Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Busy Weekend

My weekend started when I left work early on Friday with a case of the flu. Ugh. I hate getting sick, but it seems that having a toddler is getting me sick more often than I’m used to.

I went to bed early Friday night because my wife and I had plans to start finishing our basement on Saturday. The kid was going to her “nanna” until Sunday morning. We had a bunch of lumber left over from another project (thanks Eben) and were ready to go.

On Saturday morning my flu seemed to have passed. Emily took the kid first thing and I went into the basement to start clearing stuff away. About 10am, Em returned and we got started. Before we could actually start building walls, we had a couple of other tasks to take care of. The biggest one was a piece of old electrical conduit that was going right through where our new hallway was going to be. This piece of conduit had about 4 bends in it, with the final turn going 90 degrees up into the wall. After a few attempts I figured out how to get it disconnected from the old breaker box and we were able to slide it out.

By this time it is after noon and we stopped for lunch. An hour later we headed back downstairs to start putting up walls. I love construction framing. It is manual labor, but it is fun. If I were rich and didn’t need to work, I would probably do construction during the day, just for fun. (And write code at night for the same reason!)

We snapped a couple of chaulklines on the overhead joists, and then used a plubbob to make matching lines on the floor. A few sawcuts later and we had the top plates attached to the ceiling. Now we had to takle the bottom plates.

My plan was to use Tapcon screws. If you haven’t used these before, you should check them out. There simply is no easier way to put a screw into concrete. You have to use exactly the right size drill bit, but they just work. Amazing!

So I got my handdrill out, put in the Tapcon drill bit and started in. About 30 seconds later the tip of the drill bit melted and I had to stop. Hmmmm… “Maybe I need a hammer drill,” I said to Emily.

And then the power went out. This happens quite often in my house. We call it #10 because about 50% of my 80 year old house is running on the same circuit… number 10 on the panel. I ran outside expecting to flip it back on, but all the circuit breakers were closed. None of them had popped.

So I ran over to the neighbors and sure enough, their power was out too. SHIT! It was 2:30pm.

Needless to say, we didn’t get any more work done in the basement that day. An entire baby-free day and we couldn’t do what we had planned to do. We did rearrange the upstairs of the house and had a fun evening playing gin drinking wine. It was disappointing but fun.

When did the power come back on? 10:30pm. Ugh.

On Sunday morning, I got up early and ran out to rent a hammer drill. It took me only 20 minutes to do all of the concrete holes. Damn that is a cool tool. I don’t think I need one often enough to buy one, but if you are drilling concrete, don’t mess around with a regular drill.