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#181481 Let's Build Stuff

Posted by Zombie on 03 July 2020 - 11:34 AM in Off Topic

Forgive me for asking, but why not just buy some galvanized 3/4" pipe clamps from the hardware store? Those are certainly cheap enough. Is the pipe for your antenna too small? If yes, you could bend the metal clamps to fit better, then drill out one of the screw holes so that everything is tight. Or replace the pole for the antenna with new 3/4" pipe. I'd suggest galvanized conduit as that is much stronger than aluminum or PVC. My 2 cents. ;)

- Zombie

#181312 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 25 June 2020 - 02:02 PM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 25 June 2020 - 08:50 AM, said:

Thusly, it's got to be said, what's the deal with the very conspicuously shamed units behind the dolly? They've been around more than long enough. When are you going to be allowed to get those eyesores out of the premises?

It's just one unit actually, and yes I agree it's an eyesore. Been in my way for almost a year now which is annoying as hell. The issue is that there's freon in there and you can't just take the unit apart and let that stuff escape and wreck the ozone layer. The HVAC guy was here last week to service the AC aspect of the new unit on the store and he did capture the freon from the tanks from the old unit on the store, but couldn't fit anymore freon into the recapture tank so it's just going to have to wait. Besides, it was just him and I don't think he could get that on his truck himself without taking it apart. So I dunno what's happening with it yet, gotta talk to the boss man to maybe get the HVAC guy back. ;)

- Zombie

#181303 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 25 June 2020 - 03:29 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 24 June 2020 - 09:14 AM, said:

Wow, I didn't expect there to be such a "to-do" list to take care of when you stay on top of things as much as you do, Zombie.

My to-do list is never ending unfortunately. Although, by the end of summer/fall I usually put a pretty good dent in it. I'm pretty good about identifying fixit projects as I keep a close eye on the state of the building and property during all times of the year. Hard not to notice stuff when you are staring at it everyday. Sometimes you need to see it in different light levels - for instance, bubbles in a paint job can be hard to see in bright sunshine, but they "pop" out when the sun is low in the sky or it's slightly overcast.

Speaking of projects, I noticed that the plow guys must've backed up into the frame of the red door with the concrete threshold and chowdered it up. Not a huge mess, but that needs to get done. And the decorative black pedestrian gate in the front of the store is looking like it needs a coat of paint again. Think I have the paint for that so it shouldn't take too long to knock that out if it's not pounding rain.

View PostThorondor, on 24 June 2020 - 09:14 AM, said:

You're literally well aware of everything that is in need of your attention, despite being otherwise occupied. In this day and age that alone deserves a thumbs-up.

Like I said before, I'm pretty good about knowing what needs to be worked on. Sometimes I forget about a project but I usually remember it again eventually.

View PostThorondor, on 24 June 2020 - 09:14 AM, said:

p.s.: wasn't aware you had grave site maintenance on the job description. Whatever happened to Plants vs Zombies? Clearly a myth. Posted Image

Heck, I've got tons of stuff I do that's not in my job description. If you want to work, you better make sure you are multi-talented, otherwise you'll get sent home. That's the modus operandi. Posted Image

Today I was kinda busy again. Was able to fit in a couple mini painting projects though. A little back story first.

We never had a hand truck or dolly at the store to move small & heavy things until about 10 years ago. Before that time we just used muscle or one of our rubbermaid carts. That all changed one cloudy and rainy Saturday. I was out on the parking lot moving tables and racks around and kept seeing this U-Haul truck blasting down the street and burning rubber at the stop sign at the corner. I figured this guy was probably in a rush to return the truck that day yet. It was nearing 4:00pm and I literally hear the guy 2 blocks away blasting to the stop sign yet again. He was making a hell of a racket as this time the back door to the truck was up (must've forgot to close it). Anyway, he burns rubber again and I see this red thing come crashing out into the intersection. Went to investigate and move whatever it was out of the street and here was the typical red U-Haul dolly (check out U-Haul's website to see pics of the utility dolly). I left the thing sit at the corner of our property on the sidewalk hoping he would realize he was missing something and come back for it. At 5:00 pm we were going to close so I put the thing inside the parking lot at the corner so he could maybe grab it over the fence after-hours. Nope, never came back - probably ate the cost to replace the dolly when he went to return the truck. So that's how I got the dolly.

