Sunday, June 28, 2009

MV Miss Behaven

This weekend marked our first urban boating excursion of the season. Tina's dad let us take out his 1964 Sabrecraft "Impella" 17' runabout. The boat is almost 100% original and gets tons of attention on the water. Here is a picture from last year:

The first time on the water after winter is always a little nerve-racking as you never know if the ol' motor (40hp Johnson Seahorse) is going to be happy after 6 months of sitting (although we go through a very thorough winterizing process).

After checking the spark plugs and changing the lower unit oil, we got the boat in the water at the Ballard launch. Now was the moment of truth (there were more than a few people watching). I set the choke and turned the key... RAHWRRRR.. she roars to life and kicks off the new season with an epic smoke cloud. This is due to the fogging oil we used in the motor when we winterized her.

We had an amazing day out on the water... but, unfortunately I forgot my damn camera. So, all I have to show is this cellphone pic of MV Miss Behaven parked at the Ivar's dock during our happy hour pit stop:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Well, the last brush stroke has been layed upon the dining room. We are VERY happy to be done.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Update

Well, we had to take a small break from the dining room to do a bit of yard work. Our goal is to fill up the yard waste bin every week, as the mystical yard is overgrown. So, one of our huge bushes got a hair cut:

We did manage to get two walls caulked today though!

We use masking tape to insure that the caulk lines are nice and straight:

Here is with no caulk:

Here is with caulk:

Notice how well it hides gaps etc... these old walls are so wavy, gaps are plentiful. Thank you caulk.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Dining Room Update

Well, it was another super productive day here at the palace. We finished installing all the trim! It was a long day, and we needed to start it off with a bang... That's right, homemade chicken fried steaks!

(there are few breakfast dishes in existence that have every single imaginable dietary hazard, but this one has them all. The rescipe actually calls for MSG in the gravey, but we used old fashioned salt instead... This is because we are healthy eaters.)

Here is a shot of the room as it sits now. Ready for filler caulk and paint (on trim).

Beast spotted in the Mystical Backyard

~ Midnight last night I spotted a beast in the Mystical Backyard.

The Nikon SB-600 can throw some serious light. These shots where taken @ about 30ft. from the subject.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday update

Progress... we are making it. The painting is complete and we have 3 of the four pieces of crown molding installed. Crown molding take a long time due to critical miter cuts and installation in a room that doesn't have square walls/ceilings To put it in perspective, the bedroom crown molding took about 5 days to get three pieces hung. So, we are definitely getting better at it.

The key is to reference the bottom line of the molding with a good chalk line with an offset for the lowest point of the ceiling. Otherwise the molding looks very wavy. Also, having access to a good finish nail gun really helps.

Friday, June 19, 2009

On Schedule...

So far we are on schedule with the dining room project! It is Friday and we have: everything masked, ceiling painted, and our first coat of paint up.. The color is a little bit worrisome, but I hope it looks great once it's all said and done.

Some pictures from the start of the project:

Dining room project

We have decided to refinish most of the main rooms in the house with fresh paint and Crown and Picture molding. After a grueling two weeks of "learning experiences" we where able to finish our bedroom:

Now that we are accomplished painters and finish carpenters, we are preparing to embark on a similar project in the dining room area (approx 2x the size).

We will document this process of converting a perfectly fine living room... into a Mystical Living Room.

Before Pictures:

This is the schedule we hope to keep:

Monday – Drink beer
Tuesday – Buy all supplies that we need
Wednesday – Mask off room
Thursday – Paint ceiling
Friday – Paint walls
Saturday – Start crown molding
Monday – Finish crown molding
Tuesday – Start Picture molding
Wednesday – Finish picture molding
Thursday – Caulk and paint, concludes project.


Ryan and Maggie brought us over an awesome house warming gift! A cascade hop plant. Hopefully we can brew some beer with hops from this plant this year.

Lawn gnomes are suspicious of this strange new-comer in the Mystical Yard:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The BBQ can take a smoke break...

The old stove that came with the house was not in working order so we decided to find a new one. After looking at used ranges on CL we found that new stoves are worth the extra little bit of cash because:

1) They are new
2) They send men with strong backs (and senses of humor) to move the new stove in and haul away the old one.

In the meantime we used our highly modified BBQ grill to heat the meat. The grill didn't have much poop from the factory so we made a few tweaks:

The old stove was a 40" electric Frigidaire from the 60's. According to the poor bastards that had to haul it away, it was... well built. The good news is, the new stove they dropped off looks AWESOME! It is a Frigidaire PLGF659GC, which is probably one of the best 36" gas stoves for under $2K.

So, yesterday we set forth on our first natural gas plumbing project to run fuel to the stove. Yes, I looked up the codes.

Here is the crowded space under the stove.. the good news is, there is gas at the water heater. The bad news is.. there isn't much room to work:

Here we replace an elbow (90 degree) with a "T" to get out supply to the stove:

Here is a look at the piping configuration. There is an added joint for front-to-back degree of freedom (to help line up with the hole in the floor). Also, notice the vertical drip leg for capturing water or debris:

Here is a look at where the pipe heads up into the kitchen. Notice the pipe dope, this stuff is made for gas applications, DON'T use Teflon tape:

And, a view from the kitchen. Notice the emergency cutoff valve (must be in same room as range and within 6' of range... yes, I still need to clean up the sawdust):
So, at ~11pm we had the moment of truth. Turned on the gas supply to the house and checked for leaks with soapy water and our noses. None appeared (thank god).

Today, we enjoyed our first meal cooked in our new Mystical Kitchen. The lawn gnomes stared into the window with envy and disgust:


Lawn-gnome-ambush has been launched to track a young Ballard couple's missadventures in Ballard living.