01:46 AM 11/21/2011

Once again awake early under the stars...so to speak anyway...and thinking about things as usual.

Managed to get a couple of large items moved around in the workshop yesterday so making progress there. Today I'm hoping to make even more progress but that depends on a lot of factors - cleaning the house among them. Moving the one desk scratched up the rubber tiles on the new floor out there. *grumble* Thankfully I can just tear up the tiles in question and replace them but probably not going to do that just yet. It's only two tiles but it's still annoying.

Dorothy ran a little rough yesterday when I started her up. Going to go out and get the spark plugs later todaya as those are cheap and a good first start. She probably, as do the rest of the vehicles, needs her fuel filter changed. Amy's minivan needs her oil sender replaced again. I think those things are the first to go if the engine gets overfilled accidentally. The last time we replaced it we used an aftermarket sender - this time I'm going to buy a Chrysler OEM one. It'll still have to come from E-Bay but it'll be OEM new-old-stock or NOS as they say.

(Y'know when I mentioned previously that the vehicles suddenly let me know what they names are after I own them for a while...the truck is named Sam. Not sure why it took so long but the name just appeared recently. So yeah Sam needs a lot of work but I'm planning for that monetarily as I can. Muffler, timing chain, water pump, and eventually transfer case. All things I have in stock. Also needs Stabil for the gas tank by now. Been keeping him on the maintenance charger though so the battery is good.)
Speaking of which... )
March 24, 2009 11:10 AM 3/24/09

Worked out on the Wii yesterday for 20 minutes and my Wii Fit age went down to 36! Cool! Of course it also said I gained 4 lbs between yesterday and the day before. Not too concerned because that happened the last time I got in shape due to muscle mass and increased blood flow. I can’t wait to see what it says when I get on it today. :-)

The damn thing tired me out last night so I went to bed pretty early so I didn’t get anything but the dishes done.

Things are getting a bit better organized at home. I’m going to move the wireless router and re-wire a couple of things so that the small printer is in the library. That will leave the wire in the third bedroom free for the large printer and be a little better wired.

Now that the plow is off the lawn tractor there’s a little more room in the garage for me to work so I can get more organization into that. I need to have work space for both computers and everything else. I really need to get moving on that because once planting season hits I’ll be too busy.

Worked out the basic solar/thermal design in my head. I’ve got the original sketches done so now all I need to do is acquire the building materials. Not sure where I’m going to mount it for testing but a southern exposure will obviously be best.

The Vicodin isn’t helping with gum pain. I’m taking a generic ibuprofen at work but I don’t want to take too much of that for obvious reasons. The suture is still in my mouth and hasn’t dissolved yet so it feels like there’s something stuck back there when there isn’t anything but the suture. Still got to be careful about eating but I can eat out of the left side of my mouth for now and be okay. Have to flush my mouth with water after eating which turns out isn’t a bad thing to do anyway.

Been taking my full complement of vitamins the last few days without issue. I shouldn’t have a problem continuing that as long as I remember to eat before taking them in the morning.

Still non biting my fingernails (Yay!) and typing has become interesting. I’m filing them okay but it’s still weird having that extra pressure when I hit a key on the keyboard. Never thought fingernails would be an issue...

Back to work for me!
February 16, 2009 11:11 AM 2/16/09

So I’m pretty sure I have another kidney stone due to the pains I’m having today. They’re in exactly the same place and about the same intensity. Bah!

No big deal really. I’ll follow the same procedure as last time and the stone should break up.

My wife did some serious de-cluttering yesterday so tonight I’ll likely vacuum when I get home and then we should be pretty much done with the living room. She wants to do the library next. I argue that the kitchen should be next but in reality it’s pretty clean except for the wood floor which needs to be scrubbed.

Scrub a dub dub... )
January 30, 2009 11:07 AM 1/30/09

The cold medicine is helping really it is! *shudders at the taste*

So we’re pretty close to some organizational milestones at home. I truly hope I can get the garage/third bedroom stuff sorted out this weekend. That would allow us to shuffle loose stuff from the rest of the house into that room and clean/organize the remaining stuff.

Having the house nice and clean will allow us to tackle other things without having the main house stuff on our minds and it’ll be easier to keep clean as well.

And hopefully I’ll be able to start the garden plants in the garage soon as well. Some of the things like the pepper plants just have to be set up and started by the end of February if I want a decent harvest from them. I’m not doing like I did last year and start too late and plant too early. I love my heated garage... )
(There's a posting bug in MacJournal 5.1.3b1 so I had to post this manually.)

