Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plant Extravaganza

We hit the town plant sale held by the Garden Club, and we managed to score some plants, though not as many as I’d hoped to get. I was looking for tomatoes, and they had a few, but they seemed to be more focused on decorative and landscaping plants. There were a few tomatoes, but they had some of the gourmet heirloom variety which I wanted to avoid. I really wanted just two types: beefsteak (or some facsimile thereof) and canning tomatoes, which I’ve been told are plum or roma tomatoes.

They only had beefsteak at the sale, so I got one. Now I also wanted to avoid cherry tomatoes. Though they can be fun, when we’ve planted them in the past, they overwhelm us because we can’t eat them fast enough. Plus, I get a little tired of them. Of course, being the sucker that I am for a sales pitch, CS talked me into getting an heirloom variety (wasn’t I trying to avoid that?) that supposedly produced heart shaped tomatoes. This excited the kids and they convinced me that we needed one. They also picked out a plant for themselves, and it’s kind of cool. It’s called an Elephant Ear, and it looks like, of all things, an elephant’s ear. Can you tell which one it is? It’s actually a tropical plant bulb, so we’ll have to bring it inside once summer is over.

After the sale, I headed over to the Clay Hill farmstand and got some more tomato plants, ending up with 6 in all. I could probably use more, but it’s a start. CS told me that some of them will grow to be 5 feet tall, which is hard to imagine, but she knows what she’s talking about. I asked about herbs and bush beans, which N wants in his garden, and she told me that herbs you can get at the Coop, and beans should be started from seed and planted right now. Live and learn.

All in all, we did okay on the plant front, but there’s always room for more. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Back in Business

I got my chainsaw back, and I’m ready to rock and roll. It’s a busy time at Joe’s, so it took over two weeks to service the saw. Now all my good planning is out the window because I missed out on the cool spring weather. It’s getting warm, but not excessively hot, though some days it tops out in the mid-80s, which makes it somewhat uncomfortable to cut wood because of all the protective gear. Not that I, as a real-man in training, would ever whine about such a thing.

I have about 20% of the wood pile cut, so there’s plenty of work to be done. My original plan of moving the already cut blocks while the saw was in the shop failed miserably, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start moving the wood now, right?

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to mil_es for the pic.

It’s Official, Sort Of

Even though we’re well into spring, with signs even of summer, I like to think of the end of the cold season as the day that we stop burning wood, and the sooner, the better. In years past we burned wood well into June. This year, we had a mild winter, and spring has been warm, so we stopped burning wood in mid-May. In fact, for the first time since we started splitting wood, we actually have wood left over from the previous winter. That’s a first. Either we’re planning better, or just not burning as much wood. Again, we had a mild winter with little in the way of snow, but it was still cold. It doesn’t take much in terms of cool weather for the house to be cold, and even though we’ve stopped burning, there’s a slight chill when we get up in the AM. Nothing real New Englanders (in-training) can’t handle.

Also, they recommend delaying planting tomatoes until June 1, and I’ve heard this from several sources, because we can still get a cold snap. Enough to stunt tomato growth. I find it difficult to fathom, but again, several people in the know have alluded to this. Who am I to argue?

Either way, it makes my morning routine that much easier when I don’t have to build a fire, even though I like it... a lot. Plus, it’s nice waking up and walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. You can’t pull that off in January. For now, we’ll make the most of the warm weather, because in a matter of days I’ll have to start cutting wood for next winter.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to sjb4photos for the pic.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Container Gardens

It’s hard not to completely avoid the gardening bug when you live up here, or maybe it’s just being surrounded by gardening commandos, of which there are plenty in our area. Whatever be the case, once spring kicks into full gear, the urge to get your hands into soil is hard to resist.

Now we decided not to do our garden for assorted reasons, and instead opted to do the community garden for other assorted reasons. The idea of doing container gardens also came up, and my first thought was “no thanks.” It seems like you would need either a lot of containers, or a few big ones. Would that mean buying them and then having to deal with them? While I tend to bite off more than I can chew, I wasn’t so keen on taking this one on. However, R and the kids mentioned the desire to do at least something around the house.

Then A came home with some lemon thyme, and wanted to transplant it. This inspired us to grow some herbs at home, and in container gardens, no less. I’m not completely clear what sort of containers are required, but it’s one of those things I probably shouldn’t over-analyze. Yeah, right.

