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Bill Gates' house tidbits

barbie and her 'dream house' are in the stoneage now.... for those of you to whom i'm sending this in other countries/areas, bill and melinda gates' house is situated in bellevue (my hometown *gag*), on the east shore of lake washington, facing seattle...read on...

Building officials from a dozen local municipalities toured Bill and Melinda Gates' house last month, below are the comments from one of the officials.

- Currently 300 workers including 104 electricians.
- No visible electrical outlets anywhere. Gates does not like "clutter".
- Construction likely complete in September 1997, months behind owner's schedule.
- 2 steps from the main floor to the main entry (or take the elevator).
- Wood columns from main floor to roof in entry area are over 70 feet long.
- Theme throughout main floor is high tech. lodge. Primary structure is all exposed similar to large logs in a lodge except the logs are PERFECTLY finished.
- All timbers used inside and out are finished the same - inches have been removed from the exterior of the wood and then sanded to a satin finish.
- All timbers are nearly perfect in that there are almost no knots.
- All connectors are structural grade stainless steel.
- All bolts throughout the house are stainless steel and oriented the same direction.
- All woodwork is flawless. Much of the woodwork is of various rare species from all over the world - imported especially for the Gates'.
- Some of the interior passage doors weigh over 800 lbs, but are balanced for easy use.
- Accoustics are a concern throughout. Various woods and fabrics are being used. Accoustic panels in the Ballroom move out of sight on their own.
- Roofing is stainless steel.
- Floor is heated everywhere including the driveway and walks.
- Ventilation system also conditions the air for health and comfort.
- Security system (automated and personnel) is redundant. Hidden cameras everywhere including interior stone walls. Sensors in the floor can track a person to within 6 inches. System is monitored at the Microsoft campus.
- Gates has a personal 4-car garage. House for the maintenance staff has its own-car garage. Nanny parks in the 6-car carport across from the main entry. An additional 10-cars can be parked in a subterranean arched concrete building which through an electronic transformation becomes a basketball court.
- Nanny lives in plush quarters in the main residence near to the Gates' bedroom.
- Existing cedar tree was determined by Gates to be in the wrong location and moved 6 inches.
- Gates insisted on saving a 40 year old maple adjacent to the driveway. The tree is monitored electronically 24 hours per day via computer. If it seems dry, it gets just the right amount of water automatically delivered.
- There will be an 8 hole putting range.
- A salmon hatchery is being finished.
- If you wish, your music will follow you throughout the house - even at the bottom of the pool.
- Many doors are blended so well with the walls that it is hard to see them.
- Theatre (underground in a concrete shell) is the most state of the art theatre in the world according to specialty contractor.
- Entry gate senses when your car approaches and opens fully by the time you arrive.
- Very old antique cabinets from China have been brought in and built into the walls with adjacent paneling built to match the cabinets exactly.
- 52 miles of communication cable in the building.
- Shower curtain next to the spa is a 4500 lb slab of granite.
- Melinda has 42 lineal feet of clothes hanging space in her closet operated like a dry cleaner's rack.
- Master bathtub can be filled to the right temperature and depth by Gates as he drives home from work.
- Only two guest bedrooms.
- There is a 28 foot high cantilever retaining wall.
- Reinforcing steel in all concrete is four times the code minimum. No. 8 steel wrapped with no. 5 ties was common for simple columns.
- There is a loading bay within the building.
- All work is virtually flawless.
- An interior designer disagreed with the layout of a portion of the home. Demolition resulted and 60 cubic yards of cured, cast-in-place concrete was removed.
- All building officials were suffering "sensory overload" shortly after the-hour tour started.

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