gorfram's Profile

Display Name: gorfram
Member Since: 3/4/11

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Proposed dialogue:

Leti: "Oh, dear. I'm so sorry to have to tell you, but the lighting fixture has suffered a dreadful accident. I was cleaning my cricket bat, and I had no idea that it was loaded, and - ... well, of course I'll pay to replace the fixture."

Landlord: "Well, uh -"

Leti: "I saw something comparable at (big box store of choice) the other day. I could install myself, unless you'd rather send your electrician around."

Landlord: "Well, uh -"

Leti: "Oh, good. Thanks for being so understanding. Bye."


What Do I Do with this Ugly Light Fixture? Good Questions
7/8/13 12:10 PM

Dimensions! Dimensions! For the love of anything at all, give me dimensions!

I need to know if your item will fit in my apartment and, almost more importantly, whether it will fit into my car.

And photos. In focus, with the item clearly visible. Preferably more than one, and preferably with some object (ruler, coffee cup, cat...) to give me an idea of scale. I don't mind if the item is chock full of crap and clutter as long as I can see what I'm being asked to buy. (Although if you're asking $400 for it, I'd hope for more and better pics of a cleaner item than if you're asking $15.)

And if I'm coming to see it, please give me a heads-up about any tricky directions or parking (and if it's okay for me to park in your driveway, please say so).

I play it straight and honest, and quickly skip over Craigslister's who don't appear to be doing the same.


Craigslist Buying and Selling Etiquette
7/2/13 02:40 PM

First, clean the upholstery (and do check for bedbugs).

Then, go with Knacked's soft turquoise or mid-tone purple walls, and make everything else crisp, cool and colorful.

I might even pull out and isolate one of the motifs from the pattern (like the big flower with the trailing stem), and copy it into a bold piece of wall art (maybe even a botanical print style triptych of the big flowers, to be hung on any wall *not* shared with the couch).


Can This Obnoxious Couch Work? Good Questions
7/2/13 02:04 PM

I'm not sure what the energy star website is getting at with "over-aircondtioned rooms can feel clammy." IMHE, they've always just felt cold, sometimes blissfully so. (OTOH, none of my HE has been in particularly humid areas, so YMMV.)

Back in the "Mad Men" days when nobody was all that worried about energy efficiency, the engineering rule-of thumb was "Figure out how much AC you should needs based on all the environmental factors, and then double it." Not sure I'd recommend that, but I'd maybe add 10% for each environmental factor (south-facing, top floor, unshaded, uninsulated, high difference between outdoor & desired indoor temp, sweaty high-metabolic-rate roommates who always forget the ice), and then another 10% for luck.


What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?
7/2/13 03:38 AM

You can try hiding it; and then re-do it later if it's still driving you crazy, strategically draped philodendron not withstanding.

But you've got a worse problem: YOU'RE HIDING YOUR FUSE BOX!!!

Imagine that there's a fire in your apartment. Imagine it's an electrical fire. Some brave and probably thoroughly hunkalicious firefighter races into your apartment, eager to fight the fire, rescue you, your roommate and your philodendron, but - he can't find the fuse box.

He can't fight the fire with the wires still live with electricity, and while he's looking for your cleverly hidden fuse box, the fire gets out of control and... well, all sorts of bad things can happen in that sort of scenario.

What to do about being stuck with an ugly fuse box/breaker box/electrical panel in the middle of your gallery wall? That's probably another Good Question.


How To Hide Uneven Picture Ledge? Good Questions
7/2/13 03:20 AM

- Outdoor awning or shade over windows
- Screen of vines or other plant foliage over windows
- Tint windows with heat blocking film
- blackout shades or blinds
- blackout curtains
- double window fan that can vent with one fan and exhaust with the other (has worked wonders(!) in the single, south-facing window of my boxy little studio apt)

- open everything to cool mornings & evenings, shut up to keep cool in during day.
- turn every possible machine or appliance off
- cross ventilation (similar to chimney effect) - open door or window on hotter side, another on cooler side
- plants respire water into the air. Water evaporates, absorbing heat in the process. Put plants everywhere, and especially everywhere on the west/south side of things. (And water the heck out of them in hot weather.)

- clean your house, take up area rugs, put away knickknacks and bric-a-brac. Switch out any "warm" red/yellow/orange items you can for "cool" blue/green/violet items. It'll seem cooler.
- and leave all non-essential lights off. It'll seem cooler.

- wear only all natural fabrics (cotton, linen, rayon, silk)
- shower early, shower often.
- drink lots of cool water

- tuck an ice pack under the crown of your hat
- put a wet bandana in the freezer. After ten minutes, take it out and put it against the back of your neck, wrapping it around as it unfreezes. Repeat as necessary.
- wear as little as possible.
- watch "cold" movies like "Dr. Zhivago", "Touching the Void," or "Ice Station Zebra."


