Tag: diy (page 1 of 3)

Anybody here?

Old FireplaceThe last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. Work and a certain footbal tournament have been occupying a lot of time, but the biggest time grabber has been getting the living room sorted after having the fire replaced. The old fireplace as seen on the right wasn’t bad…well, I thought so. However the fire was a bit wonky, the firebox at the back was a slightly broken and hastily repaired (not by me) and the tiles weren’t really liked. However what started off as a job to paint some tiles turned into a far bigger job. This was increased when our chimney was condemned meaning it had to be lined. Seemingly very common in houses of our age in the West End of Glasgow. While I have no reason or evidence to doubt the experts they would say that, wouldn’t they. Two weeks ago today the old fire and tiles were removed replaced with new fire, marble while retaining the original mantle. A lot of cleaning followed by a room repaint and we now have a nice looking but more importantly safe fireplace.

New Fireplace

One nasty job was cleaning up the wooden mantle. When we moved in four 1/2 years ago the mantle was covered in hundreds of paint flecks which stubbornly refused to be cleaned. After a tip off from the chimney people I went to Smith & Rodger Ltd who gave some great advice on how to remove the paint. Some chemicals, six hours and two new arms later and the wood cleaned up really well. Some advice to others painting around wood though – covering it up before hand is far easier than removing it after.

So another major (for me) job done, another that we said we would tackle when we moved in and one less for Remember The Milk to remind me about. What’s next?

Another word for miscellaneous?

  • Just had a great week of work. Weather was glorious and I got a lot done around and outside the house. Also organised for the fireplace to be removed and replaced with something nicer and safer. It turns out our chimney is a bit defective and potentially dangerous so that needs a new lining. A horribly messy job awaits but needs must and it means I’ll need to decorate afterwards. Just hope the back gets a bit better as it’s very sore today. Too much straining this week.
  • Loving the Thunderbirds Specsavers advert.
  • GTA IV. Metacritic shows it’s the highest rated game. Ever. While reviews and scores are all pretty subjective it certainly is a must own title. The world simulation is so impressive. You can easily lose yourself in the game and forget about doing any missions. Driving around, phoning people, taxi runs, sight seeing, surfing the net etc. So much to do and it’s so enjoyable doing it. Mission have been pretty good so far although I’m only 15% into the game. Multiplayer is also starting to show some hidden depths. The free race modes are a great laug and very unpredictable. Cops n crooks is also a favourite with a lot of strategy required behind a seemingly simpe concept. This game has months of gameplay. Whenever I load it up I do a couple of missions and a little exploring – a great mix which is keeping the game very fresh.
  • Battlestar series 4 is a return to form so far. Certainly up there with series 1 & 2. Episode 3 is a highlight so far.
  • Summize is a nice way of searching for topics on Twitter. Also let’s you track tweets on topics you are interesed in – iPhone for example.
  • Scottish football – totally mismanaged. I hate the fact we still have the split in the SPL and no winter break. We also need more movement between the leagues. Having only one team drop from the SPL just isn’t enough. In fact, four leagues is too much. Two bigger leagues would be far more interesting and sustainable for Scotland. However the biggest joke has been the lack of support for Rangers in their Eufa Cup quest. Back in 2003 Cetic were given a free week before the final to help them prepare. Not so Rangers who have been forced to play two games against strong opposition the week before their final. Shame.
  • Can’t wait for the final on Wednesday night though. Changed flight so that I can get back to Glasgow from Bristol on Wednesday afternoon. I just hope there are no delays!!! Do not fail me Easyjet. Do not dare!
  • Not that it will be this year (and probably won’t be until end of next) but I’ll replace the desktop Mac and laptop Mac with…one laptop. Keeping data in sync between the two is easy with .Mac but it’s keeping software installed on both that’s a pain and to be honest the only thing I’d miss is the desktop real estate. A 24 inch screen is very nice and is far more productive than a laptop’s screen. One option to consider is a screen for the laptop but that’s way in the future. Resolution independent software and higher res screens may be a reality by the end of 2009.
  • Monotone is a photo theme for WordPress. It’s pretty simple but has nice archives and also colours each page by analysing the photo displayed on it. Very neat. I set up Crackle and Pop on WordPress.com and may use that to publish photo’s. Individual photo’s that is with links to Flickr sets. Time will tell – need to take mor ephoto’s first.
  • Gears of War 2 trailer. Looks very impressive. Roll on November.
  • Codemasters get the F1 licence. So yet again we’ll get an F1 game with great intro’s, great graphics but questionable handling (try the Race Driver demo to see what I mean). Maybe the 2009 rule changes will make for a better game…and a more exciting F1.

Done In

With the nicer weather last week and continuing into the weekend it was only fair to spend it in the garden. While the grass looked like it could do with it’s first trim I had a more pressing matter. An old conifer was getting beyond it’s sell by date but it was pretty big and tall. Hacking it down was fairly easy – getting the roots out was a complete pain in the arse.

With that done I could move onto painting the fence. I was determined to get this done before the plants really started to grow. So one trip to B&Q later I was equipped with a sprayer. It actually worked pretty well although the fence needed two coats rather than the one that was advertised. It’s also worth remembering that a brush is far easier to clean than a sprayer. Still – job done.

The weekend has flown by really and I’m shattered but having some nice weather makes all the difference. Looking at the forecast it looks set to continue too, getting slightly warmer. Joy.

Holiday Weekend

Busy in the garden for the last couple of days as can be seen below.
Raised Bed
This bed previously had bricks all round it and the rockery had been damaged during the fence install last year. Lots of work on Saturday and a trip to the garden centre on Sunday has rescued it. Enjoyed being out and doing work – the weather was great although it’s a sure sign of turning into an old man. Flickr set here. First full grass cut of the year and some weeding too although there is less to do than last year which is a good sign.

Today was finishing off the painting in the hall. Taken longer than I thought and I’ve still some cornice painting to do. That’s this weekends little task. Hope your weekend was as fulfilling.

It’s done

The windows have been installed and the mess is starting to clear. Took two guys three days to fit 13 windows and a new front door. While I’m pleased that it’s all done in a short time I hope it wasn’t rushed – it certainly looks like a good job has been done and they did work some really long hours – to be honest I can’t fault the finish and I’m really chuffed. Immediate differences are it’s quieter, warmer, less draughty and overall looks a hell of a lot smarter so I’ve absolutely no regrets. Luckily they were all fitted in the dry which is a bonus especially as it’s raining tonight. Just need a wet and windy day (shouldn’t be long to wait for that) to make sure everything is wind and watertight. Only job to do is for a plasterer to fix some gaps that have been left and for me to re-fit all the curtain rails and re-hang – weekend jobs a plenty for me!

*Update* – since the new door and windows there have been two people at the door looking for our neighbours. We’ve either blended in nicely or we’ve lost the ‘the ugly’ door tag that we used to have.

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