Garage progress

The room is basically done as a room. Now I have to appoint it, everything from putting in the heat pump (which arrived today but is still on its pallet) to wiring the internet/wifi/security cameras, to building shelves and organizing things.

But it looks more like a room now and my bike and Jenn's car are back inside. I could theoretically get both my car and the bike inside for now, but there's a lot of junk including 5 bicycles that need to go in and will take up a bunch of room.



Listening to Hello Internet this morning, I decided to install a site blocker on Chrome. So now during business hours, except when I'm eating lunch, Facebook, YouTube and Imgur are blocked. Coincidentally (!) I'm getting a bit of work done today.

I started to ride the bike to work today, got about half a mile, the mist was making it so my visibility was to my visor. When a car was approaching I couldn't see a damned thing. So I nope'd out and got in the car.

I did a little research and ordered some NikWax Visor Proof - we'll see how that works next time it rains. Opinions on how to keep rain clear from a visor range from "rub a potato on it" to commercial products to Lemon Pledge and the ever-popular "just keep your speed up to 120 MPH, the water will SHEET right off."

Shop progress 9/9/2018

Nearly all the insulation is up (odd spaces around the garage door not done). Most of the plywood is up.
Wiring put in place for the mini split heat pump that is ordered for the southwest corner. Lots of expanding foam was shot into the corners.
I'm going to have to get some strips, I think maybe 1x2 or something, to caulk and tack into all the corners to stop drafts. There was a lot of breeze blowing in through the cracks today when it got windy.

I am going to have to remove the garage door, at least slightly, to slip plywood wall board between the studs and the garage door mount to seal that area. That'll likely take an entire evening, if I'm lucky.

Now I really need to decide on a layout so that I can start building storage. This is going to be the tricky part of this whole thing.

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Garage -> shop

I've been working for a couple of weeks at modifying the garage to make one bay into a shop. So far the wall between the bays is up, insulation is up in the ceiling, most of the ceiling is covered, and the wiring is done.

I was planning on using natural gas heating but I was somewhat daunted by doing the install, and also I can't find anything in the small (tiny) range I need (3000 to 5000 BTU) that isn't a little vent-free non controlled piece of junk.

So this morning I ran some numbers, determined that as best I can tell, even heating to living temperatures an electric heater will cost about $40/month for the winter months, probably less than half that since I only need to keep the temp up a bit above freezing most of the time.

So I'm going to get an electric heater. They're cheap enough that if after the first year I decide that it's too expensive I can switch and not be out much.

I want to build my own thermostat system that will measure how long the heater is on so I can track energy use. It would be really cool to have it actually calculate dew point and such because the real reason for the heat is to keep moisture from condensing on the machine tools. There must be an algorithm for that.
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So after 30 years, I'm back on a motorcycle. I bought this thing last friday:

So far I like it. It's a beginner cruiser. It can easily do highway speeds, but it's not a rocket (670cc). That means insurance on it is very cheap.

I have a scad of updates for it coming this week. Full windscreen, trunk mount adapter and a trunk box, gear indicator. Looking at Bluetooth headsets too; the Bell helmet I bought has a spot for one.

I've spent about $800 on safety gear. There's some very nice stuff available these days.

The salesperson was rightly nervous when I was leaving - I was too. 30 years off the bike. But a few times around the parking lot and I felt I was up to going home at least (80 miles on I94). Over the weekend I went in to the high school and noodled around the parking lot doing low speed maneuvers for a while, and practiced countersteering on open roads with no traffic. The first day was a little rough, not bad. Today (2nd day) I feel like I've got this. Still need a few hundred hours before I feel I can consider myself competent but I think I can handle myself OK now.

Of course, this whole thing has gotten Tom quite excited. We're finally getting around to getting him trained up on manual transmission in cars, and he's signed up for the motorcycle safety/training course at WCC next week.

Journal of random thoughts, May 7 2018

Yesterday I started digging up sod for a largish patch to move the pink rose to. It's going to take a while. Also started on the strawberry beds. There are a bunch of oaks sprouting in those beds, if they come up well we can move them elsewhere. So much weeding to be done though in all the beds.

