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hoping to do better

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not much done this weekend. I had been meaning to bathe the boy for several weeks now; I finally got around to giving doggie a bath today.

I added a pull handle to the second gate, and finished staining whatever wasn't stained. We've had sporadic rains over the past week so no chance of having the staining done any earlier. One day I would like to rework that second gate and get it to look better.

It's been crazy busy for me at work, mainly because I haven't been able to make my schedule due to lack of experience which then leads to false starts and re-work. So I do what I call thrashing about: a lot energy and effort, but nothing to show for it.
This coming up week, I will challenge myself to show up at work an hour earlier than my usual. (My usual is rather late.) I cannot begin to tell you how big a challenge this is for me. I am a very deep sleeper. In fact, I am often groggy at random times throughout the day. I can and have slept through my alarm clock. At one time I had two alarm clocks ... that was interrupted after hurricane Ike came through and resulted in the house being topsy turvy. My current alarm clock is an old cell phone. I have to vary the tones every so often so that my sleeping brain doesn't adapt to it. Anyhow, y'all wish me luck.


Dog food got really expensive.

I used to be able to get an actual 40 lb. bag of dog food for just under $40. Then they maintained the price and dropped the quantity (to maybe 34 lbs.--I can't recall) so that I'd pay the same amount of money for less food.

Last week I bought the biggest bag - now 28 lbs. for $48 (almost $52 after taxes).

That's 30% reduction in quantity plus 20% increase in price ... sounds like dog food went up 50%.

What if an emplyee goes to the boss and said, "May I have 20% salary raise and drop my productivity by 30%?" But then again, that might be happening to some employers already over the course of history.

I'd have to seriously rethink this food thing. It wasn't intended to be a luxury. It was an investment in the dog's health, to hopefully reduce the risk of a larger vet bill. Right now the cost of flea treatment and heartworm prevention - for a big dog - is already a lot of money, in the sense that you'd best save up for it.

group dance

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sunday, October 25th 2009 at 12:30am UTC / GMT
Do the Thriller dance with others worldwide. Full instructions available at the link. C'mon, just do it.

useful things

Friday, August 21, 2009

looks like useful things shown at BookofJoe
stickies for your clothes hangers

zipper pull replacement

caps for your potato chip bags and the like

portable humidifier

nose inserts to help reduce snoring

second gate

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Success proves elusive on the second gate. Right now it is functional; the gate opens and closes and latches. To clear the slope, I decided to leave a huge gap at the bottom of the gate. The gap is conveniently the rot board. I made the rot board removeable. Screw eyes on the posts support square bend hooks on the rot board. The gate has to be opened wide to allow the board to be lifted off the hooks on the hinge side.

Right now the gate is out of plane with the latch post. The gate sticks out at the top and sticks in at the bottom. I'm guessing that if I loosen the frame screws and reshape the frame, I might can get the gate to line up better. It's just a guess. I may have to loosen the screws on the pickets too. Maybe some weekend when I have the time, I will experiment. There is still some staining left to do. I'm also not too happy with the uneven gap at the bottom of the gate, but oh well. Other things require my attention.

Since this is a secondary gate, I made no provisions to be able to open it from the outside. This time I did not make the hinges plumb but opted to allow them to follow the post. By luck, the weight of the gate swings it open on its own when unlatched. This is a good thing, reducing the likelihood that the gate would accidentally swing closed when in use and thereby locking you out. I used three butt hinges (like you see on your doors in the house) instead of gate T-hinges so that they wouldn't be as obvious. They squeak a little, telling me that they aren't lined up perfectly. But it's probably okay; I can open and close the gate with little effort.

(square bend hook)
(screw eye)

random shots

Friday, August 14, 2009

big chickenbock-bock-bock-baaark

big cowmooo
another big cowmooo
... all thanks to Schepps.

live broadcast of profession of vows

Friday, August 07, 2009

This Sunday morning, there will be a profession of vows of three Sisters which can be viewed live over the internet. More information here.

fence saga continues

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I've seen whole fences go up in two days: first day all the posts are set, second day everything else. They look good too, all lined up and straight.

In my case, it's been more than a month and I still haven't finished the little section of fence I'm working on. I do stain all my wood before I put them up, and that takes time. Digging the new holes was definitely a challenge. Yesterday I finally took down the old section of fence that the new construction replaces.

Yes, there is a gap between the new fence side and the old corner post. That's because I wanted my fence span to be around 6 feet. I'll deal with that later.

Next up is the gate. I'm still mulling it over. The section of fence is on a slope. As the gate opens, it has to clear higher ground. I can either leave a large gap at the bottom, enough to clear the higher ground, or do something else.