Energy Efficient Non-AC Options for Keeping Cool? Good Questions
6/28/13 10:42 PM

@snarklark/splintercell,

Glad to know that you resolved this the difficult, honest, ultimately-relationship-strengthening way. (Also glad that The Angel of the Flaming Side-Boob has permanently departed your environs.)

This post and the response to it reminds me of a (probably way too good to be true) story:
Someone did a personality survey of HIV/AIDS patients back when life with HIV tended to be "nasty, brutish, and short." Only one significant difference was found between those who succumbed quickly and those who survived and had a decent quality of life for a meaningful length of time: the survivors all knew how to deal with receiving an unwanted gift.


How To Live With a Gift Print That's Totally Not My Style? Good Questions
6/26/13 06:59 PM

Really, the better thing would be to tell him how uncomfortable this makes fell, and why. But if you were going to do that, you'd have done it already.

Second best:

Take this thing wa-a-ay over the top, and make this bathroom your neon-skull-in-party-hat and ridiculously-endowed-child-angel-engulfed-in-fart-flames central. Get towels, rug, shower curtain on neon colors, with kitsch themes where possible (do they make a toothbrush/paste holder where the toothbrushes go in a skull's eye sockets and the toothpaste tube in the empty grinning jaw?).

Make a gallery wall of all the tacky garish art you can find - be sure to throw in at least one sad clown and/or a big-eyed kitten on black velvet. Tuck in a Norman Rockwell print somewhere for ironic comment on all the rest of your ironic commentary.

It'd help ease the embarrassment surrounding the one individual print, BF might (maybe) eventually figure what's so tacky about all that tacky stuff, and - even if nothing else- it'd be sure to wake you up in the morning. :)


How To Live With a Gift Print That's Totally Not My Style? Good Questions
6/25/13 08:17 PM

From the "Don't Tell My Landlord Dept." -

I do most of my DIY projects in my bathtub. It's big and usually empty and very easy to hose things down with my handheld shower attachment.

This does sometimes mean showering with my more waterproof projects, or moving the more delicate ones out of the tub so I can shower, and then back in so I have room to stand at the sink. And the bathroom can take on a very "Yankee Woodshop" look while I'm working on something.

I only ever use non-toxic and zero-VOC paints & finishes, and finding a decently safe stripper is an ongoing quest (I mostly use rubbing alcohol, sandpaper, and elbow grease). Spray paint is just not an option.

I am religious about sweeping up dry debris before hosing the bathub down (with one of those super-hair-catcher drain-strainers in place), followed by drain maintenance with baking soda & vinegar.


How Do You Make Space for a DIY Project in a Small Apartment? Good Questions
6/5/13 12:18 AM

I'll chose a different bone to pick: "...dating a caveman?"

My BF is an utter (and FWIW, utterly unwealthy) minimalist. He has a futon, a dresser and a old wooden crate that his tv sits on. Decorwise, he makes Jerry Brown look like Librace (post-boomers may need to google the aforementioned).

It is I, not whom I date, who has the apartment full of clutter. Good things, things that will be good things when they are repaired/restored/rehabbed/revamped, mediocre things serving in the place of the good things waiting to be returned to their full use and glory...

...Hmmm. Apparently I need to dump Mr. Minimal and take up with a professional furniture restoration specialist. ;)

(PS. And yes, Cubby nailed it with the rabbit fur comment.)


Apartment Therapy On Why Not To Date a Caveman
6/4/13 04:31 AM

(Just to add - I'm all normal and safe now, or at least about as much so as anyone else. And AFAIK, so are whoever happen to be the current residents of a perfectly serviceable 1950's tract bungalow in NoName City, US State.)


Would You Live in a Home that was the Scene of a Crime?
6/3/13 03:22 AM

In a heartbeat.

People die: it's a part of life. People kill each other, sometimes gruesomely and/or in multiple numbers - it's a part of human nature. The only way to live in a house where nothing bad had ever happened would to be the first resident in a brand new construction (and with my luck, a place like that would probably turn out to be on the site of an old Native American graveyard or battleground, or something.)

I live in an apartment complex reserved for the elderly and disabled, and there generally are about three or four deaths a year in my building. I'm the eight tenant of my apartment, and although I'm told that Tenant #7 moved out to go in a nursing home, I expect that at least one or two of my other six "serial roommates" died here. I sat down and thought about that for a bit right before I moved in, said a prayer for them, and haven't really given it any thought since.

The one house in which I would never live, on a street I do not like, in a town I would strongly prefer never to visit again, is the one in which I survived a childhood with an abusive father. That one I would be just as happy to see burned to the ground.


Would You Live in a Home that was the Scene of a Crime?
6/3/13 02:45 AM

@life abundant-

I have good luck cleaning/polishing copper (after a good initial scrub with dish soap and baking soda) with the cut face of a lemon dipped in salt, and/or with catsup. The lemon I just use like a scrub brush, catsup I apply & let sit for 20 min to an hour and then wipe off with paper towels.

