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Monday, September 30, 2013

House Day 35 - Monday We Closed In The West Wall

Gary and Joe Shiver spent the day putting plywood on the west side of the house. It rained today but we were under cover.

This is the first view of the west side showing the wall covered.

This is the dining room looking west.

This is the kitchen.

The fireplace from the living room looking toward the dining room.

Looking down the back porch.

The bottom 2 feet of each wall is covered by 3/4 inch treated marine plywood. The top 8 feet is covered with CDX quality 3/4 inch plywood. The studs are 2 x 6  nailed on 16 inch centers.

The house from the street. Tomorrow the plywood will be on this wall.

The plywood must be nailed every 4 inches with ringed alloy nails.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

House Day 34 - What To Do With This Giant Attic

What to do with a 60 x 20 x 10 attic?

Friday - Lulu is certain that her two-sided fireplace will be the focal point of the house. I am convinced the most unusual feature will be the giant attic. Lulu says that if it is so important - it could be my man cave. Not just a place to go - but a place to put ALL my stuff including me.

Both the framers and the two AC men continued working on their projects. Things have slowed down prepping for the next big step. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome To The Lord's House

Every evening I go down to the new home site to clean up a little. I pick up the bent nails - sort and stack the lumber - and get out the backpack blower to clear the saw dust. I always felt that you get better work out of someone in a clean and tidy work site.

After supper I drove the scooter to the web site. There was a white truck that shouldn't be there - it said Panhandle Insulation. I yelled out to the guy - he had a clipboard and was doing some figuring. He said he would like to bid on the insulation package. I would never turn down a bid - so he continued his ciphering.

I told him I wanted Open Cell Foam insulation - the liquid foam that expands upon application. We talked for a while - I told him I was the owner. I said I lived up the street.

He asked me what I was going to use the 60 x 10 x 20 attic room. I said I did not know. I said it was for only my wife and I left.  He was astonished. With the 28 windows - open great room downstairs - and the big attic - he thought it was a church.

House Day 33 - Hurricane Strap and Clip Day

Lulu was absolutely bored by the metal clip job today. It seems that anything you can't see is a waste of time to her.

THURSDAY - In 1992 - Hurricane Andrew with its 150 MPH winds ripped apart Miami and Homestead on the southern tip of the peninsula. In a panic the legislature passed some very stringent laws to beef up home construction. Even though we live 500 miles north of Andrew's path - the same laws apply to builders up in the Panhandle.

Clips and straps

House Day 32 - Framed the Gables - Put in AC Ducts

The attic room will be 60 x 20 x 10 - with two windows on each end.

Wednesday - Now that the house is closed in - weather can't beat us. It is so much nicer working in the shade. Gary and Joe were framing out the gable ends. We are delighted with the spacing. The sides of the home have 6 windows - two up top and four downstairs. The windows are stacked one over the other.

The AC men were busy constructing ducts and then insulating them. It looks like one more day of AC work.

This is the major supply air duct. A vertical duct goes to each room from it. 

This is the north gable end. Someone looking into one end of the attic would be able to see out the other end - no walls - the windows lined up.

Lulu's focal piece of the house will be this see-thru fireplace. This is the view from the front door. The hearth will be raised so the fire can be seen from the living room on the east and the dining room on the west. In the dining room - the table will have the fireplace at one end and a window at the other end. 

This is a view of the fireplace from the back door. While sitting at the dining table - one can look through the fireplace and see the street. People on the street will be able to see the fire - if the shutters are open. Lulu is planning to cover the fireplace with stacked stone - this fireplace is her baby.

The Original Lulu Is Married 43 Years

MaryLou and Carl Zimmerman just celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. 

Although Carl is my cousin - half brother of my Dad - but the big family connection is between Lulu and Lulu. their kids are roughly the same age. They formed a play group back in Tamaqua to broaden their kids' base. I think there were about 5 or 6 women that met weekly - while the kids slugged it out on the floor - the ladies probably slugged the wine down in the kitchen  :-)

Car and Marylou have two homes - one back in Hometown PA - and one near Tampa. I tease them that the reason they will not sell their Coal Cracker home is that is is too full of stuff. They both are hearty collectors. She oftens says that "Harry's hell will be him tied to a chair in my living room."

