Sunday, December 28, 2008

Not Yet

Well, I guess you could say I lied. I haven't started anything yet in the cupboard area. My last entry was right before Christmas and as always, there are things to do.

Another very important point that I failed to mention is that on the Friday morning before Christmas, about 2 in the morning, three of us got what appears to be a case of food poisoning. We had gone with a niece on Wednesday to assist in the purchase of a new TV. We went to her first choice (price drove us there) for her purchase and she saw why I kept saying "not a good idea". She tried two sales associates [get the hint of the location] and neither one could answer her questions or even find the remotes so she could check some things out. We made the decision to leave and to go to a place that specializes in the product she wanted. "How may we help you" couldn't do anything for her. Well, we left and decided to eat first. I made a choice on quick service and price. It was Mexican and that 's all I will say. We got seated quickly but waited on slowly. Plenty of servers standing around because we were ahead of the rush. When we did get our food, the niece and the wife said their foods were either tasting funny or not hot enough. I liked my food. Remember this is Wed. evening.

About 3 AM my wife disturbed me. She told me she had been up since 1 or 2. I got up to see if I could do anything for her and then went to the family room so I wouldn't disturb her if she got comfortable. It only took about a half hr. to hit me. Around 8 or so the niece called and said she wasn't' going to work, she wanted us to be sure not to get what she had......too late. We had not seen her for days before we got sick. The fact that we all got it within a couple of hours and that we had eaten at the same place a day and a half before just said food poisoning. We called the county health office and they took all of our individual statements and agreed that it sounded like the food was the issue. They are doing an investigation. I'm not, for some dumb reason, looking for restitution but there is a waiter or cook that needs to go home, south of the boarder.

To show someone how bad it was, we almost didn't have Christmas dinner because food made us sick and I didn't take one that is unheard of. Just ask anyone in the family. They'll tell you.

I can safely say that it probably won't be for another week or so before I get to it. You know, when you're retired you never have time to do things. You even wonder how you got things done before.

Back soon, I hope.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Wow, it has been a while since I have posted anything. Nov. 18th. I guess that since the official crash of the economy took place and I vented in my last post that there hasn't really been too much happening. After all, winter has arrived and the cold has been just that, cold! We've gone through Thanksgiving, that was good as usual. The economy still sucks. Congress has made a fool out of themselves again. This time they tried to cover it up by challenging the car companies while ignoring the outcries of what went wrong and where did the money go for the banking institutions. I will post more on this as I do have opinions, biased in some ways and just plain American in others. Remember, I am a car guy, all cars, but I do have feelings, American.

Now, on to more important issues. I do have a new project that I am going to take on. I will have pictures of the progression. It is a cabinet remodel, just one, but important. It starts out like this.

After we moved in and were here for a bit the wife kept complaining about a few things in the kitchen. One was a switch to the disposal. It was located six feet to the right of the sink while a foot on either side of the sink was receptacle. This I took care of by replacing the one on the left with a combo switch/receptacle setup. The switch parts flips sideways instead of up and down. I replaced the switch that to the disposal with a receptacle. Cut back all wiring and marked it for new owners in the future and ran a new cable to the disposal.

Next issue was the complaint that the dishwasher was too far from the sink. There is a bend in the counter top when moving from the sink to the right. Then there is a narrow cabinet for cookie sheets and then the dishwasher and then a lazy-susan corner cabinet. I looked at pictures I had taken of the model home so that we could try to make some decorating plans etc. When I went back and looked at them I discovered that the dishwasher and cookie sheet cabinet were reversed in our home. When our ten month inspection and repair came along I asked the contractor if the cabinet installer could make changes or if they had to go by a print or layout. He said layout. I pointed the issue out and he said he would move everything around. After this was done he said he was not satisfied with the number of holes in the cabinet and that he would order a new one and replace it. It did have two large holes in the back down low for the water and drain lines to go through. There was also extra holes where they ran some screws in to mount it....they weren't needed. The cabinet arrived and was replaced. When the guy left I noticed a split face on one side. I called them back real quick and he returned, took a look at his boo boo and said he would order a new on. The third cabinet comes and gets installed. This whole time the contractor doesn't want the old cabinets or doors. I now have, what I consider, two perfectly good cabinets that I am eventually going to use in my workshop.

