Month: July 2015

Lights on. Windy. Lets sail. Sold a SAAB too!

Posted on Updated on

I couldn’t stay away from the village. I took Heidi and Jasmine to the Black Walnut Cafe this morning and we sat outside and had coffee. Jasmine didn’t like the coffee so much so she went for the Banana Bread. It was a lovely time just hanging out in the village.  After that we went to Jasmine‘s school. It seems we forgot to pick up her report card… She did good from what Heidi says. (She also says I’ll be really proud of her when I read it.) Heidi wanted to check up on some things for next week. She is running an art camp at the school for the next 3 weeks. At least I think she is running it… She may just be teaching it… Who can keep track…  Jasmine had a play date after lunch and Heidi took the girls swimming at Gibbons park. It’s a city run pool and is great. It’s not crazy busy like the rest of the city pools. (I’m not sure why… Maybe because it’s so close to downtown…) The pool in the village is called Thames pool. it is crazy! So crazy you can hear kids screaming 2 blocks away! I don’t like it there much.  While the girls were out I went to Copps Buildall and got a hose for the sump pump I got yesterday. I got it so I can have one to empty boats if I need to and for our basement. It will serve double duty. I will install it in the basement in the fall or winter and be able to take it with me if I need it. Simply unplug it and take off the hose. (I have a second hose for portability.) The second hose was used as a dust collector hose on the shop vac. Also a just plane old long vacuum hose when I needed one. I picked up brackets to mount the trailer lights at Copps. I found 4.5” steel brackets and they will be good for the light. Sturdy enough to take the bouncing that the trailer will do and weak enough to bend if they hit something. I installed them on the sides of the metal frame where I think other lights had been in the past. They are set back about 2” from the rear of the frame and 26” from the rear of the trailer. (Legal.) I am still going to add a set of lights to the box.  I’m rethinking where to place those. I may put them near the top of the trailer. That way I can see them when I back up. Right now the trailer is too low to see at all. Unless your head is touching the roof of the car you can’t see it. I know the box will be visible but having the lights up higher will let me judge distance while backing up. Being up higher will also help them stay whole. IE… Not get hit on stuff when I back up. It was windy today so we went sailing after having supper at the yacht club. I had a Falafel and the girls had french fries. Healthy! Well the sailing probably was.

Tonight I took a deposit on my 04 SAAB 9-5 ARC. It’s going to get a new windshield next week and when buddy gets back with the rest of the $ it’s going to his house. He will love it!


We won. Deck is on.

Posted on

Painted the frame of the trailer this morning and removed a couple side lights. My favorite Princess store has trailer light wiring kits that have side marker lights included for $20… So that’s what I’m going to do. I Plan to install the old tail lights on the fenders of the frame. Or maybe a little further back with some angle iron coming off the back. That may be the easiest.  After I painted the frame I let it dry for an hour and then got Heidi to help me put the bed back on the right side up. I positioned it in the spot where I want it to stay and drilled some holes to attach it to the frame.  I don’t know where I got my spade bit set from. I do know that it is a piece of junk! I used the ⅜ bit to drill the first hole and it bent. The spade part bent! Like a cork screw…? I thought I hit a screw so I went and got a good metal twist bit and finished the hole. No obstructions… On to the next hole and I started it with the twist bit. Then got my ½” spade out to widen the hole. It twisted too! Wow. Soft drill bits. That’s the best example of built in obsolescence I’ve ever seen! Get almost through a 2×4 and the bit is done… Off to get more… Not! I did finish the other 2 holes and really finished the two spade bits. Once done I got the bolts out and installed them. So Now the Toad trailer has a new deck! A sturdy one on which I can build a box to make the Toad Trailer.  I need to give the deck a coat of paint before it gets rained on. Jasmine had a friend over today for a play date. She wanted to put the garden hose in the tree house to make a water slide.  So I helped out and got them set up. It’s surprising how much faster the slide is when it is wet inside. The girls were shooting out the bottom. It was so fast that Mom put a stop to it… Awww. (Before I could get my bathing suit on…) So I resorted to just pointing the hose out of the upper window and spraying a mist for the girls to play in.  An Unlikely thing happened when I did that. Butterflies started coming and flitting around in the mist. Not one or two but 6 or 7. The girls loved them. They would land on them and sit for a few seconds then off again. Lots of fun! We raced the boat as a family again tonight. Only one other keel boat raced. (Thunderstorms were predicted for 7:30….) I figured hey it’s sailing. When we see the rain coming we will put the motor on and head back.  It only spit a little bit. No lightening or thunder. We won too! Because the other guy quit before we did. He had us if he would have kept going…

