Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Inky Black of Night

It works. The built-in IR illumination doesn't go too terribly far but it's good enough to see someone at the door.

I could get some IR illumination panels and install them on the side of the garage to light things up more but, I dunno. Meh. It's not super important.

Big Brother is Watching

Or, at least, big brother would be watching if I had the ethernet cables run, which I have not yet done. But I do have one of the cameras mounted, finally!

I reused a hole that was drilled by the previous owner to mount a security cam, though I think it was only supplying power and connecting via wifi as there doesn't seem to be any extra holes in the garage side of things to route an ethernet cable. I don't trust wifi.

So at some point I'll be making a trip up into the attic to run some cables from here to my network closet. Luckily the angled wall above the drywall joint adjoins the attic space so it should be really easy to put it in.

In the mean time I ran a temporary patch cable just to test things out.

Yup, works nicely. Once the sun goes down I'll grab another snap to demo how the IR mode works and then put the patch cable away so I don't trip over it and kill myself.

Ex Lizard

I may not be a world class herpetologist but I think this lizard has seen better days.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Weird Neighbours

I have weird neighbours.

Kind, but weird. Kinda weird? Anyway, they left a thing on my doorstep. Neat.

That's not where nails go

So I borrowed a ladder from Tyler so I could properly get up on my roof, and would you look at that.

That's not where roofing nails are supposed to go. I popped out a total of 3 errant nails from this section of roof and released the schmoo.

There was a bit of cupping from the layer of shingles below so I also sealed up some seams between the shingles in a few spots where water would be more likely to collect.

With any luck this should keep the garage dry from now on. I hope.

The Succ

So I discovered that sanding generates a lot of shopvac-clogging dust.

Cyclonic separator to the rescue! I was a bit hesitant at first but it's got good reviews so I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

One of these nails is not like the others

So I had a bit of unwelcome moisture in my garage. This isn't the first time it's happened; I noticed some water on the floor last winter, but it was close enough to the wall vent that I just assumed that some rain had blown in or something. This year I noticed it again and, since there was some stuff piled up by the wall vent that would have gotten wet had any water come in that way, and I observed it to be dry, I decided to have a closer look at the roof.

First up, I stapled a piece of cardboard between the rafters roughly above where the drip was, then waited for it to rain again. The cardboard got nicely damp in a spot directly below the leak, and a bit of investigation revealed a likely culprit:

The nails poking through the underside of the sheathing should all be in roughly horizontal lines spaced about 6 inches apart. There should be a pair of closely spaced nails (tacking down the end of each shingle) and a pair of evenly spaced nails between them (tacking down the middle of the shingles). Having a nail an inch and a half below that line is definitely not expected.

Up on top of the roof, I spotted what looks to be the head of that errant nail.

You can see a dent in the edge of one of the shingle layers (they're 2-layer 'architectural' shingles) just below the tab of the shingle above it, just a little above the image center. I couldn't get close enough to really get a good look at it since the leak is about 4 feet from the edge of the roof and my stepladder isn't quite tall enough to get up on there, but it's the most likely candidate.

So now I need to figure out a taller ladder (the eaves are about 9.5 feet above the ground here, and my stepladder is only 8 feet) and crawl over with a tube of sealant to goop this up. And try not to die in the process.

The good news is that this isn't some sort of systemic problem with my roof that will necessitate a costly and annoying replacement (doubly annoying due to having to temporarily remove and then reinstall the solar panels, which will probably require approval from the leasing company that technically owns them, who went out of business and got bought out at bankruptcy by some random loan/lease servicing company).

Monday, December 23, 2019

One Down, Billions To Go

I was almost starting to doubt whether my air pistol had enough chooch to take down a squirrel.

Yup, it has enough chooch. And speaking of putting holes in things, you can see just below and to the left of the squirrel is a squirrel hole dug in my lawn. It's almost like there's some sort of connection to why this squirrel met an unfortunate end.

