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This week I've been practicing my drywall taping skills. They need work. I've got the basics down, but now need to work on the details, especially inside corners. The first joint I taped bubbled (and I've since peeled the tape off and mudded it over sans tape), the second one is ok, and the first inside corner needs some sanding and then will be done.

I've got another inside corner on the wall, and a pair of small butt joints (that I may skip as they'll eventually be covered with door frame trim), and will have more joints once I start in on enclosing the stairs.

The garden beds are cleaned out, tilled, and replanted with tomatoes, onions, and radishes. I need to screw down the screen frames over them yet (we took them off to work on the spading/tilling).

Today I decided that the flag in the front yard needed replacing, so I got a new one at Meikle's, along with some yard stuff and charcoal.

We're cooking meat for the week today. There's a beef brisket in the smoker (cherry smoke, Smoky Jon's Flavor Magic seasonings, and brown sugar and other seasoning in the water, which we're basing the meat with occasionally), boneless pork rib ends in the crock pot (dried cranberries, ginger, other spices), and we might also do brats later (Johnsonville original). I've also got a recipe for fried peach pies that I might try later.

Updates

May. 17th, 2010 08:03 pm
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We did the Janesville Renaissance Faire this weekend. The weather was great, but Sunday got a bit windy (people buy less on windy days, or we'd probably have broken our sales record this year). The truck is mostly unpacked, and we haven't started on the trailer yet.

We don't have the best luck with the trailer at Janesville. Last year I put the two small oxygen tanks in the trailer at the last minute, and, of course, stuck them in by the back door because that's where the empty space was. Most of the route to Janesville on I94 is just the right bump frequency to make the trailer sway all over the road if it's loaded wrong (we did most of the trip at about 45-50mph to keep the trailer stable). This year I had it loaded better, but we didn't get over 55. On the way home I loaded the trailer full (i.e. - heavier) and it was more stable, but then it bounced - and the truck resonates with the bouncing - at anything over about 60.

Today I unloaded most of the truck (mainly so that I could get the cooler out of it and put away the rest of the snacks) and then Jim from Steinhafels came over to fix the sofa. Most furniture manufacturers no longer use screws, only smooth-wire staples, which means that the joints can work loose, because many of them also no longer worry too much about whether the joints are glued together, either. Jim opened up the back of the sofa, clipped off all of the out-of-place staples, added some glue to every joint he worked on, and then screwed everything back together and added some extra reinforcement anywhere he felt it'd help. The sofa is still in the original warranty, but we bought the extended (5 year) warranty because neither of us is petite, and we knew something like this would eventually happen.

After lunch I got out the trimmer and did the whole yard. Then, having decided from the amount of yard splattered all over me that I wasn't going to be allergic to the yard this year (last year I ran into something that had me breaking out after trimming), I mowed. I did the first two thirds of the yard, took a break, and then finished the mowing. While I was finishing [profile] teeka cut circles out of paper grocery back that I then put around all the little trees before I mulched around them. The bag should kill the grass around the tree and then degrade allowing water to go through the mulch without problems. Tomorrow I'm going to do the shrubs by the driveway, and then we may work on other yard stuff, or we might start in on painting in the guest room.

Plumbing

Mar. 7th, 2010 05:37 pm
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The kitchen sink plugged up today.

Not unexpected, or difficult to fix. However, it's pointed out a problem in my home plumbing that may need to be remedied.

I tried plungering the clog, but that didn't work, so when I ran out for groceries, I got some liquid plumber and a drain snake to try to clear it.

After the snake ran the full 20' into the drain, and the clog didn't break, I figured something weird was up, since the dishwasher drains correctly, and it enters the drain snake right at basement ceiling height, about 2' below where the sink drain enters.

I pulled the snake out and ran it in again, this time spinning it with the drill instead of by hand, to see if the extra motion would help. All the way in, still clogged. On a hunch, I went outside and looked at the roof, and the snake is coming out of the vent. I pulled the snake and poured in an entire bottle of Liquid Plumr max gel, and am waiting to see if it does anything.

Gardening

May. 14th, 2009 09:15 pm
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After dinner tonight somebody said "There's still some light, come outside and help me plant."

So, we did.

The west side of the house now has moss roses, coleus, begonia, and something that one of the customers at the Vinery was getting rid of.
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Sunday afternoon we broke the bed. One of the box spring halves cracked along the center line of the bed, right where the rail of the box spring sits on the foot-end crossbar.

Today we took it into Verlo (we were over there for something else, so it was a good time to drop it off). They're going to replace it because it's a manufacturing defect (the break is right at a knot in the wood), and they're also going to replace the other half, too, because they don't build them the same way and if they only do one they won't match properly.

[livejournal.com profile] teeka has the truck, and is going to pick them up on her way home from work, and then, at some point, we're going to have to drop off the other half of the old box spring as well. Hopefully the weather isn't too bad when she gets them, as they don't fit completely in the truck....
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Being a nice day, I started in on chopping drainage channels in the ice at the crosswalk on the corner, so that it'd drain and wouldn't pool new ice. Base channels took until lunch, and then after lunch, most of the neighbors were out helping each other shovel the piles at the end of driveways out into the street so that they'd melt, and people with short cars could see over them.

Then they all came over, and we pretty much destroyed the ice in the intersection (the contractors with the graders who do the neighborhood don't do a very good job of scraping the intersection bare), all the while talking about who's doing what and so on. We had 12-14 people standing around the intersection at one point, with ice choppers, shovels, and my digging bar (which destroys ice buildup), occasionally getting out of the way of cars.

Then I cleaned up some of the old seed, hulls, etc. under the bird feeder, until 'd filled the composter. If I do more, I'm going to have to start filling the neighbor's composter.

After that, we went to Menards for some shelf boards to do the closet in the computer room/office. We never put clothes in there, so we're going to put shelves at about 16" spacing to hold all the craft stuff and random electronics that have piled up there. I ripped the tongues off some old T&G boards from the garage, gut them to fit the sides and back wall as perimeter shelf supports, and then [livejournal.com profile] teeka painted them. They're currently out in the garage (with a heater) drying, albeit slowly.

Tomorrow we'll install the shelves, and clean up the room somewhat, and then we're probably going to clean the carpeting in the bedrooms and computer room.
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Jackie says that being up on the dryer while I'm folding clothes is good, because then she gets big piles of warm clothes to sit on and try and squash the lumps out of, but it becomes less fun when I then fill the dryer with wet pillows and tennis balls.
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Last night when I got home from work I refilled the bird feeders.

When I got up about 9am this morning, both thistle feeders were down about 4". The birdmometer (an all-purpose weather predicting device) says that either a) today's going to be worse than the weather prediction is saying; or b)significant recharging is required now that the temperature's warm enough that the birds can get out to tank back up.
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The plumbers are working their way around campus this week turning off all of the outdoor faucets, even the freeze-proof ones, because of the coming cold. I opened doors for them to turn off both of the faucets at work. One can leak without causing much trouble (it's in the back of the foundry, and there is a floor drain), but the other one's in our server room.

This always reminds me that I need to redo the back faucet some day (freeze-proof spigot and ball valve shutoff), but until something goes wrong with it, I'm not going to do anything.

I did, however, shut off and bleed down both faucets at home, just in case.

Channel 3 is currently predicting -17F Thursday night, with -40F windchill.
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[livejournal.com profile] teeka, unfortunately, is in the living room worrying about having to go to the dentist tomorrow to have a crown reinstalled (hopefully it's that simple).

I just got done having more fun than any self-respecting snow goon should have.

The old snowblower took about an hour and a half to do the driveway, the sidewalk, and the extra paths through the yard.

We think I did it in about 45 minutes, including doing 2-3 extra neighbors worth of sidewalk, and cutting the plow berms next to the driveway and the curb ramp back about 3 feet. I didn't get the street pushed back all the way to the curb, because I didn't bring a shovel, and I can only reach about 30" high on the bank with just the snowblower (which has a 21" high cut, according to the manual). I'll probably work on that tomorrow when I go out to shovel off the roof.

Turning radius is similar to the old one, and I can still make the corner next to the garage to get to the back yard path, and I cleaned out the path we cut for the mail carrier, and turned around in the neighbor's driveway, as now I can climb the hill going into their yard (I followed the extension of the cut they made right up onto their front sidewalk).

I need to make a few adjustments tomorrow. The skid plates need to be lowered (they're in the factory-set "high" position now) so that the scraper bar doesn't catch on the sidewalk high points as much, and I need to tighten the bracket for the chute because it swivels the crank away from the chute and then I can't rotate it.

Other than that, I'm going to give the new snowblower a rating of at least 4 snowballs (out of 5).
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G ([livejournal.com profile] teeka's nephew) gave us a lat-panel TV for Christmas.

Jackie (the cat) just discovered that there's no room on top of the TV for a cat, and that it's a lot more tippy - the TV went over, and the cat headed for the back room (where she found crunchies on the floor, so she's all better now).

I found two mirror clips in the miscellaneous stuff drawer, so, hopefully, the TV won't fall over next time.

I've been out in the garage for part of the afternoon, making stuff. It'd work much better if I didn't need to worry about frostbite. I had to borrow the propane heater from [livejournal.com profile] teeka's shop in order to put enough heat into my side (which doesn't have interior walls, and only has plastic sheeting for a ceiling) in order to make it warm enough for the shop light to come on.
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Yesterday I was a slacker (well, not entirely - I did laundry and dishes).