They are just returning from a round the USA trip in their Cadillac.

Carl and Marylou spend the summers in Tamaqua and the winters in Florida near the grandkids. Carl is famous for his amateur radio hobby - and no one can forget his model trains. Marylou is famous for her stories about Carl.

The couple have two kids - Christa and Phil. Christa has a bunch of kids and Phil was a Fulbright Scholar. What a wonderful legacy.

Daddy George Bush Signs As Witness For A Gay Wedding

From the Washington Post

No big statement from the ex-prez’s office. His rep Jim McGrath confirmed his and wife Barbara’s presence at the Kennebunkport wedding: “They were private citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.”
In an e-mail from their honeymoon in London, Clement told us they’ve known the former first couple for years and were thrilled they accepted the wedding invitation. Thinking about “how monumental this time is in our lives” and “how blessed we are to be in their lives,” they decided to ask them “to really personalize it for us” as witnesses.
“This is such a wonderful time for change in our legal system,” she added. “Who would be best to help us acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world. When they agreed to do so we just felt that it was the next acknowledgment of being ‘real and normal.’” Clement, 60, said she and Thorgalsen, 55, have been together for 12 years, during which she helped raise her new wife’s now-adult daughters.
Other members of the Bush circle — including granddaughter Barbara, daughter-in-law and former first lady Laura, and Dick Cheney — have expressed varying levels of support for gay marriage, which became legal in Maine in December.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bellevue Plantation - Catherine Murat House

Many of our home ideas are similar to Bellevue - the Catherine Murat Plantation. The old house has been restored and is in the Tallahassee Museum.

At one time the Murat house was on Jackson Bluff Boulevard

Our home is obviously bigger - and had to pass modern building codes - but the basic lines are the same. Both houses are bases on square foundation with covered porches - everything contained under the same 6/12 roof.

The Murat floor plan is two large north and south rooms - separated by a grand hall. Our house has a master suite and guest suite separated by a great room. In each case the front and back door line similar to the shotgun house or the dog run house.

Where our home is on a solid concrete foundation - the Murat House is raised up on pillars and has a wooden floor.

Our home has 28 windows all the same size. Each window will be covered by an interior plantation shutter.

Catherine Murat House

Where the Murat House has two fireplaces and two chimneys - our roof will have no protrusions. Our fireplace will be more centrally located and the chimney will run through the trusses and exit the house under the eves.

Instead for fireplaces heating our home - we will have a heat pump that heats - cools - and dehumidifies the home. Since the home will be completely insulated with liquid foam insulation - it will require much less energy to heat and cool. 

Murat House has 4 windows space across the front - our home has 8 windows space across the front and 8 more on the back.

The irony of the whole similarity is that we designed our home BEFORE we examined the Murat House.

House Day 31 - More Interior Frame Work - More AC Work

Gary and Joe put in a full day framing out the walls in the attic.

They also framed out Lulu's two sided fireplace. You will be able to look right through the fireplace from the dining room to the living room. The fire will be visible from the street if the shutters are open.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Something For The Old House - A New Microwave Oven

I installed this Kitchenaide microwave last night. 

It is a 2 cubic foot size - 1000 watts of power.

The microwave in our present kitchen was about 10 years old. I installed it when we first bought the house in 2004. Most of Lulu's appliances are stainless steel. When it comes time to sell this old house - it will probably sell better with matching appliances. I decided to look around for a deal.

After lunch at Wendy's - my bowl of chili - I drove across the street to HH Gregg - it is a big box store that is about 1 mile from our house. We have bought several items there - because they have good prices - you can bargain - and I do not have to haul the stuff too far to get it home. 

