Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coming Together ...

As slow as the last few days have been in terms of progress on the ceiling, today totally made up for it. We got six rows up, and are three rows short of the roof ridge.

Most likely we could have installed one or two more rows, but we need to spend at least half an hour to move all the scaffolding for that, and we had to close shop early today due to a prior engagement.

As we will box out the entire ridge line anyway, we decided to stop right there for the ceiling cover, and finish it, once the ridge line is boxed out. Granted, we could start work on that right away, but we are a little tired of ceiling work right now, and want to work on something else for a while. So stayed tuned for new and exciting things happening around Gunk Haus.

Spot the hidden object:

A view through the rafters of the old beer hall roof (which will remain exposed):


Friday, January 30, 2009

Walking The Plank ...

Back at the ceiling cover, we got two rows down today. That isn't a lot, but the two rows were quite frustrating, as the planks were somewhat bent, and introduced large gaps.

We should have about eight or nine rows to go to the roof ridge, so hopefully by Monday we get that done. Then it's off to new endeavors.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rest Room ...

No work today. Huh what?!?

I may have mentioned once or twice that E! and I work pretty much seven days a week. Now, you guys with kids may argue that you do so, too, that in fact you're on duty 24/7. Ok, here's your brownie point.

Anyhow, on some days we don't work. Today was such a day, and I went skiing to Belleayre, while E! was having her day in bed with bonbons, as she calls it.

Yet, while I was really doing nothing but enjoying myself, E! actually stayed home (she doesn't ski), and did laundry and a few other things that could be considered work. She is the greatest, and I am open to suggestions on how to make it up to her.

Skiing was fun, and I bumped into Jeff (our plumber) on the slopes. Just before I was about to leave I also met Tatjana from Munich. We had a nice chat (in German) about food and German hangouts in the area, some of which I hadn't heard of yet, but will check out soon (it's all about market research, and spying the competition).


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Over The Hump ...

It has been long in the coming, but we finally cleared the hump in the ceiling from the old beer hall roof today. Aside from all the necessary notching and furring, the ridge is also hard to get to, because of the rafters and strap hangers. We spend a lot of time setting up the scaffold, doing work, tearing down the scaffold, moving it, and setting it up again. We'll get it done, eventually.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top Notch ...

At long last, I finished the ceiling row at the ridge of the old roof in the beer hall. Yes, that's right, it's only one row, but it required a lot of notching out, and a lot of cuss words ... ;-)

We had Lou (our engineer) stop by today. As a restaurant we have certain requirements from the Department of Health with respect to our septic system, and Lou is going to help us with that. Of course it works to our advantage that he knows the people at the Department of Health, and he speaks the technical language necessary to describe things.

We have been very lucky with the people we work with in the sense that they actually work with us, and not just come here to make money.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Hey Mike, There Art Thou ...

It has come to my attention, that this blog is considered a reliable source for the whereabouts of Mike (our electrician). I am happy to report that he was here today, though only for an hour, to wire up the kitchen hood fan.

Furthermore, Central Hudson came by today and hooked up the service panel on the parking lot side. We will largely use it to provide lighting for the parking lot, but we are also planing to have special events on the parking lot, for which we obviously need electricity.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Collateral Damage ...

In the last 15 months or so since we started renovating Gunk Haus we have been blessed with an absence of injuries. Sure, there are occasional cuts, skin rips, and hammer-hits-thumbs, and our bodies are aching all the time from the physical work, but nothing major.

Our tools and clothing have not fared so well. I have gone through several ripped pants, one pair of boots (though my old military boots are starting to go as well), and numerous work gloves.

Today's victim was E!'s power drill. It did not survive the six foot drop off a ladder (I am sorry, Tom, to report its death, it didn't have to suffer though, but it was a fine drill all its life).

So we set out to get E! another power drill. That set in motion a whole journey across three counties, because our dear friend Jerry gave us this 10% off coupon for Lowe's, and I needed some tools, too, and oh, why don't we look for a new washer then.