Do test in a small inconspicuous area first: YBMVFRMC (your brass may vary from my copper).


The Ultimate Used Furniture Cleaning Kit
5/30/13 07:47 AM

Socks where the shoes are.

My last roommate was a shoes-by-the door person and I picked up the habit. I have house slippers for inside that aren't really compatible with socks. It used to drive me crazy remembering to get a pair of socks from the sock drawer in the bedroom (or going back for them) to put on at the shoe bench by the door. I finally moved my socks to a handy bin in the entry closet, right next to the shoe bench. Genius!


Smart Organizing: Keep Things Where You'll Use Them
5/28/13 02:52 PM

Plants. If you have a green thumb at all, that nook would make a great little greenhouse/conservatory corner. A baker's rack in front of the window would make a great plant stand, and/or you could add plants hanging from the ceiling, etc.

Also, ditto other recommendations for improving closet/storage situation, changing or eliminating curtain, and replacing or re-situating desk.


Ideas for Nook with Window? Good Questions
5/28/13 11:26 AM

Those mentioned, plus -
- plain old dish soap
- rubbing alcohol for general cleaning/sterilization and minor paint & finish removal
- ketchup (no, really, it works) for rust removal and for cleaning badly tarnished copper: apply in thin layer, let sit a few hours or overnight, wipe off with paper towels (or ones grungiest tree-friendly-type towels), scrub with baking soda & dish soap.
- salt on the cut face of a lemon is good for copper too.
- elbow grease. Lots of it.


The Ultimate Used Furniture Cleaning Kit
5/22/13 03:16 PM

OMGeeeee-gosh-golly-sakes-alive!!! This is so cool, cooler than cool, has cool dripping out of its ears... Wowsa, Carmen.

I am especially in love with your hanging library. I hereby cast aside all other bookshelves and make these the holy grail of my (many and deep) bookshelf-ian longings.

A couple questions, if you don't mind answering a few more:
- Um, did you say "bomb shelter"? (In a penthouse??) (In Singapore??? I'd had the idea that Singapore was one of the safer places one might live - am I mistaken?)
- What is the area marked "hs" on the floor plan? (Is that the bomb shelter? (....Hurricane shelter, maybe...?))
- Is the "planter" space marked outside the bathroom part of the your condo, or a collectively-owned part of the building?
- What does the rest of the "GO..." sign on the floor of the library read? (forgive my silly curiosity)
- What would you do with the money if you won the contest (if you don't mind saying)? (Most people say they'd use it to improve their place, but I'm not sure how yours could be improved.)

Thanks for sharing this - I wish I could vote for it several times over! :)

PS. Confidential to AT: HOUSE TOUR! HOUSE TOUR!! HOUSE TOUR!!!


Carmen's Small Space in Singapore Small Cool Contest
5/22/13 02:55 AM

Four years late, but...

Tiny (35 sf) galley kitchen with a mere 4 linear feet of counter space. The 3 feet of open wall must be kept clear for fridge & cabinet door swings. Renter, so the range-hood-microwave combo is out. I'm tall, and desperate, so I put the microwave on top of fridge.

With the fridge *just* the right distance from the wall, and the microwave in *just* the right place on top of the fridge, it only blocks one side of the above-the-fridge cabinet.

There is exactly one cabinet wide enough for the microwave, but it's two inches too shallow...

I want a better solution.


Survey: Where Do You Hide Your Microwave?
5/20/13 05:37 AM

Er, make that "without blocking things in too much."
(I just think about imaginary pretend designer prisons, and I start having trouble with homophones.)


Freedom Room: Prisoners Help Design a Better Small Space Good
4/26/13 10:37 PM

(Imagine that room without a door, or with a door that only the people in charge of your punishment can open. Then imagine the worst roommate you've ever had, only fifty times worse.)

The *point* is not to deck prisons out with all the latest Ikea fashions (seriously, how long would any of that particle-board furniture last in a prison environment?). The point is that prisoners know a thing or two about living in small spaces and close quarters, and we the unincarcerated might gain a tip or two:

- Having a toilet enclosure separate from bathing area could save any number of marriages.
- Combining bathing area, kitchen scullery and mudroom looks a great space (and plumbing expense) saver.
- Love the keyhole door to the balcony. Maximizes both floor and window space and adds a nice architectural fillip.
- Set-back "mini-cupboard" over the table is nice for providing handy storage without blocking things in two much.
- I like the airy open area above the over-the-bed cupboards. Residents could choose to use them for more storage or for display of personal objects, or it might be a great place for a row of transom windows.

FWIW, I've seen Japanese-style dorm rooms very similar to this. I've seen (albeit not inhabited) a few prison cells, and this is not them.


Freedom Room: Prisoners Help Design a Better Small Space Good
4/26/13 10:30 PM