"You gonna get another job?"...

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
[looks up specs] 6x3 is not pocket size. 4x2 is pocket size. The small iPhones are a decent size. But they don't have a removable battery. And, you know, you're stuck with the iPhone os.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Dammit. Just got a "friend" request on another site. FROM A *GIRL*! :D

A morbidly obese and very single girl. :(

I was all set to send her a nice note, but now I'm having second thoughts because I don't want lead her on.
 

jack

The Legendary Troll Kingdom
Dammit. Just got a "friend" request on another site. FROM A *GIRL*! :D

A morbidly obese and very single girl. :(

I was all set to send her a nice note, but now I'm having second thoughts because I don't want lead her on.
Just make sure there's no half-sandwich in the folds and you're all set.
 

jack

The Legendary Troll Kingdom
My Velvet 5g is awesome and fits anywhere I need it to.

Best phone I ever had.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Somewhat back on topic. My sleeper sofa is supposed to arrive tomorrow. So even though I didn't really have time, I worked on the wardrobe facade for the closet.

It's a lot harder than it would seem. Say you want it to be 74x37x14". That's fairly simple for a plywood box. But for even a very basic wardrobe it quickly becomes a headache. You have to factor in the height of the legs. There's the cornices at the top and bottom. You have to subtract their width from the measurements. Then I'm edging everything with 1x2s on the outside--both for strength and aesthetics.

And assuming you get all your calculations right, you've still got to measure accurately and precisely and then have the tools to make accurate and precise cuts and then fit it all together in a strong and attractive way. Add on that I'm doing the cutting in the basement and all my decent extension cords are in the garage and the only outlet that works reliably is next to he washing machine--in a spot where it is hard to fit a sheet of plywood. Oh, and I could use some shorter screws too. And more/better clamps.

There will probably be Gorilla Tape in the final design. Master Carpenter Norm Abrams would be appalled. "Why don't you have a combination square?! You've got a biscuit joiner right here! Why are you putting it together with drywall screws?!"
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Setback. My renters with the bakery just called. They had an investor declare bankruptcy on them and they need to break my lease. Well, I did get a year with them and it isn't a bad time to have a place on the market, so I guess I can't complain too much. But it isn't what I was planning to be working on right now. I was planning on buying my next house and finding my next renters and quitting my day job. :(
 

Oerdin

Member
Don't buy anything until after the eviction ban is lifted. Lots of landlords will be selling then and prices will moderate. Renting the other place shouldn't be hard as massive numbers of deadbeats will be getting kicked out shortly. Make sure you screen candidates well and don't rent to anyone who didn't bother to pay their rent during all this no matter what their story is. You might also want to check past addresses for their name just to make sure they didn't lead their recent addresses out to hide non-payment.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Was gonna post this to Facebook, but a squad of Marines and their Corpsman getting murdered by ISIS in Afghanistan kind of makes my silly little projects seem insignificant, so here it is: Working on my Narnia closet. Headed off to Lowe's for some stain. Ordinarily I'd stain something when it is done, but since it is getting screwed to the wall, I have to stain at least parts of it before it goes into place.

I settled on a lighter shade of walnut for the cabinet so I had the "special walnut" stain all picked out. It looked the right shade on the label and I was all ready to head to the checkout when I saw a sample board that purported to show the different stains on pine. "Huh, these are all really light. I guess I'd better go with the 'dark walnut'." Get home and start putting it on. It instantly turns the wood to the color of motor oil in a car that has never had its oil changed.

On another note, I tried to find hardwood to make the thing out of, but had to settle for pine. And no matter how hard you try, you can't make pine look like hardwood. There are some finishes you can do to pine that are OK, but giving it a hardwood stain just fails. Might as well paint it.

Oh, and while I was assembling the thing I found myself going "I really need to get a wet rag and wipe off all that excess glue or else the stain won't stick to it"--and then ignoring my own advice. So now I have the horrible stain finish with white raw pine splotches throughout. Oh well, I'll make it work.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
This is 90% a Facebook/blog post. Shit, maybe 95%. But I can't think of a better place to put it so here it goes:

Where to begin? Resigned that my first attempt at a Narnia closet failed. I realized the moulding I was using for it was pine so I cheaped out and got pine 1x2s. Nice pine 1x2s, but pine nonetheless. It is virtually impossible to stain pine and make it look nice. To make matters worse, based on a sample display, I picked a stain that was far too dark. Add in the overglue problems that created areas the stain wouldn't take and it's a disaster. I do have enough extra plywood to try again and I need to just write off the pine, maybe use it for a cabinet in a shed or something, and buy hardwood 1x2s. I also found stainable trim. The trick is finding time. Weekends are for banging out recurring chores. And I work Monday. Soon I'm going to be down the rabbit hole of getting my rental rented out to new renters.

