Friday, July 29, 2022

Lots of Scanner Radio Traffic Today

 Some kind of accident down by Greeley on US34 requiring two Lifeline flights, numerous cars with expired plates, two of them involved in the same accident, and several SAR teams out looking for lost people.

The award goes to a young woman pulled over for a traffic violation, and she had EIGHT Failure-To-Appear warrants out on her, all with $500~$1000 bonds, over the past year. Most were in different jurisdictions, and all said she was to be extradited.

Wonder who gets first pick?

She was in custody (again), her car was impounded and towed, and a special call was made for an officer to "recover" her license plates which were, you guessed it, expired.

If times are tight, and they are, I can see people letting their vehicle registration slide to pay the rent and feed the kids. Too bad it's going to cost them an additional expense to get things cleared up. Most of the cars were older "small sedan"types, and none of them were on expensive vehicles.


And work proceeds apace on the Pioneer cassette deck. The entire tape transport mechanism has been disassembled, cleaned, lubed, adjusted, and all worn parts replaced. Took considerably longer than I expected, but this is the first one I've taken "down to the frame" to rebuild, and it was a very good learning experience. I had to get a set of spring scales to make some of the adjustments, but fortunately I had all the teeny-tiny metric sockets, wrenches, and hex driver bits from the R/C car stuff. I'll need the spring scales when I go through my TEAC reel-to-reel deck, so they were "needed".

 I'm doing some cosmetic/cleaning work on it now, and I'll get it reassembled and move on the electronic side of things this weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Three Inches of Rain....

 Not here, we only received 1.7", but there's been well over three inches of rain in parts of Larimer County, and some surrounding areas received 6".

And it all came in a couple of hours.

And there's more to come this afternoon and evening.....

Monday, July 25, 2022

Still Here, Still Busy.....

 Been keeping quite occupied doing Grandpa stuff, yard work, and stereo repair. I'm just about finished with the transport mechanism in the Pioneer cassette deck I bought a while back, and it's been tedious, exacting work. It's the first "real" cassette deck I've ever worked on at this level, and it's been a good learning experience for future use. Should have some pix tomorrow.

And I've got everything staged for the Great Antenna Installation that'll be coming up in the coming week.

Little Miss Pebbles The Wonder Dog had surgery last Monday to remove a nasty looking growth on her side. Yes, it's The Big C, but the prognosis is excellent for a dog her age, and the Vet said these growths rarely come back at her age, and she should be OK.

-Whew!-

TLG has been cruising his electric Batmobile around, and Sunday morning's expedition saw him wearing his full Batman costume while SLW escorted him around.

Y'all take care, and I'll have some posts this week....

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Empty Nest....Again....

 SLW and I have been helping my son get moved into his new place the last few days. He rented a small U-Haul trailer to get his stuff out of the storage unit, and into his new place, and also for the larger stuff he had here. Today we moved the rest of the smaller items, and SLW measured everything for window coverings. She already has plans to "help" him make it more homey.

It's a small place, one large bedroom, a nice sitting area, a smaller room, and a large kitchen. All the cabinets and sink in the kitchen are new, as are the fridge, dishwasher, furnace, and water heater. The washer/dryer are commercial units by Amana. It's a "basement" apartment, but only about half is below grade. The upstairs people say the apartment he's in is cool in the summer, and doesn't need much heat in the winter. They're moving into a bigger place, so they gave him a kitchen table and chairs, and said they had some other things, like shelves, that they weren't taking, so he's welcome to those, too.

It's in a decent neighborhood. The houses are all kept up nice, the lawns mowed, and no trashcans to be seen. He'll be less than two miles to where he works, compared to 30something from here. He'll save a ton on gas, and no longer has a $150/month payment to the storage place.

We're hoping he'll do fine there, as it's his first place all on his own, and he has a safety net (us) within a reasonable distance.

The dog already misses him (as do we), and TLG will definitely miss him.

Special thanks to Well Seasoned Fool, who has been a great help in advising him on where, and where not to, live in the area.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Gates Are Finished, And More "Small Steps"

 The gates have been completed, and we've already used the new gate on the North side several times.