Gregg has a closeout table - usually one of a kind items - that they want to get rid of quickly. I noticed that there were just 2 stainless steel microwaves - nothing else on the table. One had a price on it of $350 - usually $500 - to me that was not much of a deal. I asked the salesman about the other one - a Kitchenaide - it did not have a price. Of course he did not know anything. I took a peek inside.

The sticker said 80% off! They only wanted $104 for an over the range - stainless steel - Kitchenaide microwave oven - with a vent fan and light. There was no box - no owners manual - no bracket - no bolts  - just the glass turntable. I carried the oven over to an outlet - plugged it in and everything worked - oven - lights - vent fan.  I called Lulu - sent her a picture of it - and she approved. 

It took them forever to do the paper work - but finally they carried it to my camper. I just took the camper to Super Lube and sprung for the synthetic oil. So it was ready to haul home the new booty.

Last night after supper I decided to install it. It was easy enough to remove the old one from the wall. Since the lights and fan did not work on the old one - I put it out on the curb. Within minutes - a car stopped - back up - and the driver loaded it into the trunk. So much for disposal. The same thing happened when I bought a new refrigerator from HH Gregg - but that time the picker came by at night. He even knocked on the door to ask if I had the hardware to attached the doors - I did - in the trash can. 

Now the fun started. I had no manual - I had no wall bracket - and the old hanging bolts were a different  thread from the ones the new oven needed. Lulu downloaded the manual from the Internet - and we went to Home Depot to buy bolts and washers. That was another $1.30 invested in this deal. With a little work with a cutting wheel - I was able to alter the old bracket to accept the new microwave.

It took almost a half hour to line up the bolts - and drill new holes in the above cabinet - the old holes did not match the new oven. Finally - with saw dust all over the place including on the cooktop below -the new bolts with big washers on the top fit through the holes I drilled.  After a sniff or two of something burning - not sure if it was the sawdust from the drill - or the flesh on my arm - I quickly vacuumed everything up while Lulu turned off the stove and removed the knobs so I would not accidentally turn it on again. 

The pictures above say it all - the oven looks and works great. Notice I did not include the stove in the photos - that is the last appliance which it not stainless steel. 

Lulu just pocked out the appliances for her new kitchen - all stainless steel. With my luck - by the time I want to sell this house - or both houses - stainless steel appliances will be out of style - and I will be looking for clear plastic one - or maybe a refrigerator with a TV in the door. 

My favorite stainless steel appliance ever was a large urinal about 6 feet wide in a pub in Scotland. There was a TV screen with a soccer game going on. Locals got a lot of joy by peeing on the opponents team. It gave "stainless steel" a whole new meaning to me. 

House Day 30 - Installing the Heat / Air Conditioning / Ventilation System

The air handler sits in the northwest corner of the attic. A giant 18 inch duct runs the entire length of the house - about 60 feet. 

Monday morning - things slowed down a bit. Now that the house is closed in - we do not have to rush to do anything. Gary and Joe continued to work on framing and preparing the walls for closing. Gary Wayne and Josh went to do finishing work on the other house they are building. We have been going at a torrid pace and I hope we keep going that way.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

FSU Beats Bethune-Cookman - Earl and Jeannie Eidem and Family Had a Blast at the Game

Jean and Earl Eidem - two of my former Panther Valley 7th grade students - now live in Crestview FL. All 9 of us went to the game in our camper - had a party - enjoyed the FSU victory - and now they are staying in our guest house. 

The Bethune Cookman Wildcat Band from Daytona Beach FLORIDA - was a highlight of the night. They were very loud the whole game. 

It was a night of firsts. It was a first Seminoles game for most of Earl and Jeannie's family. It was a first for us tailgating with Joe and Gary Wayne Shiver at their building on Jackson Bluff Road. And it was the first time the Bethune-Cookman Band graced Bobby Bowden Field.

We sat at the red dot - Earl and family sat at the blue dot. We parked at the green dot for free.

