dxmachina: (Writing 03)
SLOCUM, RI - The search for a cordless drill, missing for two months, was called off today when it was found safe, sound, and and still charged, sitting in plain view on a high shelf in a local man's attic. The owner had first reported the drill missing in early November. The man claimed to have searched that area several times without seeing the drill, and suggested that perhaps it had only just returned from going on a spree. He said he had heard rumors that in recent weeks numerous phillips head screws had been found mysteriously loosened around the neighborhood.

Local authorities discount the theory, saying that the fact that the drill was still charged when found is evidence that it was likely not, in fact, screwing around. Some neighbors allege that there have been rumors that the owner may be abusing his tools, and theorize the drill may have been simply hiding to escape. Authorities say that they are looking into the rumors, but that no charges are anticipated.




dxmachina: (Calvin)
Awright, whoever hid my cordless drill, you did a spectacular job. Bravo!

That said, I'd like it back now.

Please?

(I've searched the house from top to bottom. Twice. I'm now worried that it's outside somewhere, but I don't remember needing it out there for a very long time.>



Status

Nov. 8th, 2012 12:55 pm
dxmachina: (Snow02)
So, after not losing power during Sandy, the measly little nor'easter knocked power out for a couple of hours overnight. I happened to be partially awake and rolling over when it happened (around 1:30), so I saw the clock and night lights go out. Wouldn't have mattered if had been asleep because the UPS and smoke detectors started chirping to let me know what was up. I spent the next 15 minutes or so gathering a battery lantern, then turning off the UPS and disconnecting the first floor detectors to shut them all up*. Then I called the electric company to report the outage, and went back to sleep. I woke up again a couple hours later, and power was already back. So no harm done, and kudos to the electric company for fast work. I even got a nice call from the Grid checking to see if things were working again. The detectors are back where they belong.

* Actually, the detectors didn't shut up since there seems to be no way to stop the chirping until their capacitors run down or something. So I stashed them on the sofa underneath a blanket.

---
We got maybe an inch of snow here, and it's already pretty much gone. However, the wind is still whistling past the side door pretty well.

---
I've been watching Arrow and enjoying it. It's good to see both Harry Dresden and Colonel Mann getting regular screen time again.

---
Still can't find the frelling drill.
dxmachina: (Snow02)
The nor'easter is upon us; it's snowing like crazy out there.

It's actually been pretty windy most of the day, with smatterings of rain here and there, but now it's really coming down. It's 35° out there, so I doubt any will stick.

---
This week's Castle was hi-larious, what with all the Firefly references, Ed Quinn and Armin Shimerman (Stark and Quark!), and cameos by Frakes (who directed) and Shatner. So much fun.

---
Anyone seen my cordless drill? I was looking for it earlier, and I damned if I can find it. It's not in any of the usual locations, i.e., on one of the benches in the workshop downstairs. It's not in the last place I used it, either. It's got to be here someplace, but where? Bother.

---
And 10 minutes later the snow is starting to stick. Temperature is dropping, too. Double bother.

Flats

Nov. 2nd, 2012 12:54 pm
dxmachina: (Warp Speed!)
As it started to get dark Wednesday night, I happened to glance out my front window at the truck and noticed that the right rear tire didn't look quite right. Closer inspection confirmed that it had lost quite a bit of pressure. Usually in these cases it takes time and a soapy sponge to locate the leak, but this time it was obvious. The head of a 2" drywall screw was sticking out of the sidewall at a 45° angle just inside of the tread. As it was getting dark, and since I didn't need to go anywhere, I left it for yesterday.

Punctured... )
---
Speaking of Asbury Park... )
 

Staycation

Oct. 13th, 2011 11:33 am
dxmachina: (Hammer)
I am at home using up vacation days, and so far I've been pretty productive. Yesterday I replaced the storm door on the front of the house. There was nothing actually wrong with the old door, but it was getting old and it's various operating parts were starting to creak, as aging mechanisms (and aging people) do. It also wasn't particularly attractive, and since a new storm door isn't very expensive (compared to other home add-ons), I figured what the heck.

