Friday, May 23, 2014

A little mood lighting

I finally finished rebuilding our Moe Fiesta pull-down pendant. It doesn't pull down any more, however. The mechanism was worn out and I didn't realize this when I installed it. After about an hour it dropped and just about brained my younger son. I had to re-wire it again and just bypassed the pull down mechanism. It's just as well as these are close to 50 years old and it needs to be safe. Last summer I bought this along with another matching lamp and two recessed light trim pieces. 
The other lamp is in the entry. I have been sloooowly working on that area too.
We had a wall like this here but it was too close to the door. You could not stand to the left of the door and open it. So I tore it out and rebuilt it in a new spot. I also made it wider so I could build in shelves. There is never enough storage and I have a million books. You can see the other light there on the ceiling. I've been dragging my feet on the wood finish as I was not able to find a stain I like. I think I've got the right combination for stain now. So I'm hoping this weekend I can get those boards done and maybe start working on...whatever's next. My plan was to build something from the top of that wall to the ceiling. The old wall had some horrible spindles that ran up to the ceiling. I'm thinking something not unlike what the Incredibles have in their house. I think the cat is out of the bag as far as the secret identity thing is concerned so there should be no problem posting this picture. Mrs. I looks great in chenille, no?
I've drawn up several versions of what I want for our little wall. Most of them variations of the above. We have collected some ceramics that would be great in this room but don't really have a spot for them. I guess I need to finish the spot for them. The Incredible's home is my favorite part of this movie. I wish my house was as roomy as theirs is. Of course, I can't just tweak mine with 3D Studio to make it what I want. There you have it, an update of the progress I've made on our house. Almost nothing. At least the lamp is up; I was getting worried I would damage that thing with it laying around in the garage. Happy Memorial Day.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

In lieu of candy or flowers I installed a new light in our hallway. It's no remodel, but the wife was very happy with it. New switch with a dimmer as well. 
I think it made a world of difference.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. Loewy

As I logged onto the internet today I saw the latest Google doodle. A tribute to Raymond Loewy on what would have been his 120th birthday. Being a draftsman, mechanical designer, and fan of industrial design, this has to be my favorite Google doodle of all time. Very nicely done.

Mr. Loewy did some designs for the Mengel Furniture Company in the 50's. The collection is quite nice and I have a bit of a soft spot for it as my surname is Mengel. That is why I have the Mengel Permanized logo down there to the right. Not much time for posting but if you have not heard about R.L. take a look at the staggering amount of products that his firm were responsible for creating the look of.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eames Shell Chair Mold

I was thinking chairs this morning and remembered this photo. I did not have my camera handy at the time so the photo is from my colleague's iPhone. I was at The Henry Ford a year or two ago and ran across this baby. I'm in manufacturing (not furniture) so I geek out about how things are made and cool tools. This is (one of?) the original molds for the Eames shell chair. Of course a few examples of the chairs are seen in the background. I have a replica Fiberform Tulip chair I plan to restore that I saved from the trash. I need to learn a bit more about the chairs and the Saarinen/Eames relationship. Heck, the upper part of the chair may have been the same. Oddly enough, I cannot find a photo of a Shell and Tulip side by side. Perhaps it's a Batman and Bruce Wayne situation.  I've said too much.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Virtual Surly Compound

I started making a solid model of our house a while back. Today at work a colleague asked how to create a custom surface appearance. I've been wanting to know myself and after a little research I figured it out. We don't have a need to render our models at work very often but sometimes it's helpful.

This is a pretty rough version, admittedly. My garage floor isn't floating in space like that. Our windows are actually windows and not just holes in the wall although in the winter it seems as though they are just big holes. Part of the issue is I have to work on the model when I'm at my place of employment and if I need a measurement I have to wait until I get home. I also can only work on the model during break and lunch so that makes it tough as well.  I know you should only show your best work but I'm a tool designer not an architect. Also, it's a work in progress. As you can see from the other photo I posted my house is yellow. I'm fond of green and I really want to get to the MCM idea of the house blending in with the surrounding landscape, as opposed to, it just sitting on it. Seeing the model like this gets me excited about working on the house. It will also help me make a plan and have a vision of what it will look like if when we ever finish it. Now if I can just find some of those cedar planks with a two-foot wide knot in them...

