Friday, August 26, 2011

Finally one for old Dave
At the end of day three score one for old Dave the very non professional plumber.  So now the score would be faucet repair 2 and old Dave 1.
Remember that old pipe that had become one with the pipe in the wall.  Delicate surgery was performed on the pipes to extract the inside from the wall drain pipe.  The tools used for this ever so delicate surgery were a sawsall, a hammer, and a chisel.  After one hour of surgery, the extraction was completed.  It was difficult surgery as the wall pipe could have broken at any time which would have caused cardiac arrest.  (No not the pipe silly.  On me.)  Thankfully that didn't happen.

Here you see a dry run for the plumbing just to see if all will be well.  Only one seal is missing and a run to the local hardware store with rectify that.  A little adjustment on the P-trap wall pipe may be needed but everything is starting to look good.  Score one for old Dave.

Those that have followed my blog for awhile will know how much I love to put flat box furniture together but there are times when it just can't be avoided.  This is one of those times.  So with gritted teeth and a sharp box cutter the assembly procedure begins.

Well there she is.  The completed cabinet.  Ain't she a beauty?  The last couple flat box projects the door and drawer pulls never have a long enough bolt to hold the knob on.  Another run to the hardware store with correct this issue .... again.

So I think I'll take a three day holiday and hit it again next week.  Well that is after I haul three sliding glass doors for a friend one day, take a trip to Melvern Iowa to help saw up damaged trees from the baseball size hail, and attend two birthday parties on the last day.  Well one of the parties is for me so I can't complain.  It's a great life if I just don't weaken.

Now where's that recliner.  I think I need a nap from just thinking about this weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is why I love working on plumbing

The last rain here was a real gully washer. Much to my surprise the next morning as I toured the garden and checked the official bean can garden rain gauge, it was full. It had rained a good four inches over night. Being 40 feet above the river level and no where near any flash flood creeks, my garden and property were exempted from any damage. Not so for some other folks. Stories came out about sewers backing up into houses and basements collapsing due to ground water pressure. Low lying streets were under water for a time as the storm drains just couldn't handle the torrential rains of the night before.
The decision was to replace that old faucet in the 1/2 bath that has been causing grief. As you can see it hasn't been used for a while. It's time to put this sink back into use. The wrestling match between the old bathroom faucet and me ended with faucet - 1 Old Dave - 0. Of course it teased me with the deception that I was winning by making it just hard enough to test my demolition skills. After wrangling the rusty faucet lock nuts with 45 years of corrosion and finally using a sawsall to remove the old faucet, the false perception was that fight was going in my favor. Alas after the battle raged for two hours and a feeling accomplishment came over me, the final test with water pressure on showed the error of my thinking. Water pressure on and sink faucet off, all was good. Hot water on, all is still good. Cold water on, spray on the wall and water dripping on the floor. Cold water off. Spraying and dripping quit. Hmmmm, defective faucet. The thought crossed my mind that my idea about using a used faucet laying around to save a buck was a dumb idea turned out to be true.

Home improvement store here I come .... again. That's not all that bad because on the way home seeds from the local nursery will be purchased to plant the fall garden. The faucet display just happened to have a clearance sale on the exact faucet needed. Yahoo!! So once again it's time to drain down the water system, remove the some what used defective faucet and replace it with a nice new one. Hopefully this one will last another 45 years. Then it will definitely be some else's problem. Ok, so let's begin.

Yeah, it's a messy job but someone has to do it. I keep trying to get my soon to be seven year old Grandson to help but he's not having anything to do with bathroom repair. He keeps saying, "Grandpa, I'll have a job," which means he'll be hiring someone else to do that job.

At the end of day two it's the faucet repair 2 Old Dave 0. Ah, the joys of working on 45 year old plumbing. The new faucet was great and installed just fine but just a little drip started from the stopper in the sink. Well, OK, a dribble. So no problem a new stopper came with the new faucet. Yeah, however, removing the old stopper was not possible and well, I broke the sink trying all different methods trying to remove the rusted solid plumbing under the sink. As you can clearly see that 45 years ago all the plumbing was metal which corrodes and rusts together magnificently. Another issue is the pipe that goes into the wall. After decades of close contact the two became one. Now the rusted pipe has to be chiseled out of the galvanized pipe. Oh, boy, I'm looking forward to that.

As the sun sets on the Urban Ranch, the faucet is installed. Yeah I know the sink is still missing. Tomorrow is another wonderful day in the neighborhood and who knows maybe just maybe the 30 minute repair could be almost complete.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cleaning up the garden


Cleaning up seems to be the task at hand these days.  After letting the yard go in July, it's a never ending task to get it back to submission.  I've been wanting to cut down a bush near my garden beds but just have not gotten around to it.  Today is the day to tackle the task.  My old knees just won't take the bending down too much any more so I tackled this task sitting.


Nothing like a little nap after a hard job completed.  That's the beauty of not being on the clock.  Resting and naps are when ever needed.  You can see a few Sequoia weeds in the left background and the pile of cut bush on the right behind me.


When the day is finished, two garden beds are ready for fall planting and the bush is now bundles of yard waste waiting to be set out by the curb.  Now the task will be to dig out the bush stump and expand the garden by one raised bed.  After the yard cleanup it is really time to rest and recover for tomorrow is another day of cleanup and building.  The work is never done around an urban ranch.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Bradley's Fort is complete
The major project for July is complete.  There was a bit of a stability issue but with both cable and wood bracing the issue was brought under complete control.  It was the talk of the neighborhood for a couple days but now it's just part of the normal circuit of playing in the neighborhood.  I'm sure there will be some additions and tweaking as time goes along.  The second wind and rain storm blew through last night with no harm to the Fort.  It's a full two weeks into the testing period and no problems what so ever.  I'm declaring it a successful project that's completed.



Now the yard?  That's another matter. Due to the focus on getting the fort finished before Badley's return, as you can see, the yard suffered from neglect.  After a month of neglect it looked pretty bad.  Mutant Ninja weeds sprouted up where my patio project was in progress and put on hold during the month of July.  I really thought about getting out Big Bertha my chainsaw but reconsidered it and resorted to the old fashioned hand pulling weeds method.

After two days of blood, sweat, and tears that produced 11 bags of yard waste, the wild habitat yard was brought under submission.


It's amazing what a little hard work can produce.  Now I need to attack the garden and the chain link fence line behind the garden.  It looks like I just might be growing prairie grass in the garden.  Then of course there's the side yard.  The alien plant from outer space is trying to make a come back.  Some hacking will be needed there as well.  How would I ever be able to keep up with acres if I had that much land?


One last parting shot of the neighborhood gang enjoying the fort.  Yesterday even one of the neighborhood girls joined the boys of the neighborhood and tagged around with them most of the day which was mostly spent in the backyard in the fort or on the swing set.


The garden seems to be winding down already.  The cucumbers are wilting and the leaves on the tomatoes are curling but the production is still there.  The green peppers never did come back after the initial six peppers.  The plants look good they just aren't producing any more peppers.  The onion and potato tops are drying up but that's supposed to happen about this time.  I'm thinking about planting a fall garden so I'll probably be pulling out the cukes and replanting the spring salad area . 


It seems there's always something to do around the Urban Ranch.