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#183968 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on Today, 03:13 AM in Support

View PostNKF, on 16 October 2020 - 04:25 AM, said:

You can get a tool such as ImgBurn to convert your PSX disc into an ISO file and then get an emulator such as ePSXe to run it. Alternately you can obtain a multi emulator front-end environment called RetroArch on Steam that can download the ePSXe core to emulate PSX ISO files.

I got ImgBurn to create a .bin of the PSX TFTD version easily enough, but from then on out it was nothing but trouble. ePSXe just crashes when I try to run the .bin and the same thing happens when I try to run TFTD directly from the PSX disc. I have a sneaking suspicion I didn't configure the program correctly as there is a error message sometimes: PSX Bios not found. ePSXe was not able to find a psx bios in your epsxe bios directory. You can use the HLE bios [yadda, yadda, yadda] but keep in mind that you can only have this file LEGALLY when you own a REAL Playstation. Dunno what's up there, and like I said I'm not very software savvy.

Looked on Steam for RetroArch. There's a page for it but the release date is TBD and it says Coming Soon when I added it to my wishlist.

See? Ten years later and nothing's changed. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183930 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 23 October 2020 - 12:27 PM in Support

View PostNKF, on 23 October 2020 - 04:06 AM, said:

Having virtually no load times compared to running it on a physical console is divine!

Very true, I remember the load times for missions was really long on my PSX version of X-COM: UFO Defense. And to think I started my "testing" career on it. Posted Image

While we are on the topic, I was just wondering how an emulator handles saves for the PSX? Is that possible? Only have 15 save slots? Etc, etc. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183925 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 23 October 2020 - 03:23 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 22 October 2020 - 05:52 PM, said:

I guess this means you'll be skipping the possible paint job on that door inside the garage. Their loss. Posted Image

I wouldn't say that's completely off the table. If I see the new owner I'll ask to see what his plans or wishes are. It'll need a good sanding and coat of oil primer to make sure the varnish doesn't start to peel off underneath (it seemed pretty solid to me when I was scrubbing it). And I think I'd have enough latex paint left to put on a coat, though because it's a satin finish I'll probably have to roll it on and not brush it. ;)

- Zombie

#183888 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 22 October 2020 - 12:36 AM in Off Topic

View PostSpace Voyager, on 21 October 2020 - 07:28 PM, said:

I wonder what the added value of your work was - if the house would have been sold at all without it... Great job, Z! From start to sale, just great.

The house probably would have sold no matter what I did to it, but like you and Mr T mentioned, it sure helped to sweeten the deal. It technically was on the market for maybe a week and we had 3 potential buyers. If it was left on the market for longer it's possible we might have been able to get a better price as all my work would be done.

View PostSpace Voyager, on 21 October 2020 - 07:28 PM, said:

I did do some work around the house, too. I might ever necro a certain thread a bit, being inspired by a certain individual here. I'm pointing no fingers.

Looking forward to that. Besides, I'm running out of viable weather and painting projects. Posted Image

Today I was seeing red. Well, red trim paint, and lots of it. The West side got one final coat on the fascia and one temporary coat on the peak.


You can probably see that inside the garage the kickplate is in place. I cut that to size today and checked it for fit and it was perfect. Needs to be primed yet and the joint needs to be caulked but that's good to go. Anyhow, I ended up caulking the top rotten section of the window on the West side. Water putty would have taken too long to cure and I couldn't find the old piece of brick molding to replace so caulk it was. Just used some tan caulk as it was already open and I didn't want to cut open my final tube of gray. The window then got another coat of red.


The upper frame needs another coat and possibly the window ledge and also the caulk joint between the window and the frame.

Put two coats on the fascia above the front door on the South side today and as a bonus I also slapped a coat on the flashing on the roof as it looked pretty bad.


Same deal to the garage door frame: two coats.


The red paint was going on nice and even today so it's possible that only two coats are necessary but I'll have to investigate that after it dries fully to determine if anything is peeking through. My only worry now is that it's supposed to rain in the early morning hours of Thursday with the greatest chance after 6 AM. Hopefully everything dries properly by that time. Posted Image

So besides the little bit of red touchup, the only thing left on the outside is the boards themselves. Roll one coat on them and it'll be finished. Of course, it all depends on the weather. If I can't get to it right away I can always work inside the garage.

Talked to the new owner today as he was over at the house to hear what the home inspector had to say about the place. He seemed pleased about me painting the trim and was fine with me painting just the walls inside the garage and the new wood kickplate. His wife/SO was making a little bit of a stink about me taking the shelves down inside the garage, but I mentioned that it was easier to paint the walls with them off and I could leave them to reinstall if they really wanted them back. The owner said what I was doing was fine and that I could take everything back. Besides, everyone is different in how they want their garages set up. Posted Image Probably dodged a bullet there and it helped that I built a rapport with the owner too. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183859 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 21 October 2020 - 12:50 AM in Off Topic

Apparently the house is sold to the last potential buyer that visited on Friday! So I basically don't have to do any more improvements. I'm going to finish it off properly though and get the people a nice looking place. I like to think I played a role in getting the sale so quickly as I let the people look around early and they could see me doing improvements and I also eased their uncertainty of installing a gas range (instead of electric) as there is a gas line directly underneath the kitchen. ;) I have a few weeks until the deal is finalized and the keys are handed over.

In the garage I sanded the drywall compound over the joints to smooth everything out and brushed all the dust off. Then I used some of that "explosive" latex primer (luckily no surprises this time) to seal the compound.


