• Good Weekend

    I got a lot done this weekend. Today, I finished up by cutting and laying out all the pipe for the new kitchen drain and stack. I haven’t glued it all together because I want Mickey to come and double-check it, but I think it’s going to work.

  • Idiot

    Take a look at the new water lines in the kitchen. Notice anything odd about them?

  • Good Morning So Far

    I installed my new water lines this morning. Yay! But I have a leak. Boo! I’ll have to fix that later. It’s supposed to rain this afternoon, so I wanted to get the outside of the window I installed finished. I took some aluminum to work to bend on our brake there. Unfortunately, it’s only 2′ wide, so I had to use two pieces to fit my window. But I got it in. I’m sure a real window-installer would have made it look nicer, but I think it’s waterproof, which is my only concern.

  • Robot in Action

    I finally built my robot. I had taken pictures of the process, but never got around to posting them. Instead, here’s the first video I made.

  • Drunken Jogging

    I started using the RunKeeper app to track my jogs, as my sister uses it and likes it a lot. It is also able to track bike rides, which I also do. So this seemed like a great solution. And to top it off, on my first run, it said my pace was a bit faster than I thought I was doing, so I was pretty happy.

  • My Robot

    My niece and nephew were both talking about building a robot and it made me realize that I wanted to build a robot as well. After looking around, I had intended to buy the new Arduino robot, but it wasn’t in stock. Instead I found a hexapod robot called Hexy, which looked even more fun. So I ordered it and it arrived today.

  • The Challenge

    Paul proposed that I host Thanksgiving again. Will I be able to do it at my house? This is going to require a kitchen. Here’s what mine looks like now.

  • Front Stairs

    While waiting for the new window to arrive, I decided to tackle some other tasks that I’ve been ignoring. First up, my horribly dangerous front stairs. Since I’m getting a roommate soon, who will unquestionably complain about them, I decided I should do something. None of the contractors I contacted over the summer got back to me, so it’s looking like the stairs won’t get rebuilt this year. I had mixed a little mortar the other week to fix the gaps around my window and it was pretty easy to work with. So I thought, why not give it a try?

  • Mass Mailing in Rails

    I have a need to send out a bunch of individual emails from the same email address. I thought it would be good practice for me to see if I could do this as part of a rails app. The interesting thing is that I don’t want to save anything to a model. I just want to be able to upload a csv file, get all the names and email addresses out and send the same email with attachment to all of them. Here’s how I did it.

  • Depressing

    Sometimes you don’t want to know the state of your house and other times you can’t help but notice. I really, really need to have my house tuckpointed. This is a shot of the inside of the old hood vent. Yes, that is water pouring down.

  • Handy Trick

    If you have some sample code in a ruby file that you want to run ONLY when that file is called directly, enclose it in the following if statement.

  • End of Summer

    Here are what was left of the roses on my rosebush before I started hacking it down. It is so nice out, just under 70 degrees, which is perfect to me. I cut my grass and even trimmed the tree in front of my house, in anticipation of my new roommate. Just trying to eliminate some of the things he’ll complain about.

  • It Works!

    Yes, the new car is small, but I can still move stuff. It just takes me a few more trips than usual. To get 18 2″x4″x10′, took me three trips to Home Depot. But it’s a beautiful day, so I’m ok with that.

  • Status Report

    I’m a little stuck. Here’s how things look now.

  • Labor Day

    I decided to not work on Labor Day, thus turning it into No-Labor Day and to go for a long bike ride instead. I have just finished my 57-mile ride and am probably not going to move for the rest of the evening. Here is the info from my route.

  • Cold-Air Return Moved

    I can cross number 2 from the last post off. I moved the cold-air return much lower to the floor and cut the wall to about half size. I just cut the wall shorter, but didn’t measure anything because I’m not sure how high, exactly, it should be. I’ll have to cut them down again later when I know how high the countertop will be.

  • More Demolition

    Today I decided to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Well, not take the whole wall down, but just take off all the drywall so I could see what was there. I’m going to have to cut this wall down to match the height of the kitchen cabinets. But since this wall is at the end of the slope in the floor, I’m not exactly sure where to cut it yet. That will come later. I also finished pulling all the furring strips that were close to the ceiling down, so the brick walls are bare, except for the outlets on them. I would have taken them off too, but that requires me to cut the power to the room, which means the lights won’t work. And today it has been storming quite a bit, so there isn’t much natural light to work with. I’ll see if tomorrow is better for that.

  • Rails4 and Assets

    I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get a background image to show on a production server running a new rails4 app. Everything looked fine on my laptop, but once I deployed to the server, the image wouldn’t show. I only had one image on the site, but I’m pretty sure that if I had more, none of them would have showed.

  • Really Done Now

    It took a little over an hour, but I got the floor grouted. I will have to inspect it more closely in the morning when the light is better, but I think it looks pretty good.

  • Know What’s Better Than Perfect? Done!

    I am really tired, but the tile is all in. Sometime this week, I’ll grout and it’ll be completely done, but that’s pretty easy. The difficult stuff was this weekend and I got it done. It’s no where near perfect. In fact, I ended up needing one more red tile. But since it was going in a place that will be under cabinets, I just stuck two smaller pieces together. And if you look closely, you’ll see a number of other mistakes, but I’m going to try to not look closely and just be happy with it.

  • So Close

    My intention today was to finish putting down the tile in my kitchen. I got really close, but then ran out of thinset again. So I need to go to Home Depot for more and then I can finish it tomorrow. Yay!

  • Smarter Than I Look

    I’m getting to the point in my kitchen where I’m rebuilding walls. Unfortunately, my memory of how the contractor did the rest of the house is fuzzy. So I searched through iPhoto on my laptop to see if I could find any pictures of how the walls went up. And I found a movie I made where I walked through the house to look at the electrical connections and could see how the walls were built. And even better, I said what this piece of electrical conduit that’s currently sticking in my kitchen is for. That was great because I was leaning toward cutting it out since I didn’t know why it was there. Yay me! So this morning I’m going to make another movie for myself just for future reference.

  • Ruby Methods

    I’m still learning where methods go when writing ruby on rails applications. I read something earlier today (and had read it before) that you need to think “tell, don’t ask” when it comes to methods. So basically when working with an object, if you want it to do something, you tell it to do that. This method will then go into the model and get called with @object.method. So, in my application, after an applicant is saved. I want to send a message to the object to send email to that applicant. I had this in the controller, but now I’m pretty sure that this belongs in the model. It ends up looking like this:

  • Pittsburgh Trip

    I just got back from a long weekend spent in Pittsburgh. I went there to attend Steel City Ruby Conf, which was pretty good. The first day had a lot of self-described “touchy-feely” talks, which I wasn’t crazy about, but understood why they were being given. Though Julie Pagano’s talk on Front-End Development was pretty good and Jim Weinrich’s “Friendly Flying Robots” was a lot of fun. The talks on Day 2 were much more what I was looking forward to. The talk on git by the Steven Ball was really informative and I’m hoping I can start using some of his tips right away. Avdi Grimm’s talk on Pair Programming has pretty much convinced me that I should give it a try as soon as I get some time. And Leon Gersing’s inspiring talk was the perfect finish. So, based on the strength of those talks, I feel it was a pretty good conference.

  • Kitchen Tile

    I took a few days this week and got to work on the tile floor in the kitchen. I had hoped to get more of it finished, but ran out of thin set mortar and energy. Thankfully, Julie came over to visit and Paul brought us both lunch, so I had a lovely lunch with them. Not sure if I’ll be able to finish it tomorrow, so I this may be on hold for a week or so. Going to try to just be satisfied with what I got done today.