Sunday, September 14, 2008

dryer, garage door opener, shopping

J got back last night. NOLA is looking good.

We bought a dryer that was on scratch & dent for $500, down from $948. The front door was scratched, and one leg of the dryer wasn't quite right. I ended up doing some bending of the sheet metal to get it straight. The dryer installed pretty easily. The old washing machine is now out in the garage.

There was a nest in the dryer exhaust duct. The new dryer had the "AF" error, and I went outside to check it out. There were lots of pine needles, and bird feathers packed into the duct. I used the shop-vac to clear the debris. I don't know what the deal was with the previous owners. There was lint all over the place in the laundry room, so that nest might have been there a while.

I got the garage door opener programmed, we bought a bunch of supplies to move other things forward. We've got 2 ceiling fans: one for the bedroom (52") and one for the office (42"). We'll decide what we put in the sitting room based on the way the two sizes feel in their respective rooms.

We got a bunch of stuff at Home depot with some coupons that J had that expired today. Future supplies.

chainsaw - Sat. 13th

So there were a lot of tree branches to cut down. I borrowed the neighbor's chain saw, and cut most of them. Unfortunately, the chainsaw stopped working before the final trunk was taken down. It is tied off, and half way through.

The neighbor is going to return the chainsaw, he said it was only about 2 weeks old. I really hope that I didn't ruin it.

There is a big debris pile that I'll need to clean up. I'll let it sit for a while to dry out, and kill some of the grass under it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

upper roof gutter -- This is the first post on the day I actually did it.

I got on the roof today to check out the gutter that had fallen down. Fortunately, the screws were still in place. So, I got the cordless drill, the wratchet attachment and both the english and metric wratchets.

I got up on the roof, and quickly re-installed the gutter. I cleaned out the gutter, and cleaned off the pile of leaves that had accumulated above the chimney. I also checked out the branch of the willow that is on the roof. It is pretty solidly resting weight on the roof, and that branch seems to have some structural compromise to it back near the major fork away from another branch. That tree also has some sort of a blight or heavy insect abuse. I am trying to figure out a way to minimize the damage from that branch when I cut it off. But, I don't really hve any where to leverage it. I tried tying it off and moving it from below, but there is too much weight from it leaning on the house.

neighbor thinks I'm nuts.

He came by while I was cutting down some more tree with the sawsall to ask me if I wanted to borrow a chainsaw. He said, "you're making me tired watching you struggle."

Of course I accepted the offer. I have been talking about buying a chainsaw. I asked him if he had a chipper. I figured I would go for it. He's already offered me to borrow any of his tools. No chipper unfortunately.

I told him I would take him up on the chainsaw over the weekend. I finished up w/ the saws-all. It is actually a good tool for trimming. I was able to climb up into the tree, and use the saws all at full extension of my arm. I was standing on top of two limbs that I had cut previously. I wouldn't be comfortable doing that with a chainsaw.

I've got a plan for getting the rest of the scrubby tree and part of the willow (I'm not sure if that is what it is) down.

There are about 6 scrubby trees I need to take down, plus a long branch of the willow.

disposal doesn't work!

I know that I tested the electrical connections when I made them. The disposal worked. So, I dropped the electricity to the house, and replaced the switch to the disposal. Now it works.

Lesson learned: check the electrical with a multi-meter before replacing the expensive part!

Not that big of a deal, the old disposal was disgusting. But I probably didn't need to replace it.

post hannah

Nothing happened from hannah, just a lot of rain, very little wind.

So I decided to replace the garbage disposal. I also had purchased a water purifier (just a simple 2 stage filter) so we would have good water. Got to have good water!

Because I needed to do some plumbing to get the water filter in, and the disposal was in the way, I decided to take the disposal out. That worked fine. The old disposal was a long time to get out, but that was my fault for not noticing a retaining screw that eventually allowed me to seperate the upper drain from the lower drain that connected to the disposal itself. I forgot the plumber's putty so I had to run back to lowes. Otherwise, I had everything I needed to get it installed. The kitchen sink finally drained!

Plus there was filtered water.

hurricane hannah prep

J cleaned the gutters, I started cutting down a tree that I haven't identified yet. It is a scrubby tree w/ about 30 ft height so far. Big spade shaped shiny green leaves. Multiple forks for some large branches.

I was using the saws-all, so I didn't get all that far. There is another big branch from another tree that is leaning on the roof. I didn't get that yet either.

getting settled in

So we had a lot of stuff to re-arrange. The basement is a storage closet. We needed to get stuff in its place.

The clothes washer didn't work. It filled w/ water and wouldn't drain. So, I bought one on scratch and dent at lowes. $600 is probably too much for a clothes washer, but it is a high efficiency, front load, that can be stacked with a dryer.

Unfortunately, the kitchen is crap. Essentially unusable. The stove works, but the cabinets aren't really even worth cleaning. I bought a rubbermaid shelving system and put up the pot racks on the walls.

The old garbage disposal didn't work, and the kitchen sink didn't drain well on account of it.

finished moving in

We finished moving in the following friday (8/29), after a week of moving stuff and painting each night. I left the next morning to do the SM100. J cleaned the old apartment. I pedaled my ass off.

clean, clean, clean, clean

My dad came in town for the first weekend. We got the power on Friday, and he was here to start in on things. J was off that Friday, so they got the garage floor etched and painted.

Painted the ceilings. Cleaned the crappy tape off the walls. Took down the poorly installed bookshelves. Three coats of mud to fill those holes.

Paint, clean, paint, shampoo rugs, paint, clean, paint, move furniture, clean, shampoo infinitum...


Needed it. But didn't have it.

I looked for main switch. I flipped everything in the breaker box on.

No juice.

I suggest calling an electrician. J suggests calling the power company. So I called Pepco. They send someone out. No electricity. Something wrong with the underground cable. 2 days to fix.

So it is our house, we can break in if we want to.

We closed on Tuesday, August 12th. (need to check that date).

It was a REO / foreclosure. The place was ugly but structurally sound. We had been into it with the real estate agent, and without hte real estate agent. We had the key to the lockbox.

So we own it. We go by, and open up the lockbox. Cool. Got the keys. Hmm, the deadbolt is locked on the front door. There's no key for it. The key doesn't fit any of the other locks. Damn.

We regroup. Joe, our landlord at the previous place, comes over and helps us break-in.


So, it was the ugliest house in the world. We're working on changing that.

I figured we could blog about it.