had to be done yesterday since our friend Fixer was coming to shampoo the carpets. We're scheduled to prime two rooms Saturday, so there isn't a lot of time in between to make the plaster patches perfect. I'll live with it. I did take the time to sand down the entire room, so the patches won't stand out as much against the existing (no longer)textured walls.

We have decided on SW 6622 'hearty orange' for the art room:

And probably some combination of blue/purple and green for the rabbit room, but thats still in deliberation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weird stuff we have found in the house

So the previous residents left behind some artifacts for us.

- Several small bottles of perfume - nothing fancy
- Three black jackets, presumably from a place of employment? (we have not looked too closely yet.)
- One red bathrobe tie
- One small pen scribble on a wall: "I just want my freedom."
- One ginormous spider carcass
- Various other bug carcasses
- Various cleaning products
- Leaf blower, lawn mower (hopefully working!)
- Bread machine, carpet steamer thingy to remove spots
- One vase and one glass hors d'ouevres dish
- One energy drink
- A nasty, dust encrusted oil lamp and accompanying candle holder
- One large bag of rosemary and one small bag of, um, chamomile?
- Several buckets
- Nasty old half decayed clothing sitting under trash can
- An empty liquor bottle in the yard
- one plug in scented thing

So nice of them to leave us these little presents!!!

1 1/2 weeks until we move. ohmygod! I can't believe it is coming up so fast. Already, the majority of my clothes and almost all of my books have been boxed up. I am so not looking forward to the organizational part of this move... as in, the part where I go through all my keepsakes and "keepsakes" from under the bureau. I mean, we already had this huge yard sale but still, there are random little things remaining. The question is: how many boxes of keepsakes should I have?? Do I really need every note my Grandma has written to me since 1999? no, don't answer. that was a rhetorical question. ;)

inch by inch

Bit by bit we get closer to really being able to pull the trigger on moving in. I have hopefully only one more thin skin of mud to apply tomorrow and then hopefully a final sanding will put us in a good place to be ready to paint the art room this weekend. Then the boxes really start flying out of the apartment.

Aimee is a cleaning whirlwind, and has tackled nearly every inch of that place with a determination I am most thankful for.

Small steps right now, but knowing that they are all important and we will be glad we took them down the road adds to the satisfaction in completeing them.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lath Math

We set out to do a quick relocation of the outlets in what will be our art room this weekend, and as with many ideas, it ended up going a bit differently than planned. Turns out the walls are lath and plaster, and not drywall. Turns out, some of the electrical boxes are just jammed into cut-to-fit holes in the lath. Turns out the reason they are all about 4' off the ground is because there are horizontal 2x4s* running between the studs at about 35" inches up.

So if you want to bring wiring to the baseboards you have to not only open up a hole there for the new box, you also have to make an opening in the middle of the wall and drill through the 2x4 to route the wires down from the attic.

Lath and plaster has quite bit of variation to its thickness at any given place. This makes covering the opening with wallboard it bit of a crap shoot. Some places we could just mud right, some had to be filled with plaster and built up a ways before they were anywhere near flush with the existing surface.

We got two boxes in yesterday, one wired off the switch at the door which will be good for lamps (just don't plug any computers into that one). I did a third box today and we have all the holes filled that we made installing it but the wire is dangling loose in the attic. I thought I had found a later addition Romex circuit to extend from but it turned out to not be usable. This leaves me needing to splice into the existing knob & tube runs in the attic and I don't have a complete enough understanding of the wiring layout to be confident where I want to cut in yet. The runs up there are quite taught and I've never spliced into that stuff before so I need to have a think and read a bit on it. This leaves me thinking that any more rooms that get the outlet lowering might just get new runs of romex throughout, and routed all through the basement so I can skip having to drill through the fireblocks everytime I want to extend down from the attic.

*Thanks to John B. we now know these are called fireblocks. :)

The couple that tests circuit voltage together, stays together.

Elements of Style

I am trying to visualize our house, painted and furnished and decorated. It's a little hard to wrap my brain around, or to briefly sum up. Instead I will offer you a bit of a brainstorming session.

Our house was built in 1936. As we've been digging through layers of plasters and lathe I conjure up images of the people who built this house. What was life like for them, right in the middle of the Great Depression? How did they live? How can we honor the spirit of this house while bringing our own aesthetics and energies?

In recent years many people have "flipped" or restored old houses like ours. Craftsman style has been very much in fashion in recent years. There is also a company, Live Historic, that renovates old churches and schools, etc. into condos. I've shot one of their places - a school in Queen Anne. The exterior is mostly untouched and still gorgeous. The stairwells and halls still echo and totally remind me of my junior high experience. However, the condo units are all slick and modern and barely hold onto the slightest bit of schoolhouse charm. While I am very happy to see people continuing to use these old buildings, I wish they would not spiff them up to the point of obscuring the original essence. So many of these "Craftsman" houses all look the same: brand new dark wood floors, big blocky posts and lintels, new fixtures, everything smelling super shiny and new.... kind of cool, but I think some of the soul has been lost.