Therefore, another victim of today was the day itself, but we did get E! a fancy new power drill.

Happy Birthday, Amy ...


Friday, January 23, 2009

Busy Work ...

Our place was hopping today.

Jeff was here, finishing the work on the grease trap, making the final connection to our septic system. Now that I think of it, I realize that he is a real problem solver. Anybody need a good plumber?

Mike was here as well, yay Mike! Ok, he didn't do any work just putting together a material list, but he'll be back Monday to finish up a few things.

Lou (our favorite engineer) was here today, too. He dropped off the approved plans for the bar construction. We need to do some structural work in the bar area, but I won't go into that right now. You'll see soon enough (I gotta get my readers hooked, so why would I give away everything upfront ... ;-).

And then there is the work E! and I do, which felt rather idle today. The electrical inspector wanted us to create a concrete berm around the conduit for our new electrical service. Although this may not be necessary, we bow to the authority.

I could have done this long time ago, had I been told about it. At the same time, I would have prefered doing it after we get our new service, because the wires for the existing service are still there, but need to be pulled once we have the new service. If none if this makes sense, I apologize, it's late, I am tired, and don't seem to get my thoughts straight, so ... off to the picture section:

Before ...

... and after.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two Down, Fifteen To Go ...

We passed a crucial point on the ceiling, and reached a new one. There is a hump on the ridge line of the old beer hall roof (see picture below), which we need to get passed, but I already have an idea.

But this has to wait, because tomorrow it is supposed to be warm, almost 40°F, in comparison to the last two weeks, that feels like summer. This won't mean that we take a day off, but that I will be able to pour some cement over the conduit from the new electric meter box into the house. The inspector wants it this way, so we'll do it.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cut Off Three Times, Still Too Short ...

Did I mention that we were in a difficult section of the ceiling? We are installing the ship lap around the strap hangers, and that requires proper measuring and cutting, which sometimes isn't as proper and precise as I would wish.

I had cut a difficult piece yesterday, but it wasn't right. So I cut another piece today, but it wasn't that great either. Nevertheless I didn't want to try a third time, it was good enough.

Jeff (our plumber) stopped by today. He installed the water meter, which is a requirement of the health department, despite the fact that we are on a well. After that we talked about air conditioning in the beer hall with him. We came to an agreement on how to install the duct work in the most practical, yet stylish way.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Man ...

A little more than a month ago I posted an entry about my favorite boiler man, and how tough it is for me to keep him around or let him go, because he is so hard to get ahold of.

Today I was reminded as to why I keep on calling him, even if it takes a month for him to show up. Today, Matt was here and took care of my boiler, and I was not to be disappointed.

For the last two weeks whenever the boiler turned on (and it did a lot, because of the arctic temperatures), it sounded like a train was driving by. Now it is purring like a kitten getting a belly rub.

I love Matt, I said so before, and I'll say it again. He does great work, he is very thorough, he is polite, and he goes the extra mile. I also believe that he completely undervalues his work. And he is aware of him not being as responsive as one would hope, because he promised that if we would be out of heat, he'd be here in a heartbeat, and I believe him.

I learned a lot again today, and I guess I could do most of the work myself, but in the end it all takes time, the right tools (never underestimate the value of the right tool), and it's dirty. I'd rather pay someone to do it, but of course I'm glad to know the basics and a little more, just in case.

Off to the picture section. More ceiling work today, what a surprise. More tomorrow. Are you getting tired of it already?


Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh Look, More Ceiling ...

We are rocking and rolling, and installing more ceiling cover. This will be the story for the next few days, so buckle up, you're in for a wild ride ... NOT!!!

This side of the ceiling is a little more challenging, for various reasons. One is the strap hangers, which are the vertical pieces of wood in the pictures. We can't remove them unfortunately, so we have to cut the ceiling cover around them, and as we found out today, they also require a little planning ahead.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ceiling 2.0 ...