January 7, 2009 11:08 AM 1/7/09

There are ducks on the surface of the reservoir today.

Woke up sharply at 4 a.m. today for the second time this week so the L-Typtophan is having some effect because I was immediately awake with no drowsiness. No dreams.

I’ll definitely have to run the plow at least once when I get home and likely we’ll get more snow over the next few weeks. I just hope none of it turns out to the be “bury us alive” kind of snowstorm.

Got one of the XXXX to make XXXX but not the stuff to do XXXX with XXXX so that’s on hold for the moment. (Yes, I’m teasing my wife here a bit since it’s a spring/summer surprise for her. ^_^ )

Started working on conserving money today. For one thing I wrote down a list of things I wanted from E-Bay and then deleted most of my E-Bay watch list. That should prevent most of the impulse spending there. Though I still need to buy the rest of the XXXXs.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to try going to the restaurant only a couple of days out of the week. Mondays because it’s just a comfortable way to start the week and Thursday because it’s usually after my check goes into the bank.

This of course means that I’ll have to *gasp!* make my own lunches. I should be able to plan that pretty easy but I want to make sure it’s not stuff I wold need to cook because I enjoy getting out of the building during lunch. So probably lots of sandwiches then unless I decide to mount a microwave in my truck. (I could do it easily enough but where would I put it??) I like the idea of bento boxes but as I’m not Japanese I have no idea how to prepare one.

Been watching my congresscritters like a hawk. Haven’t looked at it today but I’m keeping an eye on them at least now. Now if we just didn’t have to wait two weeks before getting the new president.

So I figure I’ll need at least two sets of wire rack shelves if not three to set up the seed starter stuff but first I’ve got to clean out that space massively. There are people telling me to just junk the stuff there in the garbage but in all honestly I can’t do that in good conscience. I’ve thrown away circuit boards before, the odd computer part, etc. but two of these are old printers that are dead. Then there’s the buttload of chemicals that I can’t find a good disposal source for. There’s no clear path to dispose of things like thinners and malathion and such. I’m still checking on it but I suspect that I’ll have to use the industrial disposal source via work. Thankfully we don’t get charged for that sort of thing beyond our existing contract. Regardless I’ll get rid of all of it somehow.

Watched the original Dominion: Tank Police on Netflix last night. It was damn funny in an over-the-top kind of anime. I think I’ll get the DVDs because the dub was one of those horrible dubs made in the 80’s with truly horrible voice acting and I’d like to compare the subtitle to the dub just to see what’s different. Oh and if you watch it - one of the best distraction sequences by villains EVER. ;-)

Damn. Now I want a tank like the mini one in that anime. :-(

I need to sit down and start drawing again. I miss doing that but right now I don’t have the space. Maybe once all the crap gets organized.

And I need to get writing and doing a great many other things...
October 9, 2008 10:46 AM 10/9/08

It’s me.

Was up all night last night futzing with different computers trying to get them all configured properly. Almost finished with my mother’s system. I managed to recover the password for my mother’s Gmail so that was pretty cool. I’ll transfer her data tonight then re-do her router tomorrow so that it all will work properly when she plugs it all back in.

For the record - the recover/show passwords extension for Thunderbird can be used on 1.0 versions of the app as long as you edit the install.rdf file so that the minimum version is 1.0 instead of 1.5. You might want to remove the extension afterwards though just in case there’s a security or stability issue with it.

Thanks to some prodding by the guys on the NetBSD port-cobalt list I finally figured out that the RAM in my Qube 2700 was bad. Swapped that out, got the thing loaded, and started compiling a new kernel on it last night.

Which of course didn’t help me this morning when I replaced the kernel and rebooted the machine only to have it not complete the boot. And since that system doesn’t have a serial console it’s likely I’m reloading it from scratch again. That is unless the NetBSD boot loader can be manipulated through the panel buttons on that box.

No biggie as that box is going to be the main storage for the home network so once support for USB is done and Samba is installed all it needs is drives.

I like the Cobalt products. Low power, small form factor, and now inexpensive for the older units. I think I’m down to one left that isn’t up and running doing something and I’ve got a use for that one as well.

I still have some boxes that are pretty hefty horsepower wise like my older Netra/150 (the old green/gray box) and my E450 but frankly I can’t afford the power to run them right at the moment.

This all reminds me that I have to get the Vaxstation 4000-60 back on the network. I really do want to learn VMS but it’s a time consuming process and I couldn’t get the freeware to transfer to the machine properly the last time so I was stuck with some buggy networking stuff.

