Friday, July 31, 2009

White Coat Down ...

E! was busy slapping, er rolling, the final coat of paint onto the wait station walls. Myself I built the trim for the entrance to the bathroom hallway.

I neglected to tell you about news on the septic / water front. This week we finally received the results of our water tests, and for most part they were good. There were three areas which were off with respect to the limits acceptable for using a UV system, one of which being that we now have much harder water than before. We're going to run the results by the health department on Monday and see what they think about it.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Roller Girl ...

The wait station is coming along, today it saw its first coat of (real) paint. Tomorrow there'll be a second coat and then it's trim work, floor work, (and a few other little things I can't think of right now), and then we'll move a lot of furniture and equipment into its final resting place.

In case you wondered what I have been up to lately (not that you would, and I really only write this to fulfill my obligations as the secretary of the company - or was I the treasurer) I have started getting the little hallway to the bathrooms ready for plastering.

Aside from that I have been bogged down by the lemons life throws you, like a broken lawn mower, a broken lawn tractor, a flat on the truck. Life was never meant to be easy, but nobody said it's supposed to be a thrill ride. Oh well, lemonade anyone?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prime Time ...

Now that the walls in the wait station are as smooth as a babies bottom it is time to put some paint on them, and that's what E! did today. Well, it was only primer, the actual paint will go on tomorrow (not that you'd see a difference, because both primer and paint are plain white, but I know you love pictures, so here you go).


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sand(ing Wo)man ...

E! finished the spackling and sanding of the wait station today, which is usually the most difficult and annoying part of drywalling, priming and painting is just icing on the cake (and if the cake turned out rectangular instead of round, the icing will emphasize it).

Tomorrow is prime time, and hopefully by the end of the week the wait station will be painted.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Heavy Equipment ...

In every commercial kitchen there are at least three kinds of large-scale equipment: cooking, refrigeration, and ware washing. Although we already have most of the equipment in all three categories, we went out today and bought a dish washer and a refrigerator.

Hold it, you say, I can see that there's never enough refrigeration in a restaurant (and I say, I taught you well), but don't you already have a dishwasher?!

Oh you clever readers you, who read every word I write ... grrr!!! Yes, we already have a dishwasher, but when we bought it we were young and stupid (today we're old and stupid), and didn't realize that albeit the dishwasher was 3-phase (in its previous life) it had been converted to single phase, in particular the 3-phase motor had been replaced with a single phase motor. The amount of money it would take to convert it back to 3-phase (by replacing the motor) is prohibitive, in fact you can by a used dishwasher for just a few bucks more.

Aside from the 3-phase issue, our present dishwasher would have required a booster heater, and, let's face it, it's more than 30 years old! Our new dishwasher doesn't have any of these problems, it's 3-phase, it has a built-in booster heater, and it is only a few years old.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back At The Mill ...

We came back from our week-long vacation to the Hamptons yesterday, and today it was back to the mill. Nothing had changed at Gunk Haus, no elfes or fairies had been busy picking up the pieces we had left behind (maybe I should start believing in fairies again, and of course Santa, not sure if the Easter Bunny would be helpful, but if he's a hard worker I'm going to put him on my list as well).

E! was busy in the wait station sanding the joint compound. Soon she'll start priming and painting, if not tomorrow then by Tuesday.

As a warmup exercise I engaged in my favorite pastime, digging trenches. I had already dug one out in the Biergarten to divert the gutter runoff onto the street, but it was pointed out to me that this isn't a good idea, because ice could form on the street in the winter (I already knew that because we had this problem last winter).

Originally I wanted to drain the water out on the western side of the Biergarten (don't ask why I didn't stick to my original plan), and today I implemented the original plan.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Gunkation ...

First and foremost I would like to apologize for the long break (sometimes I take a daycation from blogging, either because I am really tired, somewhat or completely annoyed, or there's nothing worth telling).

Sometimes Gunk Haus needs a break, and so do we. So we went to the Hamptons (if you've never watched Seinfeld, nor are familiar with New York's geography, the Hamptons are on the east end of Long Island), actually Montauk, which isn't the Hamptons, but it's where the Hamptons go to relax.

