Friday, January 08, 2010

There goes a favorite Omaha restaurant.

Tonight (thursday) the best bagel store in Nebraska, The Bagel Bin, is gone.

It caught fire around 10pm. Last I heard, it was a 3 alarm fire, and the roof had collapsed. The fire started in the Bagel Bin, and spread to a few other businesses that were in the small strip mall that it was in.

No word if anyone was inside (they cook the bagels at night). I hope no one was inside.

My mom knows the owner. We love the bagels that we got at that place. Actually made a special trip there on Christmas eve to get a dozen so that we'd have stuff for munchies over Christmas.

I hope no one was hurt, and that all the firefighters dont have any major problems fighting the fire. (they've got a big problem, the cold...dangerous windchills tonight, and high winds)

I'm going to miss the Bagel Bin if they dont rebuild. I hope she does tho...It would be sad if the only bagels available in town were from Panera. Panera's bagels are NOT bagels...that's just fancy bread. Bagel Bin made true bagels!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

(picture intensive) A remodeling project...with before and after pictures.

Earlier this fall, I started to wish I had a new desk for my computers. You'll probably understand why when I show you this.

The "Before" picture.

Scary isnt it?

You wouldnt believe all the dust that was...dusting those cabinets and pretty much everything in the room. No wonder I couldnt breathe...and interestingly enough, the dust was the SAME color as my dog's hair. (the dog has been dead since March of 2006.) I must have gotten "dog hair lung" or something. I can breathe much better, and sleep much better since we got the dust and the dog hair out of the room. (I could have built myself a brand new dog out of what I found on the floor and in the desks. I still havent cracked open my Gateway computer to clean that out. (I'm afraid to look)

So, I asked my dad if I could get a built-in desk for Christmas. Surprised the hell out of me when he said "yes.". (maybe I should have asked for a fancy new car???). So, I went to a company here in Omaha called Consolidated Kitchens & Fireplaces. There I got to pick out what kind of wood I wanted, and the desktop. A designer drew up a design for my desk that would give me a lot of nice storage, a place to hang my tv on the wall, and a nice bookcase. It was really a cool experience. It's the same company that built all the cabinets in our house when my dad bought this place in the early 2000's. They'd built a cabinet/fireplace wall for my aunt across the street last year, and I was impressed with what they did for her. Since they'd done all of our cabinetry, I figured they'd be able to match our existing woodwork too. My desk doesnt quite match the other cabinets. I purposefully wanted it to look different, but we also had a couple of linen cabinets put in that I had them match to the bathroom cabinets. The linen cabinet was supposed to be a big double sided cabinet, but it turned out that it wasnt going to fit in the space. The installer suggested that he put one half in for my linen cabinet, and he'd install the other half upstairs wherever we wanted it. (it came in two pieces, so just using half didnt make it look weird in the space. It's perfect for me)

For the desk, I wanted something that would work well in the space that I had. At the time I hadnt yet cleaned up the craptastic mess and didnt know that I actually had a lot of space under that pile of dust and crap. I knew I wanted it to fit in the corner, that way I could get the most use out of the space.

So, I had to get a friend (and a friend of his) to move one of the desks for me, they got one of the desks out of the room. The other desk just kind of sat in the room, holding me back. I went to Walgreens and bought some little plastic disks that I put under the corners of the desk and used them to slide it out of the room. Best $6 I've ever spent. The plastic sliders worked GREAT!

I'm pretty proud of the fact that I was able to move it myself. (and while I was injured too. Hurt a disc in my neck a month before) The sliders made it so easy to move the desk. (and the cabinet in the hall outside my bedroom that was going to be replaced with the built-in linen cabinet.)

The old linen cabinet is still sitting out in the middle of the family room where I dragged it. That old desk is sitting next to it, waiting (forever) for the person I gave it to to be able to come pick it up. (we have 3 feet of snow outside, so there's no moving it out thru the back door right now)

So after I got everything out, this is what it looked like

Almost empty space

Not such a scary spot now, is it?

more open space

About two weeks before Christmas, the installer showed up and started to put things together.

in progress

Here it is, laying on the floor, waiting for assembly.

Then things magically appeared on the wall.

Oooo! cabinetry!

...and on the floor

more cabinetry!

Then the really cool part. My desktop is made out of a manufactured stone. So they had to do very precise measurements to make it. They used a special digital camera and little stickers with black dots on them. The measuring guy put the dot stickers all over the desk, and took pictures of the desk.

Then he took the pictures back to his office, and loaded the pictures into a special computer program that maps out the dots and calculates the measurements for the desktop.

Dotted cabinets

More dots

...and more dots.