Every few years I'll repaint the dolly and today was the day. Before and after:

DSC09863JPG.jpg DSC09864JPG.jpg

The first pic shows the cart I fixed up last year with a new coat of paint and the dolly. Second pic shows it all "dolled" up, ahem, get it? Posted Image

And hey, while I was at the corner of the small garage I might as well take a pic of the South side:


The purple flowers are the Canterbury Bells (aka Campanula) and the non-blooming plant at the end and middle is the white coneflower. Those should be coming into bloom in a couple weeks or so. The corkscrew rush (type of grass) didn't really fare that well as all but two died out. No worries though, I have extra perennials I can plant in their place. Posted Image

- Zombie

#181280 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 24 June 2020 - 01:43 AM in Off Topic

Haven't forgot about this topic. I've just been swamped at work which is good I guess with the pandemic still around. The beginning and middle of the month was taken up mostly by the planting season - first with getting product in and then selling it and trying to put some of the tables and racks away for next year. Middle of the month was day-to-day operations as the old boss man's wife died (so our current boss and his son was visiting his mom everyday). In between all of this I cleaned up and planted 16 grave sites at one cemetery (seems like every year I get more and more as visitors to the cemetery see my work and want the same for the gravestones of their dearly departed).Posted Image

The only painting I really did was touch up primer and gray spray paint to cover a few chips in the finish of the long table in the backroom. I'm planning on painting that along with the the delivery table soon while the weather is still mild and not super hot or humid. Both of the paints for those tables are oil based so they take longer to dry which means I need to mess with the formulation by using additives like paint thinner, turpentine or conditioner to get the paint to dry (flash or skin over) quicker. Those products contain VOC's so I like to do the painting with the doors open and AC off.

I've got projects in the pipe besides this though.
  • The floor in the back cooler has some spots where the paint chipped off. Can't really do anything about that until we can turn the cooler off and let it dry out and warm up (that'll take about a week).
  • I may need to do a little more tuck pointing and painting on the corner of the small garage (same spot I worked on last year). Apparently the caulk didn't hold in the screw hole in the gutter which allowed water to get behind the paint and cause bubbles.
  • There's also a little touch up underneath one of the windows of the back part of the building facing the driveway.
  • I also noticed that the east wall of the store has some cracks in the mortar again so I'll probably need to caulk the cracks and touch up those spots (not going to repaint the whole wall as I did it in the summer/fall of 2012).
  • Painting needs to be done on the concrete block around the big back garage door (the door itself still looks perfect).
  • Possibly need to repaint the west wall of the back as it's starting to look a little faded.
  • Then of course is the issue of new tables for the greenhouse. I want to start work on that sooner as the plywood needs time to dry and I need to cut it to the proper width (the ply comes in 4x8 foot sheets and I need the top to be 3x8, the foot that I cut off will be the boards that go on top of the table later).
So yeah, there are quite a few things which need to get done. The weather hasn't been cooperating though (rain this past week almost everyday) which is why I haven't started anything yet. ;)

- Zombie

#180804 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 08 June 2020 - 02:45 AM in Support

View PostThorondor, on 06 June 2020 - 01:56 PM, said:

Considering the page to game ratio, though, with 6 pages to 13 games there's bound to be a game that got the shorter end of it.

To be honest, all of the games got the short end of the stick as the amount of space dedicated to each title is the same. Posted Image

I added some pics of the advertisement to the Alliance promotional items page today. Apologies if the Alliance closeup is a little washed out as the camera got flash-happy on me. Maybe at a later date I'll take a scan of it but it should be good enough for now. Posted Image

- Zombie

#180792 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 06 June 2020 - 04:08 AM in Support

Was doing my usual XCOM,X-COM searches on eBay and found out that the second pen on the XCOM: EU promo items page was actually given away as swag during Gamescom 2012 in Germany. That's why it doesn't come in any packaging. I love finding out information on my items as much as the items themselves sometimes. :)

Otherwise not much has been happening with my collection mostly due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Before this whole mess started though, I managed to pick up a 3-page (6 pages total, front and back) ad booklet by MicroProse and one of the games mentioned in it was X-COM: Alliance of all things. This was an awesome find as it's hard to come across Alliance items anyway. I'll probably be adding some scans of this soon-ish (like maybe next week). The other games featured in it are:
  • Falcon 4.0
  • Top Gun: Hornet's Nest
  • European Air War
  • Civilization II Gold Edition
  • Civilization II: Test Of Time
  • Star Trek: TNG Birth Of The Federation
  • Star Trek: TNG Klingon Honor Guard (which I believe Dave Ellis helped worked on)
  • Roller Coaster Tycoon
  • MechCommander
  • MechWarrior 3
  • M1 Tank Platoon II
  • Worms 2
- Zombie

#180693 Bargain!

Posted by Zombie on 02 June 2020 - 12:32 AM in General Game Discussion

View PostThorondor, on 28 May 2020 - 03:10 PM, said:

Posted Image


Borderlands: The Handsome Collection bundle is currently free over at the Epic Games store.

Don't know how the folks over at Epic are able to consistently give away games for free, but hey, I'm not complaining! Posted Image

- Zombie

#180557 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 27 May 2020 - 02:10 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 25 May 2020 - 09:27 AM, said:

Your makeshift spacer and bolt fix does seem like it will tide it over for a while longer but you better not forget it's not exactly fit to support your weight meanwhile. Posted Image

Au contraire, that 2x4 leg I cut and wedged underneath the frame is plenty strong to hold my weight (not that I tried it or anything). And there is a metal "bridge" between the two table frames which stiffens things up too. It's a temporary fix like I said, and there isn't anything on that table right now either so it should serve the purpose until replacement tops can be procured and cut. Posted Image

View PostSpace Voyager, on 26 May 2020 - 05:41 AM, said:

YOU ARE A MACHINE!!! Do you ever take a break?!

