Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Improved !

Now with Ammonia!!

I found this inside the lazy-susan cabinet. The lazy-susan had a hard-board surround fitted close to the turn-tables so that nothing would fall off. This surround went from bottom to top and all the way around the turn-tables to the door. There was no access to behind it, but that is where I found this. It was standing upright and is still fairly full of powder. The back has a copyright of 1949.

cabinet demolition 1

I've been trying to make sense of what the original cabinet layout might have been. It currently looks to have been modified several times over the years. They are not seperate cabinets (now) and seemed to have been put together one stick at a time. Demolition has been one stick at a time.

Also first week

Oh yeah, also during the first few evenings we moved most of the kitchen into the dining room. The refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher will remain in the kitchen. They all move about fairly easily. The dishwasher is a roll-around. I'm thinking of keeping the sink cabinet intact and moving it only as needed, maybe even put wheels under it.

Remodel Begins

The remodel began this week. We spent maybe 1/2 an hour each night after work. Began with removing hardware. Here in Multnomah county we don't have dumps, we have recycling centers. So part of my demolition process is seperation of materials. Our first trailer load will be wood.

We removed all the handles and hinges and doors and drawers during the week. Doing a little each night will certainly make the weekend work less of an ordeal.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Roadside Curiousities

Our trip last weekend from Portland to Roseburg, which is 3-1/2 hours straight through, took 6-1/2 hours down and nearly that long coming back. Why? Because after years of zipping up and down I-5 my curiousity is finally getting to the point where I can no longer pass by the signs pointing to little towns that I know nothing about.

Going down we took I-205 then 99-E to salem stopping for breakfast at woodburn. But then curiousity kicked in and We detoured to find the town of Turner, which is also my wife's family name. Turner is a leftover town on the railway line and if it had a downtown there's not really one left. There is a large mill like building of some industry though.

For years I've passed the big brown sign on I-5 advertising the Brownsville Historic Museum. I could no longer pass it up. We went to Brownsville. Brownsville immediately reminded me of Oakland Oregon. It has a preserved downtown core of historic buildings with good sidewalks and clean streets. This is a place I could retire to. We bought coffees at the cafe/ice cream place and walked around the town. Didn't have time for the museum sadly. It's in an old railway building and about 5 or 6 rail cars connected together. Brownsville has a quilt shop and of course Beth spent time there, both buying and selling.

Going home curiousity kicked in at the "Salt springs road" exit. This is an exit in the middle of the twisty part of the highway south of Eugene. According to the map there is a Salt Springs road, but we couldn't get to it. The northbound exit and entrance has a house with a large junkyard of commercial trucks and garbage, but we couldn't see any road. The exit tunnels under the highway with essentially a culvert barely wide enough for one vehicle. The southbound exit/entrance is there, but the road is a dirt road that's been blocked with a berm.

Then there's the green sign that says Scio. What's a Scio? A town, a place, what? To get to Scio means first going through Jefferson. Jefferson has a two block downtown but is mostly a wide spot in the road. Scio on the other had is a small town. There's a high school football field with bleachers and respectable town like feeling. There's a central area of business buildings but not the classic downtown of close buildings and sidewalks. Scio boast of being the Covered Bridge capitol. The only one we could find had a sign saying built in 1966. That's right 19, not 1866.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Image size limit test

posting a 7Mb image 3072 x 2304 pixel

Result: post image is 320 x 240 (blogger medium size), when opened by clicking displays a 1600 x 1200 image, when right-click "save-as" is used image downloads as 1600 x 1200.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Working as a new contract worker at HP where layoff rumors have been circulating for months, I came in this morning from two days vacation to find my employee badge no longer unlocks the door . . .

Yes, my Mind ran the marathon in just under ten minutes.

The receptionist in the front lobby reset the computer or my badge and it works now. I asked the engineer I work for but he doesn't know anything other than the quarterly CEO message happens today. The last thing I want to do is pound on the manager's desk right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No Elbow Room

This morning I had a Windohs popup show up that warned me I was nearly out of space on my main hard-drive. It's a 15 Gigabyte and I had 194Mb left.

My first computer: 64k of ram, 0k hard-drive. When you wanted to do word processing you stuck the 5-1/4 word-processer floppy into the external floopy drive and then went for a cup of coffee. When you came back then you could begin typing. (Commadore-64)

First "PC" computer: 640k of ram, 40 Mbyte hard-drive. The OS was MSDOS-3.0 and the "desktop" was an ASCII text menuing program. I ran programs like Quattro-pro 1.0 and Word-Perfect 1.0. Now days minimum RAM is 25 times bigger than the entire hard-drive of this PC. Never did fill that drive. (the computer was AMD-286 16Mhz)

Next was a 75Mhz Pentium, then my current 1Ghz Pentium-III.

I bought a second 80Gbyte drive to test Linux. I think I'll look into swapping it into the C-drive location if I can find some free ghosting software.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Penninsula Mock-Up

We built a card-board "mock-up" of the peninsula to test walking, traffic pattern.

It's a go.

"Before" pictures

Left side of old B-Nook. Will be Refrig, 2nd oven, microwave, toaster, and peninsula.

Right side of old B-Nook. Will be baking center with cutting board countertop. That's the new Fridge.

Left of south wall, main kitchen. Will have built-in dishwasher.

Right side of south main area. current corner lazy-susan has a angled countertop. This prevents reaching to the far corner of the wall cabinet.

left side of west wall. New lazy susan will have a square corner countertop and the inside turning trays will be nicer and easier to reach things.

right side of west wall. Stove will move slightly to left, and have a 12" cabinet on right side of stove. A vent hood above stove will duct thru soffit to left and out the exterior wall.

left side of north wall. door to rest of house. Will have shallow hutch style pantry cabinet on north wall.

right side of north wall. exit to back door and basement.

the "New" auto mechanics

Replacing a fan-belt:
In the old days (ok, I'm beginning to date myself) the fan-belt operated . . . well. . . the fan. Today the fan-belt operates the: water pump, power steering, air-conditioner, and alternator.

In the past you were told (by the old-timers) that if you broke a fan-belt out in the middle of nowhere you could fix it by snuggly tying a ladies stocking in place (all guys were G.I.'s and all G.I.'s carried stockings. . . and chocolate bars).

Step One: remove engine.

Yes, that's right. Well maybe not that literal, but to replace a "serpentine belt" in a Pontiac Bonneville you have to first remove a motor mount. The belt goes so many places and the engine compartment is so packed that the only way they could keep the engine from falling out on to the ground was to put an engine mount through a loop of the fan-belt.

We don't take no stinkin Passports!

We needed to have some documents notarized yesterday so we went to a local Postal Annex store.

I'd always assumed a Notary Public is a specific person who is trained and licensed by the state in documents and forms of identification. First shock. . . the only person in the place is a young sales girl. Sure, she'd be happy to notarize the papers. Second, today's Notary Seal of authentication is. . . a rubber stamp.

I had assumed that we would need two pieces of id or something really major. I had always assumed that The major, most authentic, piece of ID you could have in the United States is a current Passport. We had recently renewed ours (the new style with all the anti-forgery printing including the embedded microchip) so I took those with us.

I was told that they "do not accept United States Passports as ID".

She gladly took our drivers licenses and asked for nothing else.

In a state where any illegal alien with forged documents can get a driver's license, this is all she asked for.

I'm beginning to put "nation" together with "hell in a hand-basket".

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kitchen Cabinet plans

This is a DeltaCad Drafting File that was converted to a JPEG image file, so it's not the best detail. Questions?

P.S. the floor plan is missing the windows.

Kitchen Remodel Project Begins

We've been wanting to remodel the kitchen since we moved in 9 years ago. I've been ready to the last several years, but have been waiting for the our employment and financial situation to stabilize.

I've reached the decision that life will never stabilize and we might as well plunge in now.

The cabinet layout plans are pretty much finalized and I'll post them soon.

First step is get the financing set. Although we have some cash, I thought it will be better to keep it for emergencies and finance with a home equity loan. Applied online through "ING Direct" for a adjustable rate HELOC (home equity line of credit). When we're through with the remodel this will convert to a fixed home equity loan. We have a savings account with ING already and their HELOC/loan deal looked pretty good.

Once the financing is set, we'll order cabinets. We might do a local custom cabinet company pending an estimate, but will probably go with "American Woodmark" sold through Home Depot.

I've just put together a schedule and I'm looking at a total of 12 weeks start to finish. Hoping to begin post Family Campout weekend and finish Pre-Thanksgiving. If we do we'll host thanksgiving!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ohhh Noooo, There goes Tokyo...

