Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Sing

Here she is at University Kids Daycare singing with her class:

We talked with Clara's Mom and it looks like we will be able to get her enrolled with Clara for Swim Classes. Yay!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Incrementally more Sophia

Proving myself to be incapable of doing what little I do set out to do, (post more photos of the birthday and my Grand Portlandian Adventure) I will stem the tide of naysayers with this tidbit of video. BEHOLD! Sophia riding the mighty steam engine of the West Jordan Jumpin' Jacks!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sophia is Three!

Well we had Sophia's third birthday party at Jumpin' Jacks in West Jordan and I have many photos that I will get up probably tomorrow I just wanted to do a mini update and show off her new bed and some other photos I really liked quickly.

Here she and Abbey are slidin' at Jumpin' Jacks:


Here's her and Zane tranced out on Thanksgiving day:

Thanksgiving trance

And here's her "Big Girl Bed" I spent today putting together. (You're killing me, Ikea!) I picked it up yesterday, despite a dead battery. I may not be good at asking people for help, but opening up my hood and getting out the jumper cables seemed to do the trick without me having to go up and ask someone, hee hee! Sophia seems delighted with the new bed, but we'll have to see how it goes on it's inaugural run tonight.

Big Girl Bed

Oh, on the topic of the water heater sacrificial anode - I got it out, and don't believe it needs to be replaced yet. So I'll check it again next October and perhaps replace it then. I also have all my lovely Portland photos to blog about - that was much more enjoyable a trip than I had expected. More tomorrow.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Halloween approaches!

Just haven't posted in awhile so I thought I'd throw up some pictures. I still need to blog about putting in the bathroom vent, hah! Sophia has moved up to the three year olds class and is slowly starting to get potty trained thanks to the wondrous bribery of M&Ms.

Here's a cute shot of her being her dynamic self:

Twist & Shout Sophia

Here she is with me and Coco getting maximum use of her new bathrobe and witch hat:

Sophia, Daddy, and Coco

Oh, and I pressure washed the back deck and touched up the stain job from last year. Every year I do this Trex (or a concrete pad) looks like a better deal.

Fleshly stained Deck.

Another view:

Profile View

I'll blog more about replacing the sacrificial Anode in the water heater when I get that done.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Time Travelin' Sophia

Here's the latest batch of daycare pictures - only $75.00 this time! The kid is too stinkin' cute, and Abbey's height calculator says she's gonna be 6'3" when she's full grown. Aye caramba.

With Flowers

What a charmer


Angels are REAL!

Is this cool?

I hope those aren't Mardi Gras beads...

Tea Time!

Fancy a spot of tea, Guv'nor?

Horsey is hungry

Oh, hai!  I was just gonna give this apple to the horse.

Intriguing Apple...

Maybe I'll eat it myself...

Literacy is overrated.

Why doesn't this book have any pictures?!

Best one.

With a parasol

She can now climb on top of the cab of my truck unaided. I found this out when I was alone with her and I was trying to work on my bike and replace the rear dérailleur tension pulleys. She was playing at her sand and water workstation toy set and I got really involved with the repair for about 5 minutes and didn't look up. I go to check on her, since she's not at the station and "Hi Daddy! I did it!" there she is on top of my truck. Oy vey. Well at least I know she ain't slow.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Bike Helmet for me: $40
New Bike Helmet for Sophia: $40
Bike Lock for Abbey: $13
New rear skewer to accommodate bike trailer: $16
Bike Trailer: $100
New Pedals with one side SPD, the other side a standard foot platform: $80
New Tubes and touring Tires for Abbey's Mt. Bike: $102
New tensioning pulleys to replace cracked ones: $45
Degreasing spray to clean up bikes we haven't rode in 10 years: $20
New tubes for my bike for peace of mind: $12
New rechargeable batteries for my bike light: $15
New battery charger to replace 15 year old one that doesn't work right anymore: $10
New front & rear lights for Abbey's new bike $60
New brake pads for my bike: $20

Sophia sitting on my lap while I try to blog this: pricelessly annoying.

Anyway, biking to save money on Gas is the smartest thing I have ever done! ;-) Grand Total? $573
yee haw!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sophia at Liberty Park

Back when Abbey was in the midst of her Kickball playing I'd take Sophers to Liberty Park every Thursday. Watching kickball isn't very intriguing for a 2.5 year old, so we'd always end up over at the "swings". This day it was finally warm enough that she could play in the water feature at the park. One of the other little girls is from her Daycare, Lauren. When she showed up she said over and over again "Hi Lauren! Hi Lauren!" Hilarious.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

If it ain't broke, I'll fix it.

