sailing the NorSea


WEEK 36 2014

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Saturday 6 September 2014
Saturday - Yard sales in the morning. I bought a few small things, nothing of importance. Then lunch at the Korean place, and home for a nap. A bit of app work, not a lot.

I did move the dogs kennel up to the bedroom for the evening.

I'm also "Turtle Sitting", since some friends with a semi-aquatic turtle discovered it's nipping at their goldfish. Apparently it's goldfish mating season (who knew?) and this has excited everyone, so I have him for a few days until things settle down. I had an empty aquarium, so I just filled it, started up the filter and air pump, and plopped him in. Then I spent some time making his a little platform - he needs a place to rest while breathing, and prefers to rest in a next of (fake) weed. He seems pretty happy, and the cats are quite curious.

suzy and turtle
Suzy sez: "A growing cat needs her protein!"

Friday 5 September 2014
Friday - Sammy was yipping on Thursday night, unhappy at being along in a strange place. I slept part of the night on the couch near her. The kennel doesn't weigh much, but I'm not going to schlep it around at 3am. And, honestly, it's a lot cooler downstairs.

Worked on the app a bit. Trying to reduce the logic down to manageable sizes, reasonably successful.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Thursday - Hot.

Off to the clinic appointment at AVC at 8:15am and .... the trailer isn't there. I hung around a while, even went to the library (not much iOS stuff) and they finally showed up. And I wasn't in the system. They remembered me, and my problem, and that I was scheduled to come in, but I wasn't actually in the schedule. So they had me come in a bit later, essentially during their lunch, and after about an hour, managed to clean up my ear issue. It's nice to be able to hear again. I'll bring them some nice designer cupcakes or something next week.

Since I have new glasses and can hear again I made the appointment for my drivers license renewal, for next week.

This, apart from quarterly taxes coming up (easy to do, since I made almost nothing) are the last of the chores that I've been battling my way through for the last month or two. Free again!

I was pretty tired after that. Having stuff shot into your ears really takes it out of you for some reason, so no more shelves got done. And just a bit of reading on app (iOS7) stuff.

In the evening a friend dropped off "Sam", a cute little dog, while he and his wife go off to their daughter's wedding for a couple of days. The younger cats ran upstairs and hid under the bed, of course, but by 9pm we had Jimmy peeping around the corner again. Sam's been here before, so I don't think it'll be a problem. Riley, of course, simply dominates the poor dog by sheer force of his grouchy personality.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Wednesday - Hot.

A cat story: I was sitting on the patio, enjoying my patio while the cats roamed about. I heard this "scritch...scritch...scritch..." sound behind me and turned around to see: Jimmy climbing the stucco house wall. He was at about shoulder height to me, five feet up, when I turned around. Sadly he jumped down before I could get a picture, but still... I knew he was a climber, but I'm at a loss to know what to do about that!

I varnished some shelf planks, same drill as yesterday. It occurred to me that I need to pre-drill the ends, before final assembly.

Just a bit of app stuff.

Tuesday 2 September 2014
Tuesday - Hot again, 102F.

Varnished the first set of boards, the wooden brackets that are to be fastened to the garage's east wall. First I wiped them down with acetone, let them dry a bit, then applied the Minwax Pre-stain, waited an hour, applied the varnish, waited six hours, scuffed with steel wool, then applied a second coat.

I was a little concerned after the first coat as it looked more of a Pecan shade, rather than Cherry. After the second coat was applied it now looked much the same cherry shade as the two old boards, except (I realized) that it was gloss and not satin. Oh well. I could put a third layer on both, then they'd match, but they'd also be a lot darker I think. I guess I could check on a piece of scrap.

Things seemed pretty dust free (better than the old shelf boards!), so I'm happy with the paint booth.

If I'd just painted them white they'd have been done a week ago...

temporary paint booth
You can just see the shelf brackets resting on a little table inside the paint booth.

In the early afternoon I wrestled with bills - both the bill pay stuff for the rental and my own bills. Eventually I got it done. I had one worrisome charge on the old Mastercard that I had to call about: nearly $200 mid month that I couldn't remember spending. After 45 minutes on hold I finally got through and discovered that it was the payment for the college classes! Heh.

In the late afternoon I worked on the app a bit, but was distracted by a particularly pesty Jimmy. Eventually I just gave up working at the workstation and read downstairs (an iOS7 book) with him napping fitfully next to me. Eventually he arose and started upchucking stuff - I guess he'd been feeling bad since midday, poor little guy. Suzy seemed a bit listless, but didn't throw up (that I know of).

I did discover something interesting while reading: that interface declaration in the view controller's *.m file isn't an error; in Xcode 5 and later Apple wants you to put the declarations for the view's actions and outlets in it, as they are really private methods. I just figured Xcode was messed up and was putting my declarations in the standard *.h file... I suppose if I used storyboards and IB more I'd have noticed eventually.

Monday 1 September 2014
Monday - Hot again, 100F or so.

Back to work in the garage. The task at hand was to build a paint booth for varnishing the shelf boards. It's phenomenally dusty in Lancaster, so I needed something - last time I vanished it was a disaster, the little dust flecks showed up prominently. Oddly it isn't quite so bad with latex - I guess it's thicker and the surface tension just sucks the dust under.

Anyway, Idea #1 was to build a frame out of 2x2's, which just seemed like too much work. Idea #2 was to screw 2x2's to the garage ceiling in a rectangular pattern, 4'x8', and staple drop cloths to them. Eventually I just ended up using Idea #3: using two existing freestanding shelves and putting a couple of 2x2's across the tops to hold the drop cloths. It's not permanent, everything is just held together with clamps, so it'll be easy to disassemble. I ran out of (clean) dropcloths but found a few feet of construction paper to cover the remaining gaps.

By lunchtime it was together, but also too darn hot to start. Instead I had lunch with friends, then a nap, and some other work around the house.
Sunday 31 August  2014
Sunday - Hot again, I'd guess high 90's. I've been hand watering dry patches in the back yard that have developed despite daily (night) waterings. The tomatoes are looking thin, I'm not sure if its heat stress or bugs. I definitely have something gnawing on my hot peppers, but I haven't been able to catch it. Tomato worm or snail maybe.

In the morning I did the upstairs cleaning (It's easier on my back and the cats nerves if I spread the vacuuming out over a coupe of days). Suzy hid in her usual spot, under a blanket on the couch downstairs. I took the opportunity to move the beds and vacuum underneath since it's been a while. I found the usual cat toys and eye shades, and some random bits of string that the cats had dragged under.

Not much going on in the afternoon and evening. I didn't do much on the app. I thought of watching a game on TV, but my broadcast stations didn't have anything.

Picture of the Week
Chicken at AV Fair, August. 2014 
Photo Notes: A Chicken that 'looks like Phyllis Diller', August 2014.

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