cliff

(no subject)

The sun visor on the driver's side of [personal profile] threemeninaboat's car kept falling in her lap while she was driving. This is very distracting. I unbolted the bracket to find that it was broken internally. There is a long plastic cylinder into which the steel visor rod fits, and at the top end there are four little sprung teeth that engage a recess on the steel rod. Two of the teeth and half the cylinder were gone, broken off.
I made a spring by winding a piece of spring steel (a street sweeper blade I found in the gutter, as it happens) around a bolt to make an omega-shaped spring that fits around the remaining plastic and fits in the steel visor rod recess, so at least it's not falling in her lap anymore. I'll go over to the junkyard and get an actual replacement bracket at some point.

The window that got blown out in the Big Storm is finally done. I had to completely disassemble and rebuild the frame for it, as all the joints were shot and falling apart. I scraped all the glue out and reglued it, then redoweled the reinforcements, then bolted corner brackets on as well. The glazing strips were all trash so I cut some new ones out of redwood, which should resist rotting away from moisture, and used actual glazing compound to adhere the new glass into the frame. Apparently silicone is not long-term stable, while glazing compound is, so it's the right choice. Now the window can swing open so I can cool the place off in August when it's well above body temperature in there.

I thought I'd repaint the windowframe while I was doing this, and hey while I have the white exterior paint out, maybe I should touch up the rear porch fascia... and next thing I know, I ended up repainting around the garage, much of the carport, and most of the porch.

There weren't any corner brackets in my big bucket of rusty old brackets, so I ended up going to the hardware store for that. The Spitfire needs more exercise. The only available parking place was in front of the store on the right, which is about a 10% grade. This is interesting because the Spitfire's emergency brake doesn't work. It exists. You can pull it. The car slows slightly. The cables that pull on the rear drums, and the brackets they run through, are corroded enough that there is lots of friction. As a result, if the ebrake is adjusted tight enough that it works, it drags heavily when it's off. If it's adjusted so it doesn't drag, it doesn't apply enough force to stop the car, or keep it from drifting. So I put the car in first and got out. This means the only thing keeping it from rolling is the piston compression against the valves, and it's an old engine. Result is that about every five minutes one piston will leak enough to let the engine turn over to the next piston and the car will roll back just a little bit. That gets me motivation to shop fast. Ish two is that the Spitfire shipped new with grossly inadequate seatbelts and by the time I got it they were both inadequate and worn out. (Seatbelts in convertible have a lifetime and it's not long.) I replaced them with much better modern lap-and-shoulder belts, which is really nice, but non-modern-electric-intelligent-car retract seatbelts typically use a combination inertia reel and anti-rollover mechanism to hold the belt tight in the event of a crash. 10% grades are enough to activate the anti-rollover mechanism. (It's kinda cool: just a heavy ball bearing in a cup with a mechanism to detect when the ball bearing rolls up out of the cup past a certain amount.) So I couldn't pull my seatbelt out. Oh well. Roll back into the parking lot and get the seatbelt latched. I need to put airplane belts in that car.

Today was removing, cleaning, and reinstalling the drain in the bathroom sink, because it plugged up like it does every three months. The drainline to the main stack doesn't have enough slope to it. The fix is to tear out the bathroom wall and raise the line, but I tried that when I redid the kitchen. It's 3" copper pipe. Getting a three way joint in 3" pipe hot enough to shift the tubing is almost impossible. Maybe next time I'll insulate behind it with unitherm or something and use the glass torch.

I'm almost finished cleaning up all the mess from the flood when the window blew out in the middle of a blizzard. Almost.

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cliff

(no subject)

We went for a lunch bike ride. I got buzzed by a vulture because I was looking weak.
We stopped at a long stoplight where our road crosses a major four lane highway. Facing us across the road was a brown 90s hooptymobile and the driver was shrieking loudly enough to hear. I picked up the word “pedophile”. Light turned green and we started to cross. She pulled partway out into the intersection, stopped, put her cellphone out the window pointed at us and started screaming “there go the gay Nazi pedophile Zionists! I hope you are having a horrible day you dirty pedophiles!” as the cars vehind her began honking and swerving around her. So on some obscure Facebook conspiracy group there is a video of me smiling and waving as this woman screams abuse at us.
Which, let’s face it, beats being run over.

