Guus Bosman

software engineering director


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Our House

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ourhouse

Working on the backyard

Another very productive weekend. Last weekend we were inside for a lot, doing taxes and other paperwork -- this weekend we were outside the whole time and it was great.

Jaap took care of the kids Saturday morning and we went to Home Depot for 2,5 hours. We loaded the car to the brim with gear, dirt and plants. In the afternoon and Sunday pretty much all day we worked on the yard with everybody, which was fun.

The end result looks great; we replaced an old grass patch with nice trees in a mulch bed. We had to be careful about some Comcast cables that were installed rather poorly.

Adrian "blocked the sidewalk" with "pilonnen" to make sure there wouldn't be anyone walking into our working zone.

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A new front door

A new front door was installed today! We're very happy with it.

The door we had until today was the original 1967 one, and it was at the end of its useful live. Very drafty and it made the downstairs cold. Because our thermostat isn't too far from the door, it would make the rest of the house overly warm. The new door has glass windows, with privacy glass, which gives a little more light in our hallway. And no more noisy and cold mail slot.

The installers came at 10.00 am, and they took about 4 hours to do the full install. At the end I discovered some concrete that needed to be repaired, so I drove to Home Depot to get a patch and they used that to finalize the step.

It was great working with these guys; a marked difference compared to the previous project five years ago.

Leo and Adrian were quite excited to see all the machines and instruments. When they got home from AMH they could hardly wait to get changed and check it all out. The contractors had a power cable going through the window to the front yard, that was interesting for them to see.

After the work was done, the contractor's car didn't start. I helped try to kick-start, but that didn't work either so they had to call their boss.

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Fixing window screens

Today I fixed a few of the mesh screens in our house. Leo and Adrian had a period where they liked to poke their tiny fingers through the mesh, and several bedroom windows and downstairs windows were damaged.

I watched a explanation on YouTube and in the late afternoon went to Home Depot to pick up the equipment.

On my way home from Home Depot I saw a car from Screen Mobile, a commercial service for restoring screens. No need to call them.

It wasn't hard to do, and it's nice to no longer have these ugly holes in the window screens.

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No more gates

Another milestone... we removed the gates to the living room. We used to have them to keep the guys in the living room but we haven't used them in the past several weeks.

Adrian went down the stairs a few times this week, all by himself.

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Adding an exterior vent

When we were looking for a house a few years ago, we always checked out the vent system above the range. Most houses we saw did not have a vent that moves air to the exterior. Neither did the house we bought and love, but that is changing today.

We're getting an exterior vent installed. Initially we will use the microwave -- if that's not strong enough we can always install a hood later. But this exterior venting will make a huge difference.

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Twin boys and our living room

The boys are no longer happy in their playpen -- they want to explore the whole room.

Here are some of the changes we have made in our living room.

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Snowy Lynnbrook at night

Our street tonight.

The Federal Government is still closed -- not surprising given that there were people skiing on our street today.

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Stained the deck

Over the past 6 weeks I've been working on our deck. In July I fixed the lower part of the deck by replacing all the boards, but that wasn't really needed for the main deck. Nevertheless, there was a ton of work to do. I flipped over about 20 boards, power washed and sanded everything.

I took a day off on Thursday and applied the stain. It's an oil base stain (Armstrong Clark) and it was easy to apply. I started at 10.00 am and by 2.30 pm I was done.

We unexpectedly got some rain Thursday night but with an oil base stain that isn't as much as a problem and except for one or two minor spots that I'll redo, everything looks great.

I still need to finish the railing and balustrade, but at least the deck itself is ready for the winter now.

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Deck is done

I wrapped up the deck resurfacing yesterday.

It feels great.

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Resurfacing our deck

Today I replaced 15 boards of our deck, the smaller part at the entrance of the backyard.

Our deck is from 1996 but the wood hasn't been cared for very well so some of the boards were cracked and splintered. The main deck is in better shape, thankfully.

It was a fun project to replace the boards but it was hard work. I started at 11.30 am and finished around 6.00 pm. Milan helped me get started and I'm proud of the end result.

The most exciting part was at the end, when I had to cut a board to fit in a smaller opening. I used my own circle saw for the first time.

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