There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by The fingers » Mar 10 2017 5:15pm

Back in the day I actually snorted vitamin C crystals. Stings like a *#@&^%&^! :twisted:
Really coated that scratchy throat area that even gargling can't reach though I do not recommend it.
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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Mar 10 2017 6:56pm

i'll have to pass on that.

felt no better todya; worse in that now i'm queasy, so am home in bed alld ay so far, sleeping most of it fitfully. only got up for poty breask and to feed dogs, until now when i had to feed myself a bit of soup, hoping it stays down.

yogi is staying near the bed msotly but not on it, kirin seems to be finding other things tod o outisde the bedroom, dunno what. but she's probably bored and sometism comes in here to walk on me and see if i'm gonna get up and play. when id on't she grumbls and lays down on my legs for faew minutes and then gets up and does whatever she's beedn oing.


i think it's naptime again fr me.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Mar 11 2017 12:34am

Another few hours of fitful sleep and I feel a lot better, but I am still exhausted, still coughing now and then but my throat doesnt' quite feel like someone ran a wire brush around inside it anymore, though it isn't healed yet and it still hurts to whisper, no voice at all.

Have had migraine level headaches for a while now, nothing makes them stop but getting up and wobbling around for a while helps them a bit. Part of the problem is the assholes in the area that are nearly continously running their thump-mobiles, day and night. Thankfully they have stopped for the last couple hours so my head is hurting less at the moment.


Am going to try going back to sleep while it's quiet, though it probably won't stay that way for long.


I still haven't finsihed mowing the backyard frm earlier this week, when I just couldn't keep going anymore (beginning of this sickness), and still need to do the lantana trimming and such too. not to mention all the other projects i just haven'T been able to physically or mentally do. maybe my next days off, early next week, i'll feel well enough to do them.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Mar 24 2017 2:55am

This morning the house diagonally across the street from me caught fire, nobody home, fire dept put it out but the smell is sending me into flashbacks even when I can stop thinking about it.

Almost couldn't leave teh house to go to work today because of it, and worried all day long about it...finally managed to stop thinking about it not long before I left work, then got into the neighborhood and smelled the smell and panicked and almost crashed a couple times going around corners way too fast trying to get home, before I remembered this morning and that it was the house across the street and not mine....


Then I got around the last corner and saw no light at my house (should have a big bright yard light going all the time now) and panicked again, almost flipped the trike making the turn into the driveway, but then Kirin came running up with Yogi not far behind, to the side gate, and I relaxed enough to nearly fall down as I was getting off the trike to unlock the gate.


I have a feeling it's going to be hard to sleep for the next few days, weeks or whatever, now. Especially with the third anniversary of the housefire coming up in a month, too...four years since that happened.... Feels like yesterday and centuries ago.


I don't have nearly as many flashbacks or hours of wakefullness being unable to get away from the series of thoughts triggered by...whatever...but I still ahve them, and it can be almost anything that sends me down the path, all I have to do is get started on one thougth that makes me remember something that then makes me remember the next thing, and so on and so on. Sometimes I can divert it after only a few minutes, and sometimes it goes on for hours, leaving me exhausted but having to deal with the next day anyway (usually at work). Can go for days, sometiems even weeks, without it happening...but eventually, BAM.



Anyway...I got the rest of the yard trimmed, twice since the above post (due to the rains and warm but not hot weather), finally got the lantana and stuff trimmed to be "flat" top and sides, so it will look neat to others (I prefer the natural look but apparently most hate that?).

Am still holding off on watering things to try to reduce the "sewer fee" the city charges (about $50/month right now, 10x what my actual water cost is; it's most of the actual water bill! even though almost none of my water goes back down the sewer...it's really stupid but they use the water usage from jan feb and march to determine that fee--and since march is usually when i have had to start watering a lot to keep stuff from dying, then it's made the fee ridiculous.

So by holding off I'm hoping to reduce it. My usage this year is so far dozens of times less than last year, but I wont' knwo what the new fee is until the next bill, a month from now.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Apr 20 2017 3:32am

Will have the next week off, in anniversary of the house fire, Tiny's death, my dad's death, my birthday, etc.


Should give me time to get some work done on a few things around the house, as well as on the SB Cruiser trike, and teh old CrazyBike2.

Maybe even get the little Raine Trike built, if I'm lucky. Probably not finished, but a good start at least.


I'm hoping to meet up with various friends during the time off, but like most such times I doubt many (any) of them will actually end up doing so, as I've only even heard back from one of them.


In other news, my friend Bill, who helped me out tremendously after the fire, is suddenly moving away (due to his sister's medical issues), and given his age and our various circumstances, it's unlikely I'll ever see him again after that. :cry: The move had been planned already, but had been expected to take a year or two or more--but earlier this month it was suddenly accelerated to be complete by next month. :(

It's not like we won't stay in touch, but it's not the same, since we have been having lunch get-togethers once a week,sometimes every other week, for years now. Doesnt' seem like much...but it meant a lot, since almost no one else has ever had any interest in meeting up, talking, doing things, whatever; certainly not on any regular basis (most make lots of excuses to prevent contact/meetups, or simply stop responding whenever I bring it up, until they need me to fix something for them).


This time of year gets more and more reasons to suck every year. :(

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Apr 26 2017 3:28am

I moved the frame that I used to use with a "tarp" like cover over the back porch area to shade it for the summer--that tarp is pretty well trashed (used on the shed's awning last year) but the trees at the back of the house are now big enough to do most of the shading I need, except that several of the branches are low enough to make me have to duck a lot.

So I put the frame under the branches instead, so it holds them up. I've also got many of them woven together, from the center smaller tree to the larger outside trees; eventually it will all grow into one big canopy.
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Since they're deciduous, they shade in summer but let sunlight in to warm in winter; better than the ones that are there year round so the back is warmer than it would be otherwise for the short time it gets cold out there. (shorter and shorter each year, and less and less cold).


If there's time soon (before it gets too hot for transplanting) I'm going to move some small lantana sproutlings to the east side gate, on the outside, and just cover that gate with them like I did the fence. This will make the whole east side (street side) less likely for the dogs to see and bark at stuff in the street (cars, etc).

I'm also going to work on some boxes to attach to the carport gate, at it's base, with wheels on the bottom, so that I can put soil and lantana in those, too, to cover that gate but still leave it openable.

If I could, I'd put a mechanical covering over the chainlink (like cloth), but last time I did that it just got graffiti'd, and since I don't have enough of the same stuff to cover all of the fence, it breaks a city rule that all fencing must be of "consistent materials". AFAICT there isn't one about plants as visual barriers, hence the lantana.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Apr 27 2017 2:19am

Got another bunch of old pre-fire boxes of stuff sorted out of a shed today, most of it went in the recycle bin or out on the curb for free-take-away, some of it was just trash, like broken dishes and whatnot that were tossed into boxes with heavy stuff by "helpers" during the post-fire cleanup.

A tiny bit (two small boxes) stayed, mostly nuts and bolts and old computer cables (to be used for wire and connectors), and my old Curtis golf-cart brushed motor controller from Crazybke2's powerchair motor days. (itself as large as the whole mess of nuts and bolts).