But I forgot that I have a lot more time on weekends now that I don't have a dog. ( :( ) And because I did "fun" stuff instead of chores last weekend, I wound up mowing the lawn during the week (and a few other things) so I didn't need to do them this weekend. So as the end of today approached, I looked at being caught up on weekend chores with an entire day of the weekend left. So maybe work on Narnia closet 2.0. Or finally go to church again.

Don't count your weasels before they've popped. Because I managed to not read e-mails or pay bills. And, as I unloaded groceries, I was reminded that I still haven't detailed 10 years worth of dog out of my car interior. Or cleaned the interior of the Awesome Van since moving from the other house. So my Sunday is more full than I thought.

What else? When my friend dropped off his cat on the way down to Space Camp, he brought me a bowl full of produce from his garden. Tomatoes, peppers, that sort of thing. Now for most of my life I have not been a tomato guy, but I managed to work them into omelettes, salads, and sandwiches. Even so, it's hard for 1 guy to use up a bowl of tomatoes before they spoil. But I realized I could chop the buggers up with the peppers, get some beef, beans, garlic, and a few other things, throw it all in a crock pot and let it do it's magic and cook down into amazing chili. Sadly, this only made a dent in the tomatoes and bell peppers, and the brief sample I just had hints at being painfully spicy, but it smells damned good. We'll see.

I think that's about it. I have some weird icon I've never seen before for my internet access, complete with an angry red "X" on it, but I seem able to be online, so I guess I won't worry about it anymore than I worry about the million cryptic icons that show up on my cell phone.

Oh. And MyPillow. Years ago I gave Mr. Clean Magic Eraser a try and it was the only thing I've ever seen that exceeds promises made in commercials. Truly an amazing product. And "for the best nights' sleep in your goddamn life..." is no idle boast by MyPillow guy. No more waking up at 5am. I'm freaking *out* until wakeup time. Pair that with an 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheet and it may just be better than sex.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
In a bit of a funk tonight--in spite of everything being awesome, relative to the problems some people have to deal with.

I let my weekend chores slide while I worked on finishing the new bedroom, entertaining my old friend and his daughter, and going on an ill-advised camping trip.

But by Saturday night I had most of my chores caught up. All that remained was catching up on e-mails and bookkeeping. Shoot, I might even find time to work on my closet construction. Or clean the car and van interiors. Or go to church.

Well I stayed up too late Saturday and drank too much, so I woke up too late to make it to church. Then, by the time I finished e-mails and bookkeeping,* it as basically bedtime.

Then there's women. Women are so fundamentally different from men that it is incredible that we are the same species--and that that species hasn't died out. For the second time this summer I lined up a hot girl who wanted to hook up for sex, only to have it fall through at the last minute. A guy decides to get together for sex and he'll pretty much go through with it if it turns out to be a fat dude in a wig. A girl, you can literally have your penis in her and she'll be like "You know what? This seems weird."

That said, tomorrow's another day. I mean, I work 2 jobs tomorrow, so that's all I'll be doing, but the day AFTER tomorrow is another day. So maybe I can move the football Tuesday. We'll see. And I may not be where I want to be right now, but all told, I'm not in a terrible place. I'm just not ready to quit my day job like I'd planned to this month.

*and technically I still need to e-mail out a couple receipts so I'm not officially "done".
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Chili is always good. Sometimes it is time well spent to sit down, eat some delicious food, and rethink things.
Oh, and it was fucking amazing. The first bowl was a little spicy, but between eating a bowl and the amount the ingredients had cooked down, I was able to chop up 2 more big home-grown tomatoes and 2 more bell peppers to throw in so this evening's bowl was just about right. Enough spice to catch your attention, but not so much that eating it was a chore. And delicious amounts of grease. The great thing about chili is the grease is somewhat hidden. It's probably as bad as a bacon cheeseburger with fries, but because the grease is liquefied, you can stir it up with the other juices and pretend it isn't there.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Last but not least, this week I realized food--groceries--is a highly personal thing.

Sounds obvious when I type it, but it was kind of like: You got your flour and sugar and apples and potatoes and meat. How individual can that be?

But every time I used to visit my Mom, I was always annoyed by how she could have a full kitchen but nothing I would put in my face-hole.

Well my Foodie friend brought along his AirBnB groceries on the way home but dropped them off with me, since they'd been in the car long enough already--plus they needed to make room for the cat. What does someone do with organic hummus? Vegan basil pesto? Why pay extra for gluten free individually sliced cheddar cheese?

