One Life, Well Traveled

A Personal Blog

Day 29 – There’s Wood in the Air

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We probably shouldn’t have been surprised when we rolled up on Saturday to see the frame up, but there it was in all its exciting glory!

I mean, Pete the Project manager did say to us, “Your frame is going to be going up next week, weather permitting.”  And weather permits less than an inch of snow (as you could probably tell from the picture.  It looks kinda like a house, doesn’t it?

How they get the frame up so quickly is not a great mystery really.  All the wood for the house (well, at least for the frame) shows up on pallets and some of it even already assembled.  You have to imagine it like a modeling kit… a really really BIG modeling kit:

You can’t buy that at a hobby shop.

The lumber on the right in this picture is the skeleton of the frame – standard lumber.  The stuff on the right is press board and I am going to guess water resistant given the unusual green color.  I guess it’s kinda like a sub-dermal layer of the house.

That there is our house.  You can see where the  bay window will be on the left and our front door will be on the right.  It looks to me like the beams under the window are a support system that will be removed once the parts of window are assembled, but I’m not sure.  The plastic, I think, is to protect the frame and insulation from moisture, but that’s also just a guess based on watching DiY shows on PBS.

There’s the view in through the bay window.  Not very home-y right now, but you can see through what will be the living room all the way back through the kitchen.  This house is the inverse of the model so the large opening is where the door-exit to the back porch will be.

Here you are looking through into the two secondary bedrooms.  As you can see, we lack a roof at the moment, but my understanding is that is the next step.  We’re due for more snow tonight so I think it’s a good question whether they’re going to try to at least get some cover up there before that happens. “If weather allows” is the important phrase at the moment.  Once that roof goes on, the threat from weather is mostly over.


Written by Tarsus

January 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Day 13 & 19 – Utilities first, then more concrete.

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It’s a bit of a belated update here.  Holidays get in the way with regular updates, so have some holiday updates today, namely, what was wrought with the house over the holiday.

What you see there is the feed of the utilities into our abode in the form of (at that moment) empty pvc pipe.  Water, gas, and maybe electric from the utilities will come into the house via those pies.  One of them, also has the raedon venting system in it, which in the unlikely event that we have raedon helps keep it from building up inside the house.

The holiday season did not stop work on the house, and the weather cooperated enough that they were able to go from this on the 23rd:

To this one the 29th:

And we have a finished foundation.

Next up, at least in theory, is framing.  That is supposed to happen THIS WEEK according to the project manager who hasn’t mislead us yet.  So there may be another update soon with pictures of our wooden edifice.

Once we get wood, that’s a lot more like a house.  Or, at least, it’s going to LOOK like a house.  There’s a lot that goes on inside of it too obviously, but it will look like a house from the outside and that is a huge step forward.

Written by Tarsus

January 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Day 7 – Then there were walls

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As promised, they started pouring concrete yesterday (Friday, December 17th) despite the snow.  I would worry, but as I understand an observer has to come from the city to ensure that the temperature and conditions for pouring concrete are right.

The wood and metal walls you can see are the molds to hold the concrete, which will need to cure over
the next several days.

Some other things you can see in this picture:

-The two framed bits sticking out in front are where, I believe, the front steps will be.
-the long slab of concrete in the back is what was under the hay in the last picture, so you can see what that looks like.

The project manager informed me when they were doing this yesterday that if the weather cooperated they would be feeding in the water and sewer lines and pouring the slab, which you can probably tell hasn’t been done yet.

We also informed our current landlord that they had gotten started, which means they will probably be able to make the promised deadline of early March.  He’s sending over the paperwork but we’re hoping to find someone to take over the lease on 1203 Greenway on April 7th. That gives us one month to move in, which I think should be enough.

Written by Tarsus

December 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Day 1: The beginning looks like This

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This photo was taken on Saturday, December 11th, but the work you see was done on Friday the 10th, the first day of construction of our house.

What you see, according to the Project Manager, is the footer of the building.  Beneath the hay there is the concrete that will anchor the building to the ground.  If the temperature warms up enough (you can’t pour concrete if it’s too cold) they will remove the wooden frames you can see, put on new frames, and pour the foundation slab and walls for the basement later this week.  On that time table, they’ll run in the plumbing into the building next week.

More pictures to come, as things progress, but it is a start!

Written by Tarsus

December 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Getting Started after Christmas

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The new “deadline” to get started building the house is the end of December/early January.  Given that the units put up recently are almost done (their closing date is December 7th I seem to recall), that would mean that under ideal circumstances we are looking at closing sometime in early March.

Under less than ideal circumstances (meaning snow before early-mid January when framing would be complete) that could be later.

Bear in mind, that last year, Charlottesville had two ginormous snows (see snowpocalypse 2009) by that time last year.

This is my skeptical face.  Can you tell?

Written by Tarsus

November 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Still no house

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Checked on the house recently, but 814 Rockcreek Road is still just some air occupying red dirt.  There has been substantial progress on the other units, which started being built the first week in October (that’s a month ago, for those of you keeping track), but as yet there’s been not one wit of progress on our future home.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there could be substantive advantages for them finishing later.  According our landlord, it is much easier to find someone to pick up the lease on our current place the more into spring things get.  Also, thanks to some good negotiating, we’ve still locked in our low interest rate regardless of when we close (adjustments are the builder’s problem, not ours). I’m more or less just trying to get a “when” but the Project Manager, unlike the Selling Agent, doesn’t like making promises he can’t keep so I’m not going to get a “when” until they get something started.

But there’s is something in the way of things getting started, because the Selling Agent needs to sell one more unit in our building.  When that is going to happen is anybody’s guess.

