Monday, November 1, 2010

This afternoon I finished putting up the new boards on the north half of the southeast overhang. Next on the agenda is installing particleboard panels on the roof before putting on the shingles.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I didn't get home until five. After an hour at the dentist's office, I went to vote on a very busy election day. I usually vote with little or no waiting, but today I stood in line for half an hour. Maybe I can get back to work on the roof tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Now, that's a dry spell. Except for a 40% chance of showers next Wenesday, the ten day forecast shows a 0% chance every day. There's supposed to be a good chance of a hard freeze tomorrow night, so I'd better plant the sweet gum tree that's been waiting for a fall planting. This afternoon I ran some water to soften up the ground, and took down a lot of sunflower stalks in the area where I want to plant. Tomorrow I'll get the tree in the ground and spread some mulch to protect the roots when the freeze hits.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

So I got the tree planted. Digging the hole was a little slow because of rocks, but I finally got it in.


Friday, November 5, 2010

The big freeze turned out to be a big bust. Instead of the predicted low under 30º, when I got up this morning the outside temperature was 41º. That's OK. The cold will arrive soon enough. With that in mind, this afternoon I started taking down screens and putting up storm windows. I got all done except two in the living room and the front and back doors.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

In the spring and fall there are days when the outside temperature rises faster than the indoor temperature. On such days the thing to do is open the front and back doors and let the warmer air blow into the house, usually from the south. Today was one of those days. I started it by doing laundry, then checked out a couple of auctions. The one at the fairgrounds had nothing of interest to me. At the other one, they were selling off all the stuff at a former landscaping business. I wanted to bid on a nice long extension ladder, but when it became obvious I was going to have to wait through hundreds of concrete statues I gave it up and headed for home. I might have stayed if I didn't have anything to do here, but I do. Today it was filling a space. When I removed rotten old boards behind the chimney and installed new ones, I was left with a couple of inches of space between the chimney and the wall. So I decided to fill the space with perlite plaster, which is a good insulator. It was easy enough mixing the plaster and pouring it down into the space, but a lot of it was leaking out at the bottom. So I decided to quit and let what I poured in today set up before I try to put in any more. I'm hoping that today's load will set in the leaky places and keep any more from oozing out when I pour in the next batch.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Once again the real world proves more complex than the theorectical world. In theory, all I had to do was pour wet plaster down from the top between the chimney and the wall. It would fill in all the space and the cracks. Job done. In the real world, mixing it wet enough to pour caused it to leak out the cracks at the bottom. So today I mixed it a little thicker and had trouble getting it to go down. Finally I had to work it into the opening with a stick. So much leaked out at the bottom yesterday that today's session used up all I had left. What I'll have to do after I buy more plaster is mix it thin enough to pour in, put it in until it starts to leak out the cracks, and let that set up before I pour any more. Filling the whole space may take a few days. Meanwhile, I looked at my truck and noticed it has a flat tire. It seems there's always a new adventure to keep things interesting. The last adventure of the day was an afternoon at the Bellew auction. I ended up the new owner of a good five drawer tool box and a player piano. I've wanted a player piano snce I was a kid, and I think $120 was a great price. I called Mark to recruit a little muscle. Tomorrow after work he and I will go and haul the piano home, and I'll find out if the player part of it works.


Monday, November 8, 2010

As soon as I got home from work I hitched up the trailer to the Suburban and went to get the piano. I picked up Mark and his girls, ages 13 and 16, and we spent spent the rest of the afternoon as piano movers. We dragged it onto the trailer, strapped it down, hauled it home, dragged it off the trailer onto the front porch, and moved it into the house. I decided to put it in the west room for now until I'm ready to put it in the living room. Getting it through the doorway into that west room was such a tight passage that I had to remove the pins from the hinges and take down the door. Eventually we got the piano in and got the door back up. Now I can get back to working on the roof.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I didn't get a blessed thing done this afternoon except file and delete email. Back to work tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This afternoon I got back to work on the roof, pouring more plaster behind the chimney. I quit putting any more in when it started to leak out the cracks. After that sets up I'll pour in some more. I spent the last part of the afternoon getting tarps back in place, as there's a 70% chance of rain in the forecast sometime tomorrow. Friday or Saturday I should be able to pour more plaster.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

On a day of intermittent light rain, all I did on the roof today was rearrange one tarp. The biggest chance for rain is tomorrow, so I expect I won't do any outdoor work until the weekend.


