The Commodore Collector has been relocated

  • 2023-11-08
After a long period of silence from my side I finally found some time and energy to write a new blog. But wait, what do you mean by 'no time' and 'no energy' to write a blog or even add anything to the collection? What happened? I don't know where to begin but I will try. The short version is: We bought a bigger house, started to renovate it, and came into the trap called economy and lack of construction knowledge.
On my 50th birthday (June 3, 2022), we have signed the contract and got the keys to our new house. The same day we celebrated my birthday with family and our new neighbors. From this day on, a new adventure began for us. An adventure consisting of renovation, surprises, solutions and some small victories. Let's just say I learned a lot about how little I know about renovating. Well, let's start this adventure in chronological order.
The first step was removing the asbestos which was present in the house in many places as it was a common material back then (late 1970) to protect you from heat. Our boiler room was covered with asbestos, floor convectors contained asbestos sheets, and ten radiators contained asbestos gaskets. We knew this so it was not a surprises. All asbestos was professionally removed on June 7 and June 8, 2022.
Right after the removal of the asbestos I removed all the carpet from the house. It was old and dirty. Then I started on my daughter's (Sydney) wing. Well, we call it a wing because of two reasons. My last name (Vogel which means bird and birds have wings) and the place is too big to be called a room. My good friend Dennis helpt me with this one. I treat the removal of a wooden plank as the removal of a piece of old program code. First, i am going to find out what will break and crash when I remove it. Dennis is a little more practical in this case and rips it off like a bandage. The quick and painless method? In the meantime, the roofing needed to be replaced so the new solar panels could be installed, now is the time to do it.
One important lesson we have learned from this renovation is that you have to start at the top and work your way down. We had ordered all flooring even before we had the key of the house because the estimated delivery time was about 10 weeks. We wanted the renovation to be quick. On Juni 24, 2022 the floors were leveled and ready for the PVC flooring tiles. Some days later, on Juni 29, 2022, the tiles were ready and looking great. For me, the home office was important. I have to be able to work from home without distractions and I must be able to store and display my Commodore treasures. I did not have that in my previous home. All was stored in cabinets and in the attic with a loft ladder. Not easy to access.
immediately after the flooring was done we had to cover it with a protection layer, so the ceiling could be removed.
Technically it wasn't a moving day but a moving weekend. The first batch was moved on Friday and, the rest on Monday. But wait, the renovation is not finished yet. Well, no. We just started, but we figure out a way of doing everything in stages and still be able to live there. This way we had more time to work and less time to travel between 2 houses.
Boxes everywhere.
In the next 4 weeks we were renovating Sydney's wing and demolishing walls in another room. At this point I had already called in professional help. I was pretty quick to figure out that I couldn't do this on my own. I was also injured during demolition work. A number of fingers were caught between a stone wall and a sledgehammer. Fortunately I have 2 hands.
On August 9, 2022, Sydney was ready to move in her new wing. It looks great.
The demolishing went on, and I removed the ceiling of my home office. In the meantime, there were a lot of things happening. Like setting up the security system, preparing for solar panels with a battery backup system, and some plumbing issues. While the ceiling was open we had the opportunity to replace the water pipes which go through the ceiling into other rooms. The same applied to the installation of an air conditioning system. These pipes went from the outdoor unit in the garden through the ceiling to the various rooms. I've lost count, but I think we've had 8 of these 10m3 dumpsters full to the max. One time we had a complaint from the driver about how heavy the container was, because he had difficulty getting the container onto the truck. It was full of bricks, but luckily he was able to hoist it onto the truck.
After rebuilding the ceiling and plastering the walls, I was able to uncover a part of the floor for placing my desk and couch in their temporary location. Clearly visible, in the photo with the 3 windows, that there was wet spot. It started small and as the rain was poring the wet spot became bigger and bigger. That was one of the challenges in this house. Another challenge on November 4, 2022 was a flood. It turned out that the rainwater drain was connected to the sewage system which was clogged. Due to heavy rain, there was so much water that it flooded the toilet. As you can imagine the sight and smell was not a wonderful experience, but we are thankful that it happened at this moment in the middle of the renovation.
Because other rooms were now being renovated, my office was the perfect place to hang up the laundry and place the gaming systems for the teenagers. It was also possible for me to work here and drink tea from my Commodore mug.
