Archive of posts from 2006

Gross House Work

This didn’t happen at my house, but it was still gross. My brother Paul’s sump pump broke right before Christmas. I went over to help him replace it. That was BY FAR, the most disgusting, smelly job I have ever done. Thank god my house doesn’t have a sump pump. Though, I’m fairly certain that I’ll have similar problems with my catch basin. With either one, though, YUCK!

Repairing Mac Disk (not boot disk)

Command to use to try to repair a mac disk

Using rsync on OS X

To use rsync to backup a directory on a mac, syntax is:


So much has happened, I don’t know where to begin.

Server Upgrade

The machine hosting this blog has now been upgraded to Fedora Core 6. Coldandheartless has been down for a few days because I’m having an electrical problem at home. Right now, my house does not have a main circuit breaker for the entire house. My entire circuit panel is scheduled to be replaced next week. Anyway, since I was making some changes to the computer, I thought I’d upgrade it as well. So, thankfully, the upgrade from FC3 to FC6 went pretty well. There were very few things I had to fix.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

My one-year anniversary of living in the house passed yesterday. I did not meet my deadline of one room per year, but I am close to finishing. In fact, after these pictures, I’m not posting any more until it’s done. I’m basically just finishing up the trim, and the room will be done. The closet however, won’t be. But that’s mainly because I haven’t figured out how I’m going to use it.

Awesome Gift

Since my birthday was this week, I decided to get myself a gift. I had planned on buying myself the Lego Mindstorms robot kit because it looked pretty cool and a lot of fun. But, now that I am so much older and wiser, I decided on a more practical gift. You know, something that I need. I was a bit depressed about this, but decided it was the grown-up thing to do.

End of the Job in Sight

I finally have heat in the room. I put the duct in last week and finally connected it to the furnace the other day. Connecting ducts and putting them in was actually a fun job. I enjoyed it.


I finished painting the room and it’s orange. Somewhat of an odd color, but I wanted to try it and I like it. I know a couple of people think it’s nuts, but I can always paint again, if it ends up driving me crazy. Here’s what it looked like after I finished the trim.

My Vacation

I just got back from a vacation to New York City. I went with my sister Julie and her friend Kate. We left on Saturday and returned today, on Wednesday. It was a great trip. Mainly, we went to go to the US Open Tennis Championship which started on Monday.

Second Annual “No Wuss” Picnic

Today is the Second Annual No Wuss Picnic. A little picnic with my niece Emily and nephew Jack where we ride our bikes to a park and have some fun before they head back to school. It’s called “No Wuss” because participants HAVE to ride their bikes to get to the picnic. No one in cars are allowed because they’re wusses. The weather is beautiful and it should be fun. And my other niece Abby, who is two will also be attending for the first time this year. She can come because she will arrive on the back of her mom’s bike. I’ll post pictures if I remember to take my camera. Here are the pictures.

Got Grapes?

I do. My grapevine, planted only a few months ago, had grapes. (Note the “had” in the last sentence.) My cousin Janet showed me some purple grapes from her grapevine over the weekend and that made me take a closer look at my grapevine. I noticed the green grapes and thought, “Cool, I have green grapes, I wonder how they taste.” Genius that I am, it didn’t occur to me that Janet had purple grapes and I had green grapes and they both came from the same vine, from my Aunt Lucille’s house. So, stupidly, I picked my grapes and thought I’d give them a try. Well, as is probably obvious now, purple grapes start out green. When they are green, they are NOT ripe or ready to be picked. And when they are green, they taste TERRIBLE. They also have a much bigger seed thing inside them, which almost caused me to crack a tooth. So, this just reaffirms the fact that I have a lot to learn when it comes to gardening.

I Have a Floor, and it Looks Good!

So I’ve used my new favorite tool, a Rigid Random Orbital Sander, to finish the sanding of my floor. I still have more sanding to do with finer grit paper, but here’s what it looked like when I was half-way done.

Something is DONE!!!

