Jump to Navigation

Photos

xrayspx's picture

Thermometer Quiz

Music: 

Why do you figure we have four thermometers?

Click For More! The answer will shock you!

xrayspx's picture

Kitchen Designs

Music: 

Van Halen - Panama

As anyone who reads Natalie's site, or who has been around either of us for more than five minutes in the last six months will know, we've been in the middle of a kitchen renovation for...way, way too long now. Since I did the actual layout design (twice) Natalie asked that I write up how that process went and how we progressed from the original layout, through to what we've got now.

The original kitchen layout was less than ideal in many key ways. It was basically a galley kitchen which acted as a footpath from a hallway at one end where there was an external door, a restroom, and our living room through to the dining room and the main part of the house (office, library, bedrooms). This split the workflow of the kitchen between the "sink side" where the doors were and the "stove side". In amongst that were afterthoughts like "oh hey someone should put a fridge here" or "who wants a laundromat?". It wasn't great.

One of the biggest problems was that these two opposing doors weren't lined up. The dining room side door was a good 30" from the wall, which gave enough space for the countertop, even though the end of the counter did intrude into the door trim an inch or so. The other door however was maybe 20" or so from the wall, meaning that if you ran countertop right to the end of the room, you'd be intruding 5" or so into the door opening.

This is illustrated in this rough sketch of the beginning state and a couple of photos:

Since my imagination is limited, I originally planned our new layout based on the layout as we had it here. This means that to get to the (newly finished) breakfast and laundry area one would go out that hallway-side door, then out what used to be the exterior door into what used to be the porch to eat breakfast or wash clothes.

Thus the new design ended up looking like this, around three walls, with the left-hand side wall still being entirely blank, since there was a fridge and doorway there. We figured we'd put posters there like we had in the past:

Sink Side (top of the above image):

Dining Room Side:

"Stove Side":

You get a sense for how conventional my thinking was, to the point of comically over-engineering to try and shoehorn as much crap as we could in the same space. The awkward doorway was rather elegantly handled by the fact that that tall-ass broom closet (21" wide full-height cabinet in the diagram) is only 15" deep, so it would give nearly two feet between the door and where that lazy susan, with its 45 degree angled door would "guide" you into the room, helpfully saving the reproductive organs of any guy who staggers through that door without really looking.

But what a mess. Take the refrigerator. We knew that any fridge we bought in the Shiny New Future was going to be much wider than the 29.5" GE Home Depot special we had, so I had to plan for that with spacers that could be removed, or custom cabinetry that could be ripped out when we bought a new one. And all the cramming in of bookshelf space wherever we could fit it. And that half-height cabinet above the fridge slammed all the way to the ceiling, ugh. It was just forced.

At some point around the fourth or fifth sink we decided on, I could no longer shoehorn it into this design. We were wavering between a fully integrated Elkay with a built in steel backsplash and countertop, and the one we ultimately got, which is a more conventional, but still huge (FIFTY FOUR INCHES FUCK YEAH!) drop-in with left and right side drainboards. This simply blew my model all to hell. I spent a few days in Omnigraffle screwing around to make space for that full-countertop monster. At a basic level the problem was that the full steel countertop sink had to line up directly to the edge of a Youngstown cabinet on both sides, since it couldn't really overhang them. Everything under that sink would then need to be custom carpentry.

I had to find a third way. So I completely changed my outlook. That doorway is annoying me and is going to cause me to lose a testicle? GET RID OF THE DOORWAY. We're taking the thing down to studs anyway. Put the fridge there, where it will be convenient and out of the way. Let's make a huge (45 inch) entryway from that breakfast area, which will also let light flood in from the massive window out there.

So what we ended up with is a far superior layout both for foot traffic flow, and for kitchen workflow. We changed the layout from a "Galley" style kitchen to a more traditional 3-sided model with entrances to the breakfast area on one side and the dining room on the other. It adds a slight zig-zag to get to the living room & restroom, but it's really, really minimal.

