Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dissolve Disolvution

  The stove has been removed from the cabin.  It is a mighty symbol of independence, or is it not, now that it serves no need, sates no hunger?  Perhaps it's a relic?  No, all the ashes have been removed, it houses no remains.  It does have the patina of age.  Rust, soot, oil.  The only thing that betrays its false age is the shiny chrome handle for the door and also perhaps the modern warning label riveted to its face.
  One of the chimney sections too came with a warning label of some kind, but it was burned to oblivion during the first fire.  That primary blaze which I had been so excited for filled the entire cabin with putrid, black smoke.  Ironically, this label cautioned the user on many points but contained no instructions regarding removal before use.  At first, I thought that once the chimney warning label was removed the smoke would stop.  This was not the case.  The smoke sublimed off the surface of the chimney itself, the black shiny paint melting, burning, and finally curing matte black, like watching glaze in a kiln transform into enamel.  It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but mostly so.
  Subsequent fires became larger, longer and hotter and this annealing process rose up the dark pillar until the whole indoor section of the chimney had burned up to its current flat black finish.
  The rain sometimes came in.  First, the chimney support box at the roof line filled with water and leaked.  This was before the slip collar was installed.  Even after, driven rain worked its way under the chimney cap, through the spark arrestor and down the tunnel on many occasions.  Last year there was a lot of rain.  Snow too.  I still feel lucky that I didn't fall off shoveling the roof, a precaution from leaks.  
  The only other leak came during Spring.  It was on the backside of the house, the side adjacent to Outlaw Gallery.  In that case, long storms had soaked the roof edge and water trickled under the shingles along the plywood sheathing, finally finding a release in a small gap in the styrofoam ceiling.  The remedy in this case was to apply a bead of asphalt sealant on the edge of the shingles.  I guess that needed a drip edge like the one on the bottom of the roof as well.
  The best way to keep the rain out was with fire.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two Seasons Later: Cabin Re-cap (by popular demand!)

  Hey All,
Well, it's six months later.  The house is still standing and doing just what it does.  It's doing it right now.

  I officially moved into the main house during the wintertime, into Emily's old room.  Emily's room was ideal in every way.  It had heat, was heated, and was warm even when it was cold outside.  Among this, the home's former diner room offered a view of the backyard and cabin, was accessible from the outside, and kitchen-adjacent!  

A sunny winter day in the cabin
was really wonderful.  The south-
facing wall caught a lot of light.
Sadly, holding a full-time
job left me very little light
during these months.
The experience had by this
point taught me the importance of
calling in sick when my mind and
body demanded it.  I highly
suggest everyone do the same,
today maybe.  Call in
tomorrow, have a
good breakfast.

  Keeping the cabin warm during the nighttime was very difficult.  Conserving fuel limited my time in the house and my insulation methods were lacking.  I had never hung the new door, never replaced the windows, and would find large holes letting in cold air on a daily basis.  My bed, previously a plywood plank that doubled as a work table (see bed in table mode in photo right), was substituted with used couch cushions lined up at the foot of the hearth.  Sleeping directly in front of the fire was perfect in that I could add wood to the stove without getting up, losing body heat and in which clearing the table became unnecessary.  I was also losing a lot of body heat out the bottom of bed/table, which was completely uninsulated.  The floor was very warm and dry.
Hauling wood home every day was a serious chore, and having fires with friends sparked anxiety as I watched a few nights' worth of wood being burned in a few hours.  

Sophie stays warm by the light

We had an epic New Year's Eve party prior to my retirement to more conventional living quarters.  It was a beautiful night full of friends, drink and fire.   A year of haves and have-nots ended with an abundant chorus of popping champagne corks, coating the ceiling of the kitchen with bubbly effervescence.  As many pointed out, "It was literally raining champagne!".  That night the stove in the cabin burned long and hot with resident fashion designer Brian Stanziale manning the tinder.  It was undoubtedly the hottest it has ever been in the little shack, and my guests appropriately responded by consuming food and drug in decadent quantities.  We started cooking steak chili before dawn and it was done near sunrise as I finished up a cat-nap.  Yum.

Coming Next:  Snow gives way to Spring

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Still Winter


It's cooooold out!    

Blog followers, you may be disappointed to hear that you'll have to continue to wait before being regaled with tales from the outskirts of normality, but your patience will be rewarded.  In the meantime, I'll give you a little tease from the past few months.

by the way, i hate this new blog editor.  what the hell is going on?  oh well, at least I don't need the internet to eat snow-chilled pineapple while in a hammock.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Quick Update While He's Away

Hola Amigos.

