nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-12-03 07:20 am
Entry tags:

Nimitzbrood:2 Mice: 0

Dollar Store mouse traps + gel superglue + pretzel pieces == dead mice.

Longer post later this week.
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-09-28 11:19 pm

Busy days...

So yesterday I was a bit tired but we got groceries and other things done as well as claimed a free couch for some friends of ours that just got done with their Habitat for Humanity home. The dedication was today. We're bringing the couch over there tomorrow.

Today I had a headache for part of the day after the house dedication ceremony for the aforementioned friends. (I took the time to sneak into the basement and bless the house while no one was looking.) When we got back I took some Ibuprofen and laid down.

After a nap mostly cleared that issue up, I went down in the 'cave and completely rearranged things so that there was more central floor space as well as better organization. I set up a spare bookshelf we had and that seems to have found a good place down there. My biggest problem down there is moisture. I really need to get concrete sealer or paint and seal the walls down there. That darn stuff is about $35 a gallon though minimum so that's not happening any time soon. Best I can do is protect anything that's a wood item down there and keep good airflow going.

I need to find a spot out in the garage or shed for the window A/C units that are down there as well as the two 30 gallon plastic water containers that need to be emptied and cleaned out. (The water has long since become contaminated. I have to empty and bleach the containers if I want to use them again.) The one chair has to go unfortunately. The base is the one from the "chair of death" and is metal but needs repair so I might just discard the chair pieces but keep the base.

Not sure if my existing ugly couch is going to fit down there or not. I think it might just be a bit too long. And until the moisture issue is taken care of I'm pretty sure I don't want it down there anyways.

I think I'll probably pick up a couple of bags of kitty litter. I can easily scatter that around the base of the walls and it'll certainly keep the moisture down until I can find a permanent solution. I really need to seal, frame, and insulate the walls but that is likely not happening this year due to money and time. It looks like I will be able to at least get the second UPS unit down there soon and the final server out of the garage. That means the rack will be empty and could be dismantled enough to get down there. Time will tell on that one though.

AND I still have 230 retaining wall blocks to arrange outside. I've decided that some of them will be laid flat in the back yard on top of landscaping fabric. That will give me a place to park my boat so that it doesn't take up a space in the driveway.

The rest will likely become a small patio area just outside the back door. That will keep the grass out from under the grill and give us an actual place for our patio table and chairs.

Anything left will be used to outline the culverts in the front yard so they stop filling in with grass which means I need to trim them all the time.

These are all of course not the ideal usage for trapezoidal shaped retaining wall blocks but quite frankly they were free and I have decided to use them creatively. ;-)

All that said I've decided to stop answering my phone for a while unless it's an emergency of some type. People won't like that of course but frankly I'm getting a lot of calls from people lately and getting less done because of it. So if you really want to talk to me please leave me a message.

Don't be too put out if it takes me a day to call you back though. There's a lot going on right now. ;-)
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-09-24 07:01 pm
Entry tags:

Dryer: 1 - Nimitzbrood: 0

So about a week or so ago the dryer quit running. Diagnosing the symptoms and the first potential part to replace was the thermal fuses and the thermostat. $8 on E-Bay for new parts.

BZZZT! Wrong. Still same symptoms. Light is on when the door is open, door switch is confirmed tested good, dryer doesn't even attempt to spin the motor when the timer is set and the button pushed.

Weirdly with all the diagnostics I've done it seems like the thermostat, switches, and timer switch appear to be good now but the dryer never starts. There is a second thermostat but that appears to be the cycling thermostat and not the main one. Unless we just have an odd thermostat that doesn't match what our model is supposed to have. (The one in the kit doesn't have a heating element but the cycling one does.)

There has been help offered in the form of a "buy a dryer via a relative and pay them" but I'm not quite ready to do that yet. Not unless we were going to replace both the washer and dryer.

So next candidate is the timer switch but it occurs to me that I might want to take a voltmeter to the motor with the drum out of the dryer and see if it's getting any voltage when triggered. If it is and it isn't spinning then we need to make a decision.

Regardless we look kind of weird with clothes lines inside the house. ;-)
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-05-13 03:46 am

Y'know I could do without emergencies in the night...

And this one wasn't even for work. :-(

I awoke in the middle of the night. Went to get some water and something to eat. Noticed the cheese was not as cold as it should have been in the fact the fridge is not as cold as it should have been...

Crap. (Actually I used another word here but I shall refrain.)

So as is my wont I Googled it and found that it was most likely a defrost issue in that the condenser coils were clogged with ice.