It just so happens that we had a bunch of scrap wood in the barn, and I was a little unsure as to how to dispose of it. It was a support beam for the second story floor, of all things, so you can imagine its size. KB replaced it with a strong support, making it easier to do the sheetrock and also enabling him to remove a column that was in the middle of the floor. The only issue was, what to do with the old one? KB said to cut it up with a chainsaw and burn it, which I was prepared to do, but the wood was in decent condition.

The beam was made of two 2X8 boards that were nailed together. If I wanted to use them, I was going to have to pry them apart, which was no easy task. I had to use two crow bars simultaneously. Once that was done, I had boards that could be cut and then made into square boxes. In these we could grow our herbs. The beauty of this plan is that it also helped to clear some space in the barn. One less piece of clutter.

I screwed the sides together using 3.5 in screws, glue and long clamps (which I’m finding to be amazingly useful in the construction of wood furnishings), then put in a bottom, and we were good to go. The boxes are a bit heavy, but they should work fine. We have the monster bag of potting soil, so I think we’re good to go. The next step will be to transplant the herbs, and watch them grow.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chainsaw Woes

This bums me out to no end, but I was having chainsaw issues, and it turns out it’s kind of serious. We’re talking in the $150 dollar range of serious. I may have mentioned this in the past, but when I release the trigger of the saw, the chain doesn’t stop. This happens only after I’ve used it for about half an hour, so it’s not an idle adjustment issue, which would occur even when it’s cold. I took it in and they said it’s an air leak, which means taking the entire machine apart, resealing it, and then putting it back together. The saw itself probably cost about $400, so it’s a painful fix.

That does not mean, however, that it’s time to get a new one. As much as it pains me, I told them to fix it, because we need the saw, and it surely has many more years of life on it... I hope. When I first shopped around for chainsaws, I knew nothing, and listened to everyone around me who said get a Stihl or Husqavarna. The key seemed to be to get one that you can’t pronounce. Nobody really endorsed the Japanese brands, and I took that to heat. In retrospect, however, I wonder if Japanese was the way to go, because they may not have as much personality, but they are famously reliable.

Now if the Japanese brands were cheaper, I probably would have gone for it, but the one I looked at, Shindaiwa, was not, and I’m not sure how much Echos are. Either way, I went with Stihl, and it’s a nice saw, but maybe it’s like VWs, performance oriented but not necessarily the most reliable.

Oh well, no sense in dwelling on what’s already been done. If I ever got another saw, however, I might consider a Pacific Rim variety.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inserting a Bathroom Window

The electric cable is in, and the walls have all been framed. The next step will be to install heating, finish the plumbing, and then insulate. In the meantime, I want to have a window installed in the downstairs bathroom, and I think it’s something I can do. Ha, famous last words. I figure since KB is nowhere to be found, there is down time where I can do some stuff. Think of how impressed he’d be if I pulled this off, and how proud my Mentor would be.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the walls are sheathed, so I have to either remove the sheathing, frame the window, then re-sheath, or cut out a section of the sheathing and insert the window frame. I’m not positive, but I think I can frame the window within the sheathing, and then simply cut out the hole for the window. This would simplify the framing because I could rest the boards against the sheathing, nail them into place, and then cut out a hole. Things are always easier said than down, however, so we’ll wait and see.

I feel inspired to do this, so the next step will be to see what sort of small windows they have at HD. I’m thinking atrium window, which would look the nicest and let in the most light. Once that I figure that out, I’ll need to find a way to transport rough cut boards to our house. I think I can manage 8 footers in the hatchback, though they’d stick out the back. I might also be able to tie them to the roof of the sedan, if I didn’t have to travel very far.

Life sure is complicated when you’re training to be a real man. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Alexandrehuang for the pic.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Clearing the Leaves

If you can believe this one, I finally finished raking the leaves in the backyard, and it only took me about 6 months. In retrospect, it worked out fairly well, because as the leaf pile sat through assorted spring storms, much of the debris was cleared out to who knows where, just not in our backyard. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. Also, after being pelted by all that rain, it sure did compress, so it wasn’t as daunting as it was earlier in the season. Finally, wet leaves don’t blow away, and this was a problem that I encountered trying to haul away piles of leaves to the compost area, they would blow and fall out of the wheelbarrow, leaving a trail of leaves that had to be cleaned up.