Also took the hose hangars off the wall, filled the holes and primed the spots. Got a board for a kickplate at the bottom of the wall - it's not quite as high as the other board, but at this point I don't care if it isn't an exact match, at least it'll be better. All I need to do is cut it to length, prime it, attach it to the wall and caulk the joints and I'll be ready to paint. Spent a good part of the day cleaning out the garage in anticipation of the paint - took the shelves off the wall, scraped and sanded the spots underneath the vertical brackets (aka "standards") and brushed off the cobwebs.

Another issue I noticed was the frame of the garage. A few years ago we had the garage door replaced and the guys that installed the trim left some unsightly bare spots along the length, plus the frame itself was looking shabby in spots. Spent some time scraping and sanding the spots and paid particular attention to the bottom of the frame as there was dry rot there, so I really had to take my time and sand all the loose wood fibers off. Then the primer came out.

DSC00012JPG.jpg DSC00013JPG.jpg

I taped up the trim with blue tape - not so much for the primer as it's nearly the same color as the trim, but for the red which will require probably 3 coats. Posted Image

Speaking of red, I didn't do hardly any painting outside today at all. Rain was forecast for 5pm and I didn't want to risk applying latex outside. I figured that the oil primer would be fine so I sanded those two water putty repair jobs on the North side and primed them and also scraped and primed the board underneath the gutter on the Northwest corner by the chimney. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought but still needed attention. No pics of this unfortunately.

Tomorrow will probably be trim day: I wanna get all the red areas painted with as many coats as I can safely do. And possibly cut, prime and install the garage wood kickplate. When that's all done then I want to roll on the final coat of paint on the boards outside. That would finish off the outside and the final thing would be to paint the inside of the garage (just going to do the walls, the ceiling looks great yet). Might also prime and paint the door inside the garage going into the house - I think it would look better. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183813 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 19 October 2020 - 02:25 AM in Support

View Postmagic9mushroom, on 13 October 2020 - 09:37 AM, said:

I do have to ask, Zombie; with all the stuff you know and have and some of it not publicised (like the annotated source code of TFTD), have you thought through what happens to safeguard it if you were to die? This sort of thing has a nasty tendency to slip between the cracks, since relatives won't have your passwords to get into things and frequently won't even know that they're supposed to be looking, never mind what for.

Very morbid, I know, but I just want to be sure we don't lose some of this stuff.

Sorta taken care of already. Scared shitless over Covid since March so I took some steps. One of the things I still have yet to do is catalog exactly what I have and label everything, but it's mostly boxed together. Posted Image

View PostNKF, on 16 October 2020 - 04:25 AM, said:

Having seen some of the aforementioned unpublicised items - there's some things there that I would really like to see preserved as well such as some really neat TFTD early concept images. Alas, Zombie's hands are tied to some degree.

By the way, Zombie - have you tried using a Playstation emulator? The issue around PAL or NTSC formats would be a non-issue then. Most PCs these days have no trouble emulating the PSX, even on Raspberry Pis.

You can get a tool such as ImgBurn to convert your PSX disc into an ISO file and then get an emulator such as ePSXe to run it. Alternately you can obtain a multi emulator front-end environment called RetroArch on Steam that can download the ePSXe core to emulate PSX ISO files.

I've been getting really into emulation these last few years and have been gradually converting my favourite Playstation titles (up to the PS3) into ISOs and have been playing them through emulators.

This is mostly as a preservation measure as the hardware and storage media are ageing. Being able to play the games on modern hardware is also a plus.

I believe I tried the ISO thing maybe 10 years ago (for the Japanese version of UFO: EU?) but found the software was very lacking and not at all user friendly for noobs like myself. Not sure what it's like these days - I'm assuming it's much better but still very technical and piddly. ;)

On a related tangent, I received the NEXT Generation magazine the other day and just as I expected it was lackluster. The UFO Defense article was only 2 pages long and beside that, there are no advertisements for the game (or any other MicroProse game for that matter) in the magazine. The PSX promotional flyer is shown as being delivered but I haven't seen it yet (had it delivered to work so I could keep an eye out for it maybe it'll be here Monday). The Russian PSX version of TFTD is being prepared for shipment by the Ukraine postal service (whatever that means) and the eta for it is now Nov 3-Dec 2. Crikey! Posted Image

- Zombie

#183798 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 17 October 2020 - 01:35 AM in Off Topic

I really put the hammer down today and got some things done at the house. There was a chance of rain forecast for 5PM so I wanted to get any painting done by 3PM at the latest otherwise the rain might wash off the stain. Started off on the South side and mopped out the peak area quickly.


Didn't do the red fascia as that type of stain has a tendency to bleed if it gets wet. I did notice that the paint was drying fairly quick so I was confident enough to forge on. So I continued on to the West side and started painting by the chimney first working my way to the window. It took a little to get it covered but looked like it was hiding most of the "imperfections" in the wood. When I got to the window I had to do some caulking on the joints and boards themselves. Figured I'd start caulking to the upper right and work my way left to meet the newly painted area. When that was done I painted in the same fashion so that the caulking I applied first was painted first (so it has a chance to skin over).


Just about the time I finished painting the West wall there were a few raindrops that fell, but it soon stopped. I know when to cut my losses so I cleaned up outside and started messing around with the wall inside the garage. Here's what it looked like after some sanding and scraping.


For the top coat I first put down some fiberglass tape over the area which was bad, then mudded it as best I could. Even did the piece of new drywall. Swept up the mess too, so it looked better for the people coming to see the house (had 3 groups come through today so there's plenty of interest in the property and house). ;)


Will need to do some sanding to smooth out the joint compound when it's dry. And I didn't bother mudding the screw holes on the right side of the new piece of drywall - figured I'll caulk them instead as it's less messy. After that's done I'm going to install a piece of wood as a baseboard to match the left side of the wall. Ended everything out by brushing on another coat of paint on the two duct vents. Quite a busy day, but I got a lot done. :)

So I have a little bit of caulk left in one tube from doing the West side, and one extra tube as emergency backup. Found a couple tubes of caulk at the store this morning in my painting drawer- one was white and the other was clear (both latex based, not silicone). Could probably use those for caulking in the garage as they aren't high quality but should hold up fine indoors.

