Monday, March 25, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Shipping vs. Driving from VA to UT

In 2012 I decided to take my Jeep to California to drive on the Rubicon trail then to Utah to experience the trails in Moab UT. Prior to leaving I wanted to make sure that I found the most cost effective way to facilitate the journey. Here is what I found: To ship the Jeep to Salt Lake City then drive to Moab Utah, then ship it back to VA Pros: I won't get a sore butt from driving so much. I can get there in a half day of travel on a plane. I can't wreck the jeep on the way out west. I save $100 in camping fees, $100 in food costs, and $570 in gas (one way from VA to SLC, UT) Cons: You cannot get a guarantee of when you vehicle will arrive in SLC (despite what they tell you, they will not guarantee it) You cannot ship your vehicle with ANYTHING inside it. Nothing, no clothes, no camping gear, no spare parts, nothing. You need a storage location in SLC to store your vehicle until you pick it up. This adds $. Lets say for sake of argument that the shipping cost for the vehicle alone is $500. What about shipping costs for your tools, spare parts, camping gear, camera, video equipment, etc. etc., etc.? How much is that going to cost? How are you going to get there? Right now its $500 round trip from RIC to Las Vegas. I am assuming a similar fee to SLC. So, $500 for the Jeep (one way), $250 for me (one way). Plus a shipping charge for gear, parts, etc. ?? The mileage from RIC to Moab is 2022 miles. At 15 MPG, that is 135 gallons. Assuming $4.00 per gallon, that's $540. So, you are already nearly 1/2 the cost to drive out there instead of shipping/flying. For me, the real deal killer is the lack of guarantee of when your vehicle will arrive at its destination. What happens if you fly out there and your jeep doesn't arrive for another 3 days? They will not agree to a pickup date in RIC, they will not agree to a drop off date in SLC, so what is the use? Just my two cents worth.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Status Update

Today's weight: 203.8
Today's date: 12/14/2011
Starting weight: 217.8
Starting date: 9/21/2011
Total so far: 14.0

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Status 11/26/2011

Today's weight: 205.6
Today's date: 11/16/2011
Starting weight: 217.8
Starting date: 9/21/2011
Total so far: 12.2

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today's weight: 207.0
Today's date: 11/03/2011
Starting weight: 217.8
Starting date: 9/21/2011
Total so far: 10.8

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Progress Report for 10/29/2011

Today's weight: 207.6
Today's date: 10/29/2011
Starting weight: 217.8
Starting date: 9/21/2011
Total so far: 10.2

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

10/23/2011 Today's weight: 210.0

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's looking promising... reach my goal of 180 by next summer.

Now at 210.2.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. She is... ummm .. she probably does not want me to go there....
Treadmill last night for 35 mintues, 330 calories. Today's weight: 212.4

Monday, October 3, 2011

Progress Report

Worked out on the treadmill for 33 minutes and burned 330 calories. I followed that with upper chest and arm work using resistance bands. Having a great stereo system in the garage really keeps me motivated.


Where has the time gone? It has been almost a year since my last blog post. Well, I think I will start a new series. This series will track my weight loss over the next several months. Wow, big deal, whoop-dee-doo, right? Well, yes it is, to me anyway. Here is where I started: 217.3 Lbs. I started working out on the treadmill for 35 minutes about 4 to 5 times a week. At the same time I have cut out almost all sugars/Carbs from my diet. A modified Atkins if you will. In one week I lost 5 pounds and already my energy level has increased and no longer do I head straight for the bed to take a nap when I get home from work.

It is October 3rd, 2011 and I now weigh 212.8.

My goal is 180 by the end of March. I am planning a 3 week trip out to California and Utah in my jeep to hit the Rubicon Trail and Moab next summer and I want to be in shape for it!

I am also trying this blog out on my Virtual Instance of UBUNTU 11.04 hosted on my Windows 7 Professional PC via VMWare Player. So far so good!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Farm Life

Cletus is passing by Billy Bob's hay barn one day when, through a gap in the door, he sees Billy Bob doing a slow and sensual striptease in front of an old green John Deere.

Buttocks clenched, Billy Bob performs a slow pirouette and gently slides off first the right strap of his overalls, followed by the left. He then hunches his shoulders forward and in a classic striptease move, he lets his overalls fall down to his hips revealing a torn and frayed plaid shirt.

Grabbing both sides of his shirt he rips it apart to reveal his stained tee shirt underneath. With a final flourish he tears the tee shirt from his body and hurls his baseball cap onto a pile of hay.

Having seen enough Cletus rushes in and says, "What the heck are you doing, Billy Bob?"

"Jeez, Cletus, ya scared the snot out of me!" exclaims Billy Bob. Then, obviously embarrassed, he says, "Me and the old lady been having trouble lately in the bedroom department, and the therapist suggested I do something sexy to a tractor."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Boat Floor Replacement Continues

I have been working on the boat floor replacement and have made some progress. I completed the ski locker cover and am now working on the floor replacement piece over the gas tank. Here is a photo of the bottom side of the plywood after one layer of 24 Oz/Yard fiberglass roving and a coat of epoxy resin. I have not trimmed it yet.

Here is a picture after the initial trimming.
Inital Trim

And here is the replacement piece, trimmed and epoxyed around the edges.

And this bugs the shit out of me....
Bugs me.

What a sense of humor, right?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Boat Floor

This year has not been good for the boat. At the end of last year I somehow managed to wrap the steel anchor chain around the boat prop (don't ask) and damaged it beyond repair (it was aluminum). This year, as I was preparing the boat for the arrival of a new stainless steel prop, I noticed that the floor above the fuel tank was sagging and making cracking sounds when I would walk around inside the boat. That is never good news and is usually very "expensive" news. I was really depressed for about a month and then figured "what the heck" and started to rip out the old carpet over the floor to see what was going on. Bayliner (AKA cheap-assed boat builder) used plywood for the flooring and only covered it with a very thin layer of fiberglass. It was so thin that any bit of water absorbed by the carpet would eventually work its way into the wood and rot it. That is what happened to my boat. I decided to do two things. First, I would replace all the rotted plywood, and secondly I would get rid of the carpet in the boat and replace it with roll-on truck bed liner. The truck liner will provide a rough surface to prevent slips and will not absorb and hold water like the carpeting did. The carpet always seemed to be damp and I am sure that is what caused the wood underneath to rot out.