Take a break from maintenance or fixing things? Well, yeah. But it's only because I consider that to be a secondary job description. I have my usual tasks I need to do everyday, and then there are also emergency or special jobs that I will tackle too. Once those are out of the way then I can continue with the fixing. In a nearly century old building there's always something that needs to be worked on.

View PostSpace Voyager, on 26 May 2020 - 05:41 AM, said:

Though I am really looking forward to see you tackle that far-gone tabletop, whenever you do. From rotten wood to glossy red polyurethane in a jiffy. Posted Image

Yup, the new tops are probably going to be marine grade plywood or at least green treated due to moisture, but other than that, the same thing I did to the other tables will be what I do to the new ones. Of course, when you get new green treated lumber it is always soaking wet and needs to dry at least a week before working with it. Otherwise it is just to heavy to move and difficult to sand (those sharp factory edges need to be rounded over a tad). I'll probably be post-treating the semi-dry wood with some of my homemade wood preservative of boiled linseed oil and paint thinner to prevent warpage, then a coat of latex primer and mistint red latex paint for the top. Posted Image

In other news, I was looking at the new plastic top/sides of the greenhouse and noticed it wasn't very taut anymore. So that's going to need to be addressed soon. The plastic stretches a bit with the wind and warmth so it's going to happen eventually. I just didn't think it would be this soon. Posted Image It's not a huge project though, as all I need to do is loosen the short sides, pull them tight again and reattach the strips. Then it should be good to go for a while. Posted Image

- Zombie

#180506 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 25 May 2020 - 05:03 AM in Off Topic

Last week I touched up those latex spots with the polyurethane so everything sorta matches again.


You may have noticed one of the tables (non-painted variety on the North side) looked uneven (can see it best from my pics the day I installed the new plastic). The wood top is getting pretty rotten in spots and the carriage bolts holding it to the frame are badly rusted. I didn't realize it was this bad till I was installing the new upper boards at eye level and accidentally tried to kneel on it. The force of that extra weight pulled the frame down which in turn pulled the bolts through the wood tabletop. I'm eventually going to replace the tops on this side, but until I do I need to temporarily strengthen the broken out area. First thing to do was measure and cut a 2x4 as a "leg" for some support, and wedge that under the frame to make the two tabletops even. With the support in place, I cut out the rusted carriage bolts with a hacksaw and managed to pound out the remnants.


If you are wondering why there are carpet pieces over the sewer cover is because I didn't want to drop something down there because the cover will not come off. Posted Image

With the bolts out I now had to decide how to fasten the tabletop to the frame again. Hmmm. The holes in the wood top were now much too big to accept the same bolt anymore. My first thought was to fabricate some big metal washers to span the hole. Found a piece of metal which would work and almost went that route until I realized that the same bolt size would be too short. Found a different type of bolt which would go through the hole but it didn't have threads along the full length of the stem and would be too long. So I needed more thickness and I ended up cutting pieces of hardwood to use as spacers/spanners (a spanner in this context is not a wrench, it's something with goes between two things). That did the trick, only two bolts were necessary to snug things up.

DSC09854JPG.jpg DSC09855JPG.jpg

Good enough to get through the planting season at least, and maybe I can replace the tops this summer. (Would have been nice to replace the tops while the plastic was gone but I can loosen up the plastic from the bottom and get to the tops from the outside too). Posted Image

- Zombie

#180417 Feedback on StrategyCore

Posted by Zombie on 20 May 2020 - 12:11 AM in Your Views

I had a look in the admin panel the other day. All the permissions for posting were fine. The only issue I saw was that our license key for the forum software is missing, though I think it has been like that for a while so that shouldn't be causing any trouble. I'm only privy to the forum software side though, and I'm guessing this issue is a hosting hiccup. Probably will have to awaken the sleeping beast Pete. Posted Image

- Zombie

#180341 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 15 May 2020 - 04:30 AM in Off Topic

View PostSpace Voyager, on 10 May 2020 - 05:48 AM, said:

You should think about shipping world-wide to take advantage of all the dates. I'd love to see how you'd adapt your sorting system to the globe. Posted Image Kidding, kidding!

For international orders there's FTD (Florist's Transworld Delivery), Teleflora and a handful of other companies which send orders to other countries. Obviously a fee associated for this service, but on the plus side any orders placed internationally and going here will get funneled to the nearest florist to be sent to the recipient. This is probably the best and most efficient way to send flowers you could come up with as the flowers will always be fresh and located close to the final delivery location. With that said, if I had to, say, extend my sorting system to the state, I'm sure it would work as long as we had enough drivers and refrigerated trucks. Our location would be a plus state-wise as we are situated in the middle of the population corridor and bordered by Lake Michigan. ;)

Back on topic, for my first true painting project of the year I decided to touch up the red tables in the greenhouse. They got dinged up a bit during the repair/rebuilding phases and were exposed to harsh the elements for a few months. Nothing exceptionally bad, mind you. Still had most of that mistint red latex paint left so I scraped what was loose, and primed with the latex. Also decided to put a coat on the edges to fill in any pores. Took some pics:

DSC09847JPG.jpg DSC09848JPG.jpg DSC09849JPG.jpg

Not bad. I began applying a top coat of polyurethane over the spots today, but didn't get too far as I started kinda late in the day. Will probably get that done tomorrow. Things dry fairly fast in the greenhouse especially with the new top and modifications as the heat is contained better. Is usually nice and toasty in there when the sun is shining, so much so, that we end up propping open a door or two during the day. :)

- Zombie

#180340 Bargain!

