Sheddy Goodness

Most of our heating is solar, but wood for winter takes up space and we don’t have much, coz our land is not far off a cliff. We can grow a good chunk of our firewood on site, but that requires space two store wood for the two years it takes to dry.

We’d run out of space, so it was time for a shed. And of course, it has to fit functionally and aesthetically with the rest of the house, so this was more complicated than usual. I mean, the shed itself is bog standard kitset in cedar, but then there was carving out the space for it, the foundations for it, shelving to hold more than a tonne of wood, and reinforcement for the living roof, coz that’s going to be about a quarter tonne of soil.

And, of course, I only want to build this once, so I want to build it right and help it stay durable. Given the damp spot that it’s in, that’s going to be fun… Continue reading “Sheddy Goodness”

Further Adventures in Time-Consuming Shelves

One of the great joys of owning our own place is that if we what some shelves bolted to the walls, we can just bolt some shelves to the walls. One of the drawbacks of living in a beautiful house built by a master is that you really can’t be half-arsed. Just getting some plywood and angle-brackets is right out. With that in mind, I decided to make three more shelves.

The amp and sub sit in the corner of the snug, occasionally with an ipod on top, occasionally with a laptop for watching of movies. Clearly, this is half-arsed, but a perfect spot for two shelves, mounted to both walls, wide enough for the amp, deep enough for a laptop and, for bonus points, with great big holes for power cables, speaker cables, interconnects, and cooling. How long could that take?

Ha ha oh god no

Long weekend pics post

Our house is starting to be less of a thing we work on and more of a thing we work in. Still, there’s plenty to work on. We finished the landing above the stairs and the curtains in the spare room and then there was dancing. Or at least, stretching and plotting for dancing:

Danger! Contains serious dancer socks

Random pics in lieu of actual thought

We’ve moved offices, into the space left by the relocation of one of the odd corners of the NZ government’s security apparatus. So, 1970s decor, strange fibre-optic networking, and posters on the wall like this:

Still, the view’s not too shabby, for Wellington:

Work’s internet isn’t up yet, so I’ve mostly been working from home for a couple of days:

In other news, the long hole in the ground that was going to be the retaining wall for the path is now a retaining wall. The sense of achievement isn’t really matched by the visual extent of what’s been done, but that’s coz half of it is underground:

And it appears I have a carpometacarpal boss on my wrist. This would explain the pain when doing handstands, although I don’t know if it explains the copious swelling after shovelling. Further investigations are proceeding.

The Joy of Shoveling – this Saturday

We’re officially declaring the first room in the house is done! Yup, and it’s the smallest room.

We have also sorted out the aerial rigging, with a phuge ladder up one side of the main space, wire rope, pulleys, and generalised stuff for hanging off. We didn’t realise that the ladder and the main suspension point are close enough that the flyer and the counterweight can reach out and interact. Also, the weight difference between tieke and me is just right so that if I’m at the top of the ladder and she’s on the ground, I can jump off. She goes up, fast; I go down, slowly enough to cope with the halt at the bottom. Annabel was over from Boulder for a play:

This week the builders are building the retaining wall by the path. The path itself is bomb-proof, but the slope above is dubious and above that is the road, so I doubt the neighbours would be too chuffed if it gave way. So into this long hole will go some concrete footings, then a timber crib wall is going above, to be filled with spoil and gravel.

So if you’re free this saturday and want to experience the joy of shoveling, we can provide a shovel. (You may get your shoveling arse kicked by tieke‘s Dad, who is in his 80s and still shovels regularly.)

Moved in – pics from upstairs

We’re slowly getting our heads around the fact that we’re living in our house. It’s what we wanted, solid, durable, open, healthy, beautiful. I can’t quite say warm yet, as there remains numerous holes in walls yet to be filled, and we’re far from finished but for now, have some pics:

Moved in

Ok, we’ve moved. Thanks to the helpful horde, from truck arriving in Newtown to truck leaving from Brooklyn was two and a half hours, which must be some kind of record for the amount of stuff we had. So cheers, all. Got the final tip run done a day early and I can now bring to work a brain that’s capable of thinking about work, not house.

House currently lacks… lots. Hot water should be on by the end of today, but there’s scaffolding in the main room, a ladder in the bath, lots of plastering to do, internal doors to hang, a pump to wire up, and the bedroom still holes to the outside and an unpainted ceiling. When there’s a tarp just outside the bedroom window and the wind is gusting overnight to 130 then you can understand why we didn’t get much sleep last night.

