Doors are complicated.

This past weekend my father in law came over and we worked aggressively on building the doors for this biggest of big summer projects: The Shed of 2015.

Prior to the final website post which will hopefully show up next week (if I’m done with the shed by then), here’s a quick approximation of the amount of time for each portion of this project:

Foundation: 18 hrs
Framing: 20 hrs (almost entirely prep time)
Siding and roofing: 8 hrs
Shingling: 12 hrs
Windows: 6 hrs
Trim: 12 hrs
Door: 8 hrs
Trips back and forth from the local hardware store to pick up the random forgotten fastener: 7000 hrs

The most surprising part so far? THE DOORS TOOK AN ENTIRE DAY TO BUILD.

I’m stunned at how complicated doors are. Granted, the doors that I designed were a bit more elaborate than your run of the mill plywood doors. These were constructed as tongue and groove cedar planks with z-battens on the back and attractive trim-stuffs on the front. BUT STILL! A whole day for two 24″ wide doors? I’m genuinely surprised.

So what’s left before I can post the full recap? Not too much. Corner trim, door hardware, and edge trim for the exterior. The interior only requires some final window work, peg-board, and perhaps a shelf or two.

We are CLOSE.


There was a beautiful lunar eclipse on Monday night and to celebrate Jen and I invented a delicious treat: The MoonShake.

It’s a milk shake topped with a round brownie. This one was a peanut butter milkshake, but it doesn’t have to be. Any vanilla based ice cream shake would do the trick.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking.




We now have a new tradition. Lunar eclipses will never be dull again.


Annnnnd we’re back!

This extended leave was brought to you by the WordPress 4.3.1 automatic update.

It’s almost comical. Every update that I do on WordPress seems to corrupt a file. The tragedy is that each of my attempts to fix the problem leaves small relics of disorganization inside my website’s organizational structure. My database is starting to look like those houses on the Horders TV show.

That said, I’m glad to be back. I have a few key posts in the works including THE SHED POST. Stay tuned.

Christmas decorations

I saw a house this morning that had its Christmas tree up. So many people get angry at early decorations, but when it’s still summer and someone puts up their Christmas tree you have to applaud their dedication to the holiday.

Beautifully gross.

You know what’s a weird question to answer:
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever thrown up?

Much easier is it to answer the question:
What’s the most disgusting place you’ve ever thrown up?

Word Origin

Every once in awhile I am stunned at the origin of an extremely obvious word. This week’s word?


I didn’t interact with hummingbirds until Jen and I put up a feeder last summer. It was a huge success and we regularly have a couple hummingbirds either sitting at or hovering around the feeder. Recently, we were sitting on the deck and a hummingbird flew up and hovered in front of us.

Only then did I realize that hummingbirds hum.

Long Flights vs. Short Flights

For me there is one very particular difference between a long and a short flight. It’s more potent then the time in the air, the TV in the back of the seat in front of you, the jet lag or the mediocre dinner options (“and for you sir? Pasta mush or chickenish bits?”)

It’s acknowledgment of the length.

On a 2-4 hour flight, I’m constantly looking at the time. How close are we? How much longer before descent? Why is this coffee so bad? For a 10-15 hour flight, I’ve skipped over the first four stages of grief and started right in at Acceptance. I’m cool with this flight. I know I’m going to be here for what seems like forever so let’s just try and enjoy the ride. Yeah, my seat is absurdly uncomfortable and I’m suffering from dehydration but this was expected. Oh, what? Well would you look at that! Only 6 hours left!

The same can be said about my current home project: Shed Construction.

The patio? the vegetable garden? Both small projects compared to this shed. Each of those small endeavors was a trial of sanity as I struggled with not meeting my personal deadlines and going over budget. But the shed? This is a PROJECT. It’s HUUUUUGE. It feels a lot like a 15 hour flight. This is going to take forever and it’s going to cost way more than I expect. So let’s just go with it!

I started planning the shed maybe 6 weeks ago. It’s been a slow trudge through the planning process: picking designs, buying supplies, and eventually starting construction. I’ve had help the entire way which has made everything much more pleasant. Dad D assisted with the foundation, Jen with the wood prep, and my father in law (Dad G) with the framing. It has been genuinely fun. Admittedly my scheduling has been overambitious but the project keeps heading towards its destination and right now I’ll likely get there before the first snow fall. And even if it goes past that? Totally cool. I recognize that this is the biggest construction project I’ve yet embarked on.

If you’re considering building a shed, I strongly encourage you to proceed. It’s far different from typical home projects and mostly in a good way.


I have a question.

Regularly when I interact with strangers they comment on my obviously Italian last name. It almost always comes from a fellow Italian and usually takes its form as some sort of positive association occasionally with Italian language thrown in.

“An Italian! Molto Bene!”
“Ahhh, your name ends in a vowel. That’s always a good thing.”
“DiDonato! Excellent name!”

Really, these are pretty odd statements. I always presumed that they were just a form of small talk focusing on a shared characteristic. But recently I wondered: do other cultural names illicit the same kind of responses? If you’re last name is Muller do Germans on the street applaud your shared heritage? How about French with Archambault or Irish with O’Sullivan?

Any experience on this matter from the readership?