Category: "General"

Issue time11:09:00 am, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Hero. Villain. Stewart Mitchel thinks they’re opposites, but he’s about to be pulled into a conspiracy that will turn him into both. What would you do if your wealthy and reclusive boss offered you the chance to be the greatest modern hero, but you knew it was all a lie? It may seem like the ultimate acting job, but once the charade begins to crumble Stewart discovers there are less destructive ways to weather a mid-life crisis. Can he salvage his life, or will his deception bring ruin down on everyone he cares about? Plus with the FBI hot on his tail, he may be unable to save himself, let alone anyone else. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Stewart has his foot on the gas.

Paper Heroes is a contemporary sci-fi novel that mixes politics, technology and heroism, asking whether or not the ends truly justify the means.

Buy the paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon now!

Issue time11:38:00 am, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

some quick pics

Issue time02:49:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Yesterday the framing crew finished up. I did a walk though with the contractor and only found a handful of things to fix.

Then the HVAC crew came in and put in most of the vents. (We had to block them off as our upstairs wasn't cooling off properly in the afternoon... I'm guessing we'll be doing some type of zoning before sheetrock... yet more money.)

And they put in the returns, and in the process destroyed the sound wall between the bathroom and the theater.

At first I was just worried about the 4 gang box I'll need for the graphic eye I plan to install for the theater in the future. Then I thought more about it... I can't insulate it, so it's a hollow cavity, thus amplifying any sound. Then I realized with the whisper clips and channel to hang the drywall, it won't be a closed space anyway and completely pointless.

So they will end up fixing that wall back to a 2x6 staggered stud wall, until I'm happy. HVAC guys should finish the last vents today, and the plumber was supposed to start today as well, busting up concrete to move the drains, and possibly running the new lines for the water.

Also, we finally got our strawberries planted over the weekend!

Issue time10:56:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

No work on the basement today, but the fence returns installation was finished! Yay!

Thomas was awfully happy tonight... I don't think he realizes the fence is the end of his freedom! Bwahahahahaha!

And to better help you visualize it, here are the basic floor plans.

No idea when the basement crew comes back... When they do I'll post the progress!

Issue time10:46:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

It looks like they kept going today.... until they ran out of studs. And woot, the staggered wall is coming along!

Issue time09:29:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Framing crew came in today and pounded out a bunch of the framing. One more day definitely to finish it. I'm excited with how big the closet for my office turned out... Although because it is so big I'm going to have to put a light in there. Darn.

Tommy is becoming such a big boy... and definitely a two year old.

Issue time09:17:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

This was a crazy busy weekend... We had to finish emptying the basement before construction starts! We had a LOT of crap down there. We ended up loosely packing boxes just to get it done. Huge thanks to Katie's brothers Andrew and Patrick for coming over to help move the heavy stuff (and the rest of the stuff...) Here it is mostly empty... Fun starts in the morning.

Issue time02:57:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

"Tommo, I think you made me fat."

Issue time08:45:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

So time to finally get the fence returns done. The guys came out and got the posts in... Now just need to wait a week for the concrete to cure a bit and they'll put up the gates and fence.

(The other side just has a single post against the house, so it's kinda boring.)

Issue time09:49:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

So the garden in 2014 is going well... We've done the concrete we talked about, stained it & sealed it with a wet look sealer. Put the box tops on, filled the sides with the rubber mulch we wanted. We've planted some groundcover on the sides of the boxes... Some has died, but most is starting to grow more and branch out.

Issue time01:02:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

So I've posted a bit about building my home cockpit. With the Malaysia 370 stuff going on, including investigators looking at the pilots home simulator, I thought the article the New York Times posted was cool. Check it out here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/sunday-review/the-pilots-in-the-basement.html?_r=0

Issue time07:47:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Katie hates the beige throughout our house, so decided to paint it. Unfortunately she picked a weekend that she had a lot of real work to do, so we enlisted her parents to come help. They came over, along with our sister-in-law to help out, both with painting and child wrangling so Katie could work. We got the ceiling painted white, and 3 of the walls in the room.

The next week I took Friday off to mount the TV on the wall. After making my first two holes I though I had a problem.

Notice the wood in the hole on the left? That was taking up room in the wall. And that section was just above a cold air return. I didn't think the whole wall was part of the system, so pulled the vent to check. Fortunately it was closed off so I could continue.