I didn't really intend to do the cleanup, but was looking for hinges and lock hasps and other hardware that I know are in there somewhere (still didn't find them) to use on the seatbox on the SB Cruiser trike. Have to check the other main shed tomorrow, cuz that's probably where its' at (guess I'll clean some of it out while I'm at it).


Started to work on the planting "ditch" for the lantana on the east (street) side gate, didn't get very far.

Some random doggie and yard pics cleared off the phone:
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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Apr 28 2017 2:25am

Cleaned out much of the middle shed today, looking for stuff for the trike. Only about half of it is going back in--of the rest, what doesnt' get used on the trike and some other small projects I want to finish this week is getting recycled or left out for free (all the stuff I left out yesterday is already picked up). Most of it is just junk I'd been saving for sentimental reasons, and stuff I had hoped to save after the fire, but have realized I'm never going to use it again, or that I'll just never get around to fixing whatever was messed up in it.

I have a pile of electronics that will be used for parts sourcing for the Lebowski controller project, which I have the PCBs for but not yet most of the parts. I expect I can find most of the passive parts I need off of this stuff. Then the rest can be recycled.

Lots of old computer cables I'd saved that I know I won't reuse, some of them are good for the wire in them, but many are not, so those will go in the giveaway pile (or already are).


I need to finish getting all the wood out from various places, to use for the trike's enclosed rear end, and for the planter boxes (though those I may use old retail shelving for, since it's metal and will weld up real easy, and has rows of holes for excess-water drainage and oxygen-exchange already in it; I'd just need to paint it cuz it's all red, and would stick out like a sore thumb; I'd rather paint it dark green or brown).

While I'm at it, I'm also going to build a set of real "stairs" for the dogs to go in and out the doggie-window-door, because Yogi's left knee is bothering him more these days, and sometimes he has trouble climbing the "sofa stair" cuz it's basically just one big step. To build that I'll probably take the old sofa that's outside apart, and use the wood from it, plus some plywood and other stuff I have around that's not suitable for the trike (warped/heavy/etc). That should make 3 or 4 wide/long steps, that I can screw down mats/carpets to, for traction for them. (sometimes they launch themselves out the window at a pretty good clip).


But...I just remembered that I have the big heavy solid door on my worktable--I'd meant to cut it down to the right width for replacing the rear door, and installing the doggie door in that, so that the dogs can go in and out more naturally, without me having to build the step contraptions. But I've kinda been using the door *as* the worktable for so long (too heavy to move off the table until I"m done with it) that Id' actually completely forgotten why it was there. :lol: :oops:


So I guess tha'ts the first order of business tomorrow: get that door modified and fit in the back door, and then cut the hole in it for the doggie door, and move it over there.

Then I have to move the sofa away from the window inside (and out) so that the dogs don't try to run out the doggie-window-door and smash into the then-closed glass window instead. ;) Maybe swap sides in the room with teh rolling cart of tools and whatnot that's against the other wall.

Shouldnt' take them long to re-learn where the doggie door will be, then.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Apr 29 2017 5:05am

keyboard just got wierd so all lowercase for now; if i hit shift it acts like i'm using ctrl or alt so gotta open it up and see if there's dog slobber in it.... :roll:

spent the entire day until almost midnight getting the door setup and swapped out, and i am exhausted but can't sleep, aching in places i didnt remember i had places.

but it is now operational, if not completely finished.

i forgot to take pics of most of the process, but i got some of the doggie door stuff photographed.

i still have to fill and sand a long join between two sections at the latching edge, and paint the door, as well as making a covering for the edges of the doggie-door hole so water/etc doesnt' get into the particle-board core when it rains.

the first thing i had to do to the door was finish the cut i started maybe nearly a year ago, months at least, that i couldn't do tehn because i couldn't make a straight cut despite a cutting fence/guide clamped to the door. i think that somewhere between then and now i found and installed a different blade than i used at the time, because resuming hte cut today was easy and quick...but the old cut was pretty screwed up, so i had to restart the cut and take a little more off than i originally intended.

that made the door too narrow, by about 1/4", so it wouldn't even have met the frame at the latch/knob side. i have a second door but don't want to modify it, because i want to use that as the new front door, and it should fit unmodified.

but i still have the edge of teh door i just cut off, and while it's loose-particle board core, there's 3/4 inch of wood at the edge.

so i trimmed the door enough more to clear that 3/4 inch. but becasue it's loose-particle board core, there's nothing to glue or securely screw the wood edge to, except at the top and bottom ends where there is also wood, an inch at the top and two inches at the bottom.

the obvious way to fix this is to use some of the outer laminated wood that's outside teh core on the cutoff edge, to overlap the door's edge, and glue it there. ideally it'd be the other way around, using the laminate from the door to overlap the edge piece, but i already cut that off with the edge piece....if i'd realized how it was constructed i'd've started out differently, so this is the best compromise.

in order to fit the edge wood with laminates over the door edge, i had to take off the same amount of laminate from the door edge itself; this was pretty easy, just setting up the guide rail for the circular saw and depth of cut to just the thickness of laminate, about 1/16 inch. then use the chisel to pop the laminate off from one end to the other.

but getting the core material out from between the laminates on the edge piece...that was another story. i'ts loose, but not that loose, so a chisel popped some out but not lots, without way more work and time thna i had. so i set the circular saw to the depth of the core material only, so as not to cut into the wood, then clamped the edge piece so the core faced up, then using it as a handheld cutting tool i ground away the core material with the circ saw.

dangerous if i slipped, but i just did my best not to. thankfully all my slips just ended up with damage to the workpiece, not me.

half an hour later i had it cleared and trimmed. i had some old harbor freight 'wood glue' that was still about half full, so i filled the rest of it with water, mixed it up, and let it sit for a while as i did other things, including finding some other old glue that needed to be used before it went bad, and was already turned into orange snot. :lol:

then i used the watered down glue to soak into the core material exposed on the edge of the door, to help stiffen it up. i used the orange snot to glob into gaps and holes, then used my 'real' wood glue bought for the trike's wood stuff to spread on the inside surfaces of the edge piece.

then i used the mallet to tap the edge piece onto the door edge, and clamped it down with bar clamps on a piece of 'elephant rack', which is very straight and stiff, making a very heavy but otehrwise ideal clamping bar to spread clamping pressure across the whole door edge.

after it had been clamped for a bit, i removed the clamp and countersunk 3 inch long drywall/deck screws thru the edge piece into the door's core material, about a handspan apart, all along the edge. then i put the clamp back on, and let it dry another couple hours while i did other things.



i chiselled out the hinge areas, which are in different places on this door thant he original. i had thought about using the new door's much stronger/heavierduty hinges and hinge spots, but that would mean a fair bit of work altering the house's doorframe which i don't want to do. so i used the original hinges and spots and screws. if i have trouble with the hinges i'll swap them out, but tests so far show it should be ok.

i also drilled a doorknob hole as the new door doesn't have one, just a hole for a deadbolt tht was cut away with the edge piece, and way too high up like at eye level. i didn't have a 3/4 inch drillbit for the latch hole so i did the same thing to make the hole on the trike for it's lock, i used a 1/2 inch bit, the biggest my drill can hold, and started a hole wiht it then swirled it around to widen it, then filed it out bigger and straight with a round file. then chiselled out the recess for teh latch plate.


