Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Crazy Grease Trap Lady!

Our engineer finally met with the lady at Colorado Springs Utilities Wastewater division yesterday. She is the person who decides what size grease trap we have to install. Her decisions are completely arbitrary, and she changes what her requirements are from day to day, and from client to client. For whatever reason, she wanted us to excavate the parking lot and install an underground Grease Interceptor the side of Rhode Island. Not only was that rediculous with regard to cost, but also with regard to capacity needs. After fighting with her and her boss (me and my architect), she downgraded her requirement to a size that is still rediculous for what we are doing. The cost of what she wants per the variance is about $5000 and would require a greas trap 8' x 5' x 4'. Most coffee shops in town either have no grease trap, or have a 24" x 24" greas trap.We subcontracted an engineer to perform capacity calculations for our shop, and go fight this battle for us. He was finally able to catch up with her yesterday and she screamed and yelled, cussed at him, and called him lots of nasty things. How do people like this get in positions of power with local government agencies??? He said he was going to elevate this issue and go over here head. She said she doesn't care, because her boss sees eye to eye with her. Our engineer mentioned that he was not going to her boss, but to her boss's boss, whom he used to work with. Her eyes got a little wide and she said maybe they could work something out. He said no, that she already had an opportunity, and that she was abusive and unprofessional. My interest is only to get a grease trap approved that is appropriate for our needs. I don't wish bad things on anyone, but I do hope that she is held accountable for her behaviour. I have spoken with other people in the construction industry in town and this lady has a reputation for being a tyrant, for acting in absurd ways that are completely unprofessional... Strange...

Tracy came up with a magnetic menu board concept. We made our own chalkboard paint (take flat paint and mix it with unsanded tile grout). She bought fancy menu board markers that write on chalk boards, glass, metal, etc. She is going to make custom strips with lettering, and they will be stuck to the menu board via magnet strips.

I have a friend (Neil Dana) who has a metal fabrication shop. He does custom fabrication, and has a CNC water jet that will handle stock up to 12' x 10' (very large for custom, CNC cut parts). He also designs and fabricates after market parts for Hummers, H2's, and now H3's. You can Google him under "H2O Hummers - Nothing Else Compares."

Anyway, I came up with this layout for the menu board, and we are going to have Neil cut them for us. It will be 38 inches wide by 56.8" tall. It will have 1/2" holes down the left and right sides. This will give it a visual break at the edges, and will give Tracy some guides to put her magnetic strips on level and straight. The whole board will be offset from the wall by an inch, and will be lit with track lighting. The holes will allow the wall color to show through. In all, there will be three menu boards side by side.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The soffet... IT"S ALIVE!

Yes, today we built Franken-soffet. We did not have any lightning to get a heartbeat out of it, but I'm completly OK with a dead soffet.
Apparently, I haven't had enough sleep.
Here is a shot of the new soffet framing (not done yet, though):

Ryan and Rob had the main beams up when I got there. I helped to install the ceiling joist hangers and joists. I also helped to hang the ledgers in the back room which will support the joists back there.

Today was supposed to be grease trap day! The engineer we hired had a meeting with CSU Wastewater division to discuss his capacity calculations. The lady that is giving us such a rediculously hard time rescheduled from 8:00am to 1:00pm at the last minute. When our engineer showed up at 1:00, she was no where to be found. Not only did she blow off the appointment, but it is costing me money. I am paying the engineer by the hour, not by the task. This lady has some real problems and she is the biggest thorn in my side through this whole process.
Hopefully, we'll get a final answer tomorrow.

Tracy has been working on some really fun logo ideas. She has tried several concepts that we liked, but then she came up with this one with an abstract sea turtle:

This is just a rough sketch, but she is going to continue to work on it and develop this concept. I really like it...


Plumbing to match final layout

Final Layout

Now that the walls are up, I went and measured everything and did an as-built of the space. Here is what it looks like:

And here is a closer look at the Bar:

Well, it is almost 1:00am...
Going to bed.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Framing progress

Yesterday we continued our framing efforts. We plumbed and leveled all the walls we built the other day, and installed a second top plate to secure them, as well as installed 45 angle bracing to the roof girders for stability. We also built the wall between the bar and the back room and secured it.
Here are some panoramic photos of the empty space and with about 85% of the walls up. Click on the images to see a larger version.

And from another angle:

We received half of our tile from the Woodland Park, CO Home Depot yesterday (delivery), and we picked up the other half from the Home Depot right up the street from us on Pikes Peak Avenue. This is what 1000 sq ft of slate tile looks like:

OK, so a picture of some boxes of tile doesn't look all that impressive or interesting. But... if you were the one that moved all of it, you would have a much higher level of appreciation for it! It is very heavy!

