Archive for the ‘house’ Category

Fenced-In Yard

When shopping for a house two years ago, one requirement was a fenced in yard for the dog. That was one of the very few things missing from our new house, but we knew we only had to fence the small distance across the driveway. This summer we finally got not only the fence, but expanded the size of the yard by removing the back part of the driveway. Now there’s space for all of us to actually enjoy the yard! Here’s a short video showing the progress:

Old Trolley Line

Last week I had a chat with the Dig Safe guy, who has been very busy on my street marking for all the construction as well as water main replacement. He pointed out that some of the markings were by the T, as shown above. They are only a few feet in front of our house, coming from the rotary and straight up the street. I thought I would do a little investigating to see why.

After some internet research, I discovered a trolley ran along my street. Horsedrawn when installed in 1885, but these wires have been around since the early 1900’s when it was electrified, running from Sullivan Square to Malden. The trolleys ran until 1947 when it was converted to a “trackless trolley” electric bus in 1947. The overhead wires were pulled down in 1959 with the construction of I-93 and the giant rotary and street realignment. The trolley is now known as T bus route 101, which I ride quite often!

Thanks to Medford Historical Society and Medford Historical Commission.

Posted from Medford, Massachusetts, United States.

93 Bridge Replacement

Last weekend our house was filled with deafening noise day and night as the I93 bridges in front were replaced. All 14 of the I93 overpasses in Medford are being replaced on weekends this summer using the latest construction techniques to entirely replace a bridge over just a weekend instead of years. I rushed home on friday to beat the rotary closing to traffic at 6pm, and had front-row views of the impressive demolition and construction work all weekend. Giant jackhammers pummeled the bridges all night Friday, while the huge beam-eating machine literally shook the entire house for hours. 16-wheeled cranes moved in on Saturday to lift the precast sections of bridge. Amazingly, exactly 24 hours after the concrete was first broken, the last piece was in place. Sunday quieted down for gap filling concrete and line painting, and everything reopened for the Monday morning commute.

I made a long video of the process for anyone geeky enough to watch, including time lapse from 5,000 photos shot from my bedroom window. Be sure to crank up the sound to simulate what we had to sleep through!

Update: You can watch video captured from their professional photographer here and several photo galleries on his website.

Posted from Medford, Massachusetts, United States.

Tree Work

Today we had some long overdue tree work done around the house. Watch the video to see some of their work in the morning and some before/after views. We had one dead tree that had split and almost fallen on the bedroom for a full year, and another large rotting branch over the driveway threatening to crush both cars. Trees had clearly not been pruned in many years aside from some of my own work on the lower branches a year ago. And while we at first considered removing our towering front pine tree, we instead trimmed up the bottom to open up the front of the house. Returning after work and seeing the difference was almost unsettling. The back feels much larger now after significant pruning of the driveway tree, and the front of the house needs both lawn and paint work now that is no longer hidden! Most importantly, I no longer need to get very nervous every time we get high winds.

Posted from Medford, Massachusetts, United States.

Snowstorm in 1080p

Today’s storm had 1-2 feet of wet, heavy snow and most of Boston stayed home to wait for it to end. Between the sounds of icey-snow-covered tree branches smacking the house, I awoke to the eerie silence of no traffic outside except for the occasional bus or plow. I spent almost the entire day shoveling out. I took the opportunity to take some video with my Canon T2i, also to test out the Magic Lantern firmware hack with its useful extra features. Watch the video on YouTube to see it in full HD resolution.

Heat Camera

While temperatures were in the teens one night this week, I took the opportunity to bring the thermal imaging camera home from work and take a bunch of boring pictures of doors, windows, and walls to see where cold might be leaking in:

I took some more interesting pictures too. Here’s the house from the outside:

You can see the old single paned glass next to the door doesn’t insulate well.

Jezi has a cold nose:

The car was driven a few hours before, some of the body is still warm:

Dinner cooking with 500-degree flame, warm food being served:

You can tell which zone is running on the furnace, and see the hot exhaust going up (and to the side!) of the chimney upstairs:

Hot exhausts on cars driving by, and an open window in the apartments next door:

Posted from Medford, Massachusetts, United States.