The Hamptons on a weekend in July are a mad house. The only reason why you would want to come here is that you are young and stupid, want to be seen, want to get drunk, or you have a house here and feel compelled to make a showing once in a while (alright, it's more than one reason, but who's counting). We came here for none of these reasons. E!'s sister (and husband) had rented a house here, and they had asked us whether we would want to tag along, and we did.

Being at the beach is quite relaxing, sticking your feet in the sand, listening to the sound of the waves, watch the seagulls carry away your neighbor's bag of chips. Ahhh, what a mind-cleansing atmosphere.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where's Dirk? ...

In case you wondered what I have been up to all week long, which I'm sure you don't, but I'll make you read about it anyway, I was busy - sort of - in the dish station, finally putting things together. There was still a little plumbing to be done (for the hot water loop for the dish washer), electrical work (run wires between the light fixtures, the outside light, and the ceiling fan), put trim around the door, and at long last install sheetrock on the ceiling (the wall in below picture is still bare, but it'll fall soon, er, will be covered).


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Curtain Call ...

After taping and spackling comes sanding. It should be called dusting, because there's no sand, but there's a whole lot of dust. At the end of the day E! looked like she had fallen into a flour bin. E! cordoned off the kitchen to protect it from the dust. Remember, we live here and it's a good idea to keep some areas somewhat clean (let's call it cleaner, as it's all relative).


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Night And Day ...

Another day at Gunk Haus, and the hard work continues. And to prove it, here are two pictures showing the same two views of the wait station as yesterday. I assume you instantly notice the difference (no, Mark, it's not that the lights are on).

Ok, so you may not notice the difference, but I can assure you E! spent another day hard at work, taping and spackling, and yes, a little cursing and swearing.

If you ever wondered what difference 150 feet can make: Our neighbors Lisa and Larry, who I introduced to you last year, had their well drilled yesterday and today. I am guesstimating that their well is about 150 feet from ours. Here's the naked truth: Our well, bedrock at 20 feet, 140 feet total depth, 10 gallons per minute; their well, bedrock at 200 feet, 400 feet total depth, 5 gallons per minute. I consider ourselves lucky, and if all goes well, we have the same soft water we had with the old well.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Steckelastic ...

It was a day of swearing and cursing. Yes, you guessed it, E! started taping and spackling the wait station. I don't know how the professionals do it (I guess getting payed for work makes things easier), but taping and spackling is tricky and annoying, hence the swearing and cursing. But my honey is a trooper, and she pulled through.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Trial And Error ...

We went to the annual library book sale yesterday and bought - to quote our neighbor Julie - stacks and stacks of books that we've no free time to read. There we met - for the first time, and at long last - our neighbors Gia and Rick, both faithful followers of this blog (it was great meeting you guys, please stop by sometime and we'll give you the grand tour).

We still haven't found a suitable light fixture for outside the main entrance and the biergarten entrance. So I test-hung one we had bought for around back (for whenever we will build that deck or patio), largely to get a visual (which is always easier than to play things out in your mind).

We didn't like how the light fixture appeared above the door, but we also recognized what was missing and how our dream light fixture should look like. As it was early afternoon and neither of us wanted to start anything new (E! had just finished installing corner beads in the wait station in preparation for taping and spackling the drywall) we went on a shopping trip. Unfortunately we still didn't find a light fixture we liked, but E! had a great idea on how to build it from an ornamental pot hanging bracket. Stay tuned, it will all be revealed in time.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Early Bird ...

We were just about to sit down for breakfast this morning when we heard a bird chirp, and it just sounded like it was coming from the inside. Sure enough, there was a bird in the beer hall. Not sure whether it flew in after I had opened the doors in morning or whether it had spent the night with us, but it was quite exhausted, because it was easy to catch with a towel, and it happily flew away after I released it outside.

On to less important things, E! finished putting up sheet rock in the wait station today, it now looks like a room again.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Drywall Action ...

