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Showing posts from August, 2015

Arts n Crafts: What's with the Bear

I’ve been trying to finish up some of my projects that are not so house related. I've been watching Rafael Robledo Jr and some others on YouTube modify collectible statues. It's fun and inspiring to watch them cut and sculpt and paint these things up to make them fit their personal vision. I used to be artsy, back in the day... way back... all the way back to high school. Anyway, like I said, inspiring. I have a story that I've never finished, one of the characters in that story is a big grey bear that hangs out with an old wizard. And I like to make extras for my stories, whether that be a computer wallpaper or a framed image. I found this bear statue at the resale shop and immediately knew I could do something with it. In order to fit my vision things need to change. For starters, that base is not working for me. And the fish needs to be a ground squirrel. But this post is really not about the finished project. This post is a warning. I popped the fish out of the bears m

Something from the Files

More Writing Goodness from KDL

Good news email from the Kent District Library , they're doing another writing conference in October. This time it'll be focusing on the crafting aspects of the writing (as opposed to the publishing aspects of the last one). I'm already registered and looking forward to going. KDL Writers Conference: Crafting Edition Saturday, October 24, 9:30 AM A spin-off of the annual KDL Writers Conference, this inaugural craft edition of the event features Michigan authors and publishing insiders sharing their insight on the craft of writing, from capturing your audience to constructing scenes to editing. The morning conference will be followed by an afternoon of workshopping. All genres of writers and skill levels are welcome. Pre-registration is required. Registration for the workshop will be separate as seats are limited.     The conference will run from 9:30 AM - 12:40 PM. After a lunch break those returning for the writing workshop will return from 2:00 - 3:30 PM. The conference

Superman Stands Tall

Lady Ronn picked out a fantastic gift for me on my birthday this year, the Sideshow Collectibles life size Superman bust. It is awesome; fully 30-in tall. These pictures do not do it justice. But it's also very big. Too big for my shelf or the corner of my desk. So I had to build a pedestal for it. And of course if you're going to build a pedestal for a life size superman bust, it only makes sense that you would build it tall enough that the bust would sit at life size. DC Comics says that Superman is 6-ft 3-in tall. I added an inch for boots, because I can't imagine him standing there barefoot. That would be weird. And so sitting on his pedestal, my Superman bust stands 6-ft 4-in tall. It's pretty impressive. The statue is awesome. The pedestal, well, I'll do it different when I redo it. I learned some things building it. Let's talk about those things.     I built the pedestal out of 3/4 plywood, the same stuff I used on the basement sub-floor, because that'

Arts n Crafts: Three Musketeers

I've been trying to finish up some of my projects that are not so house related. If you remember last Christmas, these four guys showed up under my tree and ended up gracing my facebook page . The problem with them is that they aren't particularly well balanced and have a tendency to fall over. Well, what is one to do about that? I say we get some 1/8-inch magnets and stick them in their boots. So a little hand drilling (because the electric drill would go straight through the feet) and some glue to hold the magnets in place. Easy enough. Okay, but now with that done there needs to be some sort of metal plate to stick them to. I guess that means I need to make something... Not bad. I took a couple pieces of MDF and created a L-shaped stage. Then I rubber cemented a metal plate to the top side of the bottom and used my router to trim it down to match the MDF. A resin fleur de lis from Hobby Lobby was glued to the back wall with construction adhesive. then I painted the whole thi

Arts n Crafts: Faux Quill

I’ve been working to finish up some of my projects that are not so house related. I tried something new, that I've been wanting to try for a while. I wanted to do something with a two part resin casting. You've seen all the writing inspired decoration in the office already, but I wanted to make one more thing. I picked up a feather from the Renaissance Festival last year, with the intention of making a Dumbo-inspired writing inspiration decoration of some sort. To refresh your memory: Timothy Q. Mouse : [ as Dumbo falls from his platform after the "magic" feather falls away ] Dumbo! C'mon, fly! Open them ears! The magic feather was just a gag! You can fly! Honest, you can! Hey, open 'em up! Hurryyyyyyy! [ at the last moment, Dumbo opens his ears and soars over the crowd ] Basically something that says, you don't need no magic feather, the writings already in you. But that's not the direction I went. Instead, I picked up a glass bottle from Hobby Lobby

What Was I Thinking

I picked up a couple of cabinets for the garage. They're office cabinets, but they're 72 x 36 x 18 inches and I thought they'd be great for garage storage. And for free, you can't beat the price. But that lead to a garage reorganization project that started on Friday evening and is still ongoing. I'm sure it'll be nice and organized when it's done, I'm just not sure when exactly that'll be. Things are still a little bit in flux, two days later.

2nd Year, Better Than the 1st

I'm back-filling this one, not because I forgot, but because I didn't have time to put anything up on the actual date. I was busy spending time with the lady in question.   I didn't think it could get any better, what with that first year of marriage being as good as it was, but it did. The second year of marriage to Lady Ronn was even better than the first. Happy Anniversary to us. Looking forward to many more.

And We're Walking

Forty Seven

Happy Birthday to me. Had the whole crew here tonight to celebrate my getting older and wiser. It was a 'super' birthday and Lady Ronn gave me something I've been wanting for a long while. Glade everyone was there. Sorry that work called and I had to rush off to fix a not-leak at the shoe store. That's the job. What can I say? We stayed in and ordered pizza, which was probably nicer than going out to dinner anyway. Thanks to each of you.