somewhere in all the above, i also marked out the doggie door hole to cut it out. this was a process that ended up taking almost two hours, because i had to make some decisions and find stuff because of those decisions.

basically, as the pics show, kirin and yogi are almost 3 inches different in height at chest/shoulders. unfortunately the doggie door i was using in the window has an opening that is not tall enough to accomodate that difference--one of them would be scraping either their chest or their back when running out the door, which is going to happen.

wasnt' an issue in the window, because they had to slow down some to climb up, and neither one could just fit right thru the door with out crouching down/etc anyway. only tiny ever had it easy with the door there, cuz i set it up for her in the first place.

so...i remembered i had a flap, not a whole door, but a flap, for a bigger door that should clear both of them ok. but it wasnt' where i remembered, because i'd moved it along with other stuff to one of the sheds, some months ago, maybe longer, probably before tiny died, but didnt' remmeber which shed. so i spent more than an hour before i found it, though i got more shed sorting done while i was at it.

so i went with this flap, which almost allows fo both to fit fine, they'll have to duck / step over a bit but not as bad by inches as the other one. if it doesnt' work out i can always cut the extra hole space out and go back to the other doggie door.

for the moment the flap is just screwd to the ouside of the top edge of the hole, but i will be cutting a groove in the center of the top edge so the flap will be centered between inside and outside, and then run bolts thru the door to secure the flap.

i also have to smooth the hole edges and cover them with something, like plastic sheet, so it doesn't disintegrate with water when it rains.



after dark, i finally got to unclamp the door and start installing it. very heavy so hard to hang but got it and the hinges lined up perfectly whcih ididnt' expect, and even the latch ended up perfectly lined up wth the hole for it in the door frame.

buuut...teh door ended up about 1/8 inch too wide at the top and nearly 1/4 inch too wide at the bottom, because i must've measrued/cut the edge of the door wrong in my initial removal of the edge piece and the subsequent trimming to fix the screwed up cut.

the easiest way to fix it would be to unhang the door ad take it back out to the workbench, clamp it down, and circular saw it, but i would probably screw it up again, and i couldn't check it without rehanging it again. and hanging it is very hard cuz it's so heavy.


so i left it hung and used the chisel/mallet, and the plane to take off larger thicknesses as long chips, then the belt sander to smooth that out and take it the rest of the way down. it took me basically from dark until almost midnight to get it where it would close and latch, but it's stilla very tight fit and will need further sanding or planing to get it just right.


between all the stuff i managed to forget to eat anything at all all day long, and while it won't hurt me to skip a meal or two ;) i used a lot of energy and ended up eating a large bowl of chili from thepot i made teh day before, and still being hungry....


anyway, the door works, and yogi uses it with just a little hesitation, but kirin is going to have to relearn it all over again. if i hold the flap open she'll go thru with coaxing, but she won't go thru with it hanging closed, and won't go on her own. she wants to, when yogi goes out she's right behind him but then she gets nervous and shies around at it instead of going thru. she'll go if i get right behind her and put my hands on her butt, but that's more becuse she' doesnt' like her butt being handled.


just so there aren't any accidents, because the window is now bakc in palce and closed, i blocked off the the window so they can't see it, and mvoed the sofas away from it leaving the wall blank below it.

now if i can just get to sleep i'll continue tomorrow if i have time.
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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Apr 30 2017 2:49am

I figured out the keyboard issue; I forgot that because i have my bedroom setup as the music studio, and I only have the one working computer, that rather than moving the keyboard and trackball around I use a USB hub to connect two keyboards and two trackballs to the computer, and leave one set at the workstation and one at the bed.

Somehow the one at the workstation had gotten half-knocked-off the keyboard drawer, and some of it's keys were being partly / occasionally pushed by the underside of the workstation desk. :/




Today is a year since Tiny died, and it's been on my mind more than I thought, because I had all sorts of nightmares about that. When I finally gave up trying to sleep (despite being exhausted from all teh work yesterday), I got up and went outside with the dogs, and it seemed like everything reminded me of Tiny.

At first I was just sad about it, nostalgic, but then I got angry about her being gone, and my part in it, and angry with myself for being that way, and felt stupid about it too. But I couldn't get rid of the feeling.

Last night I'd moved the sofa that was just outside the doggie-window-door window (used for the dogs to climb up and down on), away from the window and against the lantana that covers the dogs' graves (including Tiny's). I'd done this to keep Yogi and Kirin from crashing into the now-closed window, rather than going thru the new doggie-door. But it put the sofa right in my view standing at the back door.

That particular sofa used to be Tiny's feeding couch, for her last year, to help her eat despite the megaesophagus / MG. I'd moved it outside for use as the doggiedoor stairway because it was already permanently damaged from Tiny's bladder (and sometimes bowel) leakage, as well as food and water spillage, drool, vomit, etc., and from her exuberant climbing up on it and pawing it with great enthusiasm when it was time to eat (which she loved to do).

So while it had great nostalgic and sentimental value, it was also stinky and I'd been unable to clean it well enough to make it worth keeping in the house, but I coudln't bring myself to get rid of it and so it became the doggiedoor stair.


But today...I couldn't get rid of my anger, though I could suppress it, and didn't want to go around with that feeling lurking inside. So I focused on the sofa, and while i *wanted* to beat it into splinters with the sledgehammer, I forced myself to disassemble it, not-very-carefully peeling off the torn up coverings, foam, etc., and then pry apart the stapled-together boards making up it's frame. It took a while, more than an hour, and the anger was gone by then, and I'd started thinking how I might re-use some of the wood for various stuff like the trike's enclosed rear end, and an enclosed trailer to match the trike's look. There's not enough of it to do the whole thing, of course, but it can be used along with pallet planks and other stuff to do it.


Other than that, the only thing I got done today before I was too worn out to continue was to do some more shed clean-outs, and clean up some of the mess from making the doggie door, and rearrange a little of the back room to move the indoor sofa over to the other wall and to move the tool carts, workcarts, etc., over to near the door and window wall, partly cuz they're more useful there, and partly to make the dogs not go to the window but rather to the door, when they are running full steam to go out.



With the whole back of the wall outside cleared, there's plenty of room to park the trike there, and setup a charging station, etc. Even room for the bike to be parked next to it. The only issue is that the runoff from the roof comes down right there, from the long nearly flat roof fo the back room plus all of the north side of the house roof. It's a lot of water--even though the rains are nto frequent, it gets very wet there. Not enough light there to grow grass, at least not with the dogs trampling it all the time, so it gets real muddy real quick and stays that way for a while after a rain.


An awning or eave extension would help with that (I could just add a gutter but that won't give shade like an awning or eave), and give me the shade I'll need in the summer too.

Easiest way to build it is to just weld up some of that retail shelving; it's 30" or more deep for the widest ones, of which I should have plenty to do this with. It'd get welded to some brackets made of conduit, or maybe other salvaged tubing, etc. and then fastened to the existing eave beams. Since it's all bright red I'll have to paint it, probably to match the house trim (a kind of brown), or maybe a darker green, or maybe just white so it reflects more light and stays a bit cooler.

