Category Archives: Around The House

All my projects around the House.


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Ever run into the problem where the shelf is too deep for the items being placed on it? The items get pushed around, fall, and simply no longer look good. Here is a quick fix we have done to resolve this..

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LINK TO PEGBOARD PEGS►  AND BASKETS ►  LINK TO DRILL►     Although it may be a simple project, depending on the space you have avaliable and the type of work you do, peg board can make a huge difference on the function of that space..



moving boxesYes, many of you who follow me already know we moved. Moving is an adventure under any circumstances but throw in owning a business that will be closing temporarily, switching roles in a marriage (“Mr Mom”) and moving to a job in a new city and state that is 100% commission base where everyone wants to know how much you make in order to get housing, utilities, or really anything else..  Oh and don’t forget, we had no where to live ahead of us getting to the new city.  We were fortunate to have a few weeks of “no work” so we could get focused on selling stuff, packing stuff, and getting organized before the date of the move actually came about.

Oh hey!, I almost forgot to mention.. Thanks for coming along to here you will get additional background to the vids as well as other insights..  Still cant get enough come let me know you want more interaction and daily info over on the Facebook page..

So, enough about that, here are some vids of the moving chaos on the garage side of things. .. I will be posting one a week so be sure to come back to see the others as they come up..

This was the fun part..

and Yet another one.  The shop is empty!!! YEA!! it is so bitter sweet leaving a good shop behind but there was some things that worked out good for us.

We finally made it.. now to start getting settled in

Your new house really isn’t yours!

Numbers_341_to_385_Lordship_Lane_N17         (Please note this is not meant to offend anyone but rather educate or at least provoke thought about how a person approaches a situation)

I cannot say that I am a professional home buyer by any extent but I have now bought 2 homes (which I still currently own both of them still) but a thought came to me after the purchase of my second home and seeing that the reaction of the neighbors to the changes I made to the homes soon after my purchase. That is the cause for my question, Is you new house really yours? More in the eyes of others.. It is already understood that once you buy a new house, you are going to do things to make it feel like home to you. Things that include: Paint, landscape, plants. yard decor (my wife says plumbing fixtures and broke down cars are not yard decor), and so many other things.

I know upon buying our first home, the house had been neglected, the worst was the landscaping. There were TAM bushes all around the house with extreme amounts of overgrowth and a huge lilac bush square on top of the main sprinkler system. ( I will get pictures up as soon as I can) Our first move was to remove any bushes that were not salvageable and trim the ones that could be. In the process of doing this, several people made the comments that “those were their favorite plants” or “the last home owner loved that plant so much”. Not to upset anyone but I really did not care, it was our house now and there were things that I felt needed to be done. I do recall at one time discussing this with my wife and mentioning “if it is their favorite bush, why do they not have one of their own?”.  When we bought our most recent house my wife and I got several of the same comments.. Now  a comment like this coming from someone that is already a friend may be taken differently than that of someone that does not know you all that well. Then again, I do not recall any of the friends making comments like that, so, no biggy.  I will not go into great detail but there were several comments about “how would my mother-in-law (who we bought the house from) allow us to make the changes we did?”. I think it all too funny how quickly people forget that when there is a change of owner ship, everyone makes some changes to the house. Some are bigger than others but they are still done.. As we purchase a house, the natural need it so make that house become a home, not just a any home but OUR home.. I know the other night on the way home from an activity, as we approached the house I had a strong sense of being HOME. I cannot tell you the importance of that feeling after a solid year of feeling like nothing in our life was a long term situation. I was once told that a home is just a place to hang your hat, how false that really is. A Home is a place that a person can be themselves, a place that they can relax after a long day, a place to invite friends and family to for the intent of having a good time, a place of peace and above all a place that the spirit can dwell, bringing that, so needed level of peace to our lives. In all you do, make your house your home! You live there, you live with the way it was built and the way it looks more than anyone else..

That Perfect Computer keyboard

k360Wow, OK , I do not want to seem like I am being completely negative but.. I AM. I have learned to hate computer keyboards. I have found over the years that a comfortable, good quality keyboard makes all the difference when you are spending more than just  a moment or two using it a day. I know when I was younger, ergonomics was something “OLD” people thought about. I now realize that it is not “OLD” but rather smart people that think about these types of things. Here are some of the things that I would love to see in a keyboard that as of now I cannot seem to find:

1-    Short throw keys. The more your fingers have to move to depress the keys, the more fatigue and strain. Laptops seem to have this figured out  but are lacking in other areas.

2-    Wrist supports. For the purpose of not having problems like tendinitis or other wrist problems. You have to have proper support. I know that you can buy an additional wrist supports but that is just one more thing to take up space and have to move when adjusting your desk to accommodate projects.

3-    No heat. Like I said, laptops have perfect amounts of throw but, because of the electronics, there is a lot of heat coming from the keys and wrist rests. This also makes it super uncomfortable and hard to use for long a duration of time.

4-    Full keyboard. I know that some people will argue with me, and I understand. A lot of people don’t use their 10-key  but I do. I want a keyboard that has it all because I do it all.

5-    Sleek. Just because I want a 10-key and short throw keys does not mean it needs to be huge and clunky, nor do I want have several pieces all over the desk to make a complete unit. Because I do it all, I am often sliding my keyboard around the desk to accommodate projects, paper for sketches for ideas, or any other thing that happens to fall on my plate.

I can tell you this, from my experience, Logitech seems to be the closest to what I am looking for and maybe some day they will come across this and make a product that is what I am looking for… I have been trying out the K360 and it is pretty good but I would make a few changes to accommodate the criteria I mentioned above.. for a long time I have been using the MK700/MK710. I love it. I like the layout but it is a bit big, I do believe that it could be reduced a bit and still keep that layout. Also the throw on the keys is a bit deep and because of the way it is constructed, it does start to have “Sticky keys” that wont depress when typing quickly because they use a plastic on plastic sliding system.

I really don’t know if this is suppose to be a review of what I use or if this is just me Venting ( probably just venting) but I thought that this may be helpfull to others that face the same problem.. If I do find the PERFECT fit. I will let you know and get a review out on it quickly. in the meanwhile, you have questions about the hardware that I am currently using, please feel free to ask.

These are the Keyboards I was referring to if you would like one click here to support my page


Rest from the Rental – That’s about it though

This is has been a very annoyingly busy last couple of weeks. Every time I turned a corner there was something else that needed to be done. I knew that this would happen but it always seems to creep in the need to get everything done. On the other side with the tenant that had signed a lease backing out, it felt like we had a bit more time and could take what was needing to be done a little slower, and not with such a push on our time. Well, all until about Wednesday when we found out someone was intent on signing a lease and wanted to move in on Friday.. not Friday a week or so later, no, this Friday,.. “Oh POO!” we had to get things done especially since we were going to be out of town Friday and Saturday. So, Thursday Night we were at the rental house trying our darndest to get things wrapped up. We did alright on the interior stuff, the new blinds were up, the curtain rods were up, shower curtains and rods were in place. My wife even started cleaning up some stuff right up until the down pour of rain. I was working on the Dryer only to find out that it was a thermal fuse and a thermistor that had gone out and I would not be able to finish the fix until the following Monday or Tuesday. Here are the pics for the apparent reason it went out.

Fortunately they were OK with that and we’ll be able to get it done. There are still several things that I believe need to get done sooner rather than later but most all of it is on the outside of the house and can be done as time goes on.
It is a good thing I only said I was getting rest from the rental house though because Friday and Saturday we went up to the air show at Hill Air Force Base.. it was fun to see so many different planes as well as all the other fun stuff they had on display. I was a bit disappointed as they really did not have anywhere for people to enjoy the air show its self.. there was only as small set of bleachers that were for VIPs and the rest was concrete pad only.. not too big of a deal if they were to keep the show up in the air buy there was a lot of the show on the runway as well. I cannot say I did not enjoy the show though. From just about anywhere at the base you could frequently see the planes and jets doing all sorts of insane maneuvers that 50+ years ago or to most modern pilots would have caused the plane to go down.


