New Camera!

11:12 PM at 11:12 PM

So here are some pictures that I took with my new camera. Tristan was kind enough to tell me how to post more than 4 pictures at once (damn you Picasa!) so everyone gets a whole bunch at once. It should be noted (duly, I might add) that Katie is not in any of these photos, though she is my wife and should be my main subject. Katie had to work Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day morning, meaning she got about 3 hours of sleep. She threatened to hurt me if I took pictures of her that night. So I didn't. But there will be more to come.

Our tree.

This is actually the first picture that I took...and a similar one is the first picture Gina took.

Snow-covered trees.

Meringue (future mushrooms...you kind of had to be there)

Our neighbor's chimney looked toasty.

Gary...was...drunk.

I was not, though I was looking coy.

Sister and -in-law.

Wreath...

...in super high def.


And a cat playing Monopoly. She was really bad though, all she did was build up Baltic Avenue. Amateur.

Five Little Known Facts

12:01 PM at 12:01 PM

My first real post! Well, sort of real. But taking a cue from terri....

Fact One -
I love wrapping Christmas gifts. It's probably my favorite part of giving a gift.

Fact Two -
I like Sushi, but what I really LOVE about sushi is veggie tempura. It's my favorite part of the experience.

Fact Three -
I'm a morning person. That makes me feel old and lame, but it's the truth.

Fact Four -
My idea of a perfect morning is laying on the couch in my robe, watching the Today Show. When my first class is canceled and I get 2 hours of Today, it makes my day seem so much better.

Fact Five -
I can't imagine my life without my husband. He's been my best friend since I was 15. He's broken his back to make our house amazing and it makes me so proud of him I barely know how to tell him.

Okay, Melissa, Angela, your turn!

Feces with a Th!

8:14 AM at 8:14 AM

Merry almost New Years. Christmas was good but getting farther away every day, which I know is a pretty obvious statement, but I feel it bears mentioning. I got a new camera for Christmas from my parents so I can take pictures again! My sister got the same one, but I am pretty sure mine is cooler.

Until I get around to uploading some of the pictures that I've taken so far, I figured I could share some images from my thesis. I think I am finally far enough away that I can look at them again. Basic synopsis, for those who don't know, it's a mixed use building in Seattle, Washington. It was designed based on the principals of Grunge. It houses a Music Venue, Restaurant/Bar, and Communal Artists Housing with Studio/Recording space. Done.


Outside the artist's quarters


Inside the main gallery.


Inside the studios/housing area.


At the show.
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Merry Fake Christmas

1:07 PM at 1:07 PM

This morning I failed at breakfast. Tristan and Terri and I had a lovely breakfast yesterday, where everything went as planned. Except our friend Adam could not make it, that was not planned. But this morning I was trying to recreate it for Katie because she was not there, and nothing went right. First, it seems that the second batch of muffins I made yesterday didn't cook at all and were mush inside.

Then, adding insult to injury I tried to make brown sugar bacon,which we made yesterday and was probably the best thing that I have ever had involving bacon, which is saying a lot. This morning's attempt, however, turned out less favorably.



That picture was taken with Katie's phone, so it's a little blurry, but it's 100% as burned as it looks. I think this bacon was fattier than the bacon we made yesterday, so the grease ran all off the pan and into the oven, creating so much smoke we had to evacuate the house for a while, and a couple of flames reminding us that we really, really need to get some fire extinguishers. Also, our smoke detectors are sitting on a self in a package. Umm, and we probably have rusty nails all over the floor and...I don't know, other dangerous things we should be chastised for.

Everything turned out alright in the end, we exchanged gifts, drank some coffee, enjoyed each other's company. A nice fake Christmas after all. Also, I found the image below, and it reminded me of funny things.

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Semi-finished images

10:07 PM at 10:07 PM


These two views of the kitchen aren't exactly the same view, and it's still not done, but you get the idea of what's changed. Pretty sweet, no?


Here's the other side, with our new cabinets, counter top, sink, supply and waste lines, disposal, electrical work and fully functional dishwasher!


This is roughly the same view as the last updated picture August (holy crap, sorry everybody)
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What happened to November?

9:48 PM at 9:48 PM

So, I have a story to tell. This is a story that Derek described as "so John." As I had mentioned earlier, I lost my camera charging cable, thus rendering my camera pretty useless. Since I have never been that big a fan of blogs that only post words, or rants, or whatever, I have not been terribly motivated to post that often. What I was (eventually) motivated enough to do was suck it up and call Casio to buy another charger. As fortune would have it, they were not as expensive ($15) as I was originally told ($60). So I purchased one and waited for it to arrive. I've done a lot to the house and so I was anxious to get it and charge up my camera and start taking more pictures of the work that I had done. Plus, it was a few days before Katie and I were going with my family to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, for their annual Thanksgiving retreat. I was all ready to go.

