February 06, 2016
Explorer Ready to Explore Again
I got the call on Thursday that the insurance adjuster had been in to the shop and authorized several things:
- Break down the tire that got hit, take out the plastic parts that were wedged between tire and rim, remount, and balance
- 4 wheel alignment. No other problems were noted, but the 4 wheel alignment would help determine if other things were out of wack
- Order a new front bumper as there was damage (holy cow, I didn't notice damage and neither did anyone else that looked at it.
So, they did the tire stuff and alignment and ordered the bumper. That will take some time to get in, so when I dropped off the Focus for inspection (it passed!), I picked up the truck. I took a look at the bumper and there are just a couple of minor scratches. Nothing I ever would have noticed or expected to have fixed - especially since it is rubber/plastic/composite, so its not like it will rust. However, this vehicle was in truly excellent condition cosmetically when I bought it (except a known defect on the back door), and the bank expects it to be restored to that condition, so that is what they are doing.
Both vehicles are home and when I get the call that the bumper is in, I'll drop the truck off for a day. Meanwhile, I figure I have warded off any more snow until then; the local TV station says the computer is showing 2 models for Mon/Tues - one that the system completely misses us, the other that we get a good storm - I know which we would have gotten if I only had the Focus :)
February 05, 2016
Now Winter Visits
Put the truck in the shop Tuesday evening - only a bit of rain in the forecast. Thursday at lunch, the forecast was a light dusting over a couple hour span around noon Friday. Thursday evening the forecast was 1-3" starting shortly before the morning commute and ending right about lunch time.
By noon, I knew I wouldn't make it home - 8" and still another 3-5" forecast. There is no way I can drive the Focus in this so have to get a hotel room. More snow to come on Sunday and on Monday.
Already cancelled the Sat 7 am appointment to get the Focus inspected. Which means I won't even have a legal vehicle to drive next week.
My life just keeps finding different ways to eff with me.
UPDATE: Well, where hotel rooms are available (not close to here), they are $360 for the night. The elections are next week. decided to try the drive home and made it alive. Actually had less snow at my place, although the roads were a bit worse. Called and re-established my appointment in the morning, so should be legal for driving next week.
January 30, 2016
Another Oldy is New
I've been looking for a vehicle that gets better mpg for everyday driving for the last month or so. Plus, I need an extra vehicle in case one goes down - I can still get to work. Case in point, while Explorer is in shop to check for damage from the accident.
Newly installed in the garage is a 2007 Ford Focus ZX4 with almost 200k miles. I paid a little less than what I got for the Patriot that had a dead transmission - I figure I'm ahead. It's in pretty good shape; just has high mileage. I'll see if it passes inspection next weekend, but I don't see any reason it shouldn't pass. It is a 5-speed so I'm looking forward to driving a standard again.
During the test drive I forgot to down shift as I was coming to a stop light until the owner reminded me - funny how short a time one forgets even though I still have the urge to shift the Explorer on a regular basis (haven't ever reached for the clutch, just reach for a shifter that isn't there).
I'm still keeping the Explorer for driving in winter weather, hauling pellets and other heavy loads, and it can pull a trailer if I ever get one. Plus, it doesn't fit in the garage anyway, so no extra space is needed for the car.
Still need to get tags for the car, so it will be safely ensconced in the garage for a couple more days before I can start enjoying the 28-35 mpg (better even than the Patriot was at 26-28).
Bogie Luck Strikes - Literally
I have had the Explorer a grand total of less than 3 months. And someone went and ran into me Thursday night. First accident I've been in since sometime in the early '90's (someone ran into me there too).
II had gotten home after a 12 hour day and decided a dump run was in order. I was in the center of town behind several cars stopped at the light (3-4 blocks from home). The other driver turned from the cross street into the oncoming lane, ran over the curb on her side, turned and drove directly into my SUV. It looks as if she hit the center of my front, driver’s side wheel with the front, driver’s bumper of her car.She wedged the corner of her car between my wheel and wheel well so had to jockey several times to get unstuck.
There doesn’t seem to be any cosmetic damage. However, I am concerned about any damage she might have done that can’t be seen. When I bought the SUV in November, a new steering rack was installed and I have no idea if that, or other parts, could have been damaged by the impact. At the very least I will need an alignment, which is 4-wheel alignment since it is a 4WD. If it had been the Patriot, there would have been a lot of damage and I might not have been able to drive to work the next day.