Found this video:

That actually happens to show the exact model fridge we have.

Watched all of it and immediately set the defrost timer into defrost mode. Waited. Nada. Still frozen. So here at 3 am I am taking apart the freezer section of my fridge to find that it is a veritable cornucopia of frozen coils.

Grab the heat gun - cord's too short - down my wifi for a power strip. Thaw the coils completely. That officially buys us a week to get parts in. While I'm putting it back together it goes back into regular mode. That means the defrost timer is probably good.

So I stuff everything back in the freezer, noting that I need to put a water filter on it as the icemaker is covered with minerals, and get on E-Bay and promptly order a defrost timer and the freezer thermostat. Those are the two most likely candidates but I also put the heating element on my E-Bay watch list so I can order that when I get paid.

So I'll replace those parts, straighten the fins that are bent, and we should have a working fridge again. (How do fins even get bent behind a complete cover anyways??)

Were we in better standing I would prefer to buy a new fridge. A side-by-side with a dispenser on the front for water and ice. Black or stainless as my wife wants a cranberry colored kitchen. But...we're we get to repair the ancient fridge with no Energy Star rating on it. Glad I'm already used to my electric bill being high with all the computers. ;-)

And's 4 am and I have to get up for work in a half hour to an hour.

Crap. (Again...another word here.)
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-03-14 12:37 pm
Entry tags:

So far so good...

Taking a slight break. So far...

Paid the main bills.

Bought some replacement stuffs and repair parts. Ordered tire for car on E-Bay. Gasoline for the car.

Moved boat motors into the garage from the 'cave.

Filled 5 gallon gas can and gave half to our neighbor who plowed our driveway all winter. Will give him more gas next 15th if I can.

Started dishes in dishwasher with citric acid included.

Soaked and unplugged dying showerhead. Again using citric acid. The tiny rubber sprayers are breaking off so it's time to replace it. I did get a replacement mount for it though for about $3 as the current one is cracked and will break soon.

Did beginning bathroom cleaning. Need to get cotton makeup strips and bleach as well as a replacement toilet seat and more toilet cleaner. (A solid plastic seat this time. I'd love to replace both toilets but good ones cost and I kinda want to get one with a bidet built in eventually. Properly configured those don't make a mess and cut WAY down on toilet paper.)

Treated myself to McDonalds sausage McMuffin this morning and am trying not to go to Wendy's today for lunch but probably will. I don't eat a lot of beef any more but I do like a greasy burger every so often.

Also I did buy one completely frivolous thing. I bought a small sign for the kitchen that says "Remember as far as everyone knows we are a nice normal family". I just couldn't pass it up. ;-)
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-03-13 12:54 pm

Glorious Sleep

So...been a bit busy since December 21st. Thing haven't slowed down really. Family stuff both close and extended, work stuff - company rebranded - no not bought out just name change, money troubles, adopted a Lhasa Ahpso named Bartek, weird weather, etc.

So today and tomorrow I'm off work and after helping get the kid off to school and taking the dogs out I puttered on the computer a bit until 9 am Central. Then I crashed until my wife called me about 30 minutes ago. The body must have been worn out a bit because I hit the bed and didn't move or shift that whole time. Of course that leaves me sore a little.

So now I've eaten something and am vertical again sort of. Going to try and get moving on stuff here a little but seriously sluggish. I think it's just the wind-down from being on top of everything for 3+ months. Think I'm gonna start playing the lotto. It's about time I won. ;-P

Read On MacDuff! )


Ponyville must be late with Winter Wrap-up again. ;-P
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2014-02-09 07:47 am

Moving right along...

So as of Friday that was officially the last day our company had a physical office presence. We are waiting to see if the bid on the new office is accepted. If so that means we'll have an office in downtown Chicago for client meetings and company functions. Regardless that means we're working at home from this point on.

Not a bad thing as we're getting to expense out several things that shall help greatly. And I won't have to really drive anywhere so that's good.

Still that means I have a lot of work to do today. I need to dig out the path to the garage so I can put the boat motors that are in the basement out there and bring the couch that is out there into the basement. Then I have to dig my way to the shed and unbury and set up the two desks in there so I can get all my monitors working with my notebook. (For the record I'll be up to 5 total for one machine.)

That means I won't be able to plug in the heater but since I put the register into the heating duct it's only a degree or two shy of 60F down there now. And the colder it gets out the warmer it gets down there because the furnace runs more often. That said I'm going to put a second register down there in the other run so it adds just a little more.

Finished Chapter 10 of Becoming Twilight and posted it last week. Starting to get into the swing of things again but still slow going. I have to figure out where I'm going with Conversations with Raava as well as all the other stories I've let sit fallow.

