Always tweaking something!

Another Productive Weekend

Day 2424 Another Productive Weekend

Yep. Had myself another one of those “getting shit done” weekends. Now I need a week to recover from it.

Started out early (but not early enough) and had a lovely freezing ride to the Y Saturday morning. I knew it was going to be cold when I looked out the bedroom window & saw frost on the roof of the back porch. Still – I rode. Wearing shorts too. I did think to wear gloves and to tell the truth, that made a huge difference. Once at the Y I sprinted upstairs to get to spin. Made it just at the end of warm ups, which was fine because I was totally warmed up from the ride there.

After the gym routine, I had to de-clutter the bathroom project. It’s amazing the amount of debris that built up. Of course, once the room was decluttered I immediately dove into removing a window and tearing out another wall. After that, I figured out a relatively easy way to peel up ceramic floor tile en-mass. I went after the luaun underlayment and took the backer board & tile with it. The underlayment had just enough flexibility to not break except at it’s seams and did a nice job of supporting the backerboard. The backerboard was stiff enough that the tiles didn’t come flying off in the process. The worst part was prying it up, then lugging it out to the curb.

I should have taken a picture of the pile I had at the curb for the Waste Manglement guy. After today he is sure to hate my guts. I left him glass from two sets of storm windows, the panes & frames from two sets of double hung windows, two 35 gallon cans of drywall debris, another 25 gallon can only ¾ full of ceramic tile & backerboard (that still weighed over 80 lbs), about a rolls worth of ancient (45 year old) R-8 insulation (yes, that’s all they used back in the 60’s, R-8 in the walls. Terrible!!), a whole shit load of various sized pieces of wood – busted studs, trim, cracked T & G sheathing, and I thin somewhere in there I snuck in a can with a weeks worth of household waste. Those floor sections are gonna suck to get into the truck. I had the joy of carrying them down stairs without never really having to lift them. Poor guy.

Sunday I put a new window in – after making the requisite two trips to the home store for supplies. We’ve some reclaimed bedroom space that’s going to house all of Cindy’s make-up gear. She’ll have an entire drawer unit for all her lotions, potions & powders, a desk drawer kind of thingy and one of those lighted magnifying mirrors. No more taking up sink space to do the morning make up routine. Which I don’t understand anyhow. How is it men are allowed to wander the face of the earth without having to apply hundreds of dollars worth of ‘product’ to their face & hair, but most women wouldn’t think of leaving their bedroom without some sort of camouflage on their skin in an effort to misinform each other and the opposite sex about their true age and/or real appearance. Sorry – long question. Probably rhetorical too, unless one of you wants to try and tackle it.

Anyhow. After the window in the make-up area, I got the rest of the floor stripped down to the subfloor and started laying out where the new walls will be. I need to figure out how to splice in a 45 degree section of wall. I’ve seen them all over, just never bothered to figure out what the framing was like behind it all. Now I need to know. Maybe Google knows the answer. It’s as good a place as any to start the search.

Turns out Google DID know the answer. Here’s a view of the 135 degree junction looking down from the top side:

That junction IS a 135 degree angle. When I looked up a 135 degree corner, nothing useful showed up in the search results. But when I looked up a 45 degree corner, I found all sorts of pictures & advice. It’s funny how the mind works, or not, as the case may be. The other odd note: to make this 135 degree corner, I will never have to set a saw to cut 45 or 135 degrees. The working angle will be 22.5 degrees. That comes up this weekend. I may just haul the table saw upstairs to make this a little easier. It’ll probably save a whole bunch of trips up & down the stairs. I could use the work out, true, but I’d rather not have to haul 8 foot long hunks of wood around with me. Having to pay attention to two things 8 feet apart while turning corners and navigating stairs is more than I want to tackle when I’m trying to remember lengths and angles too.

Today (Tuesday) things on the job front are bubbling a little bit. I got an email from a local agency that want to interview me for a position as a manufacturing engineer. The down sides to this one are that the town is 70 miles away and the job is more mechanical than electrical. I still responded that I’d love to do an interview for the position, figuring that I could use it for practice as much as anything.

Of course, two hours later I get an email asking to set up a phone interview for a job in Pittburgh, Pa with UPMC as their 2nd shift Radiology Engineer. Shit! I’d rather have a practice interview with the local-ish folks before I interview (even on the phone) with UPMC. They were one of my favored positions. Housing markets are comparable, pay is similar, I’ve been a Pirates baseball fan since the days of Willie Stargell & Roberto Clemente, and Zach is a dyed in the wool Penguins fan. We’d see him twice a year for hockey games, no doubt.

I’m going to hold off on the phone interview until Thursday evening. That gives me a couple of days to scrutinize the posting, research answers to questions I can anticipate, research material for questions I may not anticipate, and come up with some questions myself.

In the name of research, what questions would YOU ask a potential employer? Forget about the normal benefits related things – vacation, health insurance, 401k, pension, & possible relocation. (My needs there? 4 weeks minimum, yes – 50% is normal, slide over my existing 401k and do you guys match the first 1, 3, 5%?, and which movers do you have working arrangements with? Will you front me money till my house sells?)

Do I NOT go some of these places yet? Should I play coy and not commit to anything on those topics, deferring to negotiating them all later? I like that approach. I will also be asking The Google these questions, as well as the umpteen job sites I have accounts with. This is going to be worse than studying for a final.

Completely random thoughts & comments:

My laptop has been acting wonky, especially file explorer. I’ve been running Stinger (from McAfee) since 10:30 this morning. 5:10 later, it’s STILL chugging along, although it has made it to the WINNT directory. Almost done.

Odd note for the IT folks out there – Stinger requests that I disable restore points during the scan. If viruses or Trojans are found, it will need to get into the restoration data and remove any potential dangers from there too. Our corporate IT settings are such that I can not disable the auto restoration settings, so Stinger can’t manipulate those files. And yes, I have as full admin privileges as I can get on this beast.

Here’s a progression showing original windows & the process of moving them about 4 feet to the left, while replacing them with newer, energy efficient units.

In the Beginning

Drywall removed, skinned & prepping for window removal

Look ma, no window!

Wow! What a hole!

New windows, new position

Floor's up, wall is out, debris removed. (See the pipes? Used to be a wall there.)


You didn’t get to see it, but the combination of Stinger running, having 34 other apps running in the background and running 3 things off of USB ports plus supporting a separate USB hub aused my crap top to display the Black Screen of Death. Yup. That sick puppy just shut down. I think that’s a sign.


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