My employer has deemed that I can no longer accumulate any more vacation days until I use some. So, I’m off today and tomorrow. Today was a pretty good day. I filled my entire recycling bin with paper that I shredded. And still have a couple of more bags to put out. I even bought a new shredder to help me since this is a job that I had been putting off for years. And by getting rid of the paper, I made a dent in cleaning up my bedroom. Now I just need to start going through old computer equipment and recycling that.
Back to work on my kitchen today. The hood that I ordered came in so I could try to determine where the outlet for it should go. I’m glad I bought it because I had it way too low. I found this out by eyeballing it, since the hood did not come with any installation instructions. I looked online and found that a hood should be 30″-36″ above the stove. Then, I measured where the power on the hood was and it was about 10″ above the bottom of the hood. I had to move my power outlet about 10″ higher. Next I put in a board so I’d have something to screw into to hold the hood up. I’m pretty happy that except for the hole for the vent, I think I have everything done for the hood. I also bought some insulation to put between the 2x4s in the wall. And I finished the wall on the back of the house. All I have to do now is put in an outlet for the dishwasher, which I completely forgot to do. Install the insulation. And cut the breakfast bar area to the right height and I’m READY FOR DRYWALL! Barring any more disasters, I’m thinking this will happen next month. Yay! Here’s how things look now.
Need to go to http://metro.teczno.com/ and download the osm.pbf file for Chicago. Then import it:
I’m trying to make a map for a conference and thought I’d use TileMill. As far as I can tell, the first step (after installing TileMill) is to install postgresql. Here’s where I am with that.
At this rate, I’ll read 365 books this year. 🙂 Anyway, had a lovely New Year’s Day, where I watched some hockey and just sat and read. I finished Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I don’t really understand why, but I liked this book a lot. I guess it’s because I liked the characters and the weird things that happened to them, but I can’t really say for sure. This is now the second book by Murakami that I’ve read. I read 1Q84 a couple of years ago and liked that one as well. So I guess I’m going to add Murakami to William Gibson and Isabel Allende as authors that I really like.
Just got the Xmas photo from my bro. We look pretty good.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 had a pretty good Thanksgiving weekend. Got the wall done, so I feel I’ve earned a cookie.
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.
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.
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.
Take a look at the new water lines in the kitchen. Notice anything odd about them?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.