Here are some pictures of the floor as I work on it. The first picture shows the corner of the ski locker that I replaced and fiberglassed into place with epoxy resin. The second shot is an overall shot of the gaping hole in the boat over the gas tank. I'll try to post some more updates as I work on it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jeep NSG370 Transmission Drain/Fill Plug Removal Tool

I was working on the jeep this past weekend getting it ready for a serious off-road adventure at Oak Ridge Estates near Lovingston, VA. I changed the oil in the engine and greased the Universal joint on the differential end of the front drive shaft. What a pain those little needle bearings were... I also wanted to check the transmission and transfer case fluid levels. I got under the jeep and discovered that the fill plug took a 14 MM hex headed allen wrench to remove it. Also, the drain plug was even larger at 17 MM. I did not have anything that large so I thought that I would stop by the autoparts store today and pick one up. No luck. A tried 4 different stores and Home Depot but the largest size that I could find was 10 MM. I was in my last store, a NAPA auto store in lovely "Downtown Montpelier" when I spied a display of nuts and bolts. I asked the lady behind the counter if any of them were 14 or 17 MM in diameter. Well what do ya know, the 3/8 bolt had a 14 MM head on it and a 7/16 nut was 17 MM in diameter. Then I got to thinking... If I welded the nut to the bolt I would have a two ended tool to remove both the fill plug and the drain plug. I separated the two by two washers so that the smaller end would not drop into the larger drain plug opening. So I plug-welded the nut onto the end of the bolt and this is what it looks like.

Here is the nut with the center welded to the end of the 3/8 bolt.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Ranger. Inspection Rejection.

Well I tried to get the Ranger inspected recently and it got rejected due to a leaky fuel filler tube. How they found THAT out I have no idea since the tank only had about an eigth of a tank of gas in it and it only leaked when the tank was completely full including the filler tube. I think it is an inherent problem with old Rangers. The Ford dealer probably knew that Ranger fuel filler tubes split when they get old and looked at my Ranger with a flexible scope. Bastards! Anyhow, they (the Ford dealer) quoted me a price of $400 for the fuel filler tube and $250 to install it. I bought the tube for $79 off the internet (with free shipping) and installed it myself. I found that removing the entire bed of the truck (6 bolts) was the easiest way to get to the filler tube.

Old tube beside new tube.

Cracks where the fuel was leaking out. Just about the connection with the fuel tank.

Sideways view between the bed and the cab with new tube about to be installed.

Side view of bed half off. I think it would be cool to make it a lift bed dump truck!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Lawn Mower

When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the truck, the car, playing golf, Always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, 'When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway.'

The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.


Monday, March 1, 2010

HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

[clop clop]
ARTHUR: Old woman!
ARTHUR: Old Man, sorry. What knight live in that castle over there?
DENNIS: I'm thirty seven.
DENNIS: I'm thirty seven -- I'm not old!
ARTHUR: Well, I can't just call you `Man'.
DENNIS: Well, you could say `Dennis'.
ARTHUR: Well, I didn't know you were called `Dennis.'
DENNIS: Well, you didn't bother to find out, did you?
ARTHUR: I did say sorry about the `old woman,' but from the behind
you looked--
DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!
ARTHUR: Well, I AM king...
DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An' how'd you get that, eh? By
exploitin' the workers -- by 'angin' on to outdated imperialist dogma
which perpetuates the economic an' social differences in our society!
If there's ever going to be any progress--
WOMAN: Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh -- how d'you do?
ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
Who's castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we're all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.
A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That's what it's all about if only people would--
ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives
in that castle?
WOMAN: No one live there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don't have a lord.
DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take
it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified
at a special biweekly meeting.
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
[angels sing]
her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that,
eh? That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me,
you saw it didn't you?


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hey Boo Boo...The National Parks are now ARMED!!

Boo Boo, it looks like I won't be stealing anymore pic-a-nic baskets from the park visitors anymore. They're pakcing HEAT in them thar woods !!!

Yep, Yogi, them lawmakers are finally catching on and they are passing some laws that make sense now. I guess we will just go hungry now....

.40 S&W 165 grain Federal Tactical HydraShok JHP:

Test Gun Barrel Length Velocity
H&K USP 4 1007 fps

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Vacation From Hell, February 2010 Edition

This time it was to the Snowshoe Resort in WV. I signed up the entire family to take skiing lessons, payed for a days ski rentals, and a one day lift pass for everyone. Lots of money spent... I was taking a snowboarding lesson, the kids were taking lessons and Dawn was taking a lesson. I lasted about 15 minutes and then I fell down on my left elbow and dislocated my shoulder. So, I was waiting in the ski patrol hut while they went to find Dawn. Then I heard that Dillon had fallen and the edge of his ski cut through is ski pants, through his thermal underwear and cut his shin enough to require 5 stitches. Dawn had to drive us to Marlinton, WV to the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital where I was given an IV injection of morphine and a shot of xylocaine in the shoulder. Dillon was in the bed next to me getting stitches.

Dillon's Stitches

"Before" X-Ray of arm. Notice how far down the arm bone is.

"After" X-Ray of arm. Notice how the arm bone is now just below the top bone, where it should be.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Busy Evening in the Snow

Well, let me tally up my afternoon and evening. Had a pine tree that collapsed from the weight of all the snow/ice partially fall across the driveway so I had to get out and cut that down and clean it up so I could get out of the driveway. Then I got a call from the Capital City Four Wheelers saying that there was a nurse out near me that needed a ride to work. So I went to go pick her up and by the time I got there, she had decided to try to drive herself. She got all the way to the end of her subdivision and got stuck. I pulled some winch cable and pulled her about 15 feet and she was then able to get out and drive the rest of the way to work herself. Next, I was following her up Walton's Tavern road and came upon a stuck snow plow (a 2500 series pickup with a plow on the front). I pulled him out of a ditch, and since he was on his way to get someone else out of a ditch about 150 feet from where he was stuck, I ended up pulling the other person in a BMW SUV out of a ditch. Then, there was a fellow CCFW that was stuck (also off of Walton's Tavern road). I went to his house and pulled his Dodge 1500 truck out of a ditch. Boy that winch and my battery were getting abused tonight. In the morning I have to go pick up Dawn from work.... I am exhausted.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Anti-Consumer Reports video

This is an interesting video. I especially like the music at the end...

