Saturday all day

By , May 31, 2008 8:13 pm

Nothing much day today. Yesterday wore me (us) out and we’ve been mostly inside and out of it all day. Got out mid afternoon and went to the store for some stuff, then back here, fixed and ate supper and back on the couch. Hoping to get out and about for a bit tomorrow but it all depends on how we’re doing in the am. Till then am gonna be taking it easy and doing nothing but reading or sleeping… πŸ˜‰

Out and about Friday

By , May 30, 2008 9:25 pm

Left out this morning about 9:30 and made a stop at the post office in Alexandria so Cat could ship some E-Bay stuff out. From there headed to Poor Man’s Trade Day in Gadsden. Walked about half way around the place, noticed the folks with the string were there, then walked on around to see what else was there today, and stopped to look at a couple of cast metal horses some folks had. They looked up and told us that if we wanted it that a whole pile of stuff they had there was free, just haul it off. As I have a hard time walking away from free stuff, I went and got the truck and loaded it up. Then we bought the horses. πŸ˜‰ From there walked around a bit more and then went back to the folks that had the string. Haggled with them back and forth for some time and ended up getting it all (around 750 rolls and skeins) at a good price. Afterwards talked to them for a bit and then as most of the other folks were closing up we left. Went to Goodwill and got a few books and some cross stitch kits that we found there. Then went to Apple A Day and got more Ribose and some fruit spritzers and then went east on 411 to the North Gadsden Park and ate lunch. Next was back west on 411 to Rainbow City and American Thrift Store where we picked up a few more books and some more cross stitch kits and string. From there to Eagle Rock Thrift Store where we got MANY more books. They had put a new batch out and had a bunch of authors that we look for, which at 4/$1 paperbacks and 3/$1 hardbacks, were just too hard to pass up. Cat also found 16 cross stitch pattern books that we got for a $1. Ended up with over 80 paperbacks and 13 hardbacks. Headed west and got 4 or 5 at the Rainbow City Library book sale (like we hadn’t already gotten enough today…). Back to Alexandria and Food Land for bread and sodas (for Cat) and then to my folks house to pick up a rocking chair (and repack the truck) and eat supper. Then home. Been a long and somewhat pleasant day. For now am going to go and sort some books and then hit the sack. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. Guess we will see when it gets here. Till then… πŸ˜‰

Cream : : a modern configuration of the Vim text editor

By , May 30, 2008 8:28 am

Cream :: a modern configuration of the Vim text editor

Cream : : a modern configuration of the Vim text editor

I’ve used Cream before but in one of the many hard drive crashes I’ve experienced it got lost and I just found it again. Installed it and it makes Vi (gVim actually) so much more user friendly. And actually usable for the average computer user. Good Stuff!

Cream : : a modern configuration of the Vim text editor

By , May 30, 2008 8:28 am

Cream :: a modern configuration of the Vim text editor

Cream : : a modern configuration of the Vim text editor

I’ve used Cream before but in one of the many hard drive crashes I’ve experienced it got lost and I just found it again. Installed it and it makes Vi (gVim actually) so much more user friendly. And actually usable for the average computer user. Good Stuff!

Another down day

By , May 29, 2008 11:46 am

Got up this morning with hurting hands and arms and a head that is mostly non functioning. Been trying to get started on anything and having little to no luck. Did go to the barn for a bit and made/bent some S hooks to replace the bungie balls I used yesterday to attach tie-ropes to the tarp on the shelter out front. Took far too long to cut/bend and then install them but did get at least that much done so I can quit thinking about it now…

Came back in and sat down at the computer to do a bit of work and after sitting here for a half hour or so, trying to do some long overdue setup stuff on our new e-commerce site, realized while that I was doing nothing but clicking links and that the text I was trying to read was making no sense. So looks like another day on the couch reading and/or sleeping. May or may not post more today. Depends on the head… πŸ™

Another weary Wednesday

By , May 28, 2008 10:44 pm

Got out and did a bit more nail pulling this morning, then it started to sprinkle. Got the tools up and put them inside, then went to the camp across the creek and got the pieces of a shelter and brought them back and put it up out front. Covered it with the 10 x 12 canvas tarp and moved a couple of saw horses underneath and got the tools back out. By which time I had run out of energy. And the rain stopped about the time I crossed the creek to get the pieces of the shelter. But it’s up and will keep both rain and sun off when I feel up to cleaning more lumber.