Today, however, I've actually gotten some work done.

The lawnmower has been run dry, folded up, bagged, and stashed at the back of the garage.

The snowblower has been dug out, I got the electric start to engage properly, but I haven't gotten it to start yet. I also cleared out where it parks over the winter, which gives me more room to work in the garage.

We went to Menards for parts, and [livejournal.com profile] teeka now has a timer for her rod warmer and the heat lamp that keeps her feet warm, so that she doesn't have to worry about leaving them on.

Tomorrow I'm going to do more work on cleaning the garage, try again to start the snowblower, and replace the rubber flap on the garbage disposal.

Halloween

Oct. 31st, 2008 08:15 pm
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[livejournal.com profile] teeka says I'm being mean to the Trick or Treaters.

When they say "Trick or Treat," I keep asking them what they've got prepared for tricks. Most of them stare at me as if I'm completely crazy.

One young lady did argue with me for a while about how just handing over treats was a Halloween tradition, so I explained the origin of the "Trick" part of the statement, but I don't think she believed me.

Everyone gets treats anyway, but so far nobody's had anything for tricks for me, but Teeka did get one "Boo!" from one of the people she asked.

Last year I got a Knock-Knock joke and one cartwheel.

I think this says something important about the general preparedness of kids these days.
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The party went well. A bunch of people showed up, everybody had fun, almost all of the food we cooked got eaten, and Maggs had a lot of fun cooking for an army.

Today we're going to finish the cleanup (not a lot required), and finish making and cooking the eggrolls and rangoon so that we can freeze them or feed leftovers to anyone who happens to stop by.

Later today, Maggs is going to go out and start working on her "Eye of Sauron"project.

It's done!

Oct. 19th, 2008 08:42 pm
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This morning I finally finished the hardwood floor. The last transition strip is in, including trimming the molding around the end of it.

This afternoon I started raking leaves. The trees around the house have just started dropping leaves, and I've already got three large piles on the apron waiting for the city to take them away. The crabapple and the tree in the Fulton-side apron are ~1/3 down, but the other four trees haven't really started. The neighbor's tree by the driveway has only just started, too, but that's the biggest tree and has a lot of leaves to go. I just hope they're done by the time it starts snowing (last year they weren't quite).

Next, it's time to start cleaning leaves out of the gutters!
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We're still steadily moving forward on Faire prep. We even created a new product line this week, more info when I get pictures out of my camera. Today's completed projects were building and staining frames for the display boards that normally go into the easels so that they can hang on walls, and building a bench for the back of the shop.

Tomorrow's plan is to varnish the dichro frames and to cut flashing and tarp to build fire-resistant panels for protecting the glass-working area. It's a wood shop. If things go bad, our shop, the other shop in our building, and the next two buildings probably all go up. We're going to cover the side wall (in the direction that things normally fly) with aluminum flashing, and we're going to put a section of fire-resistant tarp down on the floor. And we're going to pack several fire extinguishers, just in case.

Today's non-faire project was cleaning out the gutters on the driveway side. The entire length of the house was full of maple seeds (half of a yard waste bag of them!), and the downspout was plugged with crud. Tomorrow I should probably look at the other two sides.

Tomorrow I need to take the lawnmower in for service. Currently the starter doesn't always engage, and the gas tank drains out through the air filter (which is the more important problem). I could fix them myself, but I don't have time, and the lawn already hasn't been mowed in a week.

We're home

Jun. 8th, 2008 10:51 pm
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Really crappy weather for an outdoor show weekend.

Saturday, Pirate Fest shut down early because of weather. First they shut us down around 5:30 because PWPD was telling everyone that they were expecting 100MPH straight-line winds. Then, about 6p we went back outside because the front had gone through, and, while we were trying to decide whether to unseal tents, the faire organizers decided that since there was another front due in about half an hour, it wasn't worth opening up, then closing until the weather cleared, and then opening back up for whoever possibly might have stayed. So we closed up shop and headed back to Keith & Kendra's, where we got to hang out for a while for Keith's birthday party (instead of getting back around 11p because the faire was supposed to have gone until 10p).

Getting to K&K's, however, was a whole other story. We were on I43 when the second front hit. I could see where the road was, but traffic slowed down to about 40MPH. When we got to Capitol, it was closed at Port Washington Road because the underpass was flooded. We followed the rest of the traffic south on PW and then eventually east through the city until the leader of our group led us all into a dead end. Eventually, after carefully driving through a lot of flooded intersection, we made it to Humboldt, and then back to Capitol. Humboldt had a flooded stretch that was over the hubcaps, but we made it through, and then over the bridge to the higher side of the city, where there were fewer flooded spots.