It snowed, again. What else is new? Oh, yes, we started on the eastern part of the beer hall ceiling. Not much to look at, yet, three rows so far, but tomorrow is another day.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eat Local Food ...

More drywall work today, finishing the length of the eastern wall of the beer hall, so that we can start installing the ceiling cover.

We went to the winter farmers' market over at Robin's this morning. It is organized by Billiam of Liberty View Farm, just up the road from us. Anyhow, we met a lot of local farmers, which is key for us, as we want to source as much as possible from local farmers. For those of you interested in local foods and winter farmers' markets in our area, visit the Eat Local Food website.


Friday, January 16, 2009

It's All Inside ...

As promised yesterday (gosh, I actually kept a promise) here now a picture of the grease trap plumbing:

The water enters at the back through that big funnel. As a restaurant, our kitchen sink must have an indirect drain, in other words the sink is not directly connected to the drain system, instead its drain pipe ends in mid-air, and the water is caught by the funnel. This is supposed to prevent backflow of contaminated waste water into the sink.

Unfortunately Jeff was caught up with a broken water pipe somewhere else today, so he couldn't finish the grease trap plumbing.

We, meanwhile, cleaned up the east side of the beer hall so we could start installing the drywall and ceiling cover. Here's my Gummibär hanging a sheet of drywall:

Alongside this wall we will install four booths. Speaking of, we will have a variety of seating options, booths, individual tables, and larger communal tables. You'll see ...


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Grease Lightning ...

Jeff (our plumber) was back today to work on the grease trap. After about an hour of putting gravel into the ditch and leveling it, the grease trap was finally in place. It is massive (3x2.5x2 feet):

A little after 3pm E! and I had to leave, we wanted to look at a ten burner cooking range that was for sale in Marlboro. The range looks good and we may get it, we just need to figure out how to get it here.

When we got back about two hours later, Jeff was gone, but he had finished the whole drainage around the grease trap. Unfortunately it was too dark already to take a good picture. I'll post one tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let There Be (More) Heat ...

We received a call yesterday that our shipment of radiators had arrived, so we picked them up, and here is one already hung in the ADA bathroom:

It still needs to be connected to the hot water loop, which I will prep for tomorrow. The actual hookup will have to wait, though, as it involves partially draining the pipes, and because I need to install another radiator on that loop, I'd rather wait and do it all at once. Plus, we're having a nasty cold front come through right now, and draining the pipes means no heat in the beer hall.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Tool Time #2 ...

I finally uploaded the video we made a while back onto YouTube. Kids, don't try this at home ... ;-)


Slacker ...

We didn't do anything today, nothing, zip, zilch, nada. Ok, not true, we didn't do any actual work, but whatever we do is usually work related.

Today we visited the construction site of E!'s sister's new home. She and her husband are in the final stages of remodeling and adding on to an old farm house. Right now they have the plasterers do their magic, and that is why we went there. We wanted to see the magic, and talk to the plasterers.

We had a good chat and got lots of good information. One info we got was a pointer to a lumber place, where we might find the kind of rough sawn lumber, which we are looking for to cover the beams in the beer hall.

As the day was halfway over already we decided to head to the lumber yard, and check it out. We get there and find something we like, pack up the truck and are ready to leave, when E! points out the almost flat front tire on the truck. Always something.

With the help of one of the yard workers and fix-o-flat we were on our way, and made it home safe.

So, get excited, soon there will be some interesting changes.

Today was a rather successful day, I got ahold of Matt (my favorite boiler man), he might be by on Friday, Jeff (our plumber) will return at the end of the week, I had a chat with Lou (our favorite structural engineer), and the electrical inspector was here and liked what he saw.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Molasses In January ...

Some days are slower than others, some days don't move at all.

Today was definitely on the slower side. I finished installing drywall on the north side of the beer hall, not a pretty job, because the wall's studs are uneven and would have needed furring, but I'll make that a problem of whoever does the taping, which won't be me.