Caution: Not for the kiddies...d/t pervasive language...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jumping to Conclusions??

Hmmmm. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. ...witnesses have reported that the gunman yelled "Allahu akbar" -- Arabic for "God is great" -- during the rampage. The man is dressed in traditional Arab garb. President Obama, in remarks Friday morning, cautioned against "jumping to conclusions" about what had triggered "one of the worst mass shootings ever to take place on an American military base.". Let me say that I have already jumped to MY conclusion!! And to top it off the Hasan's family said "Our family loves America. We are proud of our country...". Bullshit.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Go Kart Four Link Front Suspension Complete

See the Video here.

Finally, I can start of the millions of other things I need to complete before it hits the road....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CCFW 2009 Fishing Tournament Photos

The photos of the CCFW 2009 Fishing Tournament can be found HERE.

The weather did not cooperate but we all still had a good time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon

Do you know what the definition of a "Blue Moon" is??

If not, check this out:

Also, it's a great tasting beer...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Go Kart or Go Cart, whichever...

Started on the kid's go-cart project finally!!! I bought a tube bender about 6 months ago and just now started bending tube. I have 1/2 of the frame bent but now I need more tubing. Back to Winchester Metals. I'm going to use a lot of the parts off of the riding lawn mower to build it (seat, motor (20 HP!!!), automatic transmission!!!). Its gonna be sweet!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The "Cadillac"

I had forgotten how much fun mountain biking was/is. I recently retired my 1995 Trek 8000 in favor of a 2008 (last year's model) Mongoose Teocali Comp. Boy I am glad I did. The ride is ultra-plush, thus the nickname I have given it: the "Cadillac". The previous bike was a front-suspension only bike, but this one is a full (front and rear) suspension bike. The previous bikes front fork used urethane "sticks" as the means of suspension. The new bike uses air and hydraulics (I think). The amount of front fork travel is unbelievable! The old bike had lame brakes and the new one has front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. Yep, you read that right, hydraulic. Mineral oil is used between the brake lever and the brake caliper. No cable streach and thus no need to re-adjust them except for brake pad wear. Sweet!

Here is a picture of the bike:

The Long Travel Front Fork:

The mineral oil reservoir on the brake lever:

The front and rear disc brakes:

And finally, the shock for the rear suspension:

Now, if I just had good knees....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Gravel for the Driveway and a Retaining Wall

See the photos here. My Father's Day project. Going back to work to get some rest....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CNC Project (Robotic Plasma Cutter System)

Here is the server that will be running my CNC plasma cutter. Its probably overkill for what I need, but what the hell. Its running Window 2003 Server Enterprise Edition with 25 Client Licenses. It has two Xeon processors running at 3.0 GHz, has 4 Gb of memory and four 72 GB disks spinning at 15K RPM. It has 12 cooling fans and redundant power supplies. All this for $350. It really is amazing what you can get at an auction.

New Jeep !!!

Click HERE

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Night...In the hospital

To fix this:

They just put some "superglue" on it, gave me a tetanus booster, and sent me home. I sliced all the way thru the nail and about 1/2 way thru my finger. Didn't hurt much because the blade in the knife was very sharp. See all the pics here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm Going Banana's for Science !

As part of Dana's science project, we decided to see if all the hype surrounding those "green" bags was true or misleading. Supposedly the "green" bags are suppose to absorb the ethelyne gas that the bananas give off.

Here is a quote from their web site:

How do DEBBIE MEYER™ Green Bags® work? The DEBBIE MEYER™ Green Bags® absorb the ethelyne gas that is released by the food, which prevents the gas from staying in the fruit, and thus helping your food stay fresher longer.

I am here to say.... maybe. I find that storing them in ANY plastic bag will keep them fresher. Here is my proof.

Before picture: Set 1 will be stored in the "green" bags, set 2 will be stored in a plain ziplock storage bag, set 3 will be stored in a paper bag and set 4 will be stored in the open.

The Before Picture

The After Picture

My conclusion: plain ziplock bags are just as effective and much cheaper. The paper bag offers only slightly more protection against maturing than leaving the bananas out in the open. Also noted, bananas that are left lying down on a surface will more quickly age where the banana contacts the surface. I guess that is what the banana hangers are suppose to prevent.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Brrrrrrrrrr !

For the first time ever I saw my thermometer dip below 0 today. At around 4:30 AM today I got up to shake the lizard and the thermometer was reading -0.9 Degf.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dillon Finally Gets His Own Room !!

Bright yellow wall paint did not keep him up, he was sooooo excited about his new bed/room.

Potential Treasure Chest Uncovered

I just found these at my mom's house over the Christmas break. According to this site the film was last manufactured in 1974. I wonder what pictures are on there? Could it be the long lost photos of the March 7, 1970 Total Eclipse of the Sun?. I am sending them off for processing tomorrow. Wish me luck !!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dr. Brown To The Rescue !!

Thanks to Dr. Brown I got the garage door figured out. Just loosened a couple of bolts, torqued the spring a few turns, and retightened. Works just like it did before I insulated it.

Thanks Joe!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh boy, now what have I done...

After insulating the garage door it no longer is neutrally bouyant. Dang nabit. Guess it takes some fancy dancy tool to adjust the spring, since there are a gazillion warning message about "the threat of injury or death" if the homeowner tries to adjust it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

HEAT !!! (and lots of it)

I got one of these the other day. It cost me around $65 to fill it up. I did some number crunching and figured this: Propane weighs 4.23 Lbs/Gallon so there should be roughly 23.64 gallons in the tank. My propane heater for the garage produces 50000 BTU/hr at full output. So, knowing that propane contains 91690 BTU/Gallon and the tank holds 23.64 gallons divided by 50000 give me a burn time of about 43 hours. I did a test the other day and found that it took about 30 minutes at full output to bring the garage up from 42 DegF to 62 DegF. And so, at this rate I can do that 86 times with my 100 Lb tank of propane. And that was with only the upstairs insulated. I would imagine that I could heat it up more quickly once I insulate the downstairs too.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thanks, Mr. Watson !

