Feb 7, 2013

Odds and Ends

Squared Up
The collector's calling, Pigtails finally chored up 65 bucks to repair the broken iTouch.  Her goal was $75, that's what a new screen fetches.  A reader pleaded grace @65, so I acquiesced.  

Daughter, were you the anonymous comment suggesting we shut it down at $65?

Brats and Phones
Voting's closed for teens on the horn, here's how it shook out:

I too late realized the poll wording was muddy.  If done over I'd quarter it into these choices:

 - Smartphone
 - Cell phone with texting
 - Cell phone no texting
 - No smartphone or cell phone

There's a possibility Pigtails will have a cell in high school if she pays.  Undecided if we'll open the gates of texting.

Fireplace Redux
West End Architectural Salvage built my 1800s barn-board table from scratch.  Word is out with their creative custom skills, they're hitting stride and doing a series on HDTV this month.  I'm looking at commissioning them to help remix my fireplace and mantel.  Leaning on several ideas readers dropped on that thread, plus some hand hammered tin and maybe salvaged wood work.  I want to preserve the 1950s mid-century feel of my home, so will be careful not to stray far from those roots.

Steel Roof
My roof turned 20 and looks moldy.  I'd like replace with steel, but the high cost might turn me towards engineered shake or something similar.

Do any of you have a steel roof?  If so, I've got questions for you.

Plate Glass
I've got a soft spot for cabins and large plates of glass peering into God's creation.  Curls sent me this Finnish beauty, I nearly wept on contact.

I so badly want a cozy box of glass nestled in nature, a place to recharge, write and just be.  Not going to happen right now, but the sheet of glass is doable.

Most of the windows in mi casa are 50 years old.  Drafty and several stuck shut, it's time to swap them crusties out for something fresh.  Here's the picture window with two double hungs beside:

Got to thinking...what if I rip out the wood separators between the picture and side windows, then have a commercial glass company cut a single sheet to fill the void.  A swath of view nearly eight feet wide, likely under $700.  That'll cost less than replacing with separates, and will open things up with no interruptions.

Need to ensure those separators are not weight bearing.  Once confirmed pretty sure I'm going for a single honking sheet of glass here.

Dad and I rode 500 miles across Iowa when I was 14.  His black spandexed cheeks in my face five hours daily as we tandemed 70 miles through farms and freedom.

Tented at night with our hometown bike club, up at 6:00 am for Chris Cake pancakes and 10,000  hungover peddlers.  It was amazing on the finish, 20 years ago and still crisp, dipping our front spokes into the Mississippi to mark mission complete.

Now it's time to solder fond memories of countryside miles with my daughter.  She'll be 11 this summer and up to the task.  RAGBRAI rolls through Des Moines on day 3, we'll likely just do the first three days, bike home and call it good.  Trying to talk Curls into joining, she's shying away from three and wants a single day pass.

Help Quincy
We picked Quincy up on a Sunday after church, told him to layer up and be ready for the outdoors.  His face lit when he saw the sleds, asking "Is sledding fun?"  

He's 7 and never gone before.

Had a blast, ice skated the next time we met.

I asked his mom how the fundraising is going for replacement processors for his cochlear implants.  She says if they trade in Quincy's old ones for new, the cost drops from $18K to $10,000.

The pot's currently at $3,600.  Another $6K and he'll be able to hear 30% better.  Daughter and I chipped in $1,200.  Please consider donating if you'd like to help him reach goal.  Click here to donate directly to Quincy's family.  

Thank you to those that have graciously contributed!



  1. Kiera Brown2/07/2013

    Hey B: I have a tin roof (in Florida) shoot any ?s my way and I'll try and find out (can't say I'm overly engaged with my house parts)You have my e-mail (if you remember) or you can reply with ?s on this thread.

