Monthly Archives: November 2010

Pak-Lite Update and a Propane FRIDGE

..OK, so we are up to  216 hours now with the pak-lite..not too bad since powering it up on the 20th of November. Still another 10-12 days before it does dark..theoretically!

the other exciting news for the day..we now have a propane fridge. Its a Consul and after 2 years and 2 months in this place we finally opted for a fridge. Winter time was never really a problem..if you wanted something frozen put it outside..if you want something near frozen, put it in the cooler. In summer our fridge usually consisted of melted ice..and occasionally ice. If people were over we would get ice for drinks and beer but otherwise we just ate fresh and brought any leftovers to work..or fed it to Jango. When we were over to our friends we would look at the fridges and thier contents..and usually it was 80% condiments and things of that sort and 20% things that actually belonged in there or needed to be kept cold..leftovers, anything frozen, drinks..and we did not really miss it…but there was a good deal on the local classified ads and I had an alert for when it got posted..I was the first to call and I told him I would take it after a converstion..especially when he did not want a deposit…the fridge was at his cottage so he would not have it until this weekend..So A* went over saturday and picked it up from him.

NOw, we have to get it installed..but we have too much flooring on the go for now, not to mention the fact that we are going to have to reconfigure the kitchen area before we install it..but we have been talking about doing somethign in there for a month we will see….its been 2 years, what is a couple of more weeks/months? I am not going to lie to will be really nice to have cold beer and drinks..I have been without a fridge for so long I am having trouble thinking of what esle a fridge is good for!! Oh yes, vodka in the freezer…jello shots? I have a one track mind when it comes to fridges.

..nice..something to keep my beer cold!

..with a freezer..for ice and Grey Goose..or peas..or chickens I guess..

propane fridges look different...I can't wait to fire this up to make things cool..seems like an odd concept


Posted by on November 29, 2010 in heat, Purchases


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flooring update..3. Need to nail this one!

OK, so Friday night got home and got setup for a busy weekend. A* still had 6-7 more boards to sand so I got started attempting to fing the studs so I could properly attach the flooring. As I mentioned on some other posts, we have 2 inches of board insulation between plywood then attached to the I need 4 inch nails instead of 2 inch nails..but to find the studs I took a 6 inch nail and began guestimating the locations of the studs..the first stud I found on the second attempt, the 2nd stud I found on my 20th attempt..I eventually found out that most of the studs were 1.5 inches apart..the 2nd stud I would was 33 inches from my first..I missed the 2nd stud and was onto the 3rd..I knew that there was no way that the studs were spaced 32 inchs apart otherwise I would be falling through the I went 1/2 way between the 2 and voila..16.5..from that point on I only missed 2 more times when finding the stauds at the top and bottom of the studs..then it was a matter of running strings between the exposed nails and I knew where the studs were..and from there I could make my cuts to have the food all fit with end pieces meeting at different parts of the floor.

Then Saturday we got up early and went over and picked up our new fridge..or at least new to us..then it was back to work!

Once we go t back and I had the studs identified things went fairly quickly when comparded to the planer work..I was able to get the room done in around 5  hours..that is the cuts. So the floor only needs 3 things now:

– nails on studs
– stain ( x foo )
– polyurethane to protect

..the nailing should only take an hour or 2..then A* really takes over..I don’t have the patience for staining so A* takes care of it..we picked out 4-5 samples that we liked and brought it home and applied it to a test piece..not suprizingly we did not really like the stain that we originally liked best and opted for a really light brown ( golden oak ). I hope to get it all nailed Monday night.

On another note..these chickens are driving me bananas. the roosters are constantly crowing and onces 1 of them starts the rest of them join in..I now think I have 5 roosters in the I need to get on the butchering train..I read how to do it now its just a matter of doing it..I promise to do some and post about it once the floor is done in the bedroom! My sister and her kids were out on the weekend too..they loved the chickens. My sister did not believe that I actually had chickens..before she saw them and as she walked up the driveway she was laughing..the kids loved them..I think all kids do..especially ones who have never really seen a chicken before up close..they are fun..when they are not crowing. The rest of Sunday was spent picking away at things and better edges on the butt-ends of the boards.

