Friday, February 28, 2014

Another 'Bring Warmth' Gig and More Construction

I'm actually in Falls Church Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. paying visit to Pulandia and the #2 clan and getting to meet newest edition 2.4.  They also asked me to bring some warm weather with me.  Evidently it got lost in the airline luggage and won't arrive until tomorrow.  I was in Denver for business before I came out here and lucked up on my flight.  They changed planes to a larger one with the international 3 class configuration so I got upgraded to business class with the lie flat seats!  Sweet.

Little 2.4 was a bit of a crank yesterday so both #2 and 2B looked a bit bleary.  And they had finally received their goods from Manila (its been a month and half without most of their cloths and stuff).  2.2 and 2.3 were both deeply involved with playing their computer games they'd been without since December so I basically got a glance, a "hello grandpa" and back to the games they went.

During the week the construction project continues to pick up pace.  We are really getting into the closing stages.

Drywall Applied

Taping and Plastering

 First Layer of Stucco
Showing the 'Open to Outside' feature of the room

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Construction Beat Moves On

The level of activity was very high this week.

The microwave and cabinet over the cook top and stove were removed

Insulation was put in

They put the first stucco layer on the raised front wall
(Kind of wish I had put turrets on the two posts to complete the fortress look)
(Actually they put one more row of blocks on than I thought they were)
(But a drawbridge might complete the look)

The lath is all on the outside in preparation for the stuccoing of the main structure

The wall to our neighbors has been finished - nice and square and true

Out have come the kitchen window

And the old sliding glass door from the kitchen outside

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Low Country Eating

I told partner LCJ about this Chicago restaurant I read about in Saveur magazine, Carriage House, that serves South Carolina low country cuisine.  I've eaten in so many parts of the county but the South Carolina coastal low country is not one of them though I've read about tons. 

LCJ's wife LL and baby M weren't in town because she is at a conference so it was just the two of us.  I was a little concerned that it would be too pricey but we had a really great meal and thought it was a reasonable value for the quality.  The format we were told was designed to be shared with mostly small plates with a few larger, main course sized offerings.  Our waiter suggested that we order two small plates, one main course, and one side to share between the two of us.  I've often found that these suggestions lead to too much food but his was not the case here.  It was just the right amount for the two of us.
Our Small Plates

On the right - sauteed mushrooms on soft eggs & grits with truffle vinaigrette
On the  left - shrimp and grits
Foreground left - cornbread

We loved each of these

Our Main

On the right - a boneless beef short rib on blue cheese grits, creamed Brussels sprouts and red onion jam (yes that's right three of our dishes had grits in them...we actually weren't reading the details particularly closely)
On the left - a gratin of sweet potatoes.  This was the only thing that we just thought was good.

Joe and I give Carriage House two thumbs up

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mr. New Mexico Chases Away Chiberia

I've had my my quarterly business trip to Chicago planned for some time.  It has been freezing ass cold in the Midwest all this winter as I'm sure all you folks who live there no.  I told my partner Joe that I expected reasonable weather when I arrived and I didn't want any excuses.

Even as of last week when daughter #3 was in Chicago for business from Amsterdam it was freezing.  There was even 4 to 6 inches of snow this morning in Chicago.

But when I stepped of the plane at 4 PM it was 48 degrees!  All the snow from the morning had melted.  Even when we returned from dinner at near 9 PM it was near 40.  Tomorrow is to be warm and sunny.  On Thursday, when I fly out, it is still warm with rain.  Then it is supposed to get cold again.

If you would like some respite from this winter, I will come and visit your town...for a fee.

Construction Update

We were at a lull over the weekend.  They can't do anymore until there were inspections done today.  That meant we got the use of our kitchen for three full days.  Yee Hah!

The hole in the floor has been filled in with concrete

Meanwhile, I decided that the front window looking into my sanctum sanctorum, the Library was too accessible from the street.

So while we are having our south wall rebuilt we had a few more courses put on to the front wall (it will be stuccoed later).

One of our neighbors said it looked like we were building a fortress.  I told her I was getting quotes for a moat and a drawbridge.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The (Construction) Beat Goes On

Things are moving at a good pace.  I'm really pumped because in spite of the chaos I can really see how it is all going to come together.

Earlier this week, we were at some of the worse.

They were putting in the electrical and plumbing for the new island

But this meant that the sink and in fact the whole kitchen was pretty much not available

But when I got home today, voila, dirt pile gone and kitchen available once more!

In the mean time the next project is started
Our capture of our neighbor's house to add to ours so we have a compound!

Actually the wall has been compromised by tree root action and we was going to fall over so we are having it replaced.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cooking/Eating Temporarily Discontinued

More deconstruction.

I'm actually in Phoenix.  These were sent to me by Wife.

 Pile 'o' Dirt where Kitchen used to be

The mythic 'Great Trench of Albuquerque' where water and electrical is being routed to our new island

Thursday, February 6, 2014

DE-Construction Begins

Old tile and Island..All Gone

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

And on the 43rd Day...

...The Lord looked at what he had done and said,

"Shit.  I forgot to water it."

And so he caused measurable precipitation to occur.

Meanwhile on the construction front the doors to the new room were installed while Wife and I went and made the final selection of our marble slab for the new island

Wife demonstrating that while we have doors in the room, we don't have heat

Starting tomorrow demolition of various parts of the kitchen begin.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel Terrorism

Evidently if you are a minor deity, you can have no honor.  No code of behavior.  You can stoop to levels that no respectful major deity would ever consider.

The Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel has been having the snot knocked out of it by de-I's relentless travel warfare responses.  So what did it do?  It attacked an innocent bystander in a pure act of terrorism. 

Wife is on her way back to Imperial Albuquerque from Grandma duty with the latest offspring of Honorable Pu daughter #2.  She was flying back through Chicago.  But a crew member didn't show up.  Then it was found that the crew member had never been assigned.  Then while they were looking for a crew member, one of the pilots timed out.  Now they needed to replace the pilot too.

I was able to talk Wife through the use of her marital Premier Gold status to get rebooked going through Denver (there's only one direct flight to Albuquerque on this airline daily).  She was supposed to be home at Noon and will get in around 8:30 this evening.  I suppose this is a small victory because if Wife didn't get this flight, there were no open seats until Tuesday!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Banned From The Super Bowl

I have a unique ability.  Any team that I like and that I root for on any media while actually playing loses.  They can be doing real well and I will turn on the game and inevitably stuff starts to turn.  Since this can lead to lots of sports unhappiness, I generally record anything I'm interested in, check to see if my team won, and if they've won I watch the game.  Since games have all kinds of twists and turns there is still the excitement of seeing how the end came about and I don't have to deal with the frustration of my ability/curse.

Good Sandia Outfitters client, Gaius Derf (this guy has more lives that a litter of cats!) is a BIG Seattle Seahawks fan going back to his having grown up in the Seattle area.  I promised him I would not watch the NFC finals.  I did put on the game in the fourth quarter.  Seattle was up but as soon as I started to watch, San Francisco was coming back.  I turned it off on that final drive, enabling the tide to turn and Seattle to make the final interception.

Derf is banning me from any type of activity involving following tomorrow's game.  I'm not sure how he's going to enforce this but he does have Agent W so there's no telling what types of surveillance and counter measures he could employ.