In the end, I’m not condoning putting off raking the leaves. As much as I dislike doing it, I think it’s better to tackle most of it in the fall. It’s just that this year, as I mentioned, we got an early snow in October and that pretty sealed our fate for the winter. Once the snow melted, I started raking the leaves into a massive pile, and then got distracted, so it sat. When I finally cleaned it all up, there was a massive bare patch on the ground. This is not such a bad thing since that section of the lawn is all weeds, Creeping Charlie and dandelions. My lawn rejuvenation plan hasn’t reached that section of the yard, yet.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kevin D. Hendricks for the pic.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Saving the Plant

 Last weekend when we dug the trench, the path was going right through this nice plant that we have along the house. I don’t know what it is, the previous owners planted it, but it’s nice, and R was not too keen on destroying it. Naturally this made my life more difficult, because I was going to have to rescue the thing and then put it back in. It would have been much simpler to just trash it, but that’s kind of sad, anyway.

On Sunday morning before the excavator arrived, I got to work. I’ve moved plants before, and found that if you dig deep enough, give them plenty of water, and then put them back in within a reasonable amount of time, you can pull it off. The problem with this plant is that it seems to be dozens of individual plants, which it is not, it just looks that way. It’s some sort of bulb that I think expands its territory.

I had to break the thing up because it takes up about four square feet, and even when I did break it up, it was heavy. The question was, where to keep it in the interim. I used the wheelbarrow and some plastic bins, but it wasn’t easy, only because I was trying to keep them alive. I got most of them out, gave them water, and we dug the trench.

Afterward, I put them back in, though they were uneven and looked a little funny, compounded by the fact that they are three feet tall. R wasn’t so thrilled, not the best addition to Mother’s Day, but she was cool about it because she realized I was working my tail off and tried my best. I figured the most important thing is that they survive, and if they grow a little mis-directional this season, hopefully they’ll upright themselves next year. Wishful thinking? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moving Wood

Now that my chainsaw is in the shop, I can do other firewood related activities, including moving the wood into the splitting area. I managed to cut about two cords, which is currently sitting in a pile by the logs. I usually cut the whole thing then move it, which takes days, but since I’m in limbo, I can move what’s done and that will make my life easier down the road. At least, that’s how the theory goes. I haven’t actually put it into practice, yet.

I also managed to move about 1/3 of a cord that was leftover from last year into the splitting area, so I can break out the maul and get to work whenever I can get motivated. Plenty of other things to distract me, however, so we’ll see when this grand plans goes into effect.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Decision Time

The time has come for us to make a decision about how to insulate and heat the barn, and needless to say, it isn’t easy. This decision is compounded by the fact that building any sort of living quarters requires vast sums of capital. Life would be so much easier if we just lived in caves. Things were so much simpler in caveman days.

Anyway, we had to come to a decision because in wiring the house, how it’s heated will affect where wiring occurs. Our options were fairly straightforward, if not a bit limited. For insulation, it boiled down to spray foam or fiberglass. Spray foam insulates the best, but it’s amazingly expensive, and this may sound like justifying my frugality, but we don’t necessarily want a house that is hermetically sealed up. A little breathing is nice.

The second issue was heating. Again, our options boiled down to a boiler and baseboard heating, a furnace and hot air, or individual propane air heaters. Our first thought was to go with the last option, which we had in Quechee. They work fine, and if you have a wood burning stove as well, keeps a house perfectly warm. The one issue you have to deal with, however, is hot water, which requires either a hot water heater, a boiler, or a tank less heater. A hot water heater is pretty straightforward, though maybe the least efficient. A boiler would be great but is too much to just heat water. If you had it for heat, as well, than it becomes an efficient option. The last one, a tank less heater, is what KB has, and he says it works fine.

We didn’t really know which to use, and of course my first instinct is to go cheap. After some thought, however, we think we’re leaning to getting a boiler and insulating with fiberglass.

Our logic went something like this. The cost of getting a few wall mount heaters (Rennai) plus a water heater and a stove would probably be about the same as getting a boiler, or at least you’re not saving that much money. A boiler and baseboard would give you a preferable form of heat, especially if we ever sold the place, and it also gives you hot water. The caveat with a boiler is that we were told we’d need to use spray foam, and that’s really expensive. The pipes would run inside the walls, and there they are more prone to freezing.

After much discussion with those in the know, we figured we could run the pipes inside of the fiberglass, and then put pipe insulation of the pipes. That seems like it would protect the pipes enough from freezing. At least that’s what we hope.