After that things just slowed down, and nothing seemed to go my way, which on occasion just throws off my rhythm and I come to a shrieking halt. So at around 4pm, after not having accomplished anything else, I called it a day.

Tomorrow is another day, and it will be better.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jeff 1, Mike 0 ...

Today was the big day, when we would cut the water supply over to the new system. I say we, but it was all Jeff of course. It all works nicely, though the water still has this new pipe taste, which will disappear soon.

As you can see, I still have some cleaning up to do, another day.

Mike was supposed to come by today, but he didn't show. Maybe tomorrow.

At the risk of repeating myself, I just wanted to mention that we live in a great community with great neighbors, who look out for us. Thank you Al and Butch for plowing the snow in front of our house, thank you Tom for covering our UPS delivery before the ice storm. I hope we can return the favor someday.

Rick don't hesitate to stop by, we have people stop by every day. We may be busy, but unless you hear heavy cursing and swearing (because that #@$%& hammer just hit my thumb again) we will be happy to show you around.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuby, Tuby, Tube ...

Jeff (our plumber) finished all the piping for our water treatment system today. Due to the inclement weather he had a late start, so we didn't get to move the pressure tank, and cut the water supply over to the new system. Tomorrow.

Here is a picture of his handy work:

After we finish the water treatment system tomorrow, we'll get started on the grease trap. Boy, this is exciting!

Mike (our electrician) promised to come by tomorrow as well, so it'll be a full house. Things are moving forward. That is totally exciting!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Driving Mrs Liz ...

Nothing going on today.

Gotcha ... ;-)

We had an appointment today with our liquor license expediter. See, we are planning to open a restaurant and biergarten, emphasis on BEER! Like in most places around here, except for the North Pole, Antarctica, and a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, you need a liquor license to serve alcohol. New York State is none of the previously mentioned exceptions, ergo, liquor license required.

We use an expediter to apply for our liquor license, that is a person in the know. It is worth the money, or else the headaches from dealing with bureaucracy would most likely make me start drinking (do I need a license for that?).

Anyhow, two years ago Robin Hood took over New York State, and suddenly the rules changed. Robin Hood is long gone, having been caught with a shady lady, but the rule changes are still intact, and that caused the bureaucracy to become even more bureaucratic, and slow.

We applied for our liquor license in February 2008, almost a year ago, and we may actually get approved pretty soon, i.e. in maybe a month or two. Granted, it doesn't matter right now that we don't have a liquor license, but imagine someone opening a wine bar, and not being able to serve the very beverage that defines the business.

There were some issues and questions raised by the liquor authority, which we were able to wash away with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir ... kidding.

As we were out and about anyway, we drove around looking for wood to cover the beams in the beer hall with something nicer. We went to lumber yards and saw mills and got good advice and ideas, but we didn't buy anything, yet, still contemplating.

So in that sense nothing was going on today.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Wish List ...

Disclaimer: Before you read on, this post mentions a lot of alcohol, so if you are not 21 years old, skip to the next paragraph, and have some fun. For the rest of you, no, I am not a lush, I don't need an intervention, I just have a whicked sense of humor. Also, this post has no pictures, but you know that already, because you totally skipped over this text already, and scrolled down looking for some visuals. Gotcha ... ;-)

Beware what you wish for, you may actually get it. I have said that before, so you could charge me with spinning in circles, repetitiveness, laziness, unimaginativeness, or a few other things, I can't find words for right now. Point being, I used the phrase before, and I will do so again, so get over it.

But that wasn't even my point, my point was that you should beware what you wish for because you actually may get it. Ok, where was I? I was trying to say something. Hmm, I need a drink, oh right, now I remember, do you? Well, a while back I had a long and frustrating work day, and my blog post showed that I was out of olives and vermouth for a nice martini. The natural reponse was that I got lots of martini glasses for Christmas (thank you Amy and Mark, I love them very much).