Not Godzilla but "Fat Cat from New Jersey". 44 lbs !!

My Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which we consider a medium size dog, only weighs in at 36 lbs.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Them's good eatin'

Ok,. . . it's the last line that bothers me.
Power shut at rat-infested Ore. home
8/6/2008, 8:55 p.m. PDT The Associated Press

SUTHERLIN, Ore. (AP) — Douglas County officials ordered the power shut off at a rat-infested Sutherlin home.

Aaron Yuma of the Building Department inspected the property last week and deemed the home's electrical wiring unsafe because of the damage caused by gnawing rats.

Yuma says the place has hundreds of holes through the interior and exterior walls, and the rats destroyed most of the water distribution lines and electrical wiring.

The council declared the property a nuisance in March and subsequently hired a pest-removal company that trapped about 800 rats in two months. An exterminator from Portland was then called in to place bait boxes in the home.

Code enforcement officer John Hebard says the residents are still living in the house and likely want to stay.

But I like the jitters.

For that hard-core coffee addict. Caffeinated Soap.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

. . . what? . . .

Here's an acronym for ya:
Please be advised that incident IM856503 has been assigned to a member of: N-INCSSP-SIS-ONSITE-DX-US-VAN.

Monday, August 4, 2008

IT non-Support

This morning I got to work and turned on the laptop. I always shut down for the weekend. I should also mention I have a LCD monitor which I've connected to the external video connection of the laptop to have two displays.

Anyway, I hit the power button and as it boots I smell burning electronics. As it continues to boot I determine that yes it is coming from the fan vent of the laptop. The smell diminishes and the boot continues so I let it go. The second monitor doesn't want to work though. I try resetting the dual display settings and for a brief flicker the second monitor shows a desktop image. It does this each time I change the settings, but other than that brief flicker the monitor is blank. The laptop monitor and the rest of the laptop seems ok.

I inform the boss and he wants it fixed before it decides to totally bite the dust. OK. Enter I.T. Non-Support.

Start with the help icon in the tray. Which opens their web page full of useless advice. I search, but guess what. . . there's no category or FAQ about "smelled smoke and now second monitor dosen't work". There's also no category for "please come fix my laptop", but I kinda figured that wouldn't be there.

Now to the "live chat" with an IT specialist. Why this is better for them then talking to me on the phone I don't know, but hey, I'm game. Type in the explanation, and wait. Finally get a reply and then they download my computer info. What brilliant advice do I get. . . you got it. . . "Have you tried downloading the latest video drivers?"

Duuuuuuuude. . . It worked Friday, Monday it SMOKED, and now it doesn't work! Do you really think new video drivers are going to help?

Ok, so we progress to the official opening of a "trouble ticket". Lot of good that'll do. The last two tickets I've had open were both closed with nothing being done.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I know technically this makes sense, but it's always bugged me.

The news stories about a car crash "early Sunday morning".

If you're like me you scratch your head and think "I wonder what happened to make a person crash his car Sunday morning at 6 or 7 am?" No. . . you have to think more literal and realize they're using the actual clock definition of "Sunday morning". What everyone like me would naturally say is "Saturday night, after the bars closed, a car crashed." Now that makes sense.

Bad Engineer #4

I created a poster document on my computer and have been trying to get it printed through the internet by a printing company. This means I've been struggling with file formats and transferring huge files over the net. There have been lots of problems but this is what has me scratching my engineer head:

A 24 inch by 36 inch, 300 dot per inch, 24 bit color resolution, TIFF image computer file turns out to be 227 MegaBytes in size. This is what the graphics program creates and saves. This is what you have to deal with on your hard-drive, when copying, or transmitting by net or email.

However, if you use pkzip and put it into a compressed file (zip folder) it turns out as 13 Megabytes. Those of you who've used jpg or gif to compress your images know each time you do this you lose a portion of your image in lost resolution. However, I can then unzip the pkzip file and once again have my full resolution 227 megabyte TIFF file that is identical to the original. Now you'll say "no big deal, we all know about pkzip", but think about this. . .

Why didn't the graphics program save it that way in the first place?

I don't mean why didn't it take the large TIFF and pkzip it. I mean why isn't the TIFF file format that small to begin with? If programmer's optimized their file formats to begin with, pkzip would essentially do nothing and be unneccessary.