The Eidem's drove over from Crestview - arriving at around 3 PM. At about 4 PM - we all piled into our camper - 9 of us in all - and drive to the Shiver place. It is exactly one block south of the stadium. They had a chair holding our spot on their land. As we started to unload our food and tables - it started to pour. Joe insisted we party with them inside the building.

Reason Number 1 - Why I Like FSU Beach Volleyball

1 - There is no admission charge.

Super Storm Aimed at Hong Kong and Brandon Taylor

Usagi will drop 40 inches of rain!
From The Independent

A monster Super Typhoon has intensified explosively in the last 24 hours and remains on track to wreak havoc in Taiwan, the Philippines and potentially Hong Kong over the weekend.
Over the last day Super Typhoon Usagi, which is now the strongest storm to form on earth this year, has seen winds increase from 75mph on Tuesday to over 160 mph today. The cyclone is now classified now as a Super Typhoon and is considered the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane.

First Official Use of the Camper - A Tailgate Party at FSU Football Game Today

Joe's place is marked in yellow. The building has a fantastic stone-fired pizza shop and a bicycle shop in it. Notice that Doak Campbell Stadium does not run north-south or east-west. We usually get seats in that large shadow in the southwest area. 

Sams put on 4 new Michelins tires yesterday. They were not busy - it was a quick drive-in and drive-out. the camper has 28000 miles on it - but the old tires were 7 years old. they had plenty of tread on them.

Today Jeanie and Earl Eidem are coming for a visit and to take the kids to an FSU football game. Five of their kids are coming along. Most of them have never been to a game. 

The Roadtrek will be used to take us all to the game - about 2 miles from our house. Kickoff is 6 PM so we will head to the game between 3 and 4. 

When I bought the camper - I knew the tires were fair. They had good tread - but the sidewalls were showing their 7 years of age. Friday I took it to Sams and got a set of Michelin tires put on it. They have a 70000 mile warranty. I am sure the old tires would have made the 4 miles round trip - but it was as good excuse as any to get new tires. Men love new tires. 

We will be parking very close to the stadium - about one block away. One of my builders - Joe - owns a building and lot close to the stadium. The yellow arrow above points it out. We have a 20% chance of rain for the game. Lulu is preparing a big picnic lunch. 9 of us will pile into the van for the short trip over.

Tickets will be very cheap - FSU is playing a small black school called Bethune-Cookman from Daytona. Ticket prices are $38 - but I expect we will have 50 yard line seats for $10 each. Too bad Jeannie and Earl bought tickets already. I am guessing 65000 out of 83000 will show up.

House Day 29 - Attic Floor and Attic Steps Are Complete

Friday was the first day we worked under complete cover. The weather was cooperative - still no rain and a nice breeze. what a difference it is being out of the scorching sun - I only had to change my clothes once. 

The attic floors was completed. It is made of 3/4 inch - smooth one side - tongue and groove. It is nailed and glued on 16 inch centers - directly to the roof trusses. There is an 18 inch space under the floor and above the ceiling for air ducts - electrical wires - and black steel gas pipes - that will go to the range - fireplace - and water heater. The floor is rated for 12000 pounds - about 60 people :-)

We will use Icynene liquid foam insulation overhead on the entire roof. We were going to leave the insulation plain but the city said we must either coat the insulation or put drywall over it. We will probably do the latter. This attic is like a dance hall - 60 feet x 20 feet x 10 feet - this space alone is bigger that our whole Tamaqua chalet where we lived 30 years. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

House Day 28 - Why Is Builder Gary Smiling Today?

1st Reason - Today the house was closed in. Hot sun and pouring rain cannot slow him down now. 2nd Reason - He is enjoying what he likes the most - laying out the steps to the attic. 3rd Reason - He got paid today.

Here is the back of the house - looking down from the metal barn. The roof is done - and a full coat of Titanium Underlayment is attached. When people ask Lulu what the house will look like - she says Cracker Barrel. I think it looks like Noah's Arc.