Door Number Two... )

---
Another thing I did was I finally reassembled the incredibly heavy jointer I bought two years ago, and installed it on a roll-around frame for machine tools. Now I can shove it out of the way until needed. Time to consider a woodworking project.
dxmachina: (Plumbing)
Before...
Two projects for the weekend: install the new dishwasher and replace the kitchen faucet. There's also one other mini-project, to glue the porcelain cap back onto one of the cabinet door pulls. I decided to start with the simpler of the two jobs, replacing the faucet. There was nothing wrong with the old faucet other than it being old, ugly, and not very easy to use with greasy fingers. Also, the sprayer rarely worked properly, usually only working when the water pressure was really low, which sort of defeats the concept. I wanted one of those shiny, new fangled jobs with the goose neck spout (like they have in chem labs). I bought a Peerless at Lowe's earlier in the week. Time to get to it.

This should be simple... )

Man, was I ever stiff and sore when I woke up this morning.

Now for the dishwasher...

Done

Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:29 pm
dxmachina: (Dandelions)
I sucked up the last small puddles of standing water tonight.* I wanted to give the last of the water a chance to pool in low lying parts of the floor to scout out a good location for a future sump. Most of the floor is still damp, but there are some dry areas. I've got a big fan moving air around, and the dehumidifier is going great guns.

* The new shop-vac really is a wonder, much more powerful than the old one. Plus it's setup so I can line it with a plastic bag, which will make emptying out sawdust a lot easier. Well, once the still damp sawdust under the table saw dries out. The only negative is the oversized tools it requires, as opposed to the standard size tools the old one uses. Shrug.

I hauled the laundry room carpet outside yesterday and threw it over the clothes line. It was dry when I got back from work, and is now neatly folded and sitting in the living room. After I finished with the vac tonight I did some inspection for damaged goods. It still doesn't look like I lost anything of value. There was one box of old junk on a low shelf that I should have thrown out ages ago anyway. To give you an idea, it included an old set of rabbit ears for analog TV. There was one box containing old plastic model kits that got soaked, but the kit boxes were merely damp, and styrene laughs at water.

Compared to a lot of folks I got off real lucky. A coworker only got an inch of water, but it ruined the laminate flooring he'd installed in his basement. Another coworker's basement was knee deep.

The weather's been gorgeous the past two days, and the world is drying out. Alas, I've had no opportunity to ride, and probably won't over the weekend as I'm heading to Jersey. It's probably just as well. One of the paths I ride goes through Rhody's Great Swamp, and two of the others run alongside or across two of the flooded rivers. They're probably all under water.
dxmachina: (Rain02)
A pump has been obtained. Apparently the Depot was open all night selling freshly received pumps and other accoutrements. $242 later I have a sump pump, 2 x 25' of 1¼ tubing, and a shiny, new 9 gallon shop-vac.

The only hitch in setting up the pump was that they were out of the fittings needed to couple two 25' hoses together. (My side door turns out to be 26' from the bottom of the staircase.) They did have 2' long lengths of PVC pipe that I was able to clamp in between, so that's working, although is a little leaky. I've got the leak aimed out the door, so that's okay, too. Of course the side door is wide open, but it's not particularly cold out.

The big problem is that I have no sump, i.e., a hole in the basement floor into which the pump would fit to let the water cascade down atop it. The pump's intake is on the top, you see, so once the level gets down to an inch or so, it'll be useless. I suppose I could buy a million marbles and dump them on the floor to raise the water level, but that seems counter productive. And expensive.

So I bought a new shop-vac, which I've been looking for an excuse to do for a long time. There's nothing wrong with my old one. It was free and works fine, but it's louder than a frelling jet engine on afterburner. What I'll do after the present crisis is over is clean out the old one and save it for occasions like this, and use the new one in the shop. The other thing I'm going to have to do is somehow chop a sump out of the concrete floor. That should be good for a few laughs.

Hmmm, sounds like the pump is running out of water. Time to unpack the new vac.
dxmachina: (Rain)
So, a 30' by 25' basement filled with 3" of water works out to be 187.5 cubic feet of water. Plugging that number into an online converter gives me... 1402 gallons of water that needs to be removed. Ummm, yikes!