Makes it MUCH easier to access the backyard when you're in the front.

 

The small shed will go back here late Fall, early Spring.

I'll get one big enough to hold the garden tools and some other items, but small enough to allow easy access to the gate.

The next project will be to get this basement egress window well squared away.

It's been like this since we bought the house almost five years ago, and we're thankful it hasn't gotten any worse.

The aluminum tower is my antenna mount for my satellite antennas. Still not sure what I'll do with it.

And over on the South side of the house, we have the replacement gates.

From the back:

And from the front: 

These should be strong enough to withstand the storms we get here, but I'm still going to use a ratchet strap in the Winter.

Both Little Guys were over for their visit today, and the littlest one is right on the edge of full-fledged walking. He can take three or four steps before he goes down on his rear end, but if he can have one hand on something, it's off to the races!

Just about finished rebuilding the transport mechanism for the Pioneer cassette deck I've been working on. It was dirtier than first examination revealed, so *everything* had to be taken apart, cleaned of old grease and grunge, and put back together. 

And it almost takes a Watchmaker's skill to do so! Many small plastic washers *of various thicknesses* that have to go back where they came from to keep the clearances In Spec, tiny springs and screws, and .....GASP! Numerous "E-Clips" to hold things together.

These things:

One trick I've learned over the years is to have a small, powerful magnet in your hand when you pop them off the shaft. They have a tendency to go sailing across the room, and they're a PITA to find teen-tiny ones in the carpet! The magnet keeps them from getting away, and is a good 'storage space' for them.

My son signed the lease on an apartment today, so he'll be moving out. Living here, he's 30some miles away from where he works. His new place is TWO MILES from his shop. He'll be driving far less, and burning much less fuel. He also won't need to continue renting his storage space, so that's another savings.

I'll sure miss having him around, though.

Y'all have a great weekend, and Be Safe Out There....





Friday, July 8, 2022

Gate and Post Progress, and Grandson MkII's First Steps!

 First things first....

Yesterday when Both TLG MkI* and TLG MkII were over, the MkI was out with Grandma, and the MkII was with me. I'd been holding both his hands and walking him around, but he still needed assistance. He was standing at the entrance to the sunroom, holding on to the door jamb, when he heard Grandma and MkI come in. He turned to their voices, and let go of the doorjamb, and took two full steps, before he realized he didn't know what he was doing, and promptly made a graceful landing on his rear end. Sat down, actually.

Then he turned back towards me and let out big giggle. Just amazing to watch another little human develop.


AND......on the "Fence Front", we have some major progress.

Here's the posts and pickets for the fence part of the new North gate. Yes, it's a small gate.:

Some weird sorcery of light sources and shadows altered the perspective, making it appear to be crooked/misaligned. Trust me...it's STRAIGHT!

Here's the South gate, with the old gate panels temporarily screwed into place so Pebbles can't slip the surly bonds of the backyard.

New 6x6 ( ! ) posts waiting for the concrete to cure:

 

Quite a difference in anchor posts, eh?


And over on the other side of the backyard, we have two new antenna support posts installed. I'll layout the pilot holes I have to drill after the concrete cures.

 

Sited exactly where I wanted them:


This will get rid of the clutter of tripods, masts, guy lines, deadweight anchors, and coax that currently clog the patio area.

Hope y'all have a pleasant weekend, and be safe out there!


* "TLG" is "The Little Guy", our first grandson. When the second one came along I decided that rather than have two, separate, cumbersome acronyms, I'd just keep one, and designate them as "MkI" and "MkII" for convenience

Thursday, July 7, 2022

"South" Gate Replacement, and New "North" Gate Project Starts On Friday

 Hip-Hip....HOORAY! We're finally getting the infamous "South 40" gate replaced after 5 years of struggling with it.

