Tag Archives: home-improvement

Dear 2011 Self

North Face Breezer Brimmer Hat | Amazon.com

Hey there self! This post is a quick blast from the past, to remind you of something. Namely when you hit the first, nice day in say April or maybe early May; get off your butt and clean those gutters. That way when you get up on the roof, it’ll be much cooler out and the shingles won’t feel like they’re burning through your jeans.

North Face Breezer Brimmer Hat | Amazon.com

Side note: I hope you’re still liking that sun hat we bought this year. It worked really well keeping the sun off your face while working on those blasted gutters. Too bad it didn’t do anything to keep all the gnats and mosquitoes from pestering us. That one which bit us on the back of the ear is still annoying as all get out, but by the time you should be reading this that nasty, little bite will be all healed up.

Lucky bugger.

Random & Assorted Musings

Cover Art of "Hulk Hercules Professional Wrestler"

Cover Art of "Hulk Hercules Professional Wrestler"

I have been using a plugin to automatically post a summary of my weekly tweets, but that plugin stopped posting a while back for no reason that I can determine. *sigh* So in place of that automated posting and because I find I actually have a few semi-random things to say, today I give you my random and assorted musings.

A good friend of this site has recently become an officially published author (with a book and everything *grin*). Congrats Cath!

Humans are remarkably adaptable creatures. Yesterday, I noticed the house felt cold. I checked the thermostat and found the air temp and dropped to 62° (even though the heat was on and set to 68°). I dug out my copy of Home Improvement 1-2-3 and tried to diagnose the problem. I learned several things that weren’t the problem, but found nothing I could do to correct the situation. Today I’ve been working from home all day and got used to the cooler temperature without realizing it. At least without realizing it until after I had: an expert come out, tell me the furnace’s ignition coil was bad, replace it, charge me a $185 and leave. Then I noticed I was used to the cooler temperature, because all of a sudden it felt very warm to me.

After five years of married life, my wife has yet to completely around the bend and kill me. Go Michelle! ^_^ As an anniversary present from her to me, I received a ticket to Red Green‘s One Man show when it hit Des Moines last weekend. Even better since she bought the ticket during IPTV‘s Festival1, my show ticket came with a ticket allowing me to get a bit of face time with good ol’ Red at a meet-and-greet after the show. The whole evening was, to quote another attendee, “a scream”. Even better during the meet-and-greet, I got my copy of Duct Tape Is Not Enough signed!

As for my present to Michelle, I got her exactly what she asked for: a Wii Fit Plus. We’d been interested in it for a while but then got to try it out at a friend’s place and we were rather hooked. It is a rather interesting way of getting/staying active. I especially like the logging/graphing functions in it, so I can easily see how much I’m improving (or not improving as the case may be). Though I do wish it would write notes to the Wii’s messaging system like Wii Sports does. *shrug* Oh well.

1 Technically, some friends bought the tickets and she paid them back for the cost of my ticket. Yeah Cath & Bryon! ^_^

A Bit of Home Improvement with Ryobi Tools

Brushed Nickel Towel Bar
New Towel Bar

Back around Thanksgiving, I hit up a sale at Home Depot and bought myself a 4 piece Ryobi One+ combo kit1. After Christmas I went back to Home Depot and picked up the Ryobi Tool Bag. The tool bag came loaded with a nice assortment of drill bits and a racheting screwdriver with a vast collection of interchangable bits (phillips, flat-head, sqare and torx). The bag was just the right size to hold my drill, flashlight and radio. Since then the tools have sat around mostly gathering dust.

Today while out doing some shopping, we found a nice set of bathroom hangers (e.g. for towels & toiletpaper) on clearance for less than $20. The set has a brushed nickel finish which we really like and installing it helped me avoid cleaning out our guest room2. The set installed very easily and I really got to try out my tools.

Things I liked:

  • The magnetic strip on the base of the drill is fantastic for holding different drill bits, screws, whatever I need.
  • The ratcheting screwdriver makes it quick and easy to install/remove screws.
  • That tool bag really holds everything I need for most home improvement projects. The way it’s designed feels like somebody at Ryobi was sitting around their house wishing they had a bag to hold all the bits they’d ever be likely to need for a screwdriver and a drill.

Things I didn’t like:

  • The keyless chuck on the drill poorly grips the bits.
  • After 10+ years of apartment living, I’m out of practing with using a drill. Especially using a drill as an electric screwdriver and so I kind of stripped a couple screwheads. Ooops.
  • The metal splinter I got in my thumb after stripping a couple of screwheads.
  • The drill is heavier than I really like.3

1 Mine was a slightly different kit as it came with a radio rather than the Corner Cat Finish Sander.
2 I’m sooo going to be in trouble when my wife reads this.
3 My version of the kit uses the NiCd batteries which contributes the vast majority of the weight of the tool. At some point I’ll buy the 18v Lithium Upgrade Kit which should solve this complaint.

Minor Home Remodel

New Sink & Vanity

We recently noticed that the sink in our master bathroom was leaking. I traced the link to a crack in the sink itself; so we decided to make do for a little while by using the sink downstairs. When you have to climb up & down stairs to wash your hands or brush your teeth that gets old real quick. This weekend we did the work to replace the sink. However we weren’t too keen on the idea of just replacing the pedestal sink with another one. So we splurged a bit and bought a vanity & sink kit from Home Depot. We also picked up a new faucet to go with it (the old one was hideous). Today we installed it. *ugh* Now I really understand why plumbers charge so much. It’s smelly, painful work in cramped quarters.

New Faucet

I’m really feeling it in my back and shoulders, from being tucked under the sink hooking all the pipes up. It didn’t help that this was the first sink I’ve ever installed, plus the first cabinet I’ve ever installed. Counting the extra trips back to Home Depot for items we forget (and items we didn’t realize we needed); it took us 6-7 hours to get everything hooked up. Right now we’re waiting for all the caulk to cure before we try running the water. By tomorrow night, we’ll know for sure if we did everything right. I’m fairly confident on everything except the drain pipe. So cross your fingers for us!

Incidentally, the photos attached to this post are the “after” versions. I forgot to do “before” shots and was too busy to do any “during”. Sorry. 🙁

Update 5 Dec 2006: All the caulk has cured and the sink works perfectly (no leaks). As an added bonus, it drains much better but I think that is due to the drain on the old sink not being hooked up properly.

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