Bit by Bit

It’s terribly mundane but represents the whittling-away of the chore-list which may lead to some greater freedom of activity besides yard and house-work. With the new freezer in place the garage is pretty much all-done.IMGP1777_01aB
Yesterday we ripped-into and bonsai’d the last juniper shrublet, and today the lowquat tree is gonna get a shaving. Temps are expected to be mild in the low 90’s and the King Fire is 98% contained.

Back to the Basement

We painted the raw construction-grade 3/4″ ply floors before we took off for the Bay so they would cure and dry while we were away. Upon our return we assembled the stacking shelves, moved bins of material goods, and also moved the garage shelf-unit down to The Understory. And more junk. Today we removed more sagging excess 2×4 shelving and cleaned it all up, assembling a small work-bench for the drip-line PVC stuff from half the old shelf-unit. Organization is taking place.

I hope it’s all for the good and a Shiny Bright Future because the King Fire* took another blow-up and has turned towards Swansborough (among other directions), where some 600-residents were evacuated earlier today. We looked at a couple of homes there on the plateau that rises up out of the canyon. It’s only about ten miles from Hangtown so things are a bit edgy. The thick gray-brown smoke pillar that rises up into the turgid sky and is capped with pyro-cumulus lid is dramatic and ominous. 11,000 acres have been consumed and there’s only 5% containment.

UPDATE: Fire updates move to fire post.

Mobility Issues

While things and work around the place are progressing, I am somewhat constrained.  The right knee is having a extended duration flare-up of tendonitis at the inner-knee location where the tendon adjoins the fibula – or whatever.  Hurtz.  It makes it difficult to Operate Tactically and do my  usual Ninja-riffic Tacti-O-Rama Flying-Gunstrike Fu, with three holsters.

Instead I am back to a brace, ice, ibuprofen, and a tactical-wobble that works as a hobble.   I’m not running away from trouble if it rears its shaggy awful head because I just can’t.  I might shuffle.  Or duck.  Or crawl – no that hurts too.  And all of it puts me to mind of ALL the Gun-Fu theatrics that I can’t hope to begin to emulate.  So the Mind becomes the weapon, instead of an inanimate object imbued with juju, mojo, and a significance outside its own envelope.

Go forth and keep your magazines loaded.

TGIF and I don’t have to drive anywhere

Went for a bicycle ride down along the American River at Folsom, just below the prison. Met-up with a BFF of The Wife and went exploring the trails. Huh.
There’s a lot of grotesquely snooty spandexified boomer-retirees, old dudes wearing goatees and on freshly minted Specialized pedal-pushers, acting all cycle-entitled down there make the location perilous and unpleasant.
After lunch at the Sudwerk brew-restaurant on the bluff overlooking the prison-pool (not really), we came home and awaited a visit from another friend.
He was heading-up to North Tahoe along the truly awful Hwy. 80 Corridor, but work demands had put him late on the freeway – on a Friday – which is godawful THE BayAryan-OMG definition of the Seventh Circle of Hell.
The relentless driving-maelstrom that ultimately would followed, from tail-gating lowered Mazda/Honda/Scion/Prius-driving Davis University nimrod-students, to massive 30-foot 5th-Wheel Weekend-Warriors, to chains of Long-Haul Trux-Trux-Trux all in a row headed over Donner Pass meant that it would be a wretched, slow-going, hyperventilating nightfall before he reached his destination. So bail-out.
Maybe he can stop by on the way back on Sunday.
Meanwhile we took a break from the understory reconstruction, and let the right-knee come back to order – things down there are progressing rather wonderfully for junk-storage.

Back to the basement

Made a lot of progress today removing over-hanging weirdness and some old junky, thickly-layered clutter.  It took everything the DeWalt had, from square-drive bits to philips’ to flat-head – and sometimes all three in one unit of sketchyness.  And nails.  My dear wife has the gentle soul of a gardener, but she can swing the big Eastwing and run the crow-bar – it’s just much more tiresome work.  I can see a dump-run in the near future, but just a bit more clean-out and we’ll be ready for Monday.

OCD Alert!

What's wrong with this picture?Of all the little things that trigger a meltdown, this comes close to a pinnacle event. It’s not just the cheap Home Depot hardware with plastic internals and lousy zinc pot-metal with a 5-year warranty that breaks at year 5.2, it’s also the poor fitment, the sheer carelessness, and the obvious disregard for visual symmetry. Just to get the door to work right I had to tighten knob-screws that were so loose the handle almost fell off inside, but once tightened the whole mechanism seized up and had to be operated with Gorilla Strength™.

So we went to Wayne’s Lock to find something more in keeping with our style – but not so contemporary that it reminded us of a Hospital, Industrial Park, or School. Bucking the latest on-trend directive we got in the Wayback Machine and returned to Antique Brass instead of Brushed Nickle everywhere – like the Bay Area insists upon. Baldwin got the nod on the style-front, and when the order arrived Jeff came out Wednesday with all the bits and parts including a new set of deadbolts for three other doors, all keyed alike.

With the double-doors it was a bit of a struggle, and I had to get out the aircraft shears to cut some sheet-metal shims for the bottom hinge. In the basement I found a piece of leftover duct-hanger tin from the re-arrangement of the AC/heater ducting, and made some marks for the hinge-jamb screw-holes to line-up. The shims closed the gap between the doors so the deadbolt throw was correct. But the hinge was painted-in and had to be whacked a few times with the 20.oz. Eastwing framing hammer to free it up. In the end it’s smoother, more secure, and looks a lot better. Three shims later and *Phew!*  Now I can rest easy without the nightmares…
Yay they match!

Bent Corners

We got the curve without breaking it by layering it. The first attempt with half-inch MDF snapped in many places. Sawn-down to two 1/4-inch slivers, the pieces snuggled up against each other on the 45-degree corner bevel.

In other news, my tiny little bug-out-bag crank-it-up (& solar) emergency radio is about the size of a Sig P220. The coins are for size-comparison.

Busy Boy

Between supervising the installation of new sliding doors on both balconies, and beginning with my gun-buddy carpenter friend to re-do the baseboard moldings and door casements, I’ve been busy.
More pics to come but not today. I have a bathroom vanity to go pick-up, and there’s some light electrical work and furniture moving on Teh List. And the Master Bedroom will get a fresh coat of paint for the first time in fifteen years, after the new clerestory windows are installed…

UPDATE: The windows guys are here and on the roof cutting holes…

Ceiling Ass-Crack! Oh Great…

I got Plumber’s Ceiling.

It’s not raining inside yet but there must be a bit of a lake overhead, and the temperature and moisture have conspired to rip an ass-crack in my ceiling.  It’s about two-feet long where the paint and base-layer of mud has split.  You can see the joint where two pieces of drywall – thankfully still dry – have blown-out the tape.

I hope it holds-up until later in the year when we’re scheduled to get the roof re-done.  I hope we can afford the assessment that will bring… But the roofs are old, and under-engineered.
Lovely day isn’t it?  View out the clerestory window facing due north.