Tree and Grass: Ice

This morning, at the office:

Tree and grass enveloped in ice

Tree and grass enveloped in ice

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Ice

The weather liar says this is the first day of meteorological Spring. The weather itself says, “ICE!” They’ve been treating the roads and such, but there’s an eighth to a quarter inch of ice on lots of the rest of our area. Trees are deeply unhappy, with branches coming off due to weight. Lovely, really. And such a pleasure when taking the dog for a walk.

Today: Patching systems remotely for work, weekly food shopping, roasted coffee:

Roasted a Columbian today

Roasted a Columbian today

I generally roast early enough that the beans have enough time to rest for at least three days (and outgas most of the CO2) before first grind and brew. No different today: We’ll probably be drinking off of this Columbia SO coffee by Thursday.

I also cleared most things out of Marcia’s front sewing room, and did wall work: sanding and re-spackling. Later in the week, I should be able to get the shoe moulding installed, do the final sanding, and get some primer on the walls with the intention of color coat on the weekend. We know where intentions lead, yes?

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In computing news, I puzzled my way through getting bhyve (the BSD Hypervisor) running on Serenity, the FreeBSD workstation/home server. It’ll be better to experiment with things in a virtual machine, than directly on the host. What I wasn’t able to do was get the tap and bridge networking up and running while *also* using PF, the host-based firewall. I like using firewalls as one layer in a robust security posture … but for now, not so much. The first experiment: PostgreSQL. I’ve worked some with Oracle’s database, and with MySQL (and the MariaDB fork thereof). But there are capabilities in PostgreSQL that I want to explore, and a small Python based project I’d like to write to spend some time with both the language and the database. More if there’s more to report at a later date.

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Gladly observed: still no new casualties announced by DoD in the most recent week. Ciao!

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Shoveling S…

Yesterday we were due for 1-3 inches of snow during the day. Late in the afternoon, I took care of the first four inches of that snowfall. Early this morning I shoveled off the last inch and a half, which was lovingly topped with a freezing rain crust. Weirdly, by 1 PM, I was walking the dog while wearing just a light jacket – temps had ramped up to nearly 40° F.

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In the afternoon, I painted:

Cutting in: basement foyer

Cutting in: basement foyer

What I’m calling the basement foyer is a tiny little space, with a doorway (visible) through to Marcia’s sewing areas, a set of louvered doors to the furnace/AC, and the doorway to my woodshop. There’s structure, and cut-ins, and storage, and bulkheads. It took a stunning amount of time to do all of the cutting in. Rolling out the rest of the paint is going to take about 15 minutes, I think.

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No new casualties were announced by DoD in the previous week.

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Cold Holiday

It was colder than 6° F when I got up shortly after dawn this morning, with about two inches of snow that was drifted and icy. No real fun driving out for the groceries today, as a result. The temperature had warmed all the way up to 15 by mid-afternoon. According to the NOAA, we’re not supposed to see the fun side of the freezing line until next Sunday or later, and we have some snow coming again in the mid-week. So, an utterly normal President’s Day weekend, then.

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Being cute:

Lexi being cute

Lexi being cute

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I managed two coats of glossy white enamel on my fabricated shoe mould trim yesterday. Today I applied some of that trim to the basement foyer area, and got another coat of mud on the areas of drywall needing repair. Tomorrow, a bit of sanding and some primer, I think…

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Wow! We’ve made two months without an announced casualty (since 12/14/14) from DoD. Cool.

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The Continuing Saga

I was back in the basement this weekend. Yesterday, I finished up the flooring install. There were a few long runs left, and some fiddly bits around doorways, cabinets, etc. that I had left until the end. All done, and caulked in the two doorways that won’t have a transition jam.

This morning, after shopping, I went out to get some of the materials needed for the next round of work. Primer, painters caulk, high gloss white for the trim, etc. While I was there, I looked at the shoe moulding. The closest I could find to what I wanted in size ran nearly a buck a linear foot. And it was still too thick. My goal was 3/8″ x 3/4″. I don’t need more than that because the flooring is pretty tight (but not SUPER tight) to the walls. I’m in general 1/8″ off each wall, so a 1/4″ overlap is more than sufficient. But raw select pine is a lot cheaper than processed shoe moulding, and I have tools…

Shoe moulding for the basement.

Shoe moulding for the basement.

So I bought some 1×6 select pine, and used the router table and table saw to mill my own shoe moulding. The “foyer” area of the basement is going to get the stuff on the left, which has a 45 degree chamfer on it. The bulk of the moulding is going around Marcia’s sewing area, and for that I did a quarter inch round over with a tiny reveal, less than a 16th of an inch. Frankly, if I could have gotten the plastic stuff, or even the primed poplar in 3/8″ width, I’d have gone for it. But wide shoe moulding irks me, and I might as well use my facilities.

Above, all of the moulding has been sanded and wiped down. Sometime in the next few days I’ll prime, then paint those.

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During the upcoming week, I’ll be taking Marcia to physical therapy appointments. But thereafter, she’s on her own. She’s supposed to be driving by the 16. Yay! She is making great progress! The stairs are hard, but she’s doing them leg over leg, and they’re getting easier each day (or at least she’s making less noise!)

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No new casualties were reported by DoD during the last week.

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Super?

There’s a football game on the tube. We watched the first half, decided that 14-all meant it was a new game… and we weren’t starting over again. So. Good luck, Tom and the gang! I will vote on most depressing commercial of the first half, though … that Nissan commercial with the absentee, almost died several times, race car driver dad. Really? Really?!?

Not much progress on the basement this weekend. We’re adjusting sleep patterns as pain management changes – that plus several hours of on-site and remote work this weekend left me with enough energy for food shopping, laundry, and television. Back to the basement next week!

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No new casualties reported by DoD in the last week. News I’m happy there’s nothing to report about. Ciao!

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Productivity

This weekend marks another transition for Marcia – she’s stopped taking the rat poison (Coumadin, aka Warfarin). That also means that she doesn’t have to wear the compression stockings anymore, which makes her very happy. She should sleep much better tonight. She’s solo’ing up and down the stairs, but not leg-over-leg yet. Progress is.

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I spent the weekend on two different primary tasks. The first was a bit of patching of Linux production systems late last night and early this morning, during the appropriate maintenance windows for the systems in question. Much of the balance of the weekend was spent working on the basement floor.

I started working it in past the entry way to Marcia’s sewing area. I’d start by scraping and cleaning the concrete, sweep up and vacuum, then lay a chunk of flooring and move a cabinet over to the freshly laid area, rinse and repeat. At the end of Saturday, it looked like this:

Basement floor - Saturday

Basement floor – Saturday

Today, after the Linux patching and the weekly shopping, I got back to work. I moved all the stuff that was in the basement kitchen down into the area I’d gotten flooring into yesterday, then I cleaned up, shaved the edge of the linoleum to ease the transition, and started moving appliances and laying flooring. By the end of the day I’d gotten to about the 80% point on the entire floor – and the kitchen area looks like this:

Sunday - basement floor progress

Sunday – basement floor progress

I only wasted two full planks doing cuts wrong, and shaved the skin off of one knuckle doing the work. So, a net win. Another day to get the rest of the flooring down, then I can start working on walls and paint and moldings.

*      *      *

No new casualties were reported by DoD in the last week.

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Rainy Days and Sundays

Well, they don’t get me down, but when it’s rain drops with little ice spears embedded in each one, it’s not a pleasant thing to be walking in (or loading the groceries into the car during, for one executed example). We had about 2cm of rain today – at peak, the sump pump was running every two minutes.

Today was productive on the home front: Shopping, Laundry, cleaned up my office. I also opened up Serenity, the home server, and replaced the back panel fan with one that has manual speed settings, so that I can knock down some of the noise in here. Works like a champ. The Asus board that had been in that chassis did a better job of controlling fan speeds. When I replaced it with a SuperMicro board (and a Xeon processor + 16G of ECC RAM) … well, the SuperMicro seemed to run that back fan at full throttle the whole time.

Yesterday was productive for work: I spent 6 hours at the front part of the day planning and scripting for some VMware updating work, and 5 hours executing on it last night from 8 PM to 1 AM. Tomorrow is a relax day, I plan. Plans always work out, right?

Marcia is doing great. She’s continuing to nail her PT goals, and we expect that I’ll be going to work for several hours each day this next week, barring any setbacks.

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It’s been more than a month! DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. The most recent reported casualty was on 14 Dec 2014.

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Wotcher, World

Well, I *intended* to put up at least a brief post last night, but the world conspired against me. Or Jack Frost did. Hard to tell, really.

Marcia is doing well. Her surgery last Monday went off without a hitch, and she’s plowing through her Physical Therapy goals without hardly blinking an eye. Of course, when she plows through those goals, she reaches points of real pain pretty quickly. That’s what the pain meds are for – to control things while she does the necessary work.

Speaking of work, other than a couple of hours worth of email, I haven’t done any remunerative work to speak of since the second day of this year. So this morning I was up at my usual time, got Marcia rolling, then settled and fed, and started working (from home) myself. This is now possible because our routine is stable enough, and Marcia’s recovered enough, that I can get an hour or more of continuous time in. There’s not much point if I can’t get at least a clear half hour, since the productivity ramp-up from interruptions is a killer.

More when there’s more to tell.

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DoD reported no new casualties in the last week. Militant Islam continues to be a global problem, though.

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Going Fast

The year sure is flying by. It seems that New Year’s Day was only a couple of days ago, and already 1% of my year is gone already! As anticipated, I did get some flooring installed in the basement on Parade/Bowl Day, too:

Vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl plank flooring

The flooring goes down pretty easy. I made use of my Dremel multi-tool to get under the edges of door jams and such. In the last couple of days, I fabricated some maple edge transitions, and got them installed today (pictures some other day). There’s still floor prep + painting and moulding to apply before the project is done. In fact, I still have to peel up another 10×10 space of vinyl sheet from the basement kitchen area. But that should go quickly, one hopes.

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Tomorrow, Marcia trades in her right knee for an upgraded titanium model.  Wish us luck.

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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week.

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