Oh, also. In looking at stains and finishing  I was hearing/reading many articles where people were talking about ‘distressing’ and ‘hand scraping’ thier wood. Both of these techniques involves making the boards look older through making them scraped and tarnished..taking away a perfect piece of wood and scraping it and stuff so that scrapes are not as big of an issue so that it looks old and used..well the bad news is that ‘hand scraping’ is a long ,labor intesive task..the good news is the just the way we did our wood qualifies the wood as ‘hand scraped’ it is uneven when people ask what we did to the floor I am going to say, ” Oh, that? We had it hand scraped. We thought that distressing the wood would keep with the spirit of our place better..and would you like a cold beer from my fridge?”

after planing

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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Construction, power


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Bought a pak-lite..

.the pak-lite..avert your eyes..AHHHHH! 2 settings..high for 60 hours, low for eternity setting


I read some blogs and a couple of times I read someone mentioning them..they are basically a little light that snaps onto a 9v battery..and supposedly with a 9v battery it will stay on for 600 hours. So I turned mine on at November 21 at 5:11PM. My a base estimate it should last at least 3 weeks. I pointed it at the crescent window we have in the us some light when we get home in the dark thanks to daylight savings time, plus from outside it looks like the glow of a TV reflected on the window..a slight theft deterrent.


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Posted by on November 26, 2010 in Construction, fun


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Flooring Pics ( from sawmill to flooring..ish )

think rustic….out of sync with the writeups..busy doing the stuff in these pictures..think I need to do another one too. We still have lots more to do..tomorrow I finish determining stud location and begin attaching the floor..I bought screws but I think its going to look screwy.

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Posted by on November 26, 2010 in Construction


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I need to raise rabbits!

..did not do any work last night..stayed at my sisters place again and took a night off in the city.

A* and I went out to dinner at a local restaurant 100m from my sisters place. It is a nice lace that has a seasonal menu and a couple of things caught my eye..the first was an appetizer, Beef Cheeks. The second was a rabbit dish. I had both.

The beef cheeks were like roast beef only basically falling apart because it was so tender. tasty. The rabbit was really good too, lean and tasted like chicken..I have had rabbit 4-5 times before but it was usually served in a  pie. both were good, a nice server and a couple good bottles of wine…we did not have to drive for a change.

Over dinner A* and I talked about the city and country and the differences..I told her that I was having trouble sleeping with all the noise in the city. We can hear some traffic at night from our house..but the road is 1KM away so its not really loud, just seems it because its so quiet out there. We do stay in the city sometimes..but its usually when we have had some drinks and opt to stay rather than drive..and its usually planned anyway since we do not leave Jango home overnight, but when we have drinks I sleep like a rock so its not usually an issue. Anyway, we finished our pleasant dinner with a glass of port and went back to my sisters place to make and drink cappicino and sit in the hot tub..quite a difference from our place..especially a year and a half ago when we had no hot the early days we would have to boil water on the stove when we wanted hot water..and a bath was a 2 hour affair..where A* would get it going and I would continually replenish the heat with water on the stove. Anyway, its been a great 2-3 day vacation from our reality of being off-grid but I would not trade what we have to move back to city-life.

Oh, I need to raise rabbits so I can eat is supposed to be easier then raising chickens…but then again I have enough projects on the go as it is. Plus I am not sure I could kill a bunny. Back to work tonight..hopefully get the wood all done for the bedroom.

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Posted by on November 25, 2010 in Construction


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Flooring Update – sanding and waiting

..OK, so we came out tonight to do the sanding and remaining planering..or planing…to do the rest of the work on the planer…OK. So, after I posted last the other night A* came home..she got home from dinner with my mom and J* in the city while I stayed home for the day and did the planering..WHATEVER..worked on the planer. SO, I write the post and publish it and am relaxing on the couch while the advil kick in when A* gets home. She is an a tizzy because we need snow tires on the car and she wants it done ‘tonight’.

Me: “Tonight? I just spent the day bent over a planer..there is no way I am doing it back is killing me. When is it supposed to snow?”
A*: “What? When were you outside last?”
Me: “An hour ago or back is killing me”
A*” there is 3-4cm down on the ground now”
Me: “Blurg”

Yes, so the snow fell minutes after I came was cold but not really cold all day but we got the first snow on MOnday..We took the truck into the city and stayed at my sisters place since she is away..we had planned to do this anyway since there is woodchips all over the place from me and the dogs going in and out…the only difference was using the truck instead of the car.