Posted by Zombie on 15 May 2020 - 03:53 AM in General Game Discussion

Thanks Mr T! Servers are up now (at least for me they were). Just like to mention you'll receive a $10 off coupon (of $14.99 or more) which is valid until November 1. ;)

- Zombie

#180240 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 09 May 2020 - 04:56 AM in Off Topic

Not painting, but how about some pics of an average Mother's Day at the flowerland (taken inside the small garage which is the holiday delivery headquarters):

DSC09844JPG.jpg DSC09845JPG.jpg DSC09846JPG.jpg

You are probably thinking how I can find anything in there or why it's all spread out without seemingly any rhyme or reason. I assure you there is a method to the madness. We sort the deliveries first by quadrant (North East of the store, North West, South, Downtown plus the other smaller cities around us) and then further break those quadrants down by how far away from the store they are. For example, the North East quadrant is broken down into Close North East (closest to the store), Mid North East and Far North East. That way, when a driver goes out he or she is in a specific area and not driving all the way across town.

I then break those areas down a bit more by sorting out popular places like hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, senior homes/condos or high population centers. For the popular areas I may wait to deliver there until we have a bunch or I could send a driver out just to that area if there are getting to be a lot. Or I may group a couple more popular places together and send a driver to just do those. It all depends on how big the delivery run is. Or I may combine two loads together so there is enough for one run.

The point here is that once you have the deliveries sorted out you can create concise runs which go really quick. I've been doing this long enough that I can memorize most every delivery address for that day and can figure out where everything is. No need for a computer or smartphone, it's in my noggin (though the memorization is only temporary - I'll forget most of them in a couple days.

Anyhow, this Mother's Day isn't as busy as it once was but it's gotta be one of the better ones in the last 5-6 years.

- Zombie

#180213 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 08 May 2020 - 04:59 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 07 May 2020 - 10:31 AM, said:

There's no way that greenhouse was going to be usable on the same day had you not taken as much of an early lead as you did. It helps, of course, particularly in that initial stage, that your height somewhat facilitates the raising of the plastic, as you can reach further.

Height doesn't actually play much of a role in raising the plastic since it's getting pulled up with the twine. I will say that my height does have some advantages with getting the twine across the top. Technically didn't even need the ladder inside (I put it there more for the bosses son).

View PostThorondor, on 07 May 2020 - 10:31 AM, said:

It's just great to see everything standing and the flowers inside once again.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Glad to be in the planting season again. Posted Image

I was able to take a few pics of the finished greenhouse this morning before it got too busy. North, East, South and West:

DSC09839JPG.jpg DSC09840JPG.jpg DSC09841JPG.jpg DSC09842JPG.jpg

If you are wondering what the dark shadows are in the first pic, those are cardboard flower boxes. In the second pic you can see how I had to fold the plastic over itself so that things were tight. Third pic is probably my favorite - just look how perfect the top is, even the fold line is level with the top of the side. Wow! Fourth pic looks so inviting with the door open, sun shining and plants inside. Posted Image

Pretty happy with how it turned out overall. It's not as tight as I was hoping to get it, and the sides look a little wrinkled in areas, but to the average joe consumer he wouldn't care. I just set the bar pretty high sometimes. Posted Image

- Zombie

#180173 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 07 May 2020 - 04:57 AM in Off Topic

So today was the day to put up the new plastic on the greenhouse. Got a very early start (6:30am) because the wind tends to be quiet in the morning. Started by rolling out the plastic on the (empty) parking lot then pulled it till it was along the South side (the side that faces the store, not the small garage). Then I cut three pieces of sisal binder twine and tied them to either side of the plastic and one in the middle. Boss was supposed to be there at 7:30 with his son, but he conveniently overslept & didn't let me know. So it was just me for the time being. Was kinda getting worried about the wind picking up so I just forged ahead by myself.

Getting the plastic started is always the hardest part - especially if you are the only person working on it. Started pulling the twine (and plastic) to the North on the driveway side first. As I got it up above the wall of the greenhouse I tied off the twine and moved to the middle twine. Did the same thing there, then went to the parking lot side and, yeah, the same. Here's a pic of the South side with the plastic just over the top of the wall.


Looks like kinda a mess because there is so much plastic that needs to go up yet, and you have to unfurl it so you aren't trying to pull the whole thing over the top. Took a pic on the North side showing one of the pieces of twine tied off.


