Phase IV Layed Out!

Well, as a reward for going away to New York City for the weekend, we let someone come over to our house and install our new carpeting on Monday in the basement! Finally, what I thought would be a day off. Well, the carpet has been laid out, and it looks fantastic. They did a good job (Giant Carpet). The new carpet is much lighter, so it doesn’t show Jonah’s hair as much, but will be prone to show dirt. Oops, can’t win them all I guess. Of course, now that the carpet is done, I have to work on putting quarter round trim along all the walls at the floor. Pain in the ass. I also started wiring the speakers up. They have been mouted on the walls, and I bought a fish tape to get the speaker wire through the walls / ducts to conceal the wiring. Again, major pain in the ass! But worth the effort, as there are no wires criss-crossing the floor. We’ve also got word back that the new couch may be in by Christmas, so now I’m gonna have to hurry up and get the bar built. That way, the whole basement would be done for Christmas! Yay! Hopefully I’ll have the whole home theatre set up soon, and I’ll post pics of what that looks like. Next purchase for me: wireless controller for the xbox. I’m also hoping I win a 52″ Toshiba HD TV at work. I bought 3 tickets for $10, with proceeds going to the United Way. Boy, would that TV look good in my new basement!

What’s that about ears and elbows?

A well known saying goes something like this. Never put anything smaller than your elbow in you ears. Well, I’m never one to listen to sayings, and I guess I paid the price this past weekend in New York City. On the upshot, I got to experience private health care. On the downshot, it ain’t any better than public health care. But I digress. It all started on the [long] bus ride to New York. It was an all-nighter, and to pass the time, I brought my MP3 player to listen to old BBC radio broadcasts of the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy. To do this, I was using my Shure E3 headphones, which are in-ear headphones to block out noise, which I also use on stage when playing music. Well, wouldn’t you know it, at one point, I tried pulling out the earphone to hear someone talking, and the damn bud stayed in my ear!! I’m talking waaay deep in my ear.

Phase III Success!

Okay, although I’m getting increasingly tired and grumpy, I’ve finished phase III of the basement project. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve basically been up till 11 or 12 each night working on all these projects. It’s the curse of being a perfectionist. The good news is that we’ve got everything finished off that we wanted to have done before the carpet goes down, which is on Monday. Of course we’re leaving on a bus to NY tonight, so timing was of the essence.

Earlier, I had lamented to Kev that I thought putting down the laminate should only take about 40 minutes. Well, while that may be true, it didn’t account for the prep of vapor barrier, cutting the pieces to the perfect size, trimming the lip on the edges where it was needed, installing the plastic track and mitring in for the trim and clean-up! Long story short, I basically worked on this from 7pm till 11:30pm! D’oh! So much for an easy project. At any rate, the finished product looks great in my opinion. I even thought we should’ve maybe done the whole rec room with this. I’ll probably end up renovating my studio with it next.

Phase II Complete!

Well, keeping the ball rolling, Jody and I completed Phase II of our basement renovation projects. Media Cabinet, check. Painting, check. With the carpet on its’ way, we had to get cracking on working on the next part of the project. We wanted to make sure we got all the ceiling, walls, doors and trim painted before the new carpet went down, that way we didn’t have to be nearly as careful. As a result we started the prep work on Friday night, and worked through till Sunday to get it all done. Never one to do things half-assed, we started off by filling in all the old holes and sanding everything smooth so that the paint would stick well. We also taped off the critical things, so as not to bung things up too badly during the paint process.

Then, we hit all the surfaces with two coats of our paint (Behr Premium Plus – color Raffia Cream for those interested). One might have been okay, but two coats on the walls just made it that much nicer, and presumably more durable. After that, the baseboards and doors were all given two coats of glossy white paint. The end result is quite stunning, and should be even better once the new carpet goes in.

First Step Complete!

G’day folks. Well, as you can see by the picture, the first step on our basement renovation is essentially completed! Last night at 10pm, I finished building the media cabinet that is built into the wall in the rec room. A while ago Jody and I decided that this fall / winter would be the time we finally renovate the basement. We spend 80% of our time there, so we figure it will be money well spent. The master plan calls for new paint, new carpet, new couch, built in media centre for home theatre stuff, installation of laminate in bar area, and finally the piece de resistance, my new oak bar!

We’ve got the ball heavily rolling now. We ordered our carpet, ordered our couch, bought the paint, bought the bar materials, and as you can see, I’ve built the cabinet. If you’d like to see other pictures of the project, head on over to our flickr sets and check out the basement renovation shots. I’ll update it as we go along.

New Bike!

A few weeks ago I finally broke down and bought a full-suspension mountain bike, to help me hopefully improve my adventure racing. I ended up getting a 2005 Specialized Epic Comp Disc, which is pretty much the ultimate machine for adventure racing. No, it’s not the bike pictured here, this one is a shot of a genuine swiss-army issue bike taken in 2003 in Chur, Switzerland. Mine is prettier :-).
Anyway, this bad boy has air shocks front and back, as well as top-end hydraulic brakes. It also features Specialized ‘brain’ shock in the back. Essentially, the bike performs like a hard-tail on any smooth surface, but still reacts to bumps in the road. Fantastic for comfort and efficiency on all-day trail riding. Oh yeah, and I love the color too! Now normally, a bike like this goes for $3400 +taxes, but I picked this bad boy up for a steal at Tommy and Lefebvre. $2000+tax. It was being cleared out, and was a store demo. The beauty is that one guy had it all summer, and barely touched it. I did more damage in one 3-hour ride than he did all summer! She’s now dented, scratched, and has a ripped seat. Looks like a real bike now.

Why did I go so extravagant you might ask? Well, basically, I’ve been on the same Kona Cinder Cone for about 6 years now, and really needed to upgrade. The opportunity presented itself, so I took it. If I had waited till next year to buy a bike, I would’ve been stuck buying brand new, and couldn’t have bought such a nice one. So, long story short, now I’m all set to tackle bigger races, like my dream, the Southern Traverse in New Zealand.

Stories from an athlete, adventurer, and lover of life