Written by Tarsus

November 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Lord Dauntain Cyranal d’Lyrandar IX of Stormhome

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When it looked like I was going to end up playing the “healer” in the Eberron game that starts this evening, I knew I didn’t want to play your typical cleric.  Dauntain d’Lyrandar is my answer to that.  He’s a Favored Soul, so he’s not an ideological purist, like some clerics can be.  He’s also more influenced by his Dragonmarked Noble heritage, and intentionally something of a swashbuckling type, at least in terms of flavor.  Where I am going with this character is very up in the air right now, we will have to see as the game develops.

Lord Dauntain Cyranal d’Lyrandar IX of Stormhome

Titles: Son of the Storm Mark, Master Windwright; Doctor of the College of Churgeons; Azure Ambasador; Champion of the Skyhunt; First Captain of the Order of the Kraken; Right Honorable Justice and Bane of Corsairs, Pirates, and Thieves.

Background: Dauntain was born the son of Lord Davonyl Cyranal d’Lyrandar and Lady Beatrine Cyranal ap Hawkthrope d’Lyrandar, literally with the deck of an airship under his feet – as he was brought into this world upon his mother’s (a captain in herself) ship the Initiative in the midst of a violent thunderstorm.  This, along for a birthmark on the bottom of his foot in the shape of the icon of the Sovereign Host, marked him as something unusual even to the most jaded observer.  Named for his paternal Grandfather, he is the ninth Dauntain Cyranal, all named for the first son of Cyranal, the second child of Selavash.

If the weight of this name was intended to impress upon Dauntain some measure of the House’s expectations, it was clear from a young age that he would not disappoint.  His talent for Divine Magic manifested when he healed one of the family’s hunting hawks (his favorite) at age two.  By age five, he had manifested the Least Dragonmark of Storm (during a fight with cousin and one day rival Arugal), two years before even the youngest Lyrandar would go through the Trial of the Mark – among the youngest to manifest in the chronicles of the house, and certainly the earliest in generations.

There were disappointments.  Despite his obvious divine gifts, Dauntain had no interest in the clergy, and many a cleric of the Sovereign Host threw their arms up in frustration in his lack of interest in the rituals and dogma of religion – along with his amazing abilities to command powers that many acolytes would spend years learning.  Instead, he spend many hours skipping such lessons in the docks and shipyards of Stormhome learning all he could about being a sailor, swordplay, and the lore of the sea and sky.

More than happy to let their son embrace the family legacy, Lord and Lady Cyranal apprenticed Dauntain to the captain of the Azure, an airship under the command of Hawkeye the unmarked but house-sworn master sailor.  Once Beatrine Cyranal’s first mate, Hawkeye took the young man under his wing and found him to be an active learner and able sailor – albeit one that relied more on his generous and innate talents.  Unlike previous mentors, Hawkeye cared little about methodology as long as jobs were done, allowing Dauntain to flourish and gain plenty of experience with his abilities.

During this time, Dauntain would make both a lifelong friend and lifelong enemy.  Yasril was a more roguish crewman with a penchant for swordplay who found the young noble a more than able sparring partner and comrade.  Even long after their time on-board a ship had passed and Yasril had become entwined in the shadier dealings of House Lyrandar, the two remained close – bonded by their love of swordplay, good humor, and adventure.

On the other hand would be Arugal.  Long the butt of comparison to his talented cousin Dauntain, the once childhood roughhousing partner would grow in resentment during his own time of apprenticeship on the Azure.  For every bit that Dauntain relied on natural talent, Arugal would only achieve through hard work and study.  The only thing that would come easily to Arugal would be seething anger at the ease with which Dauntain would accomplish even difficult tasks. This would not be helped in the slightest by all the times Dauntain and Yasril would look on and jeer Arugal as he attempted to replicate his cousin’s successes.  Those barbs would leave wounds long nursed, and Dauntain would look back many times and wished he had held his youthful tongue.

Near the end of that apprenticeship, came the incident that would catapult the already noteworthy Dauntain into the limelight of House Lyrandar’s social scene.  By chance, Dauntain spotted a hidden pirate haven in the Mountains of northern Aundair, and led a daring night-time raid that would capture the pirate’s three airships and slaughter or imprison almost every member of the by then infamous Crimson Navy Pirate Gang.  This bold act earned him honors from the House and saw him suddenly the toast of parties at ports across Khorvaire.

Since that time, Dauntain has continued his adventures as a merchant marine, ship’s master, ship’s surgeon, and straightforward adventurer.  Ever the bane of pirates, he has also made a name for himself by being a consummate gentleman and the life of many social gatherings and house celebrations.  Many of his personal possessions, including his spyglass, sword, chain shirt, and shield have been presented to him by admirers or as rewards for service to the house.

Despite these things, however, Dauntain remains a man captivated by the lust for adventure and the call of the sky.  He hopes one day to command enough influence or earn enough coin to gain his own airship with which to explore the world.  This might end up being harder than it seems, for he is gregarious and generous with his money.  That said, Dauntain travels freely over the world, which what has brought him to the location where the adventure begins.

Appearance: A devilishly handsome half-elf with long wavy blond hair, carefully manicured beard, and green eyes.  His Least Dragonmark of the Storm covers the right side of his neck, reaching onto both the side of his jaw and shoulder – impossible to miss even with a high collared shirt.  Almost always well dressed, he favors the latest fashions from Stormhome with a nautical bent – generally a shirt and waistcoat, breeches, high cavalier boots, tricorn hat, and captain’s jacket.  Less noticeable is the large Kraken tattoo that covers much of his left arm, back, and side.

Written by Tarsus

October 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

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