But then I looked at it from the other direction and realized what my friend likely thought of my frozen pizzas and TV dinners, my chunk of ham and boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheez, and my big tin of Kroger coffee.

Food choices are awfully personal. And if you're in someone else's house there's a good chance you'll go "how can they have a kitchen full of stuff and nothing to eat!?"
 

Oerdin

Member
I went shopping this weekend and it seems the morons are hoarding toilet paper and bottled water again. Aisles picked clean with nothing but bare shelves.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
A'ight. This is probably mostly relevant and only partly bloggy. Done with the carpentry on the Narnia Closet. Haven't hung the door yet because it will be easier to stain without hinges etc. Also, I can't find a handle I like locally, so I'll have to order one. So with this, the house is basically "done."

...

HAHAHAHSHSHAAHAHA!!@!!

I can't keep a straight face on that. It will be a lifetime before this house is "done." But I'm at the 85% solution. The "last mile."

On the sexy and non-essential, I want to panel the back wall of my bedroom, because it shares a wall with the 15' long hall closet. If I panel it, I can put in a secret door to the hall closet. Then there's the stairs to the basement/the bathroom wet wall. It has basically a 3' tall, 10' long opening in the drywall where the bathroom plumbing is. You can see all the studs and pipes. So I need to tidy that up. And drywall over the old window on the back wall of my bedroom. It is drywalled over in the bedroom, but when you go into the basement you're staring at a blatantly obvious window that would've been right about where my headboard is. They also drywalled over the window that is behind where I put the sofa. Looks fine in the living room, but on the front porch there is window framing that I need to put a bookcase over to hide.

And then there's the actual basement. During this last phase of work it has filled up with boxes and lumber and sawdust and crap that needs to be organized. Some of the boxes can go out to the garage with other boxes that are waiting for trash can space. There's also an odd fiberglass bathtub that got chopped up with a sawzall that is way overflowing with bamboo and assorted scrap lumber, drywall and blown-out drag racing tires. There's a pile of brush behind the garage that needs to be burned that is getting about the size of the garage--and literal tons more deadwood that needs to be cleared out of the trees.

I need to patch up the fences on the pasture and the roof on the tin shed. I need to clean up the tin shed and tune up the garage doors so I can rent out 3 parking spaces in it. So yeah, there's plenty of work to do. And that's without even starting a garden or getting goats or anything silly like that.

On an unrelated note, my friend's intern put in notice and my friend announced it at the morning virtual meeting. I made a joke about shanghaiing a new intern and he said that was how he got me. Tonight I realized that was true. He got me to come on to do a 1-3 month data mining gig. Within the first week he had me helping out on month-end stuff (just for this month). As the exit ramp markers for 3 months come up, I'm starting my 3rd month-end tomorrow and everyone was surprised when I said I would be leaving soon--and my friend pointed out that, although September was allegedly a "hard stop" on my funding, he's high enough up that he can get it extended.

It's OK. This and Oerdin's arguments on home buying (and the money I'm piling up in my bank account) give me an excuse to keep on this job. And maybe a temptation to leave my part-time factory gig. Because shooting a screw every 17 seconds for 8 hours gets old fast. But it's all safe and easy. And the money is good.

So that's about where I'm at right now. Oh, and I realized they pint of organic milk my friend dropped off on his way back to Wisconsin was a pint of organic half & half. So to get rid of it, I've had to drink far more White Russians than I'd have otherwise. Now I just got to figure out what someone does with basil pesto, organic hummus, and vegan guacamole dip. Do I have to buy tortillas? Can I use up the can of Fritos cheddar jalapeno dip I accidentally bought a couple years ago in the process? (it was on the belt--from the previous shopper?--and got rung up at the supermarket before I noticed it and returning it was more of a hassle than just taking it home.)
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Inflection point/limbo. I took this gig with my friend with the understanding the max length of it would be 3 months. We've hit 3 months and it is sounding like he wants to just hang onto me until he can finish restaffing his team (he's had a few promotions, etc.) Not that I mind it. I don't have a lot to do and so they pay me very well to sit at a computer in my bedroom. But I do have other stuff outside my bedroom that needs doing. Like soon I'm going to have to get one of my places ready and rented out. And I should be looking at places and lining up financing just in case a great deal comes along. The extra money was an excuse to finish up the big things inside the house. When I get done staining this closet front that'll be done.