That plan looks more like this, with the walls in the same order, starting at what used to be the sink area.

Here's the top-down:

Dining-room facing:

Sink wall:

As you can see, we /did/ save the front of that sink:

Stove wall:

As you can see from the photos, our contractor and his subs have done a phenomenal job of executing this design. It's exactly as we envisioned it from day one, and we couldn't be happier with their work. Stay tuned for the "Complete" complete photos which I'm sure will be coming shortly on Natalie's site.

Throughout this process Natalie and I have had slightly different goals. She wants the Ultimate Vintage Kitchen, which, I think we can all agree on, has been achieved. I wanted to see how close I could get to having a professional quality and ergonomically correct and functional space. I think we've ultimately achieved that as well with an industrial quality sink and faucet fixture, but which fit perfectly into the retro aesthetic we wanted. It just took a mental break on my part to force the pieces together.

If anyone needs them, I'll update when I've posted the set of Omnigraffle stencils I whacked up to fit all this stuff together. They are proportionally correct to each other, and there are some in the stencils which didn't ultimately make it into the room, since they are "cabinets we own", but we just couldn't jam any more crap in there :-) If anyone can figure out a good way to represent these crazy corner cabinets and lazy susans in 2D I would very much appreciate your input. It's not like I live with a goddamn graphic designer or anything.

xrayspx's picture

Gueoguessing Iran

Music: 

Tonight Geoguessr gave me this Mosque in Iran. Only a single panorama, but it's really sharp.

If you zoom out of street view, there are lots more pictures of this place, it's pretty beautiful.

Pan up:

xrayspx's picture

Geoguessr World Tour - Local Edition

Music: 

Hello in-laws. Yes, this is actually a thing which really happened.

Click 'em:






xrayspx's picture

Fun Geoguessr Finds

Music: 

Sometimes I find nifty things in Geoguessr, so sometimes I'll post them.

Tonight I came upon Do-Mi-Ski in Dolbeau-Mistassini, Québec. It reminds me of Abenaki in Wolfeboro, with its one rope tow with $5 night skiing when I was a kid.

xrayspx's picture

Vintage War Planes in Nashua

Music: 

Today we went briefly to Biore Field in Nashua to see the CAF Airpower Squadron fly a few vintage aircraft. It was pretty small, 3 planes, but it was neat, and for $10, not a bad way to spend an hour of our morning. Plus, little kids are adorable when they see big planes making noise.

I took a ton of photos for the very short time we were there:

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, with very excited temporary gunner:
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 11:03am - Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, flown by CAF Air Power Squadron, Nashua, NH 6-11-2016<br />
csFlickr

SB2C Flyby:
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 11:18am - Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, flown by CAF Air Power Squadron, Nashua, NH 6-11-2016 csFlickr

B-29 Flyby:
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 11:52am - B-29 Superfortress, FIFI, flown by CAF Air Power Squadron, Nashua, NH 6-11-2016<br />
csFlickr

C-45 Taxiing:
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 11:20am - C-45 Expeditor, Bucket of Bolts, flown by CAF Air Power Squadron, Nashua, NH 6-11-2016<br />
csFlickr

C-45 Flyby:
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 11:51am - C-45 Expeditor, Bucket of Bolts, flown by CAF Air Power Squadron, Nashua, NH 6-11-2016 csFlickr

And a random bi-plane that happened to be there:
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 11:21am - IMG_2694 csFlickr

Natalie also took some short videos with her phone:

B-29 Taxiing:

B-29 Takeoff:

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver Taxiing:

Beechcraft C-45 Taxiing:

Fixed Tags:
xrayspx's picture

KRS-One in Manchester

Music: 

Clearly I need to post more music stuff, last night we went to KRS-One.

