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.

Busy Day

Dec. 6th, 2008 06:36 pm
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Today I cleared all the sidewalk and the driveway of snow, then sanded and salted same.

Next it was off to Woodman's for people food, bird food, and candy making supplies, with a stop at the hardware store for propane and a bacteriostat and a new wicking pad for the humidifier.

Then I went back and cleaned up the end of the driveway after the plow came through, and then shoveled off the edges of the roof, and then drove over to the hardware store for shear pins because the plow berm did in one of the ones in the blower, and I couldn't find any spares in the garage.

After a lunch break, I spent the afternoon installing a second lampworking station in the garage (canopy hood, tile on the counter, torch) and cut quick connects into the line for the first torch to allow the second torch to run simultaneously.

Now I'm going to start some laundry.
revchris: (Default)
I got the snowblower to start. I've also downloaded the manual, and will eventually have to run the carburetor through an adjustment cycle. It runs, but only at full throttle, but the adjustment process isn't hard, just time consuming.

[livejournal.com profile] teeka and I redid the lower workbench (that she had been using for cutting glass) to make it shorter so that there can be a second lampworking station. Eventually we (I) will have to cut in and install a second exhaust hood as well, but that'll wait until there's actually a second torch in place.

I also got my workbench mostly cleaned off, and next I should hook up the dust collector so that I can use it while I'm turning. I might get to that next, or I might just go out and make stuff, and clean up afterward.

The dust collector closet also now has a sweep on the bottom of the door and weatherstripping all the way around the door so that it seals. There are a few small leaks, but almost all of the air goes out the external vent.

Of course, I also realized that I've been messing with the weather. We had been planning on moving the camper to Stoughton for the winter, and the snowblower wasn't working, so of course it snowed today. We've since decided to leave the camper in the driveway so that we have a chance at selling it over the winter, and I've got the snowblower working, but I've also admitted to screwing with the weather....
revchris: (Default)
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.
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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.
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Last weekend we were in Oregon, IL, for Stronghold's Olde English Faire.

Getting there was an adventure in itself. We take the camper with us so that we have a place to sleep and an easy way to haul the tent poles (8' poles don't fit well in a 6' truck). Friday morning we loaded the truck with all the booth stuff and the camper with sleeping bags, garb, clothes, food, and the tent poles.

Then I went to switch trailer hitches (the vending trailer is an 1-7/8" ball, the camper is 2"). I haven't had to switch hitches since Stronghold last year, so it really wasn't surprising that the lock on the hitch pin was sticking. After about 10-15 minutes and some TriFlow, I got the key to rotate far enough to unlock the pin, but not only didn't the lock release, the key wouldn't rotate back. So I got out the sawzall and removed the lock.

Then the receiver post wouldn't pull out of the receiver body. Coercive attempts with a 12# sledge hammer were unsuccessful, so we drove over to U-Haul and bought a new hitch pint (just in case it ever loosens up) and a universal post kit (you permanently mount the post and then it has both sizes of interchangeable balls) and had them install it.

A quick stop at Badger Welding Supply for a new small oxy tank, and it was back home to hook up the camper. The camper hitch wouldn't open far enough for us to get it over the ball because the surge brake cylinder had finally failed and the actuator was jammed in the "full brakes" position. So I got out the sawzall and I cut that out of the system (actually, it took a 3/8" wrench to snap the four mounting bolts off and let the cylinder drop out of the hitch, but it really seemed like a good place for a sawzall). I'm not worried about not having the cylinder in place, since it's never been functional since we got the trailer, you just have to pay attention and stop early because it's an extra 3,000# pounds of rolling load).

Finally, we've got the camper hooked up and everything loaded, and we're on our way. Unlike the way this post is trending so far, we actually got to the faire site without any other problems, other than the fact that we're now a few hours later than I had hoped, and it's getting dark.

Fortunately, we've put up the tent often enough that we can do it by flashlight if necessary. We got the tent set up, set up all the tables, and piled everything into the tent, closed all the sidewalls, and went out to get dinner. We then hung out in the camper for a while and read, and went to bed around 10p. Friday night the temperature got down to 36F. Saturday morning, we both were awake before the alarm clock, hoping that the other one would get up and make heat happen (the heater in the camper was dead when we bought it, but we've got a Coleman lantern and a camp stove, both of which put out a fair amount of heat). I got up first and made fire and then headed off to the privy. By the time I got back the fog was thick enough that you couldn't see the next campsite.

After breakfast we drove back to the faire site and set up the tent. Every time we set up it's a little different as we've got an ever-changing set of stuff for sale. Saturday was about normal for sales (in the "very good show" range), and then we closed up, had dinner, and went back to the camper for the rest of the night.

Saturday night was warmer (~44F), but Sunday morning it rained on and off until ~12:30. Sundays normally are slow in any small outdoor fair in the midwest because you've got to wait for most of the people to get done with church. Of course, when it's still drizzling after church, they mostly stay home instead of going out to the fair, so Sunday's sales were only about 30% of Saturday's, but were also about what we expected out of a rainy day. Overall we took in enough that even with the roadshow expenses, we made more than a Farmer's Market day would (our normal guideline for whether or not to keep doing a road show), and we made enough to pay for getting the cats' teeth cleaned (our other goal for this weekend).

We got home around 10p on Sunday and left the camper and truck on the street. It's much easier to back the camper up the driveway on Monday morning after I've had a full night's sleep and it's light out. After I parked the camper I did some errands and then took Marley to the vet for blood tests they needed to go to make sure she'd probably survive the anesthesia during the dental work. Then it was off to work for the afternoon.


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