Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Advertising ScopeRoller

I had John Hamel do a nice animated GIF advertising banner for me a few days ago, with the intention of running the ad on the Sky & Telescope web site. I will probably still do that at some point--but the ad would cost me about $330 for 20,000 impressions--and I wasn't sure how many of those readers would be Losmandy mount owners.

Google has an advertising program called AdWords; the first block of advertising that you see at the top of this blog is an example of it. It uses keyword selection to pick on which sites any particular ad runs. Sometimes keyword selection causes some inappropriate or not very successful advertising selections. If I blog about homosexuality, and use the word "gay," there's a good chance that a gay dating service ad will appear at the top--and for the most part, this isn't exactly the best choice for a place to advertise products for gay people. On the other hand, for those pages that have historical content, AdWords often does a spectacularly good job of picking ads for history books.

Anyway, here's the cool aspect of AdWords: other than paying $5 for a setup charge, the only time I pay for advertising is when someone clicks on the ad to go visit the ScopeRoller website. If thousands of people see my ad--but never click over--it costs me nothing. If someone is sufficiently interested to click over, there's a good chance that this is someone that might be interested in my product.

The pricing is very clever. You can select a priority for placement of your ad by specifying a maximum amount that you are willing to pay per click--from as little to a penny per click, to whatever amount makes sense. As you increase what you will pay per click through, it increases the frequency with which pages that have matching keywords or phrases will display your ad--and it gives you an estimate of the number of customers that will see the ad. I discovered by experimenting a bit that there was no advantage to paying more than $0.20 per click for one set of keywords, and a bit less for another.

You can also set a maximum daily budget--as soon as you have spent $2 for the day on a particular ad campaign (to use a silly example), it stops showing ads. This helps you to avoid someone intentionally clicking tens of thousands of times on your ad but never buying anything, and driving you into bankruptcy.

The keywords and phrases that I am using are all related to the Losmandy and CI-700 mounts, and so they aren't appearing a lot. Yesterday I only had 31 impressions, and none of them clicked through--but it didn't cost me anything, either.
The House Project: Starting To Roof

We went up there today partly to confirm that we received the correct jetted tub. (The builder was expecting something doublewide--this is deep, and intended to sit facing each other.) But while were there, we took some pictures of the roof trusses--all of which are now in place.

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Here you can see the interior arches as well.

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When I look at them--while do I think of the ribs that make up the ceiling of a cathedral? (Okay, this isn't quite that grand.)

Here you can see that they have started to roof at one end of the house.

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Here are the shower stalls, shower/tub combo, and jetted tub stacked up in the garage.

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Just a little picture of the inside of the shower stall.

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The back driveway has a rather odd swirl, perhaps from running some piece of machinery over it. I'm hoping this gets fixed during the final finish of the concrete.

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The electric meter is now moved from its temporary position to the permanent breaker box.

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And the ugly pole where the meter was temporarily has now been removed, leaving only the ugly transformer box.

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Another view of the roof from the water cistern hill. As we were walking up the hill--a red fox ran up the hill within 25 feet of me. Our duck is going to require an appropriate protective enclosure!

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Oh yeah, the propane tank is waiting to be buried. To Rhonda, it reminds her of an off-color version of the title gadget of Yellow Submarine, so she gives an appropriately nautical salute.

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Last house entry.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The House Project: Roof Trusses

We went up to the new house on our way to Redfish Lake. The crane to left the roof trusses into place arrived on Friday, but our builder apparently didn't schedule enough time to get all the trusses in place--or perhaps it took longer to get each truss secured as well as he wanted. In any case, the crane left after two hours for another job, so it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before they are back to finish the job.

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When I was up there last, I didn't notice this apparently temporary outlet coming out of the circuit breaker box. It is hard to imagine an electrician came up to put in one outlet. Perhaps it spontaneously generated itself.

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Last house project entry.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The House Project: Permanent Power Coming!

We went over to pick out toilets and sinks today at Consolidated Supply on Five Mile Road in Boise. Marilyn, the woman who was handling our order, clearly enjoys her work. Even better--our choices for faucets and finishes just about exactly matched the order she just submitted for her new house.

Tuesday the builder had me call Idaho Power and request them to switch from construction power to permanent power--which means that the electrician has put in the panel, and he is ready for Idaho Power to move the meter.