Got a second Barnes and Noble gift card from my in-laws yesterday for my birthday. As I was within range of a store I ran over and got myself one of the nice hardback versions of The Hobbit (the green version) and a five book set of the Percy Jackson novels. (I put $25 on the credit card to do that but that should get easily covered by my expense check when it comes in.)

Currently driving on a donut still. The one tire that had broken a belt finally gave up the ghost and broke the bead on the rim. Gotta find a new tire come payday. Hopefully that won't be too expensive. I should buy two but that's likely not gonna happen.

Iritis is all but gone. Still on steroid drops but weaning off. Two a day for this week then one a day for next week then done. After that I go back for a visit and among other things get an updated prescription. Thinking about trying contacts again so I can use conventional eyeware things like sunglasses and such. Contacts have come a long way since when I first tried them as a kid so I'm hoping it'll be a totally different experience.

All of the above aside I really just want to go back to sleep but I can't do that. I need to get moving for a lot of reasons. It sucks but I haven't really had a break since Winter Solstice and am not likely to get one until after March 1st as I'm on call again. Still if I can actually motivate today despite the cold I should be able to get things done.

But honestly I'd love to stay inside and read my books with some hot chocolate.
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-12-23 11:21 am

Holiday Whine....

Sorry but I need to vent a little. I've put all the venting behind a cut so feel free to ignore this post. No. Seriously. Ignore it.

The whining begins here... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-11-09 02:39 pm

Put that in your beanie and smoke it...

So many things afoot at our household. That and work is why I haven't been posting.

Work itself seems to be going well but busy. Looking forward to several things including another visit from my friend from Tokyo among other things.

Mundania abounds it seems. Had to move my boat into the driveway today as I got a letter from the city saying it had to be off the grass. Thankfully we have the space to do that. I talked to the inspector and she said that as long as it's on a hard surface that the grass can't grow through it is acceptable. So seeing as I'm going to go with raised beds anyways that means I can put down landscape fabric and patio stones behind the garage and store it back there. Will also likely winterize and store the bike back there as well once I'me finished working with it. Need to call her back and confirm my suspicions that a pole and fabric structure is not considered permanent. If that's the case then I'll put up one of those temporary tent style garages back there and that will keep the weather off the boat and bike and I won't have to get expensive covers for them.

Speaking of money have to spend more of it on the Neon as it is required to have an emissions test in January. Kind of annoyed by that as they sent out a letter a couple of years ago that they will not be testing anything older than 2000 and Dorothy is a 1998.

I should be out repairing the brake line on my truck but I'm sitting here listening to a jiggle canner. Today's canning is three quarts of chili without beans, two quarts of water, and two experimental quarts of unsweetened green tea that I cold brewed. Not sure how that last one is going to come out but if it works then I can make and store up green tea indefinitely and save myself a lot of time. (I drink a LOT of green tea daily.)

Finally got us switched over to Comcast Business Class for our Internet. All the servers and DNS are all moved over and so far things seem to be working without issue. In our area at least Business Class and Residential use two different support groups so the experience is VERY different. And I'm paying what I was paying with the other DSL service and getting 15x more speed. And for those of you techies out there that run your own equipment they will put the router in Bridge Mode if I ask. :-)

Still no word on if the office is moving or not. Hopefully we'll find that out soon. The one lady at the office said that if they sell it likely means working completely at home for up to a year. I can easily work with that. With the upgraded connectivity and a Skype phone number I can forward my work line to it seems to function quite well. Some odd issues related to Skype but nothing I can't take care of.

All that aside I'm going to focus on getting at least the basics resolved in the basement and move my computer space down there. That way I don't have to heat the workshop as much during winter. (We used 1300 therms last February) Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to get the large computer rack down there without altering the door. I may have to just build one in the corner. I've got another rack that might fit but it has no sides and is about twice the weight. Time will tell. Cleaning up any moisture and electrical issues down there come first though.

Things I've been reading....some of it is fanfic from MLP:FIM circles but two books I read and loved were the Order of the Air books by Melissa Scott. Well worth reading. Also just bought and started War Maid's Own by David Weber. We'll see how that one pans out. I'd like to read more Seanan McGuire stuff but I'm so far behind it isn't funny. The last book I read by her was A Local Habitation. I just can't afford to pick them up right now. Hopefully I'll be able to pick a couple of her books up by Yule.

