Status Report #3

Tasks Accomplished Since Previous Report:

  • Met with first contractor
  • Visited ApplianceLand
  • Acquired new chisels
Tasks In-Flight
  • Exterior-side (window-side) brick facing removal begun
  • New Component Design/Selection
Next Steps
  • Continue brick facing removal.
  • Meet with contractors to acquire more estimates.
  • Provide information to initial contractor.
  • Remove exterior-side cabinets and counter.
  • If someone starts stealing your mail, you have to drop your other projects and install a mailbox.
  • According to the contractor who visited us this week, "wood chisels" are better for brick facing removal than "cold chisels." Cold chisels have a v point and are good for breaking bricks, but they also can bring chunks of plaster off the wall. Wood chisels (which are not made of wood) have a flat side so that the chisel doesn't dig into the underlying wall. We'll see if that's true this week!


In some places on this small blue-green planet, there are folks who do the monk-walk thing: a contemplative practice involving a bell. Take a step, pause, ring a bell, meditate. Take another step, pause, ring a bell, meditate. It's relaxing and calming and probably leads to great inner peace and tranquility. Millions of people all over the world will respect and admire practioners of this slow meditative exercise.

On the platform between trains at Fort Totten station: not so much.

Fine Tooth

There are about 12 gazillion interesting things about this site called Finetoothcog. If you can't get in, re-load. Trust me.

Retrieving Stolen Bikes

First and foremost, it's this service in Portland that allows users to give information about their stolen bikes. The service then scans craigslist to match details and email the victims.

Google Map

Second, it takes that information and (for the Portland thefts) marks up a map with theft locations.


Third, it formats the individual theft reports using the hCalendar microformat. I'm not sure why you would want to, but if you did: if you have a calendar tool like Mac's iCal, you can subscribe to the output so that the thefts show up on your calendar as events. This format allows for the text to be presented in a blog format normally, but if you view source, you'll see that the data has extra information. This is one I just copied out:

<div class="vevent">
<abbr class="dtstart" title="2007-01-18">
18 January 2007
<span class="summary">
Stolen: Schwinn Sierra
<p class="stolen_info">
Stolen on <em>18 January 2007</em> from
<span class="location">
13717 NW 2nd Ave. Vancouver, Wa
<p class="description">
“Black Chrome”, starting to fade slightly towards a very dark root beer brown metallic. Cro-Mo frame, marked as 4130.



Maybe it's the stomach-flu or something, but isn't there something inherently gross about Fudgie the Whale, a giant brown lump of foam from Carvel?

Snow Daze

SNOW! Well, winter finally stirred slightly from its slumber and supplied a little snow. (How sibilant!) I should stress little. When I walked out this morning, our path was mostly already cleared by the natural melting effect of global warming. At any rate, it was an excuse to put our car in the garage to keep idiots from running into it and to keep us from having to dig it out. Ha.

Ah, well, you take what you can get.

One thing the snow did do for us is provide a little entertainment. We're members of the New Deal Cafe Co-op and last night was the annual pot-luck and elections meeting. These little co-ops really are democracy on the tiniest scale, but even more important, they're an opportunity for all the pent-up need to lead to pop out. Add a dash of winter weather and you have a recipe for fun!

At midafternoon, a board member sent out an email declaring the meeting postponed due to weather. Sadly, the notice went out only an hour or so before the potluck dinner and may not have been sanctioned by the entire board. Some folks, including some up for election, took the opportunity to make other plans. Other folks showed up anyway for the food. Should we go forward with the meeting? If there isn't a quorum, of course, there's no dice, but if enough people show up?

The chair stood to suggest postponing the meeting because of the communications snafu. There was immediate dissent from the floor. The meeting should not be held at all because the board already announced a postponement. Our parliamentarian ruled that the meeting could indeed proceed, but many were adamant that people should not be left out of the process. A motion was made to postpone the meeting. The dissenters called for creative anarchy and attempted a walkout to remove the quorum. As they walked out, the motion to postpone was seconded and a voice vote seemed to carry the motion.

