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Tough week last week. Followed by a rainy, sleepy, working weekend.

That said 2 highlights I managed to wiggle out of this newsless time.

1. I went to Racine WI last Thursday. The campus as you may or may not know was designed by the Great American Architect Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright. I think I’m always taken by his ability to play with proportion in a way that creates the appearance of thin elements in otherwise large structures.




2. Holy crap our Japaneese Maple. This sucker came out of this winter ready to party! Everytime I go outside I’m shocked by how impressive it is.



3. (Oops surprise, I have a 3rd) I was walking to meet Kate downtown Friday night and I saw the great Ariana Grande taking pictures with her fans on 17th St, just up from Union Square. I did not get a photo because I’m not particularly a fan. Although she seemed to be very kind in possing with people. She was hanging out the window of her giant black SUV. Made all the more giant looking by how incredibly tiny she is.

As you may or may not remember, this blog was made to track the tasks and experiences of everyday life. So I give you, a standard weekend.

I worked pretty late on Firday so that was a bit of a wash.

Saturday I installed a new, less traditional ceiling fan. I enjoy this kind of thing, although relativity simple it provides a sense of accomplishment. This can be difficult to come by in the everyday monotony, so it’s nice.

Our neighbor was having a birthday party roasting a 60lb pig. It was impressive and it was nice to see all the neighbors from the street.


The pig had a rough day.


Sunday was a work day, sucks but what can you do.

This morning I took a pic of the house as it’s nice to finally feel as if winter is over. The leaves are out and things are green. It keeps the sadness away when the sun is out.




Enjoy your week.

Just flying back from San Francisco (started writing this post on 4/30/18) and I’m sitting here wondering why we torcher ourselves by living on the east coast. I don’t love San Francisco but the surrounding areas are the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in the US. As I sit here waiting to fly back to the big grey butthole that is New York I feel as if I’m doing everything wrong. Facing down yet another week of the NJT, Manhattan, the rest is enough to make you hope for cancellations.
The wedding was beautiful, our friend Adam from NY (he moved back to Cali, about 2 years ago) got married in Marshall California, it’s a bit North West of Petaluma. It’s in dairy farm country and it is beautiful. Lots of cows and sheep roaming around on rolling green hills. It’s endlessly peaceful with cool crisp air and the sound of the ocean in the background. On Friday night they had a brick oven pizza truck at the wedding venue for people to meet each other and say hello. The pizza was exceptional. We met a bunch of nice folks and had a lovely time. The wedding day started out rainy and quickly turned into a beautiful sunny day. Every thing about the wedding was simple and lovely. It’s hard to explain but I’m now convinced a beautiful place makes a wedding work way better. It’s hard to do a beautiful places are few and hard to get to.

We stayed at an air BNB in Dillon Beach. The Air BNB was amazing! Clean, new, and priced right. Views of the ocean from every window, and a beautiful porch and garden. It was an amazing trip, everything was just beautiful. I found myself in a some what constant state of dred thinking a out returning home. Maybe it’s just been too long in one place. I don’t know. People always feel that way about vacation, going home is always hard. It’s just this is the hardest it’s ever been…



Paul and Kate

Dillon Beach


Kate and Annie (rock chaulk)

Cow

Dillon Beach

Dillon Beach

Wedding Venue

Kate in the garden of the AirBNB

Well there it is, I pushed it too far this weekend and now I’m fist fighting a cold. I’m 37 years old and anytime I stay out past bed time I get sick. How can this be?

Depending how you look at it I was either lucky I didn’t get sick till this morning, or very unlucky. I got to have the entire weekend, but now I’m facing a very busy week super sick. Aw who cares.

Friday we were out late in the city for a friend’s birthday. Saturday I went for a 4 mile run as it was a nice day out. Sat on the porch a bit, and did some cleaning. Then ate at Placio del Pollo, and as always that chicken is fantastic! Like a drug.

Sunday we got the van out and drove to Pyramid Mountain for a hike. It’s about 30 min West of us so the drive was quick and easy. Kate and I did the blue trail hike. It was great. So nice to be out in the sun just hiking at a first day of spring pace.

I wore my Keith Purnandez shirt as it is my new favorite thing. (See below) 1986 Mets first basemen Keith Hernandez is on Twitter and often post about his cat Hadji. It is hilarious, and I also love my cat and the Mets. It just makes good sense that I would support this by purchasing a t-shirt.



Stream on the hike

Kate enjoys the sun

Best shirt ever!

If I may… I’d like to apologize for yesterday’s post. I was in a bad place. I mean let’s be fair we all are. Either way that one was even a bit too complainie for my likeing.

That said, update. Ok, so I was not feeling the bathroom with the oval window white frame. Here’s the thing, it’s a small space with huge, dumb oval window. When painted white on a dark wall it becomes a light house of a focal point. I didn’t a couple of renders with it stained walnut like our floors. Thus toning things down a bit. I like it. Kate is not convinced.

“Hey Paul? What are you going to do for storage?” That’s a great question my facless internet friend. I wanted to find a cabinet of sorts to go over the toliet. Kate believes this is foolish and basic. So, check out the render, I built out the canvas bag that Kate likes as a catch all solutions for towels and TP. I’m good with it.

With all that said, I contacted the contractor yesterday a bit concerned we hadn’t received an estimate yet. I promptly received a reply apologizeing for the delay and a promise we would receive it today. Look, I know first hand estimates are the worst. You’d much rather finish the real job at hand than put effort in to a piece of paper that has a chance of not happening at all. That said I worry this kind of delay could be indicative of the project to come… Considering this is the only contactor that wanted the project we are a bit stuck. We also both like this guy. Seemed very knowledgeable and competent.