Money seems to be getting a little better but I'm not going to focus on that. I'll just keep holding back on most of the spending and keep moving forward. Patio stones and exhaust parts for Dorothy are high on the list of next things to buy. Just keep plugging away at it...

Anyways I'm going to go back to listening to the canner jiggle and I promise I will try and post more often. :-)
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-09-15 11:33 am

Post Toasty Post

So we got some things done in the yard yesterday thanks to the minions lent to me by The Duck (my sister - I'll explain that later) and I paid them according to what I felt they did.

And I was not unimpressed. They worked and worked well and did not complain. That was well worth the money. The Duck makes good minions.
Rambling among the brambles... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-08-04 04:58 am

Food, Phun, and Phishing...

So as of this morning I've decided I will never again buy store bought marshmallows. My wife and I made a double batch of one of the millions of simple recipes found on the Internets. I powdered them this morning and tasted one and OMG! Awesome! Going to attempt to cover the one batch with chocolate. (If I can properly temper a bunch of semisweet chips today that is.)

My neighbor was kind enough to give me a spare regulator for my grill and I replaced the burners on it so now able to grill stuff again after years of nor having one. YAY! Grilled some corn on the cob yesterday that was WONDERFUL! Also some baked potatoes that my wife didn't get any of.

Going to start using that grill like there's no tomorrow as long as I can afford vegetables. I love grilled vegetables.
Speaking of vegetables... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-04-27 12:24 pm

What _IS_ that smell?

Or in my front left caliper is sticking. Put new pads and rotor on it yesterday and drove it and it still has the same problem. So After spending $106 for the brake parts I got on E-Bay and spent another $36 for a remanufactured caliper. A deal considering local places want $60 - $80 for one of those. It'll come in around the 1st of next month but that's okay because the caliper retracts enough after it cools down to get me to work and back. It's just frustrating though.

That said I seem to be taking more things in stride these days. While things do get me wound up I usually don't stay too would for too long unless they're repeated issues. This is of course a good thing. Money however is a repeated issue. ;-)

All things in balance though or at least that's the plan.

I do realize though that one can not shoot for the stars and remain in balance. It's an impossibility unless you have infinite time.

Here's the thing - to remain in balance you are always balanced between earth and sky and all other things. To reach the stars you have to leave the earth behind.

Thus...all true adventurers to space (so to speak) have to be unbalanced. But unbalanced in just the right way.

I'm suddenly realizing how rare that actually is.

Just got back from taking the puppy for a walk. I should stop calling him that as he's 5 or more years old. That was fun. Now I need to go out and clean up the yard and mow. Not fun.

Well that's not true. I like maintaining things. I enjoy making things work or look good or both. I like improving upon those things. And I like making things from scratch when I can. Unfortunately I don't get a lot of energy to do any of those lately.

Hoping to change that.

One other thing I paid for which cost me about $9 is a small magnetic lens assembly that attaches to my phone or my Flip Mino camera and allows me to do wide-angle and macro shots respectively. This means I don't have to use the main video camera if I want to do shots of me working with electronics out in the workshop. Yet again something I want to do but am not getting done.

Work is going well. Or as well as can be with a busy technical support position. It's always something to be dealt with. :-)

In case I didn't mention it before I got the motorcycle running again. Swapped out the carburator jets for the slightly larger ones so she shouldn't lean out around 5k rpms. Unfortunately I went to air up the front tire and it won't hold air. Fortunately I have a whole 'nother bike that has good front and back tires on it. Going to try and swap those tires today if possible after I mow the lawn.

Mowing the lawn is such a pain with the lawn lights. Seriously thinking about something creative here. I hate having to pull the lawn lights and replace them so here's what I'm thinking:

1) Get a number of those strings of LED lights. Clear, white, RGB, whatever.

2) Get a whole bunch of the small metal spice tins with the clear centers in the covers.

3) Get a bunch of rubber grommets just big enough to fit around the wires to the LEDs.

4) Notch the sides of the spice tins on two sides - one opposite the other - so the wires go in then come out the other sides.

5) Apply grommets to the wires and insert the wires so each LED is contained in a metal spice tin and centered in the clear window.

6) Hot glue the LEDs in place in the tins.

7) Glue the lids shut with something strong - I suggest Gorilla Glue.

8) Bury the tins and the wiring along the path so that just the tops show.

9) Plug the string into a timer or a light-sensitive "after dark" kind of switch.

10) Enjoy mowing your lawn without having to take the damn path lights out.

Simple, fairly inexpensive, and likely more sturdy than other wired solutions.

Now I just need a clean workshop to get those done...

Off to mow!
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-04-05 01:23 pm

So much for daily progress...