Sunday Wrap-Up

This morning, while drinking my coffee, I decided to take care of one of my very many craft projects. I hand drilled the feet of my musketeers with a 1/8-inch drill bit and installed a neodymium magnet in the foot of each. This will keep them from falling over on my shelf. Or it will once I get a small metal plate for them to stand on. Cross one thing off my very long list. Then I went down to check on the cement in the basement bathroom. It was setting up pretty nicely. The wife and I put the shower up to see how close everything was going to fit. As I expected there are some gaps and the walls will need to be adjusted a bit. I think I'm going to completely redo the inside wall. But for the most part it's a pretty nice fit and it's a huge difference from what used to be in that spot.     Then I finished up all the wiring on my little network control center. All the basement bedrooms are now wired for cable and network. I had to rerun a couple lines for the upstairs, office

I Was Bored

Shower Drain

In order to install my new shower I have to relocate the shower drain. The old shower was a small, cheap unit and the new one is a 48-inch, acrylic unit. So the difference is pretty significant; more than I could cheat at any rate. Besides, the drain is only 1 1/2-inch and it's supposed to be 2-inches these days. So changes are in order. I cut a hole in my basement floor. And I did it with a cement blade and my circular saw. It worked damn well, I have to say. Sure the floor is 4-inches thick and the saw only cuts 3 1/4-inches... but that's what the sledge hammer is for. I wrapped the area in plastic sheeting to isolate it and then I goggled up,  added ear protection and my canister mask. And I am glad I did; so much cement dust. At one point, it was so thick I couldn't see the saw that I was holding while I knelt on the floor. I got the shop vac involved in the process and it was better, but I was still glad to be wearing the mask. Once the floor was cut and smashed out wi

But You Can Get What You Need

I'm Beat

[caption id="attachment_5037" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Cooper[/caption] The plumbing is in place and the fill has been put back. It was not as easy as I told myself it would be. It never is. The cement can wait until tomorrow.

Solution Experiment Update

So far so good. My solution to my drywall problem, the little experiment at the bottom of the stairs, is coming along nicely. It's not quite done. I want to feather it out a bit further, but so far it's staying put and it's smoothing out nicely. Here are some shots of the work in progress. You'll note that it looks more promising in these shots than it did in the previous ones. Still lots of work to do, but I'm very happy with the way it blended together.

Well, That Didn't Work.... Plumbing Edition

Plumbing. gotta love it. So, I've cut a hole in the basement floor in order to relocate the shower drain. I pulled up the concrete and scooped out the gravel. Then I dug down, through the gravel seeded sand, to expose my existing cast iron trap and pipe. Looks like this has been done before, because, yes, those are flexible rubber Fernco donuts holding that all together.... not exactly standard equipment in 1969. Or so I have read. Well, the internet tells me they are a bitch to get out, but that if I drill some holes in the rubber, twist and wiggle the pipe, and with enough strength and luck it'll come apart. So that's what I did. Oh, it came apart. It came apart nicely.    Only not at the trap fitting, where I wanted. It came apart about a foot and a half back from the edge of my hole. Shit. I guess I'll be cutting a little more of the floor out than I had expected. I love it when a plan comes together.

Sharing is Caring

I took last Friday off in order to get my drywall done, or at least close to done. And a long weekend seemed a good way to do that.  Friday, I did get some of that done and even Saturday started off on the right foot. But then I got distracted by another project. Our router had been getting a bit flaky of late. It might have something to do with the cloud of drywall dust, sawdust, and cement dust it lives in down in the basement. I've been getting an increasing number of complaints from the family that all sound like, 'why is the WiFi not working?' A sure sign that something needs be done. Enough is enough. I picked up a new router from amazon, a NETGEAR Nighthawk X4. And then I put together a little network command center in the basement. It's probably overkill, but it kept me busy for a few days. I still need to do some cable management and wire up the rest of the switches and outlets, but mostly, it's done. An old HP PC, with a new power supply and new case fan,

A Cold Hard Beach

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Shrinking or Expanding

My Solution, My Experiment

Let me tell you about my dilemma and how I decided to address it. My stairwell (and living room and formerly my basement) is done in late 60s, early 70s paneling rather than drywall. To make matters worse, my stairwell is just 36-inches wide. I would love to pull the paneling down and do the whole thing in drywall, but doing so would shrink the width of my stairwell to a degree that could become an issue when I go to sell the house. So I decided to simply fill the grooves in the paneling with drywall mud, smooth it all out, and make it look like it was drywall. But the basement is now all drywall. This creates a little problem with blending the two materials together and making them look cohesive. You can see in the picture to the right, just how much difference there is in the material thickness. That would be tricky to feather out with mud, and I'd still end up with a narrow stairwell at the bottom of the stairs. What is a fella to do? My solution is a bit outside the box and I w

Superman on Film

Last week I went batty and gave you some Batman wallpapers. It seemed only right that I should do the same for the most iconic of heroes, Superman. So here you go, the man of steel in all his 1920 x 1080 glory. Or at least as glorious as a google search and my photo editing skills will allow. [caption id="attachment_4974" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Ray Middleton, 1939[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4975" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Kirk Alyn, 1948[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4976" align="aligncenter" width="625"] George Reeves, 1951[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4977" align="aligncenter" width="625"] John Rockwell, 1961[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4978" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Bob Holiday, 1966[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4979" align="aligncenter" width="625"]