The house has been running strong since the thanks-giving post.  It's mostly warm when the fire is burning, there's a new door that will be installed inside the old one tonight, and we're having a New Year's Eve party Thursday night.

I would like to say that an update is coming with loads of pictures, video, and megaphone crooning, but that is only one thing of many things that could happen in the near future.


If you make it over on New Year's Eve- ask to see the brand new, extremely alternative artspace Outlaw Gallery.  If you are an artist or creative, submit work to

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wes's House featured on Tiny House Blog!

Hey All,
Please check out Tiny House Blog today!  You won't be disappointed, probably.

photo by Patrick Hughes

This is a good time to give thanks (even if it wasn't Thanksgiving Eve, I'd use those words) to everyone who has made the last few months of life absolutely incredible.  You have no idea how much you all mean to me!  

Thank you (in some particular order that isn't well defined) Emily, Will, Arone, Vassia, Julie, Patrick, the Steves, Neal, Adam, Karolina, Vi, Jana, Darla, Myla, Amanda, Brian, Aaron, the Beach, my Parents, my Family, Paul, Gary, Drea, Lola, John, Krysta, Katy, Jose, the hardworking men and women of Home Depot, my bike, the weather, Crystal and her family, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Sophie, Levi, Anita, Chloe, Hans, Oliver and Mountain, Gosh and Tommy,  other Oliver, Rachael, Susan, and the countless people that have made my experience here not only memorable, but cherished, as fleeting as these moments are!  

We've come a long way, baby.  I love you all.

I know your name isn't there, but it's not because I don't care, sorry!

Here are a few more! - Liz, Luke, Nate, Amolia, Omar, Pepper, Ben, other Ben, Marilyn, Amy, Teal, Sebastian, other Aaron, Matthew, ... Marcel, SITA and Maureen, Stephanie, Laura, Ramona, Brandon, Eric, Julia, David, ...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Other Events

I'm going to try to fashion a blurry time line of other notable happenings in the past few weeks...


Everything that comes to mind does not belong on this blog.

Oh yeah!  I started blocking in the open gaps where the rafters meet the outer walls with left-over styrofoam from the ceiling.  The blocks are being sealed with PL-300, the same foamboard adhesive that I used on the floor.  The great thing about this particular product is the color!  It is usually a nice light blue, similar to robin's egg.  It belongs in the same color family as the green grout and reminds me of Tron.  All places in which exposed stryofoam will join with any other material will be sealed with this stuff.  It looks good.

There are so many different adhesives made by PL that I may have to use some new materials to have a reason to have more colorful lines defining the edges of my home (I just sent PL a message thanking them for their product.  Ironically, their slogan is "Unseen, but not Unnoticed."  I am proving them half-wrong).

Sloan NYC fashion designer Brian Stanziale bought me a cast iron skillet a few weeks ago as a house-warming gift.  We cooked over the outside fire and it was goooood.  In fact, it felt just like our summer cabin-camping trip except with less rain.  We made a stir-fry with onion, pepper, chicken and some other stuff.  There was no need to season the dish at all, but we poured some Southern Comfort on top to make a bunch of pretty flames anyways.  We stayed up late and drank and smoked a lot.  Will was chillin', and Emily and Arone got home some time and hung out for a while too.  We made stove-top espresso on the wood stove indoors and roasted marshmellows.  It was by far the hottest the cabin has been ever.  Very early in the morning we got up and made sausage.  Boom.

The extremely drafty front door has had some minor improvements.  There is a lock, and the major gaps have been blocked up with the frame shop scraps.  It still needs a lot of love.  At night, I stuff a bunch of fake fur around the edges to stop the draft.  It works alright.

I bought an electric guitar on a gray Saturday afternoon.  At the time, it was important that I started recording a song as soon as possible, but nothing got done that day.  That was also iron skillet day methinks.

Will and I played Mariokart 64 outside last weekend.  It was sweet.  The game station stayed set up all evening, and I had a nice group of visitors over for the first time.  We had more fire stir-fry and more impressive, Beef Ribs as a second dinner.  Later Brian and I made s'mores.  We didn't have graham crackers, so we used powered donuts instead.  LIVING!

I'll edit this and add photos later.  bedtime!