Oh man, it’s gotten bad. Here we are in the back half of April and we have had a grand total of 2 decent days in 2018. That means we have had 105 days of gray. Go ahead and call me a complainer, I don’t care. This sucks.

At this stage we have to ask ourselves “Why is this happening?” I have an idea, I think it’s a terrorist attack. Russia, North Korea I don’t care but it is effective.

I also don’t have any other updates on the other projects I’ve posted about perviously. No word from the contractor yet on the kitchen. We’re kinda bummed about that. I have the crack in the wall almost ready to paint so that’s done. Then work is just work and will always be work.

These dog days of winnter are truly brutal. You have to ask yourself why we live in this climate. The answer gets harder to come up with every week.



This is the everyday at Highland Station…

Well it’s Friday and it’s not snowing. In fact it’s 60deg at 8am. That’s reason enough for me to get through the day.



First sign of spring in West Orange

That said how about an project update! Last weekend we had the contractor over again to review our kitchen update strategy. We talked through the rendering and I sent him the spreadsheet of fixtures I’ve been working on. In that meeting we discussed the bathroom and decided I needed to make some progress on visualizing that as well.

The bathroom is a tricky turd. I built it all out to scale. For those of you that have been, it’s quite small and holds a shower. The renderings below are taken/rendered with a very wide lens in attempt to show as much as possible. As a result I think things are a bit distorted. Both visually and in the perception of size and space. It’s also missing a level of detail that will make it feel right. It’s purposely dark as the kitchen is all white. The idea there is to make it feel as if it has nothing to do with the kitchen. The fixtures in the kitchen are all back so the ones in the bathroom are all brass. Tile floor not wood. Just a different space all together.

I also update the kitchen a bit from the last post. I put the texture on the counter tops. We took a look at how practical it was to have a pendent light over the sink and changed that out for sconces. Put the pot filler in place along with all the outlets. Lighting has also proved to be an interesting challenge. I added 3 LED lights to the ceiling above the open cabinets to make sure those corners don’t get too dark.

That’s all I have for the moment. We are waiting back for the estimate. Then will figure out the money situation.



bathroom 1

bathroom 2

bathroom 3

kitchen update

Check this out. I’m going a diy home inprovment job. As you may or may not know Kate and I live in an old house. Now, old houses are far from perfect. This thing has more years standing that I can even come close to. That said, it’s going to have it’s battel scars. Many of those scars appear as cracks in the wall/ sheet rock.



Kate hates these things. So in an effort to be helpful I looked up some “how to” videos on YouTube and set my sights on Home Depot to outfit my self with the appropriate tools. It mostly some scraper knives, fiber glass tape, plaster of Paris and all pourpose compound.
From what I found the idea is to dig out the crack and fill the wall with the compunt mixture. So far I have done a couple coats of that. I had to re-strip it and start over once because I didn’t have the right combination of plaster and compond. Plus I put the fiber glass tape on to early. The first filling as a result dried and shrank underneath leaving what would be a weak point later on.

This feels like a real gamble folks. Smoothing it all out and blening into the wall seems like an art form. I’ll check back in on the final result.



This is the first filling of plaster. I did another this morning to make sure it was fully filled. Shrinkage is an issue.

I think it’s time you an I talk about he New Jersey Transit.
The New Jersey Transit Corporation, marketed as NJ Transit (NJT; stylized as NJ TRANSIT), is a state-owned public transportation system that serves the US state of New Jersey, along with portions of New York State and Pennsylvania. It operates bus, light rail, and commuter rail services throughout the state, connecting to major commercial and employment centers both within the state and in the adjacent major cities of New York and Philadelphia.

It also sucks, and I mean 24-7 sucks. Now, I realize it’s a big complicated system. There are many stops and many miles of track. It’s out side and the elements in this part of the country can be exceptionally curel. That said, I don’t care. I’m 13 miles from Penn Station and this rail turd can’t seem to keep the wheels turning for a full week. Today I’m standing at Brick Church in the rain waiting for a train that’s just been canceled. The 8:12 is one of the busiest trains on a weekday morning and it will not be running. This is one of those very frustrating rock and a hard place moments. There really is no other option so you’re forced to put up with it.

At this point I’m just complaining so I’ll stop. No real point to be made here. Really I’m just boad waiting for a train that’s not coming.

Update: NJT came over the loud speaker and said because of the cancelation they would add a Brick Church stop to one of the other midtown direct trains. Then, 10 minutes later they announced that plan was canceled do to the train being over crowded…. The winter + NJT has pushed me right to the edge!



This is the Brick Church stop this morning.

So, for the past few weeks of winter, we have been working on how we are going to deal with the turd of an ugly kitchen the last owners put in the house we now own. Now before you come at me with the fact the kitchen in our house is perfectly lovely and functional, you need to know that I understand that. What we are after is a kitchen that doesn’t overwhelm the space, and looks like it belongs with the rest of the house.
After meeting with some contractors and geting some off the cuff estimates that ranged on the high end around 70K. Kate and I recalibrated our expectations and began to stratagize.

The kitchen has a ton of cabinetry and ripping all that out to put in new would be too expensive. So here’s the list.

  • Paint cabinets white
  • New pulls
  • New countertops
  • New fixtures
  • New wood floor to match.
  • Remove some cabinets
  • Add open shelfing
  • New window
  • New table island and stools
  • Wine fridge
  • New sink
  • New range hood
  • New backslash

I became a bit obsessed with how this would all playout so I wanted to visualize how things would shake out so there would be no (or few) suprises. I 3D modeled the entire first floor of the house to scale. I then built the kitchen and reconfigured the things we wanted to change. Below I’ve posted the kitchen as is/when we bought the house. The CAD and the rendering of where we are headed.

We still need a contractor so wish us luck.


curent disaster

CAD model

render 1

render 2

render3