Mr. Watson is due a big THANK YOU for supplying the materials for insulating my garage door. It was a HUGE heat sink that was sucking all the heat out of the garage (it was aluminum). It is much quieter now too.

Garage Insulation, Part 1

I have been insulating the upstairs in the garage during my 2 week vacation from work. It took two days working about 5 hours each day to complete the task. By far the hardest part was the section over the stairway. I had to erect some makeshift scaffolding to place the step ladder high enough so that I could reach all the cavities in that area. I am glad its done. Next up is the bottom part of the garage. It should be a bit easier since there are no angled walls or ceilings to contend with.

The Passing of My Father

I haven't posted for a while because my dad passed away on December 3, 2008. Its been a sad time not having him around this Christmas. It has really been hard on my mom. They were married for over 53 years. I am posting this on the one month mark since his passing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

San Francisco

Arrived on Sunday to beautiful weather. Upper 70's and sunny. Its been down hill ever since. :-(

Rented a mountain bike today (11/19) and rode from Fisherman's wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Sausalito. Caught the ferry back. I am so thankful I gobbled a handful of Advil before I left. I'm getting too old for this kinda stuff. Took tons of pictures that I will be posting on my Picasa site when I get back. Don't have the correct cable to upload them from here. I topped the ride off with a double-double from In-n-out Burger. Yum.

Monday, November 10, 2008

San Francisco

Headed there in a few days. Any suggestions from anyone out there as a "must see" or a "must eat at" place?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Going out on a limb here...

Into uncharted territory for me, a restaurant review and a food suggestion. About two weeks ago the family went out to eat. I think it was our anniversary or something. We decided to go to O'Charley's. This is not the greatest restaurant in the world, but it is on par with the others in its league: TGIFridays, Red Robin, Applebee's, etc. I was thumbing through the menu and spied something that I thought would be worth a try. Being a fan of Salmon I decided to try the Bayou Salmon. It has small shrip over top of a nice sized hunk of salmon that was perfectly cooked. Most times salmon is way over cooked, but not this time. It was topped with a creme sauce that was astounding. You absolutely HAVE to go and try this! I have had this same dish twice now and both times it simply WOWed me. Never overcooked and so tender it melts in your mouth. GO! TODAY!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You Know You Are Getting Old When....

They no longer list your specific year that you graduated from High School...
Click on picture for larger version.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Garage Floor Gloss Coat

Well, the acrylic urethane has cured and it doesn't look too bad. See the updated photo album here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Garage Floor Epoxy Paint, Final Coat After Drying

Well, the paint has finally cured and most of the orange peel has disappeared. The surface is not as glossy as I had hoped for and some of the paint chips landed on edge leaving a gritty surface. I am going to put a gloss coat of two-component, acrylic-modified aliphatic urethane on top of the epoxy as the top coat to make it easier to sweep and clean.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Garage Floor Epoxy Paint, Final Coat

Here is the link with pictures of the completed project. The floor looks fabulous! An unintended consequence is that the surface now has what looks like an orange peel. I don't know if its the paint chips causing the problem, or its just that the paint can't support the weight of the chips or its some sort of surface tension problem. I guess I will just have to wait and see if the problem is still there after the paint dries/cures. Other than the texture, it is awesome! I think I need to throw a party in the garage now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Am I the only person that give out 555-1212 as my home phone number when those pesky sales people ask for my home phone number?

My wife thought that I had completely lost my mind when she heard me give that number out to the sales girl when we visited the Grand Opening of the Bass Pro Shop near us recently. I am just trying to stem the tidal wave of phone calls we get on a daily basis from those bastard Telemarketers. The funny thing is, I have never ever had any sales person question me about it. The only comment I ever received was "That's an easy number to remember". I kid you not!

Epoxy Paint for the Garage Floor

I bought some two part epoxy paint for the garage floor on Wednesday and spent Thursday and Friday prepping the floor for the paint. I moved everything out of the garage and power washed the floor. Then I put some cleaner/degreaser on the floor and scrubbed it with a push broom, and power washed it again. I followed that up with an acid wash and another power wash, then let it dry for two days. Today, Saturday, I put the first coat of epoxy on it but it is a bit thin in places so I will follow up with another coat tomorrow. If that coat looks like it will be thich enough, I will put the color chips down on top of that coat. If it still looks thin, I will put a third coat down. At $60/gallon/coat its not all that expensive. It does look quite good even after just one thin coat. See the photo album here to see the before and after photos of the first coat.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nice Picture of the Boat

Mr. Brown took this nice photo of the boat when we were at Buggs Island Lake a few weekends back.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


We, the trio of David, Dana, and Dillon, hit the lake this weekend for some camping and boating. I bought a kneeboard in anticipation that Dr. Brown and his family were planning to join me on Saturday and I knew I'd have someone knowledgeable to drive the boat while I attempted to put myself into the nearest emergency room. I have not been kneeboarding in about 10 years, and 10 years ago I only did it for one day so I am hardly an expert. I just remembered it was a lot of fun so I just had to try it again. It went pretty good for an old guy like me. Here is a short video of my ride this past weekend. Dr. Brown manned the controls, while Ms. Brown manned the videocam. Thanks guys, we enjoyed your company!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I changed the oil in the '04 Explorer today (@ the 90K mark), and did it in the GARAGE !!! Oh, it was so sweet not to have rocks under my back when draining the oil and removing/replacing the oil filter. I even had the boat in there last week to remove/rebuild the boat's carb. It's really nice to have a ceiling fan blowing on you during these hot Virginia summers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Boat Problems

