Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Helmet Day!

Gotta protect my noggin.

Old one had a bit of a tear in the gasket around the visor, and it was just getting on in years. It was time for a refresh. I also managed to actually get a white one this time, unlike last time when I misinterpreted what the colour name actually meant and ended up with a silver one.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Leaks begone!

Finally got back around to Orthrus and its leaky float needle. Went in with the bamboo skewer and some lapping compound to clean up the seat this time and after a little bit of fiddling and fussing it seems to finally be holding! Huzzah!

Still dealing with a little bit of a stumble off idle and of course the clutch actuator seal leaking but those are minor issues that I'll just have the shop look at during my next oil change.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


Hummingbirbs, like most birbs, aren't particularly smart. Relevant to this post, they don't know how windows work.

Luckily hummingbirds are also assholes, so I don't need to feel particularly bad about this one smashing head-first into my living room window. Also it flew off shortly after I took this picture, so I guess all's well that ends well.

A Sandwich

Rolled out yesterday on Gregg the CB650F to go get a sandwich in Paso Robles. 3 hours to head down via 25 and about 4 to come back via 1.

Well worth going out of my way for.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Yard work never ends

Pruned back a bit of the neighbour's tree today that was starting to loom over my yard. Around here you're allowed to prune any foliage that overhangs your property, and I think maybe even responsible for it? Either way you can do pretty much whatever you like to the tree so long as you don't kill it or make it topple over. I just pruned it back a little bit so it wasn't encroaching as much.

I also did some deadheading on the rose and a bit of weeding here and there. I need to at some point dig up the mulch in the boulevard and replace it, as it's pretty much completely contaminated with weeds. But that will require locating a source for some replacement mulch, which I've been too lazy to do.

In other news: blooms!

Ups and Downs

Took a little ride on BlackBirb yesterday, half way up Kennedy and back down again. Didn't want to overdo it, just get in a good workout now that I don't have to worry about injuring myself right before a trip. Didn't injure myself all the same, which is good, because I like not injuring myself.

Another Reno trip come and gone

I was looking forward to riding Rabbit Season through the mountains this year, but the weather had other plans. On the way out it was snowing at altitude, so it was a good thing I opted for the PedoVan at the last minute.

Reno itself was a bit cloudy and rainy, though somehow it still managed to be shockingly dry. It's really weird when you're taking a shower and having difficulty lathering the soap because the parts of you that aren't directly in the path of the shower head just don't stay wet.

There was actually quite a bit of snow in the hills, but my hotel room faced the wrong direction to see most of it. All the same, I know what snow looks like and really don't care to stare at it all day long.

I had a great time hanging out with friends, and the weather was a bit nicer on the drive back home. Sunny and mostly clear, but still kinda cold.

Maybe next year I'll be back on the bike again, assuming global warming doesn't throw me another curve ball.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Chain me down

Since the weather is going to be shit heading through the Sierras this year, I finally got off my duff and bought a set of chains so that the CHP doesn't yell at me for being unprepared.

Not too hard to install, but definitely something that was worth practicing in my nice warm, dry driveway first rather than laying in a pile of slush at the side of the road. Hopefully I won't ever need to put them to use, but now I've got them if I need them.

Why use your whole ass?

When only half will do.

This is, surprisingly, one of the better boxes. A different one in this room is literally shattered into pieces inside the wall.

If it weren't for the damn texture I could really easily cut a hole in the drywall, fix the box, patch it up and be done, but instead I need to fret about being able to reasonably match the stupid knockdown crap they sprayed over top. And of course it's on every single wall and ceiling in the whole house. Ugh.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Let the sparks fly!

Due to "reasons" I had a few more LED shop lights kicking around than I originally planned on installing. I was thinking of keeping them around until I rebuild the hantavirus shed, but that project is a ways off yet so I figured I'd put them to use now and buy more lights later when I need them.

The back half of the car hole was pretty well taken care of with the existing lights, but the front half was pretty moody in comparison. Not anymore!

Dankness begone!

