Days 296-299: Paneling Part XII, Finishing the North Wall

Thursday, 5/5
We had an awesome day – lots of activity at Bean Vivant and loads of progress on the house.  Brian attached alllllllll of the panels in the third row.  Both of us were super zonked from the chaos so we went out to eat at Tre Rosat.  We struck gold AGAIN when we discovered the dessert was key lime pie.  Overall, great work, great food, fantastic day.

First panel of the day - the other arched panel of the third row.

First panel of the day – the other arched panel of the third row.

The new blade, with its enhanced precision abilities, worked great for cutting out the circular opening for the HRV.

The new blade, with its enhanced precision abilities, worked great for cutting out the circular opening for the HRV.

First "draft" for attachment - In the past, Brian has attached panels only to find that the next panel had a conflict such that there was no way for the bridges to fit and connect the panels. His approach now is to set up the panels, note where panels should connect to each other (even if that means cutting a whole panel into two pieces), trimming and then attaching.

First “draft” for attachment – In the past, Brian has cut & attached one panel at a time a panel only to find that the next panel’s edge might not be square to it, and irksome slanty cuts are required to make things work.  His approach now is to do the arch panels first, then set up the rest of the panels in a row with a few screws each, and make it all reasonably square before fixing things in place..

All the panels of the third row are attached!

All the panels of the third row are attached!  (The last small filler panel on the far left was perfectly square.)

Moroccan Chicken at Tre Rosat

Moroccan Chicken at Tre Rosat

Friday, 5/6
We are going to buy a tube of almond and a tube of tan caulk from our local Ace store and compare the colors.  Since they don’t carry any 12 packs, we’ll likely order from Home Depot.  Also, we have a $200 Home Depot gift card coming in the mail thanks to credit card points.

Something we didn’t mention about our Tucson trip – While we were at Home Depot, we perused the refrigerator section to get a feel for the fridges available in the size range we were considering.  While we previously were thinking about a very very small fridge, we have come to realize it would be best to be able to accommodate more food storage.  The dog chicken takes up a lot of space as do our mega egg packs.  Thus,  we were looking at the smallest normal fridges (versus RV or dorm fridges) that Home Depot had in stock.  We found out that there is a fabulous sale going on right now where we can get ~$100 off a fridge.

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Figuring out the refrigerator location.  The 6′ level was helpful for determining how far into the arch wall we can go with it before the top corner hits.

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The oscillating tool needed the same repair again, and another 8″ of wire length snipped off the cord. Maybe the wire Harbor Freight used just can’t endure the violent oscillations this tool puts out.  Fwiw, if this cord were ever used up, a heavier gauge one could be spliced in.

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Brian’s progress at the house was interrupted by my call reporting that the insane wind knocked down our drive-thru wall. We used this scrap wood that our landlord had lying around to create braces. We already had a guy -line to prevent movement in the other direction. With the braces and tightened guy-line, the wall will hopefully not try any more antics.

Bridges are connected.

Bridges are connected.  This was a particularly tricky row because there were a couple of closely spaced, out-of-plane studs.

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Curses! A notch had to be cut to accommodate a meddlesome hidden screw related to a furring strip.

The day's progress - the second to last row side panels.

The day’s progress – the second to last row side panels.

Also, Brian noticed how most of the day’s work was spent measuring/positioning, making finicky cuts, and walking up and down the ladder whereas only 10 or so minutes was spent actually attaching the panels.  He wondered why no one sold a house kit made ENTIRELY of pre-cut, pre-drilled, self-locating objects in the manner of Ikea furniture.  That night a web search only turned up one such project in Denmark: Villa Asserbo.   1250 sq ft though; would love to see a space-optimized tiny house version.

Saturday, 5/7
Very full day at the coffee shack followed by a busy afternoon and no house building.  However, we did start the search for our future means of transportation.  The lease on the Smart car is up in October or November so we’re starting to research and test drive different transportation options to have a plan in place come fall.  Right now, we are focusing on car alternatives – an electric motorcycle, bicycle or enclosed bicycle…or some combination of those things.

First up – the ELF (Electric, Light, Fun) made by Organic Transit.  It’s part recumbent trike, part velomobile and part cargo bike.  It has the ability to be ridden like a bike or driven like an electric vehicle (goes up to 20 mph); or you can pedal while using the electric assist to boost the top speed a little bit (up to 30 mph, in theory).  The roof is a solar panel so the battery can charge while it’s sitting outside (takes 7 hours to charge) or it can also be plugged into a regular 110 volt outlet (takes 2.5 hours to charge).

It’s mostly enclosed so it provides the weather protection of a car while also allowing some connection to the outdoors via the door-less design.  The original ELF was funded by a Kickstarter project and launched in 2013.  There have been several improvements on the design, as well as extras one can purchase (ie. doors, wheel covers, extra battery, etc), since the original ELF.  Additionally, Organic Transit has expanded its operations (originally only in Durham, NC) and opened a second manufacturing center in San Jose, CA.