When I posted the above on Strava ("Grindr for bike racers!") my friend Bill, who I'm gonna name-drop because he either wins or takes second place in the US Nationals for his age group in road racing, crits, and team time trials every year for like the last 10 years, responded "maybe she thought you were a Merckxist!" which will be hilarious to about two people who aren't me.

My friend Tonya would accost people who took pictures of her and demand they destroy the pictures because she had extremely strong ideas about privacy, which I admire. I did not attempt to have anything like this conversation with Crazypants because there are few ideas worse than engaging with someone who is sitting in a two ton block of motorized steel when you're wearing about 28 grams of lycra and a pair of dirty shoes.

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cliff

(no subject)

The window that got blown out of the workshop in the storm, is a wooden frame hinged at the top. The wood is old enough and has taken enough weather-based strife that when it's cleaned up with new glass in it it no longer fits in the window hole. So I need to redo the window panel and make it a little smaller, while still fitting the new sheet of glass.

The workshop's front door has a knob and a deadbolt. There has never been a key for the knob lock, and even if there was, it wouldn't work: someone tried to force it years ago and the key entry is too distorted for use. The problem with this is if someone turns the lock thumbturn, the door locks and I can't open it. (Which is why I added the deadbolt, for which I do have a key.)
This is only partly true. If the knob is locked, until yesterday I could push the door open enough to get the live bolt and latch to separate, because it's a double door and the other door is very poorly held in place.
This morning I added a fairly secure drawbolt and matching aluminum plates on the top and bottom of the secondary door, so now when they're latched, the door is secure against light attempts.
Which means I have to get the knob replaced with one that has a key, preferably a key that matches those in the house.
There are a ton of locksmiths willing to show up at my house and rekey locks, for $40 just to show up, and parts and labor on top of that.
But I did find an old-fashioned locksmith with a storefront who will take an old Schlage live bolt knob (or three: I might as well also get the ones in the garage-to-house door for which we've never had a key either) and redo the tumblers on all of them to match the house key.

This afternoon I spent a bunch of time showing [personal profile] threemeninaboat's protege MiniMe (now rapidly becoming DeciMe as she grows) how to make chainmail. She was pretty good at it, although my giant old armor-quality rings were hard for her to close. I'll find a source for slightly more compliant rings next time around.

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cliff

department of late night plumbing problems

At midnight I turned on the bathroom sink to brush my teeth. This is the same sink that started leaking two weeks ago and I replaced the valves on both sides; ever since, its flow rate has been terrible, which I attributed to new, lower-flow valves. Well, it was particularly terrible. I think I've seen large dogs slobber at a higher flow rate than it was flowing. I'd turned on only the hot tap, and thought maybe if I turned on the cold tap it'd flow a bit more.
It didn't increase the flow volume at all.
A light bulb went on over my head: if 1+1 !> 1, it's not the valves that are the problem.
I pulled out my trusty leatherman do-everything multitool that [personal profile] threemeninaboat gave me years ago, deployed the pliers configuration, and wrenched the aerator loose, unscrewed it, and took it all apart. It was completely jammed with slightly tacky black material, so I spent a while with a dental pick, poking it out of the screen and the diffuser. I'm pretty sure that's the remains of the insides of the o-rings that sealed the old valves.
Now the sink runs at a higher flow volume than the drain can handle, which is progress of some sort.

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cliff

(no subject)

When I get home and sit on the couch, if I'm not petting Monty enough she jumps around until she has her front paws on the couch arm and her rear ones on the couch on the other side of me, so she can smash her barn door body sideways into my face while hitting me with her tail.
This is a great location for seeing that she has another big lump forming under one of her nipples, so it might be back to the vet for breast cancer round two.

