Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We've got insulation!! You can see it in the right-hand garage below:

Or in the dining room:

Or when looking out from the dining room over the kitchen/breakfast nook/great room:

Even when looking up from the kitchen/breakfast nook towards the dining room:

Heck, even the master bedroom deck is insulated!

As the walls become more solid some things become more noticeable. It's a walk-in pantry as long as nothing else is in it (it bears mentioning it's not actually *supposed* to be a walk-in pantry):

The vault of the ceilings in the upstairs rooms is more apparent now. It makes them feel much larger than they might otherwise:

This is the way to the garage:

And that is all! Coming soon: drywall!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Windows all in now!
Unfortunately we have to swap out the large ground floor windows as they were not supposed to have muntin and they somehow showed up with it.

A great deal of wiring is in, including the majority of the ethernet cables (hooray!)

The majority of the light fixtures are in. Here are some from the master bedroom:

Ethernet and coaxial are in place for where the TV will sit on the wall in the greatroom. This will be bumped out slightly all the way up.

The light fixtures in the open area with high ceilings downstairs are in. Replacing light bulbs is going to be awesome.

The light fixtures are mostly in outside as well, most notably under the gables:

The piping for the vacuum system is roughed in:

Oh ... and the garage doors are in. We thought we'd grabbed a nice photo with the garage doors down but it turns out that was a figment of our imagination; we actually only got the horrible shot below.

Inching closer to move-in time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

21st Century Reading

I love my Kindle!

Today, after one rather long shipping delay since Amazon made it available for sale in Canada, my Kindle (this one) finally arrived.

The first experiences were a little rocky. The e-ink is sufficiently convincing I initially thought the screen had a sticker on it. Eventually it dawned on me it couldn't be peeled off. Lol.

I figured it needed to be charged so I connected the provided USB cable to my PC, at which point the Kindle lied to me. Contrary to what this screen says it doesn't matter if you eject the damn thing, you just can't (at least on my pc...) use the Kindle at the same time it is plugged into PC USB for charging:

Next I decided to connect to my home wireless. After several mistaken attempts to press enter to select a symbol that instead caused the device to attempt to connect with an incomplete access code I figured out how to use the 5-way input thingy and finally entered the entire wireless access code. The device then helpfully started displaying that it was connected to wireless and popped a seemingly immortal partially completed wireless access code entry screen. This wouldn't go away no matter what I pressed. At this point I learned from Google that holding power down for 15 seconds gives the Kindle strong encouragement to turn off. I flipped it back on, resulting in 5-10 seconds of blank screen before anything happened. Luckily when it finally booted back up it remembered the wireless info, refrained from popping immortal dialogs, and was generally happy with the world.

Finally all connected, it was time to try to download some free books! I wanted to grab the Kindle Download Guide described in http://www.feedbooks.com/help/kindle. The first obstacle was that the site advises that
"The guide is a simple file that you need to add on your Kindle. The URL for this file is http://www.feedbooks.com/kindleguide
Open the browser on your Kindle and open this URL"
Unfortunately at this point I had no idea how to actually open an arbitrary URL on the Kindle. It turns out you hit the menu key on the home screen, then pick search:

This brings me back to the joys of symbol entry on the Kindle. Picking symbols with the 5-way thing still sucks:
Once I finally had the URL entered I selected the 'go to web' search type and it informed me of the potential for download:
After I said yes and waited a few moments moments a prompt came up to say the file has been downloaded and the book was available on the home screen. Sounds great! I clicked ok and got abandoned on a blank browser screen:

Pressing 'Home' returned me home (shocking!) and the download guide was indeed available:

On my first opening of the guide the recent additions page popped, which is neat but not terribly useful:

Pressing 'Menu' and selecting 'Go to...' and then table of contents yields a more useful display with links to books that were recent added, recently popular, or simply the catalog in alphabetical order or by author:

Author information apparently pulls from Wikipedia and the catalog gives a nice list of book links to download:

On the book information page I was able to simply choose 'download this book', confirm I really wanted to download, and get abandoned on the blank browser screen of success once again. Pressing 'Home' took me to the updated content list with my new book, ready to read. Although not as polished as it could be that's still a staggeringly easy way to get a free book!

The really awesome thing about all this is that within minutes of unboxing the Kindle I have a copy of a book I have considered purchasing before! I tend to think the Kindle is going to pay for itself pretty quickly!!

It also bears mentioning that I generally despise reading lengthy documents on even a good LCD screen because it makes my eyes ache. My biggest worry buying a Kindle was that I'd hate reading on it. Well, so far so good! Reading on the Kindle is completely different than reading on any actively lit screen. It feels like a book in the hand with the cover on and the electronic ink screen is clear and pleasant to read. It can even display surprisingly detailed images, such as the ones it leaves up when you flip it off:

Browsing arbitrary sites sort of works. It tries hard and does render quite well courtesy of WebKit but anything with much color or complex graphics is pushing it. Here is google and the Starcraft 2 homepage:

I have to say I'm tremendously pleased with this device so far. Portable access to a VAST array of public domain works plus the ability to purchase books, magazines, and newspapers that are not quite public is awesome. And, as advertised, the screen seems tolerable for reading longer periods with less eye strain than any of my screens that enthusiastically blast light at me.

- Rod

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We're Married You Know!

Long long ago (July 24th) we got married. There are just under 200 pictures posted here. And one or two below.

Our logo:

Pretty flowers:

The first day of the rest of your life:

There's gold! 24ct specifically; things Rod learned during the wedding process include the fact that a great deal of Indian jewelry is made from 24ct gold.

The fakir of weddingistan.

For more go here.

A Roof and Windows!

Since last visit (see post) a lot of progress! The roof is fully on:

Windows are going in today; in fact of the many people at work several were actively doing this during our visit. The windows for the front of the house sitting upstairs just prior to placement:
The western front:
The eastern front:

The window for the master bedroom deck just before placement:

We quite like the result of high ceilings and large windows in the great room:

The great room windows as seen from the yard:

This *is* a city home so we had to have at least one window that looks directly sideways at the neighbors.

For bathrooms with tubs the tubs are now in place:

In the master bathroom we're going for two independent shower-heads in a 6'x3' space and an particularly thick glass wall. None of this is in yet.

The joys of working with a high ceiling; plus a view of how the half-wall separates the dining room from the kitchen, breakfast nook, and great room:

The stairs up from the kitchen level to the dining room and entrance are now present:

The ducting and heating is in full swing:

Apparently we should have doors with locks and then garage doors quite soon, at which point it will be somewhat harder for random people to come stroll through. We haven't had any problems but some sites have enough people enthused about visiting they have to hire security.