So I continued on, pulling the plastic up a little bit, tying off the twine so the plastic doesn't slip down, then moving to the next twine and tying that off when I got it to the same height. Took a while to inch along like this, but at least the wind wasn't blowing too hard. When I got it mostly over, I then had to adjust how much plastic was on the East and West sides. At this time the wind started to pick up a little bit so I had to get out some concrete blocks and put them on the plastic to keep the stuff flying away.


Time between the first two pics and the third was about 20 minutes. Had to do a little more adjusting though and once that was done it seemed pretty close to being equal along the East and West sides. Took a pic from the inside just showing the thing where I wanted it.


Boss and his son finally stroll in after this so I got the help I needed to attach the furring strips. Took a little while to get my buddy up to speed, what was done, what needed to be done and his part etc. The most important thing to do is get one of the shorter sides somewhat attached so you can go over to the other side and pull the plastic tight and attach that side. In this case we started on the East side, got it somewhat attached then moved to the West side and got that fleshed out.


Time was about 10:15 am and I figured I was on schedule. We set about getting the East side to the same level of completion. Had to take a break because a truck came in with fresh flowers and some hanging baskets. Then we started to attach the wood strips on the top part of the North side. Got that done just after 12:00pm, ate lunch then attached the strips on the top part of the South side.


Time was about 12:20pm. Running behind but that always happens after lunch. For the next part I didn't have time for pics so I'll explain what was done.

Another truck came in with fresh flowers. Cut those and put them away. Then back at it on the greenhouse. Put the strips on the lower part of the North side, then attached the vertical strips. Ditto on the South side. After the long sides were fastened down we worked on the West side. When we got to the east side another truck came in with outdoor planters and some hanging baskets. Had to unload those, then barely settled back and yet another truck came in with fresh flowers. By this time it was already past 5:30pm so it was dinner. I was beat, but that little break helped. We finally got the East side finished, then cut off the excess plastic along the long sides and hauled all the planters and hanging baskets into the greenhouse plus set up the boards in there.


Time was 6:43 pm. Took another couple hours to cut the flowers that came in and put those away and garbage duty + cleanup took another hour. All told, I had nearly a 15 hour day. What hurt was all those breaks where we had to unload the never ending line of trucks dropping stuff off, plus the nearly 2 hour delay waiting for help to arrive in the morning. Normally I'd have the greenhouse complete by about 3 PM assuming I wouldn't have any interruptions except for lunch.

Anyway, I'll try and get some more pics of the outside of the greenhouse tomorrow. There's a little more to be done above the doors on the West side and to fix up the broken table along the North side but otherwise it's all complete now. Posted Image

- Zombie

#180155 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 06 May 2020 - 01:59 AM in Off Topic

View PostSpace Voyager, on 05 May 2020 - 06:08 AM, said:

What is the material you use at the joints? Mineral wool of some kind? Or cotton? Also, why is it there?

It's like cotton in appearance, but I think it is made of polyester. If you've ever looked inside a stuffed animal, it's the same stuff. As for why I use it... well, anywhere there is a joint there is going to be a metal connection piece which is raised above the surface of the tube and that will create stress from rubbing due to wind or snow. The fiberfill will ease that sharp edge. Here, I'll just repost a pic of the ridge pole and end hoop connection point.


View PostSpace Voyager, on 05 May 2020 - 06:08 AM, said:

Is it better to leave things a bit "floaty" instead of going for a completely rigid construction to take less damage in the winds?

Do you mean loose vs taut? It's far better to get the plastic tight - as tight as possible. This is for three reasons:
  • Over time the plastic will stretch. Not by a ton, but it will be noticeable. The tighter you get it during installation, the less you'll have to mess with it later on.
  • Tight plastic will shed snow quicker. If the plastic is loose, it will create a trough between the hoops which will trap the snow and allow it to build up.
  • Wind. Imagine a tight piece of plastic in strong wind. It might travel a few mm flapping in the breeze. Now imagine a piece of loose plastic in the same wind. Depending how loose the plastic is, it might travel a few cm. All that extra movement is going to put a strain on the plastic around the screws in the furring strips. That's going to cause the plastic to tear or pull a little at each screw hole which will cause the plastic to become looser.
- Zombie

#180112 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 03 May 2020 - 01:49 AM in Off Topic

Today turned out to be a wash. I was at work plenty early (7:00 am) to deliver some flowers anyway and when I got back I scoped out the weather situation. Fairly windy, but nothing to cancel the installation over. Got everything ready to go: furring strips outside, drill hooked up to extension cord, roll of new plastic pulled out of it's resting place since 2013 etc. Just had to wait for the bosses son to show up to give me a hand. They finally arrived at 9:45 am and right around that time the wind started to pick up in intensity. If it was just the occasional gust, I could handle that but not sustained. It just kept getting stronger as time went on so I had to cancel. Looks like more of the same tomorrow with strong winds in the late AM so I canceled a possible Sunday installation too. Monday's forecast isn't too bad, no rain and mild winds so I have penciled in Monday morning at 7:30 am as the start time. Posted Image

Lat Edit: cancelled Monday due to strong winds again. Tuesday looks like it may be better, but Wednesday might be the best day in terms of wind. We shall see. :)

Since the bosses son was around we worked together putting away all those flowers I cut on Thursday. Nearing the end of the day we decided to try to fix up the doors of the greenhouse a little. If you recall, some of the fiberglass panels affixed to the doors were broken and bashed out at the base from years of abuse. So we took 2 of the old lexan polycarbonate "glass" panels from the small garage door and attached those to the base of 2 of the greenhouse doors.