I'd also put some insulation underneath it, probably screwing or glueing styrofoam saved from the coolers we toss out at work each week (the fish and frozen stuff get shipped to us in them). so the heat doesnt' just go right thru the metal and reradiate down to us underneath it. ;)

The trees also shade this area a lot, but it's not a complete shading--for the midday 2-3 hours, the sun shines straight down into the area. In the summer, that's pretty hot.


If the technique works, I can also use it to make awnings over the windows, and other parts of the house since the eaves are just really really short, so they don't shade the house walls, or windwos, at all. I've wanted to do thisfor years, but never had the materials when I had time, and never had time when I had materials (because I got the materials shortly before the housefire four years ago). So now I have new materials and a little time, and we'll see what happens.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » May 02 2017 3:14am

All I've really gotten done since the above is to:

--fix the long-stick-handled shovel into a usable t-handled type.

-- transplant some lantana into the new watering trench just outside the former east / street gate,

-- transplant some of the mulberry sproutlings from under the central tree in the backyard to replace sproutlings that died off over the last few months elsewhere in teh front and back,

--transplant the tiny fir tree from near the front east sidewalk where it sprouted in the lantana there, to just west of the palm tree that I wish wasn't there. If it survives, and grows fast enough, maybe I can use it as a reason to remove the palm tree.

--expanded the watering berms around some of the trees that have grown way beyond the old ones. didnt' get a lot of this part done, though.



The shovel fix has a story....

Sometime during the fire cleanup, the cleanup crew took most of my yard tools, includng my all-metal digging shovel, which was a perfect fit for me to use, and easy to dig with, very stiff thick blade, etc. It looked pretty much like most of the first dozen or two images here:
https://www.google.com/search?q=shovel& ... 31&bih=918
with the D-handle grip perpendicular to the main "handle" that connects to the shovel, grip held to handle by a "y" shape.

I kept thinking I should make a new one, but given that it's quite a lot of work to shape the shovel blade out of thick metal, and/or make the fixtures for doing so, I didn't get around to doing this, and just kept using a litle folding army shovel, which I have to sit on the ground to dig with, using a mallet to pound it into the ground with...and since it was never meant for that abuse, it's had a hard time keeping up with me. ;)

Last year, when Tiny died, Stephen, the friend that came over to see Tiny and be with me at the end, also helped as much as he could to bury her...but as I only had the litle army shovel, he went out and bought a new shovel...but having never dug a hole before, he bought the kind with a single very long stick handle, which in my experience is really hard to use to dig a hole. He had a hard time with it, too, but it was what we had at that point.

I'd decided after I'd partly recovered from Tiny's loss, and had Teddy here still in the stage where Yogi didn't like her yet, that I was going to take the shovel and cut the handle down and add a D-handle grip to it to make it like my old one had been, but every tmie I looked at the shovel, I'd think of Tiny, and I just couldn't do anything with it, so ti sat in the shed unused, and when I needed to dig with it I'd end up using the old army shovel, repariing it over and over again as I broke it each time.

When Teddy unexpectedly went into her multiday seizure and tthen died, a few months after arriving, the shovel was still unmodified, and was used by the people from the rescue to help me dig her grave, too. Again, plans for modifying it kept being delayed by me being unable to look at it without thinking of Tiny, and now Teddy.


Sunday, I couldn't sleep well teh nigth before (or the one before that), so I got up around midmorning after giving up trying to sleep, and went out back to start working on the transplanting stuff. but again...only shovel I could use was the army shovel, which needed repair again (new handle). So...I looked at the other shovel, and felt as I had before...but realistically would be putting the work into one or the other, so I just pushed msyelf past my heartache, and pictured what I needed to do, and walked over to my small pile of pipes, and picked teh one closest to the outer diameter of the wood handle of he shovel, with a good thick wall.


I used the angle grinder to cut a slot lengthwise in it about 6 inches long, on opposing sides. Then I notched the cut like a T an inch or so to either side of the slot, so I could spread the two pieces into a Y. Then I used pliers and the sledgehammer to bend those "flaps" inward on each side to make it like two flattened tubes attached to the larger tube by their outer skin flap, leaving the very end of each flat to connect ot the cross-handle.

I cut the shovel's handle off about two feet down from the original end, to make the remaining 3feet or so be the part I'd be keeping on the shovel. Then I cut abou a 5inch piece off the the removed part, at the cut end, to use for the cross handle. I put that into the end flaps and hten hammered the metal flaps flat against the wood, drilled holes in the metal and screwed it into the wood.

Then I wleded the Y at the join, for reinforcement and to prevent it from bending during use.

Once that was all complete, I cut the main tube about 8-9 inches below the join of the Y, and slotted the main tube from that join all the way to teh newly cut end, lengthwise. Then I hammered taht closed, to make it the same ID as the wood handles OD, so they'd be a friction fit.

Then I drilled holes in the main tube across it's diameter, to put screws thru it into the wood handle.


Then I put the tube on the handle and instaleld the screws, and voila, I had a "new" shovel to do digging with, *and* a new handle I will later install on the army shovel (because it's just about the perfect lenght remainder to replace the cracked handle on that one).

After that, Raine and I went to lunch at a good, quiet, little sandwich shop a couple miles north of here, which I'd been intending to go back to with Bill ever since he and I discovered it, abotu a year ago, but we never did (and now he's moved out of state, so unlikely to ever happen). So I went with my brother instead, for my birthday.

Testing the shovel happened a few hours later, and it works almost as well as the original but it's blade is mcuh thinner so it's a lot flexier. :/ But it worsk, and it's done now.

now my time off is over with, so it's back to work tomorrow.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » May 15 2017 2:39am

Somebody left a kid's plastic toy that can hold water in the alley behind my house during bulk trash week, so I rescued it for the dogs to use until they break it.

Yogi loves to stand in it after running around playing with Kirin.

Kirin just stares at him and sometimes drinks from it, but she doesnt' wanna get in it, at least not yet. Maybe when it gets hotter. She loves to lay in mud puddles or rain puddles (even while it's pouring rain), so I dunno why she doesn't like the pool.
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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by dingoEsride » May 15 2017 3:07am

A nice score there Amber, looks like the weather is warming up there and you have sorted the dog cooling and wash problem
ride like the wind

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » May 16 2017 1:45am

Unfortunately it actually increases the wash problem, at least for Yogi, cuz he gets dirtier after being in it than he was when he went in. ;)


I bathe the dogs in the regular bathtub in the house, as the detachable shower head makes that pretty easy. The dirt/etc all gets recycled back to the yard, as I have an aquarium powerhead that pumps all the greywater wastewater from the tub out to a hose that I move around the yard to whatever needs watering each day.


But it definitely makes Yogi happy that he can walk into it and stand in the water to cool his paws off, even if Kirin hasn't decided she wants to try it yet. :)

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Jul 08 2017 3:08am

Weather is fully into summer now; we're past the 120F+ days, thankfully, but now the humidity is up so it feels a lot hotter than it is, plus the temperatures stay higher longer each night, so the average temperature is higher too.

