30 May 2016

Fallen Soldier Tribute...

... As seen at our local Chick-fil-A:

I caught word that Chick-fil-A had a tribute to fallen soldiers somewhere in my AM webwander.  The SCSon and I dropped in to see it.  And here it is...    Click on the images to embiggen.

On arrival I was happy to see a Mother clutching her ~7/8YO daughter, explaining the meaning to her.

We ordered lunch and I took a seat where I could observe the display and those that stopped by to check it out. Most spent enough time to understand it (in chrono order):  Young African-American family, 70-ish YO (WW-II vet?  I wonder), mid 50's guy with a bicycle helmet, etc.

Thanks Chick-fil-A!  Nicely done.


24 May 2016

"Always Clamp the Work!"

Sage words of advice from a friend who is currently sitting in ICU hoping that the surgery to re-attach his thumb takes (the first one didn't).

He was using a power miter saw to slice off a piece of aluminum.  The saw snagged the work piece and twisted it sending his thumb through the blade before he knew what happened.

Thank $DIETY for modern medicine that makes even attempting to reattach a severed digit.  Seems not very long ago Dr's wouldn't have even tried.

"Always clamp the work!"

14 May 2016

Kitchen's are overrated!

The main two projects we need to complete before making the big move is to renovate the kitchen and replace the single pane windows with dual pane windows.

Step 1 in the kitchen:  Remove the existing cabinets.  The SCQueen found a contractor that would remove them and take them away (presumably for resale).  Total cost to us: $0.

The cutouts in the tile kinda show where the cabinets were.  Kitchen sink below the window on the left, stove on the right and refrigerator far back right.

Next the contractor will rip off the drywall to deal with some mold (surprise!)  But now is the time to deal with it.  Also they'll raise the drop ceiling about a foot.  How much?  Don't know... contractor still hasn't responded with a quote.  And that worries me.  It's just bad business.

Then we can bring in new cabinets and top with granite counters.  Finally we'll finish off with a new dual (and deeper sink) and new garbage grinder.

I think we can do all this in less than 1 month and under $10k.

Tonight we finished job #1 - changing all the locks.  First we changed out all the deadbolts because the existing ones were 35 years old and looked everyday of it.  One door also had to be replaced* (insecure window and a doggie door big enough for 2x sized me to squeeze through) as well, including the hinges and relocating the striker plate in the door jamb.

But the SCQueen got a heck of a deal on the new door.  The first HD had one for sale at $122 (turns out it was the wrong size).  The HD nearer the new SCbase wanted >$200 ("But you're other store had it for $122?"  "We don't price match our other stores."  YGTBSM!  She went back to the original HD, where they had the correct sized & configured door for .... ~$65!  Boom! Score!

The new door is also better insulated with double pane windows and a fiberglass core.  I care about that because this is a South facing door will see a lot of direct sun exposure.  And I pay the power bill!

07 May 2016

Shredder revival

I thought I'd covered this in the previous post.. but looking back I see a continuity error:
So  here's the deal..  the shredder died.  After several hours of hard use, it was INOP.  I'm hoping for a thermal fuse...

Next am... no such luck.. Tap *here* and the readly lite glows... but then feed  it and it dims :-(

I took the shredder apart... fully expecting a blown fuse.  But then my finger brushed a large cap and it moved as if it weren't connected.

To quote a line (switch to  New Jersey accent)  "*well there's you're problem!*"

Somehow the cap had broken one leg off the circuit board!   I repaired it with a section of multi core, probably 12-14 gauge, wire soldered to fix the now broken trace.

So it's back in battery and ready for battle.  So far so good.  I shredded a veritable mountain today and it's still running.  I think it's good.

06 May 2016

Sand Castle Base is moving!

It's official.  The SandCastle Crew is relocating the Base.  The SandCastle Queen and I spent 45 minutes signing a stack of papers at least an inch tall.  At least one document was our certification that we signed another document.  The title has been officially recorded and it's ours.

Now the real work begins - sorting through almost 20 years of accumulated stuff and moving every thing over.

Step 1 - change the locks!

more later...

Update 2145 same day...

Wow... from the first "hey lets see what's out there?" less than 4 months ago, we closed today on a new SandCastle Base.

The SandCastle Crew enjoyed our first dinner tonight at the new house.  There isn't much furniture at the new place but the Realtor bought the formal dining table from the seller for us as a "thank you" gift*.  We changed out the deadbolts and called it a day.  The SCQueen was down for the count shortly after returning to the existing base.