I then made a large access hole to fit the drill in to run through the fire blocking. But I couldn't find it. Since I couldn't see in I came up with a clever solution, sticking my phone in to take a picture! Worked brilliantly and I did that several other times.

After I had my access holes I ran my cables. Power up the wall then across. 2 HDMI, 2 runs of coax, 3 network, and a stereo 3.5mm cable for the IR repeater.

And into the closet where I added the other end of the cables.

I made a large access panel to drop the network and coax cables directly down into the utility room.

Then came patching the holes. First some wood for backing. Then replacing the sheetrock. Some joint tape, followed by several coats of mud.

A few days later after work Katie finished painting the last wall. Before bed it was even dry enough to put the covers back on everything.

We wired everything up. (still messy, but all in the closet)

Then we connecting and cleaning up the dust I created.

After Christmas we plan to hang crown moulding to finish the room off completely. We love it. Such a calm peaceful color, and the clean wall is awesome!

Issue time01:01:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

The garden was a success!

Huge bounty! Here's one days haul:

Lots of zucchini. We had it boiled, grilled with salt & pepper, sauteed with onions, shredded into zucchini bread, and stuffed. To stuff them we would add some green onions & garlic to a pan with olive oil and get them going, then add ground sausage and brown. We then cooked up some stove top and when the two were done combined them. Stuffed that into the zucchini, covered with cheese and baked. The last couple pans we also put tomatoes on top before the cheese which worked out really well.

Another thing we did with the tomatoes was make our "Tomato Cheese Bread". Basically tomato slices with lots of salt and pepper, then a slice of cheese on top. Throw it under the broiler until it's all melty and slightly toasted. YUM!

At the end of July I did get the center box built, and a pipe run out to it:

Now we've gotten it all cleaned up for winter, only leaving a couple basil plants for next year.:

Still to do next year, we never did get the concrete stepping stones done. That will be an early project. We also need to trim the top caps of the boxes like the center one. That will be done before planting. Then we need to fill in around with mulch. We want to use this rubber mulch, but at $10/bag it will take some time just to afford it all. At least it lasts 10-15 years!

We've also decided on changes for next year:
1 zucchini plant instead of 2 (in the center box)
8 tomato plants instead of 17.
No cabbage - bugs

Issue time10:06:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

After grabbing lunch today we made a Lowes trip. We picked up a bunch of sprinkler supplies, peat moss, vermiculite, and manure. When we got home I finished off the watering system. Added a place to attach the garden hose to provide water, and a distribution manifold to supply water to soaker hoses.

One day I'll get rid of the hose attachment part and run it to a new valve on my system. But that will also require running a new wire out to that valve.

After the water system was done I busted open the peat moss and vermiculite, then started adding manure compost. We could only fit 8 bags on that trip, thinking 2 for each box. I put all 8 in the first box. I tilled it all together and made a beautiful mix! At that time my in-laws showed up. My father-in-law and I made another trip to Lowes and picked up 32 more bags of manure. I got it all added in, and tilled together.

Katie laid a bunch of weed cloth down as well today around the border. I think we're going to cover all the exposed dirt with it.

Next month we'll be doing formed concrete "stone" steps through the garden. Should look awesome.

I'm tired and sore.

Issue time03:38:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Last year we had Kristi and her family come up to help weed as Katie was super pregnant. I thought I would see if they wanted to do it again calling it Weed 'n Feed. Before they arrived I got the pile of dirt/sod moved into the garden boxes.

Before and after:

When they arrived Dana broke it up and leveled them out. Then I covered it with a layer of cardboard. This will prevent the grass growing, and eventually it'll all decompose into good stuff. While we did that Kristi and Katie worked to empty the other corner of plants. They moved a bunch of them to other locations around the yard, and into pots for Kristi to take home.

The rest of the plants went into the green waste bin. After that bed was clear Dana started moving dirt from it to the garden boxes, covering the cardboard, while I leveled it out. With just the dirt we had in the yard we got them about half full. We are thinking we'll go grab peat moss and vermiculite to top them off.

After that we moved to feed, where I grilled up burgers and dogs for everyone. After eating we raked the corner level. It looks like I may still have some extra dirt to move to the boxes, so I'll do that this week. It was a lot of work, so huge thanks for them coming up to help out!

