El Capitán

Look at this Jolly guy:

My dad, for over 30 years, operated a residential and commercial plastering business, but because of the economy they had to close their doors. It’s been pretty sad to watch a man who was top in his field go to a standard employee who drives semi-trucks and holds no authority. My dad was amazing with what he did.

He was one of the pioneers for putting foam under plaster to create trims and shapes around buildings – now they sell those pre-made shapes at big box stores. He also had textures that were never replicable and people always paid high dollar to have him do their jobs-knowing they would get an amazing product. He never up sold anyone, instead he helped people see a beautiful vision of what their home or business could look like and they always willingly signed up for it. For years my parents operated their business as a sole proprietor-never worrying about being sued or personally liable because the way they did business was just that good.

Can you tell I love my Daddy?

Red and Grandpa:

Enough with the sob stories. We all have them.

One other thing my dad was known for was how hard of a worker he was and how much he expected everyone to work at his level. So much so that they nicknamed him The Captain and because of that he named his business Captain Artisan. El Capitan was one of the hardest bosses to work for because he did not like shotty work and he bossed everyone around with an iron clad tongue. However, he managed to have several of the same employees throughout the life of his business.

When we mentioned we were going to be building on to the house my dad (without hesitation) said he wanted to do the plaster portion on the exterior of the house.

Now I know why.

The man showed up Sunday afternoon, with only a hair shy of 4 hours of sleep. He loaded his truck and trailer (all by himself – the man is 60) with tons of scaffolding. Let me tell you-this shit is heavy. He was barely out of his truck when he began barking orders to anyone within ear shot. Immediately, everyone dropped what they were doing – even the air conditioner guy who just came to get measurements (with his son no less), and began unloading and setting up scaffolding around the entire house. My dad only left his post to show proper ergonomics of holding the long boards and to shout a little closer to the poor person’s face. Then casually walk back to the front of the yard to watch the progress.

My dad loves bossing people around.

In the end, though the work was grueling, and The Captain was unyielding, the results were worth it. We now have continual access around the entire house to finish framing, install windows, lath & stucco the house, add trim and siding, paint, etc, all without maneuvering a ladder.


I don’t have any pics of my dad yelling at everyone (The Captain wouldn’t allow any sort of time wasting activities like picture taking), but he looked a lot like this:
Captain Brownlee during a ceremony to pay homage to the British soldiers who died in the war, in Stanley

(minus the snow.)

(image source: http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/files/2012/07/RTR33LS2.jpg)

Weather Forcast: Bright and Sunny, no clouds


Demo day eight-hundred million, six-hundred and fifty-four thousand, five-hundred and eighty.

Not really, but it seriously feels like it.

When we will stop demoing? I am ready for a new blog category!


I’ve got this sneaking suspicion that this is what hell may be like. Demoing with no end in sight. Not a breath of cool breeze. Never ending thirst, 100+°F weather with the sun radiating directly down on me without even a hair of shade, while the drywall and sawdust clings to my sweat covered skin.

If you want to know what it feels like, even for a second, turn your oven to high broil, wait a good 15 minutes for it to arrive at desired temp, open oven door, insert head…or just let the heat billow out onto you. It’s #painfulunbearableabsolutelyhorrible. And we have no water.

Thank God for the saving grace of neighbors who don’t mind us turning on their sprinklers and hoses and dancing in their front yards like banshees.

Hopefully our rain dances don’t bring forth the rain.

Now for the fruit of our labor, and to help you procrastinate on whatever you need to do today: here are some pics for your enjoyment, while I hate on the fact that you are probably sitting in your favorite chair, with your favorite drink, eating your favorite snack, in your comfy, air conditioned house (with a roof), and a lovely smirk on your face.

The new entry way and area where the stairs will be built. Like that high window? That’s where the landing is going to be (well, 32″ below the windowsill because I am an OCD weirdo like that)…
no roof12_second_story_addition
no roof10_second_story_addition

The new porch and front of house (remember this pic?)

The floor trusses that will soon be on top of the garage and bedrooms, forming the foundation for the second floor sheathing:

The garage and bedrooms where those trusses will go:
no roof8_second_story_addition

Even my lego houses have no roofs…
no roof13_second_story_additionno roof11_second_story_addition

Aren’t the similarities striking? : )

P.s. That was Mike’s panorama pic at the top….it’s a little bubbly.