errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Large enough to hold twenty four 48-gallon tubs!
Finally, *FINALLY* we can clean out the sunroom!


Sep. 27th, 2011 12:39 am
errantember: (Default)

Here's the diagram of the new storage shelves I'm making to help us get more organized at Casa Blue. I did this with Google Sketchup, which I had been previously too annoyed with to complete anything. I can't claim I've got it all down, but designing the shelves in software definitely saved me many trips to the hardware store, many re-cuts, and lots of re-work.

Will post pictures of the real thing once it's done.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
We've heard some odd chittering noises in the chimney recently. The dogs have been very interested, which has lead to even more indoor marking during a time when I've been working hard to bring that problem under control. Nothing crazy fell out of the flue when I carefully opened it, and nothing was visible from careful, mirror-reflected light from below.

I proceeded to burn some incense in the fireplace with the flue open, and a few hours later, the chittering had stopped.

Clambering up top, I discovered that the hardware cloth cover had been pried open. The flashlight I brought up was totally inadequate to the task of illuminating the entire chimney, but I *was* able to use the mirror to reflect afternoon sun into the hole.

I have to admit, I felt like Batman.
Read more... )
errantember: (darth bobo)

Click pic for more pictures.

In my last post I mentioned this cool lamp I had made out of my 300-watt floor lamp. I just woke to the sound of exploding glass and the smell of burning bedsheets and melting comforters! The only reason broken, superheated glass didn't rain down directly on my naked body is because I wasn't comfortable last night with how heavy the lamp had become, so I moved it from directly above my head to the stronger side of the metal frame. As it was, I was still *very* lucky that hot shards of broken glass didn't randomly land in my eye or in my mouth! I had to poke beads that were industriously burning their way through my bedsheets with my fingers onto the floor, where they continued to melt into the carpet. I've got the windows open and the fan running full-tilt to get the toxic fumes out of my room.

Oh. And I'm out of bed.

It worked!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)

My single biggest Person Problem is my inability to consciously exercise control over when I sleep. I routinely stay up very late, often sleep 12-14 hours a day, and then complain that I don't have enough time to do anything. The latest in my long series of attempts to get myself more connected with the sun cycle is this:

This used to be my 300 watt floor lamp. Using a Rube Goldberg menagerie of various components, I was able to put it fully under automatic computer control to try to simulate the sun cycle.
Read more... )
errantember: (Default)
I put the finishing touches on the dishwasher repair today by moving the drain hose from the right side of the sink to the side with the garbage disposal. This required a lot of drilling big holes, and contorting at many strange angles, which is the only thing it had in common with sex. That and the abundance of wetness and slimy stuff.


I plugged the old location with a wine cork, which I managed to shove in about half way, and then I zip-tied it for good measure. I may, at some point, go and get the correct kind of plug from Home Depot.

But probably not.
errantember: (darth bobo)
Our dishwasher wasn't draining anymore, and in a house with five people (only one of them female), that's Bad Fucking News. I spent about four or five hours fucking with it today. Praise the Buddy Christ that the previous owners were psycho record keepers, because not only was the user manual for the appliance available, but so was the maintenance guide, including circuit diagrams and diagnostic procedures.
Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I was recently loaned Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by [ profile] worldmegan, and boy is it amazing! Reading just a few spaces makes me twitch with barely-contained spring cleaning and radical redecoration urges! After less than half a chapter at dinner, I braved the perils of obviously quarreling roommate just so I could reorganize shelves in the kitchen.

I can't wait to read more.


Jan. 29th, 2011 07:53 pm
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
After taking several months to do the left side of the Puggle Fence, I managed to knock out the right side (which was about half as big) in a few days. Tomorrow I will mount it in place, which will require a bit of tricky angle cutting, as it comes into the curb at an angle. Once that's done, I'll be able to take the real (as opposed to diagrammed, theoretical) measurements for the gate, which should be much faster. I'll be using welded wire for most of the gate structure, which should make it much lighter than if I used the same design as the right and left sides.

I'll post pictures when I'm done, and the Puggle is Contained!
errantember: (Default)
Will be helping retrieve low-flush toilets for S. in anticipation of installing them tomorrow for some extra cash, then finally getting back to the scooter, which has been continually put off for several days due to home improvement projects/housemate mollification.


Jan. 10th, 2010 03:11 am
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
- Installed vents into two guest wing doors to improve air circulation and equalize temperature

- Finished scratch and ceiling coat of plaster in guest wing office in anticipation of dildo arrival

- Installed heat lamp and water heater for chicken coop to prevent recurrence of chicken death

- Am correlating financial data from 2009 to create budget for 2010 after surviving for a year without "work"

- Have been asked for a job interview next week for position I couldn't be more qualified for

Read more... )