Well, it is time for me to head over to the shop. I'll take some more photos today if the soffet gets in the air...


Thursday, January 25, 2007


We finally took a huge step in the right direction yesterday! I met Ryan and Rob at Home Depot and we spent four hours hand picking lumber, loading it, taking it to the shop, and unloading it there. We also picked up two toilets, two bath sinks and fixtures, a bar handsink, a bar dump sink, five of the seven doors we need, framing nailer ammo, some saw blades, and 1000 sq ft of slate tile.
All of our lumber was 10' to 16' long, and it is very difficult to find straight lumber at those lengths. On average, we took one board for every 3 we looked at. I don't know who buys all the crooked stuff, but I feel sorry for them when they try to build something with it.

And yesterday's lunch spot (very fine cusine):

Once we were at the shop, Ryan did the layout, Rob and I built the walls, and all three of us stood them up and secured them in place. I am used to working on projects by myself, and doing my framing with screws. I could not believe how fast it went to have three of us working, using framing nail guns instead of screws.
I set a point and shoot camera on a tripod and took a shot every 20 or 30 minutes. The people are blurred because the shutter speed was 1/2 second, but you can see the progress on the walls.
Click on this image to see a larger version:

Today I need to go buy track lighting fixtures, line up another plumbing extimate, finalize some equipment layout tweaks to match the final layout, notify Allied Restaurant that we want to purchase their equipment package, set up our credit card machine with RBS Lynk, etc, etc. I have to be over at the shop by 12:00pm for another marathon framing day. We will be doing some half walls, the soffet over the bar, as well as getting yesterday's walls level/plumb and installing top plates and 45 degree stabilizers...

Enough for now... I could talk about more, but I need to get busy on some things...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lots Happening...

I met with Vic and Ryan this morning and the final layout drawings are finished (basically)! Vic also drew up an architectural sketch of the soffet structure over the bar area. Ryan and I are going to buy all of the framing materials that we need tomorrow at 12:00pm. We are then going to work on framing until midnight. We are going to do the framing after hours so we don't disturb the surrounding businesses with the powder actuated tools and nail guns.
We spent a couple of hours snapping chalk lines for all of the walls, cabinets, and counter tops today. Things are moving finally! I need to get to the shop by 9:00am. I'm buying clear spray paint in the morning so I can paint the chalk lines so they don't smudge. I'm meeting Vic at the shop at 9:30 so he can drop off blue prints of the final layout with dimensions.

I dropped off 1500 lbs of asbestos floor tiles that I removed from the space early on in the project. I have had them in my truck for quite awhile now. They have been giving me great traction through all of these snow storms. I had to empty my truck in order to pick up framing lumber tomorrow. The cost to have the tiles removed by an asbestos abatement contractor was in the thousands. Tracy found a place called Associated Insulation here in Colorado Springs who have an asbestos dumpster. They sold me 6 mil asbestos bags for $1 each, and agreed to take our debris for $50 a yard. The cost ended up being $102 (52 for bags and 50 for one yard) even though it was 2.5 to 3 yards of material. I also spent $40 on a respirator, and $30 on a HEPA filter for my shop vac. Over all, this asbestos removal cost about $170 doing it myself. This was not much fun, but it saved us several thousand dollars, and I did it correctly in accordance with all regulations.

I think I mentioned yesterday that Tracy set up a deal with a Coke distributor. They will be providing us with a free merchandise refrigerator. We were going to spend $2320 to buy our own, but the Coke deal frees up that money. We have always wanted to go with a Point of Sale system (touch screen, bar code scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer, computer, and POS software). It would save lots of time over a conventional cash register with regard to bookkeeping. We didn't think we would be able to get one to start, but we are using the merch fridge money to get one! I bought Quickbooks POS Pro 6.0, bar code scanner, cash drawer, and credit card scanner for $1330 from Gemini Computers. I bought Quickbooks Pro 2007 from Amazon for $144. I also bought a battery back-up and surge protector for the POS system from Amazon for $79.99. And, I bought a touch screen flat LCD panel for #380 from Newegg. I will use one of my existing computers for the POS system. This will make life much easier on us, as compared to a cash register.

We received a quote from Allied Restaurant Supply today. Their package deal was just over $3000 cheaper than the best prices I could find elsewhere. That $3000 savings is actually spent already, going to construction/architect/engineers, etc.