I mean there's still plenty to do. The basement is now a mess because while I was working on the bedroom I'd just chuck boxes and bags down there, along with the scrap lumber from work. There's sawdust everywhere and my carpentry stuff is laying all over. Or I could go clean up the shed and fix the garage doors so I can rent out parking spaces; fix the leaks in the roof. Since the garage was least ready for use, that's where I piled all the crap from other buildings until I could fit it in the trash so now I'm working my way through that. And of course there's the huge pile of brush that needs to be burned so I can go cut down a bunch more brush. The van and the car both need their interiors cleaned. And then there's getting out and having a social life for a bit before I get another dog and cat. So yeah, there's A LOT of stuff I could be doing. But as I type this, I realize I just kind of want to be a slug for a week; coast and just do what needs to be done. And unless something comes up, this is as good a time as any for that.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Huzzah. I have managed to create a blog at a site called "Troll Kingdom."

One thing relatively relevant to this thread, one nerdy thing about an old friend, and one mawkish thing about my future:

So. The Narnia closet. Started building it. It wasn't going well. And my attempt to stain it (along with having bought enough plywood for a second attempt) caused me to abandon the first effort and try again. I wound up using pine for the mouldings (because that's what they had) and this nudged my cheap ass to buy pine 1x2s instead of oak. It is possible to stain pine so that it doesn't look terrible, but for the time and money it costs, you might as well just buy hardwood and have it look amazing. I dug around a bit more and found some basswood moulding that would work. (I tried using a crown moulding the first time around and it made the build unnecessarily complex.) Some glue overruns that I didn't promptly wipe off further made the stain look absolutely terrible. The second effort is looking very nice. I could still fuck it up, but not too badly, I don't think. Anyway, none of this is what I really wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about illusion.

The whole point of the Narnia closet is, I had a little triangle created by my wall that was free closet space. But it really wasn't big enough to be a decent closet. Since a wardrobe would fit better with the feel of the room (and create a way to get the HVAC vent to heat/cool the room despite being in the closet) but an actual wardrobe would be too deep for the space between the wall and a window on the adjacent wall (read on and this should become more clear) so I built a fake wardrobe facade. And as an added plus, this would allow it to be bigger on the inside.

OK. *Now* I'm going to talk about illusion. So. Wardrobe is basically 80" tall, 37" wide, and 11" deep. It's up on 4" feet (76+4=80). It is in a corner of the room, directly in front of a triangle shaped section of drywall with a hole cut in in on the room side (When you come in the back door, there's a sort of entry space and a window. Big closet on the left, stairs to the basement in front (behind a door), wall that the bathroom is behind also in front. Past the window is my new wall, which runs at a 45 (or is it 135 degree?) angle for about 4'. Then you get another 135 that makes it run parallel to the next bathroom wall for 3' before you get to 6' of oak sliding "barn" doors, 3 more feet, and you're to the doorway to the kitchen. (Goddam, I ramble). The point is, you've got this wood cabinet tucked in a corner that is open in the back and hides a second space inside the wall.

So which way do you hinge the door? If you're going for practicality and ease of use, you put the hinges on the side of the outside wall. The door opens towards the window, making it easier to get access to the closet. But if you're creating the illusion of a magic cabinet, you want the hinge on the room side, so the open door hides the person opening the cabinet from most of the rest of the room. That way, when you step into the cabinet, you're hidden from most of the people in the room, making the illusion of a person climbing into a piece of furniture that is clearly too small for an adult human to fit in far more convincing.

The other thing is the wall gap. I was sure I couldn't have a wall gap between the cabinet and the wall (or if I did, it would involve a lot of fiddly creating a black "collar" to hide the gap. but as I was staining the bugger, I pulled it away from the wall an inch or two. And I realized you absolutely could NOT see the hole in the wall behind the cabinet. So the gap actually HELPS the illusion that a person just disappeared into a magical cabinet.

That said, there are limits to the illusion. If the main purpose was to create an illusion, I'd make a false back door to the cabinet. Or at least a black curtain. But the main purpose is to have a closet. the trick is just gravy. And a curtain would interfere with a hanger rod, so anyone who actually opens the door will quickly expose the trick.