An eggshell glossy finish.

Posted on

I worked on the Mr Toad trailer bottom again today. First I added the two supports that I wanted in the center section. Then I installed aluminum corner brackets that I had cut out of the old bracket posts that came with the trailer. (See old photos…) Then I painted the whole thing. Tremclad gloss black. I didn’t use the gloss of the paint though.

I added some Penetrol and some Japan drier to the paint. The Penetrol to help it absorb into the wood and the Japan drier to help it harden. Tremclad is a paint that never really hardens… Funny that. (It seems like most rust paints stay a little soft…?) So I harden it with a chemical dryer. That knocks the gloss down to an eggshell finish. That’s fine with me because I was painting the bottom of the floor of the trailer.

I gave it 2 really good coats for added protection. It’s going to see a bunch of stuff flying up and hitting it so 2 coats is better than one when it comes to protecting wood. It is truly well coated now.

Next is to take the bottom off and paint the rest of the trailer frame. The parts that were missed when I painted with the aluminum dicing on.  I hit those areas with the wire wheel this morning so they are ready for paint now. All I need to do is remove the near floor and paint the frame. Then put the floor back on and bolt it to the frame.

I took Jasmine with me to get bolts at Laurie’s Fasteners. On the way we stopped at Lazer and got the fuel line I need and a primer bulb. The bolts I got are ⅜ x 5”. I wanted 4½” but they didn’t have any on the shelf so 5 it will be. They will work fine even if they are ½” longer than I need. I got 4 bolts, nuts, lock and flat washers and big fender washers. The box will be able to be easily removed by taking out the 4 bolts that hold it to the frame. Once I have it bolted down I will put stop blocks or angle iron at the back and front of the bottom of the box where the trailer bed ends. That will make for easy removals and set up. So I can slide the box on from the back and wait until it stops. Then pop the bolts in and go. All lined up automatically.

I am thinking right now about lighting. I’m ok legally to have the lights on the metal trailer frame near the back. (Less than 3’ overhang.) But I want a set of lights to the back of the box I’m building. That means I have to have 2 sets of lights to accomplish what I want. (A trailer with lights with the box or without.) So I will add a second plug somewhere along the box. Probably at the front. This will allow the lights on the box only to work when the box is on and the lights on the frame to work when the box is off.

While I was to getting bolts I took Jasmine. Heidi wanted to do some work so Squeaky came with me for two hours. (I was told… Take the girl and stay away for two hours…) Our first stop was McDonald’s for ice cream! After that we got the parts and went to the lake. We went to the day use area and went for a walk and explored the springs that we were at last winter. Jasmine now recalls them being cold. After that we went to the boat and Jasmine helped me tighten the screws in the windows.

The windows leak. (Don’t use silicone!) I used silicone… Bad choice. I hope that by tightening the screws that I have stopped the leaking. But I’m realistic. I know it’s may have slowed it down and that it could have made the leaking worse… I guess we’ll find out next rain.

When at the boat I recalled that I need to get new rubber washers for the keel pivot bolt and the keel hold down bolt. I went to call Laurie’s and ask but they were closed. We both lost track of time. It was 4:45. We left home at 1… So We packed up and came home for supper.

After supper I did some brush touching up on the spots I missed with the weenie roller. I got most of it with the roller but missed the odd crack in the corners. It’s done right now. Ready to take off tomorrow and paint the frame.

Free Sand Box! New trailers?

