Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The jury is still out on the game room issue. The builder is going to give me an apparently very rough estimate on the cost of building it. Now my train of thought has moved down the line and resulted in this: "How many pinball machines does one really need?" I'll keep the Addams Family, and for that matter, probably be buried in it. Everyone loves that one. The older mechanical machines, though...they're hardly played. I could try to reclaim Pinbot and place it and Addams in a 11X12.5 "office," have enough room for nice bookshelves and possibly a desk (why?) and be content. ??? That's surpassing pinball, right? Any thoughts?

This thought process should probably be a shame to me. You'd think I'd agonize about something more pertinent to every day living. I'll bet those who've built are laughing now! The promise is that that agony is yet to come!!!

current music: Bread: It Don't Matter to Me

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I might have the lot soon

OK. I got up off my hiney and lifted the fog off the picture. If I could build a house that had a fog around it, I'd give it heavy consideration. Not so much the moat, though. I'm still looking at plans, so thanks to everyone who has sent them my way. Pros of this plan are: 1.Garage is in the back of the house and on the side. Yay! 2.Master bedroom closet space is not like a hallway 3.Laundry room is bigger. Cons are: 1.There is no built in entertainment center in the living room 2.No built in drawers and chest in the master bedroom 3. Everything is bigger.

I've nearly trashed the gameroom idea. It would be nice, but unless I shrink everything else it might be unreasonable. Plus, there's never a plan with a good spot for stairs. I haven't eliminated it yet, though.

currtent music: John Coltrane: The Inch Worm

Friday, February 17, 2006

Bigger better stronger faster

The flavor of the day:

If it's too hard to see, I'll either tweak the picture later, or type in info. This one would be 3300 square feet if I put a gameroom over the garage.

current music: Nitzer Ebb: Contol I'm Here

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Walking through an empty house, tears in my eyes

Aha! The first indication that this endeavour is actually going to be a test. Silly me!

Rotating the garage and adding the stairs toward the game room are a bust! Look how far out the garage sticks in front of the house. How unattractive! And if I reduce it to a sensible two car garage instead, it cuts the game room to less pinball machines and no pachinko or poker. This ain't doing it for me anymore. Post comments on how it may be improved if you wish. I think it's back to the drawing board...but for an expert. Darn it all, I thought I had identified my right floorplan. Maybe if I instead identify and isolate the important aspects. Enough of this mess. I need to make Angus some eggs.

current music: ABBA: S.O.S.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Because my windows are painted shut,

I'm going to build a house around some new ones. This is the floorplan I like:

There will probably be a game room above the garage, and the garage will be rotated for side entry on a corner lot! Let me know if you have any improvements, or see any flaws in the plans. Randy and Kim sure have.

current music: The Smiths: Frankly Mr. Shankly

Friday, February 03, 2006

We were just on the road

Talking to my staff, and people in general, has reinforced what I already knew: that my parents provided what I'd consider great childhood vacation time. I happened across this neat paint graph that colors in the states that we've visited:

We visited 16 states, or 31% of the country. I'm bound to be corrected here--let's see...

I was around six when we started, and we had a "cartop carrier" that my dad crafted from his own plans. It would sit on top of our Ford Country Squire LTD station wagon and help us slice aerodynamically through the days on the road. It and the back of the station wagon were filled to the brim. He also fashioned a cupboard that sat in the back of the wagon so my mom could crawl from the front seat, over the back seat, and into the back to make us either peanut butter or baloney sandwiches and drinks. That way we didn't have to be bothered by stopping at Stuckey's to eat. (I don't think that I ever did get one of the old fashioned pecan log rolls that they featured on their signs...every 2.8 miles!)

On the way, we'd pester my parents to insanity--but not as bad as Tina tormented her father. We'd occupy our time playing the alphabet game on signs, playing road sign bingo, and the license plate game. It was cool to get out at state welcome signs and snap a picture. John Denver and, rarely, Linda Ronstadt were the soundtrack of our lives for the week. (Silver threads and golden needles cannot mend this heart of mine! -and- Empty the ashtray, sweep up the floor, put a lock on your door. If somebody calls in the mornin' just say we don't live here no more.) Oh, and man! I almost forgot: "Y'all need to be quiet, Dad is coming up on traffic." Whatever! Lastly, who didn't draw a line in the velour or make one with a seat belt (that's all they were used for back then) to demarcate your territory? This 3-D boundary extended up from the seat to the ceiling, and even a finger in the air violating the neutral zone would elicit retaliation and/or cries of injustice! A walah!

Most of the time we'd camp in a
KOA instead of stay at a motel. We'd camp at the destination as well, usually. It was fun, having a campfire, running around in the woods or rafting in a clear mountain stream, the whole family sleeping in one tent and being admonished, "Don't touch the walls of the tent!" if it was raining. Later on we had an RV, which afforded us A/C, beds less firm than the ground, a refrigerator and stove, an indoor toilet, and a shower! There's a scene in an upcoming vacation movie (check out the trailer!) that my dad lived real-life. It involves dumping the waste.

Anyway, amongst the places we visited were Yosemite, Smokey Mountains, Meteor Crater, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Vicksburg, Pagosa Springs, Hawaii, and both Disneys. There's a ton more, and what great memories. If you're going to bring up kids, you should consider exploring the country a little more than familes seem to do these days. Sure, it's a hassle and heaven forbid a kid miss any practice of any sort, much less school. For me, I wouldn't trade the times we spent.

Oh yeah, and the most boring state? Childhood: Louisiana--miles and miles of causeways over unsightly bayous and pine trees. Sheer boredom and stench. Adulthood: Iowa--miles and miles of rolling hills covered with corn. What's over the next hill? Another corny hill! Where I'd live if Texas weren't an option? Washington state. It doesn't rain there as much as people think. Any other questions?

I haven't improved much on the exploration of the country since those days, but I'm going to change that:

Upped it to 23 states and 45% of the country. Not impressive.
(create your own visited states map)

current music: Franz Ferdinand: Take Me Out