Well, the fence guy got most of the new posts set, and we talked about double gate designs for a while. Haven't gone too deep into it, and all we agreed on was that it allow a 12~14' wide truck back there, and be made sturdy and well supported, with probably 3 hinges per side, "Heavy Duty American Iron" construction, and a really good, beefy latch. He said "Oh, like in a horse stable?", and then we went off on another tangent....
Unpacked more stuff. Busted down more boxes. Separated usable bubble-wrap from all the packing material my wife was just stuffing into boxes. Put a new entryway table together. Cut all the tags off the new furniture. Went to Home Depot for another $185 worth of stuff.
And then the kitchen remodel guy showed up. Really cool guy. He's worked as a finish carpenter, a framer, a furniture builder, and on, and on, and on.....kinda like SiliconGraybeard and me! He showed us work his place has done, and showed us what's available.
I've never done a kitchen before, other than to replace an appliance to croaked, or plug in a new one. The most complicated kitchen project I initiated was the tile kitchen floor in the Long Beach house. So getting in a guy who does first-class work, and who has a very good sense of "design for usability AND beauty", and talking to him with my wife there, was more than a little interesting. He's done a few houses in our neighborhood in the last year, and remembers when the subdivision was being built in the late 1970's. We talked about cabinet design, space, height and width, space, how many drawers, how much SPACE......pardon me for being male chauvinist pig, but today I realized a woman's kitchen is like a guy's garage in a lot of ways. We both run out of SPACE to keep our "tools" and "equipment" in. She wonders why I have TWO rolling cabs of tools, and another set of specialty "electronics" tools. I wonder why the kitchen, which has more cabinets than any kitchen I've ever had access to, is so short of SPACE to her.
Oh, well....another mystery of life.
Then we talked price, and he asked her what the maximum price she was willing to pay was, and she said "oh....$15k?", whereupon he smiled and said he didn't think he could do it for that. He told her that to get good quality cabinets, and incorporating the other work that she wanted done, he could do it for $30k.
The wife went all glassy-eyed, and I smiled. I knew it would be over $15k, but had thought it could be "contained" at $20k.
She recovered gracefully, though and told him she'd have to save up a bit more, and this would be a "next year" project. Might be $35k by then, but she doesn't want to spend the $$ right now, and I agree 100%. We DO NOT need the added stress of a full-bore kitchen remodel this soon after the move.
And it looks like I'll have to go with "Plan B" for the tower/antenna project "next year". Now that the cottonwood is out of there, I see that the perfectly healthy, happy ash tree is in the way. No way could I swing a decent sized beam on a 40' tower right up against the house.
And no way am I going to cut down a good tree! We're getting it injected to protect it from some kind of ash-specific tree blight that got started in Boulder and is due here "next year".
So, the tree stays, and the antenna project gets scaled down a notch. I'm recalculating for a free-standing 30' tower with a very low windload antenna a few feet above that, probably a Hex Beam. Bye-bye 40-footer and KT34....oh, well......
Tomorrow being Veteran's Day, a lot of the museum ships and military museums will have an Amateur Radio special event, or just be on-the-air. I told my wife last week I wanted to try and contact the Iowa. She agreed, so I dug my trusty Elecraft K2/100Watt radio out, sorted all the cables, and started setting up my portable station on a folding table in the sun room. My BuddiPole/BuddiStick antenna system is sitting next to the radio, and I can't find the doggone cable to connect the power supply to the RigRunner power distribution panel! DUH! Then I remembered a couple of years ago when the portable HF radio tub was in the Jeep, and I was at the Iowa. One of the power supplies in the Ham station had croaked, and they were trying to find something to use.
Yep.......I gave them the Astron SS-30 supply I had in the tub, and it had a jumper with PowerPoles on it to feed a RigRunner, because that's what everybody uses. I eventually bought another supply and a jumper, and only put the supply in the tub, forgetting about the cable.
Now somewhere in the bowels of the basement is a cardboard box that has one of those cables in it. Probably take me ALL DAY to find that box. I could drive down to the HRO store in Denver and buy one, and then drive back. That might take, oh....ALL DAY.
Then I saw my Big Box Of Wire in the garage and dug out some 10ga "paired" red/black cable. I have ring lugs the correct size, and I have an assortment of PowerPole connectors.
Where's my crimp set? RATS! It's up the road a piece in the shop where our little apartment was. Oh, well..."Fantomworks" is on tonight so maybe I'll watch that. Just glad I didn't NEED that little radio system for a real emergency. Real red face over getting caught flat-footed like that.
So, Saturday morning, I'm gonna cruise on up there, getting a cup of coffee at the one little store I bought coffee at every day for 6 weeks when we first moved here, and continue on up the road to the kid's place, and get my tools. Stop in and see the little guy if he's up, or at least get to see the mutts.
And as long as I'm up there getting my tools and connectors, I'm also going to bring back my big Astron VS-35M linear power supply, which has an already made 10ga power cable with PowerPoles already on it because it was the main supply for the station in Long Beach.
And I'll probably make up a few of those jumpers and stick them in all my radio "go boxes". "Two-is-one" and all that.....
My next door neighbor, a retired electronics engineer named Jim, is also a Ham, and was asking the other day if he could come over when I operated on Veteran's Day. He got his license in 1962, a year before I got mine. We started talking about tube gear and I mentioned I had a Drake 4-line that was in the process of being reactivated, and he really lit up. And he's interested in satellites, so I think I might have new friend.
And the wife was talking to another neighbor who told her out here kitchen remodels START at $30k and can easily go over $50k if you include all new appliances and any "custom" stuff, so that made her feel less Sticker Shocked.
Happy Veteran's Day, and I'll be on-the-air looking for special event stations.