Now to the point of the project..............................finally. I have one cabinet up on a bench and plan on using it as a template to make everything so that the cabinet in the kitchen can be used (1) easier (2) kept more neatly and (3) be more user friendly, hence ergonomically. I am going to build a slide out bottom with a divider so that the small hot divots, cutting boards and racks can be separated from the larger cookie sheets, racks and cutting boards. I will have pictures as I go as usual. Hopefully I will have this started shortly after the first of the year. Gotta celebrate Christmas and 40 years of marriage first. Also need to talk the wife into letting me take the table saw into the basement for the winter. Too cold in the garage.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Congress, the auto industry and the American way

You know, what congress is asking for from the auto industry is good but it should have been done when they ggave the 700 billion to the stinking financial and insurance guys that are blowing their gifts of cash on parties, not once or twice but real multiple times. STILL, no one is held accountable either in those companies or congress for that money. That's because they have egg on their faces. Yet, the auto industry can't even get a few million without deep interrogation and finger pointing. I wonder, how many of those in congress own an American car. They keep blasting the quality, hell, they don't know the quality. GM itself is above many foreign autos now in quality. The days of buy it on Saturday and take it back on Monday for warranty issues are long gone. Toyota just had a recall. Has anyone paid attention?

Congress is like so many people and they are just people. They rallied around an issue and almost 100% at the time were in favor of the action to be taken. Some since, have stood back and wondered or even denied being part of it. NOT enough questions were asked at the time. I'm glad and proud to say that no matter how many pictures Colon Powell showed me of some image and said it was a manufacturing facility, I didn't believe it. I didn't have x-ray vision. You have obviously guessed what I am talking about by now. The Irag war. Well, now Congress wants to ask questions but approx. a month ago when they became the cash cows for the financial and insurance groups, they, in all their wisdom couldn't stop and ask questions. Now that they have been taken for some sort of a ride they are going to ask questions and rightfully so, but... Time is of essence. GM, Ford and Chrysler need to get off their butts and give the real answers.

By the way, GM has more hybrids in it's stable than anyone I do believe. Have you looked at the American auto line up of small cars today and what is coming out? Go buy a magazine and read; Automobile, Auto Weekly, Road & Track and many more. Have you looked at the size of the foreign autos and checked out their mpg? This is NOT an auto industry issue as to why but an American issue as to wanting the BIG vehicle. Size, horsepower and torque.......the American way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Flight

Surpised me so I have shutter stutter, or shake, or the nervous hand.
Big red truck that startled the bird can be seen in the water reflection.
Running to take-off again.

Not much to write, self explanatory.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Dinner Time

12 3
1) Scouting out dinner. 2) Striking out for dinner. 3) Positioning the little fish.
4) Swallowing the little fish.

A Blue Heron landed in the pond behind our house today so I took some pictures, 90 to be exact. I've sense narrowed that down to something like 70 or so with more to go. I was afraid to try to go out for several reasons. First would be the obvious, startling the bird and second would be I didn't know if I would have enough time. The last time one of these birds came it didn't stay long. It was a younger bird. This one got scared by a big truck and flew a hundred feet away but then walked back and started feeding again. I will post some of the in flight shots. I must say, my pictures don't do the wingspan justice. It actually got spooked twice so I do have a couple of angles. Stay tuned for updates.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Sink and mirror installed

The sink and mirror for the bath are installed. Found a small sink with wainscoting on it to match the lower part of the walls in the bath. The faucet matches the light fixture that came out of the hall bath upstairs and this faucet came with a handle selection. We haven't decided whether the white one on the left or the all metal look as on the right is t he correct one for this room. Open for suggestions. Doesn't mean they will be used but if the suggestion is made with a point of interest than it will definitely be used in are process of elimination. Go ahead and post your thoughts or call, if you know the number.
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Running supply lines and drain.

It looks nuts in the first and second photo but the hot and cold actually cross. Two reasons here, first when I looked at it from the back side I put the cold on the left and the hot on the right side of the stud. You wouldn't know that I flew radio control airplanes where you have to be able to think in reverse. Secondly, I actually had to run the tap ins on the main lines due to space of where I could get on the pipe with the size of fittings I had. I had 1 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/2 inch 'T' because the supply to the hot water heater was 3/4" but the hot water was reduced in this area to 1/2" thus I had to put a 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 inch 'T' in and it was right across from the stud. Lack of room available in the area meant that the cold water had to cross the hot. It is just an asthetic thing and I am all about the neatness of a job. It's my construction background I guess.

The third and fourth photos show the complete feed to the sink, the toilet and a maintenance line to fill the sump pump pit. This allows me to be sure the check vavles are funtioning properly as well as the battery backup system.