Been inside, mostly lying down and reading the rest of the day. Did take a bit of time and set up PCLOS to print to the network printer. Was the easiest time I have had setting up a printer under linux. Done through the Administration Center and all automatic. Nice! Other than that and a bit of reading feeds, I used svn to get a copy of WordPress 2.5.2-alpha and installed it here on the local network to play with. As I said in an earlier post it ran so good I decided to try it on this site. Seems to be working fine. Nothing visible as far as I can see change wise. From what I have read most if not all of the changes are under the hood. Time will tell…

Think I am going to check the feeds and hit the sack. May go out and about tomorrow depending on the weather. Till then… πŸ˜‰

Just upgraded WordPress to 2.5.2-alpha

By , May 28, 2008 9:04 pm

Probably shouldn’t be using it on a production site but have been having too many problems with the standard release and it seems as or more stable so… If you have problems please let me know in the comments. Thanks…

Not much Tuesday

By , May 27, 2008 10:19 pm

Spent some time cutting weeds this morning. Got the area around the critter feeding station cleared and then hit an old bicycle seat. Bent the blade again. Continued cutting anyway. Cut the parking area at the yard sale trailer and most of the front and drive side areas and started on the back when I realized I had been in the sun too long and quit. Cat came over and brought water and I came back over here and inside for a while and cooled off. Went out front with tools of destruction and started cleaning the lumber Steve and Aaron brought over. Worked on it till the sun got to me again and called it a day for outside work. Haven’t gotten to the 12 foot piece that broke my face yet, but will have to do something special with it, just not sure what yet…

After that the day was downhill. Have been sitting or lying down reading. Guess I should have taken another day off but things needed to be done, so I did. Will see what the morrow brings. Till then… πŸ˜‰

Basic Shop Tools and Their General Purpose

By , May 27, 2008 7:38 pm

Received this via email and have no idea where it originated from but felt that as true as it ALL is that it was worth passing on. :LOL:

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted vertical stabilizer which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light . Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, “Oh shit!”

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby ending any possible future use.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.


PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids and for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

MECHANIC’S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling “DAMMIT” at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.


By , May 26, 2008 10:24 pm

Been mostly a day of taking it easy. Lots I needed to do but didn’t get done. Guess I over did it this weekend. Hoping to get some of it done tomorrow but will depend on how I feel. Will see when it gets here. Till then…

Understanding Layers in Photoshop

By , May 26, 2008 9:12 pm

Understanding Layers in Photoshop

One of the most important keys to learning and mastering photoshop is using layers.

Why work on layers at all?

* They do not destroy your original photo.
* You are working on top of or on copies of that photo.
* You will have more control.
* You can use blending modes to change the way layers interact.
* You can change the opacity of any effects.
* You will have or can add layer masks so that you can work selectively on your photo with any adjustments you make.

Another good Photoshop tutorial that (mostly) applies to Gimp too. The section about the Adjustment Layer doesn’t translate to Gimp (that I can find) but it still has some good info that applies. Good stuff!

Amazing Driving Skills – Hyundai

By , May 26, 2008 6:44 pm

Amazing Driving Skills – Hyundai

The bit where the dude changes the tire while the car is going down the track is just awesome! Gotta wonder how many cars they trashed learning to do some of these stunts.

Lucas Kuys’ Ark

By , May 26, 2008 10:38 am

Shedworking: Beach Hut Tuesday – Lucas Kuys’ Ark

Interesting design for a beach side hut/building. I like the concept and execution. Well built, compact and looks like it was built with mostly recycled materials.

DIY- Simple and Effective Any-size Tool Rack

By , May 26, 2008 10:30 am

DIY- Simple and Effective Any-size Tool Rack

Fence-in Your Tools
Got a workshop? Do crafts? Gotta lotta handtools? Hang them up in pristine order or whatever way you wanna on this simple, highly effective, any-size-you-want organizer. It’s kinda like a DIY pegboard, but better.

Interesting idea. I’ve always used pegboard and bought or made the hooks and hangers to put the tools on it. Using chicken wire with a frame this way makes a lot of sense. Gonna have to give it a try. Cool!

Modern Mechanix: Mobile Home Expands to Form Three Rooms – May 1936

By , May 26, 2008 10:23 am

Modern Mechanix: Mobile Home Expands to Form Three Rooms

Interesting concept. Like the fold out sections. Looks like the center could be used, at least somewhat, even with it folded up for travel.

