Category Archives: House

Life around our house

Antenna Secured

The snow is finally off the back yard and Steph and I were able to secure our HD antenna. We’ve been off the TV grid for a while, which means we rely on this antenna for local free HD content. Along with streaming Netflix and ROKU we have all the media we need, and love saving that ever increasing $60 satellite bill.

Problem was, the wind blew the thing around. It was just stuck in the ground, after all. So we went to ACE this morning and bought some tent stakes and some cord. Did a three point tie-down, and now it’s tight. Totally unattractive and crooked, but tight!

Why I decided to put the antenna near the air vent for our underground bunker, I don’t know, must have been drunk. B.T.W. that house in the trees straight back is our closest neighbor, and we’ve never met them. Or seen them…

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Stephs Fathers Day Card

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Fathers Day Sunday

So far so good! Still in my pajamas, re-writing my FKScan Flickr code because the Flickr RSS feed has left the planet, Riley called with a “Happy Father’s Day”, Steph just fed me a hot Spam sandwich (haven’t had non-email Spam in years) and the cat is still sleeping on the couch. This blog is starting to look like a Tweet with no length restriction…

Hey, it’s cool to have a day out of the year dedicated to you! Get busy son…

Update: The FKScan new picture grabber is re-written and fixed…

Oh, and the cat is pregnant… (• Update: Ok, maybe not…)

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Saturday Chores

Today I tackled one of my major chores: draining, cleaning and refilling the hottub. We’ve been here a few years so I know this drill well. All the while, I’m writing a new app in my head, bopping into my office to write code between each step.

I’m also going into the back forty, now and then, to intimidate the damned (Robin’s nest raiding) Magpies with the pellet rifle. Had dead aim on one but Steph hadn’t reloaded. My fault, I should check ammo before grabbing the gun.

Just finished the new app. It’s a Flickr Photo Set Viewer, just for my photos, that uses some very cool dynamic font code from Google, which shades the text.

It grabs all of my Photo Set titles when started and when you click on a title for the first time, it loads the thumbnails for that set. Subsequent clicks on a title simply redisplay the thumbnails. And, of course, clicking a thumbnail opens the Photo Viewer.

Check it out Here, feedback is welcome…

• Update 6/26: Fixed some cross-browser issues and implemented single tab code for the Photo Viewer. Once you open it the first time, leave it open and it will be reused with the next photo.

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Magpies 101

I remember when I first drove into this county six years ago, I was struck by the beauty of the Magpie that makes it’s home here year round. I have since come to learn that they are really smart, and they’re first cousins to the Ravens that also spend the winter here, both being members of the Corvidae family.

I now strongly dislike them. A bunch of them nest in the large trees of our back forty, and they are the mortal enemy of the Robin families that live within our 58 trees. Over the years they have raided our nests, taking out entire families.

I came out one morning last year and found a momma dead on the ground next to our driveway, and her babies were gone. I would say good morning to her as I headed to work. She had no fear of me, and fought to her death against the Magpies.

Today we saw four adult Robins chasing a Magpie out of the yard. It worked. I went out to the big trees with a loaded pellet gun, and they must have seen me coming, because they were out of there.

Here’s our endless backyard, big trees on the left:

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Ugly Case Mod

I bought a big quiet fan to blow hard on my processor, and keep it cool this summer.

All I had to do was cut a square hole in the case cover that slides off the box, directly over the CPU. So, I borrowed my sisters big fancy drill kit, drove to town and got safety glasses at Ace, and proceeded to cut a really ugly hole.

Then I realized I needed to cut four straight lines, a square. So, I drove back to Ace and got these circular cutting things with another thing that lets me use it with a power drill.

It worked good until it fell apart and I couldn’t get the remnants of the old blade off the drill adapter. They had fused together by the heat. (Threw that thing away…)

I should have taken a picture of the hole at this point, it was comical. I somehow salvaged the project using my Dremel to smooth the edges (somewhat). I drilled three holes (hey, good enough), secured the fan, took it back into my office and plugged it in.

It works. It’s quiet and my computer is running noticeably cooler. Yea!

So, I’m going to include a photo link to the end result, here. I’m somewhat embarrassed, but I’m at that age where I don’t have much ego left. So, for the comic relief of it, (remember, it works great!) here’s The Worlds Ugliest Case Mod.

Somewhere in Utah my buddy Brian, who assembled this box, is laughing his ass off…

And one final word: Everybody has their skill level, mine is writing code and being the guru. If I can tackle a project like this, and survive, I’m pleased. I vow to never do it again, but it worked.

I don’t think that Hardware Home and Garden is dropping by my office anytime soon…

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Crawl Space

Changing the water filter under the house is my least favorite chore here. It’s even worse then trudging through three feet of snow to hook up a hose to the well, so I can top off a leaky hottub.

So, today was the day. Armed with my large pliers (Steph calls it my Big Tool) , a bucket, a new water filter, and my camera, I headed down into the crawl space.

SlideShow (Crawl Space)

In case you’re wondering why there’s white plastic down there, it’s to keep us alive. Turn’s out the ground here emits a high amount of Radon, which causes lung cancer. There’s a pump under the house, running 24/7, blowing Radon gas out at roof level.

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Lazy Sunday

I think the Temporary Cat is pretty comfortable here.

It is a nice quiet Sunday…

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The Cup Cometh

Teton Valley’s annual summer fund raiser is tomorrow. It’s the 4th annual Tin Cup Challenge consisting of marathon races, a 5k and 10k run, and a gathering in the park where it seems everybody in the valley shows up. It’s a great event and raises lots of money for our struggling non-profits.

Since the runners come right by our subdivision on Ski Hill Road, Steph and I just mosey out there in the morning, with chairs, and take pictures.

Last year my niece and nephew (twins) ran it, but Brian’s in Paris right now, so it’s just Catherine running tomorrow. I thought about running this year but I misplaced my running shoes (20 years ago).

After the runners pass we’ll head into town and enjoy the park. I’m taking lots of pictures, so be sure to drop by for the Saturday evening post.

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The Green Chairs

Some trick green chairs have entered our dining space. I like, but the Steph unit ain’t quite getting there yet…

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Hot Tub Dance

I labored over our hot tub last weekend, draining and scrubbing, a kind of monthly, regular, weekend chore. I don’t do chemicals, other then an occasional chlorine shock, so I clean the tub often.

Here’s a video I shot after wrapping up the job. Notice the condition of the deck. Needs work bad :-) And, that little plastic thing on the deck is one of my cleaning tools.

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Floating By

Balloons float by our property often…

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Our garage door tanked on us last night. The cable broke, and the do-lapper-dinker stopped spinning on it’s rocking ball. Our vehicles are trapped inside. Fortunately, the “G Man” is on his way. Garage door repair on a Sunday is pretty cool.

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Our HotTub

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