I took the day off and spent it reviewing the accumulation of documents on my desk.  So far I've emptied the "toss can" 4x, the shredder 8x and loaded up one box of "keep".  Oh and I may have burned out the shredder.  It presently doesn't work.  I'm hoping it's a thermal fuse and will be OK in the AM.

It amuses me...  rather than keeping after the paper piles here.. we're moving... which will force us to separate the wheat from the chaff.   The garage will be even worse :-(  Our household systems clearly need some work:-(

On the upside, the SCQueen's dad has been in a convalescent home for > 1 mo and at one point had seemed to have lost the will to live.  Now he can't wait to see the new place.  His daughter's have come up with a plan for a visit Saturday AM and then take him to lunch.

It will be a slow move.  We are not under the contractual "gun" to move under a specific timeline.  We have several property upgrades to finish before actually moving in:  double pane windows, security cameras, additional insulation, etc...

Oh.. and Mother's day is this weekend.. We got a new house.  What are you getting Mom? ;-)

* The SCQueen asked for it to be included in the sale.  The seller wouldn't include it, but our Realtor was amenable to purchase it for us.  If anyone needs an honorable rep in the Phoenix metro area, just ask and I'd happily to recommend him.  He's the best.  (FTC disclaimer: I 've seen good and I've seen bad...  Said Realtor did not solicit this recommendation nor offer any compensation in any way.  He's just that good.)

24 April 2016

Today at the Range

Our local range offers a class "M1 Clinic and Introduction to High Power shooting".  The SCSon learned about it from classmates and he's been asking to take the class.  While I took the same class many years ago and had a great time, I have been less than enthusiastic because of the show time, and the length of the class:  class starts at 0700 prompt and today's class took ~ 8 hours.  The range is at ~30 minutes drive from the SandCastle*.  And I am not a morning person, especially on weekends!

Lucky shot - (Mine in catching the brass mid flight)
But he's been getting up early for years (to his credit) and the SCQueen is naturally a morning person so we made a deal:  She'll drop him off and I'll make it out for the shooting portion of the class (We make a great team!).

While his scores were unremarkable, he had a great time shooting the Garand and it was his first time shooting high power in a competition setting.  It is interesting to note his prone rapid-fire scores were 50% better than the prone slow fire scores.  Go Figure.

Some lessons can only be learned through experience.  However he also noted of the three scoring classes (M1 Garand, Current Military, and Youth), the only class an M1 won, was the M1Garand class!  Both Current Military & Youth were won by AR-15 platforms.  So he's eager to compete again, but with an AR...  (I expected that ;-)  Still there is something... ...magical... about shooting the older equipment.  I felt it too.  I also felt that flying 60 YO airplanes...

BTW, it just occurred to me...  I took *this* class those years ago, to buy *this* very rifle...  How poetic!

Next weekend appears to be a repeat of same..  He shoots the state Trap event in Tucson with an 0845 appearance time.  That means on the road no later than 0645.  And there is no early/late deal to be had with the SCQueen.  I just gotta suck it up...   Maybe I can request the SCQueen prepare a pail of coffee for the ride down ;-)  Come back next week for a full report!

* But this weekend there was a freeway closure to deal with and a 2nd unavoidable detour :-(

19 April 2016

Cr@p news

The Queen of my SandCastle learned today her mom has breast cancer.  Long time readers will recall the woman who bore me died of cancer several years ago.    Now it's the SCQueen's mom's dance with the big 'C': Breast Cancer.

The SandCastle Mother In Law (SCMIL) is a tough old country girl* that doesn't take cr@p from no one or anything - a learned skill growing up with several older brothers.  She has the right mindset to fight it out and win.  She's also lived a clean life and is in otherwise surprisingly good shape for a mid-octogenarian.  Apparently it's "on" the breast rather than "in" the breast.  Does that make it skin cancer instead of breast cancer?  Curious but it really doesn't change the situation.  SCMIL has a serious disease that needs and will be attended to as quickly as possible.

Still the SCQueen is pretty emotional about it and there is nothing I can do to ease her pain.  Suddenly I regret skipping medical school... and specializing in surgery... of cancer ;-)  (That was never my path but still...)  But I'm really glad for a culture that has learned a metric-crap-ton about the disease and educated an army of surgeons to do retail warfare with the disease.  

If anyone can beat this, she can!   Please keep the SCQueen & SCMIL in your prayers/good thoughts.  
Thanks from the entire SandCastle Crew.

* I think she would agree with the description and not take any offence at "old".   (though I'd fully expect her to make a show of it and get up in my face asking "who are you callin' "old"?..  Then she'd back down with a "yer damn right laugh!")