We now pause for Christmas...


and a blizzard.

and a blizzard... (We got TWO feet of snow in that storm!) The blizzard and Christmas both happened at the same time. It snowed from Christmas eve, until the Sunday after that. Four days of heavy snow. I really hate winter...argh!

Yesterday, my desktop arrived. It was a cold morning, and you could see the condensation on the desktop when they placed it on the desk.

desktop day

Another view...

another angle

Along with the base of the bookcase.

Base of the bookcase

Not finished, but I couldnt resist sitting at it last night.

still not finished..

Today, the installer came and finished the desk. He brought the bookcase with him, and some crown molding.

Finally, a bookcase!


Oooo! Shelves!

And here is the "after" picture.

And finished!

It's a big improvement from the "before" picture isnt it???

Tomorrow, weather permitting (it's snowing again, damnit!) they'll be coming to drill some grommet holes in the desk so that I can run power cords and keyboard cords around. Next week, my tv will be mounted on the wall in the big square shaped open space above the desk. I'm so excited with this desk. I've finally got tons of storage space in my room. I've got a grown up room now!

I'm pretty sure that I've got room for my iMac and my Gateway computer that were under all that crap on the desks in the "before" picture, along with space for me to be able to use my sewing machine without having to juggle things about for space to work. I have file cabinets to keep printouts of crochet and knitting patterns. One of the cabinets is going to be where I keep my crochet hooks and knitting needles and other yarn-ish accessories. The cabinet below the bookcase is probably going to be where I store my sewing machine when I'm not using it. Other than that, I dont know what I'm going to put in the cabinets.

My crochet and knitting books will finally have their own home on the bookcase, rather than floating around the basement.

Our house has needed to be painted since it was built (builders used paint that's more like liquid chalk, it scrapes off so easily if you look at it wrong), and after TinyMonsters left his mark (among other things) on the carpeting, we need new carpet. My dad said that I could get my room painted and some new carpeting.

I think I can get away with buying a remnant for the carpeting if I can find a good deal on something nice. Tiny had pretty much lived in my room after we moved here, and so my floor got a heck of a beating from him. So did the walls.

I want to paint my room a different color, but I'm not sure what color to use. I'm going to try to stay in the same color family as the Beige-land that we've got going on in the house, but I might try a slightly darker shade. I just need to find a painter who knows what they're doing, and decide on a carpet color other than the white that our carpet was before TinyMonsters "autographed" it. (repeatedly)

I think I'm going to wait for spring/summer to do the carpet and painting. I've had enough of construction for the time being. I think I'll have fun with picking out colors for the carpet and the paint. Plus, with all the nasty weather, I just dont feel like driving down to the carpet store or the paint store in all the snow.

This new desk is probably the nicest Christmas present my dad has ever gotten me. (I didnt get much else for Christmas because of the desk) It's also the nicest piece of furniture that I've ever had. (not sure if you can call it "furniture" if it's a permanent fixture attached to the wall) This desk is light years better than the desk he built for me when I was little. That desk was an old door he got from the hospital he worked at. He cut the door in half, sanded the wood down and stained and then attached to the wall so that I could raise and lower that desk whenever I wanted to. That was great for me at the time. :)

I think I'm going to have a blast with my new desk. I love this thing. It's making me want to go back to school so that I can do homework at it.

The installer for the desk did excellent work...didnt leave much of a mess for me to clean up. A little sawdust...

I was bummed having to wait about 3 weeks between getting the cabinetry built and getting the desktop...last week I was having second thoughts on the color of the wood...Once the desktop was installed yesterday, I felt a lot better about my color choices. It looks great. I just cant wait to get my tv off the floor and into it's new home so I wont be afraid of smashing it's just in the way where it is. Once it's off the floor I'll be able to use my Tivo again, and watch movies using my iMac and an HDMI cable on the tv.

I had a blast picking everything out for my desk. I watch a lot of those home improvement shows on HGTV with my mom, and love seeing this kind of stuff being done. So, it was cool to get to do a remodel myself. Before this, my biggest remodel that was for me was new carpeting in my room at our old house, and taking the doors off my closet and putting my tv in the closet there to give me the illusion my claustrophobic bedroom there was larger. (the illusion didnt help me much) While it was fun, it was a bit disruptive to have things torn apart for a few weeks. Especially over Christmas. It's part of the reason I didnt put up my patriotic Christmas tree. We bought a topiary tree from Sam's Club instead and I put $6 worth of plastic ornaments from Target on it with a ribbon bow on top.

I'm glad everything is done, except for my grommet holes and the hanging tv. (and the carpet and painting) I think I'm going to go to sleep now. (sorry this blog post is so huge and image intensive. I just didnt want to break it up into two posts)