Friday, November 12, 2010

No outside work today, as expected. A steady rain through most of the day gave a good soaking without any downpour strong enough to leak past the tarps and into the house.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I went to an auction at the fairgrounds this morning, and bought four lenses for a 35mm Canon camera like mine, plus a new tripod, for $50. When I called a photo store in Wichita and asked about the approximate values of the lenses, the answer was approximately nothing. It seems the market for those has dried up since the arrival of digital cameras. Well, digital photography is wonderfully convenient, but I don't trust the pictures to last. I intend to keep shooting on film as long as I can get it. This afternoon I got back to work on the roof, pouring more plaster behind the chimney. I quit when it started leaking out at the bottom, and I'll pour more after that's set up.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not a lick of work got done today. I spent the afternoon at an auction over west of Rainbow Bend because they were selling something I wanted. I had to wait a long time for it to come up, but I bought a twenty foot extension ladder for $40. While waiting to get to it, I bought a couple of garden hoses for $15, a rake for $7, and a couple of gallons of lacquer thinner for $1. By the time I came home and got the Suburban and went back to get the ladder it was dark, but the $150 ladder for $40 was worth the time it took.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Because of a 45% to 55% chance of rain in the forecast, and some actual drops falling, I left the roof tarps in place and put my efforts elsewhere this afternoon. I took down the front and back door screens and put up the storm windows, then did a little inside work on the chimney/plaster project, covering some likely leaking places.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

With winter weather getting closer and closer, I'm starting to get ready. Of course I already took down the screens and put up the storm windows. Today I stopped at the hardware store and bought a new stovepipe elbow for the kitchen stove. When I got the thing in place, I decided that this year I want to move the stove a few inches farther away from the wall, so tomorrow I'll get a piece of straight stovepipe to add to what's there. Tomorrow's forecast is for a high about 50º, then a low in the high twenties, so I expect tomorrow night I'll have the first fire of the season.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This afternoon I finished installing the new stovepipe for the kitchen stove. When I piled in a load of wood and tried it out, I set of the smoke alarm. Fire going up the new pipe quickly heated it and burned off the oil and paint, filling the kitchen with quite a bit of smoke. That was over in a few minutes, and the stove heated the room very nicely. Before long I'll be cutting up a couple of dead trees in the back yard for fuel.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

After a stop on the way home from work to buy groceries, I got ready for the first living room fire of the season. It really isn't all that cold. Without a fire the inside temperature would be around 50º. But there's a lot of pent up trash to cremate, so tonight's the night. I went up on the roof and ran the chimney brush down a couple of times, and it didn't feel like it was meeting any obstacles. So I stacked some wood in the fireplace and got ready for a conflagration of junk mail and other debris.


Friday, November 19, 2010

On the way home this afternoon I stopped to visit Buster White. Buster has been restoring old cars for decades. Last month he turned 91, and a couple of weeks ago he bought another project, a 1926 Ford roadster. He doesn't see details very well anymore, so one of his boys, who is about seventy, handles the welding and other chores that demand seeing fine details. Buster already has the engine and transmission out of the car and apart, and he's doing the body work. Based on the other cars he's done, I expect this one will turn out very nice.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

This was a busy day after a late start. I didn't get up until 5:30. I did my three miles in 30:18, hit the shower, and gathered laundry to wash. After doing the laundry I checked out an auction at the fairgrounds. As expected, I found nothing to keep me there, so I came home, put away the clean laundry, and spent a couple of hours filing emails I wanted to save. This afternoon I went to an anniversary party for some old friends who were in our local antique car club before it folded. It was nice to see some folks I haven't seen in several years. I left the paty and drove to Wichita, had dinner at Restaurante Rochel, and went to Radio Lobo's eighth anniversary concert. The show included Principes de la Música Norteña, Gupo Control, Bryndis, and Montez de Durango. It was a good evening, and I finally got to bed about two.


Principes de la Música Norteña


Grupo Control




Montez de Durango


Sunday, November 21, 2010

A wind from the south brought a warm day, and I got back to work on the roof. I poured more plaster to fill up more of the space behind the chimney, but I used up the plaster I had and will have to buy another sack to finish the job. I got started on cutting particle board sheeting and screwing ot on, then took care of a job that's been waiting a long time. For the last few winters I've noticed a cold draft blowing in under one of my bedroom windows, so this afternoon I installed some insulation to fill the space. The forecast is for another week of dry weather, so I hope to get a lot done on the roof.