Anyway, so we go out and the plan is for A* to sand while I plane the remainder of the wood for the we get out there, I get a fire going and change the water in the coop which has frozen up..we spend time getting the planer set up and go over the belt sander instructions ( we just bought it and I usually insist upon reading all of the instructions) and are ready to go..then we go outside and it has started to pour. blurg. the plan changes immediately..A* does the sanding and I sulk..then go investigate under the house for the girder distances so we can attach the flooring to the joists. Our floor is a little was built like a regular floor then they put down a sheet of 1.5 inch styrofoam for extra insulation..makes finding the joists nearly impossible. So I clean the house and do odd odd chore was to try to sing like a winter bat outside after I had climbed a maple tree. mmm..odd. I could not really start using the planer for 2 reasons..there was no space to plane and sand at the same time and the potential flooring is stored under tarps in the front yard..and I don’t like exposing the wood when it can get wet.

So, A* starts sanding..starting with the 80 and moving to 120 grit. After 2 hours she is done. As she finishes the boards up I take them inside and try to find the best configuration..all of the boards are different widths so the randomness looks nice. When it was all said and done we got all of the rough spots out and the boards have a more uniform look to them…but as I mentioned I still need to plane more wood to finish…then sand. Then comes the actual fastening of the wood to the existing floor…then the oil..then the coating..blurg…2 steps forward, 1 floor back.

Once again, no pictures..I will post up a bunch tonight/tomorrow and post in tomorrow with the work in progess..I am sure I am keeping the 2 people who read this in suspense!

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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Construction


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..not an unheard of call around our place…there must be a factory nearby or something…or a strange version of ‘the Prestige’ where Hugh Jackman is player by a prickly, not wolverine…a porcupine…but I digress.

3 years ago A* was bringing her Mom and Grandfather out to see the place and Jango got quilled by a porcupine when A* was not looking..fairly easy to do when a dog is running through the woods at a rampant pace..and is usually has no qualms about going right at an animal to see what this case it was a facefull and mouthfull of quills. Took me 4 hours to get them all out..and we still needed to bring him to the vet to remove one from his paw..and we pulled out several quills months later…porcupines are dangerous…or can be. Actually, if you leave porcupines alone they will not have any issues with you and will saunter away or up a tree..Since that incident 3 years ago Jango has had several run-ins with porcupines..and he has never run at them again and gives them a wide berth…I hope that keeps up..but proabably not more than me because as painful an exercise it was for me it was way worse for Jango.

Anyway..over the last couple of years we had seen 3-4 porcupines per year..until this spring when a gaggle of them showed up. We started seeing the porcupines almost daily and that was when we decided to do something. We occasionally dog-sit for friends when they are away on holiday and it would be a horrible event to have one of their dogs it was time to put a plan into action..since I love names for plans I named this plan: The Trouble with Porcupines. Porcupines are alot like triffids..except they hurt you and don’t live on space stations…Like Spock I needed logic and pointy ears..ok, round ears. Here was the materials and skills we needed:

  • speed – a porcupine can travel at speeds EXCEEDING 2k/ about fast..initially we had discussed training a tortise but that plan is now shot
  • strategy – hopefully none of these porcupines learned to play chess
  • a stick – just like paper beats rock, stick beats porcupines..not literally
  • storage container..big enough to hold a prickly varmint
  • distance – it makes the heart grow fonder..and also makes it hard for a porcupine to be in my yard. Its much harder to be in my yard when you are 12kms away.
  • paint – a porcupine must look its best before being set free
  • truck – distance is easier with motor use

The plan:

  1. identify a is the critter with the spikey look to him moving slowly..usually at dusk
  2. yell – ‘porcupine!’
  3. grab stick
  4. grab container
  5. run to porcupine before he gets to a tree
  6. harang porcupine into container in a gentle fashion
  7. put lid on ..and make sure there are holes to breathe
  8. put container in truck
  9. drive 12 kms away down the road to a deserted stretch of hwy
  10. put a dollop of paint on the back of the porcupine
  11. release
  12. cry..cause you hardly even knew him…

..Yes, even though these little beasties quilled my dog I don’t like to kill animals if I am not going to eat them…but pocupine is considered a delicacy in some places in North America..but not here. The paint is to make sure they don’t come back..a third time. So far we have caught 7 in 4 months..this one must have been a young one because he was much smaller then the other ones we caught.

