Friday, November 20, 2009

Finishing touches on the porch/study

There has been a self, and wife-imposed deadline on this multi-year project of turning a porch into a year-round office space.

All it really needs in order to become an office is for me to move the internet connection to the room and then put desk, chairs and computers in there. A while ago we thought it would be a good idea to have some built-in storage too and so we purchased a truck-load of Ikea stuff. The cabinets are not really required for office use but it would be a pain to do the work once all our work-things get put in. For almost a year all the Ikea boxes were stored here:

All of the boxes fit into the lower shelf on the left where there are two boxes remaining.

As one can see, they take up vastly less room in the boxes than when they are assembled.

If you can follow the cartoon instructions then the furniture looks good, functions well and is very solid. The problem I had was with missing parts. There were two missing parts in the first cabinet box, one of which was the instructions. I got fairly far before I realized that I was missing another part, so I opened up the 2nd box and eureka! It had directions and an obvious other part the first box lacked. I cannibalized from the 2nd to complete the first, and then from the 3rd to replace the missing part from the 2nd which had gone to the 1st & etc. In the end I think there were two sets of directions in 4 boxes and two missing hardware types. I checked with the Ikea site and in order to get replacement parts you need three things: The receipt (which we have thanks to a super-thorough wife), you have to go to an actual store (the closest one is an hour away) and it has to be 90 days from the time of purchase (it was about a year ago). I wouldn't have wanted to drive all that way when I could probably improvise something.

If you use your gray-matter, you can tell two things from the above picture: Which cabinet has the missing part and what the missing part is.

How could you know?

Obviously, the last wall unit will be the lower one since with this L shape, the logical place to start would be on the right side and then work your way left, with the lower left one in last. You can tell from the picture that there is more light coming from the low one. It would have been a darker one if I had used luan plywood instead of sheet-metal. The other missing part was the mounting brackets--I used hinges that I already had as a replacement.

All of this was 9 boxes: One for each wall unit and five boxes for the unit sitting on the floor (base, two sections, drawers, doors).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

He keeps saying stupid things and yet people still listen to him.

The center of the earth is millions of degrees? He is only off by about three orders of magnatude, but what do I--a mere non Nobel prize-winner--know?

It is just the Byam and it is because of Gilmore

Other schools in our town allow Christmas themed gifts, so it is not as if this is some kind of rule from "on high". It is just the whim of the Byam principal, nothing more and is entirely typical of her ways. One incident in our daughter's class illustrates the point exactly: There was some rule against PG movies, but the teacher got permission slips from every child in the class' parents and still Gilmore nixed the movie when she found out about it! We have put three kids through that school and have a million stories of her blind adherence to rules and control-freakishness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Situation normal: Running on an injury

I really lucked-out last year in that most of the time I had no injuries. This has lead to a false sense of security since most of the last eight years I have had one pain or another; usually the left Achilles tendon. It has been a good string: I've run 3 marathons, a 10k, a ten miler and a two mile race in roughly one year's time. Now things are getting back to normal in that one week after NYC I pulled-up lame.

The most common advice I get when I talk of injuries is that I should just quit running until I am healed. The problem with this is that it takes from six months to a year to heal and if I stop running all that time I will be back to square-one when I resume. So, I will do what I have been doing the last few years: Run, but not as hard; use lots of ice-packs and eat a lot of aspirin. Oh yes; and learn to accept that my calf is going to hurt when I run and most of the rest of the time too.

I've got to keep things in perspective: I don't have a life-threatening disease--just a bit of pain when I engage in a hobby (a hobbly?) that I don't even much care for.

Veteran's day off

My normal day off happened to coincide with Veteran's day, so the kids were off from school and we all had an outing around lunch time.

Most of the trees have lost all leaves, but sometimes you come across one that is a little tardy.

This natural area is called "Lime Quarry" but the only rocks I notice are made of granite.