Yeah, they are yellow from baking in the sun for many years, but they are still strong and have plenty of life left in them. Waste not, want not! Posted Image

- Zombie

#180108 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 02 May 2020 - 04:10 AM in Off Topic

It rained all day Wednesday and most of the day on Thursday as well. It only really let up after 3pm. No work on the greenhouse obviously, but I had other things going on like cutting flowers for upcoming Mother's Day. We are getting in 50% of our normal order due to the coronavirus but that's quite a lot once you start processing them. Here's a view of the backroom in the aftermath:

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First pic was mostly all lilies (oriental and asiatic in the usual colors - pink, white, yellow and orange). There are some gerbera daisies in pails to the right of the lilies. Second pic is pom pons (daisies - front and center), carnations (to the left), mini carnations (to the right and in back of everything). Directly below the workbench is some solidago (goldenrod) and behind that is purple and white asters (called monte casino asters). There was other stuff I cut which is not in the pic because I already moved them into the front cooler. Posted Image

Today it was fairly nice. Sunny in the morning and afternoon then got cloudy and cool at the end of the day. This gave me a chance to polish off the West side of the greenhouse. I started with attaching the board with the hooks on it to the boards above the door and the post in the center of the greenhouse. It's not perfectly level (nearly so though) but I wasn't going to tear it all apart again to fix that. Posted Image After that I reattached the latches above the doors (we use these as a security blanket of sorts - it helps keep the doors closed especially in the wind and prevents someone from getting inside... the right door that faces the driveway in the back is always unlocked though). And I decided to add a couple boards on either side of the west doors to make it identical to the east side. I think those will stiffen the sides up a bit and also provide another attachment point on the shorter west side.


I also messed around with the center posts in the greenhouse. For some reason the metal strapping holding the tube down to the post was very loose. Not sure if this happened over time due to wind stress and snow or if it was just neglect by the guys who tried to fix it in 2000. Either way, since there was no top to make things difficult I loosened up the strapping on one end, pounded it flat against the post with a hammer, then tightened up the strap by pounding a scribe into one of the holes and driving a screw in underneath it. Once I had one screw in, I added another one above the first.


Not perfectly tight by any means, but at least the ridge pole isn't wandering around loose anymore. That couldn't have been good. I finished off with adjusting the fiberfill (or adding more) on the roof joints to make sure there wasn't any poky bits which could rub against the new plastic). A little bit of cleanup later and the repairs to the greenhouse are done.


Wish I had another month to work on it, but I'm plumb out of time. I'm pretty confident that I addressed most of the structural issues and problem areas though and that should help to make the plastic last longer. Anything left to do would be on the inside which I can do later. Tomorrow is the big day (weather permitting) - installation of the new top! Gotta remember to bring the camera along to take some pics during the process. Pretty straightforward except for the short sides (East and West) which is a little tricky). Posted Image

- Zombie

#180043 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 29 April 2020 - 04:14 AM in Off Topic

This past Friday was pretty nice outside and not much going on inside so might as well work on the greenhouse. The area to the north of the doors was basically finished already, so all I needed to do was copy that setup on the south side. Took a lot of measuring and cutting with the circular saw and then pre-drilling the holes for the screws and countersinking the heads to make sure they do not rip the plastic. I reused some of the old lumber too - I don't think it detracts from the look, and besides, it's just going to be covered over with plastic anyway, right? At least the structural elements have new wood. Here's a couple pics from the outside and inside:

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The only snag I ran into was the top frame board for the doors and the board above that. Because everything is still so far out of level (well, mostly plumb) I had to be a little creative in putting things back together. Didn't quite get it all done but for a half day of work I got a lot accomplished. You might notice from the pics that the red table tops look dirty again. Cleaned those up yesterday. Speaking of yesterday, I couldn't work on the greenhouse much as it rained all morning long and the sun didn't poke it's head out till 5pm. No big deal, I needed to get the screws in some of the furring strips yet so I worked on that. Also took a count of how many of each size were necessary (I might need a couple more of the 7 foot length for above the doors). Here's a pic of them sorted out and standing proud in the back garage:


Left to right: 2 groups of 8 foot lengths (24 total), a group of 7 foot lengths (10 total), 2 strips a couple inches shy of 7 feet and 18 4 foot lengths for the sides. If you are wondering what those 2 big stacks of cardboard boxes to the right of everything is for, well, we need boxes for putting arrangements in for people to transport them home and also use them during the planting season when people buy packs or pots of annuals and perennials. These particular boxes used to be fresh flower boxes (this size is technically called an eighth box - two of those are equivalent to a quarter box and four quarters make a full box). I save this size until I have a bunch of them, then cut them in half and refold them into the appropriate size and restaple the ends. Suppose some time I can take some pics of how I do that so you can impress someone. ;)

