Thursday, February 26, 2009

H2O Removal

The last few days a couple of 'fun' surprises have been throw my way. Luckily, as I have said before, I am a HandyMotherFucker.
We just got a wicked snow storm this past Sunday night. I was lucky to only end up with 12-inches of the wet heavy snow. So at 6:30am I start to clear out the driveway. I made one cut down to the road (my driveway is 200 feet long) and the snowblower throws a belt. " Yeah I wont be in."
At least I had a path EMTs could get up if something really shitty happened. Fortunately, my mom was able to come over later in the day and plow us out. Anyway, I brought the machine back up to the garage and opened up the belt housing. "Yep," the auger drive belt was shredded. The first pic is of the drive wheels and replacement belt (green) I put on. The replacement job took less than 10 minutes. I had no idea it was so easy.
Then yesterday I got home, went into the basement to get some firewood and I hear the sump pump running. I check it out and it was stuck on. With no idea how long it had been running I found that the whole cast iron housing was hot and actually steaming the water. I unplugged it and took it out for an inspection. "I can fix this." I think. "Well, I at least can't break it more." So, after opening it up I figured out that the switch has just worn out. I removed the switch housing and switch and found a replacement on-line through Grainger. I should be back in action by tomorrow. The pump b.t.w. is a Zoeller 1/3 hp sump pump. The thing is a friggin' work horse.
Anyway, as I was back up stairs looking up the switch I was thinking about the sump water. I then went back to check on the water level. I didn't have until tomorrow to wait. I HAD to set up something temporary. Late last night, I'm standing in the aisle of HomeDesprate buying the cheapest pump they had and some plumbing supplies. $100 bucks. *poof*
I got home and rigged up the temp. system in about an hour, saving the basement from flooding. I'm awesome. When I get the switch Ill rig the zoeller back up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Radon Testing

We've lived in this house since 2001. Only recently while I was spending more time in the basement building a workbench that I began to think about the radon levels.
There are tons of links for Radon in cyberspace but briefly Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is naturally occuring. It is a daughter element of Uranium. It is radio active (alpha radiation). It can cause lung cancer. Radon makes its way into your house by migrating through the rock and soil into the basement through cracks and holes (like sumps). Radon is measured in picoCuries.
Since I work in the environmental field I called and ordered two radon test kits for air. Radon can also be tested in groundwater, particually important for homes with private wells as the water source. I also have a well, but have not tested the water yet. Anyway, I ordered two because the basement is partitioned and wanted throrough sampling.
The sample is very easy to collect. Each test kit has two small vials (about 3 inches tall, 1 inch diameter) with a carbon trap inside each one. Just pop open the vials, set 4 inches apart up on a chair. Depending on humidity you let sit undisturbed for 48 to 96 hours. Box it up and mail back to the lab with a check for 35$ per kit.
About a week later the sample results came back and I was happy to find out that there was only 1 picoCurie detected in the basment air. So working down there wont kill me.
Maine is known for it's high radon levels. Luckily my local geology is keeping the radon at bay. Clayey soils and a high water table are keeping the gas from entering my space.
Everyone that owns a home should test for radon. Its cheap and easy. If you want to order a radon test kit let me know and I can send you the contact info of where I got mine (unless of course you can make it out in the photo).

Friday, February 20, 2009


CAKE. doing a cover of WAR PIGS

This is part file share, part test. I just learned that my MSN account has 25 gigs of on line file storage and give embed and link code information. I originally got the file at

**i just tested it** i guess its just a straight download at this point. Ill have to figure out if I can get it to autoplay.
**ah ha.** embed code...what was i thinking?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beer Review

I need to friggin' man it up around here. Have you been reading my DaddyPosts? Good lord, I sound like a domesticated pansy. So, in an effort to counter-balance the wimpy daddy posts I will present a review of the latest six-pack of beer I polished off and pissed out. I now present a short review of:
I pick up this $10-ish dollar six pack at a local place at around lunch time on a Friday. With dinner I cracked open the first of these 6.9% alcohol beauties. From the first sip I knew these six hoppy tasting soldiers would all be going down tonight. And go down they did. The hazy golden color. The sweet hop aroama. How could I go wrong? All six, gone between 7:15 and 9:30 pm. I passed out watching a DVR'd episode of The Unit by retrospect this isn't quite as manly as I imagined. (cinemax softcore porn would have been more manly) But shit, it could have been worse, i could have been watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs.

