Yes, Elaine and I got a lot done around the house this weekend. In spite of the last-minute political drama, we took a pass and dug into some real serious remodeling.
Since the Bro-in-Law and his wife moved we’ve had company an d all but with the kids coming from the Denver area, we (Elaine) decided it was time to do a total makeover of the guest quarters, which is about 480 sq ft. off the shop.
Lots of fun, but busy as heck: New mini-porch ahead of a new steel exterior door that will be ready Wednesday, or so. Then there’s the refurb of the bathroom…mostly decorating and caulking, but there was an hour or two getting the bathroom door to shut right. Then there’s Mr. Cabinet’s work to follow.
Along with that, a couple of largely painful trips to Lowes for things like guttering, attachments, downspout…you know the list. Another trip when the shop was cleaned up to receive the plywood for the bathroom counter rework – and Elaine’s still got to pick out her tile and get that in for later this week.
Which gets me to the first item on the list: I finally broke down and ordered a Wagner 0530010 Smart Side Kick Power Roller.
Because E has a new “pallet” for the rooms, the ceiling, not to mention about half the walls will need a coat of Kilz first. We first learned about Kilz when we rebuilt our house years and years ago. Covers up smoke stains, smells, and it’s just great stuff. Comes in oil-based or latex, too. It’s an easy insurance policy that the paint chip says a color is supposed to look like, will be somewhere near the actual color when you wind up your paint splashing.
And that brings me to the marvelous Buddhist monk, who was also an architect, back in the day, up in Seattle.
Years and years ago, I built a broadcasting college in Seattle and the owner of the building was Martin Selig, a billionaire and local legend in Seattle. This monk worked for him, mostly.
Anyway, back to point, Ures truly learned two of the most important lessons of interior design from this monk fellow.
The first was never paint a room with just ONE color. Always, no matter what the room, use accent and highlight walls. If you were going to do a beige, for example, go one shade darker and one shade lighter. Where a corridor turns, use an accent wall with a darker (or lighter) color depending on what effect you’re after.
But the OTHER HUGE DEAL he told me about was actually doing the work of figuring out the right lighting levels.
Turns out, there is a standard way to calculate light and it’s based on how much light, in lumens, is dispersed over how big an area. See the nifty and blissfully short paper here.
Which related to the remodel how?
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” I always say. And since the eyes are not what they used to be (more on that one of these days) I am very sensitive to contrast levels. Basically, the more light, the better.
So the increased workshop operations were a fine excuse to add a couple of 2,700 lumen LED shop lights. See: LLT LED Garage Vapor Proof Fixture 4ft 36W 5000K IP66 – Daylight. The price isn’t bad and they are not subject to slow starts when (or if ever) the weather turns really cold.
As you know, fluorescent lights are not as energy-efficient as LED lights but more to the point is they take a decent electrical kick in the rump on cold mornings. I don’t like installing electronic cold-weather ballasts when LED lighting has come down so much.
Probably like your house, we’re slowly cycling out of old compact fluorescent technology and into LED as the prices slide. But in places like the shop – where the more light the merrier – the old style lighting just doesn’t cut it anymore.
The change-out will be gradual, and don’t get me wrong, the lights I ordered do have temperamental wiring connectors. On the other hand, if you figure out how to get the gasketing back in place over the wiring port, they are intrinsically safe which means they shouldn’t blow-up…but that will be for lawyers, not scientists or marketing departments, to decide.
One thing is for sure: having a ton of light over on that side of the workshop has revealed a lot of additional cleaning that needed to be done. Allow me the observation that workshops aren’t intrinsically dirty and dinghy. They are that way because most people spend as little time as possible on home shops. This results in a failure to invest in good quality lighting.
And now for the grand finales…don’t know if I mentioned this before, but now that I live in the world of less-than-great eyesight, I am still able to do most tasks in the ham radio department relying on a medical-type, roll-around light used in clinical work. See: Esthology Facial Magnifying Lamp 5 Diopter with Rolling Floor Stand – Adjustable Mag Light. Has a 3 diopter main magnifier (with flip down cover) and a 5 diopter add-in area.
As we age, I guess the lighting requirements are changing.