As for the tan paint, I have one unopened gallon and about a quart left in the second can. So far I used up maybe a gallon on the three sides I painted so I should be able to squeeze by on the final coat as I'll roll that on and the coverage should be better as everything is now filled in. Still might pick up another gallon just to be safe, can always use the remnants at the store. There's plenty of red paint left so no worries there. Glad I got a full gallon of that though as most areas need 3 coats to cover properly. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183741 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 15 October 2020 - 03:59 AM in Off Topic

View PostZombie, on 14 October 2020 - 12:45 AM, said:

The last project I did was paint some metal vent plates for the ducts inside the house. (Sorry no pic of this, I pressed the button on the camera but maybe I didn't press hard enough).

Found out what happened. There's a folder where the pictures are saved to in the memory card, and when you use up all the unique memory spots the camera creates a new folder and starts saving pics there. That's why I didn't see the picture as it was in a different folder. So here's a pic of the vent plates.


Compared to what they looked like before, it's 100% better. Even better is that the sheen is perfect: the satin finish isn't super shiny and isn't flat either. Plus it's easier to work with than a semi-gloss.

Today there was a chance of rain forecast in the late afternoon/evening so I decided not to do any painting outside whatsoever. But caulking is ok as long as it skins over before the rain comes. Started with the peak on the South side above the front door.


Kind of a pain in the butt because it was so windy it was blowing the putty knife and canvas off the roof and blew the hat off my head too. Powered through it and got it done. Took about a tube and a half of caulk. Since I had leftovers I decided to go to the West side. Dumped the rest of that tube into the wall. Found a partially empty tube in the garage which I was going to throw out because the caulk got hard in the spout and squeezed out the back behind the plunger. Cleaned the back out by scraping the sides with a paint stick, and cleaned out the spout by cutting the opening bigger to allow a screw to be inserted and pulled out. Somehow that worked, so I dumped the rest of that tube into the wall as well.


The only part I didn't caulk yet is the joints between the boards above the window. Have two full tubes left so that should be enough for the time being. I also used the extension ladder to reach the red area at the top of the peak. Scraped that off partially. (I never really noticed this before, but the window is not centered under the peak - it's offset to the South. Odd).

Here's a pic of the garbage barrel in the garage.


Must've got something done as there are 6 empty tubes in there. Btw, the vinyl gloves in there are not mine, they are from the HVAC guys. I caulk with bare hands as cleanup is really easy with just warm water.

Dunno what's going to happen tomorrow, as flowers are coming so I have to process them before anything else. After that (and if time permits) I'll try to swing over to the house to get the rest of the caulking done and maybe even some painting. ;)

- Zombie

#183713 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 14 October 2020 - 12:45 AM in Off Topic

A hodgepodge of projects at the house today (didn't really expect it to turn out like this, but things needed to get done). First thing I did was reinstall the molding for the window inside the garage - made sure to lay down a heavy bead of caulk before. After I pounded in the nails to secure the molding to the frame I caulked the joints.


Throughout the day I worked on caulking the West side. Got pretty far but there's more to go yet. When I used up my second full tube I decided to stop as I didn't want to open another and have it dry out. Made that mistake more than once. It was nearing quitting time anyway.


Basically the only caulking left on the West side is above the window and one joint to the left of the window (the 3rd joint). I figure about a tube and a half for that and maybe another half a tube for the rough areas. You may notice that I finally filled in the space underneath the window frame with water putty. Since I was doing that I made some extra to do the two areas on the North side.

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For that ledge in the 2nd picture, I dug out all the old putty and completely rebuilt it. It's not perfect, but I still need to sand it when it's dry which should make it look like a ledge again. Caulk will fill in any low areas after the sanding. Jumped to the inside of the garage to work on the big gouges and holes in the wall where the new piece of drywall was installed. (Apologies, the pic is a little washed out because it was so sunny).


Dunno why I thought I should use water putty to fill in a hole, but what's done is done. If anything it should make the transition a little more robust. Filled in the rest of the areas with drywall compound. Still have to tape and mud the joints of the new piece of drywall and then that wall should be ready for priming and paint.

The last project I did was paint some metal vent plates for the ducts inside the house. (Sorry no pic of this, I pressed the button on the camera but maybe I didn't press hard enough). The two I did were rusty or had tape residue and were chipping in areas. I sanded them down a little and sprayed them with a primer. The original plan was to spray them with an almond spray paint, but I noticed that the original color of the paint was very similar (if not exactly the same as) the color I used to paint the frame of the door inside the garage. That makes it easy, so I brushed on a light coat of that. I'll make sure to get a pic of them tomorrow. Posted Image

I took stock of caulking and realized I have 4 full tubes left. Not sure it's going to be enough to finish the West side and the South side too so I'll probably be going back to the paint store to get some more. This time I might get a mixture of colors, but heavy on the gray of course. Plus I know I'm going to need another gallon of the siding stain for rolling on the final coat. And my water putty supply is steadily shrinking too. And I might order another gallon of the red polyurethane for the boards and table tops in the greenhouse. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183679 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 12 October 2020 - 01:37 PM in Support

View PostThorondor, on 12 October 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

Don't know if that Russian PSX version of TFTD comes shrink-wrapped or not, but if not would you even be able to run it in a PlayStation given region locking and all that?

