Monthly Archives: March 2005


Home? I just got back from a weekend visit to PA. Funny how your entire world-view can be flipped in one unexpected moment–Los Angeles is no longer home for me, now that Dawn is in PA. I didn’t expect that, but I realized it when I opened the garage door. First the good news: The […]


Another crossroads You’d think I enjoy bleating helplessly about this project, considering how often I do it, but I really don’t. I really would prefer to be making actual progress on the house, rather than chasing my tail for every bureaucrat with a pencil and a checkbox. But there seems to be no end to […]


Lancaster New Era 2 Oops, forgot to mention the newspaper article came out yesterday. At first I was upset about several of the things he mentioned, but then I realized that he got those things off my blog, so I really had no room to talk. And I shared it with all my friends who […]

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2005

Structural engineer They want to put 75-pound weights on each stair to make sure the grand stairway can support all that weight. I have no doubt it will pass the test, I just think it’s a funny way to test it. I could just get fifteen friends to stand on every other stair, and save […]

FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2005

Financing The fireplaces were likely closed in when they converted from wood to coal. With the plaster off, you can see the arch in the original opening.[/caption]To complete the restoration and open our own business, obviously we need money. A lot of money. We’ve saved a good chunk of it (the ‘war chest’ as I […]


Rose-head nails We started this project with the adage, “first do no harm.” Well, that didn’t last long–they pulled down the ceiling in the attic today (in order to assess the roof structure) and found two walls had been hand-split lath and hand-forged nails, indicating they hadn’t been touched in 200 years. I stress “had.” […]

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2005

Day One It feels very strange writing “day one” when we’ve been working on this for a year and a half, but today was the first day anyone (other than Dawn or myself) did anything to the mansion. And what did they do? Not much. 🙁 Because of the leaks over the years, the contractor […]

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2005

Leaving LA I leave LA for the weary trek to Pennsylvania, my seventh in 12 months. I wonder when I will stop thinking of LA as home. For 35 years I have been here, and I have enjoyed it, but I do not hesitate to say good-bye. Five years ago, when we made the decision […]


Stir Crazy Most people instinctively know that they could never live with their parents again, so this should come as no surprise. To anyone contemplating it, don’t. Better to be homeless. They know all of your hot buttons, and you know all of theirs, and for some reason with family you never exercise any restraint, […]


Lancaster New Era Yesterday, Dawn woke me up at 7am (apparently forgetting the 3-hour time difference) and put me on the phone with a reporter from the local paper. I thought he was doing a story on the wolves and just asking about the house, so I talked to him but I didn’t really say […]