September 28, 2003

Nearly Done

Sunday is a day of rest -- for those who do not have two girls sleeping in the living room. The floor sat drying for 72 hours as per the instructions on the varnish can. Moved the old beds down from the attic, polished, borrowed father-in-law's truck, (Valkyre loved driving it) hit Sam's Club for a pair of twin mattress/foundations, moved the dressers in from the living room, the desks from the patio room.

I think I'll take next weekend off....

Posted by at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

September 27, 2003


Saturday, and they got me to work again! and made this a 51 1/2 hour week. (This is against my religion, I'm a devout loafer.)

Yellow Pages office in Cerritos. Like in El Segundo they are moving from outside onto our internal WAN. They wanted to turn up the new LAN equipment Friday -- when the rack had been installed Wednesday and the routers and hubs were still in our storeroom and we had other jobs going on Friday that could not be put off. So today we go in, mount the equipment, turn up the t-carriers, test as far as we can given that no one trusts us with any passwords.

It's what I get for taking vacation time!

Posted by at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2003

LAN Cutover

So they managed to talk me into accepting a little overtime -- needs of the service. We were cutting over the LAN for the El Segundo Yellow Pages office, and they wanted me for backup in case of any troubles. I bit different than most of our cuts, we cut from outside contractors to SBC provided. The workstations were DHCP, no problem. The printers were handled by another group and they were supposed to change the IP addresses. 'Cept they couldn't access a couple of the printers. A Lenmark laser -- Lilian: "they're e-mailing me the instructions" Me: "I've already reset it." The Lenmark can set the IP from the front panel. A Xerox Phaser -- "telnet?" "web-- it uses an http interface."

Once the printers were set with IP addresses to match the new LAN we simply moved the 46 LAN connections from the old hubs to the new hubs. And make sure everything is connected and that the print servers point to the new addresses. They did. Easy money.

Posted by at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

More Delays

If it's not one thing it's another. Valkyre talks me into one more coat of varnish, which mean another sanding. The 17-year-old made-in-the-USofA Craftsman 1/3 sheet finishing sander has been sparking and arcing internally and screeching it's bearings. It gave up the ghost yesterday, so I picked up a new Black and Decker 1/3 sheet orbital finishing sander. It's made in China. See me in 17 years to see if it can take the abuse the Craftsman did.

So the floor is sanded. Will varnish tomorrow after work.

Posted by at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2003

Car Crash

So I'm driving home and the intersection is blocked. Seems that the red car, forground, with caved in side, ran a red light. Which means that there were no cars stopped at the red light.

The other red car trusted the traffic signal and went into the green without looking up/down the cross street for non-stopping vehicles.

Vehicle 'accidents' generally require two inattentive drivers.

Posted by at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2003

Getting high on fumes

I love the smell of varnish. This is the 2nd coat. After painting the walls I took up the plastic drop cloths, swept, wiped with a new clean cloth soaked in mineral spirits to get the last of the sanding dust, and varnished. Let dry overnight, sand with #220, varnish again.

The room is nearly ready for move-in. I may or may not do a third coat of varnish. If not, then the floor will be ready for heavy usage on Wednesday. Need to stop by the Home Depot to pick up some temporary window shades.

Left to do after the floor: doors, door molding, baseboards. Can work around occupants for that.

Also mounted a new ceiling fan + light. A Hunter Carriage House II:

Posted by at 03:54 PM | Comments (3)

September 19, 2003

Pacific Bell was formed in 1880. The company changed it''s name to Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in 1889.

I hired on with Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in 1970. That was the nation-wide Bell System. As a technician in the my Step-by-Step I had end-to-end responsibility on any trouble originating in my machine. If a customer in Gardena, California had trouble calling family in New York I would fix that trouble -- even if it meant tracking it down to a bad trunk in New York. Those were the 'Good Old Days.' We were Family.

The breakup of the Bell System mandated a name change, and in 1984 we became Pacific Bell, a part of the Pacific Telesis Group. Remember the ads, 'Telesis mean progress intelligently planned'? We were no longer allowed to use the Bell Logo, and adopted what came to be known as the Splat.

We also lost end to end responsibility, and worse, end to end control. I was no longer allowed to track troubles down. It was 'Not My Job.'