On January 21, 2023, my eldest daughter and her boyfriend could now move into their new bedroom. Originally these were 2 small rooms but we decided to take down the wall so they have a much bigger bedroom. On January 27, 2023 we had 39 solar panels (I wished we could fit 64 panels) installed. Finally we could generate some energy. Well... Not that much since it was winter. I can't wait for spring to come. The following months were needed to build the rest of the apartment.
For years we had a vegetable garden located in a horticultural greenhouse. Because of the heat we could grow vegetables there all year round. We always had a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, pears, corn, ect... The last few years we did not have the time to take care of the vegetable garden, but we wanted to pick this up again in our new house. Because we are also getting a little older, we thought that a raised vegetable garden would be a great idea. On April 8th I started building this raised vegetable garden with decking boards that would otherwise be thrown away.
Here are some older photo's from our vegetable garden.
And some harvest photo's
We must not stray from our story. At the end of April 2023 the building of the apartement was finished and it was time to cleanup the place, prepare it for kitchen installation, and move some stuff around.
On April 21, 2023, some serious cleaning was needed.
On September 27, 2022 I ordered a large cabinet from Vitrine Masters, but due to the delay of the renovation, it was not delivered until May 16, 2023. Take a look at this beautiful glass display cabinet. 3 meters wide. I will be able to get the most beautiful Commodore items in here.
The city has also started the long-awaited renovation of the district. Our street was the first in line. It's funny that it's both at the same time. Interior renovation and exterior renovation.
June 24, 2023. The apartment is finally ready. The kitchen is installed, the furniture is in place, and the computers are connected. This apartment is large enough for 2 teenagers and contains a hall with toilet, bathroom, spacious bedroom, study area, open kitchen and living room with game corner.
So... I finally got a decent place to work in peace, listen to SID music, do some work on The Commodore Collector website and watch the birds how they provide themselves with food from the garden. Our garden is a great source of food for birds. I love seeing them in the bushes grabbing the berries and seeds. Well... Is it ready? It's not ready just yet, but it's coming to an end.
I was able to start making sets to put in the display cabinet. Figuring out what I wanted to put together. Turns out it's a lot easier to fill up such a big cabinet than I thought. I love the Commodore VIC 20 so a nice set can't be missed. I had the best time with the Commodore 64 and Amiga. I have quite a few of those. There are also so many types. I hope I can fit all of these in without it becoming a mess. My other computers should not be missing, of course. Atari, Spectrum, IntelliVision, Acorn, etc.
On July 19, 2023, my storage cabinets were delivered from Ikea. Did I mention before that we wanted the renovation done quickly? That was 13 months ago. Oh well, before you start something like this it always seems that you can finish it much faster. I am happy that we have been able to get this far with the available money.
Now it is time to varnish the oak table tops and then they are ready to be installed. Time to organize some books.
On August 28th I started to long-delayed job of sorting out all the cables, plugs, etc... Also, After some hesitation, I decided to sell a number of computers, hardware, and books from my 'other' stuff. I sold my Sinclair Spectrum +2, Sega Master System 2, VSmile, Laser 210 and Laser 310, 3 Atari computers (800XL, 800XE, and 1040ST), and lots of books. Let's just say this was 'Round 1'.
And finally, the end of the office construction is here. It's now October 6. Just some minor things have to be done like always. Some skirting against the wall, etc... I can now enjoy some old-fashioned programming (with modern tooling) and my day job, some more programming.
OK, what's next... I still have a book (from author Tom Lenting) review ready to publish. This was delayed also, and it will be the first thing I do. Sorry, Tom. I have been to X-2023 so I will write a little blog about that too. The last thing I want is to write about the magazine "Commodore Info". But I'm still missing a few numbers in my collection. Maybe someone can help me find these? I am missing "Year 1, edition 1", "Year 6, edition 4 and 8" and "Year 7, edition 4 to 8"
To add new items to the collection on the website I need to create a photo corner but my photography gear is in the back of the storage. I'm pretty sure this will take a while. My last addition was in December 2021. Sigh... I hope everything is up and running again soon. I think I had some photo sessions of items not currently present on the website stored on disk, so I will be able to add those.

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