In other news the AIG executives are insane. “Hey! Let’s get the bailout money and throw a $500k bash at a resort to celebrate! What? We need more money? Well okay then we’ll just ask the government for more!“ Assholes...

*falls asleep at the keyboard*
*is poked with a fork by the waitress*

*ZZzznerk!* *Snort!* Antiestablishmentarianism!

Wha? Huh? Oh...right...the journal...

Haven’t decorated for Samhain/Halloween yet. I’m not sure if I want to try this year. Maybe some spider webs or something but nothing big. Next year though...next year... ;-)

*Dreams of computer controlled electric copters disguised as fairies and a giant talking tiki*

Since it’s not raining today I should really get a tarp over the wood pile so it stays dry. It will still be a little damp by the time I get home but it should dry out without too much trouble. I can’t wait for a sunny day because we’re heading into winter and those will be less and less. Regardless I’m going to see if I can put some of it into the shed. The shelves in there are currently unused and it’s the perfect place to store that wood.

I really really need to get my act together. Organizing things helps but until I get everything on an even keel I’m definitely going to be more tired in the future not less. Not a good thing but not avoidable in this case because there’s so much to do...
October 6, 2008 11:12 AM 10/6/08

As always vacations are too short. And having to go into the office on one of those days completely threw my schedule off.

Still I got some things done and now have the space in the garage to shuffle things around and get the stuff in there swapped with the stuff in the third bedroom.

Had to kill yet another wasp this morning. That’s three over as many weeks so I’m going to call back the exterminators if I see another one because at that point it’s not just coincidence.

My wife did a wonderful job of going through the boxes in the living room so you can actually see the fireplace now. We’re getting there...

I didn’t get to anything in the garden yet so that’s still a horrible mess. I’m hoping to get to that this week because I won’t have time to get to it this weekend. If I don’t it’s no big deal either.

Hopefully it’s going to be dry enough to mow when I get home today. I think today is close to the last mowing day left of the season so I’ll probably mow the yard, trim, then take the deck off the mower and swap the grill for the mower in the garage. That also means putting the plow back onto the front of it again so it’s ready for first snow. If there is a need to mow again I can use the trim mower.

My wife has said that she likes the one old dresser so I need to go out and get a couple of knobs for that as well as clean it up before it goes into the house. I should be able to get that finished when I get home today and then we can get it in the house so it’s out of the garage at least. Need to wax the bottom of those drawers as well as the ones in the kitchen.

Way behind on any writing but I should be able to catch back up once the garage/bedroom swap is finished.

Currently managing to keep at least one fish alive. That’s better than we did with the last batch. I have to clean the tank again and vacuum it. I’d love to have a larger tank eventually but we just don’t have the space.

The air in the house is considerably better since I changed out the furnace filter. The other one was badly clogged. I’m hoping we can make one last more than a month but I bought three so we’re okay there. I really need to get the moisture barrier replaced in the crawl space as the dirt is really damp down there. Or was when I was changing out the filter. Maybe the furnace will help that now that we’re running it again.

I finally figured out a good way to light that space - LED christmas lights. Installing them will be a blast as well because I figured out I can use a remote control tank to do so. Not the cheapest method but better than crawling all over the place under there. (Ick.)

If you take an airsoft capable tank and notch the barrel you can tape a string to one of the airsoft pellets and place it so the string is in the notch then you can drag the lights to a far location in the space, fire the airsoft pellet out using another pellet already loaded in the tank. That will knock the front pellet out of the barrel and leave it lying on the ground along with the end of the lights. I figure I can light the entire crawl space using this method. Unfortunately the RC airsoft tanks that suffice are a minimum of $60 or so. Not cheap as I said but workable.

And once you’re done wiring you could easily put a wireless camera on it and use it to check for foundation problems. ;-)

Which reminds me that I need to clean out the vents in the crawl space walls. They are pretty much boarded over but shouldn’t be. Not sure if I’ll get to that this year though.

Harvested our “accidental tomatoes” a couple of days ago. There’s still one out there that I might bring in and harvest the seeds from. It was bug nibbled so I didn’t pick it but the seeds should still be good. I’ll have to look up drying those. I’ve already dried a dozen watermelon seeds properly for next year so these shouldn’t be too hard...
September 29, 2008 2:00 PM 9/29/08

After crawling through spider-infested, damp, dusty, icky, and gloomy spaces under the house I’ve got wires run for both the DSL and a network wire into the third bedroom. (I _hate_ spider webs.)

