Peter Hirschberg

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Construction Update

The septic field was worked on all day today. Wow, lots of dirt. And I mean lots. And rocks too.

They dug three long trenches and hooked up the new distribution box to a bunch of pipes they began running around the trenches. I am taking photos of all this by the way. I guess I'll spare you the photos for the moment.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Construction Update

Nobody came today, nobody called. Today was the day the septic guy said he would be out to finish up the rest of the septic field work.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Construction Update

The septic guy came out today (had a hard time starting his equipment as the fuel lines were frozen). He dug the beginnings of the trench from the current distribution tank line out to the drain field. He dropped a couple pipes in the main trench and said he'd be back on Monday to "finish the rest". He brought a big load of gravel with him, which is sitting in our yard right now where the garage will be going.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Return from Sundance

Well, I survived Sundance! I put up a scrapbook of sorts for pictures and other memoirs of the event.

Read the scrapbook

It was all pretty surreal for me, but it was worth it. I saw 2 showings of the film, including the Premiere. Both showings were with a full (real!) audience. Seeing my stuff up the Big Screen in glorious hi-def and a fantastic digital 5.1 audio mix was priceless. I'll definitely never forget it. I got to meet some of the stars of the film, and that was just plain cool. Walter Day was very kind to me and donated some official Twin Galaxies posters to me. He even autographed one of them for me! I also got to meet Ben Gold, Mark Robichek, and Sam Blackburn, 3 of the stars of the film. Totally cool. I spent a lot of time chatting with Sam. We seem to have some (geeky) things in common and it turns out he lives very close to me. We talked about maybe having a "Game Day" sometime.

So the movie hasn't found a distributor yet. I hope it gets picked up soon so everyone can see the film. It seemed the audiences very much enjoyed the film.

Construction Update

Today the septic guy called and apologized for not having done anything for the last week. Apparently his equipment is in someone else's yard and he didn't want to tear up their yard with the new snowfall and all. He said he'd be out either tomorrow (Friday) or Monday to begin work. We told him the gravel hadn't arrived yet and he said he'd be bringing it out with him when he came.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Construction Update

Exciting! Today the building permit was nailed to our fence! Now we're getting somewhere! Nothing else happened today unfortunately.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Construction Update

Today was the day they were supposed to start the septic. Riiiiiight. No sign of anybody. Not even a phone call. Well, in their favor is the fact that it snowed (about a half inch).

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I'm off to Sundance! I haven't mentioned it before in this blog, but I created some computer animated sequences for the indie film Chasing Ghosts, which was accepted into the Sundance 2007 Film Festival. I am traveling out to Park City Utah for a couple days for the premiere!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Construction Update

Nothing happened today. The gravel didn't show up, so if the septic guy comes out tomorrow like he said he might, I'm not sure what he'll be able to do beyond dig trenches. I got a call today from the County Planning Office telling me my Building Permit was ready. I asked them if they would call the contractor and tell him, not me. Their response was "you are the contractor". Whatever. I told them I'd pass the word along and left a voicemail message with Chuck (our contractor).

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Construction Update

They delivered the tubes for the drainfield.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Construction Update

I guess this is the official groundbreaking day. They came out today and dug out the access door to the septic tank. I think they said they need to empty the tank as part of their work. Mmmmmm. They have a really tiny backhoe type thing in our yard. The guy told my wife he'd be back next week to do the rest. He did say they are going to be dropping off the plastic pipes and gravel tomorrow (for the drain field)

Monday, January 1, 2007

In The Beginning...

So, some back history. I collect vintage arcade games. The large coin-op kind. At the time of this writing I think I have about 70 machines. Our collection has outgrown the entire basement of our house (which we had finished into a pretty large gameroom to begin with), so we decided that we needed to expand.

The easiest option was to add another outbuilding to our existing property (we own about 2.5 acres). I purchased a set of plans for a 2 story 6 car garage that was pretty close to what I wanted. It was 40' x 60' (which I later modified to 40' x 65'), had 12' ceilings and wide open space on the lower level, an upper level, and a bathroom. I modified the plans a bit to fit in with my design, found a contractor willing to build it, got the financing (which involved refinancing our house), and that was the start of our new gameroom!

As it turned out, things were a little more complicated than that.

Where we had wanted the put the building was across the driveway from our house in a large open area on our property. Our county however has a restriction that buildings beyond a certain size have to go behind your house (and this was way past that size). Our house is sort of wedged way into the back our our property. It would be difficult, but not impossible, to fit the building there. We measured and found that it would fit if we relocated the well (expensive) and jammed the building right up against our house. We got talking with our neighbor (neighbor A) who's property adjoins along that edge of our property, and he was actually willing to sell us a small piece of his land that would be large enough for the building to fit! Cool! We made plans to have the land surveyed and appraised. A short time later, our other neighbors (neighbor B) expressed concern about our plans. In talking with them, initially the concern was that the building was going to be a large ugly metal structure. I assured them it would look just like the house, with cedar siding and stonework accents. But when I told them where the building was going to go and how large it was, they were shocked and did NOT want the building located anywhere behind our house, as it would block their view. I could understand that. I told them I would do my best to put it somewhere else. Whew.

We first had the contractor try and petition the County to obtain a waiver so that we could locate the building where we originally wanted it - across the driveway. After weeks and weeks of trying, the final answer was 'no'. Crud. Rethinking things, we knew that the County's restriction on having outbuildings behind the house didn't apply if the structure was within 4' of the house. Aha. There actually was a space within 4' of the house where the building would fit and also not interfere with the neighbor's view. Problem - it was where the septic field was located. Estimated cost to relocate the septic field: $10k (it ultimately ended up running us around $12k). We hadn't budgeted for that when we got the financing, but had little choice but to proceed. We figured we could make up the difference as the building was being constructed.

Months and month of having an engineer design the changes to the septic system, paperwork back and forth between the Health Dept, the builder, the County Planning Office, and us, we finally got the septic system changes approved. The last obstacle had been removed!

I decided at some point to keep a journal of the construction process of the new gameroom. After some thought, I figured the best format for the journal would be to make it a public blog. Then, later, after construction was complete, I could use the blog to announce "Game Days" and such. In fact, I might as well make the blog about all my stuff - not just about the arcade. Thus was the start of this blog. I always hated blogs, but it really does seem to make sense for keeping people informed of the status of my many projects. So...welcome! We'll see how it goes.