Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finishing the Basement 1

Unsatisfied with the uninspired derelict that this blog has become?

Me too.

Here is a tip. Go to my wife's blog, which is continually updated and everything that this blog is not, as far as eye-tingling gingerbread and heart-warming pictures and slogans go. If you're lucky, you can look at the comments and catch some quality "girl talk", which is 100% identical to the inane banter I have to sit through when we go to bars with her girlfriends. (Picture me with my head on my hand and eyes slowly closing)

In all seriousness, in this comment thread on her blog, you will find the greatest comment of all time, left by my buddy Bleach.

HEY! In true Mindsquirt fashion, let' s move on to a completely different topic.

As the above subject suggests, I am finishing my basement. I plan to keep a series going to keep folks updated, and also to force me to keep writing. However, given my track record lately, I am confident that this will be the last you hear of it.

Here are a few shots of my basement after 2 solid weekends of framing:

Shot from front-left corner of basement.

Shot from back left corner of basement. Not pictured: entrance to secret lair.

I have all of the exterior walls framed-up. The next job will be building interior walls, building a soffit around the beam and trunk lines you see coming from the furnace, and roughing in some additional plumbing, electric, and vents to the rooms I am making.

I had a friend from work help me for about 7 hours on a Friday night and Saturday morning. He wanted to quit after I kept remarking about how cool it would be if "we dug a pit where he could live". The rest of the framing I have done by myself, which is pretty slow-going. There isn't much to see now. I mostly wanted you to see the closest I could get to a "before" picture. If I was a more responsible blogger, I would have taken a picture in the very beginning, when my basement was awash in a sea of junk.

Moving that junk was a big deal! It took me all week after work and I even had to ask the guy from work to help me move the bigger stuff (kegarator, air hockey table) I moved it all from the basement to my garage. My once-pristine garage is now cluttered with all of our junk. Below is a picture of how much a family of three can accumulate when they have a basement.

Due to the lighting, it doesn't look like much, but there is really only one pathway from the front door to the garage door in a entire two car garage. The rest is all of our Worldly possessions. When I was moving all this stuff I kept questioning how in the world we held on to so much useless trash. This motivated us to give away, throw away, or sell some of our junk. (The white shelf in the front was chock-full of decorative knick-knacks, trinkets, and other useless doo-dads) Another monument I had to get rid of was my mini climbing wall, while awesome, I simply did not have time for it anymore.
I'll keep you guys posted. I will also make sure to keep a list of injuries, which to date has been minimal. I did have one incident today where I crushed my hand with a 28 oz. hammer.
There was a lot of screaming.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Video of alex from cell phone

Wife and I got new cell phones last week. A bonus of the new phones are the integrated microSD cards, which allow for easy transfer of video, pictures, and music to and from the phone to a PC.

Here is an absolute gem that I received from my wife via cell phone whilst at work today.

One million points to whoever deciphers what she is saying! (answer to come in comments)

PS. Alex has really turned a corner in the past few months. She has seemed to move on from the terrible-twos that we suffered from in late winter (constant tantrums, never-pleased-disposition, general cantankerousness, smelly pants). She is now an absolute joy, and can have pseudo-conversations with us. It is pretty neat.

I am also her favorite.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I am in a real conundrum this very minute.

I bought a bike rack for my new car (see here), for about $75. It is the type that straps on to the trunk/hatch.

I imagine, over time, the bikes will eventually start to destroy the back of my car, due to them swinging around, etc.

The other 2 ways to go, is a roof rack system or the type that engages into a hitch. I am not real hot on the roof rack, due to the difficulty of getting bikes on and off the roof of my car. I also figure that sooner or later, I will forget the bikes are up there, and smash them into the top of my garage, or worse, through the drive-through of Dairy Queen.

The hitch is near-ideal for me, but much more expensive. I figure about $300, plus some more time to order the stuff and install a hitch on my car. It is easier to get bikes on and off, and easier to put and take off my car, plus it will protect my car from scratches and bike-shaped impressions.

If you haven't guessed it, my conundrum is that I cannot decide if I should take back the hatch-mounted rack that I have (thus eating some return shipping costs) and spring for the more expensive, but better mounting system using a hitch.

Here are some more things to consider that will muddy up the waters:

1) I still have a pickup truck, which I can use to transport the bikes where ever. I figure using my car with the hatchback-mounted bike transport system over my truck, will pay for the $75 cost of the rack THIS SUMMER. Whereas the hitch mounted will take 4 summers. This is if you only count me taking my bike to and from work.

2) The hatchback-mounted rack can also be used on my wife's car, should we want to use it.

3) I mostly mountainbike after work, in Batesville, which is about 20 miles from my home. I probably do it 2 times a week. I also want to start taking my bikes to new albany, where I would NOT want to drive my truck.

4) I am cheap, obsessive about purchases, and tend to suffer from a disproportionate amount of buyers remorse.

Any opinions on what I should do?

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