:: Looks at 5 gallon shop-vac. ::

We're gonna need a bigger bailer.
dxmachina: (Snow02)
Man, there's a lot of snow on the ground. Hard to tell because of driftage due to high winds, but in the flat areas it seems to be around 15" or so. Note that my little electric snowblower is rated to a depth of about 6" or so. Ahem.

Actually, it worked pretty well, all things considered. The snow was very light and fluffy, so I was able to take about a 4" wide slice out of the sides of the banks on each pass. It took awhile, but it got the job done. I did need to use a shovel to lower the bank left by the plow a couple of feet before switching back to the blower. It also reminded me to not park the truck all the way up at the top of the driveway next time so that I don't have to clean out the entire frelling driveway.

Snowpocalypse 2009 Photos... )

Meanwhile, across the street, the father of the young lady who lives there showed up in a Bobcat to dig her out. Must be nice.

Bing Crosby and Danny F. Kaye can bite me...
dxmachina: (Bike Snow)
I had some extra vacation days I needed to burn before New Year's, so I took one Friday. I was hoping to maybe get a couple of rides in, but it was too damn cold Friday and Saturday, and it poured all day today. Instead I pulled the bike from the truck and brought it inside, probably for the winter. Feh.

---
I attached the face frames to the carcases, officially turning them into cabinets. I also added a pair of cleats to the back of each to support the back ends of the drawer slides, and even installed a couple of those.*

* I spent a good chunk of this morning fabricating a jig just to drill the holes for the drawer slide mounting screws in the face frames. Apparently they have to be placed just so or everything goes to hell in a hurry. One of the required measurements was 5/64ths of an inch (which is how far the slide needs to be positioned back from the front of the frame). Bozhe moi! I didn't even realize until today that I had a ruler marked in 64ths. OTOH, I made it from hardwood scraps left over from other projects, a piece of maple here, a piece of bubinga there, and some brass screws, so it's a thing of beauty.

---
The kitchen is clean, so there is now room to make some holiday goodies.

---
I was out doing some shopping Friday and spent way to much dough at Harbor Freight, home of the world's cheapest tools. Experience has taught me that it's usually better to pay a little more for well-made tools as opposed the the cheapest tools possible, but for things like clamps and such, where precision isn't really an issue, there is a lot of money to be saved by using the cheap stuff. Mostly I bought gadgets, but I did get a couple of 60" bar clamps for $11 apiece, with similar going for $30 at the Depot. I also got the world's cheapest double action air brush, on sale for $15. I'm treating it as a learner's brush, as I don't expect the quality to be very good. The thing is that a well mad air brush is anywhere from five to ten times what I paid for this one. And who knows, it could surprise me.
dxmachina: (Writing 01)
Previously in the Plentiful Vintage: It rained for forty days and forty nights, and our hero had to shell out a lot of (fairly moldy) dough to get new tires and a battery for the Machinamobile. Also, it was air show week.

Two weeks... )
dxmachina: (Chainsaw)
Other stuff:

The Teen Titans as peeps!

---
I managed to fix the chain saw. The chain had come off the bar, turning an implement of mass destruction into a noisemaker that couldn't hurt a hamster. Well, unless you dropped it on top of the hamster. As I thought, it was a simple fix, except for the fact that I managed to reinstall the chain backwards, which basically turns it into a noisemaker that can rub the bark off trees like nobody's business, but not much else.

Once I got the chain pointing the right way, though, it worked like a charm, and I spent about an hour attacking the depredations of the thicket. There is still some clean up to do, but things are looking better.

---
Meanwhile, the forsythia are starting to bloom (although it seems early for that), and there are some daffodils alongside the house. I still haven't started any tomatoes, which I should've done a couple of weeks ago. At this point I'll probably be better off buying some plants when the time comes. Oh, and I'll probably have to start mowing the lawn soon.

---
I didn't ride over the weekend. Yesterday it rained all day, and today it never got much above 40°. I did get in a shortish ride Thursday evening, so that's something, anyway.

---
I've got six books read that I need to write about at some point. I've also got grist for several baseball posts. Sometimes it's just so damn hard to put electrons to screen. One of these days.
dxmachina: (Garden01)
Overthinking Loppers...


