House Week 33: I have to install how many switches???

Now this may only be a 1200 sq foot home, but i think it has enough electrical plugs, switch, and lights for a 4 floor hospital!  Luckily it’s super easy to install new duplex outlets, so there it begins.

I managed to race through the standard duplex outlet plugs installing all 35 in less than a day.  It basically entailed stripping half and inch off of each of the wires, bending them into a slight loop, pulling the loop over the screw on the outlet, tightening the screw and attaching to the wall…with more screws!  Piece of cake!  Then it was onto the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters).  These are the fancy ones that trip at the switch when they are overloaded.  In 2010 these were required anywhere with “water”, so the bathroom and kitchen counters all required these special plugs.  The special plugs were very special in price (1500% more than standard plugs), but extremely easy to install as they had the screws to attach the wires to like the standard outlets, but you can also wire them by inserting the stripped wire into the back of the outlet and setting the screw.  No need to try to keep the little buggar in place and following orders.  As there were three in the bathroom and four in the kitchen this rounded out a morning while waiting for my latest building inspection, sign off for power!!!

From the plugs i moved onto the switches.  I found some fantastic push button switches with an inlay of mother of pearl at Rejuvenation (where all my gorgeous lights are coming from).  Very similar to what the house would have had when it was built in 1920 they were also a critical style detail for me.  They sell all of the basic “types” of switches in picture below right to left.:

  • Single Pole – These are singularly responsible for turning things on and off and have a single mother of pearl inlay on a button
  • 3-Way – These share the responsibility with another switch somewhere else to turn on/off the light(s), these have mother of peal inlays in the top and bottom buttons as both are live
  • Dimmer – These come in both single pole and 3-way versions, unique here these have a “button” for the top portion of the switch and a turn knob in the bottom to control the brightness of the light, there are even different wattages 300 or 600!

House Wk 33: The Basics

I have most of the switches in, but a few will have to wait until my final inspection as there are building codes about what kinds of switches you need in laundry rooms and bathrooms, which is lame.  Oh well, lame doesn’t mean i don’t h ave to do it…so off to find occupancy light switches i go!  Here are a few receptacles attachment pictures.

House Wk 33: Plain old Cheap Duplexes   House Wk 33: Screwing Wires   House Wk 33: Fancy Dancy GFCI's

House Week 31 & 32: No love lost in saying goodbye to an old friend … the portable toilet has been removed from my front yard!!!

Over the holidays both us and the tile guys worked towards a single goal of finishing in the floor in the bathroom.  So what’s so important about the floor you ask?  Well the floor needed to be finished to set the toilet, which has been in my living room for 7 months, but more importantly once there is a toilet the portable toilet in my front yard would get to go away!!!

Not surprising the motivation was right and i’m happy to say the toilet was set before the new year.  The Shower walls and floors are completely done and beautiful.  I’m so impressed at how well everything is coming together.  Well here are the pretty pictures…  Someday i may even get a bathroom door ; )

House Wk 32: Bathroom with Toilet!!!

House Wk 32: Bathroom Floor

House Wk 32: Finish Grouted Shower

Meandering through a Day Trip North of the City

An awesome friend made me a fantastic self guided tour to get to know the north a bit better.  It was the perfect way to start off the new year driving through beautiful country with tons of places marked out to stop for tea!  It also helped me work to really kick this cold as with the house getting ready to ramp back up it may be awhile before i have another lazy sunday to kill in my car.

The adventure started off in Petaluma, off the main drag at a cute little place … Aqus Cafe.  Yes i’d only been away from home for 30 minutes, and yes i already needed more tea so i popped in and was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere, range of music nights (jazz to celtic), and super friendly staff.  Refilled on tea i wandered the back streets a bit admiring the houses that look like how mine will some day look when there are no longer boards on the windows ;p  Now i knew there would be water somewhere on the journey…and there it was!  There is something to be said about being level with a boat while standing in the street drinking tea.  

Beginning the journey...   Got Time?

While staying on the tour route i took a slight detour through a cemetery with beautiful head posts from the mid to late 1800’s.  I really need to go on a dead people in California tour as there have to be beautiful cemeteries outside of Japan and the Yucat√°n.  I found something odd in leaving your departed loved one a pumpkin, anyone able to explain this?

Two Rock Cemetery: Thought you might like a ... pumpkin???    Two Rock Cemetery: 1800's posts

From here a short drive to the town/city of Valley Ford for brunch.  The recommended spot was the towns happening seafood place Rocker Oysterfeller's, but i found the most perfect thing on the menu of Carmel Apple French Toast with Fresh Whipped Creme, random!  The random vibe was continued when next door to the post office the house had the front windows full of trophies.  It was actually kind of creepy come to think of it…

Then to continue to the drive i headed to Occidental, saw a fantastic herb shop i had to go in, found out said shop was super closed for the day, and left pouting a bit while i drove off in the wrong direction to later turn around and find the correct direction without GPS (as apparently AT&T has decided having service in Occidental is not important as there was nothing).  The entire drive i kept wanting to get out of the car, and did, to stare at the mossy/lichen covered trees.  The camera didn’t quite get the “glow”, but we’ve all seen it, amazing what the sun can do when it’s not burning me.

Mossy Lichenesque Trees   A Herb shop i was really trying to will into being open

Once back on the right track i was put onto Coleman Valley Road which was billed as "the county's prettiest road", which i would have to agree with.  The sights coming through the hills over looking the valley was amazing coupled with the perfect amount of fog, sun, and just plain old clouds.  Unfortunately it was way more than the camera could take so the pictures were really pretty, one of those had to be there to believe it type things.  The prettiest road ended by dropping me off on Highway 1 headed for Goat Rock Beach.  Here are pretty beach photos! (Are aliens moving on from Crop Circles to Sand Circles?)

Goat Rock Beach   Goat Rock Beach: Does no one read?!?!?   Goat Rock Beach: Sand Circles?

And the over sized vegetation on the way to the final destination on my tour, Sebastopol for dinner and beer!  I kept seeing these larger than life plants along the river on the road and it was causing a total down the rabbit hole effect, which was made slightly more weird by a quick neighborhood pre-dinner tour finale of front yard art, which began deep in the rabbit hole.  So i know i’ve seen his work before…what’s the artists’ name???

Giant plants!   Being very very late

A beautiful way to start to the new year exploring places super close to home.  The tour was amazing so i will definitely be hitting said friend up again for some of the other mentioned tours, like cemeteries…