I received great feedback on the breakfast burritos! My friend DJ asked me to freeze one and send it to him by Fed Ex in Raleigh, NC. He knows I'm crazy enough to do it, too. I'm going to be super busy over the next several days. If I can work it in, I'll get one sent out to him. The Fed Ex building is out of the way for me, though. I may just send him one by normal USPS Priority mail. What's the difference between overnight and three days, really???

Ryan's plan is to finish the framing this week and to get one side of drywall on the bar area half walls. That will allow us to layout the cabinets right away. We will be building the cabinets in my wood working shop starting on Monday. I have a Delta cabinet saw with 52" Bissemeyer fence, 8" Delta jointer, Dewalt planer, Delta drill press, Hegner scroll saw, Delta band saw, etc, etc, etc. I'll post photos later this week, or early next week. Tracy and I have bought some tables and chairs for the coffee shop and they are stored in the wood shop. I'll have to move them out this weekend.

Ryan plans to have the electrical sub in early to mid-next week. They are bringing in so many people that the rough in will take one day, and the finish and trim will take one more day, after the inspection is complete.

Oh yeah, Ryan ordered the floor tile for the entry, bar area, back room, and bathrooms. We are going with natural slate, which will look nice and will be easy to maintain. I also gave Ryan the go ahead to order the drop ceiling grid and tiles. We are going with a fancier tile that is 2x4 in size, but looks like 2x2 tiles. We decided to go with white, as the colored tiles have a four week lead time, cost more, and are difficult to match if needed in the future.

It is past bed time...
More to come tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Breakfast Burritos

Tracy and I made breakfast burritos today for a trial run. I cooked 5 medium potatos, 6 eggs (scrambled), and three decent size Chorizo sausages (casings removed) mixed with one chopped sweet onion.
I put potatos, eggs, sausage, shredded cheese, and salsa in each burrito and wrapped them in aluminum foil. The burritos I made are very large, bigger than most that you can purchase around town (the only one I have seen that is comparable is the B-52 Bomber at Classics at a cost of $5.95).
These ingredients made seven large burritos, except there was still a mountain of potato left over.

I'll be giving them away tomorrow to get some feedback...
Time to call it a day.

Almost there...

First of all, I have to say GO COLTS!

Tracy met with a Coca Cola distributor today. They have prices that are not great, just a little higher than Sam's Club or Walmart. But... they deliver right to our store and they will provide us with a free merchandise cooler. We were going to buy one at a cost of $2300. We are willing to pay a few cents extra per Coke item in exchange for free delivery and a free cooler! That puts $2300 back into our capital budget.

We also went to meet witha friend of mine. We were project managers together at Intel, but he left a couple of years ago to start his own business. He bought a quarter million dollar CNC water jet/plasma torch and does metal fabrication. He also designs and builds after market components for H2 and H3 Hummers. He does brush guards, roof racks, under body protection, ladders, spare tire holders, custom bumpers with winches, etc, etc...
We want to do laser cut menu boards that are magnetic. Tracy wants three menu boards that are 38" x 48", with laser cuts at the top. The menu items will be on magnet strips we can put where we want. We met with Niel to go over our ideas and plans. We should have the most custom menu boards in town!

Vic finiished our floor plans and took them to Regional today. I am meeting with him and Ryan at the shop tomorrow morning at 9:00am. If everything is a go, we are going to go purchase our framing materials and get started on construction.

Gotta run...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Nemo's Coffee Orb

I'm just playing in Photoshop again...
I did this for fun:

Click on the image to see it larger...

It's all about Sponge Bob!

We had Ethan's birthday party yesterday and we didn't do anything with regard to the shop for an entire day!!
Ethan had his party at Josh and John's Ice Cream shop. They don't do birthday parties, but that is where Ethan wanted to go, and they accomodated us! They took the kids into the room where they make ice cream and showed them how to make a batch of cookies and cream. They even let the kids play soccer inside with Ethan's new kick ball. It was unbelievable how good natured and fun they were.

Tracy made a Sponge Bob cake, and I made arms and legs for it. I'll post a photo after I get back to my other computer.
Here is a shot of the Thank You cards I made (when folded, the Thank You is on the front and the jellyfishing picture is the inside):

Here are the arms and legs for the cake:

If you have any small Sponge Bob fans at home and would like hi-res versions of these files, just email me and I'll send them your way. I made them in Photoshop, so you won't find them as a download on the web (I tried that first and did not like anything I found).

OK, here is a photo of the finished cake, and a shot of Ethan with his friend Brett, and his new guitar!

Friday, January 19, 2007

A little frustrated...

