Lots of geese

Today we took a greyhound bus home from Saskatchewan, it wasn’t a bad trip but on the bus a five hour trip can easily take more than ten hours. We left the Jetta because it needed a left front axle shaft and a wheel bearing. Actually it only needed a axle shaft but the way t vibrated when driving and came and left when swerving left and right I was sure it needed a wheel bearing. After disassembly and inspection of both parts it required both parts. So the car is there and we are here, we’ll get back there in a week or two to fix it.

There’s lots of snow geese in Saskatchewan, we saw a few flocks that had more than five thousand birds in them, it was unbelievable. The picture doesn’t do it justice, this was a small flock. It’s snow goose season there as well, and if the limits are the same as they are here, it’s 15 you can shoot per day and 45 per person in the freezer. I should take my shotgun when we go back to get the other car.

Happy birthday Theo

Happy birthday Theo. Today I bought a ultra cheap gps receiver for the computer from the local computer store, the thing was $25 but it did not come with any cables. It took a while but I got it figured out, so for anyone else who has a GPS-201 and doesn’t want to buy a cable from the company that made it the solution is  you need to get a female PS/2 connector and a DB9 connector from  a computer or electronics store.

The pins are PS/2:

  1. ground
  2. Vcc   +5 volts
  4. RS232 RX
  5. RS232 TX


  1. Ground
  4. RX
  5. TX

All you need is ground to ground, RX to TX, and TX to RX, and the com port you use won’t supply a 5V Vcc I got it from a external power supply, you may be able to get it from a USB port, an internal wire form the power supply, a voltage regulator powered from your car’s electrical system, or wherever you want to get it from. I plan to use this to feed GPS information into my fish finder rather than having to bring my Garmin GPS with me, I’ll find 5V somewhere.

I hooked it to the computer and ran the test program and it gave me the NEMA (I think it’s nema) information on the screen, told me what satellites it was using and the current location, speed, elevation, and time. I can’t complain for $25 plus one $3.99 cable. And one night of doing.

Building day 44

Today we installed a few windows, well actually the rest of them. It took some designing but we got it done. We took a 2X4 and cut a slot into it with the table saw, then drilled holes in a piece of angle iron, and attached the 2X4 to the metal with wood screws. We then put the nailing strip of the window into the 2X4 , and made some more bracketry. It’s best to see the pictures.

The windows were put into the bracket while inside the house, then brought outside with the tractor, after that they were hood to the pulley system that we used for everything. The rope from the pulley system was attached to the truck (the windows were heavy) and the truck was driven to lift the window into place. with a few hand signals the window was placed accurately into the wall. It all went well, and was done in one afternoon.

Building day 43, maybe

Well it’s been busy doing birthday things this last week (I’m 30 now) and I haven’t done anything significant but I thought I’d throw some current pictures on here and tell you all about the breakfast that I ate today. And say happy birthday to my friend Dave. Happy birthday Dave T



Well they’re out of order but as the story goes, I put up some house wrap, it was not really windy at all but the stuff likes to fight you all the way, we (Tre and I) made a boat out of some scrap OSB and wood it kept us busy, and we both needed a break.

The progress so far is: the windows are half put in, and I’ve put electrical device boxes in the ceiling for lights.

As for breakfast, Jen, Tre, and I went to the harvest moon cafe, it was excellent, I had a lobster, asparagus and brie Omelet with toast, it was the best. I always get takeout coffee from them, it’s the best coffee I’ve had. I recommend this place, top marks.

Building day 39

I haven’t been doing much building lately as I’ve had a cold or the flu. I get tired easily and things feel three times heavier than they are, I’ve stayed home to do income taxes, and the final electrical plan. Aaron showed me this program called sketchup, it’s a free download from Google. It works like AutoCAD but it’s easier and very easy to do three dimensional drawings. I whipped up a quick three dimensional walkthrough of the house to see what it will look like inside. I haven’t shown it to anyone except Tre; he was very impressed. I highly recommend the program, it’s fun to play with, I think I’m going to use it to design the cupboards and cabinets for the kitchen with it.

Today at the house I installed the side and front doors, they were a bit heave and awkward, but they’re in now. I had to call Cory for the low down on shimming doors and the finer details of installation. He must have given me good instructions, I put them in without problems. And I installed the locksets and keyed them alike.

One thing that I learned about home wrap is that you absolutely must have it tight against the house or the wind will tear it to pieces, I got there today and the West side of the house was flapping, and the piece that we put on the north side was doing the same. The parts that were flapping were Tuck taped but the tape was gone and the ends were shredded. I’d love to tear it off and start over but the stuff is too expensive for me, it’s more than a dollar per linear foot, I’m even saving the scraps for doing the gable ends. I pulled it as much as I could and gave it lots of staples, I’m thinking that I won’t do the upper half of the house until we decide to install the vinyl siding, that way we can put the house wrap up and the siding will help hold it in place and protect it from wind.

I normally try to avoid mentioning brand names on the website, but I’ll make an exception today; I bought some Weiser locksets that have what they named, “smart key technology”. The deal is that you can re-key the locks in a matter of seconds. The way it works is you insert the working key (KEY A) and turn it clockwise 90 degrees, then you insert the special tool in a slot, then you remove the old working key (KEY A), and insert the new key that you want to work (KEY B), turn the new key counterclockwise 90 degrees and remove it. The result is that key B, now works and key A does not work any more. It works great, I re-keyed all the locks so that one key opens all of them, it took only the time that it takes to walk from one door to the next. It’s also good because I’m going to give my keys to contractors, when they’re all done I can easily re-key the locks, plus I’ll only need one key to open any lock on the property because I key them all to the same key. They’re good looking locks as well, they come in many styles. And they get the highest security rating for residential locks. I’m sold on them, they were easy to install for a first time installer, top marks for Weiser.

I found out that I have big concrete problems, all gravel roads and regular highways in our Municipality have road weight restrictions on them, our road had a restriction of 65% of normal axle loads on it, what this means is that I probably can’t get an empty cement truck to our house, and I definitely can’t get a full one, or a pumping truck there; so no concrete until June 1.