Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It was a warmer afternoon, almost 50º, and I was back on the roof cutting and fitting a piece of sheeting. I got started screwing it on. There's another one, already cut, which goes on next, then I'll need to cut and screw on three more. These sessions are a bit shorter these days because I have to take some time to bring in firewood for the evening.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Today was even warmer, almost 60º, and I was back on the roof. I got one piece of sheeting screwed on, and another started.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Finished screwing on the piece I started yesterday, and got another cut and almost ready to install. One cut was a little off, and I'll have to trim the piece slightly to make it fit better.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

After doing laundry I went to an auction at the fairgrounds. I didn't stay for the whole thing, as there wasn't enough of interest to keep me there all day. But I did stay long enough to get three stainless steel, copper-bottom sauce pans for $9 and a large electric wall clock of the kind used in offices fifty years ago for $3. When I got home about two the temperature was a little over forty and there was a strong north wind, so I spent the afternoon indoors. This evening I went to the company Christmas party, and sat with the Mexicans to practice my Spanish.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

OOoops! I probably won't do that again. This evening I lit a fire in the kitchen stove, then went to feed the cats and the dog. But I forgot to open the damper, so when I came back in the kitchen was filled with smoke. I had to prop open the back door and set up a fan to blow some of the smoke out of the room. There wasn't much wind today, but the high was only about 36º, so I spent most of the day indoors. I did go to town for groceries, then jacked up the pickup and removed the front wheel with the flat tire. I'm pretty sure the tire sprang a leak due to age, not a puncture. The tires on the truck are about twenty years old and have a lot of cracks in the sidewalls. I expect I'll replace all of them, but I think I want to do them one at a time, removing the tire, sandblasting the wheel, and painting it before putting on the new tire.


Monday, December 6, 2010

After work I took a couple of pickup wheels to town and had the defunct tires removed, then shopped for paint for them. I didn't find anything close to the right color, so I'm thinking I'll probably buy a quart of yellow and a quart of green, and create my own mix. I spent the last hour getting the roof tarps in place for incoming weather. The forecast is for just a 30% chance of rain, but not covering up would change it to 100%.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

With the chance of rain in the forecast I left the roof tarps in place and did some sandblasting instead of working on the roof. I did one side of one pickup wheel before running out of time. Everything takes longer than you think it will.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On the way home I picked up a couple of bags of blasting sand, but didn't have time to set up the equipment and do more blasting. Instead I did some firewood splitting. This evening I experimented with the kitchen stove. After Sunday's adventure with a smoke-filled room, this time I tried putting just enough wood in the stove to get a fire started without filling up all the space. That turned out to be a lot less smoky than piling in a full load and then lighting it.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

With no need for any shopping I came straight home from work and got busy on the roof. I got three pieces of sheeting cut and installed, leaving just a couple of places to cover. With any luck I should get those done tomorrow, before the warm weather goes south. Saturday is supposed to be about ten degrees cooler.


Friday, December 10, 2010

All of today's roof session was devoted to cutting and installing one small piece of sheeting. It was the last piece I had to do on the east side. The thing measured only 13 inches long, but I had to cut seven angles to make it fit. About four I started putting the tarps back in place because of a chance of rain in the forecast. There was just enough wind to make the job alternate between annoying and enfuriating.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

A wintry wind blew in from the north. Not wanting to spend the day as a snot fountain, I chose an indoor activity and drove over to Caldwell for an auction. As these things usually go, the first hours were devoted to tables full of stuff you couldn't pay me to haul away. I picked up a 1918 school history of Oklahoma and read it while I waited for something I wanted. Stand Watie, John Ross, and Jesse Chisholm made for some interesting reading. The advertised items that brought me there were metal shelves, which I need. But as it turned out, they all sold for more than I was willing to pay. Not to worry. There will be other shelves at other auctions. There were a few other items that went to higher bidders, so I came away with just three bargains. One was a five-foot aluminum step ladder for $7, another was a good solid chair for $1 (a lot of the furniture was super-cheap), and the last was a pair of 78's for $2. The records themselves were of no particular interest. I bought them for theEdison sleeves they were in.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Much of today was devoted to Christmas cards. It took a few hours to scan a picture, then lay out and print the cards. Then it took another couple of hours to print addresses on the envelopes using a different printer than I've used in previous years. I hope I can get back to work on the roof this week, but from the weather forecasts it looks like that's going to be a pretty chilly effort.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Braving the wintry blast, once again I ascended to the roof. The temperature was above freezing, about 36º, and there was a slight breeze, as I measured and cut the penultimate piece of chipboard sheeting. This was another piece with some angles that required careful work. By the time I finally got the thing properly cut to fit, I'd had enough and took my running nose indoors.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This afternoon was a little warmer, about 40º, as I went back up to the roof. Today I installed the piece I cut yesterday, then cut and installed the final piece of sheeting. I won't have to do any more of that until I start work on the front slope, and that probably won't happen until winter has come and gone. Based on previous experience I expect that when I take the old shingles off that south slope I'll find a lot of boards that need to be replaced, and I really don't want to take on another rebuilding job in the dead of winter. Now it's soup season. I get a quart of milk and each evening I have cream of chicken, tomato, cream of mushroom, and so on until the milk is used up. With a detour to something else one or two evenings, that takes a little over a week.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I got away from work a bit late this afternoon, and by the time I brought in wood for the evening there wasn't lot of time left. So I spent the last half hour splitting wood. When I pound in those steel wedges I often think of Mr. Lincoln and other pioneers splitting rails with wooden wedges. I'll take steel.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

This afternoon's main chore was cutting some box scraps into smaller pieces to serve as fireplace fuel. I also took some time to get all the roof tarps ready in case of rain. The forecast shows ony a 20% chance, but I've gambled on those odds before and lost. Better safe than soaked.