I've been a little frustrated with our architect lately. We are paying him $5000, and I'm doing all of the work. I have done our layout three times now based upon the criteria he has given me for occupancy calculations and ADA compliance. After investing a great deal of time and effort, he has told me the criteria he gave was wrong. Aaarrrgggghhh! I didn't mind all that much the first time, the second time was worse, and the third time made me angry. I told him today that I was unhappy with the way things are going and I want the layout finished and ready for Regional by close of business on Monday. Hopefully, that will happen. Don't get me wrong... Vic is a great guy and I really like him, but for $5k, it's time to get serious.
Either way, we should have drawings to Regional very soon.

I went to Allied Restaurant Supply in Colorado Springs today. I met with the owner (Larry) in November and he put together a quote for us. Everything has changed since then, so I stopped in again today and showed him our new layout and equipment needs. He is going to work on a quote Monday and get it out to us. My main reason for today's visit, though, was to nail down a dimension for our three compartment sink. I got one that is 8' 10" long with drain boards on both ends. It retails for $1919 new with no faucet. I am getting a used one with a faucet for $475. I just couldn't see spending approx $2000 for a sink and faucet. Once again, used stuff saves the day!

I found the sink and it lists for $4142 without faucet!

I need to run... Tracy and I are taking Josh, Jonah, and Ethan to the movies tonight. Have a great weekend!

New Layout

OK, it's almost 1:00am. It took longer than I expected to get the layout tweaked, but that is because there is an Orange County Chopper marathon on TLC. I would have been finished an hour ago if I turned the TV off...

Here it is...
I made the bathrooms smaller and moved the extra space to storage and the back room. I tweaked the studio a little to make the studio storage area bigger. I made the span between the front and back bar 5 feet instead of four feet. That completly changes the geometry of the bar angles, and I'll have to rework some of the equipment layout.

Before that, though, I need to count up the square footage of the different areas and calculate the occupancy. It came up to just under 48 on my hand sketch. Let's hope it holds in the detailed sketch...

UPDATE: I just calculated the occupancy and came up with 48.8; I can't wait to see if Regional counts the same way I do. They will probably get 50.1.

Click on the image to see it larger.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Final Layout Tweak

Vic took our proposed plans to Regional Building Dept today and calculated our occupancy. It came out to be 52.7, which is not good. As per previous posts, we have to be under 50 or spend an extra $40,000-50,000 on double stall bathrooms and re-configuring the entire storefront to install UL rated fire doors with crash bars at least 33 feet apart. Not an option...
So, tonight I will be changing the layout a little to get our occupancy down to 49.9999 or less.
Here is the occupancy breakdown rules;

Bathroom: 1 person for each 100 sq ft
Hallway: 1 person for each 100 sq ft
Storage: 1 person for each 300 sq ft
Studio: 1 person for each 100 sq ft
Service Area: 1 person for each 200 sq ft
Cafe: 1 person for each 15 sq ft

It is 9:00pm... I'll be posting something by 11:00pm (I hope).


Here is the overall lighting plan without the light throw radius cicles overlaid:

Lighting Plan

We had planned to have Vic, our architect, subcontract the electrical and lighting plans to an electrical engineer. That has turned out to be a slow moving train and we would rather not wait. Ryan worked it out with Regional to approve our plans without a PE Stamp (Professional Engineer) if we provide plans on D Sheet (22"x 30") with panel schedules, including load calculations. I spent a large part of the day doing detailed lighting plans, with schedules. This will save us time, as well as money, since I have not yet contracted the electrical engineer. Besides, I like doing this sort of thing. I'm kind of a freak like that, as my old Navy roommate DJ would say...
Here are the images, which will be printed on the large sheets. I need to go through and do the same with the other electrical distribution for the shop... I'll hit that tomorrow since it is after 1:00am. Well, I guess that makes it later today then.

All lighting:

Lighting Circuit A (we will assign circuit numbers once we figure out what breakers will be used for each circuit):

Lighting Circuit B:

Lighting Circuit C:

Lighting Circuit D:

Lighting Circuit E:

Lighting Circuit F:

Lighting Circuit G:

Lighting Circuit H:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pumbing Needs...

Here is a new layout diagram indicating our plumbing needs. This shows everythiing, except the grease trap and any floor drains we might put in...

...and here is the plumbing tech data:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Flooring Layouts

Here are a couple of images showing our flooring layout. The first one shows where we will have white oak flooring. The second shows where we will have natural slate flooring. We will be applying the slate tile to the bathroom walls as well, up to four feet high.

Tracy and I are meeting with a credit card processing company tomorrow morning at 9:00, then Ryan and I are going to Home Depot to get framing materials, doors, floor tile, toilets, track lighting, etc. Caleb (my brother-in-law) gave me a 20% off card for Home Depot, up to $2000. That means we will be saving $400 tomorrow!

