Paradise ponders... We're worried about Mo'i this morning. He's our 17 year old field spaniel, and he's been in a slow decline for a couple of years now. Until yesterday afternoon, he's needed diapers and frequent cleanups of “accidents”, but otherwise he's given every indication of still enjoying his life. He's been able to walk around, to go outside and enjoy the yard, etc. Most especially, he's enjoyed eating – that's always been Mo'i's main pleasure. Yesterday afternoon we saw that he was having trouble standing and walking, even with good traction out in our yard (our kitchen is trickier because of the slippery tile floor). This morning he looked even sadder. We're going to get him into the vet to make sure there's nothing fixable, but ... we suspect we're near the end of the time we can keep him comfortable and happy. We expected this day to come a couple years ago, so he's had more of a good life than we ever expected – but somehow that still doesn't make the day of reckoning (or the anticipation of it) any easier...
Yesterday was a busy day around here. In the morning I took the next few steps on getting the heating installed for my new office in the shed. The first challenge was to cut a rectangular hole in the floor of the second floor that exactly matched a rectangular hole I'd already cut in the ceiling of the first floor (got that?). It took me a while to come up with a solution, but here's what I did. I took a long “jobber bit” for my drill and put the shaft in one corner of the hole in the first floor ceiling, aiming straight up. Then I used a torpedo level to get the shaft precisely vertical – and then drilled the hole. That's the hole you see at the upper right in the first photo below. From there I measured out a rectangle 1/2" larger in every direction than the one below. After that I used my oscillating saw to cut out the floor, and when I pulled out the piece I cut – there was my other hole, right where it should be (third photo)! Success!
That oscillating saw is right up there on my personal list of the greatest inventions in the history of the world – in the same company as chocolate ice cream, willing women, dogs, wildflowers, assembly language, and tractors.
The next step was to build a “tunnel” to conduct the air from the first floor to the second floor (being pushed by a blower that will be mounted on the ceiling of the first floor). I made this with four pieces of OSB simply glued up. You can see it in clamps below. The soft mallet visible in the second photo is what I used to “bonk” the pieces into the right place once I had the clamps tight. Force, applied carefully, does wonders for woodworking. And management :)
Around 1 pm my brother Scott dropped in, and we spent the afternoon spreading some wood chip mulch around. This is the first time I've used the wood chips that I made with the Wallenstein chipper/shredder I bought almost two years ago. They looked very nice to me, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could easily move them with a shovel. Scott told me that it was the nicest wood chip mulch he's ever seen – but he tends to the hyperbolic in both his praise and his scorn, so I'm not too sure how much to read into that :)