Here are a few words to describe the style I am visualizing in our house: Utilitarian. Industrial Revolution. Farmhouse. Kind of old-fashioned but not "country" per se: no pink hearts stenciled around the borders, no needlepoint. Wrought iron chandelier in the dining room, my aunt's cool bobbin and spindle lamp, a couch made from old knobby wood bedposts. Lots of medium toned wood. Neat antique furniture. A secretary like my Mom has with the cool jointed cover thing that rolls up. Neat old tools hanging on the walls: maybe a pair of old wooden skis crossed over each other on the wall or a pitchfork and a shovel crossed over one another. My Mom's got a really cool collection of bobbins that she uses as candleholders. these are the last remnants of East Coast textile mills from the turn of the century. I love this kind of stuff! Nathan's got this great wrought iron pot-holder that hangs from our ceiling which I *love*, he's also got a halberd (the namesake of this blog!) that totally fits this style: So in short: Vermont farmhouse/antique barn crossed with turn of the century factory chic, with a little bit of mediaeval weaponry thrown in. We want bright colors (up to a point! I am concerned about us going overboard). Both of us have lots of art and lots of neat things we want to display in our house: N's miniatures, my Grandma's little glass animals and things, the flying skeleton, etc. I don't think we could pull off a slick, sparse modern look if we tried!! Anywhere we live will be brimming with lots of neat things to look at: like a curiosity shop but hopefully more organized. ;) Fortunately, Nathan and I have similar aesthetic tastes.... there will be some compromise needed (I will not paint an entire room lavender, for instance!) but I think we can create an awesome house together.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On Saturdays.

During my formative years Saturdays were often spent having a hearty breakfast, listening to country music, and making a sawdusty / drywally/ painty / leaves &grassy mess of some sort.

We're off to work on our own updated version of such a saturday.


Despite our best efforts this week, water will not be forthcoming till Tuesday. :/

Friday, November 7, 2008

heat, glorious heat!

I am meeting the guy from Seelig Fuel today to have our furnace serviced and have him show me how to turn it on. Nathan flipped a switch last night and the great beast whirred to life... then he shut it right off again. shoot, for all we know that would just release a bunch of fumes into the basement and poison us all, or blow the house up.... yes, we have a lot to learn yet. better safe than sorry!! Speaking of safety: we have several smoke detectors, two of which work, one of which is in the kitchen drawer. We will also need a carbon monoxide detector. Finally, we will get to use those gift certs. from Home Despot that we got for wedding gifts!!

got a bunch of supplies yesterday from a lady who'd posted on Craigslist. We now have 1 6' ladder, one stepladder, a very old table saw, a wheelbarrow (which I still need to pick up 'cause it didn't fit in the car with all the other stuff!) 1 additional garden hose, 2 plant pots, a mop bucket, and a ton of plastic hangers. Today I go get painting supplies from a guy in U District.

ok, gotta run!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Kaltes klares wasser:

Once the payment has entered the system you can reference it under customer #XXXXXXX.

Use this number to request the Meter Reset Form from your local payment center.

Fill out the form.

Submit the form at the local payment center.

Local payment center mails the form to the adminstrative office Downtown. (24-48 hours).

Once the account is cleared, the meter can be reset. 

Once the meter is reset you can turn on the water, but not if no one is home.

Call admin at 7:30 AM to schedule same day turn-on (*rrrowwwr!*).

Wait at home for 2x 3hour blocks to meet technician.

An empty desk is an efficient desk!

electric avenue

according to the text messages I am recieving from HausFrau, our coorespondent on the scene in Highland Park, our domicle has electricity!  And all the appliances work!  

Just waiting on water now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

see the window see the pane

I made the mistake of looking at crime statistics for our neighborhood again, and now I'm all paranoid. I checked them before we decided on making an offer on the house and by precinct they are lower than they are in our current neighborhood for most things, so thats good.  Our apartment currently is on the 2nd floor, which in and of its self keeps us safe from all but the most incredibly dedicated intruder so, even though the stats are higher here, we specifically are quite safe.

Now we're moving to a ground level home on a corner. A good part of any security system is risk assesment. How likley you are to be a target helps determine what sort of protections you should take. We are near a main (yet residential) street, and a few blocks over from an even more major arterial, where a fair amount of the West Seattle crime seems to focus (probably no different than any major arterial in that regard).  We have about a 4 foot exposed foundation which puts all the main windows out of reach without a ladder. One of the doors needs a dead bolt, and that has already been a priority.  But I walk around it and look at the basement and I feel the vulnerabilites of the place to burglary.  The basement has windows at ground level which would be a great place to wriggle in through. Then there is the back yard . . . The one thing I can say for the ugly McMansion next door and its 6foot cinderblock wall is that that wall blocks off the view to our back yard considerably.  It is thus a lot less likely that someone would notice that we have a basement door, completely hidden from view that would make a great place to work unseen at picking a lock. Or, much more likely, smashing a window and just walking in. 