Today was a beautiful day at the project. The weather was nice - sunny - breezy - and no rain. From now on it does not matter. We are officially closed in. We have been very luck with the weather. We only lost one day in 28 to the weather.

The rough plumbing and gas lines are in.

Day 27 - Top Hat Trusses Installed

Before dawn - the crane was lifting the top hat trusses into place.

The Top hat trussess completed the roof line.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

House Day 26 - Ben Giddens Was Designing the Heat / AC / Ventiltion System - Roof Sheeting Continued

Ben Giddens - AC Man

While Gary and his crew continued closing in the roof - Ben Giddens was busy deigning the AC system. We have decided on a Trane Heat Pump - with a SEER rating of 18. The air handler will sit in the attic in the northwest corner. Because we left an 18 inch gap between the attic floor and the main floor ceiling - all ducts will be able to pass through that space and be hidden. 

Each room will have several air outlets and air returns. That way a room is fully air conditioned - even when its doors are closed. All the ducts will be in insulated space - not being exposed to intense attic heat. 

The main unit will have a variable speed motor. When the heat or AC goes on - the motors will start up slowly. The speed will vary with the amount of service needed. the system should be virtually silent - very important to someone that is hard of hearing. 

Because the house is going to be insulated with Icynene liquid spray foam in place insulation - a 3 ton AC unit will be adequate for the whole house.

We expect the home to be closed in tomorrow.

Enjoying TV in Your Camper Without An Antenna - Going Down the Road

The TV rides in its own cabinet. It slides out for viewing.

Four things I love to do - 

1. Spending time with Lulu
2. Traveling
3. Surfing the Internet
4. Watching Directv and our DVR

Lulu and I have been married 42 years. That sure is a long time. We have a lot of common interests - things that we both sincerely like to do. 

We recently bought a Roadtrek. It is a camper van that has everything - kitchen - bathroom - shower - beds - you name it. But one of the things we like - when camping at some obscure parking meter or Walmart lot - is television. Our last camper had one of those satellite dishes in a dome. It was good - but you could not use it on the road. You had to park and aim to the satellite in the sky. You had to know the exact direction and elevation - just like dialing in a cannon. The satellite dome added another foot to the top of your camper. 

Frank McCourt Gives Georgetown $100 Million

Frank McCourt

A former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers is giving Georgetown University $100 million to found a school of public policy that will bear his family name, the largest donation ever to the nation’s oldest Catholic university.
Frank H. McCourt Jr., who took the storied baseball team into bankruptcy in 2011 and sold it last year for a reported $2.15 billion, has endowed Georgetown’s ninth school with a gift that will expand the university’s footprint in the growing field of public policy scholarship.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Carl and Marylou Zimmerman On Tour Around The USA

My cousin Carl and his wife Marylou were in California visiting the family. Now they are on the way home. In South Dakota - Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse statue - break up a long trip. The trip is being made in their new Cadillac.

Monday, September 16, 2013

House Day 25 - More Roof Plywood Sheeting

Cousin Josh and Gary Wayne just starting the front side of the roof

Cutting off the trusses - for the 2 foot overhang. A large overhang prevents water form splashing up on the sides of the house. It also provides shade.

At the end of Day 25 - 2/3rds of the roof was done

Florida Hurricane Code requires steel support straps all over

Monday was hot again - but no rain. The crew installed another third of the plywood on the roof. Maybe tomorrow the roof will be completely closed in. Gary said today as soon as we get the roof done  - we will be able to work under cover - out of the rain and sun.

The next undertaking will be the attic floor and steps. With the exception of the liquid foam in place insulation - the attic will be complete except for the ends.

Big Bend Truss came to take their truck away today.

We will have one more visit of the crane. It will be used to raise the top hat trusses in place.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Three Stars for FSU Against Nevada

9 - Karlos Williams - first time her touched the ball - 65 TD Run - 108 yard his first game

89 - Christian Green - wide receiver

5 - Jameis Winston - 15 for 18 - 3TD passes - 1TD run

Don't you love those new cameras that allow you to take bursts - then pick out the best one.