Whatever be the case, that’s where we stand. A boiler with fiberglass insulation. That’s our decision, and we’re sticking with it... at least until someone new talks us out of it.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to B0xR for the pic.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Dig

We had some serious excavation work done yesterday, though in the grand scheme of building a house, it was pretty minor. I just goes to show you that it doesn’t take much to impress a city boy training to be a real man. Last week we tried to dig a trench with a hand operated ditch witch, and it seemed plausible to me, but when we actually stared the operation, it became clear that we were in way over our heads. It was kind of funny, actually.

We had to call in the big guns, so GD contacted a buddy who had a small excavator and we arranged for him to come on Sunday. I actually know the guy, he works over at Bob’s and is really cool. In fact, when he showed up, he looked at me and said, “I didn’t know it was going to be you.” He brought along his machine.

The digging was a piece of cake with this machine, and I’m always impressed with how easily those things tear up the earth. He dug a two foot wide trench about 80 feet long, and then GD and I laid the pipe that will hold the wiring to the barn. All in all, it took about two hours, which when you get down to it, is cheaper than having KB do it for 8 hours of labor using the hand operated machine. Plus, the machine made it much easier, and dug a sufficiently deep trench, which we were failing to do with the hand-op. Oh well, live and learn.

At one point I thought the guy was going to drive the thing into the trench, he was straddling the hold and decided to drive it off. He knew what he was doing and used the scoop to hold up one end. Pretty impressive stuff. Once the job was done, he filled in the ditch and we were in business. Our driveway is a mess, but part of that is more appearance than actual destruction. Plus, we may be on the cusp of fixing our driveway, so hopefully it won’t be a huge factor.

It was a nice day if not a little hot. Once the sun came out, it was tough shoveling and trying to save the plants, but that’s a story for another time.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In Need of Bigger Equipment

We started out digging out that darn trench for the electrical to the barn, and before long we realized that the thing wasn’t going to cut it. KB picked up the Ditch Witch from Upper Valley Equipment and brought it over. The thing wasn’t that small, it looked pretty impressive to me, not unlike a huge chainsaw on wheels. It was a little daunting to run, with all sorts of controls for the wheel speed/direction and chain speed/direction. KB brought it over and started running it, but he admitted that it was his first time using such a thing, and that he had to leave at some point, leaving me to my own devices. Great.

After a while it became clear that the machine was best used with two people, because it helps to have someone clear and remove rocks as they clog up the inner workings of the machine. I went down to my knees to get some of them and it felt like a hammer hitting my kneecap. Talk about pain (though I couldn’t be a sissy around KB).

It was slow going, and eventually GD showed up and was surprised at how small the thing was. He thought we were going to get a small tractor/ditch witch, because once we hit the hard pack, the thing was going to be tough, not that they weren’t already.

After about an hour, we got about 20% of the way, but we hit a huge rock, and for the life of us, we couldn’t get that thing out. After struggling for about 45 minutes, it became clear to us that we needed a bigger machine, preferably something with a backhoe. GD’s friend down the road has one and he called him. We arranged for him to come over on Sunday and finish the big dig. I’m slaged to help GD lay the pipe and run the wire, so I’m not off the hook, at least not yet.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Searching For Wires

The Dig Safe guys came and went, and didn’t really accomplish what we had hoped they would. It was partly our fault, we didn’t clearly define our area of interest, but the end result is that I was going to have to do some exploratory digging to find any live wires. Best of all, I was going to have to do it by hand, with my Martha Stewart shovel, no less.

I obviously has some idea of where the wires would be, so I started digging. Finding the wire to the light was not so bad, it was shallow, but the main line going to the outlet in the middle of the driveway was going to be a little trickier because it’s deeper and more significant. What makes it a delicate operation is that you don’t want to severe the wire, so I had to take it slowly. It’s also deep, at least two feet, I believe.

In the end, I couldn’t really find it. I went two feet down, and then started moving laterally, but no wire. At some point I stopped because I wasn’t sure how much I should rip up the front yard, even though we’re going to tear it up with the ditch witch. Whatever my excuse is, I’m sure it won’t fly with KB and GD. Then again, that’s what happens when you send a boy in to do a man’s job.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Safe Digging

Now I didn’t realize this, but you’re supposed to contact the people at Dig Safe before you dig a trench, or for that matter, just a hole. The ground is filled with wires, gas lines, pipes and other good stuff, so you don’t want to hit something dangerous with your shovel or tractor. For the record, I don't recall anybody coming before they tested the soil for the septic tank, and for that matter, when they installed the tank and system, but that's all in the past.

