Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fighting Crime

This is the short version of a long but interesting story.   While working on the in-floor heat for the mudroom during the later stages of the remodeling project.  I forgot to lock the recently installed rear door to the house.  I realize my mistake halfway through applying the scratch coat of thin-set mortar over the heating cables.  I told my wife about this too.  Neither of us thought it would be a big deal since our house had been with out a rear door for 2 months.  The risk of not having a secure door for one more night seemed small.

During night our dog, Henry, started barking, which woke us half up.  This is some what of a regular event. Henry doesn't like anyone outside to make noise after he goes to sleep.  Hannah told him to "shut up," and he was quiet for 5 more seconds.  Then, he got really mean.  At this point, I got out of bed and found Henry ready "rip sh!t up" at the top of the stairs.  Henry usually sleeps on the main floor, but tonight he was barricaded on the 2nd floor because we sealed tile in the basement.  When I removed the barricade, Henry tore down the stairs and toward the back of the house.  I knew someone had definitely been in the house because the lights were on and the drywall fence to keep people from stepping the fresh mortar was moved aside.  The back door was also left cracked open.

Our house was a mess from all the construction, so I couldn't really tell if anything had been stolen.  As I was looking a round, I noticed the backyard gate was crack open.  Just then, I noticed the motion light by the garage door light up and face pop out the door.  As quick as I could, I threw on my snow pants, jacket, and boots and ran out the back door to the garage into the frigid winter air.   I noticed one the bikes was gone from the garage stalls.  I was sure the burglar would be long gone by now.  He had been chased out the house by our dog and was now on a bike.  However, I look down the alley he was leisurely riding East as if everything was cool.  I took off sprint down the alley and caught up the guy about 200 yard way.  As I was chasing him, I was sure he would hear me coming.  My heavy breathing, puffy coat, boots, or crunch of the snow would alert him.  Regardless, he didn't know I was there until I hit him with a flying tackle.

The one thought I had as my shoulder hit his rib cage was, "this better be my bike."  Fortunately, it was my bike and this wasn't just an early morning commuter.  Surprised, he yelled some obscenities at me and I yelled some back after grabbing my bike.  He made excuses for why he was riding my bike and scattered to the other side of the street.  There is a little more to the story, but to sum it up.  He ran off, and I returned to the house with my bike.  The cops caught him 20 minutes later.  The Saint Paul Police were awesome.

The other funny side story is about 2 weeks earlier I told Hannah, "that if anyone took our bikes I just run them down and tackle them."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Substituting Kitchen Remodeling as Off-Season Training

The reason for this blog post is answer the questions: "How was my off season?, How's training going?, Did you race over the winter?, Why haven't you updated your blog?

Old Kitchen
Winning the Rev 3 Triathlon series and finishing 3rd in the Toyota Cup series last season allowed me to take on remodeling our Kitchen and back entry this off season.  I enjoy construction projects.  Solving spacial problems and good old fashion hard work is satisfying.  It also helps ward off winter depression.  We've done a fair amount of work on our 1890's house since we purchased it, but this was the biggest and most expensive project.  The back of the house or kitchen had the issues with a walk through bathroom to the back stairs, treacherous stairs to the basement, no rear entry closet, bad kitchen flow, little kitchen storage, and multiple so-so revovations over 121 years.

Here's a little outline:  Blue - contracted, Gray - contracted but I helped, Black - did it ourselves

End of October

  • Clean out backyard and start jack hammering out the old side walk and backstairs
  • Haul in new landscaping rock to put under the back deck and mudroom
  • Pack up everything in the kitchen and basement and move in to storage
  • Cover basement floors
  • Build temporary kitchen in laundry room with old kitchen cabinets
  • Pour footings for deck, kitchen bump out, and mudroom
  • Framing bump out, mudroom, deck
  • Move electrical service panel and exterior connection
  • Cut hole for new stair case
  • Seal kitchen of from the rest of the house
  • Demo interior - dusting mess, sweating, and cold
  • Sheeting, weather proofing exterior walls
  • Install windows and exterior doors
  • Rough in plumbing: new sink location, toilet, move gas line for stove and dryer
  • Roofing - brutally cold and snowy 16 inches fell halfway through
  • Demo of old exterior walls
  • Rough in new electrical
  • Insulation: basement and kitchen
  • Build and install kitchen to basement stairs in new location
  • Demo and frame new location for ovens
  • Demo old stairs for new bathroom and insulate
  • Install venting for new bathroom fan and stove top

  • Repair subfloor
  • Floor: remove bad sections and relay with extra from cut of new stair location (difficult work)
  • Sand and seal and cover for dry wall installation
  • Dry wall
  • Mud and Taping 
  • Sanding
  • Painting
  • Finish coat: floor stairs, windows
New Kitchen
  • Install in-floor heat in mudroom
  • Cabinets: We helped install cabinets.  Hardest strength day of the project.  Cabinets are heavy.
  • Finish electrical work
  • Tile bathroom, mudroom, and stairs ledge
  • Counter top installation
  • Finish plumbing: connecting fixtures
  • Clean up and up packing kitchen and basement
Remaining work
  • Siding
  • Decking
  • Interior trim for windows, doors, and floors
  • Walk-way in backyard
  • Backyard clean up

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Unofficial Nautica South Beach Tri Race Report

Eric Wynn Photo
What is official these days?  Here's the results as best I can remember.

1. Cameron Dye
2. Andy Potts
3. Filip Ospaly
4. Michael Weiss
5. Andrew Yoder
6. Kaleb Vanort
7. Vladimer Polikarpenko
8. David Thompson
9. Unknown European
10. Dirk Bockel

I was happy with my result.  A top ten is good for me this time of year.  Swim, bike, and run were all okay.  Nothing to brag about, so I don't need to keep writing.  The official TTN video report will be out tomorrow.  For the women.  Sarah Haskin's won.  Becky Lavalle was 6th, and that is the extent of my knowledge.  Other note, pro men and women started together.  I don't know if this was good or bad for me or any one else.  Miami Beach was beautiful.  The water was crystal clear, but the run course on the board walk wasn't.  I think a few wondering walkers got run over.  You think they would figure out that they're in the middle of a race the first time we go by.