This honeymoon is exhausting!

Yesterday was a big day for the honeymoon/staycation/minimoon.

Monday night we walked down to Downtown Lumber and picked up a 2×6 to start out our deck/fence project. Starting with the fence. Monday night we ripped out the old fence. It was an old chain link that apparently the old lady that owned the place before the dude that flipped it to us paid $700 for. Way too much. We ripped out 4 posts by hand. One that was “cemented”. The last post posed a problem as it was cemented to the foundation of our deck. So I cut it off using the saws-all and covered it with dirt.

Tuesday morning we picked up and laminated the 2×6 to the existing 4×4 deck post added a 4×4 to act as a fence post and lag bolted them all together. 10 inch 1/2 inch bolts are fun. Big hardware big fun. Then we bolted an other 4×4 to the garage as the final post and strung a string between the two end posts so we could line up the 3 middle posts with them so the fence didn’t turn out wonky.

We used fence post spikes instead of digging post holes and cementing the posts in place. They’re within code and as long as you keep an eye on them over the years they don’t move much. Sinking the fence spikes was fun. Push it down as far as you can using body weight then slam those mothers in using a sledge. Once the spike is sunk use the convenient leveling system to level the spike and install your 4×4 post. Easy!

After all the posts are installed it’s quite simple to fence a… fence. We chose a 1×2, 1×2, 1×6, 1×6 pattern. When we got to eye level we left some 1 inch spaces between the boards so that we didn’t close off the yard to the neighbours. It had started to look a little like a wooden wall not a fence.

We fenced by butting the boards right to each other as we wanted a little privacy and as boards sit on a fence or deck they shrink so even when butted up against each other now there will be a space between them within a year or two.

After fencing one section I set my circular saw to the correct depth, made a chalk line using a chalk snap and cut up the fence post. This saved us having to measure every board to the perfect size. We then covered all the ends with decorative face boards so that the screws and ends of the boards don’t show.

We screwed in the last board just as the light was going away. Just in time for a sogie and a beer or 3.

It’s not quite done yet. We have to decide with our neighbours what we want to do with the top. We were thinking copper toppers at first but now after seeing the fence done we’re thinking of just cutting off the posts flush with the fence its self.

(as you can see my camera still hasn’t recovered from the sawdust of the work bench and as far as plans are looking for this honeymoon it won’t be recovering any time soon. Tomorrow we PAINT!)

Last week we painted our bedroom

Last week we painted our bedroom. I thought it would be a perfect occasion to try out one of our wedding presents that I was totally stoked to use since we got it. My new GoPro camera! It’s mainly for when we go on our real honeymoon. So we can mount it to our helmets while riding scooters and motorcycles around Europe.

I used the multishot function on the camera to take a photo every 10 seconds for the time we were painting and then assembled them in Adobe Premiere to add the beginning and ending shots and the sound track.

We use Behr Premium Paint plus Primer for all of our painting and it covers everything! We’ve been painting a lot since we moved in then had emergency renovations to the entire house then had to repaint again. None of the room needed two coats but the wall farthest away from the camera got two because I painted the graffiti a little too thick and you could see it still when the paint dried.

There will be more GoPro videos coming soon!

Le Playstation C’est Mort.

Sad Sad PS3

Today I took my Playstation 3 to a store uptown to get it checked out. A few weeks ago it froze while I was playing a game and never came back. I reformatted the drive and even went and got a new drive and tried installing it. Nothing worked. After explaining my situation and all the things I’ve done to it the guys at the store told me the one thing I didn’t want to hear. My PS3 is a brick. :(

curtain mirrorSo after some consolation from K in the form of a great big burger from South St. Burger (which was awesome) when we got home I decided to help myself feel better by working on my motorcycle doing some home improvement.

Last weekend K went to the states and visited Ikea. First of all. Ikea in the states is WAY cheaper. She saved some serious coin and got somethings that we wouldn’t have bought otherwise.

So tonight we hung some curtain rods in the bedroom and hung the curtains on them (after K hemmed and ironed them). I also put up a mirror between the two and hung some His and Hers signs on our dressers!

HisHers

I like it all. Not only that but the temporary paper blinds got moved from the bedroom to the living room which I love cause now all of our windows are covered. That makes me feel safer.

Home improvement is something that I really like. Whether it’s just decorating or building a work bench or putting up wainscoting. There’s a real feeling of self accomplishment, satisfaction and even self improvement when you do something to make where you live more useable and pretty. Not to mention more valuable.

Whistler Day 5

We’ve been in whistler for 5 days now.