This totally freaks me out. I've already priced polycarbonate panes for the basement windows which are super hard to shatter. It's not too expensive, especially at the smaller sizes we'd need for the basement. I need to look at the casements and see if this would make any sense. If the windows themselves are not well attached then the shatterproof plastic will just make a large distribution of impact force all around, facilitating popping the sash right out. With no chunks of jagged glass lingering in the opening, getting in isn't even dangerous once you've got the window kicked in.  I love having the light down there, but I think it is very risky, so I want to see what we can do to find a decent mitigation of risk.  We need to put curtains on all those windows too so if the place is ever cased people can't see in and get any intel about how hard/dangerous/easy the job may be, nor any incentive based on what they might see- especially if Aimee ends up with any sort of photo work studio down there. 

 The door seriously needs to be addressed. I'm considering replacing it with one with no window.  I really want to get the power on over there so I can get down there with more light and investigate.  I think if anyone is paying attention in those neighborhoods, being a new / still moving in resident is a high risk time. You're not there a lot of the time, and all your stuff is conveniently still in boxes.

 I feel pretty good about our neighborhood, but I feel less good about those around it, and if something were to happen I'd regret too much not having taken more precaution in the first place.

Also: Go vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Farewell to the apt. at Republican St.

Last night we started packing in earnest. It made me feel kind of wistful, and I decided to take some pics of our current place. The living room is probably the prettiest room in our place.
I will especially miss the trees across the street. See the saffron orange of the wall facing the camera? I want at least one accent wall in our new place to be that color. It is just gorgeous! I will spare you the pictures of the other rooms.... they are, shall we say, "in a state". 'cause you all know N and I are so tidy! *ahem* I will also spare you a pic of the front of the house... baby poop brown, ugh. I am so happy to no longer be at the mercy of our landlord's whims.

Nathan moved into this place right about the time that we started dating. I moved in about 4 years ago now. That is longer than I've lived in any one place since I was a kid. This place is chock full of great memories and great energy, lots of charm and lots of "charm" - falling apart windows, squirrels running marathons in the roof above our bed, paint falling off the walls in chunks, and very cold winters. So, we will remember the good things about this place and laugh about the bad as we move on.

I am really going to miss Capitol Hill. I will miss the wonderful restaurants all within spitting distance, the bustle and (mostly) benign chaos of Broadway, our movie store, knowing all the clerks at QFC, being able to walk 2 blocks to QFC, the beautiful houses to the east of us, all the big awesome trees. I will miss my Capital Hill friends - not that I can't see them ever again or anything, but I will miss spontaneous meetings, walking to the clubs, etc. I will *not* miss the crash bang boom of the recycling being taken out at Starbucks at one in the freakin' morning! I will not miss the construction, and the crazy pedestrians walking right in front of moving cars. I will not miss drunk people wandering home at 2AM leaving 40 oz. beer bottles in our lawn.

Memories.... ya da da..... ya da da.......

edit: Blogger does not want to upload my pics right now. I am doing other stuff on my computer and it's slowing the connection down. Will upload them later.

Utility Belt

Recycling and trash service are up and running.

It appears our escrow agent failed to zero the balances on the power and water, which cannot be re-activated in our name until the accounts are paid.  That was supposed to happen before the title was transferred into our name.  Time to make some calls.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Tour.

Here is the house you have heard us chattering on about endlessly this month:

If you just got out of the shower, and didn't shut the bathroom door, this is where you'd see your friends arriving to your party:

You might want to wash your hands before going to greet them. Turn left out of the bathroom and you'd be in our bedroom. Or to the right you'd be in the rabbit's room. What else will be in there beyond rabbits? We're not sure. Perhaps a vanity or bureau? A desk? Maybe a comfy chair for reading with the bunnies.

We think our first project before moving in will be to repaint the office / art room. We're thinking something in the red family. The ugly hotel light fixture on the wall will go, and it provides a convenient drop to put an additional outlet down below it, and the other outlet needs to be moved down too. Whoever put all the outlets in the bedrooms at 4'-5' high on the walls was a nincompoop. Computers etc will neccessitate more outlets, so we might as well bash the walls in, get it wired, and get it painted before moving into that room- definitely easier than moving it all once we're situated.

We are super excited to have a mudroom for storage of skis and snowboard stuff, motorcycle helmets, and coats and things.

Sage is the color of the kitchen. Not sure what to make of that opening into the basement stairway. Mudroom off to the left, and side entrance visible through the window over the sink. Nice butcherblocks on either side of the stove and sink, and plenty of storage over the range and fridge. That's where I'll put Juno's christmas presents, since she can't reach them. :)

Through that door where the wood starts is the dining room, with nice big windows (North and West sides).Our table is tiny so I think we'll have plenty of room to build a bar or hutch or something in there. The dining room opens to the front door, the hallway, and the living room, which is huge.

I spent today scraping up those lines visible infront of the door where there had been adhesive strips to hold a rug in place. Juno cleaned off the dining room fixtures, the windows, and most every countertop and window sill in the house.

We also raked a few leaves.

So there you have it. We have lots of things to do, and lots of decisions to make, but we're super excited to have a place to do it, and we're fully ready to bring a little freak action to this sleepy neighborhood.


We bought a house. It's in Highland Park (West Seattle), and it looks like this:

We are the official owners as of Halloween!

Here you can track our trials and triumphs as I'm sure you will want to.