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Open thread 5/15/24

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  • ghostsniper May 15, 2024, 8:03 AM

    What was the name of the Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse?

    • Helper Mike May 15, 2024, 1:14 PM

      Victor. Everybody knows that.

      • ghostsniper May 16, 2024, 1:36 PM

        sneeky devil

  • ghostsniper May 15, 2024, 2:05 PM

    Typical stuff
    Ever wonder what an architect “does”?
    I’d like to not be me for a moment, so I could ponder that question.
    You don’t see much out there about architects, almost like they are mysterious people.
    It’s a mostly mundane lifestyle.
    Moments of glory with l o n g stretches of almost nothingness.
    Oh, there’s stuff going on, but it’s pretty bland.

    Yesterday for example.
    A client contacted me about a house I designed for one of their clients.
    The house is fairly nice, but it’s not what I would want for myself – like most houses I design.
    This house will be built on an island and total cost, house and land, will be in the million dollar range. Nothing fancy.

    Outside appearance will be a 5-V ribbed metal roof, Hardiplank lap siding, porch railings, light gingerbread, side entry double garage (2 16′ garage doors).

    It went through the normal design process where I charge a “Preliminary Design” fee, and using their notes and sketches, I develope a floor plan and a front elevation concept. After that the pdf files get emailed back and forth a few times with changes the client would like. Once the preliminary design is exactly like what the client wants it on to the construction documents, the “Building Permit Drawings”.

    On a house like this one the BPD usually consist of about (8) 24″ x 36″ (size D) drawings drawn in AutCAD, The drawings are, in order:
    1 Front & Rear Elevations
    2 Left & Right Elevations
    3 Floor Plan
    4 Foundation Plan
    5 Roof Plan
    6 Electrical Plan
    7 Sections & Details
    8 Site Plan

    I completed the BPD on this house last week and sent them to my client who is a building contractor. They sent the files to their client, a couple in their 60’s, so they can make adjustments to the electrical plan. Seems everybody has their own ideas on the electrical plan. It is the most “revised” sheet in the BPD package.

    The ultimate client sent the following list to my client, the contractor, who then sent it to me. Yesterday I went down the list and did the changes to the BPD and sent them back to the contractor a couple hours later. Some of the items on the list I had to guess at because the client wasn’t clear in their explanation.

    The 4 recessed lighting fixtures in the Family Room for example. There is no family room on this house. I gathered she was confused, and ASSumed she meant Living Room. But the living room is about 32′ x 18′, so “where” in that space are these recessed lights supposed to go? So I sit back in my chair, closed my eyes, and reached forward and touched a random place on my 29″ monitor. Then I opened my eyes and put the fixtures right there. Just kidding.

    I scanned back over my 50 years worth of rolodex memories and made a choice on fixture location based on what hundreds of other people have chosen over the past half century. I’ll find out whether I was right or not in a couple days.

    Anyway, I stopped working on another project temporarily so I could knock these changes out and get them off the back burner of my brain and they took about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to do. Then I went back to working on the other plans I was previously working on. I charged my client $200 for these revisions and will most likely get paid in a month or so.

    So that’s it. I always have at least 1 or 2 “main” projects I am working on (sometimes even more – much more) and then there are sporadic little irritants that pop in demanding to distract me for a spell. There ya go, a small peak into the daily life of an average architect that does his own thing rather than follow the path enormously boring corporate architecture. I do it my way because any time I want I can stop and go do something else, and I can’t be fired, reprimanded or made to suffer in any way. I’ve been “working” like this since 1986 and I see no reason to change.

    Good morning,
    These are the electrical notes she would like updated on the electrical page. I know it’s usually just done in the field with our electrician for a lot of this, but they are very OCD people so she wants it all shown on the plans. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

    Electrical Changes
    -Add electric outlet centered on East outside wall
    -Add Electric outlet between garage column outside
    -Add fan in garage
    -Add light in Attic regular
    -3 recessed lights in laundry room
    -I think there is a light where the stove hood goes???
    -All lights are to be dimmable recessed lighting
    -Add 2 more electric outlets centered on west walls. The one in living room put 6’ high
    -Add 1 more electric outlet to front wall up 6’ high
    -Add 1 more electric outlet to east side living room wall up 6’ high
    -Add electric outlet under front master bedroom window
    -2 exhaust fan/lights in master bathroom
    -4 recessed lighting in master bedroom
    -2 recessed lighting in area closet to master bedroom
    -4 recessed lighting in family room
    -4 recessed lighting in dining room
    No lighted fans inside

    Sent from my iPhone.

