Friday, June 22, 2007

OK, so this doesn't have much to do with building a house or a shop, but that's true of a lot of stuff I've written about on here, and this is too good to pass up!

I made a motorcycle "seat" for Sprocket so he can ride on my BMW K1100LT with me!

Holy shit, is that the cutest dog you've ever seen or what? His seat is made of leather and stainless steel, and is custom made for my bike.

His first time on the bike. For all you safety conscious types out there... don't freak out. I NEVER ride without a helmet, and the only reason I did on that day is that I didn't want Sprocket to freak out too much, not knowing it was me in front of him. Also, we only went on a very short ride.

OK, here's the payoff.... the video: (Check out those ears!)

OK, FINALLY the shop is about to get underway. A few days before the housewarming party the truck with my building arrived. Although you can't tell in the picture below, the day the truck arrived happened to be the windiest day in Taos that anyone can remember, even old-timers. So Christina and I spent most of that day unloading this semi-truck in winds that were a sustained 45 MPH with gusts up to 60 MPH. If we were more than 3 feet away from each other, we had to shout to be heard. It sucked.

There it is! That's the entire building laid out on the ground in front of the ready-to-be-poured foundation. It was dicey climbing up on top of the skid-loader in those 50-60 MPH winds to take this picture, so I hope you all appreciate it!

Wednesday June 13, exactly one year after I arrived in Taos from my LAST trip from LA, was the day of the concrete slab pour for the shop. A concrete pour is a big deal, and at 2100 square feet, this was a very big pour. You only get one chance to get this right... within a few hours you lay down what will be the floor and foundation for years and years to come. And concrete ain't cheap... within those few hours I spent about $9,000. Luckily I had an awesome and very competent crew.

Cedar and John Hunt screeding the fresh concrete. Screeding is the first step in the day-long effort to get the concrete super-flat.

My awesome slab crew. From left to right.... Cedar, Dillon, Elliot, Doyle, John Hunt, Marv, Peter (who expertly ran the crew) Russ, and Ben. Christina, Sprocket, and I are in the front. Several of these fellas, and the one lovely lady, commented that this was one of the nicest slabs they'd seen poured. Thanks, everyone.

Time to build a god-damned shop already, so we can get back to work!
Yes, yes, I know you've all been clamoring for pictures from the housewarming party... Well here they are!! (OK, maybe not clamoring....)
Our cute little gear house in the early afternoon of the party, set against Taos Mountain. You can see the kids already climbing all over Christina's outdoor aerobatic/trapeze rig...

Oh, there they are! Kids everywhere! People like to procreate here in Taos. Must be the thin mountain air.

I was lucky enough to have two very awesome out-of-town guests for the party. On the very left of the picture (not a great picture of him, to be sure) is my cousin Eduardo who, amazingly enough, is a robotics student and robot builder in Brazil! He totally surprised me with his visit (although he didn't come all the way from Brazil for the party, he was already in San Francisco for RoboGames.) And the fellow helping me fill the flamethrower tank on the Subjugator is my very good friend Doyle, who also came out for the party. Doyle earned the title of being my first non-family friend to come see the house, and the first person to stay as a guest in the K-Shack. He also helped fix a few robots (and break one!) and pour the concrete slab for the shop (see the next blog post)

Thanks a lot for coming, Eduardo and Doyle!

We shot the air cannon several times that night, and always let kids do it. Here's Corban, one of my favorite kids in Taos, firing it (while wearing the Brazil T-shirt we brought back for him)

And, here's a first for this blog.... A movie! Here's another lucky young fella, Luca, firing the cannon.

Gratuitous shot from inside the house. This gives a little feel of how the inside looks these days. We don't normally have that many flowers, believe me. People bring flowers to house-warming parties, apparently.

Look, people really came to our party, see!

One of the best things about the party (besides fire-breathing robots and drunk dudes falling over rocks) was the awesome live music we had. Jemma played the accordion inside and the El Rito Marching Band christened the house as the sun set.

Thanks for making it such a great time everyone, and helping Christina and I make the transition from "finished construction project" to "Home."

And for all you who couldn't make it, you were missed.