I used a mysterious 2x4 that was left in the rafters to bridge the gap to hang the leftmost light. For the sake of practicing with it, I used the Kreg pocket hole jig I bought a while back to make screw holes to join the 2x4 to the existing framing. It worked quite well and I learned some things about using it.

I installed another outlet at the far end here, just on the other side of where the new 2x4 joins, wired to the duplex pair of outlets I installed earlier towards the middle of that beam to replace the single lightbulb fixture stuffed with a 3-way 2-prong adapter, itself stuffed with 3-prong adapters.

The wiring was pretty straightforward all the way up to the moment I switched the power back on and heard a lovely pop. Turns out that somehow I'd managed to get the hot wire on the new outlet pinched between the outlet screw and the romex clamp. Oops. Couldn't do that again if I tried. Bit of electrical tape to fix the pinch and got the wires packed a bit better and everything worked second try. Huzzah!

There's one more outlet box I need to wire in to light up the mirrored twin of this one on the other side of the garage, but that'll wait until tomorrow at the earliest.

I also took the opportunity to swap out some of the cream colored outlets elsewhere in the house with white ones to match both the walls and the faceplates that were installed. I really don't know why people mismatch these things, it's not hard to get the right colors! I figure nobody will notice the cream ones up in the rafters here.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Out with the old, in with the new

It's sparky time!

My trusty and somewhat aged Samsung 245T monitors have been getting a little cranky in the morning, so I grabbed a capacitor kit off of Amazon to breathe a little new life into them.

Before and after, sorry the board isn't in the same orientation.

The process is pretty easy, just mark all the old capacitors with a sharpie, unsolder them one at a time and replace them with the matching spec from the replacement kit. A little bit of silastic to keep things from vibrating and it's good as new.

I'm gonna let the silastic cure overnight and then swap this one out for the one currently serving as a second monitor on my mac rather than having them both out of service at the same time. I also need to recap the power board in my Yiynova tablet monitor but I doubt I'll find a premade kit for it, so it'll be off to Digikey for that one.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Shove your caulk in there

But only once it's good and ready, gotta take your time and do it right.

Got the grout and caulk in along the window, and also added some caulk to the shower seat mount (but only along the top half, the bottom half needs to be open to allow the drainage of any water that does get in there).

I could probably get away with taking a shower in there tonight but just to be safe I'll wait until tomorrow evening to enjoy the fruit of my labours.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

I Am Grout

My fancy shower with the rain/waterfall head and all the body jets was showing some signs of leaking on the baseboards just outside of it, a sure sign that water was getting in behind the tile on the walls, getting trapped at the bottom, and finding its way out over the edge of the pan.

The problem was twofold. First of all, some of the tiles were coming loose, and a bunch of the grout was failing.

Second problem, the previous owners, clearly having noticed this leaking, tried to apply a bunch of "caulk of desperation" in order to stop it, but applied it in all the wrong places.

And then added scotch tape over top for bonus marks.

You see, if you have water spilling out the front corners of the shower pan (or tub), the problem is almost never actually at the bottom of the wall inside the shower. Rather, the water is probably going to be entering much higher up the wall and dripping down the backside of the tile, or down cracks in the grout. Adding caulking along the bottom merely forms a dam that keeps that water from seeping out into the shower pan and finding its way down the drain, and instead forces it along the bottom of the tile, in behind the shower doors, and into the adjoining walls and baseboard. No bueno.

The fix, first and foremost, is to deal with the tiles that aren't sticking down properly. Exhibit 1: how not to apply thin set.

Yeah, that's not holding anything to anything. That tile should have been back-buttered, and the ledge it was atop should have had a nice thick bed of mortar evened out with a notched trowel. Ideally the ledge wouldn't be constructed out of basic bitch water resistant drywall but at least it's not the regular stuff that falls apart the instant water touches it.

Next up: fix the grout. I need to wait until the mortar sets on the two tiles I buttered up before I can grout them, but the fresh grout in the joints below it is quite an improvement over the sad, cracked grout I scraped out.

The adhesive I used takes about 48hrs to fully cure so I'll be able to grout on Monday evening and then get back to showering in luxury on Tuesday evening.