Went back to sleep this morning and woke up at 10:30 am or so. Ate some toast, drank a Pepsi Throwback. Then got dressed and worked on the kitchen sink around 11:00 am.

That finished up at 12:50 pm. So almost two hours fixing that thing - especially since I had to go back and forth to the hardware store to get first the J-trap then the tailpipe. Turns out the main drain is fine but the tailpipe and J-trap had rusted through and were just waiting to fail. It's currently holding a sink full of water right now so we'll see if it drips any more or not.

It's nice out. Thinking about throwing all plans to the wind today and taking the dog for a walk around the block. It's almost nice enough to go outside and sleep in a sunbeam. ^_^
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-04-04 11:28 pm
Entry tags:

Cleaning started....

Gave the kitchen a thorough cleaning today. Right down to scrubbing the wood floors. Not a perfect cleaning but the kitchen counter looks fab and the wood floors look nice and shiny now. Also got rid of the musty smell in the washer and got the dishwasher all cleaned up. And cleaned both bathrooms with the exception of the shower and the small area of wood floor in the water closet. Used up almost all the white vineger though. Have to pick up more of that. Thankfully that is cheap.
UFYH stuff below the cut... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2013-03-31 09:48 pm

A Plethora of Peanuts...

...or What do you use to fill bankrupt pants!

Many many things going on. Before I get started though please be reminded that Anonymous commenting on the Livejournal account has been turned off so if you want to comment you will have to get an account. They're free just get one and email me the account name.

Let's see....

Went to the in-laws for Easter this weekend. Not my holiday personally (mine comes before Easter) but I did get to relax a little. Slept in a comfy recliner that was underneath a basement window. This allowed me to sleep in a sunbeam. Very cool. All hail the Goddess of the Sun! ;-)

Getting more things cleaned out. We killed another foot-pedal garbage can so we replaced it with a plastic swing-top one that even if we break the pins holding the lid I can quickly and easily repair it. Not metal but I'll live.

Of course that left me with the perpetual problem - how do you throw out a garbage can in the garbage. I'm hoping that the scrap signs I taped to both metal cans will convince the metal scrappers to take them.

I'm hoping to be off the 4th and 5th of April to do spring cleaning. I went through several totes and boxes in the attic of the workshop and found that a great amount of paper can be discarded. While I will keep some of the older computer books many of them will sadly never be useful to me even from an informational standpoint. Thus out they go. That and I printed out a lot of stuff I just plain never really used. So all that can go as well.

Got my old white Core2Duo Macbook loaded with Mint Linux 13 on an SSD and got Focuswriter among other things installed on there. Used it to finish a short story for FimFiction. The battery and power savings on that laptop work well under Linux now so I fully intend to take advantage of that. My only annoyance is I'll need to only write with it in the shade because it has a glossy screen. Since I often write at night, due to many reasons, that is not really an issue. (Kinda wondering what the keyboard on those OLPC units feels like tiny as they are. They have direct sunlight usable screens.)

Found two ACARD SCSI->PATA adapters in the workshop attic. That means I can use regular PATA drives and probably a makeshift CF->IDE adapter to run my Vaxstation 4000-60 with a solid state drive instead of severely aging SCSI drives. That will be awesome. I may look at spending for an actual PATA SSD for that once I'm sure of what needs to happen with that system. (BTW the end goal for that system is an old-style text MUD which I never got to experience when they existed everywhere. I just think this is a cool use of the hardware.)

I don't want to jinx anything *knocks on wood* but I think I stopped the oil leak in Dorothy. I checked all her valve cover bolts and took the coil off and found the bolt under the coil was loose. Tightened that and so far I haven't seen any more oil. Also the transmission is working well since being refilled. Need to replace the front motor mount though but that's not too expensive. We'll just have to wait and see on the oil thing. Watching it like a hawk for a while.

The snow is pretty much gone from the driveway now so the minute it's warmer and not blowing like mad I should be able to do the brakes on the truck and that should get her mobile again. Even if I need to renew the plates on her. The motorcycle just needs a battery and those jets put in the carbs and then she should be up and running.

Thinking about either moving my existing shed or replacing it. Here's the thing - I'm more than considering raised beds so I can work them without bending over. If that's the case I could easily put a prefab shed into the existing garden space, put the raised beds where the old shed currently is, then landscape the rest for enjoyment. In fact if I ever get $1500 or so I'll be ordering one of those cool Hobbit hole sheds in addition to the prefab garden shed. They make those things big enough to put a table in there and sit in them. (Goddess I so want a Bag End of my own!)