I have this charming coworker, my closest friend at work, and happily we often get handed two halves of the same project so we work together a lot. He wants a particular area investigated, so I go design a bunch of tests and run them, and write up the results, and send them to him.
When I do this, I send him an excel spreadsheet, that is titled with what we've decided to call the test, and the tabs of the spreadsheet are labeled with what part of the test they contain, including one labelled "results and plots" that has only relevant information on it, graphically presented. In the email I mention the name of the test, what I tested, and where in the spreadsheet it's located.
I send him one of these pretty much every other day for a month and a half.
About once a week he's all "oh hey do you have any data on that one test we did last week?"
So I send him the same spreadsheet, with a paragraph in the email specifically pointing out where it is.
About twenty minutes later he'll stop by my office with his laptop and say "can we go over this, and you can show me where the data is and how to interpret it?"
So I think I am doing something drastically wrong in how I present data, but I'm not yet sure what it is. When I ask him he always says "oh, what you send is great: all the stuff I need is in there." But I'm pretty sure that's not right.

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cliff

(no subject)

I found a glass place open on sunday. This alone is tricky, because when you search for 'glass shop' you get about 60% automotive glass/windshields, 30% hookahs and glass pipes, and the remainder are actual places that sell house windows. Anyway. This place was open on Sunday and had a bunch of positive reviews on Google. So I drove halfway out to the middle of nowhere to get some glass for my broken window... and the street address is a laundry. That's been there for years, obviously. So I called the phone number in the ad, and it rang, and rang, and rang, with no answer.
I've been hornswoggled, and the nice warm sunny day when I have time to repair windows is going to pass with no window repair.
Arrrrgh.

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cliff

(no subject)

We had this blizzard on Wednesday, and I stayed home from work because it really was lousy weather. Somewhere in the middle, the wind was strong enough that it broke out a window in my workshop. (It was gusting to over 100mph, and because of snow and ice accumulation there were a lot of tree branches coming loose.) I managed to patch the window in the snowstorm, and today I went out trying to find new glass for it. The window is 40 inches wide, a single pane of glass, and all the glazier's putty and points were missing on one end (which is probably why it broke.) As I found today, it is surprisingly hard to find a place that is both open on the weekend and carries glass that wide. Everyone has 36" or meter wide. I found a place out in Commerce City that is open tomorrow, but my attempts today were futile, so the shop gets plywood fake window for another day.

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cliff

(no subject)

It's 65F and I'm wearing a t-shirt.
School is cancelled, the airport is shut down, and federal and state government is closed, in anticipation of tomorrow's blizzard.
I'm working from home tomorrow, I guess.

Lunchtime ride: we ride through a tunnel under the four-lane road that goes to Boulder, and on the far side we take a hard left and our path merges onto the median of the four-lane road. As we're heading into the tunnel we see a guy on a breathtakingly expensive time trial bike just riding out of the tunnel so we crank up our speed to catch him, and start following him.
It was like a keirin, the Japanese race where people draft a motorcycle that is slowly increasing in speed until there is only one person left behind it, who wins. He kept going faster and faster, and I kept struggling harder and harder, as did my coworker.
We were approaching the speed the cars were going, and I knew I was about done, but! wait! what to my wandering eye should appear? but a red light right in front of us! Saved!
And even better: there's a dubious fly-under, a bike path that goes beneath a bridge and evades the traffic control signal.
So I tipped my right hand to the right just enough for my coworker, behind me, to see, and we skived off to the right, blowing through the bushes that mask the entrance onto the fly-under, which is why nobody else uses it, and because nobody else uses it the nadir is always full of branches and debris from where Lefthand Creek has overflowed onto it so that means a whole bunch of jumping over junk, but we managed that and sprinted up the climb out of the river drainage and swooped back onto the road, covered in glory and victory!

The other rider had made a right turn at the stoplight, and was nowhere to be seen.

Sic transit gloria mundi, man.

I just noticed there's a 'reason for age restriction' field in the posting details below the entry form. I'm filling it in "eels, lots and lots of eels". Let's see what happens.

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