So, I have new loppers, although not the ones I really wanted. The ones I had were pretty compact for loppers, only 18" long or so, similar to these. They were light, and in a pinch I could manage them one-handed. They also used Fiskars' "3X" gearing system for added leverage, which was a feature I liked. That's what I was looking for when I set out to get the new pair. Except no one had them. Not Wal-Mart; not the Depot; not Lowes. Oh, they all carried Fiskars, but only in the 27" size. (Wal-Mart did have these, but it was an anvil model, versus the bypass type (which are more like scissors), and they were made out of plastic rather than metal. No sale. BJ's had the Lop and Saw model, which were close to what I wanted, but I already have a saw, and they were way more expensive than plain old loppers. Amazon had the ones I wanted, but they would take awhile to get here. Then I noticed something on the Fiskars site. They have a lifetime warranty. It turns out I may be able to get mine replaced under warranty. That would be nice.

Meanwhile, however, I still needed a pair for right now. Knowing that I may be getting my smaller pair replaced, I went ahead and got a 27" pair at Lowes. They are heavier and more tiring to use than my old ones, but on the other hand, I can lop higher branches with them. They certainly work. Now I just need to contact Fiskars about the other pair.

---
I have lots of crocuses already, even out by the cherry tree. Last year the cherry tree crocuses didn't start popping until the second week of April. That seems odd, because it hasn't exactly been warm this month.

---
March Madness...


Today is my annual journey to Connecticut to eat ribs, drink beer, watch college basketball, and talk baseball, which makes it possibly the best day of the year ever.
dxmachina: (Bike 03)
What a gorgeous weekend it turned out to be. (The weather critters had predicted mostly cloudy and in the 50s today. Nuh uh...)

I rode yesterday, and today I rode the Washington Secondary path. (As an aside, I don't get why it's called Washington Secondary. It's not in Washington County, nor are there are any towns or villages with that name in the state, much less along the path.) I dressed appropriately for both rides, so there were no temperature comfort issues. Yesterday it was in the seventies. Break out the t-shirts.

The good weather seems to have prompted an amazing amount of pollen production amongst the local flora. My nasal allergies seem to have ebbed somewhat over the years, but I could feel it today. What's really killing me now, though, are my eyes. Really itchy and watery. I had a Singulair this morning, but I needed to pop a chlortab when I got home from the ride. Feh.

---
I missed a good chunk of the good weather yesterday as I was at work rebuilding our mail server. I'd done most of the work Friday night, so the remaining stuff should've only taken about an hour, but things got messed up thanks to Firefox failing to realize that the server's web interface pages were not exactly the same as the pages it had in the cache, and me failing to realize that I was working with cached pages. Bozhe moi!

---
This morning I spent way too much quality time with my table saw. Table saw hijinx... )

---
I have seedlings! In my biodome! Even some of the three year-old seeds sprouted. Now if I can just avoid killing 'em...


Blechh

Feb. 10th, 2008 09:20 pm
dxmachina: (Snow)
February is so my least favorite month. It was brilliantly sunny this morning, giving me hope that I might be able to ride. Then the sun went behind the clouds, the wind kicked up, and the rain started falling. Now it's snowing. Feh. I did get out a couple times last weekend, so that's something.

I've been making all sorts of progress cleaning and organizing the workshop half of the basement. I'd really let things go down there, but it's looking a lot better now. Just one more corner to do. It's amazing how much sawdust can accumulate inside of a table saw. Not much in the way of projects going on, other than a couple of small repairs.

The organizing has led me to do quite a bit of rooting though old boxes, some very old. Going through my oldest toolbox was sort of like an archaeological dig, so I took some pictures. Here they are - Toolbox Archaeology.

Ouch...

Dec. 29th, 2007 01:59 pm
dxmachina: (Hammer)
So, I think I hyperextended my left knee while bowling the other night, probably on the first ball I bowled. I was awkward because it had been years since my last attempt, and the ball was too heavy, and the floor-shoe interface seemed especially slippery. Someone else mentioned that last. Anyway, my left leg slipped a little on the first ball. Didn't seem like a big deal at the time, and it didn't hurt at all, but yesterday the knee was stiff and hurt when I stood or walked for any length of time, and today it's worse. Bother.

