Barn Plans

Things are finally getting rolling with my barn construction project.  I’ve posted a copy of the approved plans here.

Front elevation mini


I’ve selected A&J Construction to contract with for my foundation.  It’s going to cost me eleven grand, but it will really simplify my life to have someone else do this for me.  There’s some leeway for me to call in favors with friends and family to get my carpentry done, but there isn’t much room for error when the concrete truck arrives.

I had originally planned to do the foundation myself, but it turned out to be a bit more complicated than a basic monolithic slab.  The footings, stemwalls and slab are all going to be separate pours.  There’s also going to be a pretty large amount of compacted gravel fill, which will have to be done in several lifts.  I think I’ll be glad that I contracted this out.

The Chris Combo

This is the Chris Combo sandwich from La Villa Deli in Willow Glen.  Sanpellegrino sold separately.


It’s hard to describe exactly what this sandwich is about.  Some sandwiches are clearly roast beef, or pastrami, or a BLT or something.  The Chris Combo is a sandwich made from…stuff.  Pure, awesome stuff.  There’s some meat in it.  And I think lettuce and mayo.  Looks like some spices maybe.  Definitely there’s bread.

It doesn’t look like much, does it?  Well let me tell you right now that looks can be deceiving.  You need to try this one.  Seriously.  Just try it.  It’s unbelievably delicious.  They even have some outdoor tables you can sit at while you are enjoying your lunch break, although if you take lunch between 12 and 1 you may have some difficulty finding an empty seat.

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Oh one more thing:  The Chris Combo isn’t on the menu, but don’t be fooled.  Just walk up to the counter and order the Chris Combo like a boss, as though it’s the most natural thing in the world.  You’ll be glad you did.

The House Of My Dreams

I’ve been looking for a house to buy for about 6 months now.  I’ve put bids in on eleven different properties, but I haven’t won any of them.  I started out imagining that I would find a great little home at a low price, but after failing on the first couple of offers I had to lower my expectations to finding an okay place at a price that I can afford.  Unfortunately that didn’t seem to help, and by now my dream of buying a home has pretty much been reduced to looking for a place that I don’t utterly despise at the very top of my affordability range.  The whole exercise is emotionally exhausting.

It might not be so bad if I didn’t already own a condo which has a market value just slightly more than half of the mortgage balance.  Unfortunately the condo eats up a big chunk of my paycheck, so my homebuying budget is pretty limited.

I started out looking for houses close to where I work in San José.  Around February, it became clear that the market had recovered to the point where any house in town which wasn’t in a neighborhood with regular shootings was out of my reach.  I tried making offers on a couple of nice places about 45 minutes to the South in Felton, but I didn’t prevail on those either.  I didn’t even get the one which needs the entire septic system replaced.  Okay, fine.  Now I’m looking at crappy houses in Felton.  At least the trees are nice.  I’d rather have a crappy house in Felton than one in San José where I’m going to get shot.

Now that I have set the stage with my frustration at trying to buy a home, here’s the scene from today:  I found the house of my dreams.  Seriously.  It’s a little stucco tudor cottage with a deck that sticks out over a creek.  It’s got great proportion, and there’s a fantastic interplay of spaces.  This is exactly what Christopher Alexander was talking about when he wrote The Timeless Way of Building.  My heart sings just looking at it.   I’m completely in love with this little house.  Even the garage is beautiful.

Sorry about the crummy composition and blown out highlights.  I guess I'm not winning any awards for this photo.

The Most Beautiful House I’ve Ever Seen


Sadly, it’s not going to be mine.  The foundation is a complete wreck.  Even if I could talk the bank into loaning me the money to buy it, it would probably cost another hundred grand in cash to fix.

I may cry.

Because Reasons

Some of you may wonder why I decided to start a pointless blog with a goofy name.  Those of you who know me better might not wonder at all.  Because I’m like that.  Which you know.  Also there was some beer, so that helped too.

Anyway here we are, just you and me, on the Internet.  How about that.  Or maybe it’s mostly just me talking to myself.  That’s usually how the evening turns out.  Except that time with Wendy in Chico, at that keg party with Solo cups and physics.  She know which party I’m talking about.  Good times.  🙂

Where was I?  Oh right.  Welcome to my blog.  I used to have a blog back in the day, when blogging was like all, <TITLE>My Blog</TITLE>.  Things are easier now and I suppose that’s better.  But some part of me misses the old days when you edited your HTML with vi over a dialup modem connection.  I even hosted my site over a dialup modem connection, and I used to fret over reducing images from 1.5k to 1k in size so that the pages would load faster.  Of course when I was your age we had to walk uphill both ways in the snow and people thought Casio watches were cool.

So welcome to my blog.  I think I’ll have a sandwich.

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