KB told me to give them a call and set things up, so I did, and they said they’d be there by Wednesday. Sure enough, they came on Tuesday, but they didn’t mark any of the ground wires in the path we were interested in. In all fairness, KB said he’d mark the way, but didn’t, so they didn’t know where we were headed.

GD was there while they were there, so I should have had him come out and chat with them, my bad. The end result is that the guys didn’t do what we needed them to do, and now I have to go out there and locate ground wires. Bummer.

Hopefully I won’t hit anything that explodes or is carrying 2000 volts. Plus, it’s been raining for the past week, which complicates matters. Oh well, this is when the real man show their true colors, right? At least that’s what I’ve been told.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Paul Keleher for the pic.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Final Walls

KB showed up last week and put in one of the final walls before we take the plunge and start thinking about heating and insulation, or in our case, ignore it for as long as we can in the hopes that it will either go away or take care of itself. As if that’s going to happen.

He finished the downstairs walls and will make a small wall upstairs, and then we have to dig a ditch to lay the electrical cable that will feed the barn. We need to rent a ditch digger, or “Ditch Witch,” as their called. That should be interesting, because I’m guessing yours truly will run the thing. Once the cable is laid, the barn will have water and electricity, which is kind of crazy.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Working in the Great Outdoors

As much as I love winter and the snow (and hockey), I have to confess, it’s really nice to be working outside. I tend to get tired and sleepy when I’m inside all the time, especially by the wood burning stove, but once I get outside, I sure do feel invigorated. There’s something to be said about being out there and getting dirty working with your hands. It somehow speaks to the male psyche.

Last week I started in on some of the big outside jobs, including cutting wood and mowing the lawn. At some point we’ll have to work harder on the garden, but I’ve been told you can do that as late as June 1. I started cutting the wood and got about 20% of the way in when I had some problems with the chainsaw, so we’re on hold until we hear from Joe’s. I had a bunch of pine blocks that I cut last year and started making kindling with them, which meant I got to use my new axe. The thing is sharp and kind of scares me.

My current plan for kindling is to keep most of the year’s supply in the basement, but have a good supply outside under shelter. This way it dries over the winter and we have a stash we can turn to if we run out. I tend to go easy with kindling, using only a few pieces to start the fire, but everyone else seems to like to pile the stuff on. I can’t complain because it’s nice when the kids build a fire, but they do get a little enthusiastic with the stuff. It’s easier when you’re not the one who has to make it all.

I spent the better part of Saturday mowing the lawn, and it’s looking pretty good, if I may say so myself. We haven’t put an ounce of chemicals on it, so I’m glad it’s growing naturally. It sure does look nicer once it’s coiffed, even though the dandelions always seem to take over, seemingly more so this year. You just can’t beat the weeds.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

More Shelves

As the saying goes, one good turn deserves another, or in this case, one good rout. I made some shelves using my trusty router, and not only was it fun, but they got rave reviews. It isn’t fine cabinetry, but it’s a step above what I’ve made in the past, and it’s not too shabby. Most importantly, R and the kids appreciate them, and have asked for more.

Now I originally built a large one for N because I thought his was falling apart, but I misunderstood that he needed to replace the smaller ones by his bed. His big one where he keeps his clothes is in fine working condition. A ended up with the big shelf, and that worked out beautifully because she really needs a place to put her clothes, and now she has something. She’s pretty keen on it. She could also use a long one by her bed to put on her knick-knacks and assorted objects of interest.

That, however, doesn’t address the problem of N, whose shelf fell apart. With this in mind, we headed over to Home Depot and got the lumber and necessary supplies. Since we are constrained by the carrying capacity of our car, I could only get about 30 feet of lumber, when in fact I could use much more to do all the things I need to do. It’s kind of funny, actually. In an ideal world, I would have bought 6 foot 1X12 pine boards, but in order to transport them, I’d need to lean the front seat all the way back and lay them down. I can’t do this with two kids in tow, so I opted for 8 foot boards that I had cut in half, which fit beautifully in front seat. In a pinch, I could tie them to the roof rack.

Now I have enough wood to build one more, and maybe two, shelves. I also plan on building some for the bathroom. I can’t wait, you just can’t beat doing real man’s work when you’re a real man in training.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chainsaw Issues and a Bright Side

This breaks my heart, but we are having chainsaw issues, and they might be serious. I was just getting into cutting wood, too, and Joe’s was saying there is a two week wait on maintenance. Bummer. The goal is to cut the wood before it gets too hot, because running a chainsaw on a hot day with all the protective gear is a complete drag, to say the least, not to mention a bit precarious. For once I had my act together before this situation arose.