I am meeting with Vic (our architect) to go over our 30% design review at 1:00pm tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping Ryan can make it to that meeting as well... In fact, I need to call him tonight. Ryan has been putting together pricing from various subcontractors, including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall, painters, drop ceiling, etc. Ryan will be doing the framing, cabinets, and concrete counter tops. Our construction budget is beginning to shape up.

Gotta run,

Tech Data

Here is the electrical data I am compiling for the contractors:

It is getting late and I'm going to bed.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Today I had the choice to watch the football games, or work on the electrical layout.
I spent about six hours researching technical specs of the equipment, and modifying our layout to show different views for Counter top, under counter, above counter, and cafe equipment, with electrical needs. I still have to do it for the Photography Studio and for general convenience outlet throughout the space.

Here is the Counter Top Equipment (I have a coinciding spreadsheet that shows the technical specs for each numbered item):
Click on the image to see larger

...and Under Counter Equipment:

...and General Cafe Equipment:

Tracy and I started an eight week bible study last week on Biblical Marriage principals. It is almost time to go...
More to come later tonight.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dumpster Diving

Well, I went to the shop today and searched all 2000 sq ft of the space for my keys, including looking inside tool boxes, etc. I knew they had fallen out of my pocket, but I had no idea where (although I suspected the dumpster). I also searched our storage space (another 1000 sq ft) with no luck. Finally, I moved on to try my luck at the dumpster. I was greeted with the very nice surprise that that the snow removal crew had plowed the parking lot into the front of the dumpster door. I spent an hour shoveling the snow pack from the front of the dumpster. Once I got it open, I started taking wall sections, ceiling tiles, drywall debris, and all the other demo debris out of the dumpster. After a couple of hours, I decided to call Ryan to ask if him or his crew had noticed my keys anywhere (I knew this was a longshot and not very likely, but it was 14 degrees out and I was freezing and needed a break). Ryan had not seen them, and neither had his crew. After warming my hands up on the halogen work lamps, I went back out to the dumpster to continue. I found them under the very next piece of drywall that I picked up!! I was really happy to find them. I was concerned about someone else finding them, and I didn't want to spend the money to have a locksmith change out locks on three commercial doors.

I went and looked at recessed lighting fixtures at Home Depot. What a confusing bunch of stuff. There are 10 different kinds of 4" recessed lighting fixtures, plus trim kits. The price range was significant. I'm going to go online and learn more about it, and see if there is a better source with regard to cost.

We are heading for church, and we are teaching the 4's and 5's class tonight.

First major equipment purchase

Yesterday was pretty eventful.
Tracy and I started yesterday with a meeting at Maric Beverage Systems. They are the leading equipment service company in the area, and they are also a distributor for some companies, and deal in used equipment.
I had noted in our blog previously that we were probably going to purchase a used La Marzocco 3 Group Linea and La Marzocco dedicated Swift grinder. They retail for $16,000 new. We showed up at the right time, as they also had a Bunn Brew Wise twin system, with four stainless steel caraffes, a Bunn G1 bulk grinder, and a Fetco twin dedicated brewer grinder. Here are the added components:

The Fetco GR 2.2 grinder retails for $1200, and they are giving us four hoppers, which retail for $90 each. Here is the cover of the cutsheet:

The Bunn BrewWISE Dual ThermoFresh Brewer with Smart Funnel normally retails for approximately $1400, and the caraffes run $200 each. That means we are getting $2200 in product for dirt cheap!

Here is a shot of the Bunn G1 Bulk Grinder:

I posted images of the LM 3 Group Linea and Swift Grinder below in the blog...

So, we are looking at $12k, $4k, $1400, $2200, and $700, for a total of $20,300 without freight or taxes. Maric sold all of this stuff to us for $7000. Yes, it is used and refurbished, but will work just the same as brand new equipment! That is quite a savings, which is important since our construction is costing more than we had planned.

I also ordered three pendant light fixtures for above the bar. Here is a photo:

Tracy also bought some tile samples. We want the entry, the bar/kitchen area, and the bathrooms to be tile. Everything else will be white oak.

I spent the day at the shop yesterday and realized when it was time to leave that I had no idea where my keys were! We finished the demo, and Ryan's crew filled the 30 yard dumpster from front to back, about half full. I went in the dumpster and moved everything to the back, on top. This still gives us a half full dumpster, but allows us to roll the wheel barrow with debris into the front. I imagine my keys fell out in the dumpster somewhere, because I could not find them ANYWHERE else, after looking for over an hour. I'm going back over there soon to look some more, and go dumpster diving for them if necessary. I'm not looking forward to it because it is only 14 degrees, and that is the forecasted high for the day. Not exactly great weather for searching a 30 cubic yard dumpster for a set of keys...