So I decided to put flex lines on the water heater because I don't apparently have enough to do already. That and I'm paranoid about gas leaks. This all looks pretty straight forward, but there was a lot of elbow grease required and I had to pull out the cheater bar to get some of the old connections to budge. Here's the new gas flex line installed with yellow Gas Line PTFE Thread Seal Tape on the ends. I checked after I connected it for leaks with soapy water, and everything was copasetic.

Flex gas line installed

Here's the old water connections with the shut-off valve. They're 1/2" nominal copper pipe, which is unusual - the standard water pipe size on a water heater is 3/4" nominal copper. Note the dielectric unions to eliminate corrosion caused by battery effect between the copper pipes and iron in the heater.

The original setup

I cleaned up the pipes where I'd be making my cuts and putting on my compression valves:

Pipes sanded clean

Here's my lovely water shut-off valve:

Turning off the water to the house

Here's my tight spaces circular pipe cutter ready to cut:

Cutter connected

No turning back now!

Pipes cut

Pipes gone, unions removed. I left nubs for my compression valves to attach to.

Pipes detached

Here's the new shut-off valve I made with a small piece of scrap copper joining it to the 1/2" copper to 3/4" MIPS adapter.

Compression fitting connected to valve

Adapter's and shut-off installed.

3/4" MIPS to 1/2" nominal installed

Here's my first try:

Attempt #1

The copper flex lines were really hard to work with and kinked pretty bad and then the whole thing ended up leaking anyway because the water heater nipples had corroded so bad I couldn't get a firm seal to the flex lines. Luckily I already had some new combination nipples / dielectric unions:

New dielectric Nipple

The old nipples were a B!TC# to get out, this is where I brought out the two foot long cheater bar to get the leverage to pull them out.

Nipple decay

Here's my second attempt with some steel sheathed "flexible" water heater connectors. These were the shortest that Home Depot sold - 15". No leaks but it looked awful, and the kinks would not smooth out.

Attempt #2

This held for a couple days while I waited for the special order 12" stainless steel connectors I ordered online to arrive. They were cheaper than the Home Depot ones, got here super quick and were a dream to work with in comparison. Here's the finished project:

We have a winner!

I'm really glad I did this seeing how corroded the old nipples were. Next up: Installing the insulating blanket I have had sitting in the basement for the water heater for the last year.

Also, I will try to compete with my wifes awesome blog in the dimension of our super cute daughter. I have Lithium Batteries in the camera now so it shouldn't die every time I try to take pix, and I got a card reader ($13 at Office Depot!) so I don't have to find that dang proprietary cord every GD time. Also, we have pix from Abbey running the 5k in April that I should put up.

Oh, I dropped Sophers off at Daycare this morning where it was Bike Day. I let her ride her "bike":
Plasma Car

in to daycare so I could fit her helmet. It was hilarious because she did her victory laps she usually does when she goes in except zooming at top speed on her bike. Everyone was laughing and the other kids were screaming in delight. Too cute.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Crawlspace storage area, no dollars

Crawl space insulation

As with many home improvement projects it never occurs to me that I should take "before" pictures until I'm halfway done. So what you see above is the entry to the crawlspace storage area a previous owner created by partitioning off about 40 square foot of the crawlspace near the back stairs of our house. It had a dirt floor and was filthy and I wasn't quite sure how to get into it when I insulated the rest of the crawlspace last summer. Turns out it was just painted shut and I had to cut the door around some of the stair tread rubber edging that had been added since it was created. To get to this point I got the broom and cleaned out all the cobwebs, and then scooped all the loose rocks and dirt I could into a bucket and emptied that outside. Then I shop vac'd all over down there. Next I got some of the six mil plastic I had left over from doing the rest of the crawl space's vapor barrier, and cut it to fit in the space.