Oh, and the internet’s not working, it’s complaining about DHCP, which confuses me coz Telstra uses static IPs. I dunno.

But still, we’re in and can relax a little.

House! – Moving in two days…

Lots done today.

We have lights:

We’re about to have outside stairs, down to the workshop. After this flight, the stairs turn the corner, so Cliff & Jarrod’s progress slowed somewhat:

Today for me was letterbox, thirteen shelves, tidying, and helping with sanding & painting the kitchen, dining, & bathroom ceilings, and second coat of oil on the wooden floor upstairs. There was tieke, Cliff, the Jarrods, Kylie, Paul & Joe the plumbers, Simon the tiler, and Duncan the sparkie all on site.

So yeah, lots done today. Time to sleep now.

HAUS! – Move in 3 days…

Ok, it’s looking like it’s all on track. Yesterday we managed stairs inside, electricity live, and the upstairs floor sanded and oiled. Remaining is water, gas, appliances, outside stairs, one more lockable outside door, and a whole host of other crap. Oh, and then packing and moving. Doable, but…

Anyway, pics in a hurry:

Counting down to moving: six days

Now we’re even more tired, but kinda just barely hanging on to being on track to move in this Sunday. We’re limewashing and trenching, and shortly to be oiling floors and building racking*, other people are wiring up, building stairs inside & out, putting in the balustrade, installing a door on the gimp cupboard, grouting & sealing, connecting up the plumbing, alarm, gas, and I don’t know what else, but that’s okay, coz I have a spreadsheet to keep track of all that.

There may be gibbering soon.

One more of the floor, coz it’s pretty:

If anyone’s free tomorrow or evenings this week, then yeah, I could indeed use a hand.

* – cheap fast racking: drill 12 mm holes 100 mm deep into the concrete walls. Hammer in 400 mm of 12 mm reinforcing bar, use spare 12 wide board for shelves and load up with whatever’s on the floor that you want on the wall.

We move in in twelve days. Oh crap.

I’m quite tired.

But one more hour of waxing in a corner will finish the downstairs floor.

We have light switches.

Various rooms are nearly done, or at least all they need are surface finishes: floor sanding & oiling, and such like.

I’m sufficiently tired that I’ve lost grasp of the whole project, there’s just a list of tasks to be done, stretching into the future. However, that’s why we have spreadsheets, to keep track of what needs to be done, when, and by who.

More floor

We’re planning on moving into the house at the end of this month, hence we’re cracking on. The builders are back next week, so we’re trying to get the floor finished off now. Thus linseed oil. Lots of linseed oil (and fuvenusrs‘ builders crack):


In other news, the green roof is working out rather well. Here’s two months of growth:

We’ll be up there tomorrow, for more.

Tired now

So, today was:
1) Painting linseed oil all over the floor
2) Helping a friend home after her back scarification
3) Writing more colour cycling code

I could get into this “holiday” thing.

1) We’ve been cracking on with the floor. With copious assistance, it’s progressing and we’ll break the back of it before the builders are back. It’s a poured earth floor, so finishing it involves lots of clay slip, then linseed oil, then rubbing with linseed oil, then wax. Here’s what it looks like after the linseed oil:

Tomorrow (Wednesday), we’re having a day off, while the oil soaks in. And then tieke will be in gainful employment and I’ll be at the house with more oil, with occasional breaks to dig post holes. You are all invited to come and do your backs in.

2) It’s tatjna. There’ll be pics.

3) Just picking random RGB values and fading from one set to the next is easy but looks crap. Current method is to consider the RGB colourspace as a 3D space and loop or spiral within that space. Alternatively, loop or spiral within the Hue-Saturation-Brightness space. Either way, I’m enjoying using Processing for this. Lots of effort goes into making it look right.

Also managed to get the tiny battery charging circuit alive for the next toy, though it’s doing odd things that I haven’t the time to think about yet. Is an LTC4060 to charge three NiMCh cells off 7.5 Volts and I’m liking that I put multiple status LEDs on the board. I’m not liking the exposed thermal pad under the chip, it’s impossible to solder to so I’m bodging in some copper tape as a tatty heatsink. It may be time to invest in a frying pan and some solder paste: