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Sunday, August 22, 2010

not bad for a lazy weekend.

got the ants painted, they are in the garden and on the deck now.

been working on the s/1 also.  that was a very sick radio when I got it off eBay, have fully recapped it, replaced about 8 transistors and a dozen diodes, a tubload of out of spec resistors in the RF deck, new output tube, new transformer, done most of the Kollar modifications, and have replaced all the diode-switched flea pins with a barrier block for easier connection.

tonight I found I had the AC line ground at the Cinch connector hooked up to the wrong pin.  that could have been ugly.  got that straightened out now.

we're getting real close... it's about time to finish looking up the transformer leads and get the manual annotated on where they connect... and then start checking the voltages, low first.  not going to hook up the screen and plate supplies until I have a fused crowbar built for the counter/keyer section.  a lot of  expensive ugly in the counter board, enough so I shotgunned out all the TTL logic, put in sockets, and fixed a lot of burned-off traces.  don't want 1600 volts going where it doesn't belong again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have to paint my ants. perhaps tomorow.

don't you paint your ants regularly?

OK, I'll explain.  we have a neighbor moving out of her home, and helped sort and pack stuff last weekend.  along the way, stuff she doesn't need, can't take, doesn't want, etc. got cleaned out of places like sheds.  we ended up with a weed whacker, some flowerpots, base for a chimenea, and some iron decorative baskets and pieces.  two of them are welding-shop steel ants, about a foot long.

primed all the iron stuff sunday in between other tasks.  we figure on painting one ant red, the other black.  they're going in/on/near the garden, and I haven't decided yet, but figure the red and on the ground, and will probably tack the black ant crawling up a deck post towards the table using some fence staples.

gardens can be fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

repurposing old stuff: celebrating the holidays at our house

Ahh, the holidays. A little weather incoming, but we'll be holed up snug, no problem.

So I'm waiting in the snow at the bus stop, and my cell rings. "Are you sitting down?"

Frankly, my dear, there is no "down" to sit out here.

"There is water all over the basement and the ceiling has fallen down."

There are also six newly-built dovetailed drawers for the cabinets half-painted, and a bird feeder McMansion ready to mount. And all of Son #3's business records. Please to get that stuff the (!) out of there, I'll look it over when I get home.

Sitting on the bus, thinking, "geez, I hope this wasn't corrosion from another harebrained quickie builders' trick 30 years ago."

Yep. you might think the subcontractors were in cahoots to loot the place and get out quick, reading that. evidence indicates this is worth considering.

Got home, waded through the mess, set up a ladder which promptly wicked up a quart of water into the legs... there is a steel nail bent over, holding the hot water feed to a floor joist. Bent over to dimple the copper pipe. Rusty as a farmer's junk pile behind the hill. Turn on the water, a fine needle spray from the dimple, corroded right through. electrolytic corrosion, a real plumber would never put in contact two different metals without brass or plastic in between them.

"geez, I wonder if I can fix this with a cut and a coupling. my luck with this is not real good."

And still counting, had to make a speed run to Orange Apron Place for any pipe and couplings I might need over the next few days. Quantity sized by the thought, "how many more of these little time bombs did the esteemed builder set up for us to fail on weekends, holidays, and middle of the night?"

Cut out a tee and angle and four feet towards the kitchen, and six to eight inches either side of the main feed, because the wanker was up against a floor joist, and I can't cook the water out without burning down the house. Yes, I tried. That's why a coupling fix led to a worse leak.

Had to pull down another two feet of ceiling sheetrock.

Got it done at midnight. Hinged, mounted, and filled the bird feeder. took an 80-pound sack of crap out to the trash, at the curb, in the Death Snowfall From Hell.

Had to shovel the car out starting at 8 am to get to work.

It is written that the Lord will not test you any more than you can handle.

Some days I wish he didn't trust me so much.

Oh, and the wife dropped the propane torch, it's hosed up, barely working. They used to keep working after they keeled over from being unbalanced by design. then again, they used to be made here, too.

They killed the buzz. But random nonsense will NEVER die!

... and so here some is.  One set of scraps of life gets swept into another pile, and you stepped in it.

Welcome to Scraps of Life with swschrad.  This won't scrape off, so you might as well bookmark it.  I sort of intend to copy some cached stuff over here for a slow start, and then will probably peter out completely.

As I figure this blog engine out, the appearance might change somewhat.  Won't it be exciting to see beginner mistakes?