Friday, November 28, 2014

And More Wallpaper

Yesterday it was another trip to Walnut Ridge in Cloverdale. We heard from the supplier that these builders just ordered a few more cases of these patterns so it looks like we will be going back a few more times.

It takes about an hour to cover a feature wall like the one above. About 4 hours to do a bathroom with everything installed. (mirrors, toilets, light fixtures, base board heaters, vanity, thermostat, and electrical covers)  A bare bathroom is about an hour or more less time. They pay by the hour so I don't mind.

It is a very attractive complex, but very crowded and the units are tall and small.

No room for a ladder but with only 7' ceilings, it does not matter. I spoke with the wallpaper salesman at our supplier's today and he said that wallpaper sales are going through the roof. With the cost of the new style patterns, nobody wants to tackle their own hanging. Fine by me! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting Repetitious

Earlier this summer we hung wallpaper in a show suite at Walnut Ridge, a townhouse complex in Cloverdale. We did the feature wall in the master bedroom and the powder room on the main floor of the three storey townhouse. The units have been selling and some of the buyers want the same wallpaper in their own unit. We went back last week to do two more. The first three photos are taken in the powder room where there were two windows to paper around as well as a toilet with little to no clearance.

The wall coverings that they chose are nice, and very easy to work with. We also have heat and hot and cold running water, something we do not take for granted on a construction site. Tomorrow we go back to do another unit.

Today we were working locally in an office complex being renovated. Here I am working in a small washroom doing a feature wall that is 12' high! It is a high end fabric backed commercial vinyl.

I was at the top of the ladder and was thankful that the gout in my foot is about 95% gone. We found the pattern match on the edge of the vinyl that allowed us to overlap and double cut the seams, meaning that they were invisible when done.

This action shot shows me double cutting the overlapped seam. There are a number of tricks to doing this successfully but when done right, it is the best seam you could possible have.
Here is the funny part. I was hanging the last piece (below) when the foreman informed me that the designer had just informed him that she wanted the pattern hung horizontally. A few years ago I would have freaked out, but today I just chuckled and said, "Too late."

The lighting was poor and the water was ice cold and from the basement, but we managed to do a great job anyway. I was happy that it was a small job.

Monday, November 10, 2014


I am more than pleased to announce that I have completed my reading of Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House'. Having read most of his novels, I must say that this is the most difficult to read and my least favourite, although I would still characterize myself as being a Dickens fan.
The story has a litigation as its undercurrent, and a portrayal of the Chancery (legal system in Britain) as being a farce. All of the numerous characters in the novel are somehow influenced by the outcome of a dispute over a will, or wills. The final day in court for the Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce case comes right at the end of the novel and just proves the point that Dickens makes and that is that the Chancery is a farce.
There are too many characters and I eventually was able to hone in on the main ones and follow their progression through the quagmire of wordiness. Dickens takes rabbit trips and indulges in lengthy descriptions and dialogues that do not further the plot nor do they develop the characters. This novel needs some heavy editing. 
I came to realize at the half-way point that I was identifying with one of the main characters. It became intensely personal and I would say that were it not for Richard and his predicament, I would have lost all incentive to finish the book. I found that his state of mind and his reaction to his circumstances was what made him the most real character in the novel. (no spoilers here) 
Other characters in the story were either a product of their time and culture, which we in the 21st century have a difficult identifying with, or an overblown imagination by the author, who while trying to create interesting individuals for his novel, ended up creating people who do not exist anywhere in reality. 
My overall impression of the story is that it is a British soap opera. This becomes evident early on, but when reading a Dickens novel, one reads not only for the story, but to discover the beauty of the English language painted by an artist of the first order. 
In this case, however, the painting is simply too large.        

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I have not posted on this blog for a while now. There are multiple reasons.

1. Connections through Facebook are more current, in real time, and diverse.

2. I have not been out photographing for many weeks now and that fact has discouraged me.

3. I am back to work after my gout episode, but still not 100% as the limping around has caused a sore back. Constant pain, no matter the grade, is wearing and discouraging.

4. I have enjoyed posting book reviews over the years, but I am stuck on a Charles Dickens novel, "Bleak House", that is sucking the joy of reading from my bones. It is the longest, most wordy novel I have ever read, but many reviewers have said that to endure is worth it in the end. I am near the end and waiting for the reward. Why do I not just put it down and be done with it? I finish what I start.

5. I am getting the winter doldrums and feel generally unmotivated at this time of the year.

6. I have been working on my photo website .

I hope to be back on track soon.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Local Elections

The municipal election champagne is heating up. The road medians and ditches are polluted with 'Vote for ME' signs and the local paper is full of ads, opinions and reports about this candidate meeting or that one.
As in all elections, there is a lot of bafflegab happening. Take the diatribe recently on Facebook by one of the incumbent counselors. There is something new in the politics of our little city, and that is an effort to elect a team of candidates instead of a full slate of so called independents. The 'Team' has been saying some things about the debt and poor management of the incumbents, and now a couple of them are striking back and calling the 'Team' liars.
What is interesting is that they are both getting their facts and figures from the same financial statements and from the same audits. Interesting how one comes up with a huge surplus and one comes up with a huge debt, all from the same columns of figures.
I will not get into how two differing opinions come from the same information, but suffice to say that the voter can be very confused about the whole thing. In the end, it comes to "who do you trust".
I truly hope that there is a greater interest in voting this time around. There is, what I perceive to be, a distinct opportunity to do things a little differently at the municipal level in our city. If we all do our homework and our research, and get out and vote, perhaps there will be some change. If new blood and new ideas do not pan out, we can always vote the good old boys back in next time.
PS: The claim by our mayor is that our home owner taxes have not increased in the last year. Maybe one of the counselors  could tell me why I am paying $400.00 more this year than last. A real smooth talker might be able to convince me that I am actually paying $400 less.