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[#] Tue Jan 15 2013 05:24:03 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

Subject: Re: HVAC nerd

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My label maker is a Dymo LetraTag. It's a pretty low end one but the two row feature is nice.

Of course, I would have preferred engraved labels, which is the traditional accompaniment to jewel indicators :)

[#] Fri Feb 08 2013 16:32:12 EST from wizard of aahz @ Uncensored

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One wonders if Mr. Foobar has checked the snowblower for ninja attacks recently. Seems he mighta missed one with the current goings on outside.

[#] Fri Feb 08 2013 16:34:18 EST from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Damned Pervect Ninjas.  <grmbl>

[#] Sat Feb 09 2013 01:46:13 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Looking outside it is a calm night.  No ninjas will overtake my electric snow blower.  Mwa ha ha.

[#] Sun Feb 10 2013 23:08:00 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Nope. The snowblower ran like a champ yesterday. Chewed right through the 18 feet of snow the sensationalist news said we'd get.

[#] Sat Apr 20 2013 22:13:25 EDT from fleeb @ Uncensored

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Today, I replaced:

1. The overhead light fixture that had inexplicably fallen months ago.

2. The hand showerhead that had practically disintegrated after over ten years' service.

I replaced the overhead light fixture with something really cheap, since I figured most people wouldn't really notice it, and the space didn't really need anything fancy, just functional.

The hand showerhead, though, took me more time to research. I wanted to get something decent. I settled on a Moen 25521 (?) dual showerhead and hand showerhead. Like almost all of these things, it has one of those 2.5 gallon limiters built into it that you can remove if you want (but I like the water savings, so I left it in). Unlike my previous hand showerhead, this thing works really, really well.

I don't think I've ever had a showerhead this nice. You can easily switch from the showerhead to the wand, or both, using a rotory switch that isn't hard to move. The two heads both have an easy-to-use rotory switch that lets you move between five settings. But, mostly, it makes really good use of the 2.5 gallons of water pressure to beam the water at you well when set to pulse, or spread the water over you nicely when set for a spread.

Best shower I've ever had here. I wish I had replaced my old showerhead ages ago. I'm thinking about replacing the one I have in the other bathroom, but I think I'll give this one a month or so first.

[#] Wed May 01 2013 23:15:53 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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If my house had an alarm system I would wire it into the thermostat, so that the heat and a/c would refuse to run if a window is open.

[#] Sat May 04 2013 23:02:10 EDT from fireball @ Uncensored

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And it would call the cops if it got above 85.

[#] Sun May 05 2013 00:16:37 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Nice hack IG.  I need to implement that one.  I still have most of the wiring from the old security system at my disposal.  Many inputs on the window sensors, so how did you mux them for best results?

[#] Tue May 07 2013 23:06:54 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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If they are normally-open, you wire them all in parallel; if they are normally-closed, you wire them all in series. Feed the whole loop through a relay and tie the contacts into the thermostat.

And since we're nerds, you have your 24 volt thermostat power feed one way through the relay to the thermostat, and the other way to a 24 volt light labelled "HOUSE NOT SEALED - THERMOSTAT LOCKOUT"

[#] Sat Jul 06 2013 21:27:01 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Today I rebuilt the wall behind the cabinet under the kitchen sink, which the plumber had to rip out to replace a bunch of galvanized pipe that rotted out a few months ago.

The walls in this old house are such a pain to work with. Plaster over WIRE lath. My patches are always sheetrock. Interfacing sheetrock with plaster-lath is nigh impossible.

[#] Sat Jul 13 2013 01:55:29 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Tried to do the match plaster to sheetrock once.  Gave up and ripped down everything that did not hide behind trim.  Bonus that we were able to fix some knob and tube wiring though :-)

[#] Sat Jul 13 2013 11:39:57 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Knob and tube ... yowza!  I think I'd rip that out proactively anyway.  The wiring in my house is crazy (branch circuits generally follow a vertical path through multiple floors instead of going room by room) but at least it's all modern wiring, mostly armored cable and a little bit of NM here and there, and a modern load center, no fuses.

Now if you'll excuse me, today is a handy day.  Gotta rip the rotted boards off the garage and replace them.

[#] Sat Jul 13 2013 14:19:18 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Well, this explains the rotted boards around the garage door.

This colony of carpenter ants was trying to eat my garage.  No free snacks!  Now you die hahahaha!!  Ant genocide!  I am the Ant Hitler (no, not Aunt Hitler, you insensitive clod)!!

Carpenter ants don't actually eat wood.  They chew through it to make room for cozy little nests.  Sorry I didn't get a photo of them while they were still alive, but I wanted to treat them with RAID 10 (it also kills booksmart DBA's) before they burrowed in somewhere.

As it turns out, garage door jambs are actually a common nesting site for carpenter ants.  Unlike most parts of a house, where the bottom 0.5m or so is a concrete footing, garage door jambs are often built from wood all the way down to the ground, where they rot from water damage and provide a welcoming entrance to the ants.

Off to Home Despot for new wood and paint!

[#] Sun Jul 14 2013 19:54:47 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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[#] Sun Jul 14 2013 22:39:00 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Not to worry ... all fixed!

[ If you can't see the photo, go to ]

Removed all the rotted boards, cut and installed new ones, and gave everything a fresh coat of paint.

[#] Tue Jul 16 2013 10:13:35 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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That came out really nice, IG!

[#] Tue Jul 16 2013 11:51:29 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Well, it's the first thing potential home buyers will see when they pull into the driveway, so it needs to look good. When we're ready to start showing the house I'm going to put a couple of semicircular flower pots on each side of the garage door for the "dollhouse" look.

[#] Wed Jul 17 2013 18:54:12 EDT from Ladyhawke @ Uncensored

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Wait - how did I miss that the Mouse House is being put up for sale?  That back sitting area you built up is far too cool to be left behind.  :-)

Are you staying in the area?

[#] Thu Jul 18 2013 12:20:43 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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The 'outside house' (as the kids called it) is long gone. We really only got a single season out of it ... the next spring, it developed a problem where water would pool on the roof and stretch the fabric, it eventually got to the point where when we neglected it for a couple of days the weight of the water collapsed the whole thing.

We're just looking for something a little bigger. I always thought we'd build an addition someday but it's just easier to move, and there are some things the Mouse House will never have, like a full basement. Our neighborhood now commands a bit of a premium so I want to leverage that in a move.

So if anyone would like to buy a *lovely* 1,261 sqft home in the heart of Uncensoredland ... [ ]

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