Accomplishing that I managed to move all my currently running servers downstairs into the partial basement and they thankfully all came back up and running okay....for now...*knocks on wood*.

So that leaves only two real task for day one of my vacation:

1) Move the surplus computer/electronics stuff in the garage into the basement. (Oof!)

2) Organize the rest of the garage. (Not so oof.)


I’ll likely start working on number one here in a little bit then number two I can do most of the night as long as I’m quiet after 9 p.m.

I need to plug the existing laser printer into the hub at the other end of the third bedroom so it can be used until I can get the 8100n set up in there. (It’ll be nice to be able to print “B” sized again.)


I submitted my first idea to Google’s project for ideas to help people. ( http://www.project10tothe100.com/ ) I don’t want to post it here just to keep things clean but since the idea is fairly cheap to run with, easy to test, and could benefit everybody I have high hopes for it.

Once the garage is all organized I should have more space to test some of these projects myself. And that really is something I want to do for a good portion of the next few years. I want to work on ideas of helpful or fun and hopefully easy to understand and build.

I think that unless there’s a good reason I’d like to release any of the helpful ideas to the public domain. That doesn’t sound very good for making money but frankly I want people to benefit from anything I come up with. And if it’s a choice of being buried by a corporate entity and making millions or being poor and millions benefit I’ll take the latter almost every time.

I can’t say that I wouldn’t think about taking the money. I mean the money would put me in a position to help a lot more people and come up with a lot more ideas. But could you bury one gem so others could have a million of them? I’m not sure I could...

It’s been lightly raining all morning so it feels a little blah here right now. I’d light a fire in the fireplace but we haven’t had it checked out yet.

Turns out that’s not too expensive after all - $140 or so to clean it and check it out for us. I was expecting some sort of insane $400+ “inspection fee” but this is actually reasonable. Likely I’ll call them and get them out here later this week hopefully.

*pauses to get the mail from the mailbox*

Oh cool! My dvd of The Specials arrived. Supposedly this a sleeper campy superhero movie. It cost me almost nothing from Amazon so I picked it up. Maybe I’ll watch it tonight.

Oddly my daughter got a letter from someone in her class. I think that was a class exercise - to send mail to other classmates. My wife’s dvd on biomedical interventions for autistic kids also arrived. And the best part of today’s mail? NO BILLS! Woot!


On a side note I seem to have gone almost vegetarian in some ways. I now eat nothing but vegetables for breakfast. Weirder yet I’ve given up coffee pretty much. Tea though seems to be a good staple drink for me - either unsweetened iced tea or hot tea with a bit of honey in it.

That sounds good....I think I’ll go make some tea now...
September 26, 2008 11:07 AM 9/26/08

Or more precisely don’t ride through the fog at 5 in the morning. I had a serious case of “CSS” or Can’t See Sh!t. Nasty scary ride to work today...but fun.

[livejournal.com profile] acelightning pointed both me and [livejournal.com profile] siliconshaman to this Google challenge:

http://www.project10tothe100.com/index.html

It’s basically ideas to help other people. They have $10M set aside to fund the winning idea into reality.

That rocks and I think I might have a few ideas as to what to submit. I’d love to see any one of my serious ideas help people even if I don’t end up getting paid in the process.

I need to find out if they will accept multiple ideas or if it’s one per customer so to speak. *checks the FAQ* Oh cool! You can submit more than one idea! Excellent! And I was right - it’s not a “we’ll give you $10M to make the idea reality.” That means this should only get serious people rather than money grubbers.

http://www.project10tothe100.com/faq.html

And I think I’ve got just the thing right off the top of my head...

In other news I still can’t get the damn Cobalt to play sound. It looks like I’ve got everything done right and the cobalt-port guys from the NetBSD mailing list haven’t gotten back to me so I might just have to file a kernel bug report. I hate doing that because if it’s not really a bug and just something I didn’t know how to fix I’ll likely get called a noob. Bah! :-(

So as of 2:30 p.m. today I’m on vacation for a whole week and I’ve got a great deal to get done. I’m so horribly anal about what I’ve got to do that I went and made a Gantt chart for all the tasks from Monday to Thursday of next week. As long as I keep at them and get them done everything should go as planned. When I’m done a lot more of our house and grounds should be better organized and won’t be so hard to maintain. That will leave me time to devote to other projects like re-covering/refurbishing my grandmother’s couch, making the second motorcycle ridable, the root-ball staff I have finally started for a friend of mine, and maybe actually reading again regularly. (I feel like I’ve been in a literary desert for quite some time because I used to read a book every couple of days. Yes I read that fast.)