****

I am starting to think I cannot ever have a wife and kids. I mean, I'm already old as crap. Add to that that I just don't know how to interact romantically with female humans. I learned a lot about love and sacrifice by having my dog, but it may not be enough to apply it to interacting with a girl I want to live the rest of my life with. This kind of comes back to the new bedroom too. Because, say I meet a girl. She's going to have stuff. And she's going to want to put at least some of that stuff in my house (or I'm going to want to put some of my stuff in her house). When I added the 3rd bedroom, 1 Plan was to just leave it empty, so if I met a girl, she could have that room herself--as well as shared space in the rest of the house. But then my friend was visiting with his daughter so this gave me an excuse to furnish the new bedroom. I mean, one of them could sleep on the living room futon, but having 2 bedrooms would've been even cooler. In the end, I didn't get my furniture in time, but it was a nice plan. And it gave me an excuse to furnish the new room. So now I've got a new room I love. So if I managed to get a girl I'd have a hard time saying "yeah, no, I'll just throw all this great new stuff in my leaky musty tin shed so you have a place to put your stuff."

Besides, I really have no idea how to interact with a human female I'm sexually attracted to. So maybe cut to the chase, stick with what I know, and get another dog and cat for 10+ more years of happiness.

****

This year my friend, who hired me and visited me on the way down and back from taking his daughter to Space Camp, and whose injured cat I babysat, got a sexy Cadillac crossover. He got a deal on it because it was copper colored and the salesmen couldn't move it. And he loved it. He'd regularly call me to tell me how amazing it was and how great the computer in it was and how much better it made his life. I drive a 12-13 year old car. It has a computer I liked a lot when I got it, but nothing as robust as my friend's. (I did ride around in it when he was on the way back and we did tourist things in Louisville and I'll admit it had some neat features.) And I explicitly got my car because it had a manual transmission and did NOT have traction control or ABS. The fact that new cars cannot be sold without traction control may make this my last car, but that's another story.

Or is it? Every time he'd call me to tell me about his clever Knight Rider car, I kept thinking about the new Vipers, compared to the 40 year old ones in the BSG reboot--how his Caddy was a nuViper while my Mustang was an Old School Viper. Well today, in the month-end accounting close status update meeting, he shared that he was currently a pedestrian.

See, he was stopped at a light. And his nuVip--er, Caddy--computer shuts the engine off if you're at a light. Because the engine was off, the computer decided it was a good time to download the latest software update. ( You can NOT tell the computer "No, do not download an update right now." It happens.) Well the update had a bug. So his engine would run, but it refused to shift out of "Park." It DID let him turn on his hazard blinkers and call the cops. Pretty quickly, he got it towed to the shop, where they tried to apply a patch they...apparently got off the Dark Web or something. Now it runs, but won't go into drive--and it thinks that it is raining and thus turns on the lights and the wipers.

As he was telling htis tale, I again had to sum up the basic plot of the early 2000s BSG miniseries/pilot. "Yep. That sounds about right," chuckled my friend.

girls c my friend's cylon SUV
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Fixed the front porch ceiling fan. Took longer and I made it harder than it needed to be. When you turn it on you can hear the motor working and the blade will usually rotate. Very. Slowly. Worked from the top down.

There was a gap of maybe 1/2" between the collar around the shaft and the ceiling. I thought maybe this meant the shaft was hanging down and not fully engaging the gears. I thought this in spite of the dozen or so ceiling fans I've installed, taken down, or repaired. That collar just hides the wiring and whatever coupling attaches the fan to the mount built into the ceiling. After checking that all the wiring looked more or less sound (as did the mount), I buttoned that back up.

Then I slid the cover on the bottom of the shaft, where it meets the fan assembly up and confirmed that nothing looked out of order there. (Actually I did this several times as I thought of new things to check and realized more how the mechanism worked.

Then I got a pliers to undo the 3 thumb screws that held the cover over the blade/motor assembly. This was also painted together. After some work with a knife and a hammer failed to separate it (and because this was actually a very low priority on my list of things to get done) I put the thumb screws back on and gave the bottom of the housing a couple thumps with the hammer for good measure.

Then I had an idea.

I went and got a paper towel, some Break-Free gun oil, a toothbrush, and some Liquid Wrench penetrating oil and got to work on the spot where the moving part meets the non-moving part. 5 minutes later the bugger was working. Moral of the story is, try cleaning and oiling before attempting any in-depth maintenance.
 

Volpone

Zombie Hunter
Oh, the Narnia closet turned out quite well. I mean the finish is still drying, but it is in place with the door mounted and looks quite nice. I still need to finish the interior and put in a closet bar, but that's not urgent, since I don't have anyone actually using that room. It did make me kind of want to panel the back wall of my bedroom so I could put in the secret door to the big hall closet. It'll be relatively cheap and pretty easy. 2 sheets of nice luan plywood, cut to size and glued/tacked to the wall, and then oak 1x2s glued and fastened to the wall with blind panel nails. Biggest challenge will be cutting the door hole in the drywall and coming up with a paneling pattern that won't use too much expensive hardwood but will hide the door outline.
 
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