Friday, March 23, 2012

Pipe Dream (well, nightmare)

   When I built the cabin I hit a water pipe with a nail...  Even though I'd protected them with nail plates at every stud.  The first nail out the nail gun bent, so I pulled it and tried again.  And again.  The third nail made its way through the nail plate into the pipe.  Pssshhhh!  Uhoh.  You can't see the nail plates, they're under the sheer panel.
    So, this time around, I was careful to run every pipe through the exact center of  2x6 walls.  The nails simply can't reach the pipe.  Well, except for an area of about 6 square inches where the pipe had to go around the sewer line coming down the wall.  That's 6 square inches out of 1600 square feet  That puts the odds at 1:38,400 for each nail fired.  So, shoot enough nails and get in rush mode before the snowstorm hits, what do you get?

    At least it was a pretty easy fix this time.
  I was able to get a special pipe cutter in there---it clips around the pipe like a knob and you just keep turning it until it cuts the pipe.  I cut on either side of the hole .  A few feet to the left of the fix, the pipe turns and goes way up the wall so I had plenty movement to work with.  Normally you have to cut out a section and put in a new section with a coupling at each end.  They do make a nifty 5/8" pipe that you can use as a really long slip coupling.  I bought one for my repair kit.
  Construction projects have been burned to the ground by plumbing fixes.  Hot fire in enclosed wooden boxes, with all the water shut off.  Go figure.  I tood a scrap of the cemetitious soffit material and used it as a backer to protect the wood----worked great.  It's now part of the same repair kit.
    Here's the repair and the section I had to cut out.  I couldn't have hit that thing more square.  

This is the most recent picture
     There's not too much exterior siding left to do.  I will have to move the scaffolding over to this side to finish it off.  The yellow board over the fire sprinkler panel is where I hit the pipe, which is why work stopped there.  To the right, that's as high as I can reach without the scaffold

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Times They Are A Changin' (Back)

   When I started doing focus group work for DHS before it WAS DHS, I did it for the free travel.   As responsibilities back home increase, time away becomes more and more difficult---but my role here has gotten to a point that I actually look more forward to the meetings and what we accomplish more than anything else.   This was very productive.
   The reason I was brought to DC had nothing to do whatsoever with an assessment of public perception of the current executive branch and solely represents a rather biased observation through red tinted glasses.
    Last time I was in DC was before the last election.  There was an Obama mania going on.  Ongoing rallies, posters, buzz in the bars (people here are far more politically interested than on the west coast)---there was a real tide of  'Hope and Change'.  I'd try to pin people down to specifics but there weren't any, and everyone had their own ideas of what 'Hope and Change' actually meant----the campaign was genius in its vagueness; no one dug deep into what the message was or even who the candidate was.
    This trip was very, very different.
     Not much in the way of Obama stickers around.  There were quite a few like this, if you looked--worn away or maybe even scraped partially off.  I couldn't really pick up on any one hot topic while talking to locals, except that it was too cold out (so much for global warming--people were lamenting last time that there would be no more cherry blossoms on the national mall due to a lack of freeze).  There was more talk about Isreal than the upcoming election.
   In front of the White House there was a good sized protest of Obama policies towards Isreal.  (The tent and posters in the foreground aren't part of the rally---that's an anti nuke guy that's taken up residence there.   How that's allowed, I don't know)
   So, coming direct from the belly of the beast, Obama's got his work cut out for him this time around.  People will demand substance, and hopefully will actually scrutinize numbers and claims.  Incumbancy IS a huge boost with the bully pulpit and all, but people aren't fainting and swooning in his mere presence anymore