After the last outing I wanted to get the boat out again and see if it still had the idling problems like before. We got out to Lake Anna on Sunday and the problems were still there. Furthermore, We got the boat launched and then I realized that I put all the life jackets in the shed to dry after the last trip. I went into the marina store and immediatly my butt started to anticipate what lay in store for me. Sure enought, price gouging. $10.75 each for one of those hideously fugly orange life vests for the kids. Anyway, the problems with the fuel system were still there. The idle was erratic so I got out a screwdriver and bumped the idle up a bit and that seemed to help. I was sitting there in the boat while the kids were swimming thinking about what the problem might be and then I got the bright idea to take the distributor cap off and see if there was any moisture inside causing arcing. I removed the engine cover and took the distributer cap off. Boy was I in for a big suprise. There, laying completely detached from the rotor button was the piece that carried the arc from the center post outward to the distributor cap. Remember that part earlier about my butt puckering...Well, it did it again. But I have my VHF and towing insurance, and there were plenty of other people around to tow me so I did not get too upset. I yelled over to the owner of the boat next to me to see (I know, it was a long shot) if he might have some RTV that I could use to reattach the connector, but no luck. I had some locktite in the tool box but no RTV. I did's #1 fix it solution... Duct Tape!! I did not have much hope but I tried it anyway. To my utter astonishment the engine fired right up! I towed the kids around on the float and stopped to swim a few times and my duct tape fix never let me down. When I got back to the house later in the day I took the dist. cap off and found that the duct tape actually had let me down. The connector piece was found in the bottom of the distributor, but this did not seem to stop that little 3.0 Chevy engine! Here are the pictures of the rotor button with the duct tape fix. That last picture evidently shows that the arc was wandering all over the place and was melting away the end of the rotor button, but it was still running.... Here is a picture inside the cap with lots of powdery stuff all over the inside of the cap. Is that vaporized plastic or vaporized rotor button metal?

I guess its off to the auto parts store. I think I will pick up a carburetor kit while I'm at it. You know that saying about boats being a hole in the water....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boat repairs

I have been cursed with a non-functional gas gauge in the boat ever since I bought it in the fall of 2006. I decided to do something about it this week. I first checked the ohm reading on the sending unit and it showed 0.17 ohms. The normal range is suppose to be 30 to 240 ohms. I also checked a few other things like supply power to the gauge and connected a power source to the gauge and grounded the sending unit lead, which pegged the gauge so I knew the problem did not lie in the gauge itself. I went to the local WestMarine store and got a universal 4" to 28" depth sending unit. This sending unit works for tanks that are from 4 inched to 28 inches deep. I testing the new sending unit before I removed the old sending unit and it worked great. Once I adjusted to float arm to the correct depth of my tank (6 inches) I installed it and the gauge shows full, which is more or less correct. For once an install went without hiccups and no need to go to the store for something that I did not get originally.

The proud owner of ...

a new toy for boat navigation. I hate not knowing EXACTLY where I am even for an instant. This should help. Once again I got a great deal on eBay. I haven't actually got it yet but it should get here by next weekend. It was very annoying for the past two years navigating with this running this software and these maps, which are free, connected via bluetooth to this. That's a lot of stuff to rely on out on the water. My biggest complaint was the ability to see the VGA display during bright sunlight. Using this system to navigate in the car using this software is not so bad. Unfortunately, they are now out of bidness....
The other draw back to this kludgeness is that I can not feed a NMEA0183 position fix from my PDA to my Class D DSC capable VHF radio. Now, I'll just need to wire a NMEA0183 cable from the GPS chart plotter to my VHF radio and I'll have my GPS position show up on my radio.

Damn, that was a lot of imbedded links...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ghost Fleet Video

I posted a video of my cruise around the "Ghost Fleet" here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Day On The Boat...

...Beats a day in the office anytime. Went down to Hampton/Newport News this Saturday and dragged the boat with me. I say "dragged" because, even burning premium gas in the explorer, I was averaging just slightly less than 15 miles per gallon. I guess in the grand scheme of things, that's not as bad as a full sized F-150 gets. The weather forecast for the weekend was pretty sad, but I really wanted to get out to the fish haven @ 37.08.220N 76.13.879W and try my luck. Saturday was very cloudy and by around 3 pm the rains set in and then the thunderstorms rolled in for the rest of the evening. I was resigned to believe that Sunday would be a bust too. Sunday morning was very cloudy too, but the radar showed that a line of rain would pass over the area around 10 am and then head out to sea to the Northeast. We got everything packed up and jumped in the car and headed to the public ramp on Dandy Point Road, in Hampton. This is a very handy launching point for heading to the fish haven. When we (the kids and I) got to the ramp, the clouds were still heavy but it wasn't actually raining and the winds were calm. We got the boat launched but it was running very poorly. It seemed that the Accelerator pump on the carbureator (I know I spelled that wrong) was not working as it should. It also was missing and stumbling over quite a wide range of throttle positions. But what the HELL! I have towing insurance!! We headed out and passed by a small island that looked like "party central". There must have been 6 or 8 boats grounded on the beach with all sorts of drinking and partying going on, and this was 10:45 AM !! We continued on out to the fish haven and the seas were rather calm and the air temp was in the upper 70's/Low 80's. We tried fishing with some shrimp and some bloodworms using bottom rigs but Dana was the only one to catch something. She caught a 12 inch (more or less) croaker that we threw back. That was it! We tried anchoring and drifting but nothing was biting. The tide was incoming, so perhaps we should have waited until high tide but oh well.... By the time we stopped fishing and headed back to the party island to go swimming the clouds had thinned and the sun was peeking thru the clouds frequently. We anchored the boat next to the other boats and spent an hour or so walking around the island @37.06.529N 76.17.514W. Most of the island is a bird nesting site that is off-limits to foot traffic but there is a nice sandy end to the south east that is great for hanging out. We got going for the day around 3:30 and was stuck in I-64 traffic by around 4:30. Got back home at around 7:30 PM. That trip normally takes about 1:30 - 1:45. This time it took 3 hours. Damn Yankees! Don't they have their own beaches to go to?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Damn It !!!

Recently quoted: "I suppose there will be no more interns for me..."

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Future Vehicle

Here it is. The only thing I would change is the height (don't really need that much of a lift for that size tire) and the color. I would go with "detonator yellow". Click image for larger view.