A few weeks ago I insulated the outside of the roof-mounted A/C unit, so that direct sunlight doesn't strike the metal casing or ducting, and it makes a small difference to the total power used, though since the temperatures are higher it isnt' a large percentage of the bill. The main difference it makes is that the air being circulated thru the ducting to it isn't heated as much by sunlight, so not as much heat has to be removed by the A/C unit.

Additionally, since Raine's room is at the far end of the house from the A/C unit, and right next to the useless concrete expanse of driveway/carport, which heats in the morning and carries that heat thru the day into Raine's room, we have to leave the A/C's circulation fan in the "on" mode (instead of auto) or else it gets many degrees hotter in there than the rooms closer to the thermostat (directly under the A/C unit) before the A/C kicks on, which neither he nor Mouse (the cat) appreciate very much.

That means that with the insulation on the ducting and housing up there, that air also heats less (because it all passes thru the roof unit, so it all gets re-heated as it does).

I still need to add more insulation to the ducting in the attic (well, crawlspace) itself, but because there is essentially no airflow inside the space up there, it has been too hot (even at night) to go up there without setting up cooling inside the attic while I'm in there, and that takes time I haven't had yet; it's complex because I have to basically move a window/ac unit up there and then duct it's heat back out into the room the attic entrance is in, or out one of the roof vents. And all that would probably take longer than just doing the insulation work, and would definitely be more difficult.

So my best bet is to just move a box fan up there, and put it in the gable vent to pull air thru the attic, and wet down the roof (or do it while it's raining, if it ever does), and put on some clothes to soak myself down in water before going up there. That should let me stay cool enough to do the work without heat exhaustion or worse, without having to keep repeatedly going back down into the house to cool down, then back up, for only a couple minutes at a time.

But anyway I've been collecting more styrofoam boxes and sheets from work, so I can use these to put around the ductwork. The more layers of it I can put over them, the better the insulation, and the the less energy it will take to keep the house cool. It takes about two boxes for every two feet of duct (one on top of it and one under it, since the ducts are "taller" than the boxes. So the basic plan is to cut a semicircle at each end plate of each box, and just put the boxes under and on top of each duct along it's length.

There are probably around 100 feet of duct up there to cover, so that's about 100 coolers. I only have a couple dozen not being used for other insulation things at this point, getting one or two more each week. The only two ducts actively in use are the kitchen and Raine's bedroom, with all the other duct vents closed at the rooms they are in, so those two ducts will be covered first. (my own bedroom is cooled by a window unit, so I can have separate climate control from the rest of the house; it seems to work out better this way, regarding costs vs temperatures).


If I could, I'd just use a window A/C unit for Raine's room and leave the rest of the house uncooled, because the insulation in the house keeps it under 90F most of the time anyway. But Raine can't tolerate that and so would be stuck in his room all the time (even though that's where he stays almost all the time anyway), so as long as he can pay for the extra electricity it takes to run the main house A/C (cuz I can't), then we run it for the main house rooms--the front room has no vent but it is cooled by all the return air from the kitchen and Raine's bedroom.

It'd cost significantly more to also cool the back room; it's large and has less insulation both in the walls and the cieling; there's also no airgap between the roof and the insulation (no attic), as it's really designed more like an enclosed porch (although better than that). Even without that it's still at least 20-30 degrees cooler back there than it is outside even on the hottest days; and even with the doggie door flap that doesn't have a weather seal around it (maybe someday I'll figure out a good way to do that that won't get destroyed by the dogs or the weather, but that also won't interfere with teh operation of the door flap itself).

The former music/computer room (which used to be my bedroom when the fire happened 4.25 years ago) that is now just storage, is left uncooled; the vent is closed (but not blocked, so there is still a bit of airflow--just not much). So there's some energy savings there, too.

Since the dogs stay wherever it's cooler, I leave my bedroom's window A/C off whenever I am not home, and they just go into the kitchen for the most part (it has some form of ceramic tile flooring, so it's cooler flooring than any other room than the bathroom (or utility room), and they like that. So that's where they spend most of their time when I'm not here anyway, making no point to me cooling my bedroom. Was different when it was just me here, with Tiny and then Yogi, and I didn't cool the rest of the house, but that's how it is now. So not cooling the bedroom until I get home saves energy too. I do actually have the vent blocked off to my bedroom, and a triple-layer of blankets as a curtain in the doorway so the dogs can go in and out of it if they want to, without much heat being exchanged either way.


Anyway, I've been rambling a lot more than I meant to; keep dozing off and having to try to remember what I was writing about, so I'll just stop here for now. :oops:

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Jul 17 2017 4:20am

Heckuva storm tonight, after several days of "almosts" that went around the heat bubble in the valley.

We got about 20 minutes of sprinkles last night, starting just as I left work and ending shortly after I got home, with nothing else after that till tonight.

Tonight around 9pm-ish it began to get grumbly outside, and by 10pm it was really gusty and windy, with lots of lighting to the northeast, and then it began pouring with no pre-drizzle, hard enough to be unable to see anything beyond blurs of light in the direction of the closest streetlight, and porch lights across the street--eveyrthing else was invisible.

That lightened up after 20+ minutes, while the dogs paced around me, and then stayed at a heavy rain for at least that much longer, lightening up a bit to just rain for another half hour and then sprinkles for anohter long while.

While it was still raining I went up in the attic and added some of that insulation I was talking about above, and checked to see if I could find the source of some water that came out of a lighting fixture in the kitchen at the end of the heaviest rain--but there's no trace of a leak up there.

The fixture is almost at the edge of the transition from the normal roof slope to the nearly flat roof slope over teh back room, and I think that it isn't a leak in teh normal sense, but rather is one of two things:

--water backing up on the flat roof going up under the shingles on the regular angled part, simply because it can't run off fast enough. Then seeping into the join between the roof structures themselves. I can't verify this from the inside as I can't reach that portion of the area over the cieling (too narrow).


--rain so hard that it splashes up into the roof vent that used to go to the stovetop exhaust pipe/vent in the kitchen before the rebuild. When they rebuilt the house they left the vent up there, and the pipe down to the cieling itself, but they cut it off right at the actual cieling drywall, and the new drywall has no hole in it for it to go thru down to the actual exhaust vent of the over-stove hood (which means that the hood exhaust fan doesn't actually do anything, as it's a couple feet below the cieling with a cabinet and then some open space above it). Since the vent has nowhere to go, if water did come down the pipe, it would run across the top of the cieling drywall until it found an escape or pooled at the lowest point it could get to. I didn't feel any wetness at the base of that pipe (under the insulation blanket whcih is at least a foot thick), but can't see it, and it could've dried up before I got up there, as that was probably close to an hour after the heavy rain part.


Easy to test the latter; I'll jsut bag up the vent on the roof and tie it shut. If it doesn't leak in the next hard rain, I'm all set.

The former I can seal up under the shingles themselves, if necessary--but it doesn't rain this hard very often.




The doggie door flap didn't keep out all the water, though the magnets actually did keep the flap in place even against the gusty winds.