The worst part of this was either the three trips to the supply store or the fumes from the glue. I had a guy that was a retired plumber help me pick out my parts. He said that everything he does, including plumbing jobs, requires three trips. He was right almost. Mine took three trips but had a neighbor not had three foot of pipe and one elbow I would have made the fourth trip. This little job took twenty-four foot of pipe. I had absolutely NO scrap.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Production line and offset

Here we have our wainscoting painting facility in operation. We could get 4 boards at a time. The third picture is a better shot at the offsets that had to be made for the Ryan mistake. Coming from the back corner where the sump pump sits on the otherside of the wall we have approximately a 36" wall then a 10" offset then a 22" wall and then a 3.5" offset and then lastly where a pedistal sink will sit is a 37" wall. Not bad for an electrician by trade and an amature wannabe carpenter eh!
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Paint and Trim Transition

As you can see the ceiling and the walls color is the same so to break up the supper cave effect we put cove molding at the ceiling and wainscoting on the lower portion of the wall with chair molding on top with white base boards.
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Bath Addition

When we bought our house we had a 1/2 bath roughed in for the basement. I didn't do anything to it until this year. Ryan, the builder made some mistakes that I had to make allowances for like where they put the sump pump and the fact that the floor pitched to the sump pump, which it should do if the need was to arise due to flooding. The location of the s.p. was almost in the bathroom area, hence the offset in the wall as seen in picture 4. You can see where the toilet is to be located and approximately 13 1/2 " back is the vent pipe. The sink will go where you see the lights on the wall. In order to put the sink in and close the door if need be once installed, this wall had to go over a drain in the floor that the water softner goes to and the hotwater heaters vent line as well as the A/C condensate drain. So, first I had to run a wall across this drain, then move in to pick up the vent pipe, wouldn't want that visible in your bath and then move in again another 10" to get by the sump pump. A room that starts off at about 65" ruduces down 13" to get by Ryan's screw up.

Well, as you can see we are on our way to getting this project done. I made two new walls, two existed from the finished part of the basement, hung drywall, spackled (hate this part) put two coats of primer on and then painted the ceiling and a little over half way down a dark gray color.

More to come.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gene and his car

The master of the yellow Vette. We went out Tues. after lunch to a hugh church parking lot to take some pictures of his Vette and ended up taking 158 shots. Some have already bitten the dust while others are to be played with or kept for posting if or when he decides to sell it. Took so through the mirror (inside and out) shots and through the rear window. Found I really do want to get an 18mm lens. It was fun and it gave a couple of retired bums something to do.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

BAck Home Again

Finally, with the floor in the garage done the little one has found its way back home. Poor thing had to sit outside for four days in the heat and dust from all the construction in the area. It got its Friday night bath with a soft towel wipe down and put to bed. Looks good on the new floor.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Garage floor re-work

Well, if the walls can look good then I figure the floor must too. It isn't a hard job, just a time consuming task. Started on Monday and finished today, Thursday. The gray part was already painted with a one part epoxy. The blue section which is where the cars park is about 2/3's of the garage. It was acid etched and bonded then painted with a two part epoxy. We mixed the two parts and let it sit like the instructions said. Then I started to go around the parimeter of both sides of the garage, along the gray floor part and the entrance area. Next I started to roll the paint onto the floor in 3 x 3 foot areas and Cindy sprinkled the flakes. I noticed pretty quickly that I was having trouble rolling and that the roller didn't want to stay on the mechinism. You are suppose to have about a two hour work time but I could see this was not the case. It was hot and very humid and the mixture was getting hot which
meant it was working. I wasn't a quarter of the way through and was beginning to believe I wasn't going to make it. I changed rollers once and that helped a little. With a lot of effort I made it through the first gallon. I had Cindy
start the second gallon mix about the time I was finishing the entrance area so it had only sat for about 30 minutes. When I started rolling it I could tell a difference right away. The rest of the job has been a piece of cake. There are
two coats of clear high gloss on both of the colors and it went on like water. We plan on doing the basement floors in
the workshop and the storage areas and will in all probability cover it with the clear. Gives a nice showroom effect.
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Deck Extension

What started out as an extension to the deck to get the big-ass grill out of the way at a cost of $115 turned into a cost overrun of about another $100. I was going to reuse railing material from the extension back to the house like it had been and would have only needed enough to go outwards, 36" each side. Instead of this and after the extension was built we added a set of stairs. Now we don't have to go off the front of the deck and walk around the deck to get to the hose. The only thing I have to do now is figure out what I am going to do with the landscaping in the stair area. This is quite a slope and hard to handle so I need to level it and am thinking of pavers. The stairs are 5' across so you can see the pitch in the 6" riser. I also have to finish the railing and I plan on putting a lift of opening in the side with the gas bottle, much easier to change it out when it is about waist high. No more getting down on ones knees and have to set the bottle in in an awkward position.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Garden Update Again

Well, with the advice of a friend I now have fruit coming on the tomatoes and peppers. He recommended I get some Blossom Set. I did and I spayed twice. I now have lots of each coming on. I had the flowers but no end result. This is a cucumber that had set awhile back, it is a bush type plant for compact areas. They only get about 5 to 6 inches.
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