Monday, November 22, 2010

After plugging most of the potential leaking places, I poured more plaster behind the chimney this afternoon. A little bit still leaked out, so I'll let that set up to plug those leaks, then pour in some more. This year's cool-down is late, but this is the week for it. Today it was 67º at noon. A couple of hours later the wind had turned around to come from the north and the temperature was 54º. Later this week we're supposed to have a low in the teens.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So this afternoon I poured in some more plaster and will let that set up before I pour in some more. Then I spent most of an hour getting the tarps in place because there's a 20% chance of rain in the forecast. If I didn't cover up, you know the 20% would change to 100%.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

About the only work I did this afternoon was grocery shopping. The chance of rain in the forecast continues, so I left the roof tarps in place. This was one of those days when the outside temperature climbs a lot more than the indoor temperature, so when I got home I propped open the front and back doors to let some of the warmer air into the house. While shopping for groceries this afternoon I noticed some canned asparagus on sale. It's been a long time since I had any asparagus, so I went over to the produce section and picked up a pound of the fresh stuff, which was my main course this evening. Yummy.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

This was a day to laze in bed. I didn't get up until half past seven. I spent most of the morning at the computer, then went to town for a Thanksgiving chowdown at my cousin Irene's. Later I dropped in on cousin Shane and enjoyed some cornbread and beans.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Digital photography is wonderfully convenient, but I don't trust the images to last. I expect that in a few years clicking on one of those files will open a screenful of hash. On the other hand, I have slides almost sixty years old that look like they were taken yesterday. So I'll use digital for immediate results, but I intend to keep shooting slides too, as long as I can get film. That's why I spent Black Friday in Wichita. I went up to buy a couple of rolls of slide film, which is unavailable here, and while I was there I did some clothes shopping. I loaded up on enough socks to last several years due to the transitory nature of what I like. When you find a product you prefer, it's best to buy enough to last a long time, because the next time you want it you may not be able to get it. So I stopped at Sears in Town East, found the kind of socks I prefer, and bought all they had. At Penneys I got four winter caps, which should last at least four years. A stop a K-Mart yielded seven flannel shirts in colors and patterns I could stand, then I finished up at Sears in Town West where I bought all they had of my favorite socks. I don't consider shopping a recreational activity. It's just a chore I have to do when I want something. Today's expedition should take care of most of my clothes shopping for the next year or so.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

I was a cold weather sissy this morning, cowering inside until the outdoor temperature got up to the high forties. Then, a little before noon, I ascended to the roof, peeled off the tarps, and got to work. I mixed up a batch of plaster and poured it down behind the chimney, then while waiting for that to set up I went to town to buy a battery for my 35mm camera. It was a fool's errand. The right battery was not to be had in this county. So when I got home I mixed and poured the last batch of plaster . I think the space is all filled, because I wasn't able to work any more plaster down into the openings. I've been shoving it down into two openings about a half inch wide with a piece of wood lath, but no more would go in. I'll find out if all the space is filled when I take off the boards I've tacked up along both sides of the chimney to keep the plaster from leaking out. I expect that even if there are some small gaps, most of the space is filled. I finished the plaster work about 2:30 and headed to wichita to buy the two camera batteries I should have thought of when I was there yesterday. I got the batteries and made it home a little before five. For chow I had enchiladas rancheras at La Fiesta, then took in a show. The movie was Disney's Tangled, based on Rapunzel. It was very well done, with good songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, and excellent 3-D animation.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today I took the forms off and found that the plaster I poured down behind the chimney filled most of the space, but there are a couple of places where I'll need to mix a thick batch and put it in from the side with a trowel. I cut and screwed on the sheeting on the lowest part of the roof, but I didn't attempt any more because of the wind. Trying to get a full 4' x 8' sheet up there would have been too much in this afternoon's 30 mph breeze. The work I did get done was frequently interrupted to perform a snotectomy.



Monday, November 29, 2010

I was going to mix up the last of the plaster and fill those holes, but I couldn't find it. I suppose the sack was light enough for Daisy or a neighbor dog to drag it off somewhere. Maybe I'll get lucky and find it before the next rain. So instead of plastering I worked on installing more sheeting on the roof. The most interesting part was getting a 4' x 8' piece out of the garage and dragging it up onto the roof. There was just enough wind to make it an adventure. By the time I wrestled the thing all the way up to the upper roof, then measured and marked it for cutting, the afternoon was pretty well shot. With any luck I'll get it cut and screwed on tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 30 2010

Well, I didn't get that piece screwed on. After I finished cutting it, I went ahead with measuring and cutting the next piece. Those two jobs used up the afternoon. The temperature got up to 42º, but there wasn't much wind, so I didn't feel cold. In fact, with all the climbing up and down, and hauling boards around, eventually I had to take off my coat.