Archive for the ‘Visitors’ Category

Mocking Up the Atrium Lights and Celebrating Scott’s Birthday

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

After watching Kate’s soccer game and then having lunch, Bryan and Scott Andersen went to the job site to work on the lights in the Atrium.

It was Scott’s birthday today so we took Scott and Sue Therrien to Nick’s on Main for dinner.

Mocking Up the Lights in the Atrium

We’ve been working with Randall Whitehead on the lighting plan for the  house.  He has explained to Bryan, in no uncertain terms, that each room, including the Atrium, should have the four layers of lighting: ambient, task, accent and decorative.  In working with Bryan, Randall has suggested alternative fixtures to use and, of those alternatives, recommended which fixture he prefers.

In reviewing the Atrium, Randall had recommended strongly that we include decorative fixtures.  Our overriding design concept has been ‘clean and simple’ and emphasizing function over form.  By definition, decorative fixtures do not provide much function although they can often provide accent lighting.  So, we still haven’t made a decision on the decorative fixture(s) for the Atrium.

When creating the lighting design plan, Randall recommended a number of Artemide fixtures in various locations.  To really understand how the fixtures would look, Anita Synovec, who works with Randall, arranged for Bryan to visit the Artemide showroom in San Francisco and Bryan toured the showroom on August 30, 2011.

While in the showroom, there were several fixtures that caught Bryan’s attention.  All of the Artemide fixtures have a decorative element to them, and several fixtures that were of Bryan’s interest were not on Randall’s list of alternatives.  This was no surprise as decorative fixtures are very much a personal preference and it takes a significant amount of interaction with another person to understand their personal preferences.

Bryan has always admired Scott Andersen’s eye for design and Bryan’s personal preferences are very much aligned with Scott’s personal preferences.  So, when Scott and Sue were in San Francisco on Friday morning, Bryan asked then to go through the Artemide showroom and look at fixtures.  Then, when they walked through the house on Friday and Saturday, they could identify additional decorative fixture alternatives.

Last night, over dinner (and wine) at Steamer’s Grillhouse, Scott and Bryan reviewed the lighting plan and what Scott had seen in the Artemide showroom earlier that day.  After some discussion, Scott sketched out how three Mouette fixtures could be mounted in the Atrium.  The three different Mouette fixtures are the Asymmetrical, Symmetrical and Mini.

This discussion continued over lunch today and Scott recommended that we mock up how three Mouette fixtures could be arranged in the Atrium. 

Then, Bryan and Scott spent several hours at the job site and, using cardboard and string, made a mockup of how the three Mouette fixtures could work. Of course, having ‘objects’ for decorative fixtures in 3D modeling software, such as Autodesk’s BIM software (see Green Building) could be used to ‘see’ what the lights look like when designing a house.

And it was time for dinner …

Celebrating Scott’s Birthday at Nick’s on Main

With Jo-Anne back in town after spending several days closing the quarter in Boston, we all went for dinner at Nick’s on Main.  Last year, we were in Toronto on October 1, 2010 to celebrate Scott’s birthday.

We arrived and enjoyed a glass of J Cuvee 20 NV Russian River Valley sparkling wine on the sidewalk while waiting for our table.  After moving inside to our table, we had an excellent dinner with a magnum of Chateau Montelena 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Napa Valley.  The wine was spectacular.

Scott, using the temporary deck as a craft table, cuts some cardboard to mock up the smallest Mouette fixture. Scott on the ladder hanging the cardboard mockup of the smallest Mouette fixture in the Atrium.

 

Scott on the ladder hanging the cardboard mockup Mouette fixture in the Atrium.

 

 

Continung, Scott hangs the second cardboard mockup Mouette fixture in the Atrium.

 

The two carboard mockups look excellent!

In order to visualize the placement of the three fixtures, Scott used a string line from the temporary deck to the celing.

Bryan, Jo-Anne, Sue and Scott enjoying a glass of sparkling wine in the alley next to Nick's on Main.

 

Enjoying dinner with Scott and Sue at Nick's on Main. Happy Birthday Scott!

 

Hosting Bob Wise’s Inspection

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Since Bob Wise was in the Bay Area today, he had phoned in advance to schedule an inspection.  Bob has been a mentor throughout our construction and has inspected our progress on a regular basis.

Bob lives on Bainbridge Island in a house that he had built a couple years ago.  Bob’s first inspection of our project was on March 12, 2009 and he stood in the Wine Cellar.  Bryan toured Bob’s homes on February 26 and 27, 2010, when Bryan was returning from seeing the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Recently, Bob advised us on conduit for our low-voltage wiring throughout the house.

It was great to host Bob’s visit.

Bob Wise pushes the button to close the sliding glass doors at the back of the house.

Bob Wise, standing in the Wine Cellar. Very different from the first time Bob stood in the Wine Cellar!

Bob Wise, on the roof, inspecting the solar panels. Nothing like a blue-sky California day to generate electricity!

 

Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Uncle D

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Darryl returned to Calgary today.  He had arrived from Canada on Friday, September 9 and had visited the job site.

We were pleased to host Uncle D’s visit and were very sad to say goodbye …

Darryl and Kate ...

Nik and Darryl, with the fixed gear bike that Darryl helped Nik to assemble.

