Sponsored Links


September 2021
« Jan    

Foam Roofs and Hailstorms

I love foam roofs! It was the second thing that I did when I moved into the casa. Two reasons is insulation and sound proofing. Having a flat roof limits the amount of insulation that you can install between the joists. Closed cell foam has an R value of 6.25 per inch and the typical roof is 2” thick. This translates into reduced energy costs for heating and cooling. Living underneath one of the airport landing patterns for Sky Harbor makes its sound deadening qualities a winner.   However….

Hail takes a toll. Were it just surface problems, usually re-coating would solve things. With the hail storm we had my roof looks more like the surface of the moon and will need to be replaced. Because of the depth of the impacts and the subsequent rain, it is not repairable.

The shingle roofs got hammered as well.

The plastic gutters I put up got smashed. They were more of an experiment in plastic laughing at the Arizona sun. The sun won and the hailstorm drove in the final strokes. Note to self: No plastic rain gutters down here.

If that wasn’t quite enough, my A/C unit got clocked.

The fins should be a dark grey showing you the edges, rather than smashed flat. My A/C guy will have to figure out if this can be fixed.

I waited to call the adjuster as my damage though bad was minor compared some folks, friends and clients. Trashed roofs, broken windows, soaked furniture, glass embedded carpets. Not to mention the cars that look like moonscapes with the dents from the hail.

This will be an interesting time as this is repaired. Photos and commentary to come.


Mostly in Arizona we have  climate, occasionally we get weather. Yesterday we got hail. Lasted 2 minutes.
This is in my front yard just after it stopped.

This is the driveway.

This is a closeup of some of it. Most were the size of peas with a sprinkling of missiles the size of quarters.

Scared the crap out of the dogs. Freaked me out too.

42 Inches of Surfing

One of the things that I looked for in getting a flat screen TV was the ability to plug in other devices. My primary purpose was to watch DVD Movies and TV Series. Nothing brightens up a series than being able to watch it without commercial interruption.

A 42 inch screen is a pleasure. Because I do a lot of stuff on the web, I bolted together some parts from old computers including an old RAEDON video card and hooked up.


Works great. I have a wireless mouse and keyboard by Logitec that I bought at Costco, controlling it from 12 feet away. The Logitec Is NOT recommended as the keyboard feels like somebody poured syrup under the keys. Real squishy strokes. Like typing through snot. Not recommended.
I ended up with the Logitec as Costco stopped selling the Labtech sets that I really like.

But as a proof of concept it works well.

Flat Screen TV Price Drop

Flat screen TV is the cats ass for watching movies and series on DVD. Prices are gonna drop like an asteroid crashing into the sea. If you are thinking about one, after thanksgiving by about 10 days or so should see you getting a great deal.

This is my 42'' Visio. HD Programs are sharp enough to slice your eyeballs.  1080p and more plugs than you can possibly use in the back. Has 2 AV inputs, 2 Component inputs, with HDMI, which will play blue ray as well as standard DVD's

I watch a lot of movies and series TV. I own them all. I build my own shelving. There is nothing like watching an entire season without commercial interruption. Admittedly, 22 'hour' long episodes makes for a long day, but with a comfy chair, a hot air popcorn popper, and beverages, it is doable. Plus you can take breaks anytime you want.

Not a lot of series go 22 anymore, it is more like 12-15, but it extremely enjoyable this way. So much so, that I watch only a few actual shows at the time that they are on. There is enough stuff going on that I can wait until the season comes out on DVD.

Enough about my habits, since this is about flat screen TV's. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Tool bargains as the housing market has put a real hurt on the big box stores as well as electronics and just about everything that goes into houses.

Even More Bubbles

My own projects take a back seat to clients projects, which is why my media room is still unfinished despite building the new temporary workshop in the back.

Rummaging around in the building salvage yards a few years ago brought me this window which I installed for light in the media room. Double glazed commercial window I picked up for a song. Light with low heat gain as it is a west facing wall.

The view sucks. The neighbors swamp cooler is not my idea of a view. My side eave is not adding a lot either.

I had thought about stained glass here, as I was looking for light over a view. I have enough windows to tell me what the weather is like.

I have decided to bubble it. Having lived with the bubbles in the laundry room, I really like the light I get through these blocks. It is one of those happy things that happen that I will be able to get an even number of blocks in the opening.
Mediawindow2This block only comes in one size. 8×8''. I wish they came in a 6×6 size as I have a window in my bathroom that would look great with these.

Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles.


Right now I just have them stacked in the opening while I do other things. I am thinking about various framing options.  Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles.

More Bubbles

The laundry room was a dark place. Now with Bubbles!
Here is a better detail of the bubbles.
This afternoon will be quite a light show…

The New Temporary Workshop V2 (beta)

Last summer I won some money on the lottery, which allowed me to make some improvements around here. Block Fence, Driveway, Refrigerator Alcove/Utility Room. One of the things that I was able to build was a new temporary workshop. The old one was in the media room. The end game is a 18×36 workshop in the back.

The Table Saw

Here is the table saw in it’s position. It is on wheels so I can make cross cuts as well as rips.

The extension table

The extension table is recycled from a temporary frame I built for a countertop. The deck is a leftover piece of the original T-1-11 siding. The cabinets are recycled from the Master Bath Project. On the back side I will be building a drop leaf for the miter saw. It is on wheels also.