I hate swiss any tender shoots?

let me out...let me outtttttt...!!!


yoga while he waits..and STRETCH!!!

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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Animals, Construction, Wildlife


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The Bunny Returns!

Follow!  But! follow only if ye be men of valor, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived!  Bones of four fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty big pointy teeth.”

..the mighty Tim..Whats he going to do nibble me bum?

Ahhhhh….run away!!!! ..watchout..there are wererabbits on my property.

Night vision..a werebunny...Don't worry..I have a pellet gun that shoots silver pellets and Jango has silver caps on his teeth.

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Posted by on November 23, 2010 in Animals, fun, Philosophy, Wildlife


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..flooring update…”Boss de plane(r)!!”

Holy frakk.

‘The best made plans sometimes go awry’…or instead of ‘sometimes’ it should be’usually’ and ‘awry’ it should be ‘to hell in a handbasket’. Not even sure if thats a quote…if it isn’t then just let me say that today was a little bit of  a shitshow.

OK, so I had a plan for yesterday. Square the ends of the boards that we are going to be using for the flooring ( 1.5 hours )…started at 10:30 and finished at noon..PERFECT! Step 2, plane boards down to 5/8( 2 hours) started at noon and fnished at 7:30..well..there goes the rest of the days plans…and not just that I also still need to do 8-10 more boards to compensate for the areas being cut…darn…The good news is that I get to do all of this in the dark tomorrow night after work! yeehaw.

Working with a wood thickness planer is not difficult..but it takes so much time..The area that I set up was directly in front of my door. I brought 2 sawhorses up and after I marked all of the ends to cut I took the boards outside and stacked them so I could easily get to the ends of the small feat with 1/4 cord of wood and a planer already on the deck…but I made it fit. After I cut the ends I was in a perfect position to grab the boards and feed them into the thickness planer..then walk to guide the wood out of the planer..down the steps..put the wood back in front of the planer then walk back up the steps..all the feeding in a bent over position… back is killing me soon as I sat down after finishing off the boards my muscles in my back were tight and if that were not enough I am still battling recurring back pain from 2 months I was done. I must have walked up and down the three steps of my deck more than 600 times..easily more than 600. The sawdust was 3-4 inches thick on a couple of occasions so I cleaned it up to make sure I was not tracking excess sawdust into the house. In the end there was a pile of sawdust that was 3 ft high and 3 ft wide..and so I threw it in the ‘outside’ area of the chicken coop ..hopefully to absorb some more smell..which is not extreme or anything. We still need to sand the boards and I need to plane 5 more for extra cuts as well as trim up some of the side pieces to make the gaps less dramatic..but then onto the attaching the boards to the floor!

Seems to me that this is bringing back memories of drywalling..initial estimation being way off..things taking 2-3 times longer than expected..nothing good. The thing is about all of this is this: I need to get all the wood planed AS SOON AS I GET THE BEDROOM DONE.

I took a bunch of pictures but did not get them off the camera yet…will post them up the meantime here is a picture of something unrelated to the story:

Destroy them my human robots.!..I don’t think a planer would have helped with this project

and from the ‘WTF Files’:

...I mean, if you are going to go this far why bother to pretend you are not a savage..Drink from the bottle..

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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Construction


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Bing Maps View

..hehe..OK, today I was searching for something on the internet and I was in Bing ( the newer Microsoft search ) and I was poking around..I use google for the most part and I love google maps. When I was in Bing I noticed that they have a ‘maps’ featue like google..with one feature that google maps does not have, Birds Eye View. Evidently Birds Eye was taken from planes of over areas so I went and found my place:

..the blue stuff is insulation under a tarp

..and another view from the east..

The funny thing about these pictures are that they are from April 2008..I know because it was a year and a half after I bought the place and I was just beginning to do work. The insualtion is all outside under the tarp due to the fact that I had to take out all of the insulation and eradicate the mouse infestation that had taken hold while I did work on my house that I sold..then I sold the house. These shots were when nothing is siding, brush right up to the dwelling..wood scattered everywhere..but the rusted out tercel that was there when I bought it is not there at, the memories.

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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in fun, Purchases


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