Before and after:

Issue time11:21:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

So when we started planning this Katie mentioned she didn't want it to be ordinary 4x8 boxes. So we decided to tweak things. Today I got started. First off I made all my cuts at once. This allowed for assembly line construction later.

Eventually I got them all build and we moved them into place with Katie digging the holes for the corner boards to go into the ground.

Tomorrow we add some dirt, but probably won't get them completely full. We'll put some weed barrier down along the sides, and tear out the other side of the yard for a strawberry patch. Eventually all the boxes will be capped with 2x6's on top as a place to sit while working the garden, plus it will look awesome. Then we are thinking ferns along that back chain link fence as it is in shade 90% of the day, and some vertical herb gardens along the east fence. We'll also do some small bushes along the lawn edges and a concrete stone path through the garden. Of course you know the saying... it'll take years and cost millions (well probably into the thousands...)

Thomas had a great day crawling all over, even practicing going up and down the stairs. He's getting it quick!

Issue time11:04:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Today we put in the base irrigation pipes for the garden. First we dug 45 feet of trench to lay the pipe in.

Then I assembeled it as we wanted. And finally filled it in.

Put to words it doesn't sound like much, but took most of the day.

That night Thomas helped with the dishes.

Issue time01:13:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

This last weekend was a busy one. We began the process of building a garden.

So quick back ground... at the beginning of the year Katie was asked when she'll be taking vacation. She randomly picked some days, and said the 25th & 26th so we can build a garden. So it was planned. Then about a month ago we see the neighborhood cleanup will be on the week of the 22nd. Close but oh well. I was talking with my neighbor about our plans and he needed to cut some sod out as well. So we decided to do it Friday/Saturday the 19th & 20th. The day after that my home teacher asks if we need anything done on the 20th, and I mentioned what we were doing. He said he'd come help.

So last Friday night I went over to Home Depot and rented a sod cutter with my neighbor. Saturday morning I got started. An army from the ward showed up to help. We pulled some spots in the front that the grubs last year killed, then cut out a 20' by 20' patch in the back yard and moved some of that to fill in the front. The rest we loaded onto Jason's trailer to take to Steve, and piled the rest on the driveway.

So here's what we filled on the front lawn (still has extra dirt on it, but that should go away):

Katie listed the sod and dirty fill dirt on KSL. The sod was gone in minutes. All that remains is a small pile of fill dirt.

So now we have an empty patch of ground:

The plan now is Thursday to dig and run the irritation pipes for a drip line system. Friday we will be building the raised garden boxes. Saturday we'll be filling with dirt. Some of it will come from the other corner of the yard where we will be ripping everything out and replacing it with strawberries & raspberries.

And Thomas loves his mac & cheese...

Issue time10:21:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Today I built the bases for the cockpit. I started off with a 2x4 structure. Then added 1x4's of nicer wood around the outside of that.

Then I just had to put a skin on the sides. Unfortunately I only had that crappy wood, so it's not super great.

For the right side one I added additional structural support, then cut a V into the top. Into the V I installed my throttles in a wooden surround. To route the cables out of the throttle enclosure I used my Dremel to carve out a channel for the wires, then drilled holes to run to the back of the base. So I do still need to figure out how I want to do that last side. Due to the wiring I will need to be able to get access, so it must be removable. Perhaps I will get MDF for that side...

I need to cut the bottom plate to width and screw down the rudder pedals. I'll then tilt it on end and screw the bottom plate into both bases.

I got some L brackets to attach the dash to the bases, but they are too small, so I'll have to go get larger ones, then it should be rock solid.

Oh yeah, and paint too... but honestly right now... I don't care.

Issue time11:39:00 pm, by Waterman981  
Categories: General

Tonight I put two coats of black on the dash, then after it dried mounted everything up and took it for a spin. I currently have it just sitting on a table until I get the bases done. I did think it was awesome how my wireless keyboard could just sit there so it's easily available until I get a place for it on the side.

I did find a problem in the future though. Once I mount the Saitek Flight Information Panels I won't be able to push the yoke all the way forward. So when that time comes I'm going to have to make a full size cut out for it. Oh well!

Next up is the bases. I probably won't get started on them until Saturday at the earliest... And I may just relax and not worry about them for a while.

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