Sunday, April 29, 2012

self made exhaust fan

In an attempt to get my fridge exhaust chimney to draw better (to get the heat out away from the back) I built a little 12v fan from scrounged parts.
 I got the actual fan from a CPU out of the dumpster of computer parts at the dump.  Got the evil eye from one of the employees, so I showed him what I was taking and he said, "well, this one time".  wired it up and found a $4 used laptop transformer power cord and away we go!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Round Table Repairs

I started noticing the round table we use to eat at was more loose than normal, so I started taking a closer look and found now only was the latch and hinge a bit messed up (the top flips up) but the legs were all loose as well.  So I took it apart:
 Turns out two of the 6 pegs holding the legs in had broken at some point, and the glue job had failed:
 Also, one of the two screws that acted as a hinge had snapped off, so I had to drill it out.  Notice the cool 'egg beater' hand drill doing a great job.
 Then, gluing it all back up and replacing the hinge screws with new ones, we're back in business.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adventurer Guests!

The lovely Josh and Zora and their super smart kids were here this week, checking out the extreme end of the 'green lifestyle'.  So nice to have people come visit and stay over.
the local paper was writing about 'living sustainability', and in describing the spectrum, we were definitely the crazy far end.  funny.  Anyway, it's a great time of year for visitors.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Digging away at the patio area these days, already trying to stay out of the sun in the middle of the afternoon as it's too hot.  The wheelbarrow is becoming more of a Frankenbarrow; I've built a wooden wheel, re-enforced the axle connections with wire and extra wood, and now added a plywood front, as the plastic was starting to crack and buckle during dumps. I wonder how long it will last. 

and check out this beast I dug up near one of the madrone stumps. amazingly, it didn't get cut in half with the shovel. still, pretty gross looking grub. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Taking Things Down

As you know, we had a lot of mature madrone trees on the property before we bought it; they were cut down by someone for firewood, which also helped open up the area and made it look better.  Well, about 8 years later, a lot of these stumps have produced 'shoots' around them, some of which are getting big.  Here's a before shot of one uphill (east) of the house:
 and here's the same spot after I took that big one out.  I then have to cut up all the branches, compost the leaves, and buck up the big parts, and have yet to split those big parts into firewood.  Still, nice to have the opening.
 In the meantime, Melissa has decided to start on taking down the dirt in front of the house to get the area ready for our stone patio work.  She's going to dig down about 10 inches:

Friday, April 06, 2012

Spring is in the air

Since the main rains have come to an end, it's time to start thinking about patios and stone laying. Thus enters the second 'season of rock':
 and in the middle of the day, it's starting to look a lot like summer, with a solar powered dog and solar powered cooker:
 The grape cuttings are managing to leaf out a bit, so I'm hoping to increase my vine collection by quite a bit. I hope I can keep these going!
 and this wild lily, a Tiger Lily, came up in the meadow.  Now that I'm mowing with the scythe, I can go around these things easier.

$1 tool rescue

Had a moment last week, so we strolled the flea market. A woman had a pile of rusty tools "anything $1!" and so I dug through it ...