Here's where the meter will go:

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Here's the circuit breaker panel inside the garage:

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The roof trusses have been the critical item as far as schedule, and after a few delays, they finally arrived--and they make an impressive pile.

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The front porch posts are now in place, just waiting for those trusses.

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The crane to lift the trusses in place was supposed to be here Tuesday, then Wednesday evening (maybe Thursday morning). But the crane broke down, now it is scheduled for Friday.

In the meantime, most of the exterior panelling is in place.

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I've had a few questions from a reader whose husband is a builder in Oregon. Apparently, some aspects of this house would not conform to Oregon building codes--but upon further questions, it appears that these are all related to water damage to wood.

There's a reason that building codes are different between here and Oregon--and water is one of the big differences. The air here is no dry that water damage (except that which is caused by a permanent water leak) is extremely rare. It is so rare that few people ask for a water damage inspection report when buying a house. (It still seems like a good investment.)

Apparently in Oregon it would not be kosher to have the door sills at grade level--but as you can see from this picture, the concrete work actually is at a slope, so even very heavy rain isn't going to flow into the house.

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Last house entry.

Articles Concerning The Problem of Meth, Gay Men, AIDS, and Promiscuity

I observed in the comments section of one of Professor Volokh's posts that there is a very large subset of gay men who engage in highly dangerous behaviors: meth & promiscuous, unprotected sex. The gay men didn't believe it.

See ANDREW JACOBS, "Gays Debate Radical Steps to Curb Unsafe Sex," New York Times, February 15, 2005:
That frustration has been ratcheted up by the growing popularity of crystal meth in New York, which many say has led to an abrupt increase in unsafe behavior and a spate of infections. Although exact figures are difficult to determine, a recent survey of gay men found that 25 percent had tried crystal meth in the last few months.
See also here for a discussion of the dramatic increase in syphilis cases caused by promiscuous unprotected sex by gay men who are HIV+, and figure that they have nothing left to lose.

And this one:
A study by the Los Angeles Gay &Lesbian Center of 19,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) tested there for HIV between 2001 and 2004 shows a near doubling – from 5.8 to 10.3 percent – of reported use of crystal meth. Among MSM who tested HIV-positive, crystal use had nearly tripled – from 11.7 percent to 30.2 percent – in the same time period. Among users, 86.6 percent report use of the drug during sex.

“We are desperate for more MSM-specific treatment programs for meth users,” said Craig E. Thompson, executive director of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). “Crystal use is ten times greater among gay men than the general population. Up to twenty percent of gay men report using it. While there is no proven link to date between crystal use and the rise in HIV rates among gay men, it is clear that what was perceived as a west coast phenomenon is now a national emergency.”
And here:
Crystal meth - which can be snorted, smoked or injected - has been a popular gay party drug on the West Coast for more than a decade, and in New York since the late 1990s. In many cities, however, gay activists and health officials were not quick to confront the fact that the drug, by curbing inhibitions and boosting energy, encourages unsafe multi-partner sex and thus increases the risk of HIV transmission.

In New York, alarm over meth intensified in February, when health officials reported a rare strain of highly resistant, rapidly progressing HIV in a gay man who regularly engaged in meth-fueled sex parties. But the tide began turning against the drug a year earlier, when gay activists held the first of several forums on the epidemic and an ex-addict named Peter Staley circulated posters with an eye-catching message: "Buy Crystal. Get HIV Free."


Increased publicity about the gay meth epidemic comes at an awkward time for the national gay-rights movement as it pushes for same-sex marriage rights.

"There is anger at the opportunity this phenomenon is giving the rest of the world to associate the gay identity with promiscuous sex, with out-of-control behavior," Malpas said. "We don't need additional opportunities to be perceived negatively."

Kathleen Watt, who runs the Van Ness addiction-recovery center in Los Angeles, believes some major gay advocacy groups have tried to play down the epidemic.

"They're afraid people are going to say, 'Why should we put money into HIV treatment when these guys are knowingly going out and having sex and infecting other people?'" she said.

Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said some accounts of the gay meth problem had been "salacious" and "overjudgmental" - highlighting the role of promiscuous sex while underplaying the destructive addictiveness of meth for any user, gay or straight. He praised gay activists for taking the lead in fighting the epidemic.