On April Fool's Day, 1997, Pacific Telesis was acquired by SBC. They called it a 'merger.' They didn't fool many people.

In 2001 SBC took the axe to the Pacific Bell name. Our trucks started getting re-branded. In the picture you can see the evilution from Pacific Bell, a member of the Pacific Telesis Group, to SBC Pacific Bell with the original font and the familiar splat, to SBC Pacific Bell with a new font and no splat, to my truck with no mention of Pacific Bell whatsoever.

Posted by at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2003

Be careful what you ask for

So I'm back at work and catching up on all of the requests for assist.

Had an E-Mail from my LAN Implimentor: "The next time you are at Vermont could you get the serial and asset tag number off of the 804" (the Cisco 804 ISDN modem/router used as a backdoor into the LAN in the event they lose contact over the T1's.)

I replied: "Yes. Both numbers were on stick-on labels and came off quite easily."

She responded: "I sense that I lacked verbal precision!!!!"

Aren't you glad you don't have to work or live with me?

Posted by at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2003

Out of time

The paint doesn't show up as the right color on my laptop -- it's Glidden's "shakesphere" which is a sort of a sage green. Needed a second coat. The floor repair took days. Arrgh! Vacation is over. I go back to work tomorrow. Even taking the extra week was not enough.

Left to do:

1.. Paint the corners and the edges of the walls where they touch the windows.
2.. Wipe the floor with mineral oil, Varnish the floor, sand with #220 grit with the little electic orbital sander (3.5x9" pad). Wipe down, varinsh, sand, wipe varnish.
3.. Let dry 3 days and allow the girls to move back in.
4.. Varnish (as above) the oak (gotta purchase first) baseboards and door trim.
5.. Install trim
6.. Finish restucco on the outside before the rainy season.

But it looks fantastic, and with the insulation it should be a LOT more better.

Posted by at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2003


Rented the drum sander and stripped the varnish off the floor using 60 grit, followed by 100 grit and 120 grit.. The termite board still needs patching, but the stained areas sanded out acceptably. The floor is a gorgeous light oak. Tomorrow I return the sander and pick up some clear varnish -- probably a polyurethane.

Posted by at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2003

Wood Floor!

The '50's saw people covering up perfectly good wood floors with wall to wall carpets. We replaced the original (sewn seams!) in '87. But carpets attract dust and dust mites and all sorts of nasties -- so out they go. Underneath I find the original oak flooring in pretty good condition. There's about six inches of one board that at some point in the past had termites. There is a four inch stain that might or might not sand out, and about a 12x18 oval where the wood got soaked and slightly damaged. I'm just going to sand and possibly add a dab of oak wood putty to the cracks -- for now. I have matching oak flooring in the dining area which is planned to be replaced with tile; and at that time I'll salvage the oak flooring to patch the damaged area.

At the rate I work, about 2015.

Posted by at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

Smells good

Today was spent painting. The walls are all primed. I took the door off and tossed it out. Need to make a Home Depot run to get some wood putty to fill in where the hinges and lock were so that I can reverse the swing of the door.

Posted by at 04:26 PM | Comments (1)

September 09, 2003

Mudded -- past tense

It's been slow, keep getting interrupted. Kids have started school and I've been helping with the driving. Spent four hours yesterday sitting in a dentists' chair getting drilled and filled and a couple of crowns.

But inbetween times I've been mudding and sanding and am mostly done. Just a little more sanding on the left side of the picture, one last go for minor pits, and then start priming. Only 10 days behind schedule. Took a extra week of vacation. Getting tired, shoulders ache fairly steady.

Also started the stucco work on the outside. Sixty pounds of stucco mix does not cover very much.

Posted by at 06:18 AM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2003

Drywall UP

Got the drywall all up. The firecode 5/8" Sheetrock is considerably heavier than the 1/2" I used in the garage. When I removed the old plaster I left the metal lath in the corners and bent it all back over the new drywall and screwed it down tight with screws every six inches. Have the joints taped and am ready to apply the mud. That's a three day job as it is three layers with a day's drying for each layer. Will work on the outside in spare time.

Meanwhile I have a BBQ to attend to..... Ciao!

Posted by at 06:30 PM | Comments (2)