Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Updates - Microwave and more

I have a new blog philosophy. I used to try to make sure to 'include' everything that was going on around the house, which led me to not blog for long stretches of time because I didn't have the energy to try to collect images from all the stuff I've been up to. Therefore, this blog is moving to 'updates about whatever I feel like' format.

I am now an accomplished microwave installer. You may remember the last time I installed a microwave in October 2011. I was pretty proud of the "deal" we got on the microwave ($42 + Cracker Barrel), but, as with most things that are too good to be true, the microwave stopped working after just a few months of operation.

We had been using our 'old molasses' standalone microwave, which works fine but takes up counter space. [edit: My wife tells me that I should indicate this is an inside joke. Whatever.] This weekend, we decided to splurge on a legitimate, brand-new microwave. To be honest, I did not drive the hardest bargain I could have, but we did end up taking home a floor model for less than $150. Unlike the first time I installed the microwave solo (would not recommend), this time Lindsay helped me. It is just one of those jobs where it is nice to have an extra pair of hands. Here is it:

By the way, I had another opportunity to use my awesome corded hammer drill again -- I used Tapcon screws to secure the mounting plate to the wall, since it's an outside/brick wall (no studs). Once again, I was struck with its awesomeness and may have been heard yelling, "Sheer Power!!" throughout the house.

We also decided to get some rugs for our living/dining room this weekend. It is something we have always said we were going to do, but never got around to it. I wish we had done it earlier -- they are really nice to have. Plus the animals love them too!

Finally, here's a picture of some zucchini that Lindsay picked out of the garden the other day. They are massive (and tasty)!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Overdue Update

A lot of people have been asking me -- what have you been up to? Here are some updates. Lindsay and I spent some time working on a palette fence. She got the idea from Pinterest. One of the palettes became an herb garden, and the rest of them will be a fence along our backline. It's a work in progress, but here are some images Lindsay took.

On Wednesday, I took apart my reel lawnmower and sharpened the blade. I promised I would take pictures of the sharpening in process, but I failed. The general idea was to loosen the adjustment bolts on the blade, then rotate it around so I could clearly see the edge. After that, I just busted out my angle grinder with the appropriate disk, and sharpened the blade to a point. It wasn't razor sharp when I was finished, but it was good enough. It's important not to "oversharpen" one side compared to another, or your mower will cut funny. My mower was definitely overdue for a sharpen -- it feels brand new again!

Today, I put together another window sill for the kitchen. Unfortunately, I don't really like the dimensions, so I'm going to use it as a template to put together a final look. Anyway, here ya go:

In another episode of "righting other people's wrongs", I did a major clean-out of the mess of wires that have been accumulating in the basement. We had cable internet for awhile, but we decided to switch back to DSL about a year ago. I had always been annoyed that the guy that installed our cable decided to drill the hole for the coax line directly through one of my floor joists. It was a simple fix -- rip out the (now unused) cable, get the appropriate size wooden dowel, cut to size, slather with wood glue, and hammer it into place -- but it makes me feel much better. (The vertical "height" of floor joists is what gives them bending strength. When you remove a full-thickness piece of the joist, you seriously compromise its mechanical strength!)

I had an idea the other day that I had to try. In order to eliminate movement of our wooden floor (that causes squeaks), I had the idea to get some metal washers and screw the washer between the subfloor and the wood floor, effectively compressing the two. It actually works quite well -- a 'proof of concept' test was performed on a particularly annoying squeak next to Lindsay's bed side, and I could literally hear the squeak getting sucked up as I pulled the subfloor flush with the top. I plan to do some more of this in the future. Unfortunately, there is an access limitation, since air ducts and such get in the way.

We've had some really beautiful days here in St. Louis (and some really hot ones. And some really cold ones. Make up your mind, Weather!) -- here are a few shots I liked.

Hope you're having a great Saturday!