Foreman and other gay-rights leaders also note that even in the hardest-hit communities, most gay men don't use meth. Estimates have ranged from 10 percent or 20 percent of all gay men, and as high as 40 percent in San Francisco - by any measure a problem that can't be wished away.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Smith is one of a growing number of young gay men in Atlanta who believe they contracted HIV after meth abuse and risky sex. But in metro Atlanta, which has the largest concentration of gays in the Deep South, AIDS groups have not yet started meth-specific education campaigns. The problem, however, has become a crisis, say some therapists and medical experts who treat gay men.

"They are taking outrageous risks," said John Ballew, an Atlanta therapist who says two-thirds of his clients are gay men. "It has really become associated with the fast-lane night life among certain gay men. My professional take on it is, the problem is just as bad as [in] New York or San Francisco or Los Angeles."

Meth use among gay men in Atlanta is "really, really insidious," said Michael Dubin, a counselor whose clients are all gay men. "From what I am hearing from friends and from clients, it is a lot more extensive than any of us would like to think, especially in the club scene. And it leads to people throwing caution to the wind — when they know better."

Dr. Sanjay Sharma, a psychiatrist at Grady Health System's infectious disease program, said the drug's use among gay men has become a serious health concern. "A lot of these substances, crystal meth in particular, are associated with euphoria and hypersexuality," he said. "And along with that, increased sexual risk-taking behaviors, and then an overall impaired judgment. That's not a good combination of effects."

Many gay men have never tried methamphetamine. Some have only experimented briefly with the drug. But a minority of gay men habitually abuse the drug during sexual encounters with multiple partners. For these men, meth use has become part of sex.

Meth, a psychostimulant that excites pleasure centers in the brain, makes users feel euphoric for hours. The drug impairs judgment, lowers inhibitions, keeps people awake for days, and can increase sexual arousal.

"They go from feeling like wallflowers to feeling like supermen," Ballew said. "Safer sex messages are just forgotten."


Meth is so linked with this subculture of gay men engaging in anonymous sex with strangers that men advertise either that they have the drug or want it during sex in personal ads and on the Internet. Their notices carry the phrase "PnP" for "party and play," a euphemism for crystal methamphetamine and sex.

"People will have what they call Tina sex parties," said Danny Sprouse, coordinator of HIV prevention and mental health services for gay and bisexual men at Positive Impact Inc., an Atlanta nonprofit that counsels people with HIV. "They may set up some rules at the beginning to say, 'You can only have safe sex.' So they'll have a lot of condoms available."

Or they may have Tina parties where condoms aren't even allowed, Sprouse said, "where they say, 'We're only going to have unsafe sex.' "

Even at condoms-only Tina parties, men don't always use protection as the drug kicks in and the night wears on, he said.

John, a 36-year-old gay man who lives in Midtown, said he wished he had never touched the stuff.

"On Tina, you make bad judgments about safe sex, about your life, about just about everything," he said.

John asked that his last name not be published. He has known since 1997 he is HIV-positive. He used meth for more than 18 months until he quit, with great difficulty, this Jan. 1, he said.

While on methamphetamine, he frequented all-night Atlanta sex clubs and often had anonymous, unprotected sex with men who also were high on the drug, he said.

"I think there's a possibility that I may have infected someone. I couldn't tell you who," John said. "And I have the feeling that the people that I did have unprotected sex with had already had unprotected sex with other people, so there's no way for them to know if it would have been me or someone else."
And from the New York Blade (a gay newspaper--the ads may be offensive):
Planning for the First National Conference on Methamphetamine, HIV & Hepatitis, set for Aug. 19-20, began as a way to respond to a belief that increased meth use will lead to higher HIV and hepatitis rates, according to Luciano Colonna, executive director of the Harm Reduction Project, which hosts the conference.

"We were alarmed by the heath risks associated with the spread of methamphetamine," Colonna said. "But we were also very concerned at the lack of infrastructure in rural areas of the U.S. when it came to dealing with issues like HIV and hepatitis, and also just the basic fiscal toll and care toll that outbreaks for methamphetamine use could have on communities."

By gathering together groups that address meth use, Colonna said he hopes to create a better understanding of the "continuum of care" that includes treatment, prevention, harm reduction and law enforcement.

Several of the conference’s presentations discuss meth’s impact on gay men, including sessions on meth use and sexual risk for men who have sex with men, meth dependence and treatment among gay men and a "Tweaking Tips for Party Boys" discussion by Michael Siever, director of the Stonewall Project at the University of California, San Francisco.

