I can happily say the room of death has been vanquished, the last boxes have been removed and the room is empty. Later this morning (as you read this) I have the electrician over to start work on out replacing the outlets and putting a new sconce up, and giving me the quote on getting the new circuit wired in. Also this morning I have a painter coming by to look over the painting and patching and talk about how to get what I need done — a bigger project than this room that covers about a third of the house. And I’ve ordered carpet, and it’s due to be installed in about a week. I need to call the window covering lady but it can wait a bit.

I’m hoping the painting project can be done in about two weeks or less; I’ll know more once they see the house and we scope it out. I’m also hoping we can prioritize the office and get it done so I can start having furniture delivered and start setting up, although I’m going to need to move the bedroom chests in their for a bit while I get the bedroom carpeting replaced.

The final body count on the room of death: 97 boxes of stuff moved into the holding spot next to the treadmill in what we call the library. 10 boxes of stuff sent to the landfill with 4 more in the garage waiting to go. Three boxes shredded and recycled. Three trips to the Goodwill center and counting. Three filing cabinets in the garage (which needs desperately to be re-arranged, but I may not get to that until the weekend) until we finish re-arranging everything and empty the library again, which is where they’re going. an old cheap desk, an old bookcase and an old fire safe in the back waiting to be disappeared.

So hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks I’ll have the bedroom painted and with new carpet, my office painted, new carpet, more electricity, and the front entry and living room finally with the last of the moldings added, cleaned up and painted.

[update 11AM: I have hired a painter. They’ll start in about 3 weeks. That’ll give me time to get the carpet in the new office, move the bedroom chests into the new office so I can carpet the bedroom, move them back, and I can start building out some of the furniture waiting for the painting. So I’m pretty happy and they seem really good.]

In case you were wondering about those boxes in the room, a big chunk of them are boxes of books, which got put in storage temporarily while I worked on the living room, and then when that project stalled, just stayed there. About 18 months ago I fired my general contractor (me), started bringing in the trades to deal with the guts of the house (new water heater, new furnace, major electrical work, new window coverings, etc etc). And now that this is all done, we’re finishing off the cosmetics, with phase one being my office and the living room and bedroom, so we can unbox and display the books rather than stuff them in places to annoy us.

Hockey hockey hockey

Laurie’s hockey collection is amazing (and large), with what we estimate is somewhere around 500 volumes of books, plus her huge collection of historical program books and documents (those vertical files, about 27 running feet of paper, plus another 10 feet or so in her office). Those program books go back to the 40’s and cover a lot of WHL and WHA and forward into the 70’s. I’m estimating 2000-2500 items here going back 70 years. She even owns a copy of Trail of the Stanley cup (plus a second copy of the 3rd book).

Which in a way is a problem. It’s big enough and has enough historical and financial value that we both realize we need to plan for what to do with it. What we’d like is find an institution to donate it to, preferably in the local area, so it can be set up as a research tool for others — once the time comes. One of these days I need to call the Sharks and see if they might be interested in working with us on setting this up, because what we don’t want to do is see this all parted out on eBay or god forbid trashed if the people cleaning up after us don’t understand the value.

My hockey collection is in there, too, but it’s more physical for the most part — about 70 jerseys (that’s 8 boxes in the pile until I can get them washed and boxed up more properly. I’ll start that in a week or so) going back to the first year of the Sharks, over 100 pucks including some WHA era pucks, huge numbers of pins and a couple of signed sticks (including my Rogie Vachon goalie stick and a 2nd year Sharks team signed stick) and lots of hats. Oh, and my collection of rule books, including NHL rulebooks going back to the 40’s — when there were explicit rules about which trains to take between cities and how to handle things when both teams were on the same train.

It’ll all get sorted out and some of it will put back on display. I may decide to part with some of it though, via eBay or some other way. Not sure yet.

The new Office

The new office is about 109 square feet, about 14% larger than my existing space. I’ve been doing a lot of space planning on it since I’m mostly buying new furniture for it. The plan above is what I’ve finally decided on. the grey boxes are coming from my existing area, but I’m adding new desks, the one on the far right will be a motorized sit/stand and the other a more traditional but without built in drawers, since I already have those in abundance to go under or next to them. The new carpet is a wonderful deep blue with a hint of green in a shade called Inkblot. I’m planning on the walls being a very pale blue, not enough to markedly bias the color of the light in the room but something that’s not boring neutral or beige-white.

And lots of bookshelves for display and, well, books. Not shown are more storage in the closet and in the spaces in next to it; I’m currently leaning towards those modular wire cubes that you can stack and connect together. One complication is the door to this place is actually a pocket door that’s open on the room side of things — sort of but not quite a barn door. I can put something in front of it but I have to leave room for the door to move. I also don’t want to crowd the entrance, so I’m exploring sizes of what will fit cleanly.

Since the closet is going to be storage that I don’t access too often, I’m planning to set up a picture hanging system using a cable above it and drops for the pictures, and the area in front of the closet will be where my big elk canvas will live.

A recent addition to the plan is the TV. I’ve been looking at 4K options but at the size I want that’s a tough one, since they basically start at 40″. My current plan is to install an Apple TV and use the screen as an electronic picture frame for images when it’s idle, and to display video as I’m working on them, and whatever else makes sense. Current plan is to, I think, get a HomePod and wire it up as the audio for the Apple TV, and there won’t be a directTV receiver or any kind of TV in there. I want to see what it’s like living on the Apple TV as the only device, and besides, this is my work place. Since I’m doing video work (and will probably be doing some for work down the road) having a monitor to watch the work in progress seems a good idea.

The big addition for me other than more shelf space and storage is the added desk space. The ongoing crisis in my workspace is lack of desk space to put things on and work on them. I’m hoping the added space and storage will clear stuff out so I actually have a desk that works as a work space and not simply get crowded out with everything I stuff on it.

I fully expect there to be tweaking once I start moving into the space, but I think the floor plan has given me the understanding of what I can do, and what I can’t — for instance, I really wanted a reading spot (aka recliner) but it quickly became obvious it wouldn’t fit. I could force it but I wouldn’t be happy with the result. I do need to add 1-2 visitor chairs, but they can live in front of that closet.

So with any luck? Furniture can start arriving in 3 weeks and I can be moved in in 5-6. We’ll see. Then once this is done, I can start on phase 2, which is the revamp of this family room that currently holds my office and the TV/media area. It gets new carpet and paint as well, and needs a bit of work on the walls and doors. Ultimately the treadmill moves in to that space out of the Library, and my existing desk will stay and be the home of the Playstation and set up as a laptop workspace so Laurie or I can come out and work on things there in the evenings if I want and the reconfigured media area around the TV so it’s better set up for us in the evening and for when we have folks over. I’m currently trying hard not to think about my having a 4K TV in the office, and not having one in the TV room — but seriously, since 99% of our usage is live sports, there’s no real reason at this point.

Later this year, the plan is to repaint the exterior, we’re due to replace cabinets and counters and lighting in the kitchen, and then sometime we need to redo one of the bathrooms, which is basically a gut job. Really looking forward to that. yup. the other basically needs some minor touchup and paint.

And I’m hoping to have most of this done by the end of the year, at which point, I’m hoping not to have to think about it for another 15 years.

Although I do need to have someone come out and inspect the roof, but I hope I can avoid that for another couple of years until I sort out doing solar for the house…

(it never ends…)