The big day finally arrived I unpacked my charger with glee. I grabbed my cradle and got it all set up and then went for my camera. Or where I thought my camera was. In its place was nothing. I searched my house (again) from top to bottom to try and find my camera, and came up empty handed. I have no idea where my camera wandered off to. I do not know if it is still in the house. I don't remember the last time I actually laid eyes on it, since it wasn't charged I didn't pay it much mind. Now my camera, not my cord, is totally missing.

Oh, and in an additional piece of "X-treme irony" (thanks Derek!), while I was searching for my camera, I found the original camera charger that started this whole nonsense. (...to be fair it was in the basement...in a box...in another box...in the far, dark corner, by the furnace...why it was there, I do not know.)

In any event, I borrowed a camera from work (thanks work!) and took a couple of pictures of the house and some of the stuff that I've done.


These are the new extended hot and cold water supply lines that I ran to relocate the sink. My dad helped me out a whole lot and I wouldn't have been able to do it without him.


This is the mess of pipes that we ended up having to replace because we were arrogant and in a hurry.


This is just a really cute picture of Kona in our new sink.

Since the last pictorial update, the pantry has been finished, the hallway completely painted, cabinets installed, counter top installed, kitchen painted, sink installed, and a dishwasher installed (finished just as I started writing this, the first cycle is still going!).
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Birthday Recap

1:52 PM at 1:52 PM

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday super awesome (most notably my lovely wife who is the greatest). For everyone who wasn't able to make it, you missed a good time, and I am sure you are properly saddened such that I need not shame you any more.

Unfortunately, due to my continual lack of camera cord (I know, I know) there were few pictures from the party. Though even if I had my camera, by the end of the evening it probably would have ended up in someones beer, or the toilet, or maybe one of the stray cats in the neighborhood. For those who have a desire to be terrified, Paul actually managed to surreptitiously take a photo of myself in my awesomely-terrifying costume (I was the tooth-fairy). I swear, I was not posing for this picture, and I will pester Paul until it has been burned. But until that time, enjoy! A word to those who might have small children, I suggest that you direct their eyes away from the screen before clicking.

And just in time for the actual Halloween season, I am (by stealing) providing a costume everyone can wear this year! The link to the website is http://www.brandonbird.com/halloween_treat.html

Old

12:12 AM at 12:12 AM

As of 12 minutes ago, I am now officially closer to 30 than I am to 20. Crazy.

Weddin' Pictures

8:17 AM at 8:17 AM




Aww...friends



This is Mike showing that he can dance much better than I can. Thanks, Mike, for showing me up.
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Birthday

7:32 AM at 7:32 AM

It's almost my (John's) Birthday...and that means, as most of you probably know, we are going to be having a costume birthday party. Hopefully by now everyone has gotten their costume together, unlike myself, and is ramping up to party. It's a big weekend for parties (I know of 4 others that weekend) so everyone needs to bring their A game.

For those out-of-staters reading, I know Utah might be a long distance to go just for a costume party, but I will remind you that it is NOT a long way to go to see me. So Friday evening I will expect to see each and every one of you.

Bonus trivia: What was Michael Meyer's mask made from? (I gave false information recently not because I didn't know the answer but because I wanted to fool people)

Duke Sucks

8:44 AM at 8:44 AM

So I still don't have my camera cord, so there are still no new pictures. I'm still rocking on the house, finally moved on to the kitchen. Katie finished painting the hallway and putting the hardware back on, so really the last place to need to overhaul is the kitchen. I've put in a couple new cabinets already and they look lovely. Next will come countertops, updating the plumbing and putting a dishwasher in, painting, and a new floor. I should be done by March maybe.

As everyone knows (do they?) I love fall and Halloween. It totally trumps, Christmas, Chanukah, May Day, Robonukah, all put together. It's just lame that it's only one day instead of the month long celebration it deserves to be. So because of that, we need to celebrate...with costumes and perhaps some alcohol. Where is the party at? Probably not at my place since it's still a construction zone...but it's gotta be somewhere. At Terri's birthday party Tristan promised to be a retired American Gladiator for Halloween, so if any of you want to see him in some spandex coveralls you best attend.

The real reason for this post is in honor of my sister's homecoming. She is on fall break this week from Duke Law, where she is doing well and making us all so proud. However, being a Terp, I (like most everyone else in the country) hate Duke. Everything about them speaks "I'm compensating for something" from their Cameron Crazies to that midget Mike Krzyzewski. So it is in her honor that I post this video (which I just figured out how to do btw). Enjoy!



Sorry

8:10 AM at 8:10 AM

Okay, so I've gotten a lot of slack for not posting the blog recently. Couple of things have been going on that have made it difficult for me to post things. (**SPOILER ALERT** The following contains lame excuses)

I can't find the power cord to charge my camera. It's been lost somewhere in the mess of our house that is still pretty much in a state of unrest. So since I can't charge my camera, I can't take any new pictures, and if I can't take any new pictures, I can't post any new pictures...and I figured, who wants to just listen to me rant about losing my camera power cord? I'm trying to find a new one, but I suspect that Casio will be a bitch about the whole thing. You never know though, I suppose.