Dec. 23rd, 2009 07:21 pm
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Two new garage doors installed, hooked to and tested with existing openers.
errantember: (darth bobo)
If you've been wondering what I've been up to recently, my main external activity has been helping a friend of mine get his house ready to sell. He's getting foreclosed on by his bank, and we've been busting our asses trying to get the property on the market and sold before the foreclosure date, which is now early January. This is a really shitty time of year to be trying to sell a house, especially one that needs work on short notice. The situation really sucks, because if he had the money to put into repairs, he could probably walk away with a substantial amount of equity in his pocket, but as it stands, we're just trying to get him to a point where he could break even, and even that might not happen. So we've been boxing and moving shitloads of stuff to my place, where he'll be staying for a while, cleaning carpets, fixing things around the house, scrubbing everything, and trying to figure out how to put carpet in the living room and replace or repair the garage doors without actually spending any money. I'll still be working on this until Wednesday, after which I'll be headed north to see my Mom for a few days over Christmas.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
So in my ongoing project to deck out the walls of my guest wing with natural plaster before my new housemate arrives on the 28th, I've now finished priming both rooms (including the ceilings) and with the help of [ profile] trippedbreaker have moved on to putting down the first layer of plaster.

Originally I was going to use American Clay products, but at about $75 for a 50# bag and the pigment to color it, I was out almost a grand by the time I had enough to do the entire wing. However, I recently went to a Design, Build, Live presentation by Carole Crews a life-long veteran of earth building and plaster, and purchased her new book Clay Culture (currently only available from the author.) I decided that, despite the tight deadline, it was worth trying to mix the sand, clay, binder, and pigment myself if it were cheaper. And it's *much* cheaper. At *most* 50% as expensive, and likely more like 35-40%! I made a small test batch of each recipe, with and without the pigment, and decided I liked the homemade stuff better, anyway. The pigments are also much cheaper at Armadillo Clay, but I couldn't wait until tomorrow to start plastering, so I decided to put the first coat down without pigment. I actually liked this color the best, anyway. However, tomorrow I will proceed down to Armadillo and check out some of their other pigments. I should be able to find something exactly like I want, instead of having to settle for the meager selection of colors at my American Clay supplier, and afterward I can likely sell the American Clay products at cost and recoup my losses.
errantember: (darth bobo)

Today, over the course of about ten hours, I mortared seventy-four tiles into place on my bathroom wall. I can't say the result will look quite as good as the original, but I *can* say that it's more waterproof, will last longer, and will no longer attract tiny insects that devour my home. And, considering this is my first tile job ever, I'm pretty happy with the way it's coming out.

Tomorrow I grout. By the end of the week, we should be able to shower in there again.

I was pretty happy with the performance of the Rotozip RZ125 1/8 inch Carbide Tile Cutting Bit. I probably modified about fifteen tiles with it, actually cut all the way through one, and used it to remove the old mastic from countless others. It was slightly cheaper than the Dremel version, and it worked fine on my Dremel. For job requiring a lot of custom cutting it wouldn't be enough, but for this job it was perfect, especially compared to renting and operating a tile saw.


Sep. 1st, 2009 08:22 pm
errantember: (Default)
Today I got:

2 overflow drain covers, a new spout, and 10 sort-of-the-same-color tiles for the tub from the Habitat Restore

1 bag of mortar, 1 bag of grout, and some polyseal for the tub from the Home Despot

1 roasted red pepper sandwhich, 1 chocolate cookie, and one mint mate late from Cafe Mundi

1 ticket for Apotygma Berzerk at Elysium next weekend
errantember: (Default)
Custom cut cement board for bathroom wall
Repaired termite damage in wall, added braces for cement board
Mounted cement board
Cleaned drywall, grout, and mastic off 60 wall tiles
Used Frightening Chemicals to remove calcium, lime, and rust from bathroom fixtures
Installed Japanese language training software for roommate and self
Installed Even More Java Bullshit on a nearly-defunct Windows machine so I can write Java Midlets on my Mac
De-flead The Puggle
Read Snow Falling on Cedars
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I survived. Barely.

I rigged up a remote control for the shop vac using X10 (definitely a good move. It takes about fifteen minutes to wriggle my way all the way to the back on either side (they don't connect), and I had to check on some wood damage that might have been termites.) This way, I could switch off the vac with my remote control, then dig into the wood a little to see if the soldier termites would get their Alice Cooper on.
Read more... )
errantember: (darth bobo)
I was already pretty pissed off that I had to tear down at least half a wall of my shower due to an existing leak and generally shitty original installation. They mounted normal (not even greenboard, which itself isn't good enough for shower stalls) drywall and simply grouted the tile directly on top of it. Motherfuckers.

Sitting in the stall prying off hard-to-fix chunks of tile was bad enough when I was just dealing with ants, roaches, and the occasional spider skittering across my body while I'm handling sharp objects near my face, but now I've discovered I've got a fairly monster termite infestation as well.

Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Just when everybody thought it was safe to assume I'd never emerge from my heroin-addict-level of torpor, I suddenly started accomplishing things yesterday. The tree I cut down to a stump in the front yard came back with a vengeance, resurrecting itself into a 15 ft. tall bush in the few months since the original deed. It was blocking out the view of most of my front yard, and therefore the necessary guilt feelings to ever accomplish anything outside again, not to mention stealing valuable minerals from my soil.

It was once again Chainsaw Time.
Read more... )


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