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Monthly Archives: April 2009


Mixing my shellac sample First, I apologize for not having yet posted interior photos. I’ve been really busy trying to keep the interior work moving while also getting some garden going. Also, it seems that every time I get the house cleaned and tidy, we mess it up again. The current clutter is for the […]

How to live to be a hundred

Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini [Times of London] Everyone should read this remarkable interview with Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, who is now 100 years old, and who won a Nobel Prize in 1986 for her research on the brain. “The secret of life is to keep thinking. And to stop thinking about ourselves. That’s the only message I […]

Update: rural internet access

My internet antenna. It’s a 12-inch omnidirectional antenna. The fencing is a quick-and-dirty ground plane. Last year I started using Alltel’s EVDO wireless system for internet access. I had a rough start with slow speeds, but after some nerdly noodling the system settled down and was pretty reliable, with typical download speeds of 500 kbps […]

Chicken house move-in day

The chickens pose for a picture shortly after moving into their new house, before they had a chance to dirty it up. The chickens moved into their new house today. They’re now 12 days old. They’ve spent the last week living in a box upstairs in my unfinished house, where they got in the way […]

Trim work

The gothic window in the upstairs bedroom, newly trimmed. I haven’t made a decision yet on what kind of finish to use on the floors and woodwork. Shellac, probably. A lot’s been happening this week, and I haven’t had time to post photos. Also, the house is cluttered right now with saws, tools, ladders, and […]


On Friday my mother and sister drove up to Stokes bringing me five baby chickens. The chickens were hatched the previous Monday. There are three barred rock hens and two golden comet hens. No roosters. Roosters cause too much noise and turmoil. I’m trying to learn more about barred rock and golden comet chickens, but […]

Here comes the electricity

My electric service cable will be buried, but first they had to bring the line over the road with a small post below my driveway. The post was installed today. A separate crew will appear soon to dig a 175-foot trench and bury the service line below my driveway. I was not eager to have […]

Nailing floor

One room finished — that’s a start. I decided that, to save some money, nailing down my flooring was something I could do myself. The mitre saw seems relatively safe for an amateur, and the pneumatic nail gun really does the job. So my brother got me started on Monday. If I stay at it […]

Interior doors

At the plant, just finished, invoice waiting I’ve tried to stick with honest, traditional materials for the house, inside and out. Modern building codes, of course, override some choices. For example, my exterior windows and doors are modern on the outside (high efficiency double-pane glass, aluminum clad) but traditional on the inside (unfinished pine). For […]

What the boom did to Ireland

New York Times: Dingle town and Dingle harbor The New York Times on-line edition has a little essay this morning on what the boom did to Ireland. It left the countryside littered with tacky little houses that no one wants. There is a hidden cost in that, because it cost Ireland, and least in many […]