Monday, April 14, 2014

Red Rocks

Red Rocks Canyon, outside Las Vegas.  Wish I had a week to do some hiking.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Boulder Dam

I prefer 'Boulder Dam' rather than some politician's name.

Spending a couple of days with relatives in Las Vegas following the NAB-2014 trade show.

Here the 'intakes' show the pending California water crisis.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

CWD - Sunday, Feb 16th

Saturday Toby and I walked down to the Barbershop (Barber Dan's).  About 2.5 miles round-trip.  The government doesn't allow dogs inside, so we sat outside until our turn.

Today, it was off to the dog park again, for a couple of hours.  Toby was aggressive to three dogs, but sociable with the rest today.  It was sprinkling when we started, but ten minutes later it dried up and even saw some blue sky break through.
He had his typical good time.  On the way home we stopped for gas and the attendant gave him three small dog biscuits through the back window.  Spoiled...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow-maggedon... day 4

 The results of last night's freezing rain.

 Star Magnolia bud encased.

 A little less than 1/4 inch.
The wind and freezing rain make a frozen overhang.

Hardwoods, final

Hardwoods, after no.4

 Not everything turned out perfect.  There where a few remaining stains that went deep.  The only sure way of fixing these is to replace the boards.  Sanding more may only have created a serious dip in the floor and if failed to remove the stain then the whole overly sanded area would have had to be replaced.  We told him in the beginning we didn't expect miracles with this incredibly abused floor and so we ended up with a few "beauty marks" as my wife calls them.

Hardwoods, after no.3

When we previously had the stairs and upstairs hallway finished we used a water-based polyurethane, simple, quick, but resulted in a rather yellowish, blonde-like finish.  This time with the Swedish Oil finish, the red-oak hardwood became a dramatic dark-contrast golden color.
The stairs are white-oak planks and finished out a lighter, softer finish, but still nicer than the previous water-based varnish.(stairs looking down from upstairs landing)
Entry, looking down from stairs.  Front door to right, dining to left.  You can see the first couple of stair treads in the lower left of the picture.

The Dining room area, without furniture.

Hardwoods, before/after no.2

Old stains by previous owners... dining room corner.

Entry to Dining room.

Damage by young dog gunning his engine and squealing his paws around the corner (repeatedly).

Snow-maggedon, Saturday Feb 8th

We've been playing in the snow since Friday.  With chains on the Pontiac Bonneville we've been to the veterinarian and the grocery store.  We've also walked Toby a mile or more.  By the end of the walk he had snow balls in his paws pretty bad and had to stop a few times to chew the worst ones out.  We also walked to the local Fred Meyers for more furniture felt pads to get all the furniture back into the dining room.  Last night we started to get the freezing rain and this morning there's an 1/8 inch coating of ice everywhere.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hardwoods, before/after no.1

Small furnace cold-air return vent at base of stairs.

Large cold-air return next to front door.

Large cold-air return in dining room.

Unused vent hole in kitchen hallway.

CWD, Roseburg, Feb 1st

 Toby had a great time visiting the GrandParents.

He especially loved chasing and looking for Henny-Penny.
 He loved the big open fields the best.  Somehow the smells were so different and intriguing.  He muzzled through all the grass and holes, running from smell to smell.
Up the front hill.

Toby's never taken such a long road trip and his anxiety for the weekend was a little high.  He did manage to tolerate the drive ok and once settled in he slept through the nights without complaint.  He did overeat one dinner and threw up in the middle of the living room (he's so sorry... ), but it wasn't too messy at least.

Once back home, everything was right with the world and he's feeling fine again.  He did manage to scratch his eye on something in the field and pick up a couple of ticks, but the vet's got him fixed up.  Eye drops for a week while the scratch heals... guess he's just imitating Gramma and Grandpa.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hardwood Floor Finishes

Our contractor, The Floor Doctor, offers three varieties of Hardwood Finishes; water-based, oil-based, and Swedish.  We've chosen the Swedish finish.

Here's a website with a great explanation of the types of finishes.

Swedish Finish
Swedish finish was developed in the early 1950′s in Scandinavia and quickly gained popularity in Europe. It has been the industry standard here in the Northwest for about 20 years, probably because it is a truly ‘no wax’ finish. The only maintenance required is light damp mopping, as opposed to the semi-annual waxing and buffing associated with sealer/ wax and polyurethane finish systems. Swedish finish also has a reputation for durability unmatched by all but a few heavy-duty commercial grade finishes. Swedish finish is an alcohol-based acid-curing conversion varnish. It has been the industry standard for durability in the Northwest for many years, and we consistently achieve excellent results with Swedish finish. Because Swedish finish contains many solvents, it is highly volatile and toxic, and requires special precautions, including customers planning to be off the premises for at least a day or two after the final coat is applied, as well as removing pets and plants from the work area for the same duration. We may also ask that appliances with pilot lights be turned off or disconnected prior to the commencement of work. Please be prepared to re-light any pilot lights that we may have turned off. Light foot traffic may resume and furniture may be replaced after 24 to 48 hours, but the finish is not fully cured for up to 60 days, and therefore area rugs should not be put back on the floor for as long as is tolerable (if areas are covered before the end of this curing period, the covered areas will cure more slowly, and could result in more pronounced color differences between exposed and covered areas). Swedish finish is a two-coat procedure. The primary disadvantage of the Swedish finish is the powerful and unpleasant odor. We generally apply 2 coats of Swedish finish on successive days, and Seattle Floor Service always recommends vacating the premises while these coats of finish are being applied. Sensitivity to the solvents in the finish varies greatly from individual to individual, and some customers have reported a lingering odor for as long as a week after the final coat is applied. The majority of our customers who choose Swedish finish, however, find that if the house can be aired out soon after the final coat is dry, they are able to move back in the next day.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hardwood Refinishing Before Pictures

Dog Claw damage #1.  Upstairs hallway.  The stairs and upstairs hall were refinished with water-based varnish about 14 years ago.
Dog Claw damage #2.  Upstairs hallway, outside of bedroom where he's getting up to speed to go chase a noise.
Dog Claw damage #3.  Outside upstairs bedroom where he must turn to go down the hall.  At this point he's keeled over to 45 degrees and all four feet are flying in a blur looking for traction.
Dog Claw damage down the stairs.
stairs, middle.
Stairs, bottom and one of the dog's places to lie and watch out the windows and front door.
Part dirt, part damage.
Downstairs.  Previous owners had wall-to-wall carpeting.  We removed the carpeting but didn't refinish for 15 years.  Most of the floor has little to no finish (bare wood) that's gotten dirtier and dirtier.
Furnace cold-air return near front door.
Front door area.
Another cold-air return in entry.
Black stains... ink? or potted plants?
Dining room looking into living room.  I refinished the edge prior to having the living room carpet installed about 5 years ago.
Dining room looking into back hallway.  I redid the back hallway just for fun about 3 years ago.  I'm not a professional so it's a bad job, but it at least sealed the bare wood and prevented further damage.  Unfortunately I didn't do the rest of the areas.
Same area. 

In retrospect, the moment we pulled up the carpeting we should have slapped down a coat of varnish to prevent further damage until we could afford to have them refinished.
The Dining room.  The largest area.
Dining room water spots.
Dining room.  Potted plant?
Cold-air furnace return in Dining room.
Back hallway looking into kitchen.
Back hallway.  Old heating duct that now doesn't connect to anything.
Getting the french doors out of the way.
Putting the dining room furniture into the living room.