Thursday, July 27, 2006

I had some requests for a picture of the inside of the cabin... so here it is! This is a rather hastily assembled montage of four pictures taken through the south facing window... the doorway is on the right.

Another request was for a map showing the layout of the land and the spatial relationships of everything. I just love fulfilling requests! (This map was made in a drafting program, so the distances and sizes of everything are actually very accurate.)

And although no one requested it, here is a pic of the newly refurbished Husqvarna. Actually, since this picture was taken, I've had to do more work on it, and it's not really running yet, but boy does it look good!

We're off to Seattle for a few days now... seeya soon!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Today was a big day of work and play. A few days ago we had a backhoe come out and dig the trenches for the footers of the foundation, so today Christina and our friend Cedar spent most of the day working on the forms for the upcoming concrete slab pour. (Cedar is the upside-down guy in the top pic.) I spent the day studying plumbing code and preparing the application for the plumbing permit. Who knew there was so much to know about plumbing! A fair amount of it goes in before the concrete pour, so we need to get the permit ASAP.

After a day of work, Christina and Cedar relaxed on her old Ford pickup, known as "Standard Issue." The light and the sky were really beautiful when I snapped this pic.

Just before that picture was taken, I went dirt-biking with our friend Thomas, which was tons of fun!! Then Thomas and his wife Siri came over to our new homestead and we all drank Caipirinhas (the national drink of Brazil) and played Ping Pong and pool (on the newly set-up pool table) until it just got too dark.

You just don't get such a good combination of work and play all that often!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Well, faithful readers, I promised you pictures of our new little cabin, and here they are. In fact, lots of them!

The first pic shows the house on day one, when it was little more than four railroad ties set in the earth and a floor made from plywood and pressure-treated two-by-six. The well-drilling rig is in the background.

The second pic shows the cabin with all the framing and the roof and some of the plywood wall sheathing done. You can see the framed openings for the two windows and the door.

In the third pic the outside surface of the walls has been done. For this we did what's called "board and batton," or alternating wide and narrow vertical rough-sawn planks of wood.

The fourth pic shows the house nearing completion. The windows are in, and the interior walls have all been finished. Christina and Tatou strike fantastic poses!

And finally, the fifth pic shows our new home in pretty much finished condition; in fact this pic was taken this morning. Off in the distance are my containers, and off to the right is Mr. Wexler, the moped.

A few days after finishing the house, we tackled the water situation. The well has in fact been drilled, but there is probably another month of trench-digging, electrical wiring, and plumbing to be done before we have any running water, so in the meantime we set up the water tower system seen in pic six. The water in the blue barrel feeds both the shower behind the tower as well as the kitchen seen to the right. For a better picture of the shower, click here.

And last but not least, the final picture shows the venue for the endlessly recurring West Mesa Ping Pong World Championships, to be played from now until eternity between Christina Sporrong of Sweden and Christian Ristow of Brazil! May the best ping ponger win!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Yes, yes, I know, it's been FOREVER since I updated this thing. There have been people who have claimed that I update this thing too infrequently for it to be really called a blog, and although I have vehemently disagreed in the past, this time they may be right.

But hey, I have a really good excuse! There has been SO MUCH happening that I really haven't had time!

Let's see, shortly after my last entry Christina and I went to San Francisco for our art opening, which was tons of fun. We showed our art together for the first time, hung out with good friends, met the amazing V. Vale of REsearch Books, went to the beach, and had great food. I didn't really end up with any great pix from the event, but there's a pretty good little movie here.

When we returned, we immediately got to work building "the mineshack". There is an informal arrangement here in Taos whereby, although it's not technically legal, you can usually get away with building something that is 100 square feet or less without a permit. So, in order to stop staying at Christina's shop, we decided to build a little 8-foot by 12-foot cabin - just big enough for a bed and desk and a bunch of shelves. We've been working on that for about two weeks now, and we just finished it today! In fact, I'm writing this blog entry from inside the mineshack right now (Yes, we have high-speed internet in the mineshack!) I will post a picture in the next day or two.

All the while that we've been building our little home, we've also been having a well drilled on our land. The picture above shows our well-driller, Wes, standing next to his rig about ten minutes after he hit water, which was about three days ago. He reached the aquifer at approximately 640 feet, which was quite a bit shallower than predicted. If you look closely, you can see my containers in the background. Pretty soon we'll have water plumbed all over our land!

Sunday, July 2nd, was my birthday, and so we had a party. I ran some robots, which was the first time I've run them since moving here. Christina masterminded the party, which was fantastic, and included the delicious cake which I seem to be quite angry at in the lower picture!

In all my spare (!) time, I've also been obsessively rebuilding the Husqvarna dirt bike that I got for free in LA a few months ago. Stay tuned for pix of that.

But most of all, stay tuned for pix of this awesome little house. What a great feeling to build a house that you can live in! I think I'll crawl into bed now.