Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fire and water

Among some more exciting things, I've been working hard on the kitchen and excitingly it's now a place where things can be cooked. There's still a fair bit to do, but it's starting to feel like a real place to live again. Here are a few more photos...

Ultra-minimalism, or just a work in progress?

Craigslist provides the stools and pot rack (in the next picture)

It may look like we have a sink and a stove here, but they're not connected to anything. How frustrating.

Look, a sink! a stove! they work! at last!

One of the things more exciting than renovating the kitchen (as if that were possible?) was last weekend's "adventure ride" with Paul and Lina on the Elk-Thurston ridge trail near Chilliwack. For something quite local, it felt very adventurous indeed, with a huge painful climb followed by a heinous bushwack and a very alpine-feeling ridge trail. The great views were sadly not visible, but we did get to see what clouds look like from the inside. The day was finished off with a fun and flowing downhill and gravel road commute back to the car.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Triple trio

I am still spending most of my time working on us having a kitchen again some day soon... but we did get out for a rather strenuous bike ride on Saturday. Paul did a very nice job of writing about that here.

As I have a few minutes before I have to ride my bike over to Home Depot again to get some exciting washing machine hose fittings (the fun really never stops), here are a few photos of the progress so far. With the carpentry voodoo of Marc, and some creative thinking, we might just have a kitchen that works again some time this week. If the new stove shows up that is...

In the beginning there was this, which I never really liked and took up too much space.
I started selling bits of it and dismantling the rest.
Before long, we didn't have much of a kitchen left.
Add some colour, lose some more appliances.
Lose the last of the old cabinets, the stove, and the washing machine (and the sink... which is a bit inconvenient).

New Ikea (oh no!) cabinets and Andrew/Marc-made shelves.

To be continued soon, I hope.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Froggie went a-ridin'

This weekend I took a break from smashing our kitchen to pieces and took part in Festival 542 down in Glacier, WA. The main significance of this for me was my first ever organized road-ride event, and my first serious ride on Kermit, the bike I welded together. The idea of Kermit was to make a fast, nimble feeling bike for getting around town. My design has most of the geometry of a normal-ish road bike, but much less stretched-out riding position. From my boxes of interesting old bike junk I put it together with a mid-90's revival assortment of mountain bike parts and the old wheels from my long-defunct Cyclocross bike.

Despite being a bit porky by road-bike standards (like about eight pounds heavier than Paul's road bike), Kermit feels pretty fast and is certainly fun to ride. The short wheelbase resulting from the short road-ish back-end combined with the stunted front-end makes it pretty lively to ride, though I still managed to keep things under control at 60-something km/h on the way back down Mt Baker. It's really rewarding to have built something that works, and seems to do what I wanted rather well. Now I just need to get my own TIG welder and start planning my next frame. I found a Miller Dynasty 200DX on sale today. That is quite a temptation...

Paul's version of the weekend's events and pictures of it are here, and I stole one of his photos which shows Kermit enjoying some clouds and mountains...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Renovate me later

Life has continued at a frantic pace since we properly arrived back in Vancouver, leaving me little tme to write about it on the internet. Woe is me. The main developments have been a brave charge into the world of home improvement. Luckily as our home is very small, this can be done rather more quickly and cheaply than in a house. It does mean that we have to live among the mess while I'm doing it though. The good news is that upstairs is now done and we have somewhere nice to sleep. Nicer than the kitchen floor anyway. The kitchen floor has taken a turn for the worse though as I just started tearing the kitchen apart. No doubt this will be an adventure of epic proportions.

Stage 1: Take rancid old carpet to the dump - on our wedding anniversary - who says romance is dead?

Stage 2: Remove everything from "the hole", ready for a bright new look.

Stage 3: Oh my eyes! The hole is now orange. Zesty.

Stage 4: Now the manly power tools come out and I start vainly trying to level the floor.

Stage 5: Floor level (err... ish) the bankruptcy-sale bamboo goes down with the help of Gary C.

Stage 6: Those last three planks seemed to take forever.

Stage 7: First night back upstairs! 

The End:  Note exciting flower-pot things under our bed legs allowing storage of boxes. Genius (but not my idea).
In less domestic news, I've been selling lots of stuff including the sadly surplus to requirements Niskiki Caribou that I never took to China. I hope it has a happy life with it's new owner. The replacement is the now functional Kermit. The build was accomplished on a budget of $0 from things I had squirreled away.  It's really quite fun to ride around town, and is slowly being perfected as I ride it more. Here's build v1: