Making Do…

Sewing room, reassembling

Sewing room, reassembling

I’m still recovering from a weekend of painting and remote work … but Marcia’s sewing room is coming back together. Saturday I did the walls and bulkheads, cutting in by hand then rolling out the flats. Sunday, after several hours of remote work, I crawled about on the floor, painting the trim. Sunday evening, I moved some of the cabinets in, and started moving in tables and equipment. Marcia’s happy, I think. Me? I’m just tired. Sorry for missing last night.

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Three months with no casualties reported by DoD. Huzzah!

Ciao!

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!

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.

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.

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.

Welcome to Winter

I’m thinking of Jerry Pournelle a lot these days, and wishing for him a speedy and complete recovery from his recent “small” stroke. What I *want* is for Jerry to keep defying odds, and keep putting out first rate science fiction (selfish of me, I know), and for Jerry to keep enjoying life. Not much to ask, is it?

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Just another busy weekend for me, though. Much of yesterday I was in the woodshop, and repeated that again today. Among other things, I dismantled an old humidifier that was wasting space. Most of it is now in the recycle bin, but I scavenged the fans, controller, wheels, and inlet grid.

Scavenged from a humidifier

Scavenged from a humidifier

I built a box yesterday, and finished it out today, cutting holes and mounting bits until the new shop air cleaner was up and operational.

New shop air cleaner

New shop air cleaner

The prior “air cleaner” was a filter duct-taped to a box fan. The horizontal exhaust of that setup seemed to cause some extra dust issues, sometimes. And it was prone to falling over. This new one, bigger and sturdier, certainly isn’t going to fall over, and exhausts straight up, which should be good for keeping the air circulating in such a manner as to get more of the dust out of the air and onto the filter. AND the filter is easily removable, which is also a win.

I was also working on rebuilding some front legs for a Sauder shelving unit that was damaged by the water issues from last June. The feet had swollen badly, as MDF is prone to do when exposed to moisture. So I partially dismantled the unit, and removed the front legs (which are actually the full verticals from floor to top, making up part of the face frame). After making some measurements, I did a glue-up yesterday to get a couple of new legs of the right size. Today I cut them down to final dimensions, and used the router table to cut a slot in each to mate up with the shelf sides. I’ve got some sanding, staining, and sealing yet to do for those, so it’ll be another few nights before that project is finished. Then I can get back onto the remodeling of the basement: flooring, touch-up and paint on the walls, and reassemble Marcia’s sewing area.

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The exercise continues to treat me well: In my ~20 minute warm-up routine, I’m up to 60 sit ups, 30 push ups, and a variety of stretches. Then, my current elliptical routine runs like this:

Goal: 134-142 steps per minute (excepting two minutes of cool-down at the end).

Goal: 6000 steps in under 45 minutes (below 44 when things are good).

Elliptical stages:

Resistance Slope Duration Elapsed
2 10° 2 2
3 10° 2 4
4 15° 2 6
5 15° 2 8
6 15° 2 10
5 20° 3 13
6 20° 3 16
7 20° 3 19
6 20° 3 22
5 20° 3 25
5 25° 3 28
6 25° 3 31
7 25° 3 34
6 25° 3 37
5 25° 3 40
4 20° 3 43
3 15° 3 46
2 10° 2 48

Boom. Today: 6000 steps in 43:27, total of 6550 steps in 48 minutes. A good day! The elliptical says I burned 850 calories doing that. My UP24 monitor insists that I only eked out 810 calories for the same work. Moot point, though. Feels good.

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DoD reported no new casualties in the last week.

Catching Up

The calendar is catching up to the weather, in fact. On Tuesday into Wednesday, we’re due for “wintery mix,” which sounds much nicer than it really is. But 30’s and 40’s for December are just fine. It’s the teens and 20’s that make us cranky, here in Chez Bilbrez.

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I’ve got the week “off” – burning some unused hours before I lose them to policy, come the end of the calendar year. Primary focus: finish building Marcia’s rolling cabinet, which is do-able, methinks. Here’s the carcass, much progress:

Marcia's Rolling Cabinet Carcass

Marcia’s Rolling Cabinet Carcass

In the last two days, I’ve got finish on all of the drawers and the body of the carcass. This afternoon, I made the face frame components and attached them. Tomorrow, I’ll sand the face frame and apply finish coats of urethane to the whole thing. Then I can get the hardware attached, and start working on the top and the drawer fronts.

Also on tap for the week: the house needs a deep cleaning, and the basement floor continues to need my attention. We’d like that to be done by the time Marcia’s recovered from her right knee replacement (surgery scheduled for January).

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Maj. Wardell B. Turner, 48, of Nanticoke, Maryland, died on Nov. 24, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Joseph W. Riley, 27, of Grove City, Ohio, died on Nov. 24, in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Winter is … What? Over 70 degrees tomorrow?

Yeah. This week we spent a significant amount of time at or below freezing, including a couple of mornings around 20°F. But according to the various forecasts, tomorrow it’s supposed to get up to 73°F. But two days later we’re back down to the deep freeze, with potential snow/sleet on Wednesday. Very weird.

I spent most of this weekend working in the woodshop on drawers and carcass for a rolling storage cabinet for Marcia, to use in her quilting space:

New cabinet for Marcia

New cabinet for Marcia

Most of today was spent laying out and pre-drilling holes for the drawer mounting hardware. Then I’ll finish the drawer bodies and the carcass in an off white. The drawer fronts and trim on the cabinet body (as well as the cabinet top) are going to be made from the pine shelving that I got from Jolene’s yarn shop a few years back.

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DoD has reported no new casualties in the last week.

Five Down, Seven To Go

Months, that is. The year, it flies by too quickly. We’re approaching the heat and humidity of the year, sadly. The upside of the unpleasant months is fresh veggies out of the garden. Soon, soon:

Garden - Late May 2014

Garden – Late May 2014

Things are going well … I cleaned house yesterday. No, really. With a car wash mitt and a few buckets of soapy water, I cleaned everything I could reach on the front of the house. Doing it that way was a pain in the ass, and frankly exhausting, but the method did a much more consistent job of cleaning than using a pressure washer to draw pictures in the dirt and oxidized paint. Originally I was just after the trim and gutters (off-white and white) to spruce things up. But it became quickly clear that everything needed attention. I’m very happy with the results. After I finished that up, I weeded out the garden beds.

Today, shopping, laundry, restructuring the garage entrance to the shed, and mowing. Of the four tasks, only the third is mildly interesting. The shed floor is about 14″ up from the level of the garage, and when we moved in, it was configured as one 14″ step. I move assorted wheeled equipment in and out of there, and it made sense to me early on to construct a short, steep ramp there. It was bolted to the ledger, and I used tapcon screws to attach the ramp to the concrete floor. Sturdy. In addition, at the shed back door, leading to the back yard, there is a concrete step.)

The problem with the ramp is that it is (errr, was) adjacent to Marcia’s driver-side door, which means the ramp has been rarely, but painfully in the way for her. A few years ago, I built a portable ramp, and started moving some gear in and out through the back as well. Eventually (this year), I figured that I could use that ramp when needed on the garage side as well. So today I deconstructed the 11 year old ramp, and re-used the materials to make a single step there, splitting the 14″ difference. That step will support the portable ramp as necessary, and Marcia now has more/better maneuvering room when entering and exiting her car.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Pfc. Jacob H. Wykstra, 21, of Thornton, Colorado, who died on May 28, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained as a result of an aircraft accident.