• To 2014

    I’m hoping that 2014 will be as good of a year as 2013 was. But I like to set specific goals/resolutions/whatever you want to call them. So here are some things I’d like to accomplish in the coming year.

  • My Yearly Wrapup

    2013 was a pretty good year for me. My health is good, I bought a new car and I’m pretty happy overall. So I have no real complaints. I set some goals for the year, let’s take a look at how I did.

  • Getting Ready for the Wrap Up

    For the past couple of years, I’ve done a sort of year-in-review post with my thoughts about what went well over the past year and what I’d like to do in the upcoming year. I don’t really refer back to this list at any point during the year, but perhaps I should. In general, I like to see things that I think would be helpful/fun to know/learn/do in the coming year. And if I see things that I’ve had on my list for more than one year, I’d like to think that I make a bit more of an effort to do them. Anyway, as the end of the year is coming up and this is how I sort of like to spend my January 1st, I’ve been starting to think about the year in general. By and large, I’m pretty happy and think I had a pretty good year. I may have gotten a bit lazy toward the end, but overall, I’m not complaining. I’ll go into more details next week.

  • Conduit!

    This weekend was the time to put in conduit for all my outlets. And that’s what I did. I’ve put in a lot of outlets and think that I have set everything up quite nicely. I’m really happy that my conduit bending skills have improved quite a lot. Here are some pictures:

  • Froze My Butt Off

    Julie and I did the Santa Hustle this morning. It was under 20 degrees and freakin’ freezing. Here’s a few pictures I took when I could get my fingers out of my gloves.

  • I Earned a Cookie

    I had a pretty good Thanksgiving weekend. Got the wall done, so I feel I’ve earned a cookie.

  • Getting There!

    My favorite holiday weekend is going on. I had planned on renting a truck and fighting the crowds at Home Depot to get the rest of the insulation that I needed. Alas, the truck I usually get was rented for the day. So I had to change my plan. Instead I finished hooking up my drain vent. Hopefully it’s ok. It goes up somewhere upstairs. I’ll have to find it when I get to work on the upstairs.

  • Back in the Swing of Things

    My two weeks of jury duty threw me off my game a bit, but I got back to working on the house again. This weekend I built the half wall, though I left it tall because I’m not sure how high it should be. I also finally rented a truck and bought some insulation. I started attaching it to the wall as well. Here are some pictures I took this weekend.

  • Good Weekend

    I got a lot done this weekend. Today, I finished up by cutting and laying out all the pipe for the new kitchen drain and stack. I haven’t glued it all together because I want Mickey to come and double-check it, but I think it’s going to work.

  • Idiot

    Take a look at the new water lines in the kitchen. Notice anything odd about them?

  • Good Morning So Far

    I installed my new water lines this morning. Yay! But I have a leak. Boo! I’ll have to fix that later. It’s supposed to rain this afternoon, so I wanted to get the outside of the window I installed finished. I took some aluminum to work to bend on our brake there. Unfortunately, it’s only 2′ wide, so I had to use two pieces to fit my window. But I got it in. I’m sure a real window-installer would have made it look nicer, but I think it’s waterproof, which is my only concern.

  • Robot in Action

    I finally built my robot. I had taken pictures of the process, but never got around to posting them. Instead, here’s the first video I made.

  • Drunken Jogging

    I started using the RunKeeper app to track my jogs, as my sister uses it and likes it a lot. It is also able to track bike rides, which I also do. So this seemed like a great solution. And to top it off, on my first run, it said my pace was a bit faster than I thought I was doing, so I was pretty happy.

  • My Robot

    My niece and nephew were both talking about building a robot and it made me realize that I wanted to build a robot as well. After looking around, I had intended to buy the new Arduino robot, but it wasn’t in stock. Instead I found a hexapod robot called Hexy, which looked even more fun. So I ordered it and it arrived today.

  • The Challenge

    Paul proposed that I host Thanksgiving again. Will I be able to do it at my house? This is going to require a kitchen. Here’s what mine looks like now.

  • Front Stairs

    While waiting for the new window to arrive, I decided to tackle some other tasks that I’ve been ignoring. First up, my horribly dangerous front stairs. Since I’m getting a roommate soon, who will unquestionably complain about them, I decided I should do something. None of the contractors I contacted over the summer got back to me, so it’s looking like the stairs won’t get rebuilt this year. I had mixed a little mortar the other week to fix the gaps around my window and it was pretty easy to work with. So I thought, why not give it a try?

  • Mass Mailing in Rails

    I have a need to send out a bunch of individual emails from the same email address. I thought it would be good practice for me to see if I could do this as part of a rails app. The interesting thing is that I don’t want to save anything to a model. I just want to be able to upload a csv file, get all the names and email addresses out and send the same email with attachment to all of them. Here’s how I did it.

  • Depressing

    Sometimes you don’t want to know the state of your house and other times you can’t help but notice. I really, really need to have my house tuckpointed. This is a shot of the inside of the old hood vent. Yes, that is water pouring down.

  • Handy Trick

    If you have some sample code in a ruby file that you want to run ONLY when that file is called directly, enclose it in the following if statement.

  • End of Summer

    Here are what was left of the roses on my rosebush before I started hacking it down. It is so nice out, just under 70 degrees, which is perfect to me. I cut my grass and even trimmed the tree in front of my house, in anticipation of my new roommate. Just trying to eliminate some of the things he’ll complain about.

  • It Works!

    Yes, the new car is small, but I can still move stuff. It just takes me a few more trips than usual. To get 18 2″x4″x10′, took me three trips to Home Depot. But it’s a beautiful day, so I’m ok with that.

  • Status Report

    I’m a little stuck. Here’s how things look now.

  • Labor Day

    I decided to not work on Labor Day, thus turning it into No-Labor Day and to go for a long bike ride instead. I have just finished my 57-mile ride and am probably not going to move for the rest of the evening. Here is the info from my route.

  • Cold-Air Return Moved

    I can cross number 2 from the last post off. I moved the cold-air return much lower to the floor and cut the wall to about half size. I just cut the wall shorter, but didn’t measure anything because I’m not sure how high, exactly, it should be. I’ll have to cut them down again later when I know how high the countertop will be.

  • More Demolition

    Today I decided to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Well, not take the whole wall down, but just take off all the drywall so I could see what was there. I’m going to have to cut this wall down to match the height of the kitchen cabinets. But since this wall is at the end of the slope in the floor, I’m not exactly sure where to cut it yet. That will come later. I also finished pulling all the furring strips that were close to the ceiling down, so the brick walls are bare, except for the outlets on them. I would have taken them off too, but that requires me to cut the power to the room, which means the lights won’t work. And today it has been storming quite a bit, so there isn’t much natural light to work with. I’ll see if tomorrow is better for that.