So I've actually been making pretty good progress lately, just haven't been posting because most of what I've been doing has been mundane monk work that's hard to photograph in any meaningful away. This includes:
• repainting the entire ceiling- this is actually a big improvement because the new Behr Ultra White paint (same as the walls) is considerably brighter than the old ceiling. It's one of those things that you'd never think about if you didn't see the difference side by side. As you can imagine, this is a pain-in-the-butt task, because the ceiling is large and above you. I had to do some caulking in some of the corners where the ceiling drywall wasn't really connected to the walls (and was letting in cold air because it was on an outside wall) and I still have a bunch of corners to paint, but it's easy since the walls and ceiling are the same color.
• painting the stupid "closet" thing where the not-wet bar used to be- This is a roughly 6x4 area, and the drywall in there was kind of a mess. It's taking me forever to prime and paint, but it's almost done. I'm gonna do the back wall in orange- I already have the paint. I'll post a picture once that's done.
• painting entry way and window mouldings- more total time-suck monk work. These are all the same "Ultra White" as the walls, but glossy so I can wipe off the fingerprints of all the children who will never set foot in my home.*
• removing all the masking tape from above entry and windows when done painting -This is way more of a pain than you might think. Lotsa time with X-acto knives and razor blades... also killing more time removing whatever other dots of crap (old paint, I think) from the window. Getting the big window by the entry totally clean is gonna take me forever, but the good news it that it's one of the few windows in the place that isn't original, i.e. it's in good shape. You can tell the original windows because the glass is sagging making them somewhat like funhouse mirrors, optically speaking.
In more visually exciting news, as you can see, I installed my nifty Sputnik lamp. This could've been a lot more joyous, but was in fact quite deflating, because it didn't work when I attempted to turn it on. ^%!&!!!!! I believe the issue is that my handyman wired the power wrong, so I don't think any juice is getting to it (I'm pretty sure I didn't mess up). It should be a relatively easy fix, but it was kind of a let down. A quick and amusing side story about the lamp:
They recommended using little round 25-watt half-mirrored bulbs (not included). There are 25 bulbs in total, so this means I'd have a very bright and energy-sucking 625-watt fixture. Yikes. I searched the internet and found some lower wattage bulbs that would fit for about 80 cents a pop. I hadn't gotten around to ordering them, but I happened to be at Target the other day and stumbled upon a set of a string lights with 25 incandescent round bulbs for $12. I opened up the package and sure enough, they were the correct mini screw-in base. They're five-watt bulbs, so I figure a total of 125 watts should be bright enough. Lucky me. Now I'm probably gonna go buy a couple more for backup!
In "best for last" (sort of) news, I actually built the first Ikea cabinet. And learned some fun stuff along the way. First thing I did was move most of the stuff into the house from the garage. When they delievered them a couple months ago, the nice shipping guys put them all in my garage for me. What I didn't realize was how amazingly heavy they are. The one you're looking at in the photo is 15" wide and 80" high. The box says 102 lbs right on it. Ever tried to move a seven-foot high 102 lb box? Yeah, me neither. Well, I managed to slip and drop it in my garage and though it didn't damage anything in my garage (it thankfully missed my motorcycle), it did whack in the box in such way that it messed up the very thin fiberboard back of the cabinet- thus breaking the very first cabinet. Nice going, dummy. They actually sell that white-coated fiberboard at Lowe's/Home Depot, but it'll be one more pain in my ass… I may actually just paint some wood-colored pieces of that stuff I have here as it won't be very visible anyway (it'll be the back that you see when looking into the open cab).
But that's just the beginning... while assembling it, I ran my finger across a small bit of the white coating stuff that was sticking out from a screw hole and not realizing how hard or sharp it was, put a razor-thin slice in my left index fingertip. Blood. Neosporin. Band-Aid. Yay. It's right where my finger frets a guitar string, and did I mention I play guitar for four sets a day every Sunday and Monday? Let's hope this heals quick, or it's gonna be Sunday Bloody Sunday all over my guitar (I don't think it's that deep, fortunately).
I'm pretty experienced with Ikea furniture assembly, so the rest of putting it together was pretty quick. Only other major glitch is the legs. Once I found them amidst the numerous bonus bags o' stuff, I noted that they're all-plastic and scream cheap. They have a little rectangular plastic base that simply presses into two holes in the bottom of the cab. Unfortunately, the "pins" don't fit very tightly, so they want to just fall out. This wouldn't present a problem (in theory) once upright because weight and gravity should hold them, but it doesn't work so well when the cab is on its side and you're trying to stand all 100 lbs of it upright. After wrestling with this bitch for a while and trying various stupid approaches to getting the legs in, I gave up for the night…. today I bought some construction adhesive (of the caulk gun variety) and glued the legs in. This should work much better, but I'm quickly learning that I'm probably going to need some secondary help getting the cabs into position, especially the awkwardly large and heavy ones.
Later today, I'm gonna attempt to build the upper corner cab, but I'll wait until I have some help to actually attach it to the wall.
*It was also pointed out to me that you can't really have polished concrete floors with small kids, because apparently they frequently fall on their heads, so you can imagine what kind of mess that would be. I suppose cracked kid heads is an extreme negative of concrete floors, but on the upside, cleanup would be a cinch.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 05:39PM