Oh, I scored some cool lighting over the weekend. I'll do a little show and tell as time allows.

Friday, August 23, 2013

An update is in order

I've got a few draft posts in the queue but haven't had time to finish them. So instead of making a big deal of it, here's what's been happening:
We got a new roof. It's brown. It does not leak. It's paid for.
I painted some green rectangles on the front door.
I've looked into a new HVAC system.
I sold my truck. I suppose this is only indirectly related to the house.
I have continually added to the clutter in the garage while I should have been going in the other direction so I can get to fixing the drywall.

I'll elaborate on this as time allows. Now that's funny right there.

I added a link to my favorite MCM home blog. It's about the only one I dig that gets updated regularly and I recently was in contact with the author. Nice guy. I also fixed the to-do-list formatting.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Whoooo.....lots to do

Cover shot for Atomic Ranch? I think not. 

The roof has become the biggest deal around the house. It's bad. It seems like everything is falling apart at the same time but I'm fortunate that the roof is not leaking. I've been considering doing it myself. I've helped many people do roofing and I did the garage on my old house. I just don't have the time to orchestrate all of that at the moment. Now that it's lawn mowing season, I've mowed the lawn three times and fixed the lawn mower three times. The new lawn mower. I hate mowing the lawn. The string trimmer won't start. The push mower wont start. The chimney is falling apart. It's was 34° this morning and it's supposed to be close to 90° tomorrow. Why does that matter? The chimney is for the furnace. The air conditioner is also broken. So basically, we have no HVAC. Due to a recent purchase of a piece of we moved our kids into one room. I had the bright idea to build them some custom beds. In my free time. That's pretty funny there, Mr. Jokey Jokes. Free time. Ha. Did I mention I'm working 56hrs a week? I had to park the work car because of a mystery noise that sounds expensive. The motorcycle I just got needs some maintenance before I can commute on that. The wife's car... What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the roof.
I got a couple of estimates to replace the roof. As much as it pains me to do so, I think I'm going to have to pay someone to do it. I'm not worried about the paying part. Of course it hurts to write a check but it's the having someone else do my work part that bug me. I think it's the Midwestern blue-collar thing. Around here everyone I knew growing up had to help their Dad re-roof the house. Me included. I'm not losing any sleep over it or anything. I like the fact that while I'm at work it will be getting done. It just feels weird. It will give me the time to work on all the other stuff that has to be done. Perhaps with the vacation time I'll save I will be able to actually do something relaxing. I wonder what that's like?

Kinda sorta, if you flip it and squint.

There are plenty of things to blog about with this house. I'm excited about the potential. It could be a cool place to come home to. I just hope I can get to that point without losing my damn mind. Let's see if I can actually get the house going and blog about it.
Most of the attitude here is just self-depricating silliness. It's just how I am. I'm happy to have a roof over my head and have a home to share with my Wife and boys. If I have any readers...keep checking in.
Rock on.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More updates

I didn't expect to be making daily posts with this blog but I expected one a week. The past week or so has been a bit nutty and work hours have gone up. I'm at almost 60hrs/wk. now. That makes it tough to do anything around the house and when I get home I want to blog about it less than do it. I've made some progress on the entryway and I have a post about done I just need to get some photos out of the camera. Oh yeah, we're also in the middle of refinancing and had all the makings of a blizzard yesterday. Don't worry though, being Northwest Indiana it will all melt in a day or two. All or nothing around here. Combine all that with the stomach bug I'm coming down with and pretty soon the only thing I'll be able to do is blog.

For now, check out this LA Times article on Jack Webb's former home in Palm Springs.
It's a cool home, and I'm a big Dragnet fan anyway.,0,5745730.photogallery

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quick update

Despite the extreme appearance of the can, it actually worked out alright. 
I added a link to the links page and just a note that I actually did something on the house over the weekend. More to come. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


A few years ago my wife and I moved into our current house. We relocated to be closer to work (mine) and had outgrown the old place. With a new baby on the way and a 20 mile commute it was a welcome change. Before the move we didn't agree much on house styles.The Wife wanted Victorian and I was more of a bungalow guy. I grew up in a bungalow. Of course the Arts and Crafts movement was pretty much the