Enough for now, I suppose...
I've got to go change into my dumpster clothes.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Plan B in Full Force

If you've been keeping up with the blog, you will know that we have changed our floor plan. We started by utilizing existing walls as much as possible (about 80%). Our new plan uses almost no existing walls. Plan B is essentially to gut the place and start over. Ryan's crew worked with me today (more like, I worked with them). It is unbievable how much wall/ceiling/lighting/electrical got demo'd today. It is nearly all gone! I didn't have a camera with me today, but I'll take photos tomorrow...

Vic (our architect) came today with his autocad guy and took detailed measurements for their CAD drawings. He was impressed that everything in my layout is exactly where it actually is. That may sound weird, but he said his clients never get things in the right place. We are in a hurry because Ryan wants to get the concrete counter top templates created as soon as possible. He lets his concrete counter tops cure for 30 days!

We are meeting with Maric Beverage Systems tomorrow morning to take a look at the La Marzocco Linea 3 Group and the Swift grinder. We intend to buy them so I'm hoping they work great. He has not completed his refurb yet, but we will be able to pull some shots and see what we think. It is not as optimal as our first choice of getting a Synesso, but with our construction costs higher than expected, we need a screaming deal like this on our espresso machine and grinder.

I can't say how happy I am to have Ryan, as well as Vic on board. These guys are both incredible and we feel very blessed to have them on the project. We can't thank them enough!

Gotta run....
Everybody have a good night.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Moving in the right direction

I just came home from a meeting with Victor Chapman, our architect. We have had several consultations with him, and he has been a wonderful resource. We paid him a retainer fee and he will be at the shop tomorrow to take detailed measurements. We should have the first draft of CAD drawings in about a week. We have actually made it fairly easy for him by doing our own layout that meets all building code requirements (based upon Vic's input that he has provided over the last couple of weeks).

This whole process can be kind of crazy, but I feel like we have a very solid team put together and everything is moving in the right direction. Ryan Thompson moved his construction equipment/tools into the shop today. I am meeting him and his crew there tomorrow morning to put a huge dent in our demo work. I've already filled over half of a 30 cubic yard dumpster with demo over the last month or so. I've been moving at a snail's pace, as compared to having an actual GC and crew on site. I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

Ryan had a great idea today. We started cutting the front divider wall down to a half wall. Ryan suggested building that half wall out to 16" thick or so, and to build bookshelves on top, up to the ceiling. It would be capped with crown molding and will look very nice. We wanted to take it down to a half wall to allow natural light into the seating area to the front right of our layout. He said we can put bookshelves to the right and left of the half wall, and to fill the middle space with a huge pane of rippled glass. The natural light will still shine through it during the day, and it will be lit from below to give a glowing light emanating from the rippled glass at night. If you took a look at his work in photos posted several days ago, you can see that he is very creative and the quality of his work is top notch. I'm very happy to have him involved in this project!

Gotta run... Everybody have a good night.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Just playing a little...

This is not the concept that Sean is working on, but Tracy had an idea to explore a sea turtle theme a little... This was just me playing a little bit. Our LLC name is Nemo's Coffee, so there will not be 'Tea' in our company name or logo. I just needed another word to balance the composition... I'm just playing in Photoshop for a few minutes for a break from reality.

I have to apply for at least five jobs a week in order to qualify for unemployment benefits. I sent resumes to Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, DPix, Boeing, and Google today. I posted my resume on-line ( several months ago before I knew where we were headed. I have never really looked for a job before, and I expected it to just disappear into a black hole. I got my first call and job offer four hours later, and I have been receiving correspondance from various companies about 2 or 3 times a week. I'm not sure how to conduct a job search to comply with unemployment policies without actually wanting to accept a job anywhere!
Here is my resume (the Word formatting did not copy into the blog, but I'm not going to fix it):

James Dean Anderson II

Over nine years experience in the Semiconductor Industry, preceded by 12 years experience in the Nuclear Power Industry. I excel in the management and coordination of complex projects, successful in leading both small and large teams. My skill sets include project management, quality assurance, industrial scheduling with Primavera Project Planner, operation and maintenance of complex technical systems, both mechanical and electronic, technical writing, etc.