HOwever, most of what came in the back door actually came under the door as the water came off the roof so fast that it overflowed the deflection gutter I'd put over that area of roof edge, and also flowed outward past it from the speed of the water off ofthe roof. And also the water on the "stoop" level with the base of the door built up so quickly it was actually a puddle above the base of the door even though the stoop is a small ~3' x 3' concrete pad about 6" off the ground. The wind blowing from the northeast helped push all that water against the base of the door, and thru the very thin gap in the rubber strip between the base and the doorway's bottom plate.

It's not a lot of water, but under normal circumstances I don't think any would've gotten in (maybe a bit if the wind blew the rain against the doggie door flap, as it's still not finished and would allow it to flow inside. I've actually considered a kind of awning over the flap area, but I think that perhaps simply angling the bottom side of the hole for the flap downward on the outside would keep most of it from ending up getting thru the flap.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by greyphantom » Jul 19 2017 11:11am

amberwolf wrote:Heckuva storm tonight, after several days of "almosts" that went around the heat bubble in the valley.

We got about 20 minutes of sprinkles last night, starting just as I left work and ending shortly after I got home, with nothing else after that till tonight.

Tonight around 9pm-ish it began to get grumbly outside, and by 10pm it was really gusty and windy, with lots of lighting to the northeast, and then it began pouring with no pre-drizzle, hard enough to be unable to see anything beyond blurs of light in the direction of the closest streetlight, and porch lights across the street--eveyrthing else was invisible.

That lightened up after 20+ minutes, while the dogs paced around me, and then stayed at a heavy rain for at least that much longer, lightening up a bit to just rain for another half hour and then sprinkles for anohter long while.

While it was still raining I went up in the attic and added some of that insulation I was talking about above, and checked to see if I could find the source of some water that came out of a lighting fixture in the kitchen at the end of the heaviest rain--but there's no trace of a leak up there.

The fixture is almost at the edge of the transition from the normal roof slope to the nearly flat roof slope over teh back room, and I think that it isn't a leak in teh normal sense, but rather is one of two things:

--water backing up on the flat roof going up under the shingles on the regular angled part, simply because it can't run off fast enough. Then seeping into the join between the roof structures themselves. I can't verify this from the inside as I can't reach that portion of the area over the cieling (too narrow).


--rain so hard that it splashes up into the roof vent that used to go to the stovetop exhaust pipe/vent in the kitchen before the rebuild. When they rebuilt the house they left the vent up there, and the pipe down to the cieling itself, but they cut it off right at the actual cieling drywall, and the new drywall has no hole in it for it to go thru down to the actual exhaust vent of the over-stove hood (which means that the hood exhaust fan doesn't actually do anything, as it's a couple feet below the cieling with a cabinet and then some open space above it). Since the vent has nowhere to go, if water did come down the pipe, it would run across the top of the cieling drywall until it found an escape or pooled at the lowest point it could get to. I didn't feel any wetness at the base of that pipe (under the insulation blanket whcih is at least a foot thick), but can't see it, and it could've dried up before I got up there, as that was probably close to an hour after the heavy rain part.


Easy to test the latter; I'll jsut bag up the vent on the roof and tie it shut. If it doesn't leak in the next hard rain, I'm all set.

The former I can seal up under the shingles themselves, if necessary--but it doesn't rain this hard very often.




The doggie door flap didn't keep out all the water, though the magnets actually did keep the flap in place even against the gusty winds.

HOwever, most of what came in the back door actually came under the door as the water came off the roof so fast that it overflowed the deflection gutter I'd put over that area of roof edge, and also flowed outward past it from the speed of the water off ofthe roof. And also the water on the "stoop" level with the base of the door built up so quickly it was actually a puddle above the base of the door even though the stoop is a small ~3' x 3' concrete pad about 6" off the ground. The wind blowing from the northeast helped push all that water against the base of the door, and thru the very thin gap in the rubber strip between the base and the doorway's bottom plate.

It's not a lot of water, but under normal circumstances I don't think any would've gotten in (maybe a bit if the wind blew the rain against the doggie door flap, as it's still not finished and would allow it to flow inside. I've actually considered a kind of awning over the flap area, but I think that perhaps simply angling the bottom side of the hole for the flap downward on the outside would keep most of it from ending up getting thru the flap.


Been runninng around in here like a kid in a candy store since the introduction of the mobile site version of ES :mrgreen: and just yesterday saw your story here. I feel like this is kind of a family, people helping others and I appreciate all those who get on here and endeavor to do so. Sounds silly, but it makes me proud, in a good way. There are many users that spend a great chunk of time and brainpower lol effort to assist, educate, serve etc. I appreciate all of you very very much. It's always a blast to read the very educational posts and intellect of this 'crew'.

I'm sorry, Amber, about your terrible loss. I am very happy to see you are making great strides in rebuilding your little family there. Thank you for sharing your pictures and commentary. It took courage to share your story and please keep doing so, Friend. Dogs are the best friend in the world, the old saying is very true.

If you would pm me your address, I will mail you some of my special sugar cookies at Christmastime. Lower in sugar and only natural ingredients, they will take you back to another time. I make 100's every year for a few friends/associates around winter holidays, makes for big smiles and it makes me even happier and that's really why I do it :mrgreen: Half my block has had my specialty cookies and candy bark etc, makes for good neighbors lol.

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Jul 24 2017 1:14am

greyphantom wrote: I'm sorry, Amber, about your terrible loss. I am very happy to see you are making great strides in rebuilding your little family there. Thank you for sharing your pictures and commentary. It took courage to share your story and please keep doing so, Friend. Dogs are the best friend in the world, the old saying is very true.
They're my fuzzy family; my "kids". Dog-people understand this :) and most other people don't, not really. :(

There's more of the story of the new dogs (Tiny, Yogi, Teddy, and Kirin, so far) in the other threads, like the Tiny's Wheelchair Project thread, the SB Cruiser thread (built partly to carry Tiny, and modified to carry the others), some in the CrazyBike2 thread, and the Flatbed Kennel Trailer Mk II, III, and IV threads.

There's also videos of various dogs on YT under Rebmevon The Amber; just look for Hachi Vs The Sprinkler and go from there. ;)


If you would pm me your address, I will mail you some of my special sugar cookies at Christmastime. Lower in sugar and only natural ingredients, they will take you back to another time. I make 100's every year for a few friends/associates around winter holidays, makes for big smiles and it makes me even happier and that's really why I do it :mrgreen: Half my block has had my specialty cookies and candy bark etc, makes for good neighbors lol.
Thanks; :)

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Oct 06 2017 1:50am

Pics below the text, of a "walk around" starting in the backyard from POV near the trike's parking spot on the back porch, pointed north toward the alley and back fence, then moving thru the backyard to the south gate pointing south and out to the side street pointing west and then around to teh front (and again pointing north), POV the middle of the street. Then POV on the sidewalk and back along the same path except continuing down the side street, pointing west.

Plus naturally some doggie pics as they were in various shots. :)

Previous generation of trees are getting big enough to provide some shade.

A new generation sprung up under the biggest of the first generation in the back yard (closest to the bedroom), so this week, now that it's begun getting a bit cooler, I transplanted some of the sproutlings to a new row of trees in teh front yard to make shade in the strip closest to the street but inside the lantana hedge that presently isn't shaded at all (and thus also has almost no grass).