Katie and I went to Chicago for her friend Sarah's wedding. It was pretty sweet. I had never been to Chicago so it was pretty fun for me to go. I dragged Katie and Alex (Katie's college roommate) to some buildings that I thought were cool but they thought looked like every other building they've ever seen. I pointed out that it was because these ones came first and were so influential that everyone else copied them....though they seemed unmoved regardless.

The pantry is done, shelves in, painted and everything. I am currently painting the hallway between just about every room in the house (right outside the pantry/kitchen/bedroom1/bedroom2/bathroom) and it's a pain in the butt. There is almost no wall surface, but about a billion things to paint around, so the whole room is basically cutting in.

But that's where we are in life. Kona just keeps eating and getting larger. At what point do they go from "still growing" to "morbidly obese?"

Mugshot for the ages

5:39 PM at 5:39 PM

Projects continue to roll on. I finished putting a new light, switch and outlet in the pantry, and a new light fixture in the hallway. This task involved a lot of above-ceiling work, moving insulation, etc. As a result, I spent most of the day completely filthy...this lovely picture shows the state in which I spent most of the afternoon.



Unfortunately, I think I bear a passing resemblance to this guy.

The stand-in for our child (the cat) is still cute and does not enjoy all of the construction. She had to go to the vet to get her rabies vaccine (which I am told was a traumatic experience for her, the vet and Katie). When she was there she got weighed. She is 350% times larger than when we first got her...only 4 months ago. That would be like me gaining 5 and a half pounds every day for 4 months. I'd be dead. She, on the other hand, is still cute.

I'll put some pictures of the house up soon. Despite all the work I've done, it really doesn't look any different or better. Some (Katie) might say it looks worse.
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New Door

8:33 AM at 8:33 AM

It's been a busy weekend. As you can see from the pictures below, I spent most of it attempting to hang a door. First came the demolition, which was incredibly messy but also incredibly fun. Nothing beats putting a hammer through a wall just for the hell of it. Cutting in the hinges was alright, but I don't think I am destined to be a wood carver anytime soon. But now that the door is 80% in, I think we can all agree that it's going to be killer. And, just for those of you keeping score at home, that jamb is balls on plumb.



Here you can see the start of what the kitchen will look like with the relocated door. The stove will be against the new wall, with a small counter next to it, some upper cabinets with a microwave. Should be killer. We've got the technology, we can make it better, faster, stronger. Now all we need is time.
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Clarification

7:42 AM at 7:42 AM

So apparently there has been some confusion over my allegedly shaven head. Rest assured, I have not shaven my head...not yet anyway. I am not quite that bald yet and until that time I will be keeping my flowing locks. Note the picture of me below taking a well timed (and staged) bite of a donut as proof positive of my hair-ed position. Also check out the post painting pictures. The job looks so good a professional could have done it.


Mmmm....dooonut...and hair


Sweet action

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...with a little help from my friends

3:23 PM at 3:23 PM

Ah the joys of a group painting party. Honestly, why would you spend your Saturday any other way? We got a bunch of friends together (thanks everybody!) and knocked out the living and dining rooms in one fell swoop. Soon, it will stop looking like a construction site and start looking like a home (Katie is quite pleased about that concept.) Honestly, we can't thank everyone enough who lent their skill and labor, it would have taken us literally all weekend to do what everyone working together did in about 2 hours.


It's the simple pleasures in life, really...


Despite his pleasant looking face, it's clear Tbone is not pleased with his saturday.


It's chopstick, not beige.


Way to go Goldie.
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Lots of stuff.

8:13 PM at 8:13 PM


So it's been a while since we posted anything about whatever, but we have been a touch busy. The floors are all done and still look great. Mike and Kathy helped us out immensely by painting two of our rooms, the bedroom and the office. We had to move everything that we own (that isn't still at one of our parents' houses) in, which has slowed our progress down considerably. You can see in some of the lower pictures how much shit we have that is just sitting in the middle of the room.

It is somewhat hard to believe that we own this much stuff...not to mention the fact that we own this house. Home owners. Weird. Though really, the bank owns it and we are merely paying them to live here...so not too much has changed. This week we have a plaster guy coming to fix the walls in our living and dining rooms. After spending 5 hours removing 4 layers of wallpaper (about 5 feet of it) we decided that it was going to be too difficult to deal with taking the wallpaper off. Plus there was some hidden plaster damage. So this guy is coming on monday and we had to prep the walls for him, which meant a 5 hour sanding session for Katie and I and then another 5 hour priming party with a sealant. Quite tired. We'll have more pictures and posts as the dude, affectionately refereed to as "the wizard," does his stuff.

Kona has had a rough couple days...she has been hitting the sauce pretty hard.


Here the walls are all primed, and you can see all our shit.