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 :)
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).
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.
October 03, 2015
Last Sunday was the perfect day for getting pellets into the house. My plan was to move 2 tons, then move the other 2 tons thru the week. I had to clean out the corner in the basement that I store pellets since I've been using it for storage while ripping apart other areas of the house. That would only give me room for a little over a ton (I already had a little over a ton there as leftover from last year) but with the cabinets for the bathroom in the house, I could start loading up the back wall of the garage with pellets.
Me and my trusty 4-wheeler (okay, it isn't motorized but it does have 4 wheels) started the project at 12:55 pm (first pic is at the very start of the project) got thru the first ton in about 45 minutes. Load 5 bags in the cart, move the cart to the door between the basement and garage, carry each bag about 40 feet (of course the storage is at the furthest corner from the garage) and place in a stack.
Then the second ton - the first 3 rows went into the basement and the rest went into the garage which much easier as I didn't have to carry them, just stack.
I decided I had enough daylight and energy to get the other two tons in so I now have a bit over 5 tons readily available for use.
I was done with pellet moving at 4:40 pm - not bad if I do say so myself.
September 20, 2015
Proof You can get Rid of Anything on CL
With all the digging I've been doing getting in gardens, I acquired a very large dirt pile that I didn't know what to do with. So, I put it on Craig's List. This is how the pile looked on 8/22 and I added more when I put in the extension to the trailer-side garden:
This is how it looked Thursday night after 3 nice young men took a large truck bed full
This is after another truckfull left on Friday (same kid came over with his dad instead of his two buddies this time).
There is still a little more left, but it is manageable. I just have to get it all back into a pile, then I can plant some very root bound holly - they should be very happy!
All Set for Heating Season
The rest of my heat for this winter arrived Friday afternoon.
September 13, 2015
Getting Ready for the Next Season
Since I was paying HD to deliver cabinets and such, I figured I would have them add in a couple tons of pellets so I don't have to pick them up 10-15 bags at a time (a ton is 50 bags). I don't have room for more than 3 tons in the basement and I have 1.5 tons left from last winter. Add to that I am preparing to sheetrock some walls, and everything not of immediate use is stuffed into the corner that the pellets are usually stashed.
So, two tons are sitting outside at the moment, until the garage is cleared of other stuff.
And, then Lowes got in some good pellets (compared to what I usually burn), and had $19 delivery (up to 6 tons) for up to 75 miles - so I have a couple more tons of pellets coming the end of the week. As long as I get it all moved before the sn*w is here to stay, I will be good.
And, here are some shots as to why the basement is not ready to receive any more pellets:
Yep, I tore out the wall that my workbench used to be on. The wood is holding up the insulation as I painted the sills today with waterproofer. I will eventually take out the whole thing. I have ideas on how I want to reconfigure it, but my real goal is for it to be ready for running electrical and then installing sheetrock along the wall that abuts the garage, and the foundation wall (which I had insulated last winter).
Finally - Glorious Rain
My little section of the world has been very far behind on rainfall. In a 3 week timespan, we got maybe 1/2" of rain. Funny as it sounds, I regularly drove/rode thru rain, and one night there were flash flood warnings for every town surrounding mine - but not mine (because the storms were going to either side). Other towns were dealing with cleaning up overrun culverts and drainage ditches alongside the roads, and I was watering my vegies and new plantings 4-5 times per week. I even had to water new plantings in the no-mow zone; which is a place that has always been damp. I water by hand as I find it very wasteful to water areas outside my gardens. And, I am not encouraging the grass/weeds to grow by giving them moisture. Fortunately watering is soothing, calming and lets me take the time to inspect for weeds infiltrating the mulch.
Well, Thursday into Friday we got a long drawn out rain. Probably only got 1-1.5 inches, but it was nice and slow so soaked in. Today it has been drizzly most of the day, and rain is expected tonight (assuming it doesn't go around us).
An extra 30-40 minutes per day gained in not watering is great!
August 23, 2015
Strange Cat Sighting
There are several cats in the neighborhood that I regularly see, but this one decided that my propane tank was a good place to rest for a while. Don't know why he was up there, but it didn't disturb him that I was taking pictures or using the flash.
August 14, 2015
New Culvert, Now a New Road
Monday I rode the bike into work. When I was coming home, I turned onto a dramatically different road than I left that morning.
The dirt was very soft and made the bike squirrely. I was glad I didn't have to go far (you can see my tire tracks in the first picture to the right of the driveway). Since then it has rained hard, so it has compacted a bunch - a good thing since I have to ride the bike to have some service done tomorrow.
Oh, and now that they have removed all the shade creating plants by the culvert, Japanese Knotweed is growing like, well, weeds - better in fact. I have to inform the town that it is there and maybe they will try to take care of it before it comes into my yard (if you will remember, that is what I spent so much time eradicating/controlling over by the garage). I read that Deering just did a spray program to try to control/eradicate this nasty invasive, maybe Hillsboro will do the same.