---
I've been trying to do some projects, but the knee's bothering me too much. I did manage to replace the crappy, hard as a rock saddle on the stationary bike with a real bike saddle, but my knee hurts when I pedal. It's also 55° and sunny out, but I can't go for a ride because knee hurts. Feh.

---
Another project I started was putting up some adjustable shelf supports down in the basement. I actually started about a month ago, but I stopped because I didn't have the proper tool to drill the required holes in the concrete foundation walls down there. I tried using a masonary bit in my electric drill, but after several minutes of leaning into the thing as hard as I could, I'd only managed to drill a hole about 3/4" deep. The fittings to hold the screws need to be 1½" deep. Now, however, I have the right tool, because my brother loaned me his hammer drill (best tool name ever). Took me all of about thirty seconds to drill the three holes needed for the first support. But again, the knee started hurting. Stoopid knee. Still, progress!

---
Meanwhile, there's another post coming on what I've been doing instead of standing.

Snowfall

Dec. 16th, 2007 05:46 pm
dxmachina: (Snow)
So, we had our second snowstorm in four days, and thus I've been able to play with my midjit snowblower. It was quite a lot of fun Friday morning, when the snow was all fluffy, but less so this evening with about three inches of slushy mix on the ground. Still, it worked adequately even on that. It can't throw it very far to either side, but dead ahead works like a charm. It's all a matter of picking your angles.

I feel like I haven't accomplished much this weekend, but I've made four batches of truffle centers (raspberry, orange, mint, and coconut). Three more batches to go (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and mocha), and maybe even some sugar-free for my mother if I can find sugar-free chocolate chips. Then I have to dip them all, but that's next weekend.

I also replaced the lamp cover in the range hood over the stove. There's never been one there as long as I've lived here, so the metal screen that's supposed to trap any grease in the smoke rising from the stove never did, since all the airflow just went through the opening where the cover should be. I assume it got broken one time, and the previous owner never bothered replacing it. It's the kind of thing that's easy to drop to the bottom of the priority list. It's out of sight and out of mind. I have occasionally looked for a replacement part at the Depot, but while they have replacement screens, they don't seem to carry the covers. It's just a piece of flat glass, so I picked up a piece of acrylic sheet, and cut it to fit the opening. Easy peasy. Seems to work fine. Should of thought of it years ago.

I still have some presents to put together, framed photos for various family members. I even had several candidate photos to convert into a Christmas card, but never got up the will to fiddle with that. I did put my wreath up, and brought down the electric candles for the windows, although they're still in their boxes. Still not feeling all that Christmassy.

Now I'm doing laundry, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on TV (very timely because I started rereading The Hobbit last weekend), working on some notes for a murder mystery, and thinking about making dinner.
dxmachina: (Hammer)
Managed to find Thanksgiving alright. It was where I was expecting it to be, and there was turkey and trimmings aplenty. Played Disney Monopoly with cutie patootie niece and sooper genius nephew. I lost. (We used different rules. First one to land on the property gets it and marks it with a house, no rents or payments are made, and the game ends when all the properties are gone. It's sort of like how the government hands out oil and mineral leases on public lands.)

I stayed at Al's, and we spent Friday visiting hobby shops. Then we stopped in at a Home Depot. The reason we were there was to look for a bulb drill, since Al claims it's the best thing ever for planting bulbs. They didn't have one, but we wandered over to the tool section, and I mentioned that I'd been looking at an air compressor combo kit that came with a pneumatic brad nailer, a finish nailer, and a stapler. It's been on sale a couple weeks ago for $249, but now the price was back up to $299, plus I didn't really need the stapler, so I'd passed on it. Just as I was finishing the story, we saw the very same compressor in a kit with just the two nailers on sale for $199 (regularly $279). Before you could say "pneumatic finish nailer" I was swiping my credit card through the scanner in the check out line.

Compressors are useful things, and I've been wanting a decent one for awhile. You can inflate bike tires with them, and power pneumatic tools. You can also hook them up to an air brush, an essential tool for a plastic modeler. Anyway, today I'll head up to the local Depot to get some nails for the guns, then head down in the basement to nail some scrapwood together. (eta: Didn't read the fine print. The kit includes 1000 nails. For each nailer! Woo hoo!)

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