Then the other day, I jokingly mentioned, that I might be out of vodka (which I am not), but sure enough, I now have a bottle of Ketel One in my freezer, which I had to quality test tonight: Ketel One Vodka (thank you Amy), vermouth (self supplied, it was in the basement apartment, but we are getting low), olives (thank you Mark), martini glass (thank you Mark, I'll try yours next, Amy).

Though I used to be a Belvedere kinda guy, I was introduced to Tito's by our dear neighbors J and J a little while back, nevertheless, Ketel One is really nice and smooth, just the way I like it.

Ok kids, here is where the alcohol stops flowing, so go to bed.

Aparently my readership (that is you who is reading this) feels they need to fulfill every wish I ask for. So, here is my wish list (no picking and choosing):

  • an apartment in Paris, France (I am modest, I could ask for Versailles, but I am to lazy to walk a mile to go for potty)
  • a nice size lot, with a lake, slightly mountainous, for building a castle for queen E!
  • a companion for Piglet (our trusty door bell / watch dog / bed warmer / etc.), preferably a Schnautzer (standard); we will call him Fritz
  • world peace (should be number one, but this is an unnumbered list)
  • winning the Mega Millions Jackpot (I don't actually care much about being rich, but it helps paying for the heating bill, if you live in Versailles)

So, there you have it. Get to work ... ;-)


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Uppy, Uppy ...

Yesterday we finally reached the top of the roof with the ceiling cover, only on one side of course. Actually we stopped a row short off the top, because I still need to install some support for the ceiling fans (yes, Tom, we will have ceiling fans in the beer hall as you may see from the wire loops hanging from the ceiling in below picture).

Now that looks faaaantastic:

Also yesterday Jeff (our plumber) started work on the water treatment system. He should be able to finish by tomorrow.

Today was filled with lots of little, and mundane tasks, like staining more wood, fixing the heat in the basement apartment, and book keeping (I never mentioned it, but having a company comes with various boring, but necessary, chores).


Friday, January 2, 2009

Front Page! ...

You may remember when I told you about a visit by reporters of the New Paltz Times. Now, I was completely and utterly right with my prediction, we did make page 17! What I didn't know, or ever suspected is that we made the front page of the New Paltz Times! The article continues on page 17, but it starts on the front page, and we're talking the part of the front page right underneath the name of the newspaper. I told you we'd be famous soon, wait for it ... :-)

There is one correction to the article I must insist on though: The name of the restaurant is Gunk Haus, NOT Gunks Haus, nor The Gunk Haus, nor Gunk House, or any other shenanigans. Gunk Haus!

Off to today's work day. We moved higher up with the ceiling cover. Unfortunately, we only have one scaffold, which is not enough to install the 16 foot long boards. No problem, I just threw some planks over the LVL beams I installed last summer, et voilĂ  we have another scaffold.

No day without surprises, today it was heating related. I admit, that is not a surprise, but it never happens at a convenient time. Short story long, E! recognized that the heat on the second floor wasn't working. There was a time when that would have thrown me off, make me run for the freezer (where I store the vodka), and mix myself a nice martini with extra olives (thank you Amy and Mark for the nice martini glasses you gave me for Christmas, maybe I should mention next time I am out of vodka ... ;-).

Instead, I casually walked into the basement, looked at the boiler check here and there, and find that the water pressure in the boiler is way too low, notabene water must be escaping from the system. As we would have noticed water leaks on the upper floors and the beer hall rather quickly, there was only one place where the leak must be: the basement apartment. I go down there and sure enough, a heating pipe had burst, and water was gushing out.

Not a biggy. The basement apartment has its own heating zone, so I turn off the water for that zone, make sure the water pressure increases again in the boiler, quickly assess the water damage in the basement apartment, which was negligible, and call it a night. Champagne anyone?


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Moving On Up ...

What better to do on New Year's Day than working on the beer hall ceiling. Did you think we were all hungover from last night? Don't project ... ;-)

We are moving higher up on the ceiling, and so does the scaffold:

We got three and a half more rows up today, but it's already looking pretty shazam.