Saturday, June 13, 2009

Steady Slow Progress

Stamina and Lethargy Take Their Toll...

Yesterday I managed to COMPLETELY REMOVE the French door I installed earlier in the week because there was a half inch bulge in the sheet rock on one side and the hardwood flooring was also holding things out of plumb by about the same amount.

At first I thought I'd just live with things because, after all, I didn't BUILD the house I just was adding a door.

Then after looking at things for 24 hours and thinking about the issue I just couldn't stand putting my name on a sloppy installation. After all, I've already replaced most of the interior doors with new custom cut six panel slabs/hinges/knobs and besides...

anything worth doing is worth doing right--particularly when it involves the place you own and live and work in each day.

So the door was dismounted and laid out on the new Turbo Pup deck while I sawed and chiseled away the offending wood and after about an hour and one half of fumbling and sweating I was right back where I started Friday at noon.

Today's task is to finally repair the wounded air compressor with the parts which have been sitting around for a week now and see if I can manage to put up some trim around the interior of the door and maybe get some fence pickets in place.

Of course the rough opening for the door is a non-standard height because I took out a window and had to work with what was built in 1963 so there's a 2 1/4" gap between the top of the door casing and the sheet rock.

Instead of $3.50 worth of trim I have to go with $20 worth of #1 clear pine and some crown moulding producing a Colonial style casement around the opening.

It will look pretty nice once I'm finished but instead of 15 minutes with the miter saw it will probably involve a couple hours of cogitating and layout.

Time to put on my work clothes and get going I guess.

Y'all enjoy your Saturday while I slave away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rain...Rain...Go Away

I'm Cultivating Sunbeams in My Cucumbers...

Well, my work wiring up the new outlets and exterior light around the new door was interrupted when we got blasted by a thunderstorm dropping pea sized hail and featuring a spectacular lightning display yesterday afternoon.

Then it rained on and off again all evening as I sat out on the front porch smoking a cigar and reading the 1881 vintage copy of "Gullivers Travels" which arrived yesterday.

Another E-bay purchase, I was interested in a section identified by my blog Idols over at Powerline talking about the government schools of the time

Ironically, Swift's description of "The Grand Academy of Lagad" would serve as an accurate description of todays colleges and universities and even the behavior of the Obama Rama Dang Dang administration recently.

In this passage about "extracting sunbeams from cucumbers" I'm reminded of the sniveling, booger eating, tree hugging, eco-friendly greenie weenie Liberals impossible desire for "green energy":

"The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same color. He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.

He told me, he did not doubt, that in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governors gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate; but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me to give him something as an encouragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers."

Sixteen years wasted on a stupid concept?

At government expense and even official blessing?

I won't bore you with the entire text, but the book goes on to describe a half dozen equally dubious endeavors by "academics" in various pursuits, including another "professor" trying to take human feces and make it back into food by removing the stink and saliva.

By the way, I think I see some sunbeams in my cucumber patch so I've got to go now and try to get some trimwork done.

Y'all have a lovely day...if you will...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Forget Buying Stock

I'm Buying Slim Jim's...

My heart goes out to the victims of the accident yesterday in North Carolina, but at the same time I have to offer some personal predictions.

I'm personally saying that the explosion at the Con-Agra Garner, NC "Slim Jim" plant was a steam/waterhammer/BLEVE explosion.

This long press conference video confirmed my initial suspicions (don't waste your time watching this thing but I insist on documenting my references)

As an Engineer I've seen this type of event TWICE before PERSONALLY in the past four years, and my professional studies for several hours each day for the past couple of months involve the physics of this type event.

With no major fire and the extent of the percussion/concussion which blew out the roof panels and knocked down the precast concrete wall segments, the only thing that could possess this type of power (other than TNT or dynamite or plastic explosives or a fuel like natural gas which would have caused a big prolonged fire) is STEAM and the associated events relating to it's cooling or heating from/to operating pressure/temperature in an uncontrolled manner.