Today is my first day of rest. I’ve rode since Monday. So I’m giving my body a break and doing some photo/video editing and we’re going tubing tonight after everyone else returns from the spa.

Sunday K and I landed in Vancouver and we met up with Mom, Dad and Mom’s cousin Emma. We drove out to Whistler and checked in and then walked around the village and checked stuff out. The village is much like other Intrawest villages just way bigger. There’s no luxury stores much to Mom and K’s displeasure. Not surprisingly there’s lots of snowboard and ski shops though. Which makes Dad and myself happy. It was overcast so we weren’t sad about not riding.

Monday

Monday was our first day on the hill. Everyone else went off for lessons for the day so I rode by myself. I did the whole day on Whistler mountain riding blues and a few blacks. The snow was marvelous. Whistler has the second highest recorded snow fall ever this year. Lots of people are asking where this snow was last year for the Olympics but I’m happy it’s here now.

Tuesday

Mom and K took the day off and went to Squamish for some groceries and did some light shopping in the village so Dad, Emma, and I skied/boarded together all day. It was still overcast so I didn’t shoot any video or stills at all. In the afternoon the weather went quite nasty and visibility dropped like crazy. But the snow was falling so heavily that we couldn’t stop riding. The powder was building visibly by the minute. Wednesday would be great.

Wednesday

We got up earlier than usual so that we could catch a mountain tour. If you ever go to a new mountain I really recommend these. They’re a great way to get to know the terrain and the good runs that only the locals visit. At about 12:00 they opened the alpine runs. They hadn’t been open for three days. There was almost three feet of powder. We headed up there with the group. At the bottom of Harmony Express chair we met some funny birds. Whiskey Jacks. Apparently they’re a member of the Jay family and they’re totally awesome! They’re really cheeky and will steal food right from your hand! If you hold up a ski pole they love to come land on it. I borrowed my Dad’s pole and stuck it up in the air.

When we got to the peak the views were awesome and we got to hit the real powder. It was lightly tracked but nothing too bad. The wind was pretty awesome and I had to pull up my bandanna for the first time that day.

I love riding powder. I forgot how much I missed it.

It’s hard to video with the camera in hand. But it’s good that it’s water proof! A lot of people have those head mounted cams here. I want one pretty bad.

Last night I took my board in for a tuneup and I’m regretting it. The weather is the nicest it’s been all week and my board won’t be done till 5:00. Ah well. I’ll take a trip round the village to do some shopping and hangout with a coffee or a pint. It’s St.Paddy’s day after all. There’s an Irish Pub in town and when we were there last night during our Apr├Ęs-ski someone in our group (I can’t remember who) asked if they’d have green beer. Of course the server said no. Green beer is silly.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny all day :)

Video killed the photography guy

I’ve been thinking about video more and more lately. I used to be a huge photography nerd. So much so I went in to major debt going to school just to learn more about it. TWICE! Two programs. Now I don’t use it much. Some people say it’s a dying art. Some people think it’s “going bad” because of the ease of picking up a camera these days. I don’t know what I really think about all that but I do know I’m going to try my hand at video more now.

I borrowed my brothers Kodak PlaySport and I’m going to give it a try while we’re out in Whistler.

I just took my first video. It’s of our bathroom cause I’m proud of it.

Today was FINALLY the day!

Finished Air filters!Since we moved in to our new house I knew a day was coming that I was infinitely excited for and today was that day.

K has been off with her mother printing wedding things using Tanya at Snap and Tumble’s letterpress set up. We’ve rented her home studio twice now with amazing results. Once for our save the dates and once for this big miscellaneous wedding stuff print. So….

Today I got to finally build my workbench in the garage!

I started off the morning by finishing off my air filter rebuild project. I don’t know just how well it’s going to work as the filter component is just a little too small for the airbox. We’ll see. I might have to get another new filter of a larger size and cut it down to fit better if they don’t work well enough.
I don’t want a bunch of road dust and crap in my carbs.
I used hot glue to secure the filter so it should be easy to replace.

After they were done I headed out to the garage. Started up the stereo and got to work. I had drafted a blueprint using Solid Edge CAD software but found out that K had used all the ink in the computer on a One Red Balloon job so I couldn’t print it. So I worked off a better more precise plan.

This is accurate

As you can see it’s very accurate! Especially because the bench is actually 7ft 2in finished AND in the original plan.

This is accurateI started by building the top frame and securing it to the wall using concrete anchor screws. They worked great and were very simple to use. Just drill a pilot using the supplied bit and then screw it in! I used a wood bit with a countersink on it on the wood of the frame first so that the screws fit nicely against the wood then switched to the concrete bit. Piloting and screwing in the middle of the frame first at my desired height allowed the frame to pivot so that I could level it after getting the first screw securely in to the wall.

