Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fun with Hummingbirds

I was settling down to relax for the afternoon and was immediately inthralled by the light on the hummingbird feeder.  Here are some bird images I liked.  300mm lens.  I actually tried using a 2X teleconverter at first, but without autofocus, this subject is impossible...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kitchen renovation summer 2014

Well, the planning is finally complete, sub contractors all arranged and today we begin the messy work.

Diane has been busy already for a few days emptying out all the cabinets and making a temporary kitchen for us in the dining area. I drag my tools out of the garage, turn on the air compressor and get to work.

Check back in daily for updates....

Pre-existing conditions - Our kitchen in regular operation

Day 1: Demolition - Diane has emptied out all the cabinets ands we've moved all the stuff from the top of the counters.

 Next step is to cover the floor with plastic, cardboard, and masonite to protect it  and then to use a pneumatic impact hammer to remove all the old tile and haul it out to a dumpster in the backyard.

Now we unscrew the wonderboard and deconstruct the bar counter which will be getting lowered.

We end day 1, with clean and vacuumed plywood counter which was under the wonderboard. Tomorrow, the cabinets come down.

Day 2: The cabinets come down.  Lots of head scratching required to disassemble these without destroying them. Like a big chinese box puzzle.  Unfortunately the corner lower lazy susan cabinets won't fit out the door, so I am going to have to trim off the integrated kick plate to get them out of here. Left the sink cabinet intact until the last minute, but otherwise, one more morning and I'll be ready for the electrician.

Day 3: demo sheetrock and wonder board to expose electrical elements, demolish corner cabinets to get them out the door, remove light fixture, and clean-up in prep for the electrician who comes next week.

Day 4 - (seven days into calendar) Laid down the plastic and cardboard again, then removed old lights, wired for new lights, added undercounter wiring, and repaired the sheetrock....(Thanks Jim and Jim for the help on the wiring). Still looking for a good 48" LED track light for over the stove. Anyone with suggestions?

Lost track of the day count as other projects get commingled into this one, as we wait for different contributors to the kitchen completion. Found a place for almost all the old cabinets in the garage, so they are all remounted in there and full of garage stuff.  This week the sink and dishwasher were finally removed, and the can lighting all replaced with dimmable LED fixtures.

Here is the old kitchen fixture with pine box removed - 6 T-12 4 ' fluorescent lamps, even that was never enough light.

While trimming away the sheetrock around the  kitchen sink piping so we could remove the clutter and ready the piping for the new sink, my sawsall nicked a hot water pipe. They don't call it a sawsall for nothing. All manner of mayhem pursued, as I rushed below to shut off the water.  Even with the pump off, by the time I had this section isolated there was water all over the place in the crawl space.  The house proceeded to drain from this low point in the kitchen, but then I discovered water coming from another source - simultaneously, a gasket had blown in the water pump so the pressure tank was happily disgorging its contents backwards through the disabled and leaking pump.  There was no way to isolate that flow, so I just had to wait until the full contents of the pressure tank poured out onto the floor.  Getting a replacement gasket for the pump at 5:00pm on a Saturday was as good as impossible, so I just unscrewed the connection, reseated the herniated portion of the gasket and bolted everything back together again. Remarkably, it worked!. No idea why the gasket blew out precisely when the other water leak started, or maybe it was already leaking and I had not noticed it.  Maybe a bolt had just not been seated properly to begin with.  

Now, 4 LED can lights and far brighter at a fraction of the energy consumption.  

The sink and dishwasher are gone, walls patched, and refrigerator relocated to the living room. Cabinets are getting delivered today.

May 30 Update: Stained clear alder cabinets delivered, leveled, installed, plywood countertop base screwed down, track lighting installed:

Opening on left for trash/recycling drawer, opening on right for dishwasher. In between is where the double sink will go, but we're waiting for the granite guys to cut that hole..

Upper diagonal display cabinet in place - still need to get the glass - thinking about sand blasted stencil....with wine cabinet below.

Steve (on left) the masterful cabinet installer, and Jim Flaherty (on right) the primary contractor, all grins on Friday afternoon. They pack up their tools for now and we wait for the granite fabricator to return with the sculpted counter tops.

June 13: The granite counters got installed today and refrigerator delivered. We moved out of the temporary kitchen and back into the real McKoy, even though we still have no water - just in time for arriving company.  Vices are holding down stone to flatten it as the glue sets. They'll get pulled after lunch.

Now the backsplash is in (installed by Truckee Tile - Thanks Todd)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Association of Professional Patrollers Clinic at Mt Bachelor, OR

The drive up from Tahoe to Bend was stormy, with heavy weather to the west, we stayed on 395 most of the way, passing thru sage covered valley's and low foothills.  Climbing up into the Oregon mountains, the culture and scenery changed.

As evening fell, we continued to climb and finished our journey in a flurry of snow and blowing fog. Parking where the drifting snow slowed us to start spinning tires, we buckled down for the night and awoke to a bluebird day and 6" of fresh snow in the parking lot.  By 6:30, hikers had already claimed first tracks on the low apron just above the lot.

The view from our camping spot was indeed glorious.

Riding the lift up for some skiing, we came upon the most amazing riming on huge bulges of snow and rock outcrops.

High angle toboggan testing on the upper slopes.  Here the crew is setting the testing course to try it out to be sure its a fair test for the rest of the week.

You got the belay back there?

Fun turns off the south side of the summit 

Then back up to the top with Scott from Mt. Rose Ski Patrol to sample the steeper north summit snowfields.

Touring the south side, traversing around and around to get back in the resort with the Sierra-at-Tahoe Patrollers.