Another Sunday, another possibility

By , May 25, 2008 9:50 pm

Got it up and going this morning, fixed breakfast and lunch and headed out to Flamingo and Bill’s Flea markets. Walked around a bit and got a few bits and pieces. Mostly 25, 50 cent and $1 items. Browsed the book stand and struck up a conversation with Lloyd, the guy that sells the books. He mentioned that he was thinking about getting a building that is out there instead of renting another booth (as he is out of space). I talked to him a bit and then we went and talked to Butch (the owner of Flamingo’s) and walked over and looked at the building. It’s about 28 by 40 and they are asking 275 a month for it, which figures out to about 34.38 a day for the 8 days a month they are open. If we take half that would be 17.19 per working day that we would have to bring in to make rent. Figuring in fuel at around 20 mpg or a little better we’re looking at almost 2 gallons a day or another 7.56 a day (at current fuel prices) for a total of 24.75 a day that we’d have to “clear” just to break even and that’s not counting food, drinks, and car insurance.

I’m thinking I’m gonna have to pass and just go back to doing it at the yard sale trailer. That takes no rent, no fuel and only takes about 5 minutes to walk over there to open up on the days we do so. Guess I will go over and look things over in the morning and see what all is gonna need to be done to open the doors again.

After we spent way too much time talking about that we walked over to Bill’s and I bought a silver chaffing dish with alcohol burner (really nice piece!) and Cat bought a box of comics (228 pieces). Just what we both needed, but at the price(s) both deals were just about impossible to turn down. I will have to admit that she got the better deal as I paid $20 for the chafing dish and she got all the comics for $30. They are in good condition too. All are in plastic sleeves and most look unread. Time and ebay will tell… πŸ˜‰

Left there and went up to Germania Springs and ate lunch and then rode down to Marvin’s and Lowe’s and priced metal roofing. Looks like Lowe’s is going to be the winner on corrugated metal as they are over a $1 less a sheet on the 8 and 12 foot stuff but they don’t have the 5 V which is what I wanted to use on the porch and needed 22 sheets of. Marvin’s has it at 9.03 a sheet so may bite the bullet and go with it rather than the cheaper corrugated at Lowe’s. Guess I need to take a micrometer and check the thickness at both places and see if it is the same quality. The stuff at Lowe’s seems thinner to the touch. May just be my imagination but I think I will get the micrometer out and take it with me when I go back. Should thrill them if I get caught and explain what I am doing… πŸ˜‰

As we were both about beat after Lowe’s we came home and Cat crashed for a bit. I finished a book I was reading and then went down to the old camp site and moved the propane grill up to the camper out back here. Fired it up to burn it off and got it ready to cook some burgers for supper. Came in and fixed the burgers. Washed and cut some potatoes in half and sliced up an onion, buttered the inside of the potatoes, added salt and pepper and put slices of onion between the potato halves, then wrapped them in foil and put them on the grill to cook. When they started getting soft took a pan of cooked baked beans out and put it on the top rack to warm and put the burgers on to cook. Twas all good eaten! Still got 2 burgers and 4 potatoes to eat later.

Came in and been browsing and reading feeds since supper. Think I may hit the sack early. Been a lot of walking and sun the last 2 days and I am sure feeling it tonight. So till tomorrow… πŸ˜‰

Saturday out and about

By , May 24, 2008 8:50 pm

Started out the day at the service station where fuel had increased over $.25 a gallon since the last fillup. Ended up putting $55.00 in the tank. πŸ™ Anyway headed toward Gadsden and stopped and got some oil at the Dollar General there. Put half a quart in and headed out toward 211 and then 11 and to Collinsville. Was 42 miles that way vs 48 or 49 via Center with much better roads and we made better time too.

Got into the parking lot after quite a pileup of traffic getting both in and out but mostly out. Had an oriental dude be a serious jerk in not letting a jeep into line in front of him that kept both lanes blocked for about 5 minutes. Only takes one arsehat to block it all up…

Anyway got a parking place and headed into the fray. Right off found a solid copper tin lined chaffing dish that the guy wanted 6 for and took 5. Needs a bit of tlc and should then bring several times the original investment. After that was just about a washout. Got some screws that I needed to put the metal roofing on the camper and to finish the porch on the south side of the trailer and found a leather pouch to replace the pos that I have been using lately but other than that didn’t find anything. Or rather didn’t find anything that I was willing to pay the asking price for nor wanted enough to haggle over.

Did meet a fellow, name of Dale and his wife, from above Gunersville. He’s quite a talented wood carver and they have a booth there. I got to looking at his carving clamp and we struck up a conversation. Cat got some pictures of his setup that I will post as soon as she gets it off the camera. Gonna have to make something similar to use with some of my woodworking.

After we left there went and ate lunch at the picnic table in the gazebo in downtown Attalla. Had the company of a dude wearing a signboard that said “I’m a thief – I stole”. Asked him about it and he said that it was spend two days there with it on or 60 in the lockup. Don’t think it made much of a difference to him. Suspect he will be back in trouble but next time will have to spend the time in the lockup…

Waked around and hit some of the Antique shops and junk stores while there. Found a couple of books and Cat got a blouse and a skirt. Then the heat and amount of walking we had done took over and homeward we turned.

Ended up in 3 different grocery stores when we got back but managed to get most of what we were after for the weekend and then headed on home.

Got here and watered plants and fixed supper then been reading and browsing since. Am going to hit the sack early again tonight as I want to go to Flamingo’s and Bill’s flea markets in the morning and would like to get there before the heat of the day hits. Suspect that we will end up going to other places too so am gonna plan ahead and take lunch with us again. Sure makes it cheaper and easier to afford a day or two out and about to do it that way. Almost offsets the price of gas these days. Anyway, till the morrow… πŸ˜‰

Another week done

By , May 23, 2008 10:15 pm

Got out this morning and did a bit of mowing. Cleaned up a little and moved some stuff from here to there and there to here. Got to do a lot more of that in the next little while too. Since I have closed off the back drive am going to have to get off the arse and move some junk and then a pile of dirt and cut a new one. Always something.

Spent some time today learning how to take a photograph and turn it into a line drawing without drawing a line. Instructions in the linked article are for Photoshop but there is a comment that tells how to do it in Gimp at the LifeHacker article. Took me quite a while to get it down but after playing with the contrast, brightness and then the # of points affected in the Gaussian blur I got it pretty close to what I wanted. Considered other subject matter but I had been wanting a new avatar so decided to use a picture of me to practice on. Result is below… πŸ˜‰


And on that note I am gonna close for the night. Hoping to feel up to going to Collinsville tomorrow morning so am gonna hit the sack. Till the morrow… πŸ˜‰

Thursday and done

By , May 22, 2008 9:45 pm

Another day done and done. Got a bit accomplished but still not near as much as I would have liked.

Steve brought over some ram this am and I installed a stick in both Cat’s XP box and my PCLOS box. Thanks Steve! Both of them are running a lot better and faster! Though I must say that it made a lot more difference to the linux machine than the other one. πŸ˜‰

Got out after lunch and picked up some blades and an allen wrench to go with the Delta Jigsaw that we gave my dad for his birthday today. He turned 81 and is still going strong. While out and at Warren Ace Hardware in Jacksonville got some sheet rock screws. Got a bunch of stuff that I need to build and finish up that I needed them for. Also checked the price on corrugated roofing at Lowe’s but forgot to check the length of the camper so didn’t get any. Want to replace the plastic on top of. Need to go to Collinsville on Saturday and pick up some more of the large washer headed screws to put the metal on with.

Just went out and measured the length and the body is 10 feet long, so the 12 foot stuff will work just fine adding in the foot overhang at the back. Still got to measure from side to side but I think 5 sheets will be enough to cover the top and come down on the sides to just above the windows and leave several corrugations at each overlap for a good water seal. Will need to get another sheet to cover the front but may be able to get away with a 8 foot piece for that. Will have to do some more measuring in the daylight to see for sure.

Picked up a bunch more tomato and pepper plants while at the folks today. Now got to get all of them in the ground. Time to get the sawsall out and cut up a bunch more tires to make planters out of. All its gonna take is energy…

Tis not that late but I am about done in, so until tomorrow… πŸ˜‰

Wednesday all over again

By , May 21, 2008 8:57 pm

Haven’t gotten near as much done today as I wanted to. Spent part of the day outside rearranging half the siding on the camper shed into a awning. That ended up covering part of the drive so had to drag a log and some blocks over and block off the road so hopefully folks will see that it’s not a through road any more and not try to squeeze by.

Fired up some charcoal this evening and got out the 12 inch dutch oven and cooked some chicken thighs with carrots, some bell peppers, onions, and broccoli. After everything was about done put a layer of stove top stuffing that Cat had cooked earlier on top of it and let that brown. Cooked a pot of blackeyed peas with onions and a bit of salsa in the 3 legged bean pot which I situated in an old cast iron frying pan containing about 10 briquettes. Cooked the peas just right. Could have used 6 briquettes and cooked a bit longer and will do so next time. Twas all good!

Think I am going to read a bit and then call it a night. Till the morrow… πŸ˜‰

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