Archive | January, 2014

Aaand…. DONE!

28 Jan

Today was supposed to be the big finishing touch – the gutter installation. Again, I sprung out of bed nice and early to move my car, and again no one showed.. Around 10AM there was a knock on the door. Not the gutter guys, but the dumpster guy! He’d come to collect his loot (dumpster). While I was more than thrilled to see that filthy beast gone, I was hoping to have it around another day or so to toss some random junk we have around the house.

Nevertheless, this was a very happy sight:

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Siding: Day 9

27 Jan

The siding is done!!! The guys finished around 3:30 today, just as the temperature started rapidly plummeting. It started out around 40 this morning, but now we’re down to 31, with a very cold wind making it feel like 22. (Personally I’d say it feels much colder!)

We did a walk around the property with the guys and everything seems up to snuff. It’s really amazing what a transformation this house has undergone. We’re really looking forward to the snow melting, and the sun coming out so we can really appreciate how awesome the house looks!

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Siding: Day 8

26 Jan

It’s Sunday, it’s been VERY cold all day, and it even snowed at one point! That didn’t stop the guys from putting in another 9-5 day though. Surprisingly we’re not at a full two weeks yet since they started the siding, (including the weather delays) but it certainly feels like this has been a never-ending project, and I know they’re as antsy to get done as we are to have them be done! But, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the siding, and they think they may be able to finish up tomorrow (weather pending.)

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Siding: Day 7

25 Jan

It’s just after 5PM on a Saturday night, and it’s snowing, and the guys just finished working! When I checked the weather this morning, it was already in the 20s at 8 in the morning. I was getting ready for the gym and I half wondered (almost jokingly) if the guys would show up today since it was “warm” out. Moments later I noticed someone outside & sure enough they were here and ready to work.

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Teaching an Old Compressor New Tricks

24 Jan

When it gets cold out the low pressure warnings start popping up on the cars and of course you need to pump up those tires a little to get rid of the nagging yellow light (and to keep the tires at a safe and efficient pressure, of course). For a while we were relying on my very handy CO2 tank which is very portable and quick to fill, but through experience we have found that CO2 does not stay in tires for the long term. It sounds like nonsense but apparently the molecules are small enough to seep through the rubber faster than the nitrogen molecules that make up most of compressed air. CO2 is amazing at filling tires quickly in an emergency or for track side or trailhead use, and great for powering air tools but will not sustain tire pressure in the long term. This was very evident when we were trying to use CO2 to maintain the bike tires. I got tired of going down to the local gas stations where you have to either wait on line or pay quarters or deal with unreliable equipment and even sprinklers. (At one point I had a slow leak in my tire and was stopping there every day at around 5am and the sprinklers were on at that time so it was a wet endeavor).
Finally, the other day I decided it was time to get back into the compressed air business. We were on the way home from Townline BBQ and I decided to pick up a cheap air compressor at Harbor Freight to at least have some source of compressed air. Once we got it home I read further into the reviews online and decided it really wasn’t up to snuff and maybe I should return it.
This brings us to my old air compressor.


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Phase 3: Siding Day 6

23 Jan

The weather report said it would be 0º this morning at 6:00 am. As it turns out, they were dead wrong and it was a balmy 6º instead. Nonetheless we were pretty sure that the siding installers would not be showing up today, and really, we couldn’t blame them. So, instead of getting up to move cars out of the driveway we rolled over and went back to bed, only to be rudely woken out of an intense car chase dream by some hammering outside a few hours later. Yes, they got a little bit of a late start and by then the temperature had cracked the double digits, but they were working! Actually, it turns out just one guy is here, but he’s getting done what he can, given the circumstances.

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Repairing a Kohler “Canister-Style” Toilet

22 Jan

When most toilets start refilling periodically it normally means the flapper ball needs replaced. Just kidding, it needs TO BE replaced, what am I, from Pittsburgh? This is also the solution to a toilet where you need to hold the handle down to make it flush. A lot of people think the solution is to put a note over the toilet that says “hold handle down to flush”.
So when our toilet starting refilling sporadically I figured it was time to change out the old flapper. But when I opened it up, imagine my surprise when I saw this…

Instead of this…


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Phase 3: Siding Update

21 Jan

Snow Day!

Up until today, the crew of two were moving at a pretty good speed. They did have a half day on Saturday because the early snow turned to rain, but they made up for it by working all day on Sunday. Technically, we’d be on day 6 of the install, instead, we’re on another weather delay (and I’ve lost track of how many of those we’re up to.) The Weather Channel is predicting 3-5 inches during the day, and another 4-6 overnight, with wind gusts up to 40MPH!

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My Fix for Removing Facebook Pictures (& Birthdays) from Mac/iPhone Contacts

19 Jan

For starters, my phone is the iPhone 5, the Facebook app is version 6.8, my computer is a 2008 MacBook, now running Mavericks 10.9.1

BIG WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This is what worked for me with the software and hardware versions I’ve listed .

I CANNOT GUARANTEE THIS WILL WORK FOR YOU OR THAT YOU WILL NOT LOSE OR ACCIDENTALLY DELETE IMPORTANT FILES/CONTACTS/ETC… I’m writing this because I could not find anything even remotely helpful in getting Facebook out of my contacts! Also, I am not a computer tech.

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Phase 3: Siding

18 Jan

With the windows complete, we’re now on to the third and final phase of our exterior renovations – the siding! We’re technically on our third day already. Work began Thursday in the midst of the guys nearing the end of the window install. Thursday materials were dropped off, and the crew removed almost all of the old siding, which I believe was the original siding from 1956, when the house was built.

The original siding was wood shingles painted a faded shade of green. When we originally were discussing new siding, we were looking into white cedar. White cedar is a little less money than the traditional red cedar, which will turn black if left untreated in this part of the country. Sadly, while we’re pretty close to the beach, it’s just not close enough for the wonderful sea salt air to turn the siding that beach gray color. White cedar does age to a gray though, and it’s also more bug resistant than the red cedar. However, it’s not as durable.

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