Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wisconsin Weather

Well you know I never blog about the good weather in Wisconsin, so it must be snowing again... I almost posted last week with temps in the 70s at the start of November, just because it was so nice, but I didn't. However, it was in the 70s for three days in a row, then the 50s, and now we're on out third day in a row of flurries. Not flurries of sunshine. So far nothing sticking, but it is supposed to get more frigid, and maybe get up to an inch or two over the next couple of days.
Soon on tap also is replacing the brake pads and rotors on the Volvo. It would have been better when it was in the 70s!!!
And with this talk of snow, I'm looking at more of the 700c Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 35mm tires for Dr. Katie's bike.

Monday, November 3, 2008

House guest (guest worker program) Part Two

So on the second day we took on door number two. This was the door from the dining room to the screen porch. We found a great replacement that looks like this one at Menards, and put it right in. This was probably the easiest door of the three. While we had the old door out and were preparing to put the new one in, it started snowing!

Later that day, after mom left for her conference and Katie left for work, dad and I decided to try to clear some leaves out of the vent pipe from the downstairs bathroom. The outlet for the vent is almost even with the deck, and there is very little access to the duct. There was no cover on the vent to keep things out. We had to take off the first deck board in order to access the vent, and that was a chore in itself. Many of the deck screws were stripped, and others had broken off. Dad had to use the Dremel tool to make cuts in the top so we could use a slotted driver to remove the screws. When we got the deck board off, we discovered that not only were there leaves, but there was a lot of dirt and rocks in the pipe as well. Some sort of critter had made its home in the pipe, and had made it so that the air had nowhere to go as it was trying to be pushed out by the bathroom fan. That could help to explain why we had some mold develop in the basement during the summer. We cleaned the duct out, and the next morning went to the local Ace hardware store and got a bunch of stuff, including a damper/dryer vent style flapper to try to keep out whatever had been living inside.
At the Ace we also bought electrical stuff to wire up some switches downstairs so that we don't have to pull strings to get the lights to come on.
On Wednesday, the day before dad left, we replaced the front door. This one had a higher degree of difficulty, since we did all of the work from the inside in order to not have to completely take apart the trip work outside the front door. Here is the new front door getting ready to go in:
We really got a lot done while my dad was here. (by we I mean he got a lot done). We replaced three doors, wired lights downstairs to come on with a switch, cleaned out and insulated around the bathroom vent duct, poured a cement "transition" from the driveway to the garage where there had been a bit of a ditch, and measured for a bathroom project that he can work on next time he comes, provided that he ever wants to come back, since all he does is work when he is here. But I'll let him have a day off next time.
Thank you dad!!!!

House guest (guest worker program) Part One

So last week my parents came to town! It was nice to see them, although I only saw mom for a few hours between conferences in Chicago and New Jersey. But my dad was here from Saturday afternoon through Thursay morning. He initially didn't want to stay for that long, but we convinced him that there would be enough to do while he was here, and it turns out that we were right. There was plenty to do!
Saturday night we had a flank steak on the grill, blogged about the wine we had, and planned out the rest of the week.
We got up on Sunday morning and headed out to the Home Depot to get what was needed for the projects. The primary project would be to replace the three doors coming into the house. They were old and fairly drafty. We were not too happy with the choice of doors at the Depot, so we decided to head to Menards to see if they had a better selection. Boy, did they ever! I think I now have a new favorite home improvement store.
Here are three pictures of the first door we did, from the garage to the house. When we pulled out the old door, we found a void beneath the threshold, and needed to poor some cement in to support the door.
The second picture shows dad using the screwdriver from the Volvo tool kit to chisel out the recess for the strikeplate of the new lockset. Not having the right tools for the job was a primary mantra for the week.

The first door finished:

My mom arrived just as we finished this door, and then we made dinner, a pork roast with a somewhat spicy gravy. But at least now I know how to make gravy. Thanks mom!