It's used, but runs. Looks to be in good condition overall. You would need to get and install a mod chip in a PSX to get around the region codes. I'm not sure if that would be enough as the video format will be different - though this was the case years ago, by now there probably is software that can do this. ;)

View PostThorondor, on 12 October 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

Anyway, if the data is still readable on the disc I'd at least consider duplicating it for safeguarding.

Yeah, I'll probably copy it to my hard drive and backup drive. :)

- Zombie

#183665 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 12 October 2020 - 02:07 AM in Support

While doing my searches I came across a PSX promotional flier for X-COM Enemy Unknown (EU PSX version for the first game). It has the cover art for the EU version so I assume this is from overseas even though the seller is from the US. Even stranger? There were 2 for sale, so I purchased them outright. From the photos it looks like it's only 4 pages long - we'll know for sure when they arrive. ;)

And now for some BIG news! Ran across a Russian PSX version of TFTD! It had a buy now option so I purchased it - was quite reasonable at $9+$9 shipping considering it's coming from Kiev, Ukraine. Then again, the delivery window is 15-34 business days so it might not get here till next month. Will be waiting patiently for it to arrive. Who am I kidding, you know I can't wait! Posted Image

Also picked up a December 1995 issue of Next Generation Magazine which has an article on the PSX version of X-COM: UFO Defense. Looks interesting from the single page I can read in the photos - hope there are multiple pages though. Btw, the PSX version was supposedly released Oct 25, 1995 but according to the article here it was still getting finishing touches in December 1995 so the real release date would probably be early Q1 1996. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183664 Bargain!

Posted by Zombie on 11 October 2020 - 08:52 PM in General Game Discussion

View PostThorondor, on 05 October 2020 - 05:55 PM, said:

Posted Image

GoG's weekly sale is here.

Thanks for the head's up, I actually picked up Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II Battle.net for 15% off. It never goes on sale for more than 15% off, so I figured why not. I used to play Warcraft on PSX and Starcraft on the PC, but haven't touched either for probably 20 years. ;)

View PostThorondor, on 07 October 2020 - 09:25 AM, said:

Posted Image


The Humble Let's Fight bundle is here. Includes Nidhogg.

Fixed the link for you, seems like you had an extra www. in front of the address. Also don't forget the protocol dropdown in the link box has https:// as one of the options. Just an FYI, you probably know this already but messed up the paste. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183651 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 10 October 2020 - 01:49 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 09 October 2020 - 09:05 AM, said:

Somehow that whole area above the small roof suddenly seems to me far larger to cover than was apparent in your pics before, Zombie. Posted Image

It's mostly just long, the max height is approximately 1 meter so the area isn't ginormous. Putz work mainly as I can only reach 4 boards without moving the ladder.

View PostThorondor, on 09 October 2020 - 09:05 AM, said:

As for the garage window I can't say I agree with the "powers that be"; that crack is rather ugly and I can't imagine it would be so outrageously expensive to arrange for a replacement. That glass doesn't even strike me as being of the thicker variety, but it's hard to estimate just from the snap you took.

Totally agree, if it would be up to me I'd just replace the window outright. I think he's just getting anxious to relist the house on the market again and doesn't want to spend the time on it. Will that detract from the look and precipitate a lower offer? Maybe, but unlikely as it'll be hard to see unless you are right next to it. I guess it all depends how close it is inspected.

View PostThorondor, on 09 October 2020 - 09:05 AM, said:

Frame of the door: well done. Door itself: wood grain or not, that varnish tone is just not my cup of tea. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things. Posted Image

Depends how much time I can spend on it, but I can always pick up another quart of paint and then I'd have enough to paint the entire door. Think I'm just going to try touching up the spots on it first with some varnish. If it still looks like crap then I'll get out the primer and paint. Posted Image

Well, it was too bust at work to tear myself away to go to the house so I tried to tie up some loose ends at the store instead. Those 4 plywood pads for under the metal table legs still needed another coat of gray polyurethane so I brushed another coat on one side.


There was only a little paint at the bottom of the pail so I thought I should probably use it up before it completely hardens over. One of the rolling tables by the back cooler needed another coat on the top so I did that.


I put an orange traffic cone in front of the table to warn of the wet paint. It was drying pretty quick though because I added a splash of paint thinner to make the last bit easier to brush. There was still some left though so I went back to the standby: the threshold to the one red door. It wasn't in bad shape - just some cracks and a couple spots with loose paint. Figured another coat should give it a little more protection from the upcoming snow, ice and salt the winter will bring.


Much better. Stuck some traffic cones on either side of the door (inside and out) to warn of the wet paint (not expecting anyone to step on it except for maybe the bossman if he comes in late and doesn't smell the fumes). Posted Image To finish off the last bit of the pail I brushed on a coat on the bottom of the galvanized metal tub and part of the sides. Still have a full pail of the stuff I got at the paint store to use on the table in the backroom, cooler floor (though I have some in another container with sand in it for traction) and the new tabletop I installed by the front a couple years ago (the top still looks almost brand new but it could use a freshening up and I never got to the bottom yet). Oh, and the lower shelves of the rolling tables could use another coat too.

Hopefully I can swing over to the house and get some caulking done. I have part of the West side to do as well as the South so there's plenty left. Thankfully I have about 7 tubes of caulk which should be enough to finish whatever I need to do there and still have some left for the store (used up about 3 tubes of my personal stock which I like to keep enough on hand for emergencies - can never have too much caulk). Posted Image

- Zombie

#183624 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 09 October 2020 - 01:00 AM in Off Topic

Today I picked up an extension ladder from home to work on the peak on the South side. Let me tell you, it's a heck of a lot easier doing work off the ladder than trying to balance on the small roof. I had a little more scraping left to do and then I addressed the big cracks by driving a screw in on either side to stabilize the wood. The two cracks in the boards running down from the peak were easy-peasy as I found a nailer in back of the boards. But the other cracks didn't have a nailer (as far as I could tell by digging around) so I ended up driving the screws into the metal flashing behind the boards. It's not ideal, but at least the boards are a little more stable. After all that I primed everything.


