Jan 31, 2011

Health update!

I'm not sure who many people will care, but it's my blog damnit! So here are the updates from this month:

I've been using sparkpeople.com for about a month, and it's time for an update:

Weight on 1/1/2011: 178
Weight on 1/31/2011: 167
Weight Change : -11 pounds! (I think this might be a bit off...I'm not super confident in our scale, but I have definitely lost some spare tireage)

Total Miles Run: 61.09 Miles

Total Workout Minutes This month: 1252

Total Calories burned from Working out: 8315

All in all, I've felt good! Tracking my eating has shown me that there are days that I do not eat enough...So I'm working on incorporating more nuts and greens to help bring up the Calorie count, yet not adding too much in the way of Cholesterol or anything.

All in all, Going well!

Jan 24, 2011

Weekend House Projects 2

Well another weekend, another few projects done!

Saturday found me lurking in the garage trying to organize the "gift" the previous owners left us: a loft filled with random wood scraps. I pulled it all down, and sorted it into keep and throw piles. While sorting, I discovered a full box of the flooring they used in the kitchen! This could come in handy...I stacked the wood up in the loft, and managed to put Robyn's Tires and our non-sleeping camping supplies up there along with the Chairs I need to fix (which I think I can with some of the gifted wood!!) at some point. I then threw away the broken baby swing they also left behind. After all this work, I then began trying to see if I could fit both vehicles in the garage AND still be able to pull the snow blower out....turns out I can! There is just enough room at the front of the garage to park the snow blower between the vehicles and be able to open the doors without hitting anything! I'll admit, it kind of felt like a losing game of Tetris for a bit...but then finally getting the long piece needed! I have some finishing touches (like hanging the bikes on the wall to free up the front right corner) but for this coming brewing weekend, We'll have plenty of room!

I then moved on to our bed that needs some more bolts to complete it. I found that the bolts are hard to find! The original bolts are 2 1/4" in length, while the closest I could find at Lowes was either 2" or 2 1/2". I decided to go with the 2 1/2" screws. I used them to secure the head/base boards to the frame, and utilize the original bolts for the canopy. I ended up using one of the new screws in the canopy, and it fit nicely.

The next project I tackled was the mirror on Robyn's Dresser. The mirror was not put on when we moved because one of the support wood blocks had split at some point and time. I decided to use some of the scrap wood I organized from the garage to replace it. I measured the good block and set off sawing, chiseling and sanding the block until it was as close to the original as I could get it. IT wasn't a clean piece, but it was usable!

I drilled the holes for the screws/bolts and secured it to the back of the dresser. Low and behold! The mirror was supported! I tightened down the bolts, and angled the mirror so it rested against the wall to give it a little more support.

After that, I consulted with Robyn about our Dryer Dilemma: Our Current dryer vents out the opposite side of the house with a 50 foot run with about 7 90 degree turns...This might be one reason why things never dry!

We talked about it, and decided that the best answer would be to move the dryer to the pantry, so that way the dry run is about 2 feet. I took a look at our current dryer electric line, and realized I could safely disconnect power, and thread it through our closet into the pantry. This will require drilling two holes, but I think it is doable. After that, I can use a standard wall dryer venting kit, and should be all set!

All in all, another successful weekend! This coming weekend will be brewing weekend, so probably no project updates, but who knows? Maybe Sunday I'll feel like drilling test holes...

Jan 10, 2011

Spark People

I decided to do a better job of tracking my health this year (I guess it's a resolution). I joined the site SparkPeople.com as a way to track my activities.

If you want to follow along, go here!


Weekend House Projects

Well, after the fun of the Boiler last week, I decided to keep our house projects to a dull roar. I mean, as much fun as it would be to start tearing down walls, or installing new lights, you kinda need capital for that, and the boiler sucked most of that dry, like are nice WARM air! (Heat is a great invention :) )

The original plan was to put plastic on the windows, to help cut down on the drafts. Notice the use of the words "original" and "was" in that sentence. Those priorities soon changed. Friday night, as I prepared for bed a new, more pressing matter came up:

The Toilet handle.

Through the use of my sheer manly strength, I managed to snap the mighty plastic handle at the joint where it meets the resistant plastic handle the lifts the rubber stopper in the water tank. My original idea was to replace the entire tank mechanism, until Robyn pointed out that the toilet works, just the handle is broken. I wasn't if Lowes/Home Depot would carry such an exotic product like that...but we took a gamble.

Who knew they sold just toilet handles! :) And the amazing thing is: Handles are WAAAY cheaper than the entire kit! Crazy!

So, after finding that, I was feeling good. So good in fact, we took another gamble that there may be a replacement drain for our tub. The tub used to have one of those Push down drains that doesn't have a strainer. Notice the use of the phrase "used to." That's right! We replaced the push down with a strainer AND a rubber stopper! After two Anya Tubbers, it appears to be holding up fairly well. No leaking, and the strainer is catching hair and debris (chucks of soap mostly) that normally would just go down the drain and potentially cause a problem later on.

I was feeling really good at this point. So good in fact, I went down to the basement and grabbed the storm window for the kitchen window that never go put on for some reason. I set it in place, tightened the screws, and marveled at...well me!

We also managed to de-christmas tree the house (which involved a lot of needle sucking/sweeping) and put the canopy posts back on our bed. We're short a few screws, but I took measurements and plan to pick some up this weekend, along with the raw materials to fix the mirror on our Dresser. One of the wood supports has split, and I plan on replacing it with all new pieces. Robyn and I also started planning for the big bathroom re-do that will hopefully come to fruition sometime later this summer/fall.

All in all, a fairly successful Home repair weekend...granted they were all small, but baby steps people, baby steps.

Jan 5, 2011

Home adventures!

In my previous post, I mentioned I wanted to write about the adventures of owning a home and the projects I will be working on.  I had no idea the first project would require an entry so fast!

Yesterday, I get a call from Robyn saying the house is cold.  Our house is heated by Baseboard water heaters with a fuel oil boiler.  I figure it must have tripped a breaker or just needed to be reset.  I had her go down and check it out.  Unfortunately, it wasn't that.  Her dad stopped over to take a look, and said the pilot light wasn't on and it appeared to be dead.  Hmm...this can't be good.  I really don't have a real firm grip on how the boiler system works, so I was out of my element for sure.

I did what any Semi-handy guy would do: I freaked out and called a professional.  Little did I know how much fun that would be!

I learned very quickly that to work on Fuel Oil Systems, you need to be certified...and not many people are.  I also learned the two big heating companies in the area are not, which filled me with such....dread that I was out of heat until I spent thousands of dollars (which I don't have).  Thankfully, our oil company had a recommendation for a company and they agreed to come out and take a look (at after hours pricing of couse!).

Well, I'll bore you with the details, but suffice to say I learned a lot about Fuel oil and boilers last night.  I also learned the "cleaning" we required before purchasing was just that: A cleaning that was apparently blind to nagging issues.  Freaking great!  But now, we have the correct size nozzle and a new relay, which wasn't as bad as I expected...but still a nice punch in the gut.

At least we have heat!

Jan 1, 2011

Happy new year!!

This year, I will blog about bread and beer more and also my various home remodeling/upgrades