Garage Wiring Project

I have started wiring my garage for electricity. It is not all that complicated but there are multiple 20 amp circuits for general recepticle and there are about 6 220 volt outlets of either 30 amp or 50 amp service. I have created a new photo album of the progress here. I hooked up two of my 8 ft. twin-lamp strip lights this afternoon and they provide a nice level of light. I can't wait until all 4 fixtures are up and running. There should be ample light even for these tired eyes! The most complicated wiring will be a couple of 3-way switches with a light between them and a light at the end of the run. I love a challenge!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Toiling in the Trenches

toil 1 (toil)
intr.v. toiled, toil·ing, toils
1. To labor continuously; work strenuously.
2. To proceed with difficulty: toiling over the mountains.
1. Exhausting labor or effort:

I rented a trenching machine this past Friday and dug 2 trenches in my side yard totalling about 100 feet in length. I did this because that side of the yard was uphill and the drainage was very poor. I bought 100 feet of drain tile (4" tubing with holes punched along one side of it to allow water to enter the pipe from the top) and 100 feet of tube sock to prevent large particles of dirt/rocks from getting into the tubing. Once I had the yard trenched, I placed the drain pipe/w socks into the trenches. I then ordered 4 cubic yards of pea gravel to cover the drain tile so that the water could drain down to the tubes easier. I am not sure how much 4 cubic yards of pea gravel weighs, but I am exhausted! This, along with the electrical wiring that I am doing in the garage, at the same time, is killing me. I have completed the following tasks for my electrical work: Mounted exterior meter base, mounted 30-breaker circuit panel, mounted all recepticals and switch boxes throughout the garage, and rough wired one side of the lower part of the garage. This included 1 20-amp circuit to about 10 recepticals and 1 30-amp circuit to 3 recepticals (220 v). I also ran some #6 AWG cable from the circuit panel to one receptical that will be for 50 amp service, also 220v, for my large 230 amp stick welder. I'll work on posting some pictures before I complete too much of the work.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Trauma - Life in the E.R., Family Reunion Style

No family reunion on the Aherron side would be quite complete without some drama, or in this case, some trauma. My dad, nearly 80 years old, decided to move his chair while attending our family reunion this past Memorial Day weekend. The move didn't quite go as planned and his foot got caught on the leg of the table and over he tumbled. On his way down he fell over another chair that was made out of metal which had some round disks welded to the bottom of the legs so that the chair would not sink into the ground. It was one of those disks that caused the trauma. His leg got dragged across the disk and ripped a 4 inch long gash in the lower leg just below his calf. We all heard the commotion, which was behind me, and when I turned around I saw my dad laying on his side on the ground. Then I saw it. The gash and the fatty tissue hanging out of the wound and the blood running out. My brother immediatly grabbed a paper towel and administered direct pressure on the wound which stopped the bleeding. Way to go, Bro! I ran to get more paper towels and to facilitate a call to the Tunstall Volunteer Rescue Squad. He was wisked away via ambulance to the Danville hospital E.R. where he received 14 stitches and discovered that he had also broken his foot. All this and he wasn't drinking at all! He is staying in Danville for a few days at a friend of the family's house while he recooperates a bit. This sort of thing usually happens to me or my offspring while on vacation....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Shingles Today

No, I don't have a disease, the garage is getting a new toupee. Its about friggin' time. The workers (green card status has not been verified) even brought their own microwave and cooler. Hot Burritos, come and get 'em!! Check out for pics.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Planting the Lower 40

I got the McCormick-Deering in the lower 40 today and planted the garden. With this many tomato, squash and zucchini plants we are going to be overloaded with veggies come August.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Garage Lock

Got one of these to lock up the side door on the garage. No more keys (until the battery dies). It was pretty pricey but the "GarageMahal" is worth it !!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

DSL back, obviously.

Got my DSL link back up at around 5:00 PM yesterday, so WebCam is now streaming pics up to the web site as usual.

It's On The Roof....

Oh yeah, 100 Proof, Oh Yeah.

Looks like a roofing job today at GarageCam Central.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Embarq DSL Line Is Out, No GarageCam....

My DSL line has been out for the last few days so I am unable to update the GarageCam photos from home. I'll try to upload them some other way.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Caught the little bastard !!!

Finally, a clear shot of the mystery critter from a few posts ago. This one much closer and clearer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I was driving my 8 yr old daughter to school the other day and we passed a field of cute little miniture goats. On a previous trip with her mom some of the goats got out of the field and were standing in the road. I was thinking about this incident when my daughter started talking about the goats as we drove past, thinking this was what she was going to mention. Not quite. Here is how her conversation with me went:
"The other day, when mommy and I were going to school the goats were playing leapfrog. It was so cute. When I play leapfrog at school we jump over each others backs, but the goats were playing it differently. They were getting stuck. They were trying to jump over the other goats back but only got halfway, then they got stuck"

At this point, the image finally settled in my brain and I realized what it was that she was describing.

The only thing I could think to say was: "Wasn't that cute".

Time for that "birds and the bees" talk with mommy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

$5, Five Dollars, 5 (what was formerly) Greeenbacks!!

$5 to the person that can positively identify WTF is in this picture!! I am refering to that brown/black thingy about 1/3 up from the bottom edge of the photo and just to the right of center. There is a higher resolution photo HERE.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slab !

The workers arrive around 8:30 am today and poured the concrete slab for the garage. They fixed the width of the opening to be 10 feet wide instead of what they had originally (8 feet). The slab is silky smooth and slopes about 2 or 3 inches from back to front over the 24 foot distance. The apron around the front and side door is a nice brushed finish for great traction. The only thing I am worried about is the temperature outside. Its suppose to drop to around freezing tonight so I hope it doesn't harm the slab.

It looks great so far!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Still ...Need to Get A Life !

I went out and bought a Linksys WVC54GCA that streams images over 802.11G and hooked up my wireless router to my network. I have the camera FTPing a picture up to the webserver every time it detects motion (as quick as 1 minute intervals). The file is posted on the webpage as something like 080414123422000.jpg. This was a pain in the ass because how was I going to link my webpage to a dynamically changing file name?? Well, I ended up writting a perl script that FTPs to the webserver, determines if there are any files with a "0" in the file name (these snapshots are the only files with a "0" in them) and renames it to garage.jpg. I have this script running at a 2 minute interval on my Vista box using pyCron (an excellent Cron program for Windoze). My Windows XP box is running Windows TimerShot collecting directly connected USB webcam photos for the "weather" picture at It was a lot of work just so that I can see how my garage gets built.

The next step, that I am a bit hesitant to implement, is opening my firewall up so that I can view the live video feed from the wireless webcam.