One other thing you might look into is getting a larger LED TV. I was shopping at WalMart this weekend (online) and they had a 55” Sceptre 4K television for $329 and free shipping.
Sure, I might be able to find a better brand, yada, yada, but OMG that is a lot of screen real estate for cheap so I will let you know how it works out. As I told you, WM is getting into the Amazon space of online so they are doing some aggressive pricing in electronics. The one I ordered was the Sceptre U550CV-U 55″ 4K Ultra HD 2160p 60Hz LED HDTV (4K x 2K).
At these prices, we will soon be at the point where it will be cheaper to install LED big screens in every room and pipe a high-def camera from some elevation overhead and pretend you are in a penthouse. (Hmmm…the ham radio tower? Hmmm…)
Seriously, price Thermopane windows lately? Good windows can be more pricey than this grad of 4K Ultra box. We covered this in the new eHouse discussion last year in Peoplenomics but it was shocking to see the 55: $300 price point nearly reached.
Million Dollar Monday Idea? A 4K wireless weatherproof camera for roof or tower mount that self-configures to your home Wi-Fi and you can put, zoom, and the receiver/dongle plugs directly into an HDMI point and steer the camera. Seriously –HUGE market potential for this!
Windows are obsolete. And remarkably, just as I reach my expires date, along comes massive change like this. Of all the luck, huh?
Daylight Time Hangover? Crazy Time
Best epistle about this falling back crap came in from brother Bill at the Radio Ranch…
…like anyone cares, but I tell ya, I hate this time-change thing Makes me nutz.
It all started for me in Vietnam. I ran a radio station, and was tasked with keeping five different 24-hour clocks. Five.
And the generals and the bird colonels would call up on the phone from downstairs and ask the time (and date), right now, in various places. They’d call at all hours of the day and night. There was no internet, of course; and also no GPS-based clocks, and quartz clocks were still expensive curiosities.
In my radio station, we could hear Japan’s shortwave radio time signal station, “JJY,” and we could also usually hear far-away U.S. National Bureau Of Standards time station, “WWV.” We used these to set and check our clocks.
We had to keep clocks (24-hour type) for Greenwich, England, now known as “Coordinated Universal Time,” one for WASHDC, where GovDome is, one for California, where lots of logistics came from, one for Hawaii, and one for the local Vietnam time.
Naturally, the DATE would change five times a day, too, and at irregular intervals, as the distances between all these time zones were all different. Once a month, all those would roll through as well in a progressive manner from east to west, adding further to the puzzle.
So, the Stars and Crows would demand to know the full Date-Time figure for wherever-the-hell they were curious about. AND we had to recite it, instantly, in a strong and military snappy manner!!
“Sir, the time in Hawaii is one-five (short pause) two-three four six!!”
The “one-five” being the date, and the rest being the 24 hour time in that zone. They were left to calculate the month all by themselves.
So, TIME became a Great Abstraction to me. It damaged my brayne to have to deal with this. Later, when I got married, my lovely and endlessly patient wife, Kathy, would get confused around the biennial time changes and often ask me, “What time is it — Really?” Meaning what ever flavor of time we had just come off of, was the legit time, and this New Time wasn’t Really Real. This fixation on the relative times would last a couple of weeks, and then pass gradually. But it always re-newed MY neurosis about the Time.
Must be thirty clocks in my life these days — counting the car, and all the other little ones you overlook and find days later that you missed.
Takes me hours to get ’em all, and “hack” ’em all to the One True And Correct Time: WWV. I hate having a load of digital clocks around and having them all differ by a minute or two. I’m O.C.D. enough that I want the damn seconds to agree closely, too. Not perfectly, just closely — within 10 seconds, say.
Then, I’m happy — but only for about 6 months, when we do the whole tawdry and frustrating affair of cycling all the clocks… …again.
So, Happy Time Day!
Here at the ranch, Zeus the Cat didn’t read the time-change memo. Thoroughly pissed that the door opened for his AM feeding an hour late. Said he was going to file another complaint via his lawyers. I told him legal fees come out of the cat food budget and that seemed to shut him up, but he’s still acting surly.
So much for the weekend. National absurdity day tomorrow…don’t forget to be absurd.
And write when you get rich…