I then built and secured the lower frame of the table and secured it in place. So far you may have noticed no mention of legs. I left the legs off so that I could level and balance the table however I wanted to after the major frame elements were build.

I added a leg on either side and some braces in the middle. This leveled out the top and bottom of the bench.

I've been framed!The only good time to cut a corner

I cut the first layer of the top to size and trimmed off the corner on a 45 so that it won’t be a hazard when walking around the bench. I tested it out to fit and then used the sized piece to cut the hardboard top to size. To secure the tops to the bench I used a pilot bit with a counter sink so that the screws would sink right down in to the top and not get in the way or interfere with day to day use. As a stroke of luck I actually cut the masonite a tiny bit short on the 45. This worked out as not being a bad thing because this way the masonite won’t get chipped from bumps with the corner.

I made a really big beer holder!

When she got home today K and her mother set to work finishing their headboard project. I’ll make a post about that soon. They also brought some much needed beer.

For dinner we went to Tacos El Asadore on Bloor and Clinton. It’s one of my favorite restaurants. I’m full and happy now.

Moved in!

Moved in!

Winter conditions.

Winter conditions. My bike and Ben’s bike. The camera lens got a little sawdust on it so the last pictures are a little messed up. The calendars are courtesy of Chris (his working in a metal shop has advantages for me).

Only 7 days till we go to WHISTLER! YEAH!

We Have New Luggage

London Fog makes nice stuff.

Last night we went to the Bay and picked up some matching his and hers luggage in preparation for our trip to Whistler Blackcomb in 11 days and our honeymoon in October! I’m really pumped. I also need to pick up a new board bag for the trip out west.

Our new London Fog luggage is really nice. Good heavy zippers and nice fat wheels. Mine has a really nice feature of a built in garment bag and K’s is super stylish in a houndstooth pattern.

Yesterday we also had our garbage can replaced with the medium size. In Toronto if you use a small garbage bin you get a rebate on your property taxes. $14. That’s the price of four garbage tags. We found we were filling it quite a few weeks in a row and having to buy tags. So we upgraded. With the medium bin you don’t get a rebate it’s something like $22 a year extra. Definitely worth it in the long run. The only down side is that it’s harder to get in and out of our garbage closet.

New main floor bathroom!

There’s no doubt about it that K and I are Do It Yourself kind of people. We’d never pay someone to do most things in or around the house. We’ve only briefly chatted about getting people to paint and that’s because we’ve got 11ft ceilings on the main floor and in the stairwell it’s about 18ft worth of ceiling height. Even then we still shrugged it off as a silly idea and a waste of money when we can just do it ourselves.

This weekend and a couple nights this week we finished up the main floor bathroom. I have to say K did most of the painting as I was very busy at work this week and was in no mood to participate in my most loathed activity after a grueling day at work.

It’s before and after time!

BeforeAfter

BeforeAfter

That’s all we have for before pictures cause we weren’t super impressed with the “decorating” of the place when we bought it. Super bland. But we’re slowly changing it all.

Here’s some more after shots:

AfterAfter

The mirror is an Ung Drill frame from Ikea that K spray painted white using our favorite spray paint Rustoleum Universal All Surface paint in Gloss White. This paint is amazing! It goes on well and sprays from all angles. With a custom cut mirror that we got from Cascade Crystal down the road. The light is Ikea as well. I would say that even out of the box this frame should be spray painted. It’s a bland matte charcoal color that looks very plasticy.

The wainscoting and chair rail are from Central Fairbank Lumber. By far the best trim and molding store we’ve ever been in. They have a room with free samples of all of their stuff that you can assemble on site then bring home and check out how it looks.

Cutting and installing wainscoting and a chair rail was a lot of fun! Measuring twice, marking, measuring again, then cutting using the miter saw was awesome and went off with only one mis-cut which was actually just an experiment gone wrong anyway. The air compressor and a brad nailer were absolutely invaluable on this job.

AfterAfter

MORE Ikea! The TP hanger and towel bar are Ikea as well. The Monogram towels were a house warming gift from K’s aunts and uncles. We’ve been waiting to break them out for a while now.

All over I’m proud of the bathroom. I’m even more proud of K for pulling off so much of it without my help for whatever reason, work or air filters.

Speaking of air filters. I’ll be working on them more this weekend. Hopefully I’ll get them finished and installed. I’m almost ready to make an order for some new braided brake lines too… If the site I want to order from would just come back up from “maintenance”.