... and it seems that my camera has fucked every photo I've taken in the last month. So enjoy oddly-cropped KRS-One:

"Mic check, mic check, louder, louder more! more! ('Turn them shits up!') whoops, shit, no power":

"But no problem, we don't need power":

Temple of Hip-Hop:

xrayspx's picture

Cow Power in a Can

Music: 

Outrun background music

My family has a long and complicated history with Choc-Ola. My mother's family lived in South Indianapolis. She went to Southport and Beech Grove. Her family went to the same church as the Normington family, who gave Choc-Ola to the world. It was, therefore, at all church functions. At least one of my uncles drove semi trailers full of Choc-Ola across the midwest. I've been hearing about Choc-Ola for 35 years, seeing their logo everywhere, and never have had the chance to try a drop.

From this rather large family, I've never talked to one person who says "I enjoy drinking Choc-Ola". When Choc-Ola came back around as a product in recent years, the people I mentioned it to were kind of wishy washy about it, "Oh that's nice for them, hope it does well". Do you want some? "Nope, not really".

So now Choc-Ola is back and selling product, and thanks to the Wonders of the Internet, I have a case of it. And I can taste test it for myself, against a more Northeasterly drink, Yoo-Hoo

So let's start the hyphenated chocolate-milk-but-safe-on-a-shelf beverage test.

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 6:52pm - Choc-Ola vs. Yoo-Hoo.  Choc-Ola wins hands down. csFlickr

You can see right away that Yoo-Hoo is much lighter in color. It's also a thinner liquid. They're similar in odor, but Choc-Ola tastes much more "Chocolatey". Natalie also reports that Yoo-Hoo is more "Chemicalley".

Yoo-Hoo also seems to have had more trouble integrating its solids back into the liquid in a glass:

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 6:55pm - Choc-Ola vs. Yoo-Hoo.  Choc-Ola wins hands down.</p>
<p>(Yoo-Hoo is the one with the un-integrated gunk) csFlickr

I promise in the name of scientific integrity that each of these products was shaken with great vigor, and drunk within moments of pouring. This photo also represents the residue from the "first pour" of each drink, the "top half", so that gack at the bottom of the Yoo-Hoo glass isn't gunge I scraped from the bottom of the bottle.

One thing Yoo-Hoo does have going for it is its much more complicated, modern sounding and exciting ingredients list. Choc-Ola makes one think of sitting on a porch at a farm, drinking chocolate milk. Yoo-Hoo lets your mind wander to men in lab coats and vast manufacturing facilites lined with vats containing palm oil, dipotassium phosphate and corn syrup solids.

Long story short, my family is goddamn nuts. It's at this point that I'll point out that my grandfather was a milk man. I believe a couple of my uncles were as well. Meanwhile, my mom grew up with no milk in the house, drinking Pepsi and eating Velveeta. This may account for some of the preference issues noted at the top there.

Choc-ola is great, and you should buy some of it. Bother your grocery store until they buy some. I successfuly annoyed my local grocery store into buying the frozen White Castles back in the '90s, so I know it can be done with persistence.

Unleash the Cow Power.

Edited: Natalie tells me I'd be remiss in not posting our own piece of Choc-Ola history:

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 9:25am - My wife found this old Choc-Ola crate for our kitchen.  My uncle used to drive for them, and this makes me remember being 4 or 5 or so and getting to sit up in his big brown semi.<br />
csFlickr

Fixed Tags:
xrayspx's picture

Blowing Minds With Natalie

Music: 

Elvis Costello - No Action

We are ramping up to Viva Las Vegas 18, and Natalie has really killed this outfit. She made and then painted this skirt of the neon signs of old Vegas:

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:51pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week!                               csFlickr

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:29pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week! csFlickr

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:28pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week! csFlickr

And, at the last minute, her brother came through with this TV prop jacket:

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:28am - Cherry tears cndFlickr

Updated:
Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:26pm - The jacket. cndFlickr

xrayspx's picture

Wildlife

Music: 

A few minutes ago Natalie got all panicky and had me come running to see these deer hanging out in my neighbor's driveway. They were just poking around until some dog barked a block away and they moved off into the woods. They were obviously keeping an eye on me, but not taking off because of us.

Fixed Tags:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Photos


by Dr. Radut