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


Just when you thought the nastiest winter you’ve ever seen had lossened its vice like grip on your mental stability, it punches you again right in the nose. I can’t say I was confident that the winter nightmare was over, but I had the huberus to think it. Huberus gets me every time.

Yesterday, Easter was a lovely day. The sun was out, we were in the city visiting friends. We felt good. There was an ugly rumor that it could start snowing overnight. We thought, even if it did there would be no way for it to stick to the roads as spring had sprung and warmed everything with it’s hopful glow.


This morning we woke up to the sky dumping snow down on us faster than I could shovel it. It was the worst. I’ve called into work 3 times for a snow day which I then nervously work from home. I hate working from home. Work and home are to be separate things. Work is hard and often unpleasant. Home is relaxing and almost always plesent. When these two world meet it causes untold anxiety for me. That said in what could be called a fit of winter frustration. I decided to drive our car to Harrison to take the surprisingly robust Path train into the city. Kate was not excited about this decision, and thought I was being a bit too reckless driving in what was probably already 4-5 inches of fluffy snow. That was intensified by the fact that NJ had not bothered to get any plows out on the roads. I made to Harrison just in time for a Path employee to tell me that path service had been suspended. I felt like a fool! I drove 20 or 30 min in the worst snow I’ve driven in in 20 years only to fail. I was walking back to the car with my head hung low when I heard a train pull in. Magically thing where back on and I got on the train ariving to work by 9.

I hate the winter so much.

This is the car when I got to Harrison.