A Scant 5 Months Later

Admittedly it’s been a busy 5 months. I try to keep this mostly to a project log, but occasionally real life does intrude. My wife had some complications following the birth of our kiddo, and ended up hospitalized a couple of times. Eventually it was diagnosed that she had a condition where the bottom of her cerebelum was basically poking into the spinal column and blocking flow of CSF fluid. She went through a surgery to correct it… then a second surgery when that one leaked… then finally after 2 months she had to have a shunt installed as apparently she was producing too much CSF fluid. The surgery process began at the beginning of June and as of this last Friday, she’s well enough to go back to being a full time mom. For a while there it was all I could do just to try and keep up with the kiddo, work, and taking care of her, but these days it almost feels back to normal… I mean living through a pandemic normal, but still so much better than a few months ago… so… projects!

Truth to tell, I’d been so busy for those months, not a whole lot of progress got made, but I did do a looooot of cooking and since we had to do so much, I started trying a lot of new stuff. I did end up buying a new smoker and make a lot of stuff on that.

Even made some caramel filled chocolate shotglasses on a whim. Those worked really well. Assuming we get a vaccine and can once again see people in person I’ll have to make them again!

I also really got into making meat pies for a while. It started with a Pizza Rustica recipe from foodwishes.com and spiraled to a bunch of different attempts at basically making my own hot pockets.

I did get one major project though. Early in the timeline of my wife’s surgery I ended up moving my office to a smaller room. With the pandemic I was working at home a lot and I needed more privacy and quiet. Ended up working out really well, but I could no longer use my prototype boardgame table. It was way too big, so I thought up a new solution. A folding table that compacts to ~9″x 50″, but it can unfold to accommodate a bunch of different games and wargames!

It ended up being a much longer process to put it together than I intended, but I’ve already gotten a ton of use out of it. I just finished the full assembly this last weekend. As it shows in the photo it can go from 9″ x 50″ to a full 6’x4′ table. It definitely still has some kinks to work out. The casters I chose are a little big and have broken out of the bottom supports. I 3D printed a little brace for that, but I just don’t think that’s stout enough for a long term solution. There’s also an issue on the full 6′ length where one segment, the 9″ segment at the end is just a little bit too tippy. That said, most of the 6′ wide games I play, you’re very rarely using that far edge, so I don’t think it’s too much of an issue. It was a nice fun project that I could work on here and there over the course of a couple of months. I was also impressed that the little focus did quite well at transporting all the plywood for it.

It’s been a really great table to be able to play some solo games and just use it as an auxiliary workspace when needed. Once we’re clear of this pandemic a bit more I’ll be able to use it for real board game/war game nights too, which will be really nice.

Finally, on projects I started working on some new garage projects. I really want to improve the garage space so that it’s easier and more pleasant to work on stuff. This summer was way too hot to work on the 818 and I’m itching to dig back into it. So I started with some garage insulation for the door and then a new attic ladder. I figured that would free up a lot of storage space if I could stow some stuff up there. I’m not quite satisfied with the ladder yet. I might flip it, as it’s not too convenient to climp up then cross it to get to where there’s more headroom. I set it up there thinking I’d like the longer lead up, but it’s just not as convenient as I’d hoped.

My next plan was to add 4 new light fixtures and a couple of outlets to the walls. I was going to run the wire up in and around the attic. Unfortunately while I was up there I discovered one of the webs in my truss roof is damaged. I don’t want to crawl around too much until I get it fixed. As it’s a truss, I’ve been calling around for a structural engineer to design a repair. It’s only a single web, but it’s just safer to do it that way, especially in a hurricane prone area.

Last project was actually a kiddo related one. My brother and his wife bought my son a water table to play with, which he really likes. That said to make it run you have to use a little cup that came with it to fill the chimney looking things which run the little wheels…it’s a ridiculous process. So naturally, I drilled some holes, glued in some tubing, and added a little pump. The pump’s definitely undersized for the ambitions I had in tubing. It’s only 350 GpH, but all the fittings are sized to accept a 1300 GpH pump as well, so I can replace it if I want to down the road. Right now it’s the perfect size to fill the little chimneys automatically and let things run at a pace that’s just fine for a 13 month old kiddo. Once he’s bored or a little older, I’ll upgrade the pumps so we can use all the valves and it’ll make some nice fountains!

And last but not least… here’s some dogs!

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