FST Technical Services March 2004 to Present
Project Manager
Intel Fab 23, Sustaining Project Manager – Managed the execution of over 500 projects, with individual project budgets varying from $2000, to $20,000,000. Included all aspects of the project from inception, scope and design, funding, execution, certification, and closeout.

Intel Fab 23, P874 Tool Install project. Project Manager for Diffusion, Implant, Wafer Handling, Labs, Defect Metrology, and Thin Films Metrology functional areas. Includes all aspects of construction management and project controls, including Safety, Scope, Schedule, and Budget.

Account Manager / Project Manager
Responsible for all aspects of high-tech construction management including project cost estimating, detailed Scope of Work documents, scheduling, budget tracking, planning and coordination of impacts to manufacturing, and all aspects of management and negotiations with subcontractors.
I have maintained a track record of highly successful projects. Excellent skills in problem solving, communication, document control, and work organization/efficiency. I have been able to build high levels of customer confidence at all projects. I have a thorough understanding of policies and procedures at Intel Fab 23 Colorado Springs, CO.
Recent Projects include Project Manager P874, Project Manager GCP Sustaining Projects at Intel Fab 23, QAR PM for Intel Fab 23 P803 Ramp (completion project), Tool Install PM for Litho, Metrology, and South Support Functional Areas for Intel original P803 Ramp project.

Scheduler, Intel Fab 23
Trained and certified in Primavera Project Planner scheduling and project control software.
Responsible for creating, maintaining, and publishing complex capital expansion project schedules in P3 and Excel formats.
Built new project schedule IAW Intel’s SOP and migrated to new software platform, implementing P3Enterprise at Intel Fab 23, Colorado Springs, CO.

Project Manager, Field Service Engineer, TEL Diffusion Furnaces
Managed a team of six Field Service Engineers in the modification of TEL Alpha 8 Series diffusion furnaces at Micron, Manassas, VA.
Included major refurbishment/replacement of electrical, electronic control, gas distribution, and robotics/automation systems.
Completed all system programming, system testing, and Vendor Qualification of seven units.
Installed, assembled, and completed Vendor Qualification on five 300mm TEL diffusion furnaces at Maxim, Santa Clara, CA.

Project Manager, QAR
Managed projects as the Customer’s QAR Representative at numerous locations including Intel, LSI Logic, Vitesse Semiconductor, Atmel, Symbios Logic, Hewlett Packard, Agilent Technologies, etc.
NDE Level II Certification for Weld Inspection and Mass Spectrometer Helium Leak Detection.
Responsible for work scheduling, estimating job cost, and personnel management.
Responsible for all project reporting and line commissioning matrix and tracking.
Audited and directed the QCR activities of the installing contractors.
Technical writing – wrote detailed work procedures for complex evolutions and testing.

Project Coordinator, Basebuild/Tool Hook-up / Various Sites
Responsible for scheduling, estimating job cost and sub contractor management.
Computed monthly estimates of work completed and approved payment of contractors.
Maintained daily log of construction and inspection activities and evaluated progress reports.
Managed tool sign-off coordination and close-out.
Developed detailed Scope of Work and generated RFP plan / documents.
QA/QC: Basebuild/Tool Hook-up CMP / Various Sites
Identified and resolved all field quality assurance issues.
Created and monitored process systems testing schedules.
Conducted NDE weld inspections.
Responsible for the resolution of contractor and client issues.
Completed Line Certification Testing, including pressure decay test, helium leak test, particle count analysis, and trace gas analysis.

US Navy Submarine Service
Newport News Shipyard USS Toledo SSN 769
Certified as Engineering Watch Supervisor, Reactor Operator, Shutdown Reactor Operator.
Quality Assurance Manager, Reactor Controls Division. System Expert for reactor instrumentation and controls equipment.
Hand selected as part of construction and commissioning team, new construction nuclear plant.

Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories S8G Nuclear Prototype
Supervised 40 Reactor Controls Division personnel, in five rotating shifts. Responsible for all documentation and records for Reactor Controls Division.
Responsible for the operation, preventive maintenance, and corrective maintenance of Reactor Instrumentation and Controls equipment.
Technical Writing – wrote 260 page work procedure for the first of a kind S8G platform End of Core Life Testing Program.
Certified Nuclear Instructor. Instructed US Navy and General Electric engineering operators in the theory, construction, and operation of various configuration Reactor Plants.

Over 20 years experience in the Construction Management industry. Skilled in Project Controls Management / Primavera Scheduling
Developed job tracking matrices for Intel and LSI Logic tool install and base build projects.
Extensive experience in the construction, operation, and troubleshooting of bulk gas and specialty gas systems. Proficient in the operation of Praxair, Air Products, and Matheson Gas Cabinets and VMB’s, fully versed in high purity system protocol.
Troubleshooting and identification of contamination source for bulk gas systems.
Supervised Reactor Controls Division personnel in installation certification, operation and maintenance of Reactor Plant Systems.