It's strange what you think about. I just realised that with enough money my grandmother's old property (10 acres in Wisconsin) would be perfect for a Hobbit hole. Her property is a valley between two hills so to speak. The small stream breaks it up about halfway. What I'd do is put a rustic garage with guest apartment at the top of the end where the driveway is. Then put a large flower/hedge garden to the right of the driveway and headed towards the back. There's even enough space on that property for a classic tall hedge maze if I wanted one.

Then a large stone path with steps leading down and around the back hill to the large vegetable garden and orchard. (Not to be confused with the orchard to the left side of the properly.) The path would continue on over a small ridge then cross a simple stone bridge before heading up the steps to the entrance to the Hobbit hole.

Mind you I'd probably use concrete drainage culverts to create the layout of the hole then cover them with wood inside. Or I could build it Earthship style with tamped tires but I'm not sure how well that would fit with a wood interior and fully covered not just bermed. And I'd have to probably dig out a big chunk of that hill then fill it back in when done. But the design could easily be completed in that space.

All that aside the property belongs to someone else now and frankly that area is starting to urbanise more so I might want to look for something further out.

I really want a place where there are little to no street lights. Some place where I can see all the stars without the light pollution or surrounding cities and towns. mind gets wrapped in them from time to time but I wouldn't have it any other way.

My mind does do some things though that are very annoying. One of the worst is constant ear-worms. (Aka songs in your head if you've never heard the term before.) Think of it this way - imagine taking a music player and setting it to repeat one track. Now imagine that track is incomplete or gets interrupted easily or repeats the same part of the song like a stuck record. Now carry that music player everywhere you go for 24 - 48 hours. It has no power button so you can't turn it off and it's indestructible and chained to your wrist. After that time change the song to another random tune. Sometimes the same one even because it's True Random not Shuffle.

The last _72_ hours it's been Show me everything you've got by Rocket Summer. Today it's switched to a song called Never Back Down by a guy called Aviators. Never sure what it's going to be next. Sometimes it's easy to become distracted enough to not have the music in the forefront but most times it comes right back.

Thankfully though it _does_ change over time or I'd definitely be mad by now.


Ugh. Now that I thought about it the song has switched back to the Rocket Summer one. *sigh*

I'm going try and get some sleep now and hopefully it'll have shuffled again before I wake.
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2012-11-18 11:23 pm

A Wrangling of Wrenches...

So while yesterday was some needed running around today (after I did phone support for my dad's computer problem) I worked on the two downed four-wheel vehicles.

Thanks to what a friend of mine taught me (former Chrysler mechanic turned I/T ISP geek) I was able to pull the starter on Dorothy in about ten minutes and get it swapped out. They tested it and it failed as expected. They also tested the new starter before they gave it to me. (The new starter has three green dots on it while the old starter had none. Those of you that understand quality control get what that means. ;-) Anyway this one is a happier starter.) And now that part of that car is fixed.

So I moved onto working on the truck. Borrowed some specialised line wrenches from the aforementioned friend and after much mess and fuss replaced the front brake line on the truck. (Sam) With my wife's help I did a basic bleed on the brakes but while the truck does stop now it doesn't stop well and I still get the Brake light on the dashboard. Likely more bleeding is needed. Hopefully I can get that done this week. And I also got my welder back so I can get the muffler welded. (My neighbours gave me a dirty look when I started the truck up as it was fairly loud.) Once those are done only the timing chain/water pump remain really. I'm sure there are other things due to the age of that vehicle but all in good time.

And the fact that I could get the truck halfway into the garage to work on the front brakes made all the difference. Almost to the point where I have all of it out of the one bay. It won't all be organised for some time but getting the one bay clear is a major accomplishment.

And....I wrote this weekend. Nothing large...a few paragraphs on something from the back burner. But I wrote. Working on doing more of that. Getting the car fixed will help that because now I can go back to my old schedule and be home some time early if all goes according to plan. That hopefully will leave me time to get writing done at home while I'm alone.

We'll plan on that going forward. :-)

Side question: Those of you that run Firefox or Linux in the US - have you seen your spell check software start flagging US English spellings as incorrect unless changed to UK spellings? Realized <---this word for example comes up with a red squiggle under it but realised does not. I don't think my Linux is set to British English. :-/
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2012-10-05 11:43 pm


23:48 PM 10/05/2012

So...Insomnia! My old nemesis we meet again!

For how tired I was when we first came home from having dinner with the in-laws I'm surprised I'm awake. But then I remember lying on the futon in the library for a bit so I might have napped and not realized it. I was that tired.

Speaking of in-laws my father-in-law gave me his Ryobi gas leaf blower/vacuum. It's pretty cool. Besides being a blower it's also a mulching vac. I intend to put it to use this weekend.

Looking at what's left outside I really want to put up a fence between the house and the garage but because I need to get the lawn tractor in and out of there I need a fairly large door. AND there has to be a simple human door so we can get in and out to the back door of the house. I wonder if I can design simple temporary partitions that can be moved as needed,

Continued under the cut... )
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2012-08-30 03:08 pm

The joys of cleaning...

15:10 PM 08/30/2012

So...currently finishing up eating waffles...

I've been cleaning today and actually made good progress. Got the dishes done and some of the clutter out of the kitchen. Cleaned up the back hall closet. Now the shoes are where shoes should be and among other things our reusable grocery bags are in a hanging organizer.

I found the waffle maker while cleaning and just had to have waffles. It's one of those flip-over Waring models. Simple to set up - darkness knob and an on/off switch - and it has a simple "Ready" light on it. I used up both pancake mix pouches cooking waffles. I've learned that the trick is pouring just the right amount of batter into the waffle maker AND having it just the right thickness. So...I was good so I get waffles. :-) (If you don't get that last reference go watch Dorkness Rising.)

But the big deal here is not the waffles but that I was able to take time off from work to clean. I'm on-call starting on the first of September so I have some time that hopefully is just my own to get caught up on everything around here.

Today is dedicated to inside stuff so we'll see how much of that I get done. Tomorrow is dedicated to outside stuff and I absolutely HAVE to get the lawn mowed and trimmed.

If you haven't followed it go to to Tumblr and follow Unfuck Your Habitate (UFYH). It's all about motivation to clean. They even have an iPhone app. There are a lot of ideas behind all this but one of the best is one taken from another place - marathon cleaning sessions don't work. That means you need to follow the old 20/10, 30/15, etc. rules where you clean a certain amount of time then take a break. That's how I'm working it today though I'm not using the app on my phone at the moment.

During one of my breaks I read about Lord Kelvin's Thunderstorm which is an odd little device that takes the charges directly off of two dripping streams of water to make an eventual charge buildup in the two receiving buckets of water. This thing is a science fair special that's been around for years.

But what if...

During my other travels on the web I've seen pictures of large subterranian water facilities that have TONS of water pouring out of them. Some for a fairly long drop. What if we were to set up these assemblies under those. You'd have to make the charging ring extremely large and you'd have to insulate the catch buckets so they remain charged and only drain at a certain rate.

But even with a severe amount of overflow drain loss from the catchment buckets I can't help but wonder how much energy could be harvested. And the water doesn't change really so it could move on to push turbines or something.

These kinds of things are the things that make me think what I would do if I had billions of dollare...

Break's over...back to work!
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2012-08-25 10:02 pm

Magic Mumblings and Mental Meanderings...

23:13 PM 08/25/2012

So it's the weekend again and I've got a ton of things to do but frankly I'm getting only a certain percentage done simply because I'm tired again. This time though it's a physical thing because my chest muscle still hurts from the 'Dash. Aleve helps a lot but I can't take more than two or so of those in a 24 hour period so I'm holding off to take them early tomorrow so I can take them again early on Monday and not have an issue during work.

Suppsoedly a rib muscle/bruise should only take two weeks to heal and this one seems right on track as it's starting to hurt less unless I aggravate it. Still it was well earned so I begrudge it easily. ;-)

So regardless my wife and child when to her mother's brithday party and I took the opportunity to sleep for several hours without interruption and felt much better afterwards. Enough to get up and do a few things here in the workshop.

Had actual time to write in the paper journals with my quil pen. That was refreshing even though I'm horribly out of practice and dripped quite a bit on the paper. It was refreshing to get the words down on paper. As i've said before physical writing has a tendency to force me to compose my thoughs before setting them down. That makes for a slower flow but a more refined one. Especially when I'm using ink and a good quality journal.

And it's one step closer to getting back to my fiction writing. If I can make the time to put the words down on paper them I can make the time to put the words down in electronic form.

With the schedule I'm keeping for both work and sleep though that's hard to do. Especially with everything else on top of it. I'll keep trying though.

Still getting a handle on things around the house again. Bought a new trash can for the kitchen from the Goodwill today because the one we have is rusting at the top. The new one is also stainless steel so we'll see if it does any better.

And I have to mow the grass tomorrow on top of everything else.

One of the things I was writing down today was transcribing my quick notes about life, the universe, and magick into my permanent journals. I forced myself not to edit as I went along. And for that I think I'm better off. I can add amendments as separate entries later down the road.

And that's where things stand right now. Not going into anything else right now. Tomorrow I have to set up my father's new-to-him computer and transfer his applications and data to the new system. It's going from XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro so hopefully everything is going to work okay. If not then I can always load it up with XP Pro and he'll have the Windows 7 key for when he can upgrade/replace his applications.

During/after that I have to help my neighbor's kid with his laptop. He's got such a yearning to learn technical stuff. I hope like hell I'm up to teaching him.

'Night all!
nimitzbrood: (Default)
2012-06-09 09:12 pm

Random Thoughts...

Why is it so hard for people to just be nice to each other? Is there something in the universe that says X amount of people need to be assholes? Not sure about that one.

It's almost impossible to do anything invention related in this world any more (especially in the US) without having a ton of money to hire lawyers to protect your idea. The days have passed when mailing the idea to yourself to secure the copyright is worth the price of the postage. A sad thing and hopefully soon to be stopped. The world is on the verge of being filled with makers again. And it scares the hell out of those making the big bucks because they don't control it. They'd outlaw anything but "approved" making if they could.

Goddess willing I'll be one of those makers. I already enjoy it but honestly I don't have the resources to do the things I want to do. This shall be resolved eventually but will I be able to do it in time for me to be able to invest myself in it? I just don't know.

We need transparency at almost every level of society. Not just government but quite a bit in other areas. I'm not being Zuckerberg and saying we need to give up privacy but honestly anything that handles money for more than a dozen people or could potentially put people out of work seriously or any number of other things. I don't know. This one is very fuzzy. I know we need something but honestly it's hard to figure out just what is needed there. I'll let that one steep a little...

Why is it pet adoption is so expensive? I mean seriously! There are a ton of pets out there that need homes and just will be killed if they don't find them. Yet the average dog adoption I've seen is in the $200 - $400 range. Really?? 'Cmon! Animal shelters go as low as $80 so I look there first. Unfortunately we can't get a big dog due to space or a high-strung dog due to my daughter's autism and the fact that I'm gone at least 10 hours a day. (*grump* Wish I could work from home some days...) Still most places want way too much. I know they need to pay for care and such but there should be something to take the edge off. Most of us are looking for a family member not reselling or breeding or fighting. :-(

Just watched a video of an Earthship that was started in Africa - a school - but then left for the natives to finish. It's almost finished and it's awesome. Those buildings are massively stable and if you reclaim everything necessary the only thing that they really need is concrete. And for the most part that's pretty cheap. You could in theory put a wood roof on one or a roof of some other material. It wouldn't be as thermally stable or hardy but it certainly would suck less resources than the average western style house.

I hope my raspberries grow back. My neigbor cut them down when he helped me get rid of all the weeds in my garden area. Unfortunately they were mature and producing fruit. Now...I'm estimating that I'm looking at around two years before they begin fruiting again. I can't complain though because he was cleaning up my yard and I didn't have money to pay him at that time. On top of that I forgot to water my strawberries and all but two of them are dead. Wonderful. Hopefully I can get them to grow back as well. Need more honey bees. Also thinking about putting in a bat house.

Replaced the kitchen faucet today to the tune of about $70 all told. And that happens to be a cheap plastic faucet and sprayer. Needless to say that will be replaced as soon as we can afford a good metal one. Hopefully now that all the leaks are fixed our water bill will go down a bit. At least the area directly under the sink will be dry from now on. I'll probably put some kitty litter under there though just in case.

Thinking about a rock waterfall style shower when we re-do the bathroom. Something like a giant slate piece jutting out of the wall that pours water over the side. A conventional large showerhead above as well of course. And a hand sprayer. I figure if we're going to re-do that we should go for the gusto. All this into a tile tub. Or maybe even a bamboo tub. That would be really cool.

Why is it such a big deal for everyone to conform? Quite honestly the world is more fun when people _don't_ fit the same mold! *sigh*

So many ideas so little income... Have to get that winning lottery ticket under my belt here as soon as possible...

I think I'm going to try and get to sleep early so I can get up and do more unfucking of our habitat tomorrow. I need to unfuck my workshop as that's in need of organization so I can get the stuff in the house that needs to go out there can go out there. I also need to find the second Ertl(Ertie?) rack fan installed into the vent stack in the workshop roof so I can help cool that place much better than it is now. Maybe I should put out the call to Freecycle for things like exhaust fans of all types. Or rack fans.

Going to bed in a bit now so I can unfuck more things tomorrow...