Posted on

I started my day with a task from Heidi. Get rid of the sand box. Jasmine’s sand box. I got it from the side of the road a block and a half away about 6 years ago. It has served us well. It was time for it to go now though.

I enlisted Jasmines help getting the toys and rocks out of it. She even took out one bucket of sand. I did one too then lifted it and dumped it. It’s a plastic one with a double door type lid. The lids keep the kitties out! Bad pooping kitties.

It’s flimsy when it’s empty and you are trying to carry it over your head. I took it out to the curb and took pictures of it. Then I put an ad on Kijiji. “Free Sand Box!” It was gone within 2 hours. I had one phone call and one email asking about it between the time it disappeared and me removing the ad. I didn’t find out where it went until later today. It’s a the neighbors house now. The little girls across the road have it. (I suggested we give it to them to Heidi but she thought they wouldn’t want it….)

I took apart the trailer for Mr. Toad this afternoon. I had to. It was held together by 4 different types of fasteners… That was just the decking… I’m not going to touch the other bolts holding the frame together. I can live with them all being different.

I wanted to remove the deck to allow air movement under the deck of the wood box I’m building. With the checker plate aluminum held to the steel frame with stainless hardware there was also some rusting and galvanic reacting happening. Both not good for such a cheaply built trailer. So off came the deck.

I wanted to get rid of the hex head bolts that stuck up about ½” too. They were in the way of where I wanted to put the 4×4 side rails.

I went out and got 2 4×4, 8’ long and 2 2×4, 8’ long and a sheet of ⅜ plywood. I put those on the top of the SAAB to get home. Before I go the wood I went to the shop and picked up my big work table. It’s just a 3×8’ piece of MDF on a 2×4 frame that I like to use for bigger projects. It’s a side of the road find too. (Years ago I was on my to purchase folding legs to make a table but found this along the way.) I wanted to use it because it is relatively flat. I could use 2 work benches but then I wouldn’t have a flat surface to fabricate the sides and top of the box I’m going to build.

I decided to make the box 40” wide instead of 48. Mostly because I would have to widen the deck of the trailer with 2×4 or 4×4. That would lift the total height too much. I want it to stay as low as I can get it.

I cut the plywood and trimmed the 4×4’s where they ran on the outer rail of the trailer frame. It sits 3/16 higher than the cross pieces so I just removed that material so the 4×4’s would sit flat on both pieces of the frame. When I had the 4×4’s in place I applied glue and started screwing the plywood down. Once it was attached I flipped it over and made 4 cross pieces 31 ¾ long out of the 2×4’s. I used the 2 leftover pieces to brace from the rear forward in the middle and same with the front back. I glued everything with polymer glue so it is never coming apart.

I still need to add 2 more length-ways supports tomorrow. It was getting near Jasmine bedtime and I didn’t want to make anymore noise.

I may have found a new utility trailer. I’m going to try to set a time to view it tomorrow. (It’s an hour out of town but the price may be perfect.)

One picture. Great Preformance.

Posted on

Another busy Sunday. I didn’t get to race…

The girls had a birthday party / pool party to attend at noon. I dropped them off at the home of Tao. He lives in Byron. It’s on the far east side of the city. We used Google to guide us to his place. Google said the quickest way was a long way…? We followed it anyway. (I should have looked on the map myself. I could have cut 10 min off the 21 min it took to get there…)

(On the way home I took the way I thought would be fastest. I was right. Much faster.)

After dropping the ladies off I went to the shop to do a few quick things. My plan was to hit the shop for 15 min then go sailing…

I got exactly none of the things I wanted to do done… I had to replace a pane of glass in one of the basement windows. The guy that cuts the grass…. (Rick) put a rock through the window the last time he cut the lawn… I found out today when I got there. So I went about fixing the window.