Thankfully, no one appears to have been hurt.
After dealing with the police, I completed my mission then on my way back I noticed she was still there waiting for the tow truck, with no one else waiting for her. So I offered her a ride home since she lives about 1/4 mile further down my street.
Emailed my insurance agent when I got home, then called Friday morning. Still waiting for the adjuster to contact me. Bad timing since I am supposed to put long hours in again next week, so getting it somewhere to have the underneath gone over will be difficult and I will have to take off at least half a day to do so.
January 23, 2016
2016 Heritage Storage Party
Yes, I'm still alive, just haven't done anything either inside or outside the house, so haven't had anything to post about.
Today the place that I store my motorcycle, Heritage Harley Davidson, had their winter storage party. This is an invitation only event, for those who store their bike. Sure, the public can still come to the store, and they get an extra treat in being able to go into the wrenching area, but they don't get drink or food chits, nor do they get tickets for door prizes.
So I got to visit my bike (middle one in picture) and talk to a couple of LOH and HOG members that I usually only see during meetings.
Didn't win anything this year, but I have won some pretty good prizes in the past, so still had fun watching those who did win. they also have a chili cook off competition for the guys in the service department. The attendees are the judges and the winner of the most votes gets a vacation day.
Was happy that we aren't getting out of the Nor'Easter as it would have hit about when the party got out. Did some shopping while I was in Concord, and now back home with a cat on my lap as I type.
Don't see anything happening for the next several weeks, so may be a while before I post again. Don't worry, I'm not just neglecting my blog - I'm also not posting on FB except to Like people's postings. Just be happy that I'm not posting what is "happening" in my life so you don't have to try to cheer-lead something like, "I got up, I went to work, I got home, I watched TV, went to bed, I got up, I went to work" etc. etc.
December 25, 2015
Getting Some Sort of Order
I've wanted to take the built-in shelves behind the basement door, that holds all the painting stuff. There are several reasons, but first thing is that that is the only remaining portion of the foundation wall (inside) that is not insulated in some manner.
In order to take out the shelves, I needed something to do with everything on the shelves, so Thursday I went to HD and got some wire shelves. These are heavy duty and can hold massive weight, which I need because of all the paint that it would hold. Additionally I got some more rigid foam to glue to the foundation.
They went together easily, although, naturally, I did it the hard way as I decided after the fact to put the sides and back in such a configuration that stuff couldn't just slide off. But the fronts I wanted to easily slide stuff on and off. Plus, the spacing the first time was off, so I had to adjust the height of the top 3 shelves. Ah well, I finally got them right.
Next, I emptied the old shelves onto the new shelves. Bonus, the new shelves being larger than the old shelves (48w x 24D versus 40w x 18D), I fit a bunch of other stuff on there too.
Then to demolishing the old shelves
And of course, that is where wasI stymied this afternoon. There is a hairline crack along some of the block. Nothing that is structurally damaging, but it does let in extra cold air and could potentially let in moisture (although it is high up so that is doubtful). Plus, if I leave it and it widens, then it could become a structural issue. And, being as how all the stores have the nerve to be closed today, I couldn't get the materials needed to make the repair.
So, on my dump run tomorrow, I will get repair materials. I assume they will need at least 24 hours to dry (maybe even 48. Then I want to paint with Masonry water blocking paint, and that will be another 48 hours (2 coats, 24 hrs apart). So I guess I won't get the foam insultaion up until next Friday or Saturday.
At some point, probably next spring, I will need to tear out that portion of old sheetrock by the door and replace it. Then I can attempt to put some sort of plan in action for getting the layout of the basement to make more sense.
It goes forward, slowly, but forward.
December 19, 2015
Another CL Find
Before tearing into the workshop cabinets, I needed to find something to store power tools in, that that would alsw provide access to said tools - else I could have just used a bunch of boxes. Finally found a great deal on CL to this beauty.
It holds all the power tools I use on a regular basis; drill, sawzall, circular saw, plus all their accessories. Paid a little less than 1/2 price of new and it is so nearly new, that it makes no difference. Have my eye on another cabinet on CL, but my offer hasn't been accepted yet (I'll admit, I lowballed it, but offered only a little less than what was being asked). If the offer isn't accepted, then there will be more on the site after Christmas I'll wager. And, I'm not desperate for storage yet, so can wait it out.