I also predict that my associate Wayne and I will be called in to work on this accident shortly.

I'm not an ambulance chaser but I really want to get my hands on this thing earlier rather than later after everything has been disturbed and evidence has been lost. Thus I spent the day lurking around the Internet reading news releases and watching video of news conferences.

Meanwhile, the door/deck project is slowly proceeding through inattention and interruption by thunderstorms and lethargy yesterday.

So sue me if you don't like my progress...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Door to Nowhere In Place

Trim And Electrical To Follow Suit...

As the day ended I was too lazy to take photos with the door installed, but here's a look at the "hole in the wall" as it progressed...

And of course the job site foreman lends her approval from the Turbo Pup Pool...

New Hole In Wall Nears Completion

Opossums and Raccoons Stay Out...

Being the expert construction manager and project engineer that I am, I waited until after lunch yesterday to start sawing and banging on the bricks under the soon to be removed window on the back of the house.

The first task was to remove an old 220 V outlet which had apparently been used to power a window unit AC before central air was added in the 1970's, and I also had to relocate a 120 V receptacle originally under the window frame to a spot adjacent to the new door opening.

By about 4 PM I was sorry for my lethargy because I had also learned how hard my bricks where which were made way back in 1963.

I had expected to just beat out a couple forming a hole and then tipping the sawed section out onto a tarp on my new deck surface.


I had to beat the crap out of each and every single brick with a ten pound hand sledge hammer and when the dust settled I had a giant wheelbarrow full of "brick chips" and mortar crumbles to dispose of.

So any way, today I'm getting an earlier start and hope to have the old window out by lunch time and the new door stood up in it's place.

Of course there will be the obligatory trip to Home Depot and/or Lowe's but as long as I can compete the project with no significant bloodshed I'll consider it a success.

Wish me luck...if you will...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Obama Versus Chamberlain Churchill

History Repeats Itself...

I haven't bothered to comment on President Obama's cowtowing, appeasing speech to and from the Muslim/Arab world last week because his Speech left me "Speechless."

After all the crap he's delivered in the name of "the American People" it really pissed me off to see him standing there in Normandy yesterday desecrating the memory of all the honorable men that were wounded or died there 65 years ago.

I guess the Jews have similar sentiments regarding his lies about his family ties to liberating the people held in German prison camps and his use of that poor old guy with the wild hair as a photo opportunity ...but in spite of the UN and the liberals I'll let the Hebrew's take care of themselves.

Any way...

What a maroon...

What an ultra-maroon we have for a President.

Back to my point this morning...I've become a bit of a Winston Churchill fan over the past twenty years because by accident (in other SPITE of my public schooled government education) I've discovered what a HUGE influence he had over saving Europe from the German aggressions and how instrumental he was in forcing the isolationist liberal elites and politicians here in the United States to join the war effort in Europe.

Besides his well deserved place in world history, Churchill was an intellectual genius and a great artist, painter, and orator--one of my personal hero's today because I aspire to be all of those same things although I'm afraid I continue to fall quite short of his standards.

My blog idols--the guys over at Powerline-- reminded me of the words Winston Churchill wrote after Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler's Germany in August 1938.

The funny thing to me was that while the agreement basically ceeded land to Germany from the Czech's, and representatives from most of Europe attended the "conference", the Czechs weren't invited and DIDN'T SIGN.

That's sort of where I feel like most "average Americans" are today as Obama runs around the world spewing bullshit.

I certainly didn't sign up to have his words uttered on my behalf.

Take a look at these parts of Churchill's comments in blue while I add my own modern insertions in red:

"Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia Israel receded into darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the Western democracies and the League of Nations United Nations."

"But they [the people] have no power," he said. "...there can never be friendship between the British democracy Americans and the Nazi power...the Radical Muslim Nations... which derives perverted pleasure from persecution...and uses with pitless brutality the threat of murderous force."

He ended his speech in the House of Commons by describing the Munich Agreement as "only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

Where are men like Churchill when we need them today?