Posted by: David | February 21, 2010

Can’t Be Bothered …

Did you ever notice how people who often say, “I can’t be bothered …”, actually CAN be bothered? And rather easily at that. Let’s skip the Preachy Crapola, and jump to something amusing. There’s a website which allows you to generate your own tombstone, and that’s a blast, but I found one today that lets you generate a church sign! How fun is that?

If you’re feeling blasphemous, the URL is in the lower right corner.

So anyway, I got something done yesterday that I’ve been meaning to do since I almost finished building our greenhouse back in January 2008. The side of the greenhouse where the door is had gotten pretty hasty treatment since I’d run out of the glazing material which had been used to cover the top and front. I quickly stapled some 6-mil poly on the outside and the inside. Wa La. That held up until recently. A year of sun and wind doesn’t help the poly much. The outside layer was shredded.

My friends over at Zen Craft built themselves a wicked nice greenhouse and had some of their super duper polycarbonate glazing material left over. So I bought a 12-foot sheet of it, which Mr. Zen was kind enough to cut in half for me when we were over at their place for a Christmas party cookie exchange last December. That way it fit in my car. Plus, they sold it to me for $20, which is darn cheap, it must’ve cost at least 3 times that. They’re nice people!

Me and the foreman at the start of the western wall glazing project. I’m the guy holding the hammer. You wouldn’t believe what a bossy a-hole the foreman is. And he knows NOTHING about construction.

First a consistent attachment surface had to be applied to the framing.

As you can see, the snow has receded considerably. Most of the bad storms this winter have passed well to our south. There’s plenty of winter left for that pattern to change, so I ain’t sayin nothin more about that … I asked my wife to come out and take some photos of me working on this project. Crude Carpentry Inc. It only took about 3 or 4 hours and there was time to sun myself and read inside the greenhouse afterward. It’s a favorite activity on sunny weekend days in the winter. Reading The Beauty Girls, written by the remarkable midwife who helped us with the births of both of our kids. Recommend.

The completed project. I put a layer of 6 mil poly under the polycarbonate.

But there is a much more exciting construction project going on about 15 miles from our place. Our daughter and her husband are building a home. They hope to be able to move in this summer. It’s a center chimney cape with a walk-out cellar. It’s in a nice quiet spot in the town of Webster, not far from my son-in-law’s parents either. My daughter says it’s OK to show a picture to you, Internet.

This is the front of the house, which faces the road.

They’re going like gangbusters on this project. What you see in the photo above was achieved in about 3 weeks, including putting in the driveway and excavating for the foundation. The less-snowy-than-normal winter has been very helpful.

That is all. Have a nice week everyone!


  1. I love construction projects…of ALL kinds. I have found that, when dealing with similar foremen on the job, a stack of beef rib bones goes a long way in the negotiation process.

    I am too busy to make my own tombstone.

    Thanks for the foreman advice. This guy is always HIDING the bones. What a freak!

    I’m glad you’re too busy. Me too. Tombstones are just another vehicle for snarky humor if you ask me. I’m planning on getting cremated and donating my tombstone to charity. 🙂

  2. The greenhouse is looking nice. And the daughter’s house is looking very nice. Very impressive how much was accomplished in 3 weeks.

    Thanks archivist! We both did some serious sunbathing in there today. It got up over 90° Thanks again for helping with the final sheet of glazing.

  3. I have missed the educational (and entertainment) benefits of visiting your blog; one post and already I feel so much smarter!

    First of all, who has friends that build wicked greenhouses and have extra polycarbonate glazing material lying around?

    YOU DO!

    And then, who puts in the effort of not only making but also “glazing” a greenhouse?


    I can’t wait ‘till Spring/Summer arrives, so you can start showing us your vegetation (did that sound inappropriate?)

    Ah…I’ve missed blogging 😉 And HEY: congrats on your daughter’s house!!! It’s coming along nicely (she said, like an actual builder who knew what the hell she was talking about…)

    PS: that church-sign thing is awesome! 😀

    Thanks Romi. 🙂 Nice to see you back out on the interwebs. I hope they can get some sheathing on that roof before the big snow comes in this week. We’re supposed to get a foot or two. Dammit. I shouldn’t have said anything about the less-than-snowy winter! STUPID me!

    What? Your friends don’t have extra polycarbonate glazing material lying around?

  4. I’m loving your greenhouse. I’m hoping someday my son-in-law will plant a garden for me. At least I am going to figure out a way to do an herb garden. I love to cook with fresh herbs and they are so expensive to buy. BTW, I love Romi’s comments.

    Thanks Joan! I hope you have a garden in which to putter around. Herb gardens are very “scalable”. I bet everything is expensive on that island of yours. And you have to make your own beer for cryin out loud!

    I love Romi’s comments too. She’s started up a new blog you know … recommended reading. 🙂

  5. It does have a steep roof.

    Yes! Especially in the front, which is shown in the photo. The back side of the roof is less steep, to help give more head room on the second floor.

  6. Is there no foundation? Why doesn’t it rot from below?
    I asked you about that before, because in Switzerland, in the Alps, entire houses called chalets are built of wood and nothing rots, whereas here, in Spain, only doors and windows are made of wood and they always rot, even on the most expensive buildings.

    Yes, there is a concrete foundation, which encloses a full cellar. It’s barely visible in the front of the house, shown in the photo. But in the back the landscape is graded down to allow a large opening into the cellar. Maybe in Spain it’s warm enough to encourage wood eating fungi and insects like termites?

  7. And can I also construe a sign like that to advertise US universities? More particularly their humanities or law departments?

    That’s a great idea cantueso. I wonder if there is such a web site. I can understand animosity toward lawyers better than I can toward the study of the “humanities”.

  8. The kids must be so excited about the house! I’ve heard it said though, that people only go through that once, and having done my “once,” I understand how very trying it can be.

    As for the less-than-snowy remark … you’re gonna pay for that! 😉

    I hope that they only go through it once, and yes they’re quite excited. So far so good. We’ve heard that the roof is shingled. I’ve helped to build various houses in the distant past, and it’s a wonderful thing to do. I’d still like to do it sometime. It would be a similar design to what the kids are building, center chimney cape with walkout cellar, with passive solar orientation and some kind of off-the-grid power system. But I digress …

    I regretted that remark the moment I clicked Publish. I seem to make that mistake over and over … Guess what? It’s snowing today. Check out the forecast for the next 5 days:

    Thanks to Weather Underground

    • ROFL! You SOOO should have known better!

      What got me with the house-building was the non-stop nit-picking decision-making. I’m a terribly indecisive what-if detail-oriented kind of person, and being bombarded with questions like “ivory or white switchplates?” “what color tile and grout in the bathrooms?” “painted or natural wood kitchen cabinets?” and “which ceiling fans and light kits in each room?” I spend weeks deciding on the perfect new handbag, but I’m supposed to make thousands of dollars worth of immutable decisions in mere days!!?? Never, ever again.

      Yes, I sooo should have. But today promised spring. Totally.

      Hear you on the nit-picking. I have the great fortune of living with opinionated people and not giving a shit myself, even though I am also a detail-oriented person. Not that I don’t find plenty of shit to complain about …

  9. I have greenhouse envy – and a crush on the foreman.

    LKR! Thanks, I’ve been thinking of you lately. You’ve got no reason to envy considering the amazing harvest yields you got from your city block garden last year. And the foreman is a frikkin type A dork. To the MAX. Only cute in still photos.

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