Now the problem I’m having with the saw is that when the saw is warmed up, when I release the trigger, the chain keeps moving, even though it should be idling. It’s a bit daunting when the chain is still moving when it’s not supposed to be. I asked about it previously and the guy at Joe’s, whom I trust, said it was probably the idle that needed adjusting.

When I started using the saw again, the problem cropped up, and I tried to look in the manual how to set the idle. It was, as always, not completely clear what they were trying to say, so I figured I’d bring the manual in and ask the guys at Joe’s to clarify. When I spoke with them, they said the problem sounded more serious because an idle adjustment problem would make the chain keep running even when the saw was cold. He said not to use it anymore and bring it in, in a rather ominous tone. I almost told him that they were the ones who told me it was the idle, but no sense in pissing them off.

I was bummed that I didn’t have the saw with me then and there, because I was initially going to bring it in so they could demonstrate how to adjust the idle. Now I needed to make another trip into brutal W. Leb, which is never a fun proposition, but you do what you have to do. I’m hoping the problem isn’t too serious (i.e., expensive), but all indicators seem to point to a serious problem. They are thinking an air leak, and maybe a $100 in repairs. They kept asking me how old the saw was, and it’s not that old, so I don’t know what to think.

On the bright note, and I’m not good at finding a bright note, the fact that I can’t cut wood means that I have more time to move the blocks that I’ve already cut and start splitting. Usually after I cut the tree length down, I have this massive pile of wood blocks that seem impossible to move and brings me down. I’ve done about 1/4 of the pile, so it’s a good start. Anything to chip away at the proverbial stone. Hopefully they can fix the saw, and before it gets too hot. Splitting isn’t so bad on hot days, it’s the cutting that’s hard.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Getting Ahead of Myself

Way back when (so far back I can hardly remember) KB told me to extend the kitchen studs, I ended up with all these pieces of rough cut wood. I knew in the back of my mind that I would need a few more pieces to finish the job, but there was a lot. Getting more ambitious than I needed to be, I decided to build a hockey net.

After scouring the web for the proper dimensions, I built one that was close to what they use in the NHL. However, when I ordered a net, it turned out to be too small, and I realized that you don’t need a regulation size net to practice shooting pucks, just something with a net. Also, I ended up using all the wood, and now I need that wood to finish the job that KB gave me. So now I need to dismantle the net and use the wood for said purpose. This is the same net that I thrashed my thumb on while trying to screw it together. I suffered for that thing.

On the bright side, N isn’t even that into it because the net doesn’t fit. We need to make something smaller, and might use PVC piping, instead. We’ll see how that goes.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gentle Touch

We were having some problems with our sink, and it was sort of driving everyone crazy in the way that dripping faucets can drive anyone crazy. The problem was strange because it was very inconsistent. Often the sink was fine, but occasionally it wouldn’t stop flowing, and would even come out in a stream after the valve was shut. It would take several tries before finding the perfect position to stop the water. I had taken the faucet apart several time to check the seals, but all seemed in order. I was pondering replacing the thing.

After some discussion with R, the idea was put forth that the problem was not with the sink, but with the person handling it, i.e., me. I was being too rough on it, and should be more gentle when I pushed the handle down. How could that be? Normally I wouldn’t believe such a thing, but I decided to give it a try, and sure enough, it worked. My skepticism was put to rest when I saw it with my own two eyes. I still found it hard to believe, but eventually I had to accept the fact that I was the problem. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Oh well, at least we don’t need a new faucet, and that makes it all worthwhile. Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Screw That

I had to extend the kitchen wall studs, a job KB gave me several weeks back, and it was amazing enough that I pulled it off. Upon further inspection, however, it dawned on me that if the studs are going to hold up cabinets and other good stuff like that, they really need to be secured. With that in mind, I had this brilliant idea that maybe I should screw them in to make them stronger. When I broached this idea with KB, he said do it, after which I wondered why he didn’t say this in the first place, but no sense in asking certain questions.

I was at HD so I picked up some 3 1/2 inch screws, though they were exterior screws because I couldn’t seem to find long wood screws that weren’t exterior ones. That’s what happens when you send a real man in training to do a real man’s job. Whatever be the case, they’ll work, so I’m not complaining.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.