Next up is to caulk this section, slap on some red trim paint and a first coat. At some point I'm going to paint the flashing too - there isn't much paint left on it anymore.

Since I had the primer out, I painted the bottom of the window frame inside the garage, and also the quarter round molding that goes in the frame.

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Latest word is that we aren't going to replace the window anymore so I need to put that back together the best I can.

Didn't want to start any more projects so I painted the frame of the door going into the house from the garage with that leftover tan paint.


I don't know about the color, but at least the unsightly dried paint marks are covered over. If the door was painted the same color as the frame the color might start to grow on me. Don't think I have enough paint for that and I'd hate to cover over the nice wood with paint. ;)

- Zombie

#183593 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 08 October 2020 - 12:33 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 07 October 2020 - 08:53 AM, said:

On the caulking side of things, it seems to me you have to stay on it as it looks fine along the connection to the capstone, but the space between the boards almost certainly requires your further attention.

Trust me, I'm all over it.


Dumped about 2 tubes worth into the cracks and spaces between the boards. It was kinda slow going because I was trying to use up two partially used tubes and the caulk must've dried in the spout. I was able to get to the good stuff by driving in a 3" drywall screw into the spout and then pulling it out with a pliers (the threads in the screw scraped the inside of the spout getting rid of some of the dried stuff). Didn't want to open up another tube and having it dry on me overnight so I gave that a rest. At least I got most of the cracks done as far up as I could reach without the ladder. Posted Image

View PostThorondor, on 07 October 2020 - 08:53 AM, said:

Now, there can be no "let it be" on that last North side area. It looks nasty and the way I see it the more you dig there the more you'll find. So don't prod overmuch, for the sake of budget conservation.

Very true, but the only area that really needs attention is the spot along the North West side of the garage. The rest of the North side actually looks pretty good yet - all it needs is a brush to knock off the spider webs, dead insects, leaves and junk and it should be fine.

Had a little time at the end of the day to fill in some of the joints in the capstone with mortar. First is the West side under the window, second is the South East corner and the third is directly to the left of that on the South side.

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Looks a little rough, but I still need to go over the joints with a brick or piece of concrete to "sand" down the high spots when it cures completely. Posted Image

While going into the house from the door in the garage I noticed that the handle was loose. Got out the screwdriver and tightened everything up. And of course, when I'm looking at the door I notice all sorts of paint specks on it so I carefully scraped them off. The paint on the frame would be difficult to remove so I think the best bet would be to slap on another coat of paint - found a quart can of paint I used for the space between the windows and screens at the house which is sorta a tan color which might be good. Also found a pint can of varnish though I don't think there's enough to do the entire door. Anyhow, the door and frame were filthy so I scrubbed everything down and rinsed it off. Looks better now. Posted Image


The line going up and down door by the handle is an area with missing varnish (maybe someone used some tape on there in the past). Going to check inside that pint can of varnish to see if it's still good yet, if it is I can touch up the mark with it. No rush on this but I can always do it at the end of the day if I run out of work. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183568 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 07 October 2020 - 01:33 AM in Off Topic

I really didn't have much time last week to do much painting at the house due to my brother visiting and it being cold (6-7 C) and rainy. That changed today however. The weather was really nice (shockingly compared to last week) so I was able to knock out some things. But because of the nice weather the asian lady beetles were out in full force - there must've been a few thousand on the brick chimney on the West side and they were aggressive as heck biting me nonstop. Frickinfruckindamn! Posted Image At least they sorta moved on in the late afternoon.

Started out by sanding and brushing off the dust from the spots I scraped last week. After that I decided to brush on some of that mistint red latex paint I am using for the boards in the greenhouse on the right part of the fascia. Not even close to being the right color, but at least it was red. Chucked some on the frame of the window as well. Then I jumped over to priming the spots I sanded and dusted.


I wanted to get that fascia somewhat squared away so I painted the spots on the left side with some of that mistint red, then pulled out the proper trim color and started at the right. I figured that by the time I'd get the right side and the window frame painted then the left side would be dry. Worked out great.


There are some areas on the fascia which look strange - I think this is because the paint was a little bit wet yet and some of the mistint red is peeking through. No big deal, it's still going to need another coat yet which should cover. Didn't do the peak with the red as I couldn't reach that off my 8 foot ladder safely. Going to borrow an extension ladder for this part. Posted Image

While I was painting the window I decided to do some more caulking. Used up the rest of one tube and another full tube by cauking around the window, some boards and the space between the boards and the capstone.


Since I still had the red out I decided to put on the final coat on the fascia behind the gutter to the far left. Looks pretty good now!


If you have good eyes you might be able to see some spots on the gutter and brick, those are the asian lady beetles I was talking about earlier. Have I mentioned they are annoying? Posted Image

I was looking for spots that need water putty and found another area on the North side which has caved in.


So I'll need to chip that out somehow and repatch that with some water putty along with the spot under the window and possibly the chunk of frame to the upper right of the window (unless I can find a piece of brick molding frame wood to patch it with. Dunno where that would be so I have to do some searching at the store.

