Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Insulation Works

I have a very nice camera. I am a lousy photographer but I have a nice camera. Doesn't matter, since I didn't have it with me this morning. Could've used it. If I could have snapped a picture, I would just post it and save me from writing this. I'll try to keep it under 1000 words.

There was frost on the pumpkins this morning, as well as on roofs. I left for work this morning before the sun rose and before the air started warming up. The frost on the roof of my building seemed to be melting only due to the heat coming up from the living units below.

But not my unit. I had 13" of insulation added to my attic space last fall over the existing 6-8" that came with the place. I assume none of my neighbors have done likewise. While my roof had a thick layer of frost on it, except near the bathroom exhaust fan vent, my neighbors all had wet, drippy layers of dew. I assume that at some point in the night, we all started with identical layers of frost but theirs were melted by heat loss. My attic, adequately insulated, preserved the frost.

Since the insulation wasn't free, it's good to be able to see evidence that it is working. I'm saving money on heating and cooling, and presumably extending the life of my furnace and air conditioning.

But before I get all high and mighty, it's important to remember that all the insulation in the world isn't going to change the fact that I need to lose 50 lbs. It's good to have perspective even if you don't need to turn the furnace on.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

An Apple a Day

It is apple season in Minnesota, so I decided to buy some this morning and made a trip to my local Rainbow Foods store. Here is what I found.

Macintosh from Michigan
Courtland, also from Michigan
Pink Lady from Washington
Honey Crisp from New York

Oddly, Honey Crisps are my favorite and were created at the University of Minnesota Arboretum but we have to import them from New York? That's just wrong.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Painting, Again

For those of you that have visited me in the past six months, you're familiar with the 2'x2' patches of beige paint on the delightful lime sherbet-colored walls in my kitchen and powder room. This afternoon I took steps to turn the entire walls into the beige color. Yay me!

Step one was removing the trim. The upper trim on the kitchen wall broke as it came off, so replacing and upgrading is in store for that. Not a big deal. The baseboard trim gave me a little trouble but it's not fatal, either. When I redid the entry-way last Winter, I upgraded, so I have some pretty good lengths of spare trim which I can cannibalize.

The people that owned the house prior to me, in addition to having questionable taste in paint colors, had the original vinyl floor in the kitchen replaced with laminate at some point in their ownership and they didn't remove the baseboard trim. That means, in addition to a visible wall-to-floor joint, I had to wrestle with the small pieces of rim abutting the cupboard. The layout of the flooring and trim is not the way I would do it and I'm notorious for using shortcuts, so you know it's bad. It may accelerate my plans to put tile on the kitchen floor, or I could just get used to it. Even money on that bet.

There is a lot of surface prep to do before primer hits wall, so it will be next weekend at the earliest before I dig out the paint brushes. When this project is done, which I still hope will be in 2009, I will start the kitchen backsplash project. No guarantees though that the backsplash will be done, or even started, it 2009.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Curses! Foiled Again, for the First Time

President Obama is visiting the Twin Cities today. While I have no desire to go to the event, I live under the incoming flight paths for planes going to the Minneapolis-St Paul airport. Here in the wrong side of Fabulous Minnetonka, arriving planes fly low and slow enough to allow me to capture some good airborne photographs. I was hoping to get a few good snapshots as Air Force One flew over, but it was not to be. Incoming planes are coming in from the east today, so no flyovers in my neighborhood. I knew something was bading poorly for my photographs about 7:30 this morning, when I'd been up for 15 minutes and hadn't heard a single plane coming in.

I saw AF1 come in three times over the years when the pretender was in it. The plane flew so low each time I felt I could reach up and touch it. I couldn't have caught it, though, as it was moving maybe twice as fast as a regular 747 does on arrival. I guess you can fly as fast as you want when they clear the skies for you.

I'll try to get some pictures the next time President Obama is in town. Since my brother and sister-in-law live under the east side arrival patterns, I'll make arrangements to watch from their house if the skies are quiet on my side of town. Or maybe I can get CJ to take the pictures for me and I won't even have to get up. Hmm...