Bottom line- Drink this beer-Its great!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lil guns outing

Lil guns first resturant experience

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Here to be Human

I used to have a download box at the bottom of the blog for music. Somehow the stupid files got deleted. So i just said 'eff it' and moved on. Then i saw that Kate had a link and download to a mp3 file. 'cool' i thought. I asked her how she did it and she told me. Yeah Kate.
So now this is my first run with the new download ability. Try it out. The song is from my brothers band Here to be Human. The song is Resurrection. He is not religious, just a english graduate who knows how to use words.

The file is a *.wma; would it be better if I change it to mp3? Want more? Send me feedback.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

V-day flowers

A little something for my pumpkin. Happy valentines day wife.

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Friday Fun

My lunch time walkabout in Portland frequently leads to something for me to blog about. Earlier during the week near I noticed that refrigerator boxes packed with snow were standing around center of Monument Square. This could only mean one thing I thought, winter snow sculptures. On Friday they were revealed. Honestly, most sucked hard. There was one small sculpture that looked like sitting monkey but the most photogenic sculpture was the one pictured. A Snow Woman, complete with carrot nose and bikini top and lei's. (artist unknown)
After arriving home, getting the fire going and having dinner the dogs were still riled up. I started thinking, 'oh man, I don't want to throw that ball tonight, what else can I do?' I then noticed that the moon was nearly full and remembered that the snowshoe path we had just cut last weekend was very well defined. So, NIGHT TIME ADVENTURE it was....well not really nighttime it was about 6:30pm, but it was totally dark out. As it turns out the moon lit the woods well enough that I did not need any flash lights (thou I brought some).
The walk was great. Watson was a little nervous about walking in the dark and stayed behind me as we went out toward the beaver pond. On the way back thou, he and Addie were way ahead of me on the trail running all the way back to the house. It was a good hour.
The pic there is an 8 second exposure, I set the timer, ran up the trail and turned on two lights I had brought with me. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

LilGuns Goes SnowShoeing

The extra 10-inches of nice fluffy snow that arrived during the week, last week, on top of the existing 18" made conditions for snowshoeing perfect. Deep snow, unbroken trail. How does it get better...well all down hill would, but Im not complaining.
Saturday my brother came up and we broke trail down to an old beaver dam and pond about a half mile through the woods. It makes a great destination for such a short trip because it is an open area, interesting things too look at like the dam structures, cat-tails, trees, birds...Ya know, I find that one of the most important things about hiking anywhere is having a good end point. Without it...its just walkin' in the woods. The dogs had a great time too but had to keep stopping to pick the snowballs out from between their toes.
I love living in Maine. Its so nice to be able to walk off the back porch and get lost in the woods for an hour or more.
On Sunday Me, Wife, LilGuns and Dogs got all suited up and took the trail down for LG's first snowshoing adventure.

We were out for an hour and made it down to the beaver dam. I sweated by ass off, especially since i was carrying the boy, so i couldn't easily take off my jacket. But at least I know he was warm. The little guy didn't make a peep the whole time. Just looking, looking, looking. On the way back he actually fell asleep.
After we got home Watson thanked LG for the walk ------------>
On Monday after two days of back to back snowshoe trips I could feel that I had worked the muscles in my hip area pretty good. And now that the trail is so well established Im thinking of taking the dogs on a night mission hike. Maybe on Friday. Who knows?