Today it was foggy and moist all morning long but no rain so I was able to work on the greenhouse again for a little bit at least. As for what was on the agenda, the doors needed to be looked at. Even though I had them somewhat squared up, they didn't open up decently (due to the uneven ground and messed up hoop). Ended up taking off the left door (when looking at it from the inside) and raising that up a few inches to account for clearance. But now the left door was higher than the right, how can I make them equal? Cut a piece of lumber to put above the door to act as a spacer. After that, I installed the frame above the door. The next issue was that I took the latch off the right door during deconstruction, but now the dimensions were different due to moving the left door up. Had to re fabricate the latch and now it's much sturdier than before. I also attached another board on top of the one above the top frame of the door.


Yes, I know there is a big gap underneath the left door. Can't do anything about that due to the uneven ground preventing the door from opening up cleanly. I might add a "fabrimacobbled" sweep to the bottom though - have to think on that overnight. The only things left to do now is to reattach the board from the post inside the center of the greenhouse to the two boards above the top of the door frame. Got a plan for that so it should go up quickly. Of course I still need to put fiberfill batting around around some of the joints of the roof to prevent the plastic from wearing through (shouldn't take too long either). I might take a couple sheets of used lexan polycarbonate from the smaller garage door and use those for the bottom part of the fiberglass panels of the doors too beef that up temporarily. Other than that, it's good to go.

ETA for completion? I'm shooting for installing the new plastic on Saturday instead of Sunday now. I'll be cutting flowers on Sunday for Mother's Day so that day is probably out. Saturday looks like it's going to be fairly nice and not too windy which would be darn near perfect conditions. Even if I can only get the top secured one day, I can probably do the sides the next day assuming the wind doesn't get to strong. Fingers crossed of course. :)

- Zombie

#179983 Corona viral thread

Posted by Zombie on 26 April 2020 - 01:42 AM in The firing range - politics and religion

 ñΩxicity, on 25 April 2020 - 07:19 AM, said:

I swear Zombie, you cheese head! If you suddenly start posting a bunch of XCOM memorabilia, I know you got your stimulus check.!

I haven't made any XCOM/X-COM purchases recently for the simple fact that I'm scared shitless with this pandemic going on. There isn't much out there that I don't have already too. With that said, I'm fine right now without the stimulus check. I still have my job, and although my hours have been cut slightly I can get by. I never asked for a stimulus check and to be honest, I'd be ok with the government not giving it to people who have a job - focusing those funds to the unemployed/severely underemployed, sick, or even better, the medical workers on the front line risking their lives everyday. But hey, I never look a gift horse in the mouth. ;)

My beef is with people who are living beyond their means, high credit card debt, going paycheck to paycheck without a nest egg and expect the government to bail them out when things get tough. I'm sorry, that's their fault. They made their bed and now they have to lie in it. Jobless now? Find one, there are plenty of openings for stocking shelves in grocery stores. No nest egg, no savings? Don't know what to tell you there, you should have been saving all along so you have at least 6 months income. Too many mouths to feed? Don't have so many damn kids, don't order takeout every day and stick to ramen noodles. Posted Image

- Zombie

#179952 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 24 April 2020 - 04:29 AM in Off Topic

So I got a little bit of time to work on installing the doors on Tuesday:


Windy again, so I had to put the concrete blocks against the doors so they wouldn't be flopping in the breeze. Not much to say about the process except I pre-drilled the holes for the screws in the sides of the frame and borrowed a pipe clamp to keep the 2x4 frame tight against the 4x4 post as I was driving the screws in. I also temporarily screwed a furring strip between the doors to act as a spacer until everything is dialed in.

Yesterday I started work on the top of the frame. I attached the newly painted silver metal stop to a slightly used 2x4. Totally forgot that the holes in the metal were not centered, they are actually closer to one end to make the stop hang down to contact the doors. Had to remove a couple screws and turn the strip around and reattach. Then it was perfect. Thought I could sneak the metal stop behind the 2x4 side frame boards but it was a bit too tight. Got called away for other things and it started to rain so that concluded my progress.

Today I cut a groove in the 2x4 frame to accept the metal stop. Did a dry fit and seemed to be good so I attached it. I was going to start fooling around with attaching the board above the frame and the board that goes between that and the next post in the center of the greenhouse but decided to work on getting the North part of the side secured instead - just to make sure the dimensions don't change on me.


Got the upper 2x4 board attached with no problems as I didn't have to cut it to fit - the length was still perfect! The bottom 2x6 board is new so I had to cut that to fit. Attached that to the far left with a bolt and with 2 screws by the door. The way this is set up, this board doesn't actually touch the ground, it is above the ground by a few inches and then a 1x6 skirt board is attached to that to make a tight fit to the ground. At the end of the frame by the door there is a space underneath the 2x6 so I think I'm going to cut a piece of 2x4 to fill that gap (it used to be open like it is now). Obviously didn't attach the skirt board yet, I just put it on the ground to show what it's going to look like.

