Well, it's November, or, as I like to call it, National Time-to-Take-a-Few-Minutes-and-Write-Something-for-the-Blog Month.

I think prolonged absences just happen sometimes. In my last post, I mentioned the arrival of our wonderful baby girl, Jessica. I've added a link (in the photos list to the left) to a photo gallery featuring the little one, including some pics from Halloween. Don't be scared.

The addition on the house is finishing up much like I think we all predicted it would: incredibly slowly. Once the contractor has all but the last 10% of his payment, and the only things on the punch list are little 10-minute jobs, it suddenly becomes hard for anyone to make it a priority to get out here and take care of the rest. I don't really blame them, I guess. Except for the sense of task completion, there's little incentive to prioritize getting to Westchester to fix a valve if you're a plumber (for example) with a slate more substantial projects backed up waiting for your attention. Still, no one has completely forgotten about us.

Today we had what was to be our final inspection from the city. The inspector found one correction: our seismic shutoff valve on the gas line was on the gas company's side of the meter, and it's supposed to be on the customer's side. I can't tell you exactly why that matters, but I'm sure it does. Whoever installed this one obviously didn't do it to code. Even though this wasn't touched during our current project, it has to be fixed before the city will issue the Certificate of Occupancy. The plumber was able to come by near the end of the day and install a new seismic valve, which he explained is "state of the art". Looks good to me, but I'm hardly a connoisseur.

At any rate, today is Day 173 of the project. So little has happened lately that it hardly seems fair to keep the count going, but then again I figure until the punch list is empty and the inspections all done, the project isn't technically finished.

By the way, there are little things we don't like about the bathroom. Nothing major, and no one's fault, just some decisions we might make differently if we ever do this again. If you're remodeling a bathroom, we'd be happy to let you know what we liked and didn't like.

Here's a picture of the completed exterior. The photo timeline is updated to this point: the slowdown near the end is evident in the frequency of available photos.

Hopefully I'll get back to a post-per-week or so. There's plenty going on to chat about, and lots of web links to interesting stuff. My only excuse is lots of work and a new baby. If that doesn't let me off the hook in your book, I can only ask for a second chance.