    I think the bike ride is AWESOME. I'm starting to realize as a parent (ages 5 and 1) how important it is to set that kind of example for your children... instilling the importance of exercise, challenging yourself, accomplishing a goal. So fantastic of your father to do that with you--- how much of your drive to run & bike has roots in that experience?
    Thanks for the update on Quincy!

    1. So glad dad took me on that crazy 500 mile ride. M&D weren't exactly the active get-out-there-and-workout type of folks growing up, so looking back it's a surprise and treat for him to have done that.

      Those early rides opened my eyes to the freedom that comes with being fit. It wasn't exercise as much as exploring. I hope my daughter feels the same excitement and desire to hit goal those first few strokes on RAGBRAI.

      Will dig up your e-mail address and send you roof q's, thanks.

  2. Anonymous2/07/2013

    RE - Solid window.
    What direction does that window face - if south then it may get mighty hot in that room in the summer with no window ventilation. I agree, one plate would be awesome though.
    Look at replacement windows where possible one big slider side to side, then almost the look of one big plate or to retain arch look of other windows (up and down), possibly the in betweens might not be so heavy on the new models.
    It would be a shame to lose ability to have fresh air in the room but that may not be important to you.
    Kitty, USA

    1. There are two other windows in the living room that open, so losing the sliders that flank the picture is no big deal. Plus those two windows have NEVER been opened, since the screens are jacked.

      Visibility and clean lines are mucked when windows are obstructed with frames and such, hoping for an untarnished sheet of glass that will let the outside in. Faces south, there's a fifty foot pin oak shading the front yard, so solar heat shouldn't be a problem.

  3. If you get one big sheet of glass for the window, wouldn't it suck for heat retention in the winter/cool in the summer? I believe most windows these days are doubled paned for insulation.

    1. It would be an improvement over the 50 year old windows I have now. Sheet of glass will be double paned, same windows you see on banks and commercial buildings.

  4. Love the idea of the plate glass window. Still check it out obviously, but you should find that those 'separators' are only for holding the window together, due to it's shape. There should be a great big lintel above the window in your house structure that does all the weight bearing. If you have ever seen windows delivered they are usually all framed out & just get pushed into an opening in the structural frame of the house. It helps that they are set up that way precisely for what you would like to do, switch them out (or repair them) years down the track. I also look forward to hearing/seeing about Pigtails' biking adventure. Curls should definitely tag along, although 1 day sounds great to me !

    1. Decision made. I'm taggin' along - three days, committed! What have I gotten myself into?

  5. Wow, Pigtails. She was motivated to get that thing fixed! :)
    Single window, yes! That would really open up the room.

  6. Check to see if your state has any tax or energy rebates for upgrading old windows to energy efficient ones. In California we save money on materials and install so it can be done by a professional!

  7. West End Salvage is getting a TV show! http://www.kcci.com/news/central-iowa/Downtown-business-to-star-in-reality-TV-show/-/9357080/18477172/-/jxwl45/-/index.html

  8. I'm so glad you extended grace at $65! (Remember my comment about my daughter, the iPod and the big red balls in front of Target? - That's where the idea first appeared -- so Pigtails is innocent of trying to skew the results via anonymous comments. LOL)

    I love the ideas you are tossing around for your home. The kitchen re-do was fantastic (I came here via YHL and stayed because I enjoy all the things you write about). Can't wait to see what you do with that window and the fireplace wall.

  9. We just put a steel roof on our house this summer. My husband did it with a friend. I also pitched in when needed. It was a lot of work but looks amazing. Would definitely be able to answer any questions if you need (with the help of my husband). Could definitely give you a few tips, like don't forget to put the gaskets in around the valleys. We didn't know to do it and had a leak this winter (we get a ton of snow in Quebec). Put the gasket in now and not a drip since. Overall a great long-term investment.

    1. Did you look at steel shingles vs. large sheets? What sort of fasteners did your husband use? Some people use the screws with rubber washer to keep water out, concerned the rubber will breakdown in a few years and leak.


Thanks for the note, check back for my response!