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Carl Wiens
December 2007
Getting ready for the Show
posted:
All set up and settled in
Not a gallery, or the big time. I'm talking about the annual family production known as Christmas.

A little drywall knowledge is a dangerous thing. If you know how to do it, then there is no reason to call in somebody else to do it for you. I have resurfaced most of the walls in my home, over a century old with plenty of cracked plaster and botched renovations inherited from previous owners. Good frame though. Nice lines with lots of beautiful woodwork and trim.

When the heating ducts were installed in 1970, the owners thought they could save a bit of scratch. Rather than bury the ducts in the walls, somebody ripped a few holes top and bottom. Nothing wrong with a galvanized metal stacks is there? My blood pressure would rise everytime I saw them. I never went into the front of the house. Kids domain. Let them run amok and do what their worst.

This fall I decided to tackle the beast and make things right. The boys are bigger now and their hands are relatively jam-free. Work slowed a bit so I decided to take the leap. A nice leisurely pace to it all. At one point in mid-November I found myself saying 'plenty of time before Christmas to get this done'.  As soon as the words were past my lips I knew I was jinxed. Plenty of unforeseens along the way - a large hole in my foundation, a huge swath of knob-and-tube wiring and a 10 day wait for the electrician to show. Plus a heap of new assignment work that was too good to say no to (This Old House was one of the big ones, very appropo). Time ran short and the pressure notched up bit by bit. Not that it was all bad. Three beers and an ipod can make taping and mudwork a breeze. Weather cold enough to get the pints incredibly chilled on the front porch. Getting everything together finally.

I went for a massage yesterday and then took a hot bath. Last night I went to a party and then got a good nights' sleep. Let the festive season begin!
I'm rather good at ripping things apart
before - in the process of burying the ductwork
Flekker standing guard atop the drywall
a friend of mine took a look and called it 'divorce dust'
Kim helping out late at night.
after - time to trim the tree!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Winter Chills
posted:
Baby, it's cold outside.. here's the rink setup before the chill set in
An unusually cold winter is forecast this year for large portions of North America. Weather experts cite the Oceanic cooling effects of La Niña, while everyone else blames it on Canada.

The downside of this is whiteouts, slopping through shin-deep slush, scraping your windshield and, of course, shivering. Flipside of the same coin is slipping, sliding, skating, skiing, tobogganing and just plain frolicking in all that snow and ice. Throw a log on the fire and cook up some hot chocolate for the kids.

When your morning commute is a forty foot walk to the studio, winter doesn't look so intimidating. I change my mindset this time of year and sock in to the studio for some serious assignment work. I tend to loose my focus in the summer and book off as much time as I can. Now is the time to get to work. On the ice rink.

A couple of weeks ago I put up the boards. A beautiful sunny day. Glad I got to it then because the ground is frozen solid right now. The wind is whipping snow past my window. My son Lucas wants to know when the rink will be ready--  we could have a nice one for Christmas this year.

I'll keep you posted.

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