    • John A. Fleming May 15, 2024, 11:21 PM

      It makes sense to me that everyone has ideas about where to put electrical outlets and lights. I do. From all the houses and apartments I’ve ever lived in, I always wished there were lights here and outlets there. It’s even more important now, with all our electrical gadgets, there are never enough outlets and the ones that are there are in awkward places. So when the client wants a light or outlet in a certain place, it’s because in the last house they kept cussing because there wasn’t one where there should have been one. And then when after the house is built and they move in, they will cuss some more when they realize they are missing some outlets and lights, and the ones they have are in stupid places and the lighting is uneven and in the wrong place.

      Lighting a room is an art. The client has to imagine where in the room they will need the light when they put in all their stuff, tables and chairs and desks. So I ask for recessed ceiling fixtures for full-room lighting with dimmers, and then I fill in the gaps with table lamps.

      But I do like the master-bedroom ceiling fan dimmable lights. We don’t normally use them, because who wants to be in bed staring up at those lights? But when we doing domestic chores (vacuuming, laundry, tidying and cleaning), those ceiling fan lights really light up the room and are a big help. We got lucky on that choice of light fixture and bulb type. I had to lay in a lifetime supply of the incandescent bulbs that go in that fan fixture, because not all dimmers work with those stupid new-fangled light technologies.

  • John A. Fleming May 15, 2024, 10:55 PM

    In the past I have been an enthusiastic patron of the arts. The fine arts are part of our family culture. During the kung flu singularity, we stopped going, and haven’t restarted, and don’t seem to want to. Today while driving home, a Met Opera broadcast started up on the car radio, and they described the opera that was about to be played. It was modern, and the characters were gay this and lez that. I turned it off before the first note, not interested, it sounded boring. And then I got to thinking why.

    Why does it all these days have to be “put a chick in it, make it gay and lame”? It’s just not interesting to me what people do with their fiddly bits to amuse themselves. Maybe women are more interested in interpersonal relationship stories than I am. I want to hear stories about what people do outwardly, how they make something out of their lives and solve their dilemmas (or not). I like visual arts that show the world in distinct, new and creative ways. I like to hear music that isn’t noise and keeps me interested and involved, captivated and captured by the melodies, harmonies and rhythms. I don’t want to know anything about the artist’s physical urges or politics.

    I don’t care what the artist was thinking during the act of creation. I don’t want to know about the artist’s personal life. Once the art is out there, it’s up to each of us to decide its meaning for ourselves, the artist does not control what I think of it. Timeless art is that which every age of people keep finding meaning and enjoyment.

    There was an understanding. Art is a tough life, and to be an artist is to be different than the rest of us, because the artist sees and hears and thinks what no one else has yet. I wish I could see the new and different. I am thrilled to encounter it. Most of us have jobs and families, we are not creators. We support the arts, and the artists supports us. It was a good trade.

    The understanding is no more. Artists despise us “normies”. Their arts are insults to us. That’s what I learned during the corona shutdown. Fine. If they hate me, ok then, I’m walking away, I won’t be a chump. I’ve got plenty to do that keeps me busy and interested.

    • Anne May 16, 2024, 9:51 AM

      Spot on!

    • ghostsniper May 16, 2024, 1:47 PM

      As far as I can tell at least half the so called “artists” out there, of every genre, are 100% full of shit and deserve to die on the vine. I’m not gonna get too deep into this cause art and artists is one of them topics that seems to easily rile feathers. Over the past 4 decades my wife and I have gathered a substantial collection of various types of artwork that “we like” and we don’t really care if anyone else likes it or not. Personally, in my opinion if you don’t like our choices it tells me something about your personality that might be difficult to discover otherwise. Regarding our paintings, some originals but mostly prints, we lean toward the “realism” type. I like a painting that has a lot of substance to where I can stand there and stare at it and even after many years, maybe find a little detail I hadn’t noticed before. Another aspect to consider is placement, and how the different angles of natural light reveals a piece in a different way. What I have discovered, here in southern Hoosierville, is that in mid April and again in mid September the sun is at an angle in the sky that causes an abrupt difference in how things look and especially so with displayed paintings. It’s not unusual for those times of the year to cause my wife or I to move things around a little. Pay attention to those 2 dates and see if you notice the diff.