The grand finally was the thunderbirds. It was the big Synchronized jet performance that everyone was waiting for. Unfortunately we missed most of it.. as we waited we let the kids walk around with the toys they had pretending that they were flying when, all of a sudden we heard a blood curdling scream. Yup, it was Kyle, he had apparently tripped and fell on a grate causing a huge (3cm) gash to his knee. The medics on base were only able to wrap it up so they took us on carts to the bus stop and told us to get him to somewhere that he could get stitches. The funny thing is, our van was only a few blocks from where they were dropping us off. It seems that because we were Civilians, they did not want to go that little extra distance so we could get him fixed up, instead we waited on a bus for the airshow to complete, went to the van and then proceeded to fight traffic for 30 to 45 min just to get off base. Upon arriving at the insta-care, they had apparently closed at 5PM (to give you a time line, the accident happened at 3PM) “CRAP!” so to the ER.

“ how much is this going to cost us?”
“well according to our insurance, our out of pocket would be about $1700.00”
Fortunately the ER nurses were nice enough that they found us another insta-care that was open later and we were able to get the 4 stitches needed to hold my son together. Below are the pics from that whole incident. I will be posting more details and thoughts on the insta-care and ER in a later post..

Also not to distract from my sons pain but I also tried to put my kickstand on my big motorcycle through my foot. When I got to work, I was thinking I needed to lube my chain. I got off, unloaded all my work stuff, then put it from the side stand up onto the center stand. When I went for the chain lube I realized that I did not have it on my bike like I usually do so, I went to put it back onto the side stand and get to work. Not realizing, I had not put up the side stand, I pushed the bike off the center stand and as the bike came down, the side stand penetrated my shoe (if it had only hit the steel toed part I would have been fine) then my sock and left a whopper on my foot.. “ well that was fun!”

The Roof

2014-06-21 15.20.57     I am starting to think it is time to start doing something other than just an update… unless you enjoy doing nothing more that reading a one sentence post. All that happened this week was a roof. Upon the inspection of our rental house it was determined that the back half of the roof was gone, there were several asphalt shingles that no longer had asphalt. All that remained was a small bit of fiberglass. Needless to say, it needed to be re-shingled desperately. every spare moment this last week was spent doing just that. re-shingling the back half of our roof. Fortunately we had some neighbors that saw the need and joined in  the fun. I have to say I have been blessed with some awesome friends over the years although I am not much of a friend. I will post more about what mean with that later.

I have been wanting start posting random thoughts more often and I guess they are just going to have to come as they come. I’ll try and get the ones about friends up as soon as I can.. just something that I have been thinking about recently.


6/15/14 A week of divided attention

multitasking_roundedWhat a week it has been. The week before Last we found out that our tenant in our rental house was finally moving out.. they were supposed to be completely moved out by the end of day Saturday. Come Monday evening we were scheduled to do a final inspection with the property manager and get a game plan put together since we have a tenant that wanted to move in as soon as possible. When we showed up for the inspection the tenants were still there. The house was empty but they were still cleaning (not well either). With the inspection we found that there is a lot that needed to be done from paint touch ups, trim replacements due to damage, carpet repairs, yard care, and so on.. Tuesday we had plans were to get a ton done but ended up waiting for someone who was 3 hours late – nothing got done. Wednesday, we felt good about what got done.. we re-wired the sprinkler system (someone else had been messing with it), and we evaluated materials and tools needed to complete the jobs that were required. The more we got done the more we realized we would not be able to do it all. We had to start looking for someone to do certain more time consuming projects, such as roofing and carpet repair, so that we could focus elsewhere. Thursday, we were able to complete the sprinkler system.. it is now working like a dream.  The down side is it was not until then that the new tenant who had already signed the lease decided that they were not going to move it.. well good and bad since it did give us a little more time. We also started working on the drier.. it turns out it was not the heating element that had died so we are going to have to tear into it more.. my next guess is the fan.. after looking at the vent, it became very apparent that the lint was not being cleaned out properly and so the fan is likely jammed full of the stuff. Friday, well obviously this is date night so we did not do anything but.. there was some thought put into the status and we decided to do the roof ourselves so, we stopped and got shingles and a few little things. Saturday morning first thing, we got up and got to it. We removed the old swamp cooler because we knew no renter would use it when they have central air.. that took most of the morning so laying the new shingles did not start until almost noon.. at noon we took a break to avoid the heat of the day and didn’t start again until after 5pm.. we did not get as much done as we had hoped but I felt good about the amount I was able to get done. Oh yea and somewhere in there Mac Flooring came in and did the patching on the carpets to that is done as well!10348373_10203564473899949_7878795825535983249_n