So either way, elections were not held. For the anarchists, the meeting never happened. For the postponers, the meeting began but was adjourned to a future date. For the rest of us, there was food.

It seems like a big hullabaloo, but the neat thing is that at the heart of it all, I suppose, people were not arguing about whether or not to disenfranchise those who had paid attention to the email. Instead, it was about the method for enfranchising them. There are worse things to argue about.

Say It Isn't So

I kept hoping it wouldn't happen, but it did. Our little independent movie theater has lost my respect. They're showing Mel Gibson's worshipful tribute to violence that Bob Mondello described as not about the problem, but part of the problem.

Freezing Tootsies

If you're interested in supporting the Special Olympics, you can also encourage my father-in-law to jump in the bay on a very cold day. He's accepting donations for the Polar Bear Plunge.

Status Report #2

Tasks Accomplished Since Previous Report:

  • Second bulk trash pickup accomplished.
  • Lower interior cabinet set and counter removed.
  • Interior brick facing removal complete.
Tasks In-Flight
  • Exterior (window-side) brick facing removal begun
  • Contractors contacted (for washer/dryer relocation task)
  • New Component Design/Selection
Next Steps
  • Continue brick facing removal.
  • Meet with contractors to acquire estimates.
  • Remove exterior-side cabinets and counter.
  • The brick facing removal task varies in difficulty. Many of the sections (whereever it's gray/green in the image above) come away easily. Other sections result in damage to the underlying wall (the white sections). Not really sure what was different about the installation.
  • It's easy to dream about all the cool stuff we could do. But some stuff is very expensive.

First Sale

OK. I take back my ealier hate. It looks like the person who wanted to buy one of the Brunette's paintings is real after all. Woo-hoo!


We saw a friend's book in the thrift shop the other day. Is it a good sign or a bad sign to see your novel in a used book store?

Trolling for Hate Mail or Just Not Clear On The Concept?

So, you want to go raise money to help end violence against women. I believe in that. It's noble and right and true.

But isn't there something a little off about trying to eliminate a list of evils that includes sexual slavery with an event based on putting men on the auction block?

Free Money!

Woo-hoo! Looks like somebody got themselves a new wireless router. Now we can stop paying for internet! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Oh, never mind. That would be wrong.

The Show

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our opening reception. It warmed our hearts to see so much support.

However, to the guy who pretended to want to buy the Brunette's painting and gave the Cafe a fake phone number. I hate you.

Status Report

Tasks Accomplished:

  • All cabinet doors and drawers removed.
  • First bulk trash pickup accomplished.
  • First cabinet set removed.
Tasks In-Flight
  • Brick facing removal begun
Next Steps
  • Continue brick facing removal.
  • Coordinate second bulk trash removal.
  • Remove first set of lower cabinets/counter.
  • Gosh, working gloves and goggles are a necessity.
  • Found hole in wall behind brick facing.
  • The brick facing is tedious but not so difficult. It mostly peels away with a chisel.

Project Inception: Kitchen

Identify Need: "Honey, the washing machine seems to have been leaking. The cabinets have gotten quite rotten. We should get a new kitchen."

Identify Risk: "Are you sure you know what a hammer looks like?"

Create Vision: "The problem of not having cabinets affects all the members of the household the impact of which is we cannot store our dishes and food. A successful solution would be get some new cabinets.

Avoid Scope Creep: "Wouldn't it be nice if we got a dishwasher, too?"

Outline Candidate Architectures: "Let's go to Home Expo and IKEA!"

Lifecycle Objective Milestone: Achieved!


I call this one "Verbs." Last night, we spent a few hours hanging our paintings at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt. We'll be showing all month, but everybody is invited to the free reception on Sunday evening, 7-9pm.

Mille Bornes

Well, it's not a thousand, but that little oral history thing a few weeks ago was my fiftieth Book Tale. The image above shows the covers of the sixty books I've put into the fifty book tales.