And once all this is handled I’ll also finally have the organization to be able to make time for things like re-learning my programming, writing, video editing, electronics stuff, and many many other projects.

I’m hoping that once I get the third bedroom done I can put some good task lighting in there for our daughter to work at the one desk with us. Once I finish the current crop of house stuff I’ll actually have time to spend with my daughter and my wife as well.

That’s precious time I have felt unable to spend lately. I’ve been so hammered by things that I’ve been hiding out in the garage trying to relax. Once most of this major organization stuff is finished I won’t have such a big load and some of that pressure will be off. This is a good thing.

Anyway this week will hopefully get everything back on track but only if I keep at it the entire week. I think I’ve left enough flexibility in it to allow me slack and I purposely didn’t schedule anything on Friday just in case things run long or I’m a little slow at getting them done.

Which admittedly I sometimes am...
September 22, 2008 11:06 AM 9/22/08

So the wasps are officially dead. At least that nest of them anyway but I have yet to see any new nests. This is a good thing...

In case I didn’t mention it Pitboy came over and helped me fix one of the three Color LaserJet 2550n printers so now we have a color laser in the house. (Thanks Pitboy!) I’m on my way to fixing the other one so I can either sell it or use it in the garage. Have to put all these printers one by one on the kill-o-watt and see what they draw. I’ll still likely put them on X10 modules so they get turned off during the day but I still want the numbers.

I’m probably taking next week off so I can get things done at home. I’ve got the vacation time and really want to get all the misc shuffling of things done before winter. I’ve decided that if my wife wants a day-bed in the third bedroom then I’ll put the “ugly” couch out in the garage and forego the pool table. I’ll just go with the whole seating area thing for entertaining friends that come over. (And it gives me a place to sack out if I’m tired or in trouble with da wife.)

There’s still a lot to do. The garden is done so I need to cut it all down and pull up the nasty carpeting that was out there. That and clean out the small wasp nests in the garage vent. (That reminds me - I need to get a couple of furnace filters to put over the garage vents. Keep the heat in but let the air circulate.)

I’d like to get my weather station mounted properly before winter as well. I also need to swap the grill for the lawn tractor so that the tractor is in the garage with the plow on it. But that’s still a few weeks away. Still mowing and grilling time left on the clock. (As soon as all the other stuff is downstairs though I will move the second bike into the garage so I can do work on it during winter. When I’m finished organizing things there will be enough space to push both bikes off to the side and work on a vehicle if need be.)

There’s also still riding time left on the clock as well. I need to get out there and ride while I still can.

We’re making progress but slowly. I’m hoping I can push a bunch of that along next week and then all that will be left will be things we need to pay for - like the fireplace/chimmney inspection - or minor things like book shuffling and picture hanging.

I still need to get the network wiring done for downstairs so that I can move everything down there. I don’t like it but I’ll have to get into the crawl space big-time. Such is the life of a home-owning geek. :-/

Just like I’m not looking forward to tackling the carpet in the garden but at least that’s out in the open away from the spider webs. *shudder*

In a couple weeks I’ll likely buy the square steel pipe I need to make a ladder rack for the truck and weld that together. It shouldn’t take long. A friend reminded me to remember to gusset the assembly so it doesn’t twist. Good advice that.

Definitely concerned about the financial stuff. The lady at the credit union said that all their stuff is protected and not stock invested or anything so I’m okay there. I’m more concerned that our loan is through Countrywide and they aren’t doing too good. They haven’t tanked so far but it’s early yet in the crash of our economy. And no matter what anybody says this bail-out is NOT going to help. We should be bailing out the people not the businesses.

Things are going to get really bad folks but if you’ve got the capacity to read these words then you already know that. It’s time to take a complete stock of what we have and what else we need to obtain to help us survive. I want to definitely get a decent gas or propane generator before the middle of next year. Definitely at least basic solar by the end of next year if not sooner. I think I’m going to stock some MREs as well. Just in case. That and empty the rain barrel into containers. It’s not immediately potable since it came off the roof but it’ll do for washing things and can be boiled to make it potable.

I do know that some of my things I’ve had for a while are going to go up on E-Bay now. The two Heathkit W-5 tube amps - matched serial numbers. The tube base PA system. The Sylvania Polymeter. Maybe a couple of other things. I need to test the tube amps before they get put up there. Needless to say that will get me some cash, big or small, to use to buy other things.

Hopefully I’ll be able to start the box-by-box de-kluge next week after I shuffle things around...
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