Recent studies show that 15 percent to 17 percent of gay men used meth in the last three months and as many as 20 percent have used in the last year, according to Gordon Mansergh, a senior behavioral scientist at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention who will take part in the conference.

Mansergh also said research drew links between men who have sex with men, meth use and unprotected sex.

"What we see in over a dozen studies is that meth users exhibit greater rates of unprotected anal sex than non meth users," he said.
The article goes on to discuss--in somewhat cruder language than I care to quote--that because meth tends to cause impotence problems, they are mixing meth and Viagra.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The House Project: The Flatwork Is Done?

I ran up at lunchtime to get a water sample--water is coming out of the frost-free faucet (say that five times fast!) but in weird spurts and dribbles. The contractor was scratching his head trying to figure it out, so I decided to use my software debugging techniques on it.

"We have another pipe that goes into the house, right? That comes off the same pipe from the water tank?"


"So that has an end cap or something on it right now, because the house plumbing isn't in. Can we take the end cap off, and see if the water flows okay?"


So the contractor crawls into the crawl space (to the amusement of the workers, one of whom said, "You won't see that very often!"), and measured how long it took to fill a five gallon bucket--45 seconds, so about 6 2/3 gallons per minute.

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This tells us that there is either a clog between the tee connection, or something stuck in the frost-free faucet mechanism. However, since the concrete had just been poured around that faucet, we'll have to wait for it set before we unscrew the faucet to see where the problem is. (The mechanism lifts out of the pipe--no need to excavate the concrete.)

The remainder of the patio, porch, and what are called garage "aprons" are now poured. The colors don't match in these pictures, of course, because some are days old, and some a few minutes old. There's still some cleaning and finishing to do.

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This picture is a bit overexposed--I didn't feel like spending the time fiddling with contrast and brightness to solve it.

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Here you can see the back driveway (since the garage has doors on both ends), and the little extension where Big Bertha, the 17.5" reflector, will sit.

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It looks too small, but it measures out okay.

Here's a view of the house that I haven't shown you before, from atop the water tank hill.

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The front garage apron.

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My wife and I went back up there this evening while President Bush passed by (we waved at him), and she noticed that some of the concrete looks like the pattern was pressed into it before it had started to set--and consequently the pattern was not as sharp, and the relief that makes this technique attractive was largely missing. I don't know if it is possible to fix this now--perhaps putting a thin layer on top, and repressing?

My last house entry.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The House Project: Patio and Sidewalks, Interesting Water Problems, Management Headaches

We had to decide between using poured, colored, patterned concrete, or a plastic, and recycled wood decking material called Trex. Trex looks good, doesn't require the maintenance of a wood deck--but it would have been about $5000 more expensive--and our builder believes that it won't be quite as long lasting--so we went with the concrete for the patio out back, the front porch, and the deck around the east end of the house.

Anyway, we went up last night to take a look at the first pours. These pictures really don't show it off--as you can see, the concrete in the front of the house is still in needed of cleaning, and there is a glossy finish applied when everything is complete, so it still doesn't look so good.

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Here you can see the pattern that they press into it. We would have preferred another pattern called "castle flagstone" but the patterns really don't work for rectangular shapes so well. This does a passable job of simulating brickwork.

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Here's the patio in back.

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As inevitably happens, a little of the concrete ended up on the siding, so that will need to be knocked off before painting.

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I mentioned previously that we drained the water tank so that we could retest with presumably cleaner water. No water came out Thursday evening, and the temporary electric meter was showing so little current draw that the builder believed that the pump wasn't running. So we verified the current at the plug at the meter, where to wires went into the well--everything seemed okay. But no water was coming from the water tank, so it must be empty, right? Besides, there was no noise from the pump.

So we assumed that the well pump (which sits 160 feet down in the casing) must have failed. Well, this happens on brand new electrical equipment, sometimes, so the builder got the pump guy out Friday. The conclusion? The pump was running just fine--maybe the pump just hadn't put enough water in the tank yet to feed the faucet.

Suddenly in the middle of the afternoon today (while running errands associated with my father-in-law's death in the morning), I get a call from the builder. He has suddenly realized that someone left the power on to the well pump--and they have not yet installed the sensors that turn the pump on and off at the minimum and maximum levels of the water tank. "I'm on the far side of town. Could you run up there and unplug it, before it burns out the motor?"

