Days 202-205: The Final Cold?

Monday, 2/1
The storm was indeed terrible.  Driving to work at 6am was a journey in a blizzard.  Second gear the whole way.  According to the weather stats, the wind did not drop below 25 mph the whole day.  Burrrr…..

We are tired of the issue with our drill but are reluctant to purchase more tools.  We have a few options –

  • Purchase a chuck that would allow the impact driver to utilize the drill bits
  • Purchase a drill that works with the impact driver battery
  • Purchase a new battery for the existing drill

Because our Lithium Ion driver battery has been behaving so awesome and because we have little faith in the wobbly nature of the impact driver chucks, we decided to buy a Milwaukee drill.  We found one on ebay for $38 that included free shipping.  Ordered.

While I am braver when it comes to manhandling Fred, Brian is better at braving at the elements.  He left work in the afternoon and started installing the boxes (outlets, switches) inside the house.  He quickly discovered that the boxes have little nubs for grabbing the studs in order to sit at the ‘correct’ depth.  While ideal for sheetrock, they are a hindrance for our thinner plywood and actually make the box sit at an angle against the stud.

To remove them, he first tried a saw (which took forever and made a bunch of plastic dust) and later tried a pair of small diagonal cut pliers that were sized appropriately for getting in real close.  He successfully snapped one off…and it shot through the air and cut my nose!  It cut me!  Had it gotten me in the eye, the evening would have been much more upsetting.

In addition to building materials and tools, we have accumulated a ton of stuff that is waiting to be installed. This is the present state of things inside the house.

In addition to building materials and tools, we have accumulated a ton of stuff that is waiting to be installed. This is the present state of things inside the house.  What a mess!

First attempt at tab removal - saw. This did not pan out.

First attempt at tab removal – saw. This did not pan out.

Tab removal system -

Tab removal system, followed up with razor blade trimming to flush.

Tuesday, 2/2
Another very very cold day.  Brian worked inside, cutting the tabs off the rest of the boxes.

Unrelated but important – I highly recommend having a dedicated drawer, shelf, file, etc where you put your building receipts.  We have been very disciplined about putting all of our receipts in one place and it has made returning items tremendously easy.  Every now and then, when the pile becomes ginormous and difficult to deal with, I organize the receipts by store and then clip them together.  That way, when we want to return something, there is no obstacle that makes us put it off and end up losing/damaging the items we want to return.  It also makes it easy to keep a list of our building-related spending.

This is a tree outside our apartment. These icicles formed in one day.

This is a tree outside our apartment. These icicles formed in one day.

The upper part of the tree either broke off or is tilting at a serious angle.

The upper part of the tree either broke off or is tilting at a serious angle.

Frozen mud from the driveway - the mud accumulated in the wheel well and then froze. Not good.

Frozen road slush. Not good.

This is the mini-split we have installed at the shack.

This is the condenser unit for the mini-split we have installed at the shack (same model as will be installed in house).  During a snow storm, snow can get sucked in and rapidly frost up the metal heat exchange fins, as in the picture above.  Heat output is reduced when this happens.  When the machine detects frost buildup, it runs a defrost cycle and melts all that off with much steaminess.  The location we’ve planned for installing the unit at the house happens to be in a less exposed location and thus less defrosting would be needed in a storm.

Wednesday, 2/3
The sun has come out and the wind has slowed down.   The high is going to be not-so-high (37 degrees F) but at least we won’t have the wind to deal with.  According to the forecast, it’s supposed to be 5-9 degrees warmer with each successive day; that’s great news for working in an unheated house.

Anyhow, Brian did manage to get the 2″ IMC conduit threaded and it resulted in a really awesome story.

  1. Brian went to ACE to get the conduit threaded but was told they only do that for plumbing pipe.  Not sure what to do, Brian called the electric supply depot.
  2. The guy there was uncertain but then he said, “Wait a minute, there’s a customer here who might be able to help you.”  Brian gets passed to customer.
  3. Customer says, “I can do it off the back of my truck!  Come on over!”
  4. Brian met the guy, an electrician, in the parking lot and he did it!
  5. When Brian asked what he owed him, the guy said, “Nothing, it was a good workout.”  Brian insisted on paying though.

It was a surprisingly violent process involving a bike-chain-like clamp that stuck out of the truck’s trailer hitch, a 3′ steel lever and a coffee-can-sized threading….bit.  The guy, who is 6’5″ and BIG looked like he was almost going to flip the truck over in the process of twisting the bit on there.   It might’ve been more difficult than usual given that no cutting oil was used and the process was lubricated/cooled with bottled water.

Also, while Brian was helping a different person load their vespa into their truck bed (so they could also move), he saw a roadrunner (see featured image above).

Thursday, 2/4
This was the forecast Thursday morning, when I checked the temperature prior to leaving for the gym.

Forecast 2/4 - It was very VERY cold again!

Forecast 2/4 – It was very VERY cold again!

I couldn't get a picture of the truck from the drive-through but it was even stranger than the bike. Both custom jobs and both made you feel like you had stepped into the world of Mad Max.

I couldn’t get a picture of the truck from the drive-through but it was even stranger than the bike. Both custom jobs and both made you feel like you had stepped into the world of Mad Max.

The cold has been tough to deal with but on the bright side, at least we haven’t hooked up the supply plumbing yet and had to worry about it freezing!  Additionally, the gradually warming days will hopefully allow the ground to thaw in a way that doesn’t result in a major mud mess.

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