So overall, I at least got the fascia covered and the area between the capstone and boards caulked. Those were the two worry some areas. The priming was an added bonus. While I was at the store this morning I also found the gallon of greenish mistint I was using as a first coat for the concrete block walls. Last year I toned down the green quite a bit by adding some normal white to it and I figured I could use some of that as a first coat for the boards on the West side. At least, that's the thought - have no idea what the color looks like on the wall yet so I'll have to do a test spot. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183460 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 01 October 2020 - 02:24 AM in Off Topic

View PostThorondor, on 30 September 2020 - 09:03 AM, said:

The only thing I'd say is perhaps it would be best if you saw to the red part of the equation at the top first, so you don't have to put a ladder against the newly painted wall and potentially leave any marks. Then again maybe I'm just fussing about it. Posted Image

The ladder shouldn't leave any marks as the only part that contacts the wood is the plastic top. Doesn't really matter even if it did because I'm going to be going over everything with another coat (this time rolled on). However, I'm planning on doing the red trim next because that is going to definitely require two coats (maybe even 3 depending on coverage) and I want to get that done before I tackle the wall due to paint drips and such.

I went to the house today for a little more "fun". There was a chance of rain again so I decided to just scrape. Got most of the West side done, but then it started to rain. Not heavily, just enough to make the grass (and myself) wet. In the meantime, I switched gears and messed around in the garage - scraped the piece of drywall at the bottom of the one wall, had to pound in some nails to keep the paper backing in place and then I swept up the mess, scraped the concrete floor by the wall and taped it up. So that should be nearly ready to go except for the patching. After I did that the sun came out so I checked the grass - still wet. Ended up scrubbing the two shutters from the West side in the sink to get them clean. Finally when I finished with that the grass was partially dry so back out I went. Got it done too.


Phew! Glad that's done. Next up is to sand the bare spots and prime them. Then Caulkpocalypse 2020™ Pt 2. Took a closer pic of the unfinished boards and capstone so you can see what I'm up against.


So I scraped every last piece of caulk out from between the boards and capstone as someone had used silicone caulk for that in the past. Don't ask me why, but it had to go as I want the new layer of caulk to adhere to both surfaces properly. Here's what a semi-finished interface looks like when done correctly:


Pretty, and it'll look even nicer with another coat on. Here's the area next to the chimney on the West side:


I had the gutter guys replace the board behind the gutter as it was completely rotten. There's already one coat of red on that, but it looks like the board underneath is peeling badly so I'll need to do a little more scraping there. Par for the course. Took a peek on the North side and there's an area that needs some TLC so I may have to work on that too. It just never ends. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183435 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 29 September 2020 - 11:54 PM in Off Topic

There was a chance for rain in the afternoon today so I decided to start by caulking a little bit on the West side. There were some rough areas above and to the right of the window which required some filling in and also a section of the crack I didn't get to the last time, I also caulked the area between the boards and capstone (as far as I primed at least). While waiting for that to skin over I did some scraping of the old caulk and putty above and below the window.


And as you can see I did a little bit of painting on the West side too.


Oh, and scraping too. Didn't get too much of that done but I had a couple dustpans filled with paint flakes, chips, old caulk and putty so I must've did something. Posted Image I didn't bother taping up the capstone, I carefully freehanded when painting the caulk. I think it looks better with a non-perfect straight line of paint as the boards aren't 100% plumb anymore and neither is the capstone itself. Posted Image

When I painted the red trim on the East side it rained and washed some of the red off the wood and on to the wall and capstone. Decided I should address that and figured that since I had the paint there that I'd brush on a second coat below the windows as it would be difficult to roll.


Much better. Obviously more scraping, caulking and possibly priming tomorrow although that depends on the weather. If anything, I still need to work on that patched area in the garage so I can always do that if I get rained out. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183380 Bargain!

Posted by Zombie on 26 September 2020 - 02:18 AM in General Game Discussion

View PostThorondor, on 24 September 2020 - 03:21 PM, said:

Posted Image


RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition is currently free over at the Epic Games store.

Excellent! Thanks for the heads up! :)

- Zombie

#183379 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 26 September 2020 - 01:14 AM in Off Topic

View PostSpace Voyager, on 25 September 2020 - 06:05 AM, said:

I might have mentioned that you're not paid enough... The tables are so shiny they look wet, but he's gonna freshen them up... Maaaaaaan, I wish I were you.

Just to illustrate - I would NOT TOUCH NEITHER THE BOARDS NOR THE TABLES ever again until they look as shitty as they did before you picked them up. Posted Image Ok ok, perhaps a week earlier.  Posted Image

I'll tell you, it's a heck of a lot easier to do touchup painting than it is to start all over from scratch. You have to remember that painting is 90% prep work and 10% actual painting. If I can skip that 90% (or even part of that) it pays for itself. :)

I investigated the table tops this morning and there are some spots which could use a little paint. I'm not sure how much red polyurethane I have left, but if I can manage it I'll roll another coat on now. I'd just as soon do the tables this year as that's one less thing to worry about next spring.

View PostThorondor, on 25 September 2020 - 08:42 AM, said:

I see beautiful red across the board - good on you, Zombie! Posted Image

But for all that alluring sheen there's by contrast a distinct lack of greenery on the premises.

Paint pigment can only go so far to brighten one's day as you no doubt know full well. So when is the greenhouse going to get back some of that truly joyous riot of natural colour ?

On or around May 3-4 2021. Posted Image I mean, it's like the last hurrah at this time of the year - the only thing in there is the yellow hardy mums. I guess I can try to get a pic of them before we bring them out for display. Other than that, the outdoor stuff is at it's end. Too bad, but there's always next year! Posted Image

So I emptied another tube of caulk into the West wall today. Then ran over to the paint store to get a replacement for the defective tube, got 3 more tubes and ordered another gallon of gray polyurethane. It isn't in stock, but it should arrive Tuesday. Now I'm second guessing myself and think I should order another gallon on top of that. Heh!