Around the tree planting spots, on the bare areas, I laid palm fronds and seed carrier "brooms" I trimmed off (since their shade is not now needed with the angle of the sun, and I want more daylight on the trees near the house for longer so tehy keep growing as we get into fall adn then winter.

Once the "brooms" dry out they'll become dog toys, as Kirin loves to pull Yogi around by them--she likes to hold onto the "straw" end as she has very small teeth (with a lot of gum area between them, like a puppy) and the other end (and regular sticks) tend to hurt her gums.

The fronds will get cut up and placed in the trash, as they are too acidic to reuse as compost/etc (they kill or damage other plants). I'd love to use them woven into the chainlink alley fence as a visual block, but apparently that's illegal here. (someone else in the area did that years ago and was fined for it--if you have a chainlink fence then you have an open fence with no cover, adn that's how it has to stay. You can't put stuff in between the links, or cover it with anything else, either, whcih is why I grew all that lantana along it instead).
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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Oct 10 2017 1:08am

So this happened again
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... e#p1068308
so I'll have to order another coupler. The last one lasted just over 2 years.

This time it broke as it was starting the spin/drain cycle, after it'd already agitated the first cycle. Thankfully since it had started the drain cycle, the water self-drained (pulling itself thru the pipe from suction even without the pump), saving me from having to drain it manually (with an aquarium pump/powerhead) before tipping it to work on it.

The way this one broke was it split the motor-side coupling at the double-D shaft hole, and one of the arms broke off of the washer-side coupling, and the rubber shock coupling ring broke into pieces.

That seems like a lot more damage than any of the other failures, and makes me wonder if there is something at the transmission or clutch that might have caused the failure--but they appear to rotate normally if I spin the coupling by hand with the motor off.

Either way I have to get a new coupling, so I'll order that first, then while waiting for it see if I can get the transmission off and check it and the clutches separately.

I'm stuck hand-washing until the part gets here (hopefully before my next weekly wash load).

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Dec 17 2017 3:17am

Never got back to reply to this, but the couplers arrived shortly after the above, (bought a multipack as it was no more expensive than buying just one), installed easily in minutes, and has been working fine since.


In other news, I've had a cold for a bit over a week, and the first day I thought it was going to be mild, as it felt like it was going away and even gone by halfway thru the day.

Then it came back and kicked my ass a few hours later, and it's been doing that in different stages over the past few days, starting at my head, moving down to my chest, then to my guts. Hard to keep stuff down so not much energy either.

I've been working anyway, because there's no one else to work my shift (being the closing manager, and only two other department managers because the company can't be bothered to hire enough store-managers, so we haven't had one for more than a month (two?). AFAICT not even half the stores in the valley have one now. So there's not enough managers to properly work all the shifts that are needed, or do all the work that's needed. Same is true of regular employees (they quit because of stress, poor pay, etc. and aren't replaced), but it's more critical to have managers for codes, keys, decisions, etc. and if there's no manager the store can't be open even if there's employees (whereas the opposite is not true).

I finally reached the point Friday that I couldn't keep going, so I asked one of our former store managers to find someone to cover the rest of my shift, and then my shift the next day, so I could recover (and I'd have had my regular days off the next two days after that to recover more). Well, he did find someone quickly for Friday's shift, for which I am grateful--but management above his level refused to approve time for covering my other shift, which meant that even though I couldn't really work, I had to go in anyway, because no one else could do it (or rather, would be allowed to), and if I didn't, the store would have to shutdown when the other manager's shift was over, and that's just not going to happen. Also, I don't want to get fired (even though they'd have no legitimate reason, I don't trust the company not to do stupid things).

So I was glad when most of the shift the store was not busy at all, and the two regular employees I had with me were able to cope with almost everything that came up, despite one having been there only a few months and the other almost completely new---so kudos to them for that, and letting me stay sitting in the office most of the shift trying not to just collapse or choke on my phlegm and raw throat.

Well, I survived, and I'm home now, though I can't sleep even though I'm exhausted (normal state of affairs for me), and I have the next two days scheduled off to hopefully recover (at least enough to be able to talk above a whisper without my raw throat coming apart).

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Jan 01 2018 10:40pm

Surprisingly, New Year's Eve wasn't a horrible nightmarish experience this year.

Usually, there's fireworks including the cannon-loudness stuff in the area thru the night till at least dawn, and for days afterward. There's also usually a lot of gunshots (from weapons fired in the air I'd guess, despite the stupidity *and* illegality of that), but not this year, at least not around here.

This year, there were just a few in teh hours leading up to midnight, and a handful after that for an hour or so. At midnight there was a lot, but that's to be expected, and it died down quickly afterward. (this wasnt' true for xmas, so I'd expected NYE/NYD to be really horrible.)

According to Raine, there's been a lot stricter enforcement of what can be sold and bought, and of actually stopping people that are using fireworks at other than the "designated times". (I'm assuming they'd have to use the gunshot-locator microphone network in order to find the fireworks locations) Why they're doing it, I don't know--maybe it's because of the dangers people expose each other to, or maybe it's the "disturbing the peace" thing, or maybe something else.



So for NYE and NYD, Yogi (and Kirin) didn't get terrified all night. Yogi was still nervous, but I was able to mask almost all the fireworks just running a couple of loud fans, plus some of my more repetititititititive music / drum-bass noodling-around tracks at a volume right at the edge of uncomfortable for me. That let Yogi relax a lot more than he usually can during fireworks. Kirin isn't really all that afraid of the noises, but she follows whatever Yogi does, so if he's scared she acts that way, and if he's relaxed she does too.


Around 2am or so, the fireworks had been all stopped for a while, so I got out a thick towel and a belt, and folded the towel in a 6-inch wide strip and wrapped it around Yogi's head to cover his ears, then belted it on. He didn't really object to it, but he didn't appreciate it either. I did have to keep Kirin from repeatedly trying to grab it off his head to get him to play.... But this let us go out for potties, because Yogi naturally hadn't wanted to go out at all after dinnertime (usually he needs to go around when they eat around 10pm, or within an hour afterward), due to the already-started intermittent fireworks. Even the little bitty firecrackers very far away are enough to scare him, if he hears them.

Since those were still being used now and then even at 2am, the headwrap kept him from hearing them and let him relax, wander the yard, and eventually go potty. Of course, first he had to run back inside every few seconds, staying out longer and longer over 30-40 minutes as I came back in to lead him back outside each time (since he couldn't easily hear me calling him), while Kirin wandered the yard and wanted to play.



The pheremone plugin (comfort zone) helped too, though as usual I had it plugged in a few days beforehand; it works better if it "builds up" some before the event it's needed for. The spray would probably work even better for taht, but htis stuff is expensive ($30-$40 each) and I got the plugins on clearance for much cheaper, so I'll just use them until I run out.

I might have to buy another pheremone collar anyway, as there's a chance that soon I'll end up with a third St Bernard named Heidi--apparently she's a little like Kirin in that she carries a toy as a "puppy" around, and she's a bit smaller than either Yogi or Kirin are, but not as small as Tiny was or as short-legged as Teddy was. Beyond that, I don't yet know anything about her, except that the rescue thinks she'd be a good fit here. We'll have to wait and see how the meet-and-greet goes once we can arrange that.