The point of all this is, at home, we have so much that needs to be done this year to prevent weathering damage this next winter. So much that needs to be done in both location at the same time. Once again our projects are overpowering the amount of time that we have. Our attention is being divided so many ways that you can no longer taste the peanut butter. The more I seek balance, the more it seems to escape me. The more we look at all the things we need to do, the more I realize that I just want/need  to have fun, unwind and recharge, something we do not get to do all that often. Somehow though, it always turns out that to have said fun, requires a large expense or… other projects to be finished so that the resources we have, can be used.. Either way it seems to be a catch22.. I have gotten to the point where everything I do, I do as if it were a business, analyzing opportunity costs.. what projects will free up the most time for other projects to go faster. What projects will free up the most resources or finances to allow for others, always  with the goal of having a little R&R in mind. As I do all these analytics, the one thing I see in front of me is a dynamic labyrinth. A ever changing maze that appears to have no end.


June 1, 2014 Just pay someone already!



Someday I will get a head of the timing.  After working such long hours for a little over a month I realize that it is no longer an option for me to do that anymore. Just imagine not balancing your check book for over a month.. putting off the “Honey Do’s” for over a month and letting all of the things you are supposed to do pile up for that long as well.. needless to say, I have no idea where we are financially and have a mountain of things that I need to do with the regular daily additions being piled on top of it every day.


So I do have a question, many people that have known me for, well, really any time at all, realize that I am tight. By tight I mean: “penny pincher”, Cheap, or as I like to consider it, Frugal, innovative.. really it has always come down to the fact that I really don’t like spending all my money in one place because I like to spend it in many places. I don’t like to believe that just because it is expensive or name brand that it is better than things that aren’t. As you follow this post, you will get a better idea as to what I mean because I will be reviewing these things that I consider cheap.  Now, getting to the point, as you know I recently had a new driveway put in and replaced my old sidewalk with a new curb, gutter and sidewalk. Initially the thought was to do as much as I could while still having the professionals do the critical installation of the concrete its self. The more we got into it the more I realized that it was not worth it to me to be “Frugal” This last Saturday made that even more evident as I tried to unload the trailer that contained the waste from the old sidewalk. When this project was in process, I had told them to load the waste on my heavy duty trailer (to save on the cost of getting a waste container) in the end my contractor went ahead and got one any way to haul off most all of it. By Most all of it, I mean that the stuff that was already in the trailer remained there. Saturday morning, I hooked up the trusty S10 Blazer to the trailer loaded to the heap and headed out. (now, Yes, I was fully aware that this was heavy and I needed to take it slow since it had no trailer brakes ) so That is exactly what I did. I took it slow and went on as many back roads as possible.. as I approached the dump the blazer was struggling.. there is a long steep hill that leads to the dump. As the engine bogged down I would manually shift it down to keep as much momentum up as possible, really I just ended up going to first and hoping that it would make it at all. At the weigh in, (after I received many odd looks) the gentleman there told me that I was within weight so I could use my pass. ( the limit was 1-TON)  but the look on his face indicated that he was really letting it slide since I was really over the limit. Keep in mind that this is a ¼-TON vehicle I was pulling it with. That is not the point though. As I pulled into place to unload and began working to get it off, it became evident that this was not going to be as easy as I thought I used a high lift jack to lift the first piece to near vertical, doing everything I could do to stay out of the “danger zone” if it were to fall.. once at near Vertical, I assumed  that I would be able to push it the remaining way over and thus off the trailer.. nope, it did not even move. This one piece of concrete had to weigh 500-1000lbs by its self. (I’m leaning more toward the 1000lbs as I can usually leg press over 400lbs and all I was trying to do was push it over.. .. to keep it short, after destroying every tie-down in my arsenal and with the great assistance of a front loader, the trailer was emptied.

(point? – sometimes it is worth a little extra to pay someone to do things that you “think” you can do yourself)