Monday, February 13, 2012

More Lessons Learned -February 7-16

February 7, 2012  This week I learned how to make an end dam.  You can buy drip flashing to go above exterior windows and doors… it comes 10 feet long and you cut it for the width of each window.   But the new building code now requires that at each end the flashing be folded to create an end dam.  Without an end dam the wind can blow the water sideways and it might get in behind the siding.

To make an end dam is kind of like origami, except it is a little trickier to fold sheet metal than paper.  I watched this video many times to learn how to make the template, trace the pattern on the flashing, then cut it out and fold it properly.  It really is cool to get it right and create an end dam that does not need caulking to prevent leakage.  

This is a lesson learned for a change that wasn’t learned the hard way.

February 8, 2012  This Quote of the Day is a wake up call to anyone who doesn’t have their head in the clouds. 

“Total credit market debt in the world has gone from $80 trillion to $200 trillion in the last ten years, an 11% annual rate, while GDP has grown by 4%.”

“This cannot continue.  It’s a simple matter of arithmetic,” said Kyle Bass, of hedge fund Hayman Partners.

February 9, 2012  Q.  What is the fastest way off an Italian cruise ship?  A.  Follow the captain. 

February 10, 2012  I have been waiting for a chance to try out my new Wagner paint sprayer and decided the conditions were perfect today to see how it worked for pre-painting some shingles for siding our new addition.  It takes paint directly from a one-gallon pail and sprays it on what you want to paint. 

And if you don’t follow the directions it can spray paint where you don’t want it… another lesson I learned the hard way.

When I hooked up all the parts and assembled the unit for the first time the directions said to use a wrench to tighten the hose connections to the spray gun and to the compressor unit.  I did it as tight as I could by hand.  I am pretty strong… right?  Wrong!  Hand tight is not the same as wrench tight.  

After priming the unit and getting the hose filled with paint, I switched the unit onto spray.  Instantly there was paint spraying everywhere.  Quickly I put my hand over the fitting to the nozzle to cut down the spray from that source while I came to the realization I had to turn off the power switch.  I couldn’t get it turned off fast enough before we were both pretty well sprayed with paint.  

We were both a mess!  I wish now I had a picture of us... we were quite a sight!  The only picture I ended up with was of the painting site after all was done and washed up.

We were set up in the parking area by the cottage… so we had to come back to the house to get cleaned up, change our clothes and wash off our good running shoes.  Shirley put our clothes into the washing machine right away.

Then we went back to our painting project with wrench in hand.  I tightened the two fittings and now the paint came out in only one place… the spray nozzle.  It didn’t take long to spray the shingles... 

And then we carried the shingles into the cottage to dry.

February 11, 2012  “Behind every great man is a great woman telling him he is not as great as he thinks he is.”  Isn’t that wonderful?  I am just so delighted to have a “Great Woman to keep me in line!”

This reminds me of one of my most favorite quotes by Erma Bombeck.  “You would worry a lot less what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” 

February 12, 2012  Today Shirley and I completed the revamping of our address books for our Mac computers.  There was no simple way to import them from Microsoft Outlook… plus we needed to do a major edit of both of our old lists.  Then Shirley and I merged our Contact lists together.  We each printed hard copies of our old Contacts, went thru them together and crossed out all names that we have lost touch with.  Tried to update the changes to addresses where we had new information and deleted those names of those who passed away… or we lost touch with.  Life goes on. 

The most beautiful thing was that we both focused on getting the job done TODAY.  With one eye on Phil Mickelson playing the most amazing round of golf at Pebble Beach on TV, we forged ahead, dividing the lists up and each taking a part to do the data entry.  Before the golf tournament was won, we also won.  I phoned Rob Sauter, our local Apple tech support guy and in just a few minutes he taught us how to merge all of our address book entries on multiple computers.  It was so awesome!  And it happened so fast and easy.  We just emailed our updated lists to each other, did a “merge” and in just a few minutes we had four Apple computers and our iPhone all updated with the same list of Contacts.  Once again we proved you can teach an old dog new tricks.

February 13, 2012  This Quote of the Day was a new thought to me. 

'There is one peculiarity about mass psychology in that when you are in a bubble, you can't see it. Bubbles are invisible when you are inside the bubble,' said the charming Jim Dines, of The Dines Letter.

Something to think about, eh?

Photo and quote credit to the John Thomas newsletter, the Mad Hedge Fund Trader.

Accomplishments this past week include completing the last item on the structural  engineer's deficiency list... I had to double up the top cords on a couple of trusses that were cut off when making way for the new addition to over lap the existing garage. This is a major milestone... marking the end of any further engineers inspections and he can now sign off to the CRD Building Inspector.

After several weeks of anxiety over the best way to install and wrap the windows with 1x4 cedar trim boards, the inspectors asked me to do one window so they could see how I wanted to do them before getting them all installed wrong.  This week James Robertson, CRD Building Inspector gave me two thumbs up in less than a minute.  He liked it... so I am free to go on putting in the rest of the windows.

We had to wait for a few days to get some help to take this larger piece of granite off the truck and get it in place in the laundry room.  A young man, Dan Phillips, came up on Tuesday evening and about 15 minutes we got this slab off the tractor and into place in the laundry room.  Could not have done it without him.

An hour later I had the faucet installed and the sink back in place with a new strainer/waste fitting.  We still plan to replace the cabinet doors... but there is no panic on doing that right away, as part of that program will involve purchasing a new stacking washer and dryer.

On Thursday Dan came to give me a hand with installing more windows, but it rained all day and we didn't want to get wet... so we finished putting in the last couple of pieces in the main garage ceiling and then we insulated the garage ceiling by noon. With no break in the rain we ended up insulating more of the studio for the rest of the afternoon.

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