I had the urge to completely finish something. The only thing I have that could be completely installed is the ceiling fan, so I installed it. Took just under two hours. Here’s what it looks like:

Paint is Mostly Gone

I rode my bike over to Home Depot on the way home from work today and picked up some more sandpaper. It didn’t take long to finish taking the last of the paint off the floor. There is still a bit that I might have to do right along the wall, but I’m not worried about that right now. I think I can now switch to the big sander that Janet is letting me use. Hopefully, I remember how it works.

Back to Work

After a long weekend in Tennessee, it’s back to work on the house. Amazingly, while I was gone, no little elves showed up in my house to finish sanding the floor. It was still in the half-finished state that I left it in last week. So today I did a little sanding. Actually, it was a decent amount of sanding. I used all 12 sandpaper belts that I had and probably could use around six more. I still have about six square feet of crappy paint to remove and then I should be able to use the big sander to make the floor smooth, instead of trying to remove crap from it. I’m hoping that while I’m at work tomorrow those elves might finally show up. I’ll leave some cookies out to see if that entices them.

Bought Fan and Light and Went Back to Drywall Taping

Today was basically a wasted day. Though I did purchase a ceiling fan for the bedroom and light for the closet. I went with an iron fan and a black light. I think these will go together, but I’m not sure. The problem I had is that I found a fan I liked, but I couldn’t find a light kit that went with it. My solution was to buy a white one and some black paint. I painted it and hope it will look ok.

Floor Stripped and Ceiling Painted

I got some paint stripper and took off as much paint as I could from the floor. I need to start sanding now, but since the temperature has been in the 90s for the past few days, I’ve been holding off. It’s not good to sand things when I have all the windows shut because the a/c is on. On the one day when it did cool off this week, I went ahead and painted the ceiling. It looks ok. Since it was hot, it seemed like a good time to go shopping for ceiling fans and lights for the bedroom. That is something I’m still working on. The choices are many and I’ve yet to actually purchase anything. Though, I do think I’ve narrowed things down a bit. I’ll probably do more shopping this weekend, and hopefully pick out the fan/light combo that I want.

Floor Issues

Sanding the floor is proving somewhat difficult. The problem is the area near the walls, which was painted. When I use the sander on it, it seems to melt the paint which gums up the sandpaper, making it useless. Today I used paint stripper on the area to take off some of the paint. It’s incredibly smelly, but I think I did a good job of ventilating the room. I got about a quarter of the outside done. After I finish the entire room, I’ll probably do it another time, because there seems to be a couple of coats of paint on the floor.

The Floor Begins

I had intended on putting a cork floor in the bedroom, but when I went to the store to order it, the store was closed. (Even though the website said they were open until 8 and I got there at 7:15.) I’m taking this as a sign that I shouldn’t install the cork floor. Instead, I’m just going to try to clean up the pine floor that’s already in the room. Janet brought over a floor sander and we started cleaning it up the other day. I think it’s going to look pretty nice.

My Backyard

My backyard looked great last month. I didn’t do anything, just let everything grow. I guess I’ll have to look up how to care for roses, so I can keep them looking nice.


I’m basically done with the drywall and ready to start painting. This has caused me to basically stop working while I decide on how I want the final room to look. One thing I did do was buy a gallon of flat white paint for the ceiling. I thought about painting the entire room white because it would be easy, but now I’m pretty sure I want some color. Unfortunately, picking out the color is pretty hard. I’m also looking for a ceiling fan and window sills and since these things should probably match the floor, I’m taking my time with it. So, these days, I’m doing the one thing I really dislike, shopping.

Back to Work

The class at IIT was not meeting my expectations, so I decided to quit going. This means I can get cracking on the room again. I think I’m just about done with the drywall taping. I just need to wipe down the coat I put on yesterday and I’ll be ready to prime it. I also started working on the floor. I cut out the bad pieces and cut some new plywood to fill. I may have to put something thin beneath the plywood to make sure it’s level with the rest of the floor. But I think it’ll be ok. Another trip to Home Depot to buy the ductwork and I should be good to go.