I was supposed to have this week off work, and could've done it then, but there's so few people at all the stores in the whole valley that there's no one that can cover my shift, so I don't get any vacation until the above-store-level management gets around to hiring enough store managers to run the stores, who then will be able to hire enough store employees to do all the work without running everyone to exhaustion and working unpaid overtime. Last I heard, we *might* get a store manager sometime in February (which probably means March or April, at best), which means sometime in the months after that there will be enough people hired and trained enough to work enough shifts to start getting vacations.

Since I have four weeks of time that has to be used before September this year (or I lose it), that means that it's possible I'll have to take a week (or more) off each month just before that would happen (June, July, August).

And since I probably won't be able to take a normal vacation for the last week of April when I'll be stressed out over the anniversaries of the housefire and the deaths of Hachi, Nana, Fred, and Loki in it, and subsequent events, Tiny's death, and my dad's death, among other things, I'll probably have to call in sick for the week (which will screw up everyone else's schedules at work, making me even more stressed out over it).



Oh, and for the xmas and nye/nyd weekends, there were surprisingly no earthquake-level-bass parties in the area, just a bit of rather loud (and bad) karaoke down the street--but without the bass, that goes away as long as the windows and doors are closed, or can be easily ignored, unlike the bass physical assault that thumps so hard it's like being kicked in the guts and head from up to blocks away even when you're indoors with everything shut tight, watching things shake off the walls, listening to car alarms going off from it.


The asshole down the street at the north side of 29th drive and Echo Lane still regularly roars his white truck thru the neighborhood with volume at a thousand as he passes thru, setting off car alarms and shaking houses and people, and sits for a minute with it at full blast before he leaves and after he comes home, up to sometimes several times a day, but at least for now he's not sitting there for hours doing it. Sometimes when he's just sitting there, he is "nice" and even turns it down a little, so it doesn't actually shake things off the walls of houses a street or two down, but only thumps the walls and floor of houses and heads/bodies of people in the whole neighborhood. :roll:

I'll take small blessings where I can, but I still wish that he'd get a conscience, or failing that that his amp would explode. :/

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by The fingers » Jan 02 2018 3:31am

Where we live now was so quiet compared to our old house. The guy next door set off a few M 80s from 12 to 12:05, probably wouldn't have even heard them from the middle of the house. Oliver noticed them, but was ok for the most part. He likes to tunnel under the blankets and comforter anyways at night, coming out only to bark at random dogs and other furry animals on TV..
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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by markz » Jan 03 2018 11:56pm

Get the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan to teach how to train the human! I love watching that show, but I never put into practice his methods with my dog.
The fingers wrote:
Jan 02 2018 3:31am
Where we live now was so quiet compared to our old house. The guy next door set off a few M 80s from 12 to 12:05, probably wouldn't have even heard them from the middle of the house. Oliver noticed them, but was ok for the most part. He likes to tunnel under the blankets and comforter anyways at night, coming out only to bark at random dogs and other furry animals on TV..

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Re: There was a fire at my house today while I was not home.

Post by amberwolf » Jan 15 2018 11:38pm

Had to do some pipe-repair today, for an expanding pinhole leak in a corroding valve.

Remember the old city-supply pipes, unused but still connected to my house piping?
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... A#p1192460
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... A#p1190468
Image

Well, the way that setup is above, the pipe from the ground on the left (farthest from the house) is the almost-newest city supply, the one they tunneled under the house from the front yard to install several years back before the housefire. It's got a fully functioning ball-lever valve, but it doesn't go anywhere anymore--AFAIK it just goes out to the meter area near the sidewalk/street, and ends somewhere. It might or might not be capped off; I haven't ever dug down to find out.

The pipe from the ground on the right (closest to the house) is the oldest city supply, that goes toward the alley, and is the one I capped off just past where the faucet between the sheds is. That supply pipe is PVC all the way from alley up to the broken-off-handle cutoff valve, which is steel or cast iron, Below that is a brass regular turn valve, probably added after that handle was broken, AFAIK before we moved in almost 20 years ago. Above the broken-handle valve the pipe is all copper.


The problem now is that the steel/iron/whatever valve with the broken-off handle is corroded from the inside so badly that it's beginning to explode in slow motion. It had a pinhole leak, just dripping, for a couple weeks now (that I know of, could be longer), that in the last several days has begun to mist a spray. Day before yesterday, it spread to two other holes, and yesterday another sprang open. You can see the leak points where the rust spots are, and worse damage that occured during disassembly today.
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Because this used to *be* the cutoff valve, and the "newer" valve was added on the former city side of things, there's no valve to cut off water to this leak, other than the main newest shutoff valve at the front of the house (where it was put when the house was rebuilt post-fire).

So I shut off that front valve, so I could do the work on these pipes, whcih was going to require cutting at least the one above the corroded valve. I did that first.


I'd already been digging thru my box of pipe stuff, hoping I'd have a cap (or valve) with the same ID as the OD of the copper pipe that's above the corroded valve, but nothing is close enough to make it work and be sure.

So plan B: Flatten and fold and solder shut the copper pipe. Thankfully I have a bucket of stuff for that purpose that my back neighbor gave me a few years ago, so I filed and sanded the inside and outside of the pipe above the cut, then rubbed the flux over the areas. THen I used pliers to gently and gradually flatten the pipe over a few inches, so as not to crack the copper (which I screwed up twice and had to cut off and start over). Then I crimped the last 1/2" really flat, and folded that over halfway along it, into a kind of J. I would've folded it completley over, but it would've probably cracked at the fold, so I didn't risk it. Then I used the propane pipe-heating stuff to heat the pipe to soldering temperature, shut it off, then applied the solder, letting it wick up into the crimp to fill it as much as possible until it cooled below the solder's melting point.
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I let it cool to ambient, then I went back to the front of the house and turned the main cutoff back on, and verified it wasn't leaking at all. Yay.

That was at least an hour or more; I lost track of time (as usual) working on it.

Next up was to resupply the pipe going out to the shed faucet.

So, the easiest way to do that would be to splice the PVC from the ground to the copper below the "almost-newest" cutoff valve, because *that* copper I *do* have something that fits: a compression-coupling, with rubber compression rings at each end compressed by thread-on endcaps, and a connecting tube in the middle with thick walls.

It happens to be exactly the right ID for the OD of the PVC, and just a hair smaller ID for the OD of the copper--easy enough to fix with a little careful sanding--which took a lot of time (hour+?) but it worked fine. Slipped the tightly-fitting caps over the two pipes, tehn the rubber compression rings, then the connecting tube over the PVC (easier than the copper), then angled both pipes slightly so they'd meet correctly in the middle, and connected and tightened the caps.
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Turned on that pipe's cutoff valve, and presto--water flow but no leaks. I turned the faucet valve off but left the cutoff on, and still no leaks.

I left that all in that state whiel I did the rest of today's work, including here:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 6#p1351296
and still no leaks, so I'll call it done.
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Some Kirin and Yogi pics, while we're here:
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