This thing was a Charlie Foxtrot from the get-go. It wound up being double the original "verbally quoted" price, but we were in a bind as the fence had to be down for the bucket truck to get in there and remove the dead cedarwood tree. When that was done, I thought it would be a good idea to have the single walk-through gate replaced with a double gate that would allow a big truck back there to erect the planned tower. The doofus made the gate plenty wide (14', cuz that's what he remembered as the width of a county road), but never built it strong enough. The seven foot wide gate panels were hung with "Home Depot Quality" hardware, and the lags would loosen up, causing the gates to sag.

Eventually, the holes got elongated so much that even the "toothpicks-and-glue" trick wouldn't work. He also built the gates to the grade, rather than properly grading it and having a "straight" bottom.

The new gates will be anchored with 6x6 cedar posts rather than the standard 4x4, and be of metal construction with wheels on the bottom, with cedar pickets mounted to it. Kind of like what I've always called a "corral gate" or a "stock gate", which is what I wanted in the first place. So, there will be some proper grading and landscaping done to allow the gates to properly work.


BUT....starting tomorrow, he'll be working on the North fence panel, which will be moved towards the street about 9', and turned into a gate for easy backyard access from that side of the house.

View from the street:

And from the backside:

All the mulch in the front is wasted space, so moving the panel towards the street and making it a gate will free up space in the back to put in a small garden shed to keep the gardening tools in. As it is now, with the tools stored in the garage, you either have to walk the tools through the house, and out the sunroom/radio area, *OR*, fight with the gate to get it open, and then fight to secure it closed so Pebbles can't make a break for it.

SO.......since he'll be here tomorrow digging holes and planting poles, I'm going to have him install the two 4x4 8' long posts I've had in the garage "since forever".

One post will go a few feet "this way" from the long mast, and the other will go off the end of the patio slab, behind where the kettle is sitting. The far post will be the new home of the 20 Meter vertical, and the other post will be for a discone antenna. This means the long-wire antenna will be coming down, and the center support for it will be repurposed to mount the 6 Meter vertical.

I'll paint it camo, and nobody will ever know it's there.......




Friday, July 1, 2022

RAIN! Glorious RAIN!! And Happy Independance Day!

 

 


 Ahhhhh....so nice to smell it coming in, feel the temperature drop and the wind pick up.....and then it comes. Gently at first, and then it turns into the first really good downpour of the year. By the time it turned back into a nice, steady drizzle to when it stopped (for now?) was almost an hour. I'd give you a reading from my weather station, but it hasn't recorded any rainfall! The rain measurement consists of two modes, individual increments, and a "Storm Mode", which sees it raining, decides "Oh, this is a storm", and records the rainfall for a "Storm Event", which means it doesn't end that mode until it hasn't detected any rain for a (user adjustable) time. Since they're stored in separate registers, I'm thinking my software is only reading the "Storm Event" register, and reporting it. Something I have to look into when I rebuild the little server PC and install a fresh load of the latest release of Kubuntu, a Debian-based distribution of "The Linux Operating System". The little server has been chugging along for 272 days without a reboot or update. I can't update it because I picked a version of Kubuntu that did not have Long term Support, and I missed the window to upgrade it to a newer version. It could be updated, but it would be far too much work. I'll grab all the weather data off it before I wipe it.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the city's fireworks display, so The Kids and both Little Guys will be over, as we have an "open space" area in this neighborhood that provides a very good view. He's been getting do good at driving my little R/C truck, that I went out and got another one so we could chase each other around the backyard.

Not quite the "International Race of Champions", but I was getting tired of him waxing my tail when he had the truck, and I had one of his other "Radio Controlled" (barely) toys. Hey, equal equipment for all! These are excellent beginner's R/C models as they have full proportional steering and throttle, compared to the "Bang-Bang" controllers his other vehicles have.

And we'll be flying the flag this weekend in remembrance of a day long ago, in a country far, far away...


UPDATE.......

The rain collection bucket had some trash in it, blocking the entrance to the tipper bucket inside the housing. It had a whole lotta water in it, and after I cleared the hole, it indicated .35" of rain, so yep, we got some rain!


Pioneer CT-F950 Reel Motor Rebuild

 As I mentioned yesterday, the first electrical issue I ran across in rebuilding this deck is that it kept dropping out of Play. A bit of sl...