Temporary Delay

I’ve started a class this summer at IIT and it’s taking quite a bit of my time. Needless to say, nothing has been done on the house since the class started. However, this needs to change. My last success was the installation of my new window. Now, I can finish taping the closet and the area around the window. So, to finish the room, I need to do the following:


There will be no work done on the house this weekend, as I’m taking my mother and a friend of hers to Springfield to see the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.

Window Installation – Part 1

Ok, got the window and started the installation. First thing I did was to take the old window out, scrape off as much old paint as I could and clean it up. Then, I painted all the old wood that was there.

Window Ready!

I got a call that my window is in. Now I just have to find a way to get to a place that’s only open Monday-Friday from 7am – 5pm. I think I’ll have to take a morning one day and drive up before work to pick it up. It’s just too hard to try to get there by 5.

Primer On!

My mom came over yesterday morning and we primed most of the room. It looks pretty good. It’s not perfect. Since I know where all the seams are, I can look closely and see where I didn’t do a good job tapering them out. But, if I don’t look closely, it doesn’t look too bad. I still have to finish sanding the closet, so that I can prime that. And I am waiting for my window to come in, so that I can install that and finish the drywall around the window. But, overall, I’m happy with how it looks.

Primer Has Been Purchased…

This means that the drywall taping is almost done. My Mom is coming over tomorrow morning to start priming the walls. This means that tonight, I’ll be smoothing out the walls as best I can. Hopefully, they’ll look ok.

Thanks Janet!

My cousin Janet came over last night to help out. She put another coat on my horizontal seams and showed me how to feather it out, so that it will look a little better, hopefully. The coat was pretty thin, so I should be able to smooth it out tonight or tomorrow and see if it needs even another coat or not. Either way, it did wonders for me, even though I was a crabby pain-in-the-ass.

It’s Neverending…

So, I could be taping the drywall in this bedroom for the rest of my life. Today, I decided to put one more coat on the parts that look like they need it. Later this week, I’m going to smooth it out, to the best of my ability and that’s it. It’s never going to be perfect, but it should be ok. The problem is still what to do by the window, but I’ll figure that out eventually. It’s time to move on.

Ahhh, Spring…

There is a temporary halt in work on the bedroom because spring has arrived. Which means, that as a homeowner, I have grass to cut. In the places where my lawn is growing, it is inhabited by not only grass, but also dandilions and some weird little purple flower. I spent last night pulling out the dandilions in the front yard. I also put out some fertilizer and watered a bit. This required the requisite trip to Home Depot to pick up the basics, like a hose and nozzle. I thought about buying a lawn mower there, but since all they had were gas powered ones, I couldn’t get myself to do it. Somewhere I read that gas powered lawn mowers are very polluting and with gas prices going up, it just didn’t seem like a good idea to get one. Plus, as I tend to work on the lawn at night, I didn’t want to disturb the neighbors with the gas powered mower. My Mom offered me a relatively new push mower that she has, so I’m going to use that. It will require me to do a little more work, in that I’ll have to cut more often, but I think that’s a tradeoff I can live with. So hopefully, after tonight, the bits of grass that I do have, will no longer be 8″ tall.

Smoothing It All Out

I feel that I’m pretty close to having all the drywall mud up and that I’m at the point of final smoothing. All of the videos I’ve seen and books I’ve read say that this is when you start sanding. I did a little sanding earlier and it is very messy. I had to wear my heavy duty dust mask so I didn’t breathe all the dust. My cousin Janet instead told me that I could use a sponge and water to wipe down the rough spots. I started doing that a little this evening and it’s working really well. Best part, no dust, which makes it so much easier to work. Hopefully, it’ll turn out great.

Let There Be A Light…

So, after a period of darkness (both me being somewhat depressed about the time things were taking and literally because there was limited electricity in the room), my bedroom now has light. Actually, it has A light.

Pure Genius

This morning, I thought the weather was going to be nice, so I decided to ride my bike to work. It was a nice ride going in to work, but it was fantastic, coming home. Why? The White Sox had a home game this afternoon. When I reached Sox Park, traffic on 35th was pretty much backed up all the way to Ashland. It was awesome to be able to ride between the cars and get home quickly. I’ll have to ride again tomorrow because I think there’s another game.