The wait station is starting to look like a room again with all the drywall. We got all the large areas covered, now it's down to small pieces above doors, windows, and such. I took a picture of the room being all drywalled, but it's basically gray in gray with little sprinkles for the screws, i.e. nothing post-worthy.

While we were hanging drywall I remembered E! talking about how she would like to furnish and equip the wait station. That's when I realized that we were missing a power outlet where she wanted to put a fridge. So we quickly ran more wire for the outlet before we closed off the wall (unfortunately we had already closed off the ceiling, and we had to snake the wire through to the other side).


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One Room At A Time ...

The wait station is coming along. We started drywalling, which always changes the appearance of a room tremendously (especially if you have looked at open walls for a long, long time).

Before we close up any wall I usually take pictures, so that we remember where things are. There is good reason to do so, just look at the wait station ceiling, it's a highway of piping and wiring.

We got about three quarters of the ceiling covered, and could have finished it today, but we both ran out of steam (if we ever had any today) by early afternoon.

We are definitely on track to finishing drywalling the wait station by the end of the week.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's In Your Water? ...

More than a year ago we had our water tested. As we are on a well, and for being a restaurant, our water is considered public water supply. The contents of the water decide how we can treat the water. We need to treat the water regardless, but as I mentioned before we'd rather use UV light to kill (potential) bacteria in the water than chlorine.

Because we have a new well, we took another water sample today and dropped it off at our favorite lab for testing. Unfortunately we won't know all the results before two weeks or so. More unfortunate is that the water test results tie into the approval of the septic system (the health department wants everything together in one package, even if things aren't related). Of course we would like to know as soon as possible if our septic system plans are approved, so that we can send them out for bids. I guess we'll just have to wait.


Monday, July 6, 2009

A Monday At Gunk Haus ...

I haven't been posting many pictures lately, so here something that should scare the living daylight out of your kids. After I had hooked up the wiring on the second floor, I disconnected and removed the original wiring. The picture shows the contents of a splice box I had opened in the wait station, a bunch of old cloth wires twisted together, the stuff house fires are made of (this is why I was so eager to cut the second and third floors over to the new wiring).

Moving on, we had visitors today. First Greg, our excavation meister. He filled in the trench for the well tubing and wiring, and while he was at it, I had him bury some conduit, which we'll use for outdoor wiring, someday.

We also had Lou, our trusty engineer, over. He needed information about our water distribution system, type of UV system, size of pressure tank and hot water tank, and such.

Aside from that we did a little bit of work, preparing the wait station for drywalling, and starting to finish up a few things in the kitchen.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

What's Going On?! ...

I know it was a rough week for you, my readers: Three (non-consecutive) days without a blog post! What's going on?!

Well, I told you that we were helping E!'s sister move, but that was only Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday I was kaputt, but I worked on the second floor wiring (not very exciting, especially nothing picture-worthy).

Yesterday I installed light fixtures in two of the second floor rooms, and then went to mow the lawn. It was a great day for yard work. Plus, we knew the day would be cut short as we had been invited by neighbors for a 4th of July party (thank you Carol and Al for inviting us).

Today was equally slow. We were mostly planning the wait station (hopefully by the end of the week we will have it drywalled), and shopping for materials (Lowe's had another "Get $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more" promotion, I live for those).

I know, none of this is exciting, but it will get better, trust me.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Of Things To Come ...

Two days without a post?! What gives?! I told you we were going to help E!'s sister move. Granted, that was only on Wednesday, but my back was killing me yesterday from moving a few rocks (don't ask). I did however manage to hook up the wiring on the second floor and make it live (now we have a nice ceiling fan in the bedroom, which will be great in the summer).

As the second floor wiring is almost done, and working, I disconnected the old wiring for the second and third floor. I still need to pull it out of the wait station though. And then we can finally wall up the wait station.

Or can we? Well, E! and I were dreaming this week. Once in a while we need to do this to keep the fun in this project. We were dreaming about how to redo the second floor bathroom and split it into two bathrooms. Actually this wasn't such an idle task, as the bathroom is above the wait station, and now that we have a good idea how it will look like I can already rough in some plumbing and wiring before we close off the walls.