I get up there, and discover that the circuit breaker is off--either someone turned it off (like there's any passers-by here) or the pump popped the breaker. But there should be enough water in the tank by now--it was running all morning, pumping at least five gallons a minute. But the faucet still gives no water--then a tiny trickle--then nothing.

Hmmmm. I climb up to the water tank, and notice that around one of the access covers on top there is a good bit of water. It has cooled off the last few days, but at this humidity and temperatures in the low 80s, this water can't have been here for long. It appears that the tank is so full that water is coming out around the rubber seal. So why isn't it coming out through the faucet down below?

At this point, the possibilities include debris that has somehow worked its way into the line, or a big air bubble. The problem sure isn't the well pump--that water tank is absolutely full. The builder's plumber is going to try and solve this on Friday--and I am expecting not simply a fix, but an explanation of why water isn't coming out. If this is an air bubble problem, it could come back, so we need not just a quick fix, but a long-term solution.

The roof trusses were supposed to arrive on site today, and a crane was supposed to lift them in place on Friday--but the truss company suddenly went, "Whoops!" so we won't see trusses until Tuesday or Wednesday. The concrete guys, who were told to come back Tuesday to finish their work (because they couldn't work while the trusses are being dropped onto the house) now have to come back Friday, and get their work out of the way.

I will be so glad to have this place done--just in time for dark sky observing, now that the sun is setting earlier each evening.

Last house project entry.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The House Project: Pouring Flatwork, Refreshing the Water

I drove up Thursday to see if the forms were in the right place for the patio and sidewalks--and things were not in place. Still, it was worthwhile. At least in this style of house in this part of Idaho, there are vents along the foundations that you close in winter and open in summer for moisture control. Here you can see that they have put up the shields so that when the concrete is poured, we can still get access to the control levers.

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A bit more of the external siding is in place.

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I thought that they were going to pour the garage floor at the same time as the external flatwork, but since the garage floor is gray concrete, and the external flatwork is stamped and colored, I guess it does make more sense to do these as two separate pours.

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The garage definitely looks larger now that the floor is poured. The picture is a bit dark, but it is actually a pretty airy garage, with big doors on both ends. There is definitely room for three cars in here--two facing north and one facing east.

One little annoyance: this door is supposed to be a window, so I will have a place to set up my workshop along that wall. This was supposed to be fixed before they sided.

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The hose bib is no longer lying on the ground. There's a hose attached to it, and gravity alone provides a strong volume of water. We went up today to look at the flatwork forms (more about that shortly), and to drain the water tank to see if the lead problem is just dirt in the tank. We took that hose to the edge of the pad, and started it running.

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Rhonda had wanted to put something in the concrete, but because it was already dry, she had to settle for scratching with a nail--hard to do a heart in that medium!

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We went to check the flatwork forms--and decided that the back patio was too narrow. We used rocks to indicate the preferred outline. When we talked to Scott later, we found out that he had the same concern, and needs them to move the forms out a bit in the front as well. Sorry, no pictures of this yet.

Last house entry.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The House Project: Water Test Results

I was wondering what happened to the water test results, so I called up Alchem today. Somehow, they decided to mail the results to the testing address (where there is no mail box yet), not to my current house, so I had to run down a pick them up at their office.

I had been assuming from the taste of the water that it was hard, and I solicited advice from my readers based on this. (And what a surprise--one of my readers works in the water quality division of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.) Thanks to all!

It turns out that the hardness results are 0.22 grains per gallon: "Water is soft" according to the report. I think what I was tasting was the iron (0.10 mg/liter) and the lead (0.100 mg/liter). The iron is distasteful, but the lead is apparently about eight times the "EPA action level for lead in drinking water," so while I won't need a water softener, I will need a whole house filter that takes out lead and iron.

The iron is getting oxygenated enough in the water tank to convert from ferrous to ferric oxidation state, so almost anything that filters out small particulates ought to solve that problem. The lead, however, is probably going to require some other solution. I will start investigating how to handle this, but in the meantime, if you have specific experience with how to get the lead out, let me know.

UPDATE: I just spoke to someone at Whirlpool. They make a whole house filtration system which consists of a housing into which you can put a number of different replaceable filters. This is actually a clever idea; you just line them up in series to perform whatever filtering you need.

