How To Steal Like An Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me). Awesome, awesome, awesome. Inspiring.

Date posted: March 31, 2011 | Filed under design, Inspiration, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I got lousy sleep last night, which means I’m not only tired but grouchy too.

The MDF experiment went well last night; one coat of primer raised the fiber on the routed edges of the boards, but after it dried I hit it with a block sander and it smoothed out immediately. While I was in there, I put some 2″ nails in the molding, caulked the edges, and painted both french doors with high-gloss white so that we can finally pull the plastic off the panes and let some light into the living room.

Attempts to sell my old MacBook Pro on Craigslist have been met with nothing but bullshit PayPal scam attempts and one text spam; I’m going to take it off the table and reconsider what role it might play at our house. I don’t know how else to sell it other than eBay, and I don’t have any selling history there.

Date posted: March 30, 2011 | Filed under house, money | Leave a Comment »

Jen emailed me to say our server is making sounds like it’s attempting to take off with a full load of passengers on a very short runway, which means that the “I’ve taken a shit and now you must reboot” screen I woke to this morning repeated itself sometime this afternoon, which is Not Good. So I have a date with Disc Utility and a can of compressed air this evening to see what’s going on.

This evening I’m also going to attempt to bathe my daughter, who refused her nap. Picture a blindfolded man wrestling a rabid badger under a waterfall. After drying the two of us off, strapping her to her bed, and putting out the flames in the server, I’m going to put a test coat of primer on the new woodwork in the den to see how well paint covers MDF. I hope it works well, because I’ll need to donate a kidney to afford real wood for the rest of that space.

Date posted: March 29, 2011 | Filed under finn, geek, house | Leave a Comment »

I did a dumb thing the other day. I ordered a box of plastic vacuum plugs from Amazon before going downstairs and doing a little more investigating on my gas tank. I got fixated on covering the preinstalled brass fittings without considering the obvious: remove them (they’re all threaded, of course) and find threaded brass plugs to replace them. $10 at the Home Depot and I’ve got five 1/4″ square-head plugs that will cap off all the unneeded ports with no fear of disintegration.

It appears, though, that I’ll most likely have to buy a new set of J-hooks for the tank straps I’ve got; the advice I’m reading on the Binder Planet says the OEM nuts will most likely snap off the ends of the bolts.

Now, I just need a warm, free weekend day to pull her out of the garage and drop the tank.

Update: Here’s one of the plugs installed.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: March 29, 2011 | Filed under Purchasing, Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Plug Update.

By the way, I did get some work done out on the porch this weekend. I’m switching some of the materials over to MDF (pressed sawdust and glue) in order to save money, because I can’t find joined preprimed wood in the sizes I need and premium-quality lumber has skyrocketed in price since the last time I did a roomful of trimwork. So the door trim will mostly be MDF and we’ll see how well it holds up.

Date posted: March 28, 2011 | Filed under house, photo | Leave a Comment »

I ordered a set of vacuum plugs from Amazon on Friday to cap off the unused ports on my poly gas tank. I think I’m going to try wrapping the ports in something like aluminum foil first in order to keep gas fumes from melting the plastic (it seems like there’s no good alternative to plastic or rubber that I can find) and then put the caps over top of them, then zip-tie or use a small hose clamp to fasten them completely. I also ordered a pinstripe removal wheel for my dashboard veneer; it came this afternoon via UPS. So I know what I’m going to be playing with this evening.

* * *

Finn and I did a quick recon trip to Arbutus on Sunday to look for a truck Mr. Scout showed me several years ago: a topless yellow Scout that looked like it hadn’t moved in a couple of years. When I finally remembered how to get where it was, we found that it had been replaced by a shiny, mildly lifted Wrangler.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: March 28, 2011 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Small Updates

Jen and I found ourselves on the couch after a long Sunday of housework and baby-wrangling in front of a show called Holmes on Homes, which is a fascinating HGTV program about a guy who travels around Canada fixing home renovation projects gone wrong. It’s fascinating because of the absolute horror shows they uncover and the lengths they have to go to to make things right, which usually involves several weeks, multiple crews of contractors, and lots of money. On the episode we watched last night, he actually told the homeowners they’d gotten about $150K of work to fix all the problems in their house (a total basement gutting, termite infestation, construction of a new cinderblock wall, and complete plumbing overhaul), which was refreshing and surprising; usually these things are just completed, they do the reveal, homeowners smile and hug, roll credits. While the program is, by design, made to feature the Worst Case Scenario, I like it because the guy is genuinely interested in fixing the problems he finds.

But as I get older, I’m less interested in the rest of the standard HGTV lineup:

  • Shows about Manhattan/Los Angeles real estate sales, featuring breathtaking penthouse suites and modern vaulted beachfront palaces
  • Shows about “famous” stylists dressing up the houses mentioned above for rich entitled clients
  • Shows about annoying stylists with no taste redoing rooms for people with no taste on a budget of $500
  • This Old House, which has always catered to people who live in Massachusetts and have no qualms about hiring a building crane to move a 150-year-old oak tree in order to improve their view of the lake while they add a half-million carriage house to the back of their estate
  • Shows about rich, entitled real estate agents
  • Shows about asshole house flippers and their irritating wives, husbands, and assistants who treat their workers like shit
  • Shows about couples who swap renovation projects on their neighbors’ houses


What I’d like to see is a show that deals with normal people in normal houses who have a $5000 project and need some creative ideas on how to get it done. But that probably wouldn’t get any ratings. Instead, I’ll just watch another episode of Hoarders and feel superior while I sip my hot chocolate.

Date posted: March 28, 2011 | Filed under house, humor, photo | 2 Comments »

Date posted: March 26, 2011 | Filed under photo | Leave a Comment »

(Disclaimer: NO Jim Beam was consumed in the process of baking this cake.)




Date posted: March 25, 2011 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »

File this under I’ll get to it at some point: Stream Your iTunes Library To your iPhone Over The Web. Eventually, when the new room is done and we upgrade our ancient TV to a modern model, I’m going to set the home server up as a combination file/AV server, and it will be able to stream music and movies. Or, I’ll spring for a $100 MacTV and have that handle all the work (as well as stream on demand from Netflix).

Date posted: March 24, 2011 | Filed under apple, geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »