Friday, May 29, 2009

Bathing Beauty

Hannah, Iris and Scott came over to use our bathing facilities while theirs were temporarily out of commission.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Anders is quite the little monkey. As of late, he's been enjoying climbing into chairs.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Walter Haas Playground

Headin' into the sand.

Found toy.

Climbing out.


This plant was highly resistant to Anders's efforts to destroy it.

Climbing the slide.

All tuckered out.

no baby no

Sunday, May 24, 2009

sharp dressed man

They come runnin' jus' as fast as they can,
'cus every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.

— ZZ Top, Sharp Dressed Man

And he cooks, too!

He's not the cleanest of cooks, though.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

we might be related

Checking email.

Answering the phone.

Chatting on the phone.

Checkin' emails again.

Friday, May 22, 2009


In advance of our upcoming trip to Korea, we exchanged some US dollars for Korean won. The largest denomination in Korea is 10,000 KRW, which is about $8. So even if you only change a few hundred dollars, you get an impressive looking collection of moolah.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

GreenUP, day one

When you buy a house that was built in 1915, it turns out that it can be a wee bit leaky.

Actually, the house is in remarkably good shape for a 94-year-old building. The wiring is almost all modern. (As best I can tell, we have exactly one knob-and-tube circuit, which powers exactly one power outlet, which is directly above the breaker box. So I think it's about five feet of live knob-and-tube wiring.) Outlets in the bathrooms and kitchen are GFI protected. Most of the windows were replaced relatively recently. And the back room is only about four years old, so it's in great shape.

But some of the rooms are much leakier (like, say, our bedroom), and it just seemed that maybe we could do better. I think we would have stumbled along with bits and pieces of the solution on an ad hoc basis, without knowing whether we were getting the most bang for our buck out of the choices we were making.

And then I happened to hear, on a mailing list for former Google employees, that one former Googler was at Sustainable Spaces, a green retrofitting company. I wasn't sure what that exactly meant, but it sounded interesting, and next thing you know, we had hired them to do an analysis of our house.

They came by, with all sorts of cool gadgets (a door blower to measure how leaky the house is, as well as to assist in finding the leaks themselves; an infrared camera to spot insulation issues; gadgets for measuring floor and ceiling temperatures; etc.), and evaluated our house.

Highlights of the report:

  • The few old windows we have in the house are not major sources of heat loss.
  • Our house is "balloon framed," which means air can travel from foundation to attic in the walls, which can easily result in us spending money heating our attic.
  • Almost none of our exterior walls are insulated.
  • Our attic is underinsulated.
  • Our furnace is too big. (I didn't realize this was a bad thing, but imagine trying to cook with a welding torch: You would need to cook for a fraction of a second, back off, and so on, and in the process you'd waste a lot of energy. Same issue with a furnace that is too big.)
We reviewed the report, and decided to focus on a few of the items. We hired Sustainable Spaces to (a) seal the envelope of our house (reduce leaks); (b) insulate the attic; and (c) insulate the walls, subject to confirmation that we don't have live knob-and-tube wiring running in the areas to be insulated.

Today, they came out for the first day of work, doing most of the envelope sealing work.

As the worked, they would use the door blower to measure leakage, so that they could see what sort of improvement they had made.

Let's hope this all pays off...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009