US Naval Nuclear Power School and Nuclear Power Training Unit.
Certified Nuclear Maintenance Technician, Nuclear Instructor and Nuclear Systems Expert.
Electronics Technician – 12 years experience in US Navy
Certified Primavera Project Planner Training (P3).
NDE Level II Non-destructive Examination; NDE Level II Mass Spectrometer Leak Detection
AMI Certified Orbital Welder; George Fischer Certified Weld Inspector and Level I Installer, IR-63 and IR-225 Process; Swagelok Component Certification.
Fully proficient in the use of Helium Leak detectors, Condensate Nucleus and Laser particle counters, and Trace Gas analysis equipment.

Monday, January 8, 2007

It's Official!

Finally, we are receiving our LLC documents in the mail. Here is a screen capture of the Colorado Secretary of State website:

We were able to set up our business bank account today! We have a deadline of January 12 to set up EFT payments for our utilities, otherwise, we would have to pay an $800 deposit for 36 months. I'd rather hang on to that money, as opposed to letting Colorado Springs Utilities hang on to it. I was beginning to wonder if we would get our LLC documents in time...

Speaking of CSU, I received our variance from their Wastewater division engineers today. As I stated before, they wanted a $45,000 1000 gallon Interceptor set below grade out in the parking lot. After much diplomacy/meetings/lobbying by our archtect, they agreed to give us a variance to place a grease trap inside. The one they specified in the variance is way overkill, though. They want us to install one that is 48" x 36" x 27" below grade, which means cutting the concrete slab and digging down quite a ways. Paul and Heather have a small grease trap in their shop (The Raven's Nest). They have been in operation for about four years (or more???) and have only needed to clean their small one once. If we put in the one CSU wants, I'll have to put it on my long range calendar to clean it in 2015. We'll be driving Jetson's cars by then!
Our architect is going to have the plumbing/mech engineer write up a calculation sheet based upon the capacities of the components that will be plumbed to the grease trap. We are hoping to convince them that a much smaller unit will suffice.

Tracy visited a couple of coffee shops today to get a feel for lighting. I need to develop a lighting plan prior to Thursday. Ryan is field walking subcontractors on Thursday to get some rough numbers for construction. We are going to do some recessed can lighting, some wall sconces, lots of track lighting for artwork, and a few drop down lights (blown glass). She checked out some Starbucks and

It's a Grind:

Jim and I stripped one of the separation walls of drywall yesterday, and took down about 1200 sq ft of ceiling tiles. I started to demo the framing, but had to move some electrical outlets. That pretty much wrapped up the day. I had planned to go back over there and finish that wall demo, and remove the remaining ceiling tiles and grid. I ended up spending the whole day dealing with the bank stuff, LLC stuff, getting our variance from CSU and passing the information along to Vic (architect), talking with some vendors for security systems and credit card processing, getting our EFT set up for utilities payments, and sending out some Judo team photos. I plan to be at the shop tomorrow to continue demo work. One day is a button down Ralph Lauren shirt, the next is camo cargo pants and an old t-shirt...

Since I was posting webshots, here is one more. This is a Mapquest capture of our shop location:

Just south of us on Printers Parkway and the connecting roads are numerous medical buildings. I plan to print a larger version of this map and drive around and label the map with the buildings and companies that are there. It is unbelievable how much there is. The city's Fire Department Headquarter Building is there, as is the El Paso County Regional Building Department.

You can see that the Olympic Training Center is a couple of blocks to the Northwest, as is Memorial Hospital, which is huge! The Memorial Hospital Headquarter building is jsut to the right of us, and the Chidlaw buidling is right behind us. I'd like to post the labeled map within a week or so just to show you how concentrated the area is. The demographics report said there were over 18,000 employees within a one mile radius of us. There is also a high density of residential, not to mention the largest athlectic park in the city one block west... Memorial Park has the City Parks and Recreation Headquarters, as well as the velodrome, a lake, indoor swimming pool, ice skating/hockey center, too many football/baseball/soccer fields to count, and the International Fallen Firefighters Memorial...

In fact, here is an aerial shot:

OK, that's enough blogging for tonight, except I need to share this:

1Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...

A friend of mine was recently separated and wants very much to repair and save his marriage. I won't mention names, but please pray for them. God will know who you mean. The passage above can help all marriages if used by both people in sincerity...