Scary stuff, those firewalls, routers, port forwarding, NATing, oh my.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I need to get a life....

And so do you for reading this stuff.

I set up my old laptop with the Microsoft TimerShot PowerToy from HERE and installed it along with SecondCopy v. 7 that does an FTP transfer whenever it sees a file change in my pictures directory. The timershot powertoy runs every 10 seconds snapping a picture. These two programs working together are now feeding the main photo at So in essence, its a live web cam.

Enjoy (and get a life!!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Foundation !!!

Here are the photos. The foundation was layed in one day. Those guys work fast!! There is one problem with it, unfortunately. I wanted a 9 foot opening on the front, but the workers only allowed for an 8 foot opening. I wanted/needed 9 feet to fit my boat/camper in there if I needed to work on it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This is what the garage will look like, final answer.

This is what the garage will look like. It will be cedar siding on the front and vinyl siding on the sides and back.

The Block for the foundation arrived.

Today this stuff arrived and since the weather has cleared up, I assume that the block will be layed tomorrow.

Rain, Rain, Rain...

Here is a picture of what the footer looked like just after it was poured. We have been having quite a bit of rain lately.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Broom Hilda

...and the marines. See the picture in the photo album here.

Spider Man

Scared the crap out of the kids. More photos posted here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Early Risers.... NOT !

We didn't get to the park today until 1:00 pm. Don't know why but being on a schedule we are NOT! Went to Islands of Adventure and the first ride we wanted to go on was the Spider Man ride but the wait was estimated to be 55 minutes. We passed and went on to the Jurasic Park River Ride. It was a water flue type ride with a rather large drop at the end. Dillon was freaking out (I don't want to go, I don't want to ride this ride...) the whole time prior to the ride but once it was over he recovered his composure quickly. Then it was on to the Bilge Rats Ride?? where we all got a bit wet. And it was rather cold today. Mostly cloudy until around 3 or 4 pm. It cleared up then but stayed on the coolish side. Went to see the Blue Man Group at 6:00 pm. Dana giggled so hard. She did not want to go at first but she really enjoyed it.

New Dog, Old Tricks.

Call me a geek, or a gadget freak but I got my pictures uploaded. I have my Dell Axim x51v with me, as always, because its my GPS Navigation device. So it occured to me that it has a CF and SD slots on it and I have a USB cable for it. So, once I downloaded ActiveSync from MS and put the digital camera SD card into the PDA and attached the USB cable to the PC I could upload the camera photos to the PC via the PDA. Now you should be able to see the photos here. I have added captions to most of them. I also created a panorama of the pool area using Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Happy Birthday!!!

Mr. Benjamin R.

Sunday's Adventures

Mostly spent the day at the pool. The front desk, at checkin, said that the pool was heated. Well, yes, one of the pools was heated. The large main pool is not, and let me tell you it was probably in the uppper 60's. Way too cold for me to swim in. Just getting my feet wet was unbareable. Not for the kids though. Even they did not stay in long. Perhaps 2 or 3 minutes of jumping in then swimming back to the side to get out and repeat. There was a smaller pool, ironically called the "quiet pool" that was heated. So guess where every guest wanted to go swimming? Yep, crowded. The weather was about 50 cloudy but by the end of the day it was mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 70's. I even got a bit of sunburn that I was not expecting. I think Monday is going to be Universal day, and tonight I am dragging Dana to go see the Blue Man Group. I snagged a pair of front row tickets so its going to be interesting....
I left my CF card reader at home so I don't know if I'll be able to post any pictures until I get home. Gotta think about this and see if there is something I can come up with.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We made it.... just barely.

Got to Orlando on Saturday night at around 6:30 pm. We drove Friday until around 1:00 am Saturday morning and got a room at a Hilton just south of Pedro's Annoying extravaganza of neon. Got going again around 10:30 Saturday morning for the rest of the trip. Motel seems nice although there is contruction on two sides of us so there is not much to see/look at. I'll post some pictures after a bit. I seriosly need a beer at the moment. It's 8:36 pm Saturday night and just checking out the free!!! high speed internet in the room.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No Spelling Homework For Dana Tonight !

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Wiring Problems

It seems that I'll never get this thing passed. The inspector found one of my GFCI's had failed. Also, three outlets did not have their covers on and there was a place in the corner of the shed where the cable from my sub panel to the outside sub panel passed close to the front of the 2x4 where the sheet rock attached. He wanted to see a steel plate attached to the 2x4 to protect the cable from an inadvertant sheet rock screw penetrating the cable. Makes sense I guess. The inspector was very helpful and we ended up discussing canoeing down the James after he spotted my 12 year old Coleman 16' canoe in the yard. To make things right with the shed I did this and this to protect the cable. According to code ALL outlets in a garage or shed need to be protected by GFCIs. I had two outlets on the ceiling where I plugged in some fluorescent lamps. Neither of these two outlets were GFCI protected so I had to install GFCIs there too, to be in compliance. For those of you that have not bought one lately, those things are about $12 each!!
Damn thing better pass now !!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bug Zapper - H2O Style

We have had some problems with contamination of our well water in the past so we started buying bottled water to drink and cook with. It has always bugged (no pun intended) me that I might get sick drinking water from my own well, so I decided to do something about it. I bought one of these. I figure that I'll just zap those little bastards! Also, since we have very fine sand coming into the house via the deep well I thought that I would get 3 of these to pre-filter that water. I didn't realize that they were going to be so big. They should last at least a year before having to change the filter media. My next purchase may be a water softener but I am still undecided about that.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Holy Shit! Montpelier hits the BIG TIME !!

First it was Food Lion, then Subway, and now its.....


It Passed!!!

The rough-in inspection for the shed electrical work passed. Phew. I have now covered up the trench and finished wiring up the circuit panel in the shed. Next move is to run a cable from where the wires enter the foundation of the house over to the main circuit breaker panel in the house. That should be a piece of cake.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Trying it again. New shed power.

I decided against pouring concrete over top of the PVC conduit and instead decided to rip out all the work I had done so far and dig the trench deeper. As I feared, I dug up the phone cable but managed not to destroy it with the mattock. Here are the photos of the completed but not yet inspected/approved work for the electrical rough-in. I'll call for a new inspection on Monday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Update on shed power inspection failure

Just called the inspector this morning. The entire length of PVC needs to be at least 18 inches below grade. To get around this requirement I need to bury the pipe in cement whereever it is less than 18 inches deep.

