The roofers were here today with their tar and their torches. The new dormer for the stairs is now soundproofed and sealed, and the new penetrations for drains and vents are closed up.

And we have a new wall. We have a new wall because when an inspector came out he said, "This existing wall, I don't like it. I don't like it one bit." So now we have a new wall. Hooray.

Of course, the plans already had us building a second wall inside this wall, presumably because our structural engineer didn't much like that wall either, and maybe at this point we don't need that second wall, but it's probably cheaper to just build them both and let left-hand and right-hand continue to not talk to each other than to spend the time to work it out in a saner way. The saner way would involve having the structural engineer change his plans, and then get that change approved, and days would go by, and, oh, fuck it, we'll just build them both.

Remember that scene at the opening of Blade where they're having a rave in the basement and then blood comes pouring out of the sprinkler system? Of course you do, because like me, you have an encyclopedic knowledge of every nightclub scene in every movie ever made. You don't? Must be a professional hazard, then.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure this valve here is where you plug in the blood tanks.

In case that ever became necessary.

I'll just note here that it's less than four months until Halloween.

6-Jul-2012 (Fri)
Wherein we get wood.

Now that's a big piece of wood:

Do you think it was cheap? I'm guessing not cheap.

It's going to add additional support to the ceiling above the new bar. We're not changing anything about that ceiling, and it's been there for, let's say, 80 years, but our structural engineer had a whim of some kind, and so, a new beam goes in.

You know, people often wise-crack that software engineering isn't real engineering because it's not rigorous, or doesn't contain enough proofs or something, but they sure look the same to me in one fundamental area: Second System Syndrome.

Say you've got a project (code, or a building) and it needs a new feature. The hacker says, "Let's do the minimal amount of work necessary to implement this." But the engineer says, "Well you know what you ought to do is throw everything away and start over. And we'll totally do it right this time."

Easy to say when you're spending someone else's money and time.

We're closed tonight. On a Friday. Which is a tragedy.

One of our promoters canceled at the last minute because he realized his party was going to tank. He was probably right, and we'll probably lose less money being closed than we would have being open, but it's still depressing. We are still having a ridiculously difficult time filling up our Friday nights. The only options we're finding are for parties that would be a really bad idea, either because of violence or the spectre of cock.

I can't believe how much this stupid construction project is costing. We are ridiculously over-budget. The fact that we can't fill Fridays is not helping.

18-Jul-2012 (Wed)
Wherein there's a new hole!

Shit's getting real: we've cut back the bench inside DNA Pizza and opened up the wall. The plumbing and gas line that were inside the wall have been relocated, and the concrete sawyers arrive on Tuesday!

As you can see, there's a lot of space inside that wall. Remember that scene in The Matrix, "Tank, I need the main wet-wall?" I didn't realize that might actually be practical. I assumed that this was typical Hollywood bullshit, like crawling through air ducts! (Though some of our duct work is large enough to fit in, the deal-breaker is that ducting is light, so it's held on loosely enough that the weight of a person inside would bring the whole thing down. Dear spies and commandos, please do not try to infiltrate DNA Lounge in this way, thanks.) Speaking of ducts, we've got new ones. Also an alcove around where the upstairs stairs will go. This will have doors on the outside of it. It's there because you're not allowed to have doors right at the top of stairs.

Remember that big beam we had to put in? This is what a cross-section of it looks like:

It turns out that high-load structural wooden beams aren't actually made from trees any more. It's more like a "pink slime" situation. They have a conveyor belt that squeezes a slurry of wood chips and epoxy through a mold. As the extruded beam rolls down the belt, the glue is cured by it passing through a continuously operating microwave oven. Then they crimp it off at the desired length.

Remember that 12' piece of threaded steel that we epoxied into the foundation of the building to hold up the second floor? This is the top end of it:

And, photos! Of events, instead of construction detritus:

I have inflicted a pretty major redesign upon the DNA Lounge web site. What do you think? Let me know how it works for you.

We are the best! So says SFBG's Best of the Bay readers' poll. DNA Lounge won Best Overall Party Venue (for the fifth year in a row!) as well as Best Bar Staff, along with our monthly parties Bootie: "Best Overall Dance Party"; Trannyshack: "Best Drag Show"; and Hubba Hubba Revue: "Best Burlesque Show"!

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who made these parties happen, and thanks to you for voting!

Meanwhile, back at the job site, this happened:

First they drilled holes in the wall and bolted a steel track to it; then they mounted the saw on that track and cut the concrete with a 24" diamond-tipped blade. It was incredibly loud.

They sawed the wall out in sections, then kicked the slabs over onto a pile of tires. Then they broke them up with jackhammers and carried the pieces out. It was very messy. They sprayed water on the drill while cutting to keep the dust down (turning it into a river of mud instead of a white cloud) but apparently not enough, because the dust got everywhere. Since we're open tonight, we had to bring in a cleaning crew this afternoon to spend many hours dusting the club from top to bottom -- like, taking down every bottle and wiping it off by hand. Good times.

Sadly, I have not yet been able to walk fully between the buildings, because so far one side or another has always been boxed off. I was hoping for one of those moments like when a tunnel-boring machine breaks through, and the two crews shake hands and drink champagne. Alas, it was not to be.

Here's a picture of some of the ancient square rebar inside our hundred-year-old walls, and here's a curiously intact slab of wall on its way out. Good day, wall. I SAID GOOD DAY.

I guess the opposite of "rebar" is "bar", and we've got the skeleton of one of those too:

There was a lot of plumbing work going on on the DNA Pizza ceiling to hook up this bar's drains and sinks, so between the pipe all over the floor, the guys on ladders with torches and the apocalyptic level of demolition noise, I'm surprised we had any customers at all! We still did, though. It didn't scare everybody away.

31-Jul-2012 (Tue)
Wherein SSL is reconfigured.

It was time to renew our SSL certificate, so we took this opportunity to move the store from to (A decade ago, they were different machines, but they've been hosted on the same server for quite some time now.) A side-effect of this is that the whole web site is accessible via HTTPS now. You know, if you're paranoid about people snooping you as you browse our calendar or something.

Please let me know if you notice any problems, particularly any warnings like "secure page loaded insecure content".

Attention staff and promoters: check your bookmarks. Change any occurrences of "cart" or "cerebrum" to "www".