Saturday, May 13, 2017


He found an unpleasant surprise in the concrete... chain link fence was used as a poor man's rebar 😑

Friday, May 12, 2017

Slytherin' along

A neighbor in Broadmoor posted this photo to the Nextdoor app (kinda like Facebook, but for neighborhoods)

I couldn't resist making a meme out of it:

and yes, that's a live snake. From the looks of it, either a ball python or a rat snake.

And what could make a photo of a giant snake slithering along a wrought-iron fence in the neighborhood even more glorious? {or terrifying} that a kid snapped the photo on his walk home from school.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A glance back in time: Vintage Postcards from the Houston Packing Company

These postcards were made for the Houston Packing Company, a local meatpacking company which included a canning factory. They were printed in Germany by the publisher Raphael Tuck & Sons.

"Friend of my soul! This goblet sip...." (1905) Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries:

"Here's to one, and only one,...." (1905) Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries:
"There's always a song to the future." (1905) Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries:

"God made man Frail as a bubble...." (1905) Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries:

"Yesterday's yesterday while to-day's here...." (1905) Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries:

"Here's to the American Eagle:...." (1905) Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries:

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Toy!

Got my slick new SawStop 36" Professional Cabinet Saw assembled!

The safety feature on this saw is absolutely incredible. I figured it was worth the investment, since, what's the cost of a finger? Certainly more than the saw!

Sunday, March 26, 2017


My blogs been fairly quiet recently because I've been doing a major amount of landscaping in the backyard. Here's a summary of all that's been done:

  • Buried low voltage landscape lighting lines
  • Pulled up uneven brick pathway tree roaches were living in
  • Got rid of remaining junk pile
  • Installed hose bib for backyard

  • sledgehammered up, not one, not two, but THREE layers of concrete sidewalk—laid one on top of the other 

  • Installed backyard pathway
  • Sloped terrain away from pathway
  • Created swales and berms using remaining clay from dumptruck
  • Tilled soil + laid topsoil + laid grass around pathway

  • Split up bucket of ginger, created bed and planted along back of house

  • Prepped and laid topsoil + grass along side of neighbors house
  • Dug drainage trench along driveway + filled it with paving stone

  • Cleared out brush for clear line of site to 200 year old water oak

  • Graded landscape so terrain slopes away from house (this has solved the pool of water issue under the house)
  • Planted a Texas Vitex in the front

  • and saved a baby toad

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kitchen dreaming

I photoshopped a mock-up of how I'd ultimately like the kitchen to look. It's based on the fabulous work of Bungalow Revival here in Houston, which does a tremendous job of remodeling kitchens in historic homes.

I plan to close up the doorway into the hallway, build kitchen cabinets along that wall and install my new Viking stove over there too with a nice range hood. I'll also be adding a dishwasher and moving the laundry into the back corner. Let's not forget my little screamer, Hanai, who is always in the middle of the floor for you to trip over.

But, reality check.
Right now it looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen:

Friday, January 20, 2017

In a Jamb

That moment

when you realize,
after finally getting a door
positioned just right in the jamb,

you cannot open it.

Bathroom privacy

You've Got Mail!

The original mailbox was in the way of where a landscape drain needs to go. It had a pink post--much like the rest of the house--that I repainted green. It's placement was practical but not aesthetically pleasing.

IMO, mailboxes distract the eye away from the house and rarely function as a decorative attribute.

But they are a necessity--no one wants their mail fluttering down the street in the wind

Stumbled across this townhome mailbox at a Sears Hardware store closing sale for $8. Now the mailbox is 'hidden' behind a column and the old one removed, which was in the way of a much-needed landscape drain. So....progress.

Master architects

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Closing the loop-de-loop

My hallway has 5 doors, 3 of which I roam around in circles. 
I often find myself split between which route to take.

A few times, I walked straight into it, 
having failed to decide which path to take.

At least one of the doorways needed to go.
But which one?

It depended on what the ultimate layout plan would be.

Now it is two years into reno—

countless days of pondering,
architectural drafting.

The doorway to the kitchen will be filled,
making room for counter space
and a wall mount oven.

Hardwoods to patch the kitchen floor were sparse
so I scavenged some from where the cabinets will go.

They won't do the house any justice there anyway.

Wood dilemma solved. 
Loop-de-loop dilemma solved. 
Oven dilemma solved.

WWII newspaper

Found this wadded up newspaper that someone used to plug a hole in the (now) kitchen subfloor. It's in pretty rough shape, but I was able to unfold this headline: Women among Jap Okinawa Troops