What a pain.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wiring the Old Shed for Power

Here are the pictures of the start of my shed wiring project. I am running 40 amp 220v service from the house to the shed. I want the ability to do some welding from the shed so that is the reason for the 40 amp 220v service. There are 4 conductors of 8 gauge copper. For those of you that don't know too much about house wiring you need 4 conductors for 220v service; 2 hots, one common and one ground. In Hanover county you are required by code to bury PVC 18 inches below grade, so that is what I have attempted. Apparently the depth that I have was not quite deep enough because I failed the "rough in" inspection today. Damn! The shallowest section of my pipe is 12 inches deep. I can't go too much deeper because my phone cable from the street junction box to the house runs right across the area where my trench runs. The phone cable is 20 inches deep and the PVC pipe needs to be 18 inches deep. What to do, what to do? Perhaps I could get by with placing a piece of pressure treated lumber or some paver bricks over top of the PVC to provide extra protection that the additional dirt would provide.

Additionally, Hanover requires two 8 foot ground rods driven all the way into the ground (need some exercise, try that!). The two rods need to be at least 6 feet apart from each other and a separate ground wire needs to be run from the electrical box inside the shed to both ground rods.

While I am at it I figured I would run two Cat5 cables out to the shed. Easier to do it now than later. One cable for phone service, and one cable for ?? (perhaps an intercom system).

Not shown in these pictures is a circuit box located on the outside of the shed where I plug in the welder and extension cords for various things (xmas lights..).

Still waiting to get a price on building a garage like this. Dominion did really well this year and they rewarded their employees well so I am taking that $$ to build a nice garage.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Power for the Old Shed

Been busy lately running power from the house out to the old shed in its new position. I am running 40 amp service from the house, thru PVC conduit, to the shed. I am running 4 conductors (2 hots, a common, and a ground) so that I'll have 220 V available should I want to run my welder from that shed instead of my new shed that I have started to build. I figured that while I was at it I might as well run some Cat5 cable out to the shed too. I had a phone out there last time so I will do that again. I'll try to take some pictures to show what's going on. A friend of mine down the road rented a drivable ditch witch for some work he was doing in his yard, so he came over and trenched about 25 of the 30 feet I needed for the new shed location. I had to had dig a few feet because the phone cable came thru the yard between the shed and the house. What a pain.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Gun Control is...

...The ability to hit your target!!!

It Is Tradition....

...To have a fifteen stone first footer....with a lump of coal and some drink!

P.S. Google it...

Just Say NO !!

Something to think about

Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant"
Is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Near Death Experience

Over the Christmas holidays I thought I would do something out of the ordinary. I decided to go out for a horseback ride! The ride started out easy enough but as we got going my dang gone horse decided to charge off at full speed for some nether regions. Try as I might I could not hold on for long. That horse was bucking and kicking to beat the band. I held on for a good minute or two until I could no longer. I fell off one side of the horse and as I did my foot got caught in the stirrup and I ended up upside down dangling one-footed from the stirrup as my head was being bashed in by the ground. I was hoping that death would come quickly as I was being smashed against the ground with every gallop that horse took. Luckily, the store owner came out, and seeing my predicament, unplugged the contraption. Whew, that was a close one !!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shed Move Photos. It's ready to roll !!

Here is the web album that I have started to capture this whole ordeal as it unfolds. My wife thinks I'm nuts for being so stubborn and insisting on moving it.

Look Here at the photos.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The return of Bat, man!

Well the bat from the previous post showed up again (did it really leave?). We last saw it fly into the living room and then disappear, just after I stopped filming in the last post. Tonight, my daugther was watching "the suite life of Zack and Cody" when the bat reappeared and started to fly around the living room (its got a nice cathederal ceiling for flying abound in). I got the fine meshed fish net and slam dunked it down onto the floor. It was putting up an aweful racket of squeeks and squeels. I got a towel and a piece of cardboard and held the towel over the bat, then slid the cardboard under it to sandwich the bat inbetween. I carried it out the door and set it free. I have a feeling that the bat is living inside the chimmney (its wood, and hollow) and somehow working his way inside to house. I don't think its the flue because I have a wood stove connected to the flue and can't figure out how it would get down through the damper, and thru the woodstove and into the living room. I might need to build a huge fire in the wood stove to cook 'em out of the chimmney....

Monday, December 3, 2007

Something out of the belfry...

What happens when you leave the front door open too long and there are bugs flying around the door.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shed Move Follow-up

This is a followup post to Change Of Plans that I posted earlier. I have been slowly working on the move. First disconnecting the power feed from the house, then the power feed from the shed to the fish pond pump, then removing the satellite TV coaxial cable and phone cable. Then I jacked up the shed 1.5 inches to insert a 2x4 underneath it. That will be replaced with 2x8s that I will actually roll the shed on as I move it across the yard. I secured 40 feet of 6 inch diameter steel pipe that I will use as rollers. I will need to cut the pipe in ~3 foot lengths (giving me 12 pieces to use as rollers. I then need to jack up the shed another 6 inches and slide the rollers underneath. Once that is done, I will empty the shed of its contents and begin the move.

Why not empty it and then jack it up, you say??

Simple. I want the time from emptying the contents to the actual move to be as short a period as possible in case it starts to rain. The shed is quite heavy. I could not lift one corner of it up using a 2 ton floor jack. I had to use my 4 ton jack to lift it up. I hope it lightens up a bit when it becomes empty.

Here is a photo of the front of the house. Shed is behind the house on the right. It will be moved so that is is beside the house off the right hand side of the picture.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Not a subject we talk about much....

It was my son's 5th birthday yesterday. We got him a "Pirates of the Caribbean" themed cupcake cake. He likes cupcakes better than he likes just a plain old cake so we went that route. The image to the left is what it looked like (although this one is layed out on a regular cake, not cupcakes). Well, that bright blue icing does quite a number on your #2.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So Depressed...

I went to vote this morning. There were 9 positions up for election. The most depressing thing was that only two of the positions had anyone running in opposition to the encumbant. Where has the democratic process gone to?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007