When I got back I started by taking off the piece of replacement windowsill, sanded the entire thing down with 36 and then 50 grit (it was smooth enough so I didn't bother with finer grits). and then ran into a snag. I wanted to prime the entire piece but didn't want it to stick to something while drying. I came up with an ingenious work around: I found some small pieces of foam board and screwed them to the ends of the screws, painted, then put it on a old scrap piece of 3/4 x 8 inch wide board to dry.


While that was drying I worked on scraping out the big cracks in the boards I didn't paint yet as they were filled with water putty and loose. Once I got all the putty out I could determine where the nailer was, then drilled pilot holes on either side of the crack, countersunk holes and drove in 1 3/4 inch coated decking screws (previously used, but plenty of life left in them yet).


At least now the boards can't move much anymore, so the cracks will stay somewhat the same width apart. After I got that done I checked the replacement windowsill and it was sorta dry (just a tad sticky). Good enough! I went and caulked the areas the board would touch on the old windowsill and put a nice heavy bead down. Got the replacement piece, screwed that back into position and filled in some of the spots with more caulk. Freebie reflection of me in the window, as usual. Posted Image


That's not going anywhere. The chunks missing underneath the windowsill will be filled with water putty. That'll work out good because there's a bad area of the window frame that needs to be filled along with some other spots.

With that done, I ended the day by priming all the raw wood on the West side and also the areas with dried water putty.


I really put down the primer on the water putty areas and the spot where the boards meet the capstone. When I come back the next time I can lay down a bead of caulk between the two and it'll be almost ready for the first coat of stain. It's starting to come together now! Posted Image

- Zombie

#183348 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 25 September 2020 - 12:44 AM in Off Topic

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

Now, while it is pretty much perfect length-wise, it does seem somewhat thicker than the windowsill to the left of it. But that could just be the close-up effect of the pic bloating the significance of the difference.

The new piece is wider than the end piece of the windowsill, but not along the whole length. It's wider a few inches to the left. And the reason for that is because the windowsill rotted out before already. I just made that difference up with some caulk, no big deal. It's not rocket science, it just has to pass inspection from 3 feet away. Posted Image

Couldn't make it over to the house today unfortunately, but I was able to finally get the table tops in the greenhouse cleaned off. Plus the park bench.


There are some hardy mums on the far right - we are keeping this group in the greenhouse as they take longer to open in there and that gives us a little more time to sell what we have on display out in front. There's also my cart with some bags of soil on it, I'll be bringing those bags in the backroom for use during the winter.

Oh, I almost forgot, I finally finished painting the boards for the greenhouse. I just had to do one more end which I did the other day. Here you can see their final resting place till next spring.


When I put them away I noticed that some of them are scratched on the bottom. Not a problem, I'm going to put on the final coat next spring along with another coat on the table tops just to freshen everything up. Posted Image

We have a heavy metal table by the corner red door and over time it has a tendency to sink into the blacktop. So I put wooden pads under the legs to spread the weight and cut down on the sinking. Well, a few years back I tossed out the old pads because they were starting to rot and made some new ones out of plywood. I actually soaked them for a couple days in boiled linseed oil+turpentine to protect them on the inside, then painted them with some Rustoleum black paint. That was kinda a mistake on my part as the paint started to peel off after a couple seasons. Took them inside and set them on the boiler to dry out and promptly forgot about them. Posted Image

Anyhow, I was down in the furnace room a couple weeks back and found them. So I slapped on a couple coats of latex primer to fill in all the cracks and today I put on one coat of polyurethane on 5 sides. It's probably going to need 2 coats on everything, but it's a start.


It was taking forever to dry outside today (probably due to the humidity) so I brought them inside and turned a fan on to hopefully speed up the process. No dice, it was still sticky when I left to go home but it should dry overnight. Fingers crossed there. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183310 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 24 September 2020 - 02:15 AM in Off Topic

First things first, before I even loaded the truck with my painting gear I measured and cut that piece of cedar for the chunk of windowsill which was rotten. I was worried about the length being off so I cut the board just slightly longer than I needed and figured I could sand the edges till it fit. Got there and checked the length and it was literally perfect - no modifications necessary! So the chunk of new windowsill is 2 inches wide and my idea was to drill a pilot hole through the width to tie in to the existing windowsill and countersink. For that I'd need about a 3 inch screw. Didn't have that, but I did have some galvanized 3 1/2 inch screws and that seemed fine. One wasn't enough and neither was two so I drove in three which stiffened things up considerably. :)


This was a rough sawn cedar board so I sanded it till it was sorta smooth, I don't have to be exact here. Will have to prime this board yet, and I'll probably end up using water putty to fill in those big holes around it. To do a decent job though, it'll have to come back off so I can prime all the sides and when it's dry I'll pile in the caulk to either side so water can't make it's way in. By this time it was pretty hot on the West side so I took a break from that and did some more scraping on the South side above the hedge.


Some big cracks in the boards so I'll need to address that somehow. I tried poking behind the boards through the cracks with a putty knife to see if there is a nailer behind it but couldn't find anything. This might just be a "dumb luck" kinda fix: keep driving screws in random locations to see if any catch. Did I mention that scraping this part was not fun? Well, it's not fun. The roof is only about 2 feet wide so I basically had to scrunch up my 6'4" frame to fit and after a little while I got stiff. Might have to borrow an extension ladder from my dad so I can maybe paint off the side instead. Oh, and caulk too. This section is going to need about a tube's worth. ;)

Speaking of caulk, when it got too warm on the South side I went back to the West side and emptied a tube into the spaces between the boards to the right of the window. I only caulked as high as I could reach off the ground.