Also apparently I need to pick some weeds out of my retaining wall. Guess I'll add that to the list.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Point of No Return

I suppose it's a bit too late to reconsider demolishing the hantavirus shed.

Now I just have to get rid of the debris and plan what I want to replace it with. Maybe a garden shed for my lawn and garden stuff, maybe a bike shed for my bicycles and tools, maybe a kinky sex dungeon shed full of bondage furniture... The possibilities are truly endless!

The slab/foundation is crap so it'll have to be broken up and disposed of at some point, but for now it's acting as a bit of a retaining wall for the garden so I'm going to just leave it be.

Friday, December 20, 2019

And So Winter Vacation Begins

Time to not wear pants for 16 consecutive days!

(Just kidding I'll probably have to run errands a bunch for the projects I'm going to be doing)

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Shave and a Haircut

It cost more than two bits but I finally got around to getting my palm tree trimmed up. It was a bit shaggy when I moved in and wasn't getting any less so for me ignoring it, so I called up a tree service a little before lunch, and by a little bit after lunch the guy came out and gave me an estimate. We discussed scheduling a little bit and since the city trash/recycling/composting pickup was Monday we settled on doing the trim that very day.

I wanted to get the trimming done before winter really set in as the seed pods were going to start ripening any day now and the hail of tiny annoying seeds last winter was an awful struggle to have to deal with.

In all I'm really happy with how things turned out. The price was in line with my expectations (and a lot lower than Tyler had me believing it might cost) and the result looks a lot better than the shaggy brown mop that used to be up there.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Into the Second Dimension

When you simply need things to be flatter than flat, only one tool will do the job.

It's high time I got me some power sanding equipment, and there's really no replacement for a belt sander. Finish sanding is easy enough to do by hand, so I still view orbital and detail sanders as the tools of the lazy, but when you need to move a lot of wood quickly, getting some electrons to sweat for you is the way to go.

While I usually err on the side of "buy cheap, then replace with fancy when it breaks", I've already melted a few belt sanders in my day (oh, the painful memories of that peach fence) so I figured I should just cut to the chase on this one.

Of course, buying a $150 belt sander is a lot easier when you get the $50 refurb version...

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Don't Fence Me In

So after a few windy days the fence gate in the side yard was not in the best shape. The hinge side on the fence post was doing fine but the latch side attached to the garage was in the process of not being attached anymore.

Some investigation revealed that the jamb on that side was nailed into the stucco. Now I'm sure you're thinking "don't you mean nailed through the stucco, into the wood framing behind it?" and I surely would have written that if that's what I meant. But no, it was nailed into just the stucco itself. Not remarkably ideal. Also the stop, which was nailed into the jamb, was getting a bit loose.

I pulled the jamb off the wall (not too hard since it was only nailed into the stucco) and brought it into the garage for some disassembly. I pulled the stop off, removed the old nails, and then added some wood glue and screwed the stop back into place.

Next up I drilled and countersunk some holes for some 4 inch long 3/8 inch lag screws, reusing the locations of the old nail holes to save me the trouble of swiss cheesing more holes through my stucco.

Well, sort of. Some of the nails were driven in at a pretty odd angle so to line things up with the stucco holes I had to deviate a bit in the placement. I also discovered that I shouldn't have trusted the nail holes at the bottom, as they were placed too low to hit the wood framing of the garage, and the lag screw just hit the concrete foundation instead. Lovely. Had to move that lag screw up a bit.

(The bottom of the vent on the left is at the bottom plate of the wall framing).

Turned out ok in the end though.

So that was Saturday's fun. I had some grand plans to do some more work here and there on Sunday but the rain in the forecast kept me from starting anything too involved. I drilled a hole in the bottom of a pot (why on earth do they sell them without drainage holes?) with some diamond hole saws I got off Amazon, and raked some leaves in the back yard. Unfortunately, due to all the rain, the leaves and stuff on the patio was a bit sticky so I'll need to wait until it dries out a bit and hit it with the leaf blower again to clean up the remaining gunk.