Today it also rained a lot, but the faire stayed open the whole time. Not many people were out today, but things picked up around 3, but not to where we had hoped. All in all, we made expenses plus about what we would have made on a normal Farmer's Market, making it a fairly good show, with the weather that we had.

Driving home today we took Brown Deer to 45 to I94 in order to miss all the construction. We stopped at Target and bought a roll of duct tape and sealed the trailer up (after a weekend of rain, one of the roof panels had warped enough that the lid wouldn't seal). Heavy Dudy All-Weather Duct Tape (I don't recall what brand) works well. Nothing came loose during the trip back, even though there was enough rain to slow everyone down to 55MPH for most of the trip, with drops to about 30 in the worst spots. We still got some water in the cart, but not as much as we would have had without the tape. I've currently got a fan blowing into the cart to try and dry it out somewhat.

When we got home, there is a little water in the basement, so tomorrow I'll have to clear the driveway side downspout (I'm sure it's full of maple seeds). Eventually, I'll have to try and seal the crack under one of the windows, as that's the first place that leaks. I also now see that I need to knock out the patch from (I think) the original water line and reseal it, as it's also leaking a little. That part of the foundation is also covered by the driveway gutters, so clearing that side should fix both spots. Meanwhile, there's a fan and a dehumidifier working on the basement.

I'm also doing laundry. All the tablecloths are wet, so they and our garb are in the washer & dryer right now so that we don't have to worry about mildew or permanent stains.

Tomorrow we're planning on day tripping to Chippewa Falls to take the tables and other big display elements to the shop we're renting and to measure the place so that we can figure out what we want to do for displays. Then I'm going to spend the rest of the week making displays and getting stuff ready, as the faire opens Saturday for a five weekend run.

I also need plan to put new wheel bearings and bearing covers into the trailer because the current ones are two years old, the caps have been missing for a year, and I'm sure that all the water tonight isn't going to help. I'll for sure regrease them before the trailer goes on the road again, but if I can find the manual to order new parts from, I'd like to do some more extensive maintenance.
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All of the transition strips are now in, except for the long one in the living room/kitchen doorway, as that's still on backorder. The front door transition will need a little bit of filler caulk as the entryway wood section is slightly taller than the main floor, and that makes the transition strips roll outward just a little, and the miter joint at the corner of the transition doesn't close right (and I couldn't figure out a good compound angle cut to make it work).

I finished the first half of the drop ceiling installation in the basement, using 28 tiles, one accessory clip, and 2 octagonal extender boxes. The ceiling light fixture sticks out from the tiles about 1/2", but unless I special order a 1" extender ring, that's how it's going to be. The other side has all the track up except for around the booze shelves, but I'll get to that later this week probably. Then it'll need about three boxes of tile. I decided to get the first section done (which took a trip to Menards today for 4 tiles) so that if by the time we get tiles they've changed designs, each side will be all one pattern.

[livejournal.com profile] teeka dug a new bed and planted asparagus in it, and I put a planter ring aorund it for her. Now, as the asparagus starts to come up, she's going to slowly fill it in until it's the right depth. Then we'll pick up the tarp that the dirt for the bed is currently sitting on and replace the dead grass that'll be underneath it by then.

It took most of a day of fiddling around, but I finally got the lawnmower to start, and it ran long enough to go around one section of the yard once, then it died, and while it would restart, wouldn't keep running. I'm going to let it sit until tomorrow and then try it again, hoping the gumout that's in the gas will do it's thing by then. Then all I have to do is figure out how to take the pull-cord clutch apart so I can see why it isn't engaging most of the time when I pull the rope.

I also finally got around to putting a new blade on the miter saw. The old one has been on for several years, including two flooring projects. Looking at it, it's missing two teeth, and has several chipped teeth. My miter saw now cuts through things a lot easier, which tells me I probably should have changed it a while ago.

Floor

Apr. 28th, 2008 09:32 am
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This weekend went pretty well.

I need to get more laminate-to-vinyl transition strips (two closets and the kitchen archway), and finish installing the bathroom and front door strips, and then the floor is done. The bathroom and kitchen strips have to be planed thinner on the vinyl side, but I can do that with the table saw.


Click the picture for mid-sized version or here for high-res version.

Next I have to finish laying track for the drop ceiling and decide what I'm doing around the pipe for the furnace exhaust.

After that, I should have more dirt on hand and we'll start filling in the newest raised planting bed.

And after that, there'll be something else, I'm sure. Like carpeting the dust collector closet to see if that makes it quieter.
revchris: (Default)
Floor's in, some of the transition strips are down, will finish those when it's light enough to see the saw.

The rest of the crew's downstairs working on the drop ceiling.

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