The Far Side

The other side of the NTW has a couple of cabinets for storage of what not. I really need to get rid of those doors. I will be making a run to Habit for Humanity next week to get a bunch of stuff back into the recycling pipeline,

Storage of materials remains a problem with the hallway acting as my storage depot.

Now you see why I want an 18×36 workshop?

It’s a dry heat. Tales of the Anti-Destination League.

Phoenix had it’s first day over 100 yesterday. This week is looking to go down in the record books in triple digits.

I have mentioned before that remodeling is biblical in nature. One project begats another. Your idea is simple, replace some drywall and install a sink. Removing the drywall points out that the plumbing needs work, fixing the plumbing needs to have some carpentry, which means moving the electric, and so on. You get the idea.

The star player and cosmic trickster in remodeling is the Anti-Destination League. This occult organization is the single largest reason that time and budgets get blown out of the water. The ADL does things like making you have to go to the parts store 10 mins. before they close, and gives you red lights all the way. The material you have been looking for is mysteriously out of stock. The phone rings when you are on the ladder with one foot on the ladder and both hands full. You get the idea. Murphy is an agent of the ADL.

Of course, the Anti-Destination League had other plans. First up was the A/C unit which did not fire up. Good News! It was a thermostat. Second up was taking the herd, Flo the slavering jaws of death, Walnut, and Blackie to the vet for shots. What should have been a couple of hours, turned into an all day marathon of shots and surgeries, and prescriptions. Why the hell can’t they make dog meds liquid?

Moving on…

Having gotten my tax refund back, and having a little breathing space between Projects for Others, I am hoping to work on the casa.
Specifically the movie room. The movie room has been framed up since 2005.

The west wall is where I am mounting my 42” HD TV. The window will be getting a stained glass panel. This is also the room where I am installing a ‘coffered’ ceiling. I am still not sure if I am mounting the TV to the wall or if I will build a popup cabinet to hide the TV that will cover the window when the TV is raised.

The north wall is probably going to be bumped out a couple of feet and the archway made opened up a bit, and the DVD Cases built in to the walls. The other day I designed and built a DVD case. I need at least 2.

I still need to figure out what I am using for a door or drape for this opening. Plus I need to run the speaker wire for the surround sound.

The hall wall will get a pocket door, solving that problem.

Meanwhile I am looking at a solar tube for the kitchen, since putting the workshop on the back, the kitchen is almost as dark as a coal mine.
I am also learning how little space 10′ really is, when you have a table saw and are cutting and ripping 4×8 sheets of plywood.

The New Temporary Workshop Episode 8

Work continues at a slower pace, as I am working on the client Master Bath Project. However I managed to get some stuff done around here.

This is the East wall, which I covered with 1/2″ 5-ply plywood. I used 5 ply which is more expensive, but much more stable for mounting cabinets and holders of various sorts I have been collecting over time.
This is the wall between the shop and the alcove for the reefer and the utility room. It is insulated as well.

The majority of the taping and sanding is done. The north wall and it’s soffit remains open as I have not switched the electric circuit around.

The kitchen window is wrapped as well as the temporary pocket door is installed.

Priming took place the other day with KILZ2 primer. Walnut the wonder dog could care less.

I built a ‘airlock’ door for the dogs out of 2 petdoor flap sides. I saw one in the store, but I balked at the 75 buck price tag, and the idea that I would need to remember 2 sizes and types of flaps. Lazy I am, for sure. Dogs like it.


I am also experimenting with trimless openings. I used “L” bead around the door. “L” bead and Corner Bead on the windows. I am still muttering about the floor.
On the left is the famous electric outlet featured here

I installed the outlets at 48” off the floor because this is a workshop, and having the outlet above your benches is a good thing.

I have a break Wednesday, as the client has stuff to do, and the Master Bath Project will be at a resting point with the rest of the solid surface going in. Hopefully, my son and I will get the electricity moved, and get the soffits buttoned up. Plus we need to get materials for a gutter job on the other side of town.
Maybe get some of the cabinets moved, and installed on the walls. Thursday may be a down day as the Caravan needs to go to the shop to have the brakes repaired.

The New Temporary Workshop Episode 7

I managed to get some primer on the NTW the other day. The temp was in the high 60’s.

I am using KILZ brand primer. Great stuff. It works best in the 70’s, as in the 60’s it has the consistency of sour creme. But then so do all paints.

Inside I have hung the pocket door, which I am going to cut open and install a dog door on the bottom and a piece of tempered glass salvaged from a shower removal. Putting up the NTW, turned the kitchen into a bit of a cave, so I need to get as much light into the house as I can. I am also making the trim on one side of the pocket door frame removable, so when I find or build the door I really want, I can install it.

For Christmas I received this. Oh yeah! This tops the list of christmas presents for sure. I love stained glass.

Now I just have to find the best place to put it. The windows in the casa are dual pane energy efficient units with one big drawback. The damn faux pane dividers inside. These are the standard here in arizona. I’d like to bitch slap the person who thought this was cool. I hated multi pane windows when I had to repair, refinish and paint them. Having them in the center of the window, makes it doubling maddening as replacing dual pane units are more expensive than the window in the first place.

Right now it is in my bathroom in the window.

The forecast calls for high 60’s during the first part of the week. I hope so. Then I can get the outside painted, and finish the inside, and move my tools into the workshop. Start building cabinets for my DVD’s and books. Then I can move down the hallway and work on getting my office setup, and the media room/movie theater finished.