Friday, July 21, 2006

Green Building

As I've written about before, we're trying to make the addition and remodel as 'green' as possible. Better for the environment, better for us living in it. There's an interesting column over at SFGate about how some of the aspects of green building make for happier, healthier, smarter people, from grade schools to office buildings to hospitals. Relying on natural light and where possible, natural ventilation, makes sense for yet another set of reasons. Go Green!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Regular readers of DIY Insanity will not be surprised to hear that I haven't been making as rapid of progress as I'd hoped. I'm almost done with the sheetrock on the walls, but I'll still need to tape and mud the seams after that. My sister-in-law Emmie was kind enough to come help again, and brought her youngest daughter, Kristina. They both came on the Mexico Mission trip this year, along with Emmie's middle daughter. I knew from the trip that Kristina is a hard worker, and listens well (at least for this kind of stuff). I certainly didn't do those things at age 11.

With their help we got the smaller loft sheetrocked, a bunch more sheetrock moved down from the carport, and various other pieces done as well. Thanks, Emmie and Kristina!

Although it will be a while before I can install it, I went ahead and bought the ceiling fan that Katarina and had picked out. I'm glad I did, because in reading the instructions, I found out it expects a single power line, not separate ones for the light vs. the fan. So I took out the 3-gang box that had space for a dimmer switch for the fan, and replaced it with a 2-gang box and rewired the switches. Most of the functionality is controlled via a remote control.

Everything seems to have remotes these days. Katarina listened to a presentation by the ergonomics people at Google, where she works. And in talking to her afterwards, I realized that some of my occasional back and shoulder pains, not to mention my carpal tunnel syndrome, are in large part due to my mouse being too far to the right because of the arrow keys and numeric keypad at the right side of the keyboard. So today I looked at a keyboard that has a separate numeric keypad so my mouse can sit further left and I don't reach so far right. The keypad is separate, and the whole thing is wireless besides. And the numeric keypad? It has a little LCD display at the top, and can be used as a remote for playing music on your PC.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I received an email from an old friend in Switzerland who's been reading DIY Insanity. Which reminded me I haven't posted in a while. Not for lack of progress to report on, though. Besides getting the plumbing (successfully) reinspected and finishing up odds and ends, I brought home a large load of insulation. The Golf has faithfully brought home large loads of stuff, but this would have been several trips worth in it. And given the price of gas these days, delivery prices are pretty high. So I rented a U-Haul truck (with much less drama than last time), and Edis and I unloaded the insulation then loaded up the truck and moved to up the truck with waste from the construction and took it to the dump. There isn't that much, but again more than the Golf would take in several trips.

Alas, the faithful Golf wasn't so faithful today. Kat was driving home and it died in the middle of an intersection. It's now at a repair shop waiting for them to open.

I have most of the insulation installed (R-19 in the walls, except the 4" west wall, which has R-13; R-50 in the attic). I'll be hanging drywall on the walls this week, and barring too many interruptions, probably painting next week. Wahoo!