Although this doesn't give the full picture of how it was originally, here is the view as it was from the washer
Yep, used to be a wall there with the old built in workbench, base cabinet and storage cabinet. Thursday and Friday nights, after work, I buckled down and tore it all out. Took some time as I had to fit everything in the SUV to take to the dump, so I was not just hacking and slashing. Plus I recycle as much of the metal nails/scres etc as I can get out. Saves the town money by throwing it in the metal dumpster instead of the demo dumpster - and saves me money since I am charged by weight to throw stuff in the demo dumpster. Oh yeah, and any "clean" wood, I can throw in the brush pile for free too.
From the garage door - I couldn't see the stairs from the door before.
It really hit me when I walked down the stairs this morning and could see the door to the garage! If you look at the concrete, you can see the discolored areas where everything used to be. The wall ran to a doorway beside the stairs and workbench/cabinetry were on the outside of the wall.
That shelf unit was inside the storage cabinet and it was a challenge to get it out in one piece. It obviously used to set on the floor as there is a lot of water damage from the lowest shelf down (and residual damage between the two lower shelves). When I started the demo, I had no idea that shelving unit was in there.
The unit rested on 12" wide boards, so it was, in total, 81" tall with two sets of doors, another small unit built on the left side of it (can be seen in 1st pic) and then a base cabinet built into it behind (seen in 1st pic), with counter attached and projecting several feet to the wall beside the door- arrgghh, I wish I had better pictures of before. The top of the cabinet was attached to the beam that can be seen in the picture, but next to the door from the stairs.
Anyway, I'm hoping to recondition the shelves as the wood is amazing, being of 12"-16" wide planks. The back is two rough cut planks; 16" and 14.5". The sides and shelves are 12" sanded planks. It is a real shame about the rot and damage to the bottom, but if I cut off between the two bottom shelves, perhaps I can sand the rest down and give it new life. It is still very sturdy and well made, so I have to try anyway.
December 13, 2015
I haven't been real motivated the last couple of weeks, so have chosen to loll around the house and read or sleep. Last Sunday afternoon I finally started mudding/taping the basement wall. Thru the week I continued with sanding, mudding, sanding some more and the 3rd coat of mud went up of Friday night.
Yesterday I did the final dry sanding, followed by a wet sand then last night I got the first coat of paint on. The first coats of paint are a water inhibitor since the basement is damp during the summer. It still has another coat to go yet.
I never thought I would ever say this about any room in this house, especially part of the basement after dark, but it is too bright. Before anyone says it doesn't look bright, these pictures were taken at 8 PM, with only the lights from that room, and no flash while the mudding picture was taken with a flash.
Two factors come into play to creat the super brightness; the 4 LED recessed lights that I had installed in October and the "bright white" paint. I have used this paint on the bathroom walls that are up, but the lighting is poor, so it does a great job of spreading the available light. The part of the wall toward the door is in a darker portion of the basement (not pictured), and it is just fine. But I am hoping at some point to add more lighting on that side
So now I'm unsure if I should have the next can of paint tinted to a less bright white (this paint cannot be tinted very much), whether I should add additional layers of paint with a conventional tinted latex paint, or whether to stay with the bright white hoping the work bench, shelves and tool cabinets (that will eventually go in there, and most likely will be black or dark gray) help tone things down.But, at the same time, I still have 1.5 walls left to put up (after I tear down and rebuild one of the walls), so there will be additional brightness from those. And if I decide to enclose the ceiling too (unlikely, but possible), it could be overwhelming.
To add to my indecision, I've been thinking of adding a wainscoting-type covering in the lower half of the walls to reduce the chance of damage from banging things against the wall - which will invariably happen since it is a work shop.
I guess I have plenty of time to change things, so will probably leave the paint as is (after second coat). Then later, when it is more complete, make a decision on whether it needs to be toned down or not.
November 27, 2015
RIP The Patriot
Sold the Patriot today. Can't justify the money it would have taken to put a tranny in it.Probably the last new vehicle I wil ever buy. I've bought 3 brand new, and the Patriot lasted for less than 6 years, the Nissan less than 5. For the cost of new vehicles, I can buy used every couple of years and come out ahead. Besides the fact that anything 4WD is stupid expensive (even AWD is prohibitive).