Have Electricity

Since I couldn’t sand the drywall on Sunday as it was still wet, I did some electrical work. I disconnected the old wire from the breaker and installed a new one. I then went to the bedroom and plugged in a lamp in one of the outlets I’ve installed. IT WORKED! HAPPY DANCE! I then shut the breaker back off because I haven’t finished putting the other outlets and switches in.

Day Off

After a full day of taping yesterday, I took today (Sunday) off. The main reason was that the mud I put on yesterday was still a little wet. So I couldn’t really sand anything. Tomorrow after work, I’ll start sanding and then see how much more mud I have to apply.

Drywall Taping

I’ve started taping the drywall and it’s slow going. It took me a while to get the hang of getting the paper tape up, but I seem to have this part down. Unfortunately, I ran out of paper tape. I have about two more walls of seams to do and should get to them tomorrow morning. Once the “tape” layer is done, the next layer is the fill layer. This is where a little artistic talent will come in, I think. At this point, I need to start to make the walls look smooth. The nice part is that I get to start using the nice metal 8″ trowel instead of the crummy 6″ plastic one that I’ve been using.

First Big Mistake

So, the drywall is done and I’ve started taping. I just did a couple of seams in the closet, to see how it dries and how it will look tomorrow. It’s slow and messy, but definitely doable. I might have to do more sanding to get rid of mistakes, but I think I’ll be able to make it look nice.

Drywall Practically Done

I have all the large pieces of drywall hung. All that needs to be finished is some small pieces to fill in a gap in the ceiling and some pieces around the windows. Taking the day off of work was great. Now I have to study up a bit on how to do drywall taping.

Day Two of Drywalling

Paul came over and we pretty much finished all the sheets that needed two people to hang. The rest of the pieces I should be able to do by myself.

Switch Installed

The new switch I ordered arrived the other day. I set it up and now am able to successfully have coldandheartless’ mail working. I’m still having some problems with getting webmail working, but since no one is going to be using that, I’m not overly concerned with this problem.

Starting to Look Like a Room

The family came through today. We got a lot of drywall done, though not the entire room. We ran out of both drywall and screws, so had to stop. But we finished the ceiling, which was pretty hard and part of the walls, which was great. On those walls, I only have to put the lowest pieces on, which should be easy. This week, I need to go and buy more drywall, screws and a few other things. But the room is great. It’s actually starting to look like a room and I’m LOVING it.

Out of Energy

I got an early start this morning and got a lot done. Unfortunately, I didn’t get everything done that I wanted. Tomorrow is the drywalling party, and I’m close, but not quite ready. I’ll have to get up early tomorrow and finish putting in the insulation in the new wall in the closet and the ceiling of the closet. I also need to buy a couple more 2x4x10s to finish the closet wall and to make the T for holding up the drywall.

I Have Drywall

Thanks to my brother Paul for coming over last night and helping me buy drywall, I now have 14 sheets of 5/8″ drywall in my garage. As soon as I finish putting up the walls in the closet and insulating, I should be ready to hang it. This weekend might be a bit soon, but I should certainly be ready by next weekend.

Plaster Is Gone

So there is no plaster left in the bedroom. (Finally!) I even put up some photos to show the progress. They are here.

Upcoming Computer Projects

I’ve ordered a new switch to use so that I’ll be able to properly set up coldandheartless so that mail will work. This should be a pretty easy fix once the switch arrives.

I’m Exhausted

We had to do some new poses today in yoga and they were difficult. Thus, I was already sore when I started working on the house today, but I haven’t done much lately, so I had to do some work. Today, I continued working on the closet. Basically, just taking down plaster and trim around the door and window. I’ve also decided that I’m going to move the entrance of the closet. This way, the light from the window in the closet will get to the rest of the room. After I took the plaster and lathe on the closet wall down, I realized that I really like having the light from the window in the closet come into the room.

No Work This Weekend

Family obligations take precedence, so there is no work being done on the house this weekend. I’ll have to try to do something during the week to make up for this.


So I’ve decided to use this blog to, mainly, keep track of the work going on in my house. I might add other things here and there, but since my life is basically about the house right now, this blog will be too.