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Monday, April 7, 2008

Interesting Monday

Knock Knock
Who's There?
I know, I know. Two posts in as many days. It's like some sort of amazing thing. :)

Today was a most interesting day, on a few notes. For starters, I woke up to about three inches of snow (on top of a thick layer of ice). Skating to work this morning wasn't really all that fun, but it has been worse before. I only saw one accident (which looked more like a spinout involving a school bus and a small car, in which the small car was obviously spun out on the shoulder), and there didn't appear to be any property damage or injury, so that's a good thing.

Only April in Minnesota can one go from green grass to several inches of snow. Overnight.

One of the more random things that happened today was the procurement of a garden tiller. I happen to be on a staff mailing list for UMM, and out of nowhere an email arrived this morning (the list tends to, amongst other things, be a hot place to announce stuff for sale) listing many items for sale (mostly baby-related). In the middle of the list is a tiller. For $150.

Seeing as how Beth's been looking for a tiller for some time, I figured I'd bite. I asked a few random questions about it (one being -- is it in working condition?), and by 10:30 this morning had discussed and agreed to buy it. So I get to go load up a tiller tomorrow evening on my way home. Beth is very excited. :)

So we'll see how that goes. The tiller is only seven years old and hasn't really been used much (if all) in the last three years. So it's more or less new.

And one major thing that happened today was the governor ultimately signed the biennium bonding bill. Amongst other important things, a $2 million earmark for office renovations and building of a renewable energy center (at the WCROC) made it through. This is a Good Thing. It means that some very cool things will be happening at work in the next year or so. And some much-needed upgrades and expansions will be involved. :)

So that's how Monday shook out. I managed to get a few other things done around home (miscellaneous things, really), so I've had a pretty productive day overall. Let's see if that falls through to the only real work day of the week (Tuesday). :)

Until next time...
"If you are going through hell, keep going."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)


Sunday, April 6, 2008

More Busy Times

I'm Safe Here
Kirstin and Beth share a cuddly moment for me. :)
It seems like this is becoming more of a weekly post sort of thing than a daily sort of thing. I'm not sure what I think about that off hand, but we'll see how things pan out now as the spring progresses...

I've been keeping busy over the last week or so. I finally after all the good intentions managed to finish plumbing up the sump pump, which (with the exception of providing a closer, less 'in the way' electrical outlet) rounds out the completion of that project. I did a good chunk of the plumbing (the complex part) last weekend, and I finished it up yesterday. There are a lot of little pieces and parts and twists and turns in the pipe route (due in part to the fact the basin is under the basement stairs), so there was a lot of cutting and measuring to do.

Additionally, I kinda over-built it. For starters, there's a three-foot section of the pipe immediately above the cover that is completely removable (to allow for cover removal and pump access if necessary). Then there's the check valve (which is below the cover), two rubber unions (to minimize vibration), a tee in the line (with cap) for optional internal discharge, and all of the elbows and fittings between pump and outside. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Until last weekend, the entire layout and look was in my head, so it was nice to see it come to completion without any major snags. I'd planned well. :) But I had more than enough time...we did the excavation work last summer...

So that project is done. I have a little more work to do in that area (I need to seal off the envelope point (where the pipe leaves the house), but that will require some more investigation before I do anything major -- it has to do with where it exits and how it affects other items that exit in the same vicinity), and I also have a skim coat of concrete to finish (which will involve creating the slight 'slope' to the basin from the normal floor level), but that's about all.

I'm really wanting to get a few more basement projects started now that it's warming up. One involves cleaning the walls (the bleach job), and another involves painting/sealing the walls. That will likely do some amazing things to the space (since everything will be white). Ultimately, I'd like to re-coat and seal the concrete floor this summer, but that's one of the lower projects on my list at this point in time.

There's also some painting stuff I'd like to get started as well. Preferably before the paint goes bad (we've had the paint for around a year and a half if not longer).

So it must be spring, because I think of all these random things I could be doing...

In other news, I've been working out a few web design ideas (one set for my day job, and another as a redesign of an existing site I maintain). So far things are going well with both projects, and in a perfect world we should see some live activity (or beginnings) available for the public within the next month or so.

And short of that stuff, I've just been trying to get a few things done around the house as time well as spend some quality time with Kirstin. She's a lot of fun to have around -- especially since she tries to be so independent but yet remains quite dependent. Teaching her stuff is a blast. :)

I've also decided that I need to invest in an additional hard drive. A much larger hard drive. :) With the change to the new camera, it's easy to eat up several gigabytes of disk space in a week. In a way it's a good thing, because as it stands right now it forces me to make backups to DVD more frequently (and when I do that, I make two copies -- one which is kept off site), but I'm getting a bit sick of having to move files and whatnot around all the time.

So I figure I have two options: 1) take fewer pictures and/or modify the camera settings to use lower resolutions (neither of which are likely), or 2) look at buying a very large (250-500GB? Depends upon the market price) drive dedicated to imagery and see how long it takes to fill.

One thing's for sure (in any case) -- I'm glad I recently picked up the spool of 100 DVD-R's for an amazing price (less than $25). I've not yet had to use any from that spool (I've still got ten or so on a spool of fifty), but it will certainly be necessary much sooner than I expected. :)

At any rate, I'm going to head for bed now and ponder my until next time...
"Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions."
- Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)


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