I have glass on hand at the shop left over from my contracting days. I also have a glass cutter. (Probably 3 or 4.) I took the window out and went to get my glass out and found that the piece I had that was big enough was broken… Just ¾ of an inch too small on the one side… So I went looking for more glass. I found some old storm windows that I don’t know where they came from so I took one apart and cut it. It broke the wrong way… So I got another one and cut it. It worked fine. I installed it with points and found I didn’t have any putty. So I used latex caulking. (Don’t try this at home folks. I’m a professional.) The caulking will hold for about 10 years before it needs replaced. It’s paintable too so I will hit it with some paint when I find the colour next…

I also fixed some baseboard that was coming off… Don’t know how that happens… I glued it on with construction adhesive. If it comes off again it will take the wall with it.

I finished up at the shop with 35 min to spare to get the girls. So I went to lunch at Piero’s Pizza. Mmmm. I figured that if the girls are having cake… I’m having Pizza.

I went and picked the girls up at 3 and we raced home to change to go to a performance by Ann Denney.

It was at a local coffee shop. East Village Coffee House. It’s a newish place in a rough part of town. (I used to live in the area when it was called crack alley… It was crazy back then! Crazy like: Hookers waving at me from the street…? I would even find used hypodermic needles on the lawn! I wouldn’t touch them. I would walk a couple doors over to the little strip mall and tell the guy that was sitting in the car that their was a needle at X spot on my lawn and to do something about it. He would just look at me strangely and say nothing… I just walked away like I didn’t know him.

Then I’d go home and wait. Any time in the next hour 2 uniformed police officers would walk down the street and casually pick up the needle, put it in a bag and keep walking like nothing was out of place… I don’t know who was sitting in the car. It seemed to always be the same 3 guys and they seemed to share about 4 different cars. I saw them every day. They also saw me every day. I only ever talked to them if I found a needle on the lawn. (About once a month!) They never said anything. I lived there for 3 years. It was interesting… The area has cleaned up a lot since then. A bunch of new shops have opened up and people are trying to revitalize the “Old East Village”. There still is a lot of drug traffic and petty crime in that area. But it’s getting a bit better. Slowly.

Ann’s singing was great.20150726_163513_HDR She is really good. Jasmien and Heidi both loved the performance. I did too. I just have been to a lot of things like that from when I used to date a jazz singer… (Long ago.) I took a Meerkat shot for Twitter and posted it. One person actually saw it and liked it. (If you have an Iphone check out Beme. It’s like Meerkat but a little different. Better I think. I can’t wait for it to come out on Android.)

We got to the coffee house in time to catch the 2nd set. I got Heidi and myself coffee and Jasmine a huge rice crispie square. (About 4 times the size that a normal person would make.)

When we got home Heidi noticed a wet spot in the basement… Below the fridge… Hmm.

I pulled out the fridge and found my waterline connection to be leaking a tiny bit. So I set to fix it.

I use a brass compression fitting to attach the copper line to the plastic fridge line and the brass compression ring inside went a little wonky when I tightened it. So I cut it off and installed another brass compression ring. It went in sideways too. Leaked worse now… (The rings compress so they are a one shot deal.)

So off I went at 7 pm to get a new ¼” compression ring. The only hardware store open at 7 pm on a Sunday is the orange one. I couldn’t find anyone in plumbing to ask about a 3” offset toilet flange so I just grabbed the package of 3 rings and left. (Ask for a 3” offset toilet flange sometime. See what happens… I’ve been told many times that such a thing doesn’t exist… By the plumbing guy… One can find the mystical flange on the bottom rack with the rest of the toilet flanges…)

I replaced the compression ring when I got home. It doesn’t leak anymore.

Cold water and fresh ice cubes… Heaven!

Posted on

No photos yet. I’ve been getting rid of some old ones but WordPress still says I have used too much space…

I did something I have been planing on doing since we got our new fridge. I was reminded when Heidi said she was going to buy ice cube trays at the grocery store…. Hmm I was thinking that I could fix that thing… Oh Yea the fridge makes Ice… But it’s not hooked up… The water that is.

I got online and looked for schematic drawings for our fridge. Specifically the water lines. I didn’t have much luck. Mostly because I didn’t feel like going and checking out our model # on the back of the fridge.

So I thought heck why don’t I just try something… What can go wrong…? (Water spraying for the time it takes me to get from turning it on in the basement to the kitchen and back again to turn it off. Maybe 2 gallon (5L?). So I got to it.