Tomorrow it's supposed to rain again but not all day so maybe I'll be able to work on finishing off the North part and then move over to the South. Wind shouldn't be so strong either. Coming together now! :)

- Zombie

#179951 Bargain!

Posted by Zombie on 24 April 2020 - 03:36 AM in General Game Discussion

As you guys are probably are aware, XCOM: Chimera Squad is $9.99 on Steam (50% off). I'd just like to point out that it's a tad bit cheaper over at Green Man Gaming where it's $9.50 (or 52% off). ;)

- Zombie

#179950 Corona viral thread

Posted by Zombie on 24 April 2020 - 01:41 AM in The firing range - politics and religion

According to the article on your first link the US PURCHASED, not stole the masks right off the tarmac. Was it nice? No, of course not. You should be blaming the Chinese who allowed the US to purchase the masks even though they were earmarked for France. Money talks though, we were willing to pay more and the Chinese were all to happy to make sideline deals like this. Ditto for the second article, though the story reads kinda fishy because it's from The Guardian which is a tabloid. Do I get my news from the National Enquirer? Heck no. Posted Image

With that said, this coronavirus pandemic is creating a real shit show here in the US. Don't know how many of you are following the developments over here as it's probably more important to focus on where you live, but it just keeps getting worse and worse. At least the curve is starting to flatten out in some of the major cities like New York due to strict social distancing and stay at home orders, but now Trump wants to reopen the economy with little regard to public safety. Governors of some states like Georgia and even Tennessee are blindly starting to initiate plans to reopen even though there is overwhelming support to stay closed by the American public. These are probably going to become the new hot zones for the virus to spread while other responsible states are extending their orders. Posted Image

One of the governors, Andrew Cuomo from New York is rapidly getting a lot of attention lately. He's a no BS kinda guy, intelligent, does his homework and has a lot of respect from the residents of his state and probably a good chunk of the US population too. So I'd highly recommend checking out some of his press conferences if you are interested to see how a hot bed is getting under control. Why this guy isn't president is beyond me and why he isn't running for president is even more perplexing. Posted Image

- Zombie

#179870 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 20 April 2020 - 11:35 PM in Off Topic

Today I tried to get a start installing the doors on the west side of the greenhouse. The wind was again super-duper strong (and it's been like that for the last 4-5 days without a break). I pre-drilled holes in the frame of the right door (looking at it from the outside) and drove some long screws into them so they were just barely coming out the back side. When the door was sorta where I wanted it, I attached two of the screws into the post. Easier said than done as the post jumped off the spot on the pavement when I put pressure on the drill. Oops. No big deal though, I moved it back into position. But something still needed to be done to keep the post semi-secure during installation otherwise I'd be constantly adjusting things.

My initial thought was to use some rubber inside the section at the top of the posts which I cut out. Couldn't find any strips at the store though, and maybe rubber wasn't the best idea as it might start to break down and get brittle over time. Hmmm. Then I remembered I had some pieces of membrane roofing which we still have to patch the roof in the back garage in case it ever leaks. Cut a small strip of that out with a utility knife and folded it up to fit between the post and the hoop. Just for giggles, I also cut another small strip out and stuck that between the hoop and the strapping.


That seems to have secured the posts a little more to the hoop, and it's a bit tighter on the ground as well. Hopefully the wind will die down in the next week as I'm aiming to get the doors situated and the rest of the fiberfill added to any joints.Then it'll be a waiting game till there's a less windy day. ;)

- Zombie

#179820 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 17 April 2020 - 01:37 AM in Off Topic

So "what's up with the greenhouse?" you may be asking. Unfortunately the weather hasn't been behaving much. There were about three days where we actually had measurable snowfall (melted fast though). For the last week it never really got above 5C or so and the sun was scarce. Need I mention that the wind was unbelievable too? Last Saturday I thought I'd have time to work on the greenhouse in the afternoon, but it got busy and I was called away to deliver. The only thing I was able to do was to install the newly painted hardware on the West doors. It was something at least.

This week was kinda crappy most days as well. I did bleach off some of the vertical boards along the sides and also tried bleaching the skirt board along the North side (the side that faces the small garage). That didn't do too much so I think I need to up the concentration and maybe add some deck cleaner. Bleached off a few more of the old wood strips that held on the plastic so I wouldn't have to cut anything to size.

Today I made a count of how many wood strips of each size I need and I think I'm pretty close to having enough. In between projects (and the snow!) I put the screws in about half the wood strips so far - that way when I start securing the new plastic down it'll be cake because I will not be fooling around with screws in one hand, a drill in the other and trying to balance the wood strip against the side while also putting tension on the plastic to make sure it's taut (sometimes I wish I had 4 hands). It looks like it might be nice tomorrow so my plan is to work on installing the doors. Fingers crossed of course! :)

- Zombie