One of the dreams I’ve had for the Lockardugan estates since the day we moved in has been to
level and replace upgrade the garage to make it easier to use. Since moving in, I’ve put doors back on the front and carved a hole out of the floor for the Scout to sit inside, but it’s still very ghetto in there. When we first looked at the house, there were three insulated knob and tube wires running from the back porch to ceramic insulators on the side of the garage, which fed it power from an already overtaxed interior circuit. The inspector told us the jimmy-rigged electrical wiring would have to be disconnected before the house could be sold, so out went the lights. I’ve had an extension cord running from the greenhouse through a hole in the back of the garage since 2007, which has slowly been covered over by grass and has missed whirring lawnmower blades by the grace of God.
My neighbor, an electrician, recently suggested running a subpanel from the circuit in the greenhouse, which is fat enough to support a 220 industrial heater, and I jumped on the idea. (The greenhouse was installed with proper wiring, but nobody thought to make a left turn and upgrade the garage while they were doing so). This weekend I finally pinned him down, and we ran conduit in a trench I’d dug weeks ago from inside the greenhouse to the back of the garage wall. Then we covered that over, fed 8-3 wire inside, and connected the panels up. Five minutes later, we had an outlet installed, and I pulled the extension cord up off the lawn forever. Progress!
Now I’m going to pick up a few more breakers and set up a real, functioning light switch and about eight outlets around the perimeter. Then I can start looking for a full-size air compressor and a decent stick welder. It’s not my dream garage, but it’s better than it was!
Sunday we disassembled our IKEA bookshelf in Phase One of Project: Living Room Overhaul. I bought four cans of white plastic spraypaint and we set up an assembly line on the back lawn to cover every square inch of faux birch with white. Later in the day Mr. Scout stopped by to discuss plans to replace our janky front steps. The plan is to extend the landing at the top of the stairs outward so there’s more room to work at the front door, widen them so that they cover 6″ of un-stuccoed foundation that was formerly hidden by huge shrubs, and add architecturally pleasing railings to soften the front of the house. While he’s in there we’re going to replace the front door with a brighter 8/1 security door, which will bring light into the front porch and make the place a little less severe-looking. It’s going to be a month or so before he can get started, but we’re VERY excited to get moving.
I got in a discussion with a coworker a while back over a cup of coffee I’d just made with my french press. He asked me about my preferred roast, and then asked me about my press (the excellent purple Bodum press my Dad gave me for Christmas a few years back); mentioning the Aeropress in passing. I asked him about it, having read glowing reviews about it, and he said he’s been using his exclusively since he bought it. He was kind enough to lend it to me yesterday, so I brought it home and gave it a shot this morning. I used two scoops of grounds, as I normally would, added hot water, stirred, and pressed. What I got was watery coffee-like water with no real flavor, which was disappointing. I tried another cup, letting the water sit with the grounds for a minute or two, and the results were almost exactly the same. It may be that I need to add three scoops of coffee per cup to get more flavor, but that’s going to burn through grounds a lot faster than before–and coffee being as expensive as it is, that’s a non-starter for my wallet. Further experimentation is required, but so far I’m not hopeful.
Apple announced new iPhones and a watch yesterday. The phones are nice; I’ll probably upgrade my 4s to a 6 when they’re released, because my 4s is beginning to get a little flaky on battery life, and I like the idea of Apple Pay. Having printed out a full-size comparison of the 6 and 6 Plus, the Plus is HUGE. Like, Mini iPad huge. The watch? Meh. I could care less, although it probably does some cool stuff. As I’ve said before, I’d rather spend that cash on something classic instead.
There hasn’t been much else going on, other than on the weekends; work is busy but exhausting. I have been playing around with digital sound recording and syncing with video for the past two weeks, and I think I’ve got both of our digital recorders figured out when connected to wireless lav mics. I shot some interviews earlier in the summer and while the video looks beautiful, the audio settings I was using were too low. I’ve run a bunch of tests on syncing up digital video with audio through the mic/recorder system, and I’ve now got it dialed in. There’s talk of recording an interview here at work in the next couple of weeks, which I think I’m ready for.
I had a little time to fool around with the Scout this weekend after taking her camping; I tackled a few smaller issues that I knew I could wrap up quickly (with a bored daughter rolling around in the back seat). First up was the passenger door handle, which has been loose since I got the truck. I pulled the inner panel off, took the handle off, and fitted a couple of lockwashers to the mounting screws, then tightened it up snug to the body. Next I took the shitty pot-metal rearview mirror mount off the passenger door (the mirror was gone when I got the truck).
Then I fitted a replacement glove box door to the dashboard. See the clip held in with two screws in the photo above? That’s an early-style clip, from what I can gather. Later clips were actually a hoop of metal the latch hooks onto. My dash is old so the metal lip the hoop mounts to is smaller. I’ve got to figure out some kind of temporary fix for this so I can actually use my glove box.
I also have to get up under the dashboard and POR-15 the seam at the firewall; I noticed some water leaking down inside when the truck was sitting at the campsite. I may actually use some Eastwood rust inhibitor this time to see how well it works, and I can get it at the Advance when I pick up some new door jamb switches.
We were able to set up camp, get dinner prepared and eaten, and just have time to stoke the fire up well before a fierce downpour. Then we sat it out on our porch, listening to the sounds of the woods and the rain, watching our fire.
I sleep heavily. So heavy I don’t usually remember my dreams. Last night, lying on the mattress at my parents’ house, I must have been drifting in and out of REM sleep, because I was having a great dream. I had been invited to join the Queens of the Stone Age on their next tour, and I was at their practice space, a huge cavernous warehouse of some kind. We played a set of songs, and I remember being nervous but getting into the groove. Then we took a break, and naturally it was time to get high. Of course, Dave Grohl was there, and he had a TITANIC amount of weed (curiously, in the shape of hop pellets, don’t ask me why) and he gave me a bunch to carry, because his hands were full, and then some water fell from a leak in the ceiling and got Dave Grohl’s handful all wet and they made fun of him, and then we got REALLY, REALLY HIGH with the stuff I had and we began playing again. And I got completely paranoid that I wasn’t in the pocket anymore and that I was playing badly (note: all that weed didn’t affect QotSA or Dave Grohl at all) and that they would tell me to leave, but I was able to get into the groove, and then I woke up.
Finn and I went for ice cream last night. The light is falling behind the trees earlier now, and the air is cool. She’s starting Kindergarten tomorrow, which means fall isn’t too far off. I’m not ready for summer to end, nor am I alright with my daughter growing up so goddamn fast.