The problem is I won’t spend $100 for a filter for our fridge. And I won’t spend $30 for a bypass plug that goes where the filter goes… So I planned to bypass the filter thing all together.

I just cut the line coming from the filter and attached the water in line to it. (Rocket science!)

I was thinking that because this fridge is electronic it should know when there’s water in the system. I was hoping that it didn’t sense water at the filter. (If I designed the GE fridge I would have the sensor their so guys like me can’t do what I did. They would have to buy a $100 filter…)

Turns out that the engineers didn’t think like me.

The water now works in the fridge! Our tap is in the right door of the fridge on the wall. It’s a blue button that you press and a little tube that the water squirts out of. Jasmine loves this feature now! Fresh cold water from the fridge.

Lately I have noticed a rubber hose taste from the kitchen tap. First I thought the water from the outside hose was siphoning back into the system but soon ruled that out when I was rinsing dishes with the little squirty hose and then filled a glass of water with the same hose… It was terrible! Tasted just like the hose. So I dumped it and tried filling from the same kitchen tap.

The taste was gone… Why?

I tried a little later with my next glass of water. Just the tap and it was bad… Then I ran the squirty hose and then filled from the tap again. The taste was gone! So It was the squirty hose that is making the water taste bad… (It’s a Delta tap and guaranteed for life so I’m going to see if they cover the hose breaking down in that warranty. I think they should.)

A little while after I got the water working I heard a wonderful sound… The ice maker making ice! It’s now happily making me ice cubes for my smoothies. Just in time for the hot weather!

Cold water and fresh ice cubes… Heaven! (Picture crystal clear Ice cubes…)

We went out sailing this afternoon. It was windy. 15km/h wind with 25km/h gusts. Perfect for the Siren to sail in. We had fun for about 2 hours and then headed home for supper. Good timing on our part because a thunderstorm started right after I got the chicken on the BBQ.

The whole chicken took about an hour to cook and was delicious.

I worked on my gas powered drill in the garage while it cooked. I had to use a cold chisel to remove the screws that hold the fuel tank on. I didn’t cut the screws off but turned them out with the chisel. It worked great. I now need to get new screws to hold the new tank on. The old tank had 2 holes in it that weren’t put there by the manufacturer… A buddy gave me an old weed eater motor that has a tank so I’m going to use that. Unless I can find parts close to home. (I’ll throw it in the car and take it to Lazer when I go for the fuel line of the other things. It need fuel line too.)

No. You can’t see this.

Posted on

I took some great pictures today. I just can’t show them to you.

My free WordPress account is full. Topped up to almost bursting. Who would have guessed that was coming. Almost a year of daily blogging with photos and here we are. No more photos.

For a bit anyway. I am going to go through and remove a bunch and keep posting them when I have some time. That will get me to having my PayPal account with enough $ in it to pay for a pro account on WordPress. (I’m putting $ into boats now. That’s the #1 priority.) This is crazy… It takes 8 business days for $ to be put into my account. I do a bank transfer from my chartered bank account and it takes 8 business days! PayPal is making some serious $ (Interest) on my $ over those 8 business days! (I’ll have to try transferring some $ from my Swiss account and see how long it takes…)

So imagine Mr Toad strapped to the top of the SAAB out at Fanshawe Lake. Now imagine Heidi in the front of the canoe and Jasmine in Mr Toad both happily paddling. Then imagine us on the beach on the far side of the lake. The big Coyote footie prints in the sand. Fresh too…

Before all that I was at the shop getting the toad trailer out of the shed. I had to put it back together before I could tow it home. I’m going to build a box for Mr Toad so he can live at the yacht club and not in the back porch. He will be much handier to use if he is stored out there.

I have a bunch of the materials I need to start building the box for the trailer so I will get going on that. The materials are stored in the roof of the garage here at Heidi’s. I just need to get them down from up there… That will be fun!

I didn’t get to the window in the car yet… Hopefully I do before it brakes.

We had a great time out at the lake today.