Anyway, this customer support person was very East Coast in tone and attitude, but in spite of that, very helpful. She explained that no one has a whole house lead filtration system because historically, lead in water is usually from the house pipes, and there's no point in filtering the lead out before you get the kitchen faucet. She also indicated that it is quite unusual to find lead in recent plumbing or in well water, and suggested that I might want to flush the water out of our current tank, and have it retested for lead. This actually makes a lot of sense. This evening I'll drain the water tank, let it refill, and arrange for another test. I will also be curious to see if it changes the situation with respect to iron.

Last house project entry.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tubs: The House Project

The original bathroom design was compact (7'10" x 9'3"), with room for a 36" x 36" shower stall, a standard 60" x 32" tub, a toilet, and a two sink vanity. Our current bathroom is so large that it seems wasteful of space, so we decided to go a little smaller. We had ambitions for a jetted tub--but a standard size jetted tub isn't much bigger than the standard tub.

Of course, sitting in the back of my mind was a jetted tub for two, like the one that the Ashley Inn in Cascade, Idaho has, where my wife and I went for our 24th wedding anniversary. (Very nice place.) But then again, the jetted tub for two would doubtless be a lot more expensive than a jetted tub for one, so we figured that with the money we saved by getting the tub for one, we could afford to go visit the Ashley Inn a couple of times a year.

So we go to Best Bath in Boise yesterday to start pick out one-piece fiberglass tubs and showers. My contractor says that they are a bit more expensive than the stuff at Lowe's or Home Depot, but much higher quality. It turns out that because their showers are designed to be easily retrofittable with assist handles for the elderly and disabled, they are pretty solid pieces of fiberglass, with a very solid wood backing.

Well, the jetted tubs for two are only a couple hundred dollars more than the jetted tubs for one, so cost was no longer the issue. The problem was space. The tub that I had my eye was about $1900, but it takes up 72" x 54". As hard as I tried, I couldn't fit this monstrous tub into the bathroom and still have room for the shower, the toilet, and twin vanities. Even the 72" x 42" jetted tub for two (about $300 more expensive, even though smaller) was going to be tight--so we are moving the wall out of a foot, taking a little room from what is still a very large master bedroom, and turning this into an 8'10" x 9'3" bathroom.

Helpful hints: the original design had the dual vanities against the outside wall to take advantage of the spectacular view. But where do you put the mirrors? So now the jetted tub for two is against the outside wall, diagonal across from the 36" x 36" shower stall, and the vanities are now an "L" shaped affair.

Last house project entry.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

The House Project: Preparing To Pour Flatwork

I promised some more pictures. Here you can see that they have been putting in the rebar for where the concrete subcontractor (Jim's Concrete Work) will be pouring the patio.

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Here's the back of the house, a bit more exterior siding in place, where the big patio will be poured.

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To avoid pouring vast quantities of concrete for the patio on the east end of the house (where the hill slopes away) we used some of the scrap from excavating the hill to build up the ground. Because this is fill, I am all the more pleased at the plans to use reinforcing bars.

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Last house entry.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

The House Project: Garage Framing & A Water Story

We were up there Sunday afternoon. At first glance, there wasn't a lot more progress. But now the garage framing is in place.

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The external layer just under the siding is now in place.

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Of course, you never know when your big earthmoving equipment might go on a rampage, so you do need to leash it.

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Seriously, there were several severe wind storms last weekend that caused some of the framing to fall. Remember that the roof joists provide much of the structural integrity of a house.

I think I mentioned a while back that we weren't getting water out of the faucet, even though the water tank was high enough that it should have worked just fine. The builder decided to replace the eight foot water pipe on which the faucet was mounted with a four foot pipe. He removed the eight foot pipe--and now water was coming out at a very high flow rate. Perhaps there was air bubble or something defective with that pipe. Then he notice that he had brought a four foot pipe with the wrong diameter--so now he was getting thoroughly soaked, because the four foot pipe slid right inside the fitting.

After reinstalling the eight foot long pipe, there is now no problem getting water to come out. We now have confidence that we will have no problem getting water to flow even without power.

I do need to start looking at fire sprinklers. I've decided not to bother with these foam fire suppression systems--what I need is a conventional sprinkler system with an air temperature sensor that turns on one sprinkler circuit. My guess that a 110 degree air temperature would be a good sign that a wildfire has reached the property, and at that altitude, I'm not worried about any other conditions producing that kind of heat.

Windows are supposed to be installed Friday; "flatwork" (patio, garage floor, garage aprons, and the pad for Big Bertha) is supposed to be poured on Monday. Roof joists perhaps end of next week!

Previous house entry.