Crawl space insulation

This shot's kind of blurry but you can see that I've taped the plastic to the walls with aluminum tape that won't deteriorate over time. That insulated duct is the only return air duct in the back of the house. I removed all the nails to the left and ripped out the bizarre 2x4 with a row of nails to hang bits of wire on to the right. There was also a hole to the rest of the crawl space that I taped over with the plastic to stop a pretty strong cold draft into the space. You can see that below:

Crawl space insulation

Here's where the people under the stairs would live:
Crawl space insulation

A crawl space with a view:
Crawl space insulation

Okay so heres the finished insulation installed:
Crawl space insulation

What's not apparent is how bass ackwards the addition to my house is - none of the floor joists were installed by a sane man - the first two joists are spaced 21" on center, while the next two are 19" on center. Standard floor joist spacing? 16" or 24" on center, which is why the insulation batts come in 15" or 23" widths. So I couldn't tack them in with my hammer style staple gun, I had to get 24" insulation support wires and wire cutting pliers and cut every support wire to size. And cut a 4" insulation strip to fill the joist bay fully. At least the insulation was "free" as I had it left over from my garage insulation job (which is another blog topic I want to write about at some point). But that's 40 sq. feet of my house that wasn't insulated at all now done, which should hopefully make some difference. Plus some extra storage space to stash stuff in. I don't know how convenient it'll be, but we'll see I guess. Yay DIY home improvement!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentime's roses

Here's Sophia smelling Abbey's Valentine's day roses:

Stop and smell the roses

"Flowers smell pretty!"

Stop and smell the roses

Whoa! Lets not get carried away, baby!

Then after I gave LM her bath last night, she was trying to lick her bath water and her wet towel and I kept telling her no, and "Yuck!" which she found hilarious. Then I was drying her off and she went to lick my shirt and I said "I don't care if you lick my shirt. Lick away." Apparently that's the funniest thing she'd ever heard and the rest of the night she was saying "LICK AWAY! ahahahha Lick away, Daddy!"

And now the monster story. She didn't want to get out of the truck after getting home from Daycare and was playing in the driver's seat, so I was bent over across her car seat with my knees against the side of the truck where should couldn't see them trying to convince her to come in with me out of the cold. I started drumming my knees against the truck and she looked surprised, and I thought "Aha! I know how I'll get her to come in." and so I said "Sophia! What's that sound? Where's it coming from?" Some amount of worry came over her face. "We better get inside, I don't know what that sound is." and she said "A monster, Daddy!" and I stupidly said "Yeah, lets hurry and get away from the monster!". Ha-ha! I'd succesfully gotten her inside! ...only to discover she wouldn't go in the back part of the house because "A monster, a monster! Ahhh!" So Abbey had to come home and see all this then explain to Sophia that the Dinosaur had scared the monster away. So now she comes home every day and the first thing out of her mouth when we walk in the door is "Monster gone, huh Daddy." Maybe one day I'll learn better.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More old pix

We're doing blast from the past photo's over on Facebook, so I thought I'd throw up some old pictures of me.

The first one here is just a photo I took on the beach in Mexico in the middle of the night. I thought it turned out really pretty


Here is my dorky Junior (Nope it's my sophomore pic - I'm wearing a slimeballs skateboarding shirt in my Junior year photo) year school photo - the last year I attended highschool, before going into con-current enrollment over at UVSC.


Another skating pic from the series I posted on FB earlier


What's that? Oh I didn't hear you over the sound of how awesome the 90s can be while standing in front of the Hollywood sign.


Another pic on that beach in Mexico with the dreaded rat-tail.


Inexplicably, the San Diego LDS Temple open house.

Sharpie San Diego Temple

Friday, February 6, 2009

Getting dressed...

Daddy and Sophia

Getting dressed can be a challenge when you have such a dedicated helper...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ride 'em cowgirl!

I got some great pics of Sophia playing with the fish Denise gave her for her first birthday and thought I'd post 'em up. I took them this morning with the Sony cam, cable be darned. I've taken to hosting everything on flickr since they have no size limits for your photo collection if you buy the pro account.


Yee haw! Note the monkey riding shotgun.


Disaster! Oh the Humanity!


Never leave a man behind!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reaction dog


Reaction Dog

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Checking out Google Chrome for posting some pix to the blog

Most nights when we get home LM likes to climb up on the swing and then pat the seat next to her and say "Sit, Daddy, sit!" So then we'll sit in the cold and swing. She gets mad at me if I ask her questions about her day or try to sing songs so we just sit and hope the moon comes out.

So here's Love Monkey in the ba'pack she likes me to take her around in. We have a better camera than my camera phone, but it's a Sony so has a non-standard USB cable which irritates me to the point that I seldom use it.