Friday, December 17, 2010

La noche de tamales! Two tamales, covered with chili beans, grated queso de quesadillas, jalapeño slices, and chopped onions. Yummy!


Saturday, December 18, 2018

I went for bricks, but hit gold. Well, maybe not gold, but some good stuff. After doing laundry I went to an auction that included a pallet of bricks. Some were not any good for my purposes, but there were enough good street bricks that I bought the pallet for $5. While I was at it I got six locking welder's clamps for $6, a box of C clamps for $4, a box of vice grips for $5, an ax for $2, a garden rake for $2, a box of drill bits for $3, another box of drill bits for $1, a half dozen large combination wrenches for $3, an 18 foot tow chain for $7, a 15 foot tow chain for $5, a five-drawer rolling tool cabinet for $2, and a five hp shop vac for $16. I love buying stuff I can use for a tiny fraction of what it would cost new.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today I got in a little work on the roof, cutting and nailing a board along the east side eaves.


Monday, December 20, 2010

This afternoon I was at the doc's office getting my annual check-up. He didn't find anything wrong. It will take a few days to get the lab report.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I celebrated the first day of winter by vacuuming and mopping the bathroom and half the kitchen. With company coming for Christmas, I have a couple more days of house cleaning to do. At least I need to clear the couch and some chairs so people will have someplace to sit.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

It seems I've neglected the blog for a few days, so here's a summary. Wednesday after work, Thursday, and Friday I cleaned house while my cousin Pete exercised her cooking skills in the kitchen. Friday afternoon I was in town about to head for Ponca city to buy some new clothes when I was pulled over by the sheriff and ticketed for an expired tag. I usually take care of those things as soon as the notice comes in the mail, so I have no idea how I let this one get by me. I went home and parked the Camry until I can renew the registration, and drove the Suburban to do my shopping. Yesterday, Christmas, the house was full of relatives. There were eleven of us, ranging in age from fourteen months to eighty-nine years. We had a fine feast and enjoyed visiting and watching the baby's antics. Here's the video. Last night I went to see the Coen brothers' new version of True Grit, a new classic. The Coens have done it again. They wrote their own screenplay from the Charles Portis novel, and the writing is wonderful. Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matt Damon are outstanding in the leads, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper are great bad guys, and Dakin Matthews is a delight among the supporting cast. Set design is great overall, with a minor error. The lighting and cinematography are first-rate and beautifully traditional, as is fitting in a western. The music is perfectly suited and makes use of old hymns, with Leaning on the Everlasting Arms as a main theme. Both the film and the cast are likely to be among the year's Oscar nominees. This is one I'm going to go see again. The set design error? A mine with no tailings. The locations in Texas and New Mexico don't all resemble the Choctaw nation, but I suspect not enough of that country remains unspoiled to suit as a movie location.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Yesterday I spent a Trapist afternoon, with no radio, TV, or noise of any kind. I spent it sorting and filing my December receipts. Then I went to see True Grit again. Still excellent. Today after work I split wood. We're in that part of the year when I do that a lot. I believe I'll watch for a splitter to come up for sale at an auction. It's good exercise splitting by hand, but it also takes up more time than I'd like to spend at it.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This afternoon I sharpened the ax I bought for $2 at last week's auction and used it on some firewood. I'm still waiting for a call on the chainsaw that went to town for repair last week. I suppose I'd better finish blasting truck wheels, get them painted, new tires on, and back on the truck so I can haul wood. The next couple of afternoons are supposed to be warm and windy, which should be good for sandblasting.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well, no sandblasting today. The day started foggy and damp, and stayed wet until just before sundown. We'll see how tomorrow is. The clear weather has been arriving later than forecast lately, so maybe the ensuing winter weather will do the same.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

The sandblaster had sat unused for a few months, so I had to spend about a half hour to get it working properly. The sand inside had gotten damp during humid weather, then dried and set up. After I took off the bottom valve and stuck a piece of welding rod into the tank a couple of times to loosen up the sand, it worked perfectly and I was able to finish a wheel completely. When I started a little before three the wind from the south was still blowing to carry the sand away from me. After awhile the wind died down. Not wanting to take the time to change clothes, I just took them off to keep them out of the flying sand and worked in undies. Days in the high sixties are pretty rare this time of year, so I expect I'll be bundled up when I do the next wheel.


Friday, December 31, 2010

I took advantage of the day off to start painting that wheel. I used "sunburst yellow" and a little dab of "hunter green" Rustoleum to mix a light yellow/green that's a pretty close match to the original color. It came out of the spray gun too slowly at first because it needed thinning. Once thinned, it went on very nicely and I got the back of the wheel painted. I'll cook it overnight then turn it over and paint the front. While I was in town I bought a new chain saw, which I hope to use this weekend. The forecast for Sunday shows a sunny day with a high above 40º, so it should be a good day to cut some firewood.