 

 

Going for Another Ride in a Tesla Roadster

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Steve Chambers was in town for some brief meetings and had a small window of time in his schedule.  Steve took advantage of that window to take Bryan for a quick test drive in a Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport.

Previously, on August 3, 2011, Bryan had been for a test drive with Shel Schumaker, when they went over Highway #17 to Scott’s Valley.

Steve wanted to drive across Highway #237 to see the new Tesla manufacturing plant, where the Model S sedans will be assembled.  Tesla bought the former NUMMI plant and is now changing it over so they can start manufacturing cars in 2012.  The Tesla Model S was designed with Autodesk’s software and is an excellent example of Autodesk’s commitment to, and focus on, Green Building.  Autodesk has some great images of the Model S and a case study of how their software was used during the design process.

Before going for dinner, Steve dropped by our project site with Jo-Anne and walked the property.  Steve had visited our project site on March 17, 2010.  He was impressed with progress and thought it was coming along nicely.  But, as Steve is a tough marker, he was moste certainly not impressed with the glacial speed of the project.

We’re sure Steve will not forget his first ride in a Tesla …

Steve Chambers, smiling after a test drive in a Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport. Steve is in front of the former NUMMI plant, where the Model S will be manufactured.

 

Bryan needed to have his picture taken, too.

 

Steve and Jo-Anne, visiting the site before dinner. Steve, dressed in all black, had just opened the sliding glass door at the back of the house and then his phone rang ...

 

 

 

Hosting the Walters’ Site Visit

Friday, November 26th, 2010

During Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, Worth and Lena Walters and their son, Andreas, asked about our renovation/construction project.  Actually, everyone did.

We offered to host a site visit today and the Walters showed up promptly at 3:00 pm.  Jo-Anne arrived a couple minutes later with two bottles of cabernet sauvignon (leftovers from last night).

The Walters had a good visit and stayed until it got too cold.  And, the wine was gone.

Jo-Anne and Lena in the Kitchen.

Jo-Anne and Lena Walters in the Kitchen.

Touring the lower level, with the home theatre in the background.

Touring the lower level, with the home theatre in the background.

Finishing the tour and going upstairs (from left), Andreas Walters, Lena Walters (looking cold), Jo-Anne and Worth Walters.  The glasses were empty (not even half empty).

Finishing the tour and going upstairs (from left), Andreas Walters, Lena Walters (looking cold), Jo-Anne and Worth Walters. The glasses were empty (not even half empty).

Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Our good friend, Paul Marcaccio, came to California for his 13th Thanksgiving.  Paul has involved with our project from the start, and even has a set of work boots and tool belt here in California.  For example, Paul helped build the temporary deck over the swimming pool (December 7, 2008), identify where the stairs should go (July 26, 2009), and put the deck on the the bridge over the atrium (November 28, 2009).

After picking up coffee and bagels, Bryan and Paul walked through the job site.

Paul approved of progress to date.  He did, as everyone else does, ask about the completion date.

Let’s not go there Paul …

Celebrating Thanksgiving

After reviewing the job site, Bryan and Paul assembled the new turkey cooker that Jo-Anne bought.  She bought the ‘Big Easy Infrared Turkey Fryer‘ from Char-Broil.  We cooked one turkey, with traditional stuffing, in the oven and the second turkey was cooked using the new turkey fryer.

The new turkey fryer worked perfectly!  Jo-Anne gave Bryan and Paul explicit instructions on how she wanted the turkey fryer to be ‘seasoned’ prior to cooking our first turkey with it.  They followed her instructions without any questions.

We had some 16 adults and 12 children to celebrate a great year.  We have much to be thankful for and were absolutely delighted to have so many good friends with us to celebrate.

Next year, Thanksgiving will be at 17509 Via Sereno …

Current state of Guest Suite with plumbing roughed in and sliding glass doors being installed.

Current state of Guest Suite with plumbing roughed in and sliding glass doors being installed.

With the sun very low in the sky, a sliver of sunshine lands on the floor in Nik Bedroom.  Considering that the floor is nine feet below grade, this is amazing.  Of course, when the sun is higher in the sky, the generous overhangs will block the sunlight from coming into Niks Bedroom.

With the sun very low in the sky, a sliver of sunshine lands on the floor in Nik's Bedroom. Considering that the floor is nine feet below grade, this is amazing. Of course, when the sun is higher in the sky, the generous overhangs will block the sunlight from coming into Nik's Bedroom.

During his review of the project, Paul received several telephone calls (it wasnt a holiday in Canada).

During his review of the project, Paul received several telephone calls (it wasn't a holiday in Canada).

The turkey is cooking nicely in our new Big Easy Infrared Turkey Fryer.

The turkey is cooking nicely in our new Big Easy Infrared Turkey Fryer.

A couple of turkeys ...

A couple of turkeys ...

A couple of turkeys ...

A couple of turkeys ...

Ready for Thanksgiviing - Pia Staab (left), Lena Worth (center), and Jo-Anne Sinclair.

Ready for Thanksgiviing - Pia Staab (left), Lena Walters (center), and Jo-Anne Sinclair.

A kitchen full of guys.  Note there are several animated discussions underway, with Worth Walters and David Staab on the left, and Jim O'Brien and Paul Marcaccio on the right.

A kitchen full of guys. Note there are several animated discussions underway, with Worth Walters and David Staab on the left, and Jim O'Brien and Paul Marcaccio on the right.