Oh, and I also sprayed some bleach+bucket cleaner soap underneath the eaves to see if that helped with the dark spots. Yup, turns out it was mold.


I'll still need to scrape a little and roll some stain on there, but it's almost good to go. I mixed up a little more bleach than I needed so I sprayed the rest on the gutters and fascia along the rest of the South side. They needed it. Posted Image

Tomorrow I might not be at the house depending on how many flowers we get in. I'm hoping I can swing over there and get some priming done and maybe some more scraping and caulking. If not, it'll have to be Friday. Posted Image

- Zombie

#183275 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 23 September 2020 - 04:11 AM in Off Topic

Had a shortened day at work today because I had to take my dad to the hospital to get his gallbladder removed. I'll remind you all to wear a mask, wash your hands, practice extreme social distancing as you don't want to go to the hospital with COVID still around. Not fun. Posted Image

Anyhow, the painters were there working on the family room among other rooms, but they did manage to put in a new piece of drywall in the garage.


It's up to me to tape, patch, sand, prime and paint the new joints. No big deal. You may notice there are two shutters in the pic. Yup, you guessed it, I took off the shutters on the West side to gain access to the wood behind. It wasn't too bad thankfully, not much scraping was necessary there. But above that is a different story.


So I accomplished a bunch of different things which may not be apparent in the picture. Obviously I removed the shutters and scraped the boards. I also scraped the mold/lichen off the top of the capstone, scraped the window frame, and sanded the water putty patches. Managed to remove the caulk and putty between the window frame and wall boards on the left side and part of the top. Need to do a better job scraping the bottom of the frame tomorrow along with priming the bare wood spots. And probably continue with the Caulking Olympics. ;)

- Zombie

#183233 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by Zombie on 21 September 2020 - 03:51 AM in Support

Hello again folks! :)

I've been doing my normal X-COMXCOM searches religiously again and managed to nab myself a set of 3 rather large speaker tags for the Astro A40 gaming headset featuring Borderlands, Bioshock and XCOM. Put this up in the XCOM Promotional Items page. It wasn't exactly a cheap purchase, but I put in a best offer which was accepted so I feel this was a fair price considering how rare it is. ;)

The searches continue! Posted Image

- Zombie

#183214 Let's Paint!

Posted by Zombie on 19 September 2020 - 12:57 AM in Off Topic

View PostSpace Voyager, on 17 September 2020 - 07:10 AM, said:

What is that hedge made of? The bushy growth looks like something with leaves but the actual tree looks more coniferous, like a yew? Coniferous trees are a pain to have in a hedge as they tend to get "hollow" inside, so the hedge gets wider and wider. I once cut the whole western side of my cypress hedge off and only left a thin green layer in the East. Which, due to the hedge trees tendency to lean the growth to West meant like 80% of the width, leaving the original trunks exposed to the West.

Yes, the tree in the corner that I trimmed and the hedge are both yews. It's a bit difficult to keep hedges full looking especially if the person doing the trimming doesn't know what they are doing. I recall seeing a This Old House episode detailing this. Edit: found it.

They are pruning cedar trees which is a little bit different from hedges but you get the idea.

View PostSpace Voyager, on 17 September 2020 - 07:10 AM, said:

ANYway, caulking the whole house?! I hope the cracks are few and far between or the tubes you bought will one be the beginning.

Not the whole house, just the West side because it's always in such bad shape. Hopefully it'll prevent water from making it's way behind the boards and rotting it out.

View PostSpace Voyager, on 17 September 2020 - 07:10 AM, said:

BTW, what kind of caulk are you using? Silicone based is probably not the best option here as the colour won't stick well to it. Acrylic?

It's "siliconized acrylic sealant" so it's basically a water or latex based caulk with some sort of suspended silicone product in it. It's fully paint-able (before I purchased anything I had to really read the entire packaging instructions but I'm 100% positive this is the right stuff). Besides, I used the same caulk on the East side and I painted over it just fine. If it was fully silicone it would smell like vinegar and the paint would sheet off the caulk. ;)


Couldn't really make it over to the house today. Didn't bother me much as there were 3 different workmen over there: HVAC, drywaller/painter and a crew to remove the HAM radio tower on the East side. Had other things I did at the shop like installing those plates around the door handle on the small garage. Outside, and inside.

DSC09946JPG.jpg DSC09947JPG.jpg

Scraped, sanded, primed and painted the area around the handle that had loose paint first.

Had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to get the plates in the proper spot and to make the central connector piece hole. That piece was about 1/2" wide and the biggest drill bit I had was only 3/8". I enlarged the hole a bit by using the flutes of the drill bit but that only got me so far. Plus some part of the turning mechanism was supposed to fit inside the hole in the door for the handle, but putting a metal plate prevented it from seating. So I had to figure out how to make a 1 1/2" hole in the plate. Didn't have a big enough drill bit for that obviously, but I was able to fit the tip of an aviation snips inside the center hole to roughly cut out the hole, then used my rotary metal file bit for the drill to fine tune the fit. The inside plate needed a bigger hole for the center turning piece but not huge because there wasn't a  turning mechanism to get in the way. Used the 3/8" bit to make the initial hole, then plunged the file bit in to widen it. Worked like a charm.

Didn't have a chance to caulk behind the plates but now that the handle is in place that shouldn't be too hard as I can just loosen up the screws to allow me to get the spout of the caulk tube behind the plate. The door looks pretty bad on the outside too. I'm going to clean it first to see if it's mold. If bleaching doesn't do it, then I may repaint. :)

- Zombie