  • Snakepit Kansas May 16, 2024, 6:08 AM

    I have a brother in law that is pretty far left. We do not speak politics as neither of us are going to find much common ground. He is a good and hard working guy and treats my sister great. We get along fine and we both know there is no value in talking about Trump or Biden. We have figured out to leave some things alone. Wish others could figure that out also.

  • Anne May 16, 2024, 9:50 AM

    We have a dear friend who is an architect. Several very high end customers–very, very high end. Recently his dear granddaughter (late 20’s early 30’s) moved up to Marin county, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Big money lives up there. Dear granddaughter bought a 1950’s style ranch house and got grandpa to remodel it for her. He just received the first bid for this project 1.3 million to turn a two car garage into a third bedroom! Just sayin

    • ghostsniper May 16, 2024, 1:52 PM

      Probably at least half of that cost is eaten up by gov’t fees and regulations, which do nothing to enhance the end product. But those fees do provide jobs to gov’t DEI people, so there’s that. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, dudn’t it?

      • Anne May 16, 2024, 3:04 PM

        Not quite sure of the details on this–but, it appears that once an architect, or a plumber, or an electrician, etc. have signed a document saying they have read the original document and did as instructed, there now has to be another “expert” hired to come in and say yes, he has read all the documents and you have performed those tasks. This is in addition to the inspector from the city or county. California ain’t what it used to be!

  • ghostsniper May 16, 2024, 1:32 PM

    Tool Boxes
    Have you priced these things lately?
    They’re on the moon! In my opinion.
    I hadn’t purchased any in a few years, maybe 5 years, but recently wanted to and was disappointed.

    A little project I took on required me to buy a flush cut saw. Not wanting to be limited by a cord I bought this one:


    I’m going to install laminate flooring (OH! my aching fukking knees!) in a bedroom for a friend and I will need to undercut the door casings and I don’t want to take them off and deal with having to line everything up afterward. So, scribe, then cut in place.

    As anyone knows, the cost of the tool is just the “down payment”. You also have to get all the accessories. And potential spare parts. By the time you’re done you have quite a collection of stuff, and where are you going to store all of it so it’s easy to find when you need it?

    I have a fair amount of tools, and a fair amount of them are power tools – corded and cordless. With this much inventory on hand a means of collating everything was mandatory. Long ago I decided to use proper size individual tool boxes for this role. It works well.

    I have 2 angle grinders, 1 corded, 1 cordless. And every attachment you can think of. Yes, I have the clamp-on guard that allows a 1-1/4″ shop vac hose connection. Years ago I bought a red 26″ Plano tool box (plastic) that is now my angle grinder garage and a piece of blue tape on the top says what’s inside and it’s easy to find when I need it.

    I have maybe 20-30 such tool boxes all doing as I described. Oh yeah, I also have a 26″ TB for “electrical” stuff, another for “plumbing” stuff, “drywall” stuff, etc. Need to patch a hole, grab the drywall box and get to it. Rinse, repeat.

    Well it appears a lot of the tool box companies either don’t make them any more or raised the prices to the rafters. I have my limits ya know. After him-hawing around on several versions I finally bought 2 of these:


    Never heard of that brand before, and just from the pix I wasn’t real happy. But everything else I found was much more costly. So I bought the Harts and they arrived yesterday. Within 30 seconds I almost killed one of them. Cause it tried to kill me first. See that big silver swivel handle? Notice how it tucks snuggly down into a recess in the top cover? When the handle is in the down position there is almost enough space between the handle and the black plastic part for the fingers of the hand that are pushing the handle down. Almost. I closed that handle down kinda firmly and my middle finger on my left hand was inside the recess and the pain of a smashed fingernail is like no other. So I had to put up with that aggravation for the next 24 hours or so. It’s OK now as long as I don’t get forgetful about it cause it will remind me pronto if I do.

    The flush cut saw now has a new home for itself and all it’s accessories, service manual, etc. And the 2nd tool box was used for all the shop vac accessories I’ve accumulated over the years (sans hoses) and also had been gathering in cardboard boxes. So my workshop makes one more step in the direction of organization. I wonder if I should go ahead and get 2 more of them boxes before bidenomics makes the price jump skyward again?