There are some other alternative bikes we are considering, including:

Additionally, we may not make a decision at the time of the Smart Car lease expiration and instead make do with a regular bike until we feel passionately inclined in one direction or the other.  We had our eyes on Tesla for a long while and had considered the Model 3.  However, with deliveries not beginning until late 2017, that really isn’t an option for the immediate future.  [Also, Brian is no longer very enthusiastic about cars].  We test drove the Model S and found it to be much too large for our needs, especially as our second vehicle.  Thus, we wouldn’t blindly place an order for the Model 3;  we would need to test drive it first and assess if it fits our lifestyle.

Since moving to Silver City, our needs have changed.  We only drive ~3 miles to work and we work together.  Thus, we don’t really need any cars for our regular day-to-day living and we could make do with one and drive together.  We do plan to travel again once the house is done and the Honda Fit is the ideal means for that.  As you may have observed in the posts about our journey west, two humans, two dogs and a parrot, along with a boatload of belongings, fit perfectly inside.

Our test drive of the ELF was at 2:30pm and we were heading home to take care of dogs around 4pm.  With the downtown crammed full of cyclists and spectators, we decided to go up to Pinos Altos and have dinner at the Buckhorn.  We didn’t make it to the house to work, but we did have an hour and a half to relax before bed.

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ELF – the vehicle behind it was someone driving by that wanted to take a picture.

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This is me test driving the ELF.

Battery pack

LiFePo battery pack under the tricky-to-adjust seat.

Another lucky visit - We have heard about the Buckhorn's mussel nights it holds periodically but have never been there for dinner at the time of the event. This time the coincidence happened. They were quite good.

Another lucky visit – We have heard about the Buckhorn’s mussel nights it holds periodically but have never been there for dinner at the time of the event. This time the coincidence happened. They were quite good and one serving was plenty to share for dinner.

When we arrived at the house to feed dogs, we were greeted by the sight of a deer eating our trees! When we spotted deer in Manchester, we would strategically release Trooper so he could enjoy the thrill of chasing them off the property. We did the same thing with this deer. It is truly the only way to make Trooper enthusiastically run. That and trying to load him up when he isn't ready to leave somewhere.

When we arrived at the house to feed dogs, we were greeted by the sight of a deer eating our trees! When we previously spotted deer in Manchester, we would strategically release Trooper so he could enjoy the thrill of chasing them off the property (he would stop at the invisible fence boundary). We did the same thing with this deer. It is truly the only way to make Trooper enthusiastically and voluntarily run. That and trying to load him up when he isn’t ready to leave somewhere.

Sunday, 5/8
The increased busy-ness around town has led to a considerable increase in bean consumption at Bean Vivant.  Thus, we opened up the shack at 7am to roast and serve drinks.  The race was scheduled to ride right by the shack between 7am-9:15am so hopefully we bathed the cyclists in the delicious aroma of coffee roasting while they sped by.

This is the UCI Men's group. They started at Gough Park in Silver at 8:40am and will race for 100.6 miles. Their route takes them through Santa Clara, Hanover, the Mimbres Valley, up to Lake Roberts and then down to Pinos Altos. The starting elevation is at ~6000 feet and will peak at 7473 feet at Meadow Creek before finishing in PA at ~7000 feet.

This is the UCI Men’s group. They started at Gough Park in Silver at 8:40am and will race for 100.6 miles. Their route takes them through Santa Clara, Hanover, the Mimbres Valley, up to Lake Roberts and then down to Pinos Altos. The starting elevation is at ~6000 feet and will peak at 7473 feet at Meadow Creek before finishing in PA at ~7000 feet.

Brian left the shack around 10:30 and started working on the north wall.  I closed up shop at noon and picked him up around 12:45 to run home for lunch.  We don’t often work 7 days a week but when we do it creates quite the crunch for domestic duties.  While we were eating, we washed laundry, tidied the apartment and started our chicken stew.

Before leaving for lunch, Brian had cut and attached the bridges and the square-ish piece on the north wall.  The final space to fill was the the point on the wall which taped on either side to a vertical section.  It also contained the box for the smoke detector.  So between the hole, the off-center point and the two different length vertical sides, it was not the most straightforward piece to cut.

After getting a piece nearly ready to go, Brian discovered that it actually didn’t work and had to start over.  Luckily, that first attempt had been a scrap piece and, the second attempt also made use of a scrap piece, so we’re still doing well in terms of panel count.

Once the north wall was complete, we did some assembly line moving of materials in order to create access to the west wall.  We decided to start there (versus the east-bathroom wall) because we have a stack of panels stored over there.  Once the west wall is paneled, the stack near the east wall will be depleted and it will be accessible without a lot of additional material movement.

With the west wall stuff cleared away, the floor vacuumed and pictures taken, we called it a night at 5pm, a couple hours earlier than usual.  With a normal work week ahead of us, we wanted to spend extra time relaxing and recovering.  Ahhhhh, Sunday nights are lovely.

Bridges connected.

Bridges connected.

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The final piece for the north wall – note the odd tip and the unequal edge lengths.

The north wall is complete!

The north wall is complete!

Junk movement from the west wall.

Junk movement from the west wall.

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