A few weeks ago I built a new PC. I'm very happy with it, the old one was really still quite good but it lacked just a couple of things that were getting in my way, and no good way to expand them for a reasonable amount of money. I tend to use machines for many years go the $700 I put into this isn't a problem.

Over this past weekend we repurposed the old PC with a new video card and set up Kate's room as a VR suite with an Oculus headset. It's fun. The PC may eventually get replaced but it's doing a pretty good job for now. The things that were hampering it in the last environment aren't currently that big of a deal here.

The video system at the church is slowly taking shape. Several things aren't working as I'd hoped they would but I found a workaround that I think will do. I would have preferred to do a full HDMI system instead of the IP camera that I used, but IP cams are $250, HDMI ones are $1700.

I went to do audio and take photos at the spring tea at church, and caught up with a couple of people I hadn't seen in a while.

I need to poke the MCO people. I'm putting 30 to 60 minutes a week into editing service audio, have 5 weeks worth burned to CD now, and nobody's touched any of them. I'm not going to continue if nobody's going to use them.

This Friday I'm taking off and spending some time with Dianne Smith to record things at church for us to use when she's away.

My chainsaw decided to get cranky on Saturday while working on a downed branch. So that's another stupid thing that's going to rob me of a couple of hours to fix. And when it decided to not work, the man I was working with on the branch stepped up to try something else and got injured, which really sucked. He's OK but his back is injured.

I'm sort of on track for reading. Slower than last year but that's by choice, I need to do other things. Last year I read 90 books, this year I've set my goal at only 30 and I'm at 14 for the year now. I think this is a good pace that allows me to get other things done.

I really need to decide where I want to go for vacations this summer. A proper tour of UP waterfalls, and a Grand Canyon trip are current possibilities. Work into that also that I would like to build a shop.

Some folks at church have decided to add another 20x40 foot event pavilion to the stable and I was tasked to buy it (not pay for it). The main bits are coming, and I have to go buy the metal pipe at Menards. Then every one of the (30-some I think) pipes have to be cut to length. I want to buy a portable bandsaw for this, and was going to go for the Harbor Freight one, hoping for it to go on sale but it hasn't for a while now. Plan to build a stand as many have for mounting it as a cutoff saw.

I have been adding security cameras at home. Figuring out what works and what doesn't. Some sort of system is desired up in Laurium and I'd like to be able to at least recommend, and possibly install a system there. And I like at least being able to see the driveway on days when I'm working from home (in the basement) for when deliveries come.


Trying to keep track of the podcasts I like, since my player doesn't keep track and I'm switching phones again in a few days.

* The Amp Hour
* Cartalk
* No Such Thing as a Fish
* Naked Scientists
* Naked Genetics
* Naked Astronomy
* The Creativity Podcast
* NPR Up First
* Unnamed Reverse Engineering Podcast
* The Infinite Monkey Cage

[Dragonfly DIY] Quick note on dashcam install

My 2016 Ford Escape has no switched power outlet for a dashcam. Previously I was unable to find a switched fuse either, and came up with a circuit as a partial solution.

However today I installed a new dashcam, and now a few years later was able to find online the proper solution. Fuse F85 under the dash (probably on all Ford cars based on the Fusion chassis) is ignition/accessory switched power. A fuse tap there leading to a female power socket for the camera is perfect.

The dash cam is the Aukey dual front/rear 1080p model that Techmoan recently reviewed. Should be excellent.

[Dragonfly DIY] Car body work

Well, after a few hours of banging, hammering and shoving with hydraulic spreaders and rams, I got the front end of the kids' car back together again with new bumper, bumper cover, headlights and grill mount. No paint yet, maybe when it gets warm.

The rear right taillight area got bashed out to basically in the right place and shape, and the light itself replaced with one from the boneyard via eBay. The rear bumper cover is a bit expensive and not IMO that critical, I'll worry about that in the spring too when the weather is better for painting things.