another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

157 of 264 - collect 'em all.

Now 59.5% complete with the tiling -- as counted by the number of pieces. By surface area it's somewhat more. Now all the walls have at least some tiles, and the wall behind the toilet is complete.

The wireless network in the house is now working again as well. I guess I'd set the network key wrong, so that the Tivos (which are 802.11b, and use a shorter key) matched what I had, but the laptops (which are 802.11g) didn't match -- they must have been sending more characters as the key that the extras didn't match. I flipped one setting on the router, one I guress I missed before, and everything started working again. One thing I need to do is attach the configuration data to the router so that if the power goes out again and config is lost I have everything down without rediscovering anything.

Cubs game tomorrow. Sometime in the next few days a couple stories about puzzle contests.

And at some point I need to get a new patio umbrella (market umbrella). Wind bursts whipped up sometime yesterday and tore the umbrella off the pole, also bending the pole at a 90° angle at the table top. No rush on that, though.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm going to call it "Productive" ...

... even if I didn't exactly get everything done that I'd listed on Friday. Mainly because I added to the list as the weekend went along, of course.

Long, boring details follow.

Friday - I didn't mow (I got out of work a bit late and it was chilly), but I did get most of the laundry done. Since I don't use the laundromat usually I had to remember where I'd seen one. I knew there was one on Lake street, but it was packed. I saw another on Indian Trail though and there were open washers there. I did the first couple of loads, trying to figure out if I had enough change to do more. Only then did I discover that there were different size machines there that took varying number of quarters, and I'd used the largest machines (the first I found open). After figuring out how many quarters the dryers were going to need I ran two more loads in somewhat smaller washers. The only thing I didn't get washed was towels, and we could get by without getting those washed Friday.

Saturday - got dishes done, lawn mowed and trimmed (it was a beautiful day), then went to do a little shopping. It was Free Comic Book Day so I had to run by Graham Crackers, pick up a few free comics and some that I bought. Got screen material and grill refurb stuff from Home Despot. Got a new cat litter scoop because I finally gave up on trying to get the cats used to the Robotic Litterbox Overlord (Ash was still freqently ... expressing his displeasure) and the one for tidying the RLO is too small for general use. Got home, got the grill cleaned up and fired up for the first time this season. Replaced the cooking grids, then grilled a chicken breast for dinner. Then I got the screens replaced on the patio door and the front storm door, and called it a night!

Sunday - the day to do some tiling. I started by getting my materials and tools together and going over the instructions again. Noted something in the instructions that I hadn't seen before on how to deal with tiling up from an uneven floor (and ours is un-level just as it is un-square -- it's a little off of both). I had marked a level line at the top of where I expected the tile to be and was going to work my way down (thinking the adhesive/morter would be enough). Fortunately I found that advice before I did something that just wouldn't have worked. So, I followed their advice and nailed up a line of wood above the uneven floor so that I could put all but the bottom piece of tile in, all the way around, building up from the wood. Then I went to mix the adhesive and found something different than what I'd heard in the training we went to -- the adhesive said "Do not hand mix", but rather use a beater bar (like a huge eggbeater) on my drill. So, another trip to the Home Despot to get that. While I was finding the wood to nail up around the room I'd also assessed the amount of door casing I still had laying around and decided I needed more of that too, so I bought that at the same time.

By the time I got back and ready to start it was about 5:30. So, I fed the cats and shut them in the basement so I wouldn't be disturbed. I then mixed up the adhesive and got going on tiling. I first tiled the short wall behind where the toilet would sit and I learned a few things about how to speed the process, but it was still slower than I thought. Faster than Ellen thought, though, as she was impressed with my progress when she got home from the grocery store. I managed to finish installing all the full tiles on that short wall and the long wall across from the door, as well as the first row of tiles on the wall behind where the sink will be. Notice the emphasis on "full tiles", as I found that is was going to be difficult to deal with both putting up tiles and measuring/cutting the partial tiles at both ends, so I concentrated on getting the full tiles done so I could work with the set tiles to do the measurement of partial tiles later. That's also why the first row of tiles behind the sink was important -- the next row will also need cuts in two tiles to accomodate the pipes. By the time I was done with this batch of morter it was just past 10pm, so time to clean up and quit for the night.

So, I can envision three more wall tiling sessions, with some prep needed before each but the next one. The next session, maybe tonight, will be the full tiles on the walls flanking the door. Actually, I'll probably cut the tiles for around the pipes so I can do behind the sink at the same time. Then, measure and cut all the edge tiles that go above the wooden framed line, and install them. Finally, after all that is set, take off the wood pieces, install the new floor underlayment, cut the bottom row of tiles where necessary, and install those.

Then I should finally be ready to do the floor tile.

By the numbers, I've installed 79 full pieces of 6"x8" wall tile, along with 15 each of the 6"x2" decorative line and the 6"x2" top bull-nose sections on top. I have another 44 full pieces along with 2 to cut around pipes to and 10 each decorative and bull-nose put up in phase 2. Phase 3 will have 40 edge pieces to cut and install, plus 8 each of the top pieces. Finally, there will be 33 bottom pieces to install. Total, 264 wall pieces, 109 of which are done. So, 41.3% done.

I don't know why I felt compelled to figure all of that out.

Tomorrow I pick up Ryan from school for the summer.

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Friday, May 05, 2006


Two weeks slip by since the previous update....

The weekend before last was particularly productive. Last weekend, not at all. Which will this weekend be?

The weekend before last was great. The weather was wonderful and I got stuff done both inside and outside. Lawn trimmed, the garage largely cleaned out, and got the cabinets installed in the downstairs bath (medicine cabinet and over-toilet cabinet. The bathroom is now done from 51" above the floor on up. Of course everything below that, the business half of he bathroom, is still bare.

Last weekend I was in a funk. Whether it was the weather (cool and rainy), sleep deficit, Ellen gone (visiting her mom and my mom), or Kalen here (taking a pre-finals break away from Normal), the combination of factors just led to me doing next to nothing. The only thing I really accomplished was getting the lawn mowed (fortunately, I came home that Friday and got that done before the rain moved in), getting a few things at the grocery store, and hanging out with Kalen.

This weekend all that needs to turn around. I did (finally) get Legends prepped and will mail it at lunchtime. The lawn needs cut again after work. Then I'll get out to the laundromat this evening -- our washer has apparently broken a bearing ring and the repairguy had to order the part. Tomorrow I'll start tiling the bathroom (and hopefully finish, at least the walls). I also got the miter saw set up when I cleaned up the garage, so I should get all the door casings that I need cut and start staining those. If I get all that done, I'll consider the weekend a success.

Oh, and I need to try to get my home network working properly again. Ellen's laptop and mine won't connect via the wireless router, though both Tivos do. The laptops can connect directly via Ethernet, though mine seems to get flakey occasionally and thinks that the cable is disconnected when it isn't. And the printer server is being very finicky. Poking around at it hasn't done much good, so I may need to rebuild the network from scratch at some point this weekend.

Work is a bit slow right now as I'm finishing up a couple things before starting my new assignment. We are starting a new Development Field Support team which I'm moving to. When we get ramped up it'll probably be more pressure, dealing with problems raised by the customers, and there may be some travel involved at some point. Most of our field sites right now are in the US (let's see - Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, soon to be New York, some others), while most of the field support has been coming from a team in the UK, so it's obvious why a new team needs to ramp up.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll shoot for an update Sunday night or Monday to see how much of this actually got done.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Who wins?

A more substantive post from me later, but for now I just have to share this Slashdot poll:

Let's Settle This. Who Would Win? Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, or Monkeys?

Nothing more to see here.

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