A Week of Rain

With sincere apologies to my Californian readers, this is what our rain gauge looked like a few days ago:

There was an atmospheric river and we had about 6.6" of rainfall over five days. Then we had a couple of days where it only barely rained, and now it’s raining again, apparently for another five days, though this time it’s not a major weather event.

So, dear Californian reader, while I realize that it might have rained recently down there, I am sorry we are getting most of your rain up here. I hope you get plenty of rain now!

This past week hasn’t seen as much accomplished as I would have hoped. Oh well. Here’s the most exciting one:

If you’ve followed these posts for a while you might remember those stupid door handles. The one on the left is broken, and the one on the right will break eventually thanks to their dumb design. While Anne was gone I started looking into how I was going to replace them. It turns out to be more than a bit complicated, and probably won’t happen for months.

While looking into that I discovered that the old deadbolt (just above the right door handle) was the only thing keeping the door closed. The actual door latch was not entering the hole in the striker plate on the other door. I removed the striker plate and discovered it couldn’t easily be moved so I filed the opening a bit wider, and got the latch working. Progress, I thought, but nothing is that simple.

This mechanism has an interlock between the door handle and the deadbolt. If you lock the deadbolt you can unlock it just by opening the door handle. Or rather, you should be able to do that. This particular mechanism, though, is sticky. It’s probably been a decade or more since the door latch worked properly, and in that time it has gummed up. So while I could open and close the deadbolt with the lever (removed in the photo above) to get the door handle to unlock the deadbolt was a bit tricky. If you tried long enough it would eventually open, but given it took force I was afraid the handle would break and I couldn’t have that. Even worse, if you threw the deadbolt and then immediately opened it back up with the same lever, the door handle was still sticky and needed force to open. This mechanism is dumb.

The longer term plan is to replace both handles and add a separate deadbolt, and I have all the parts on hand. One day this week the weather actually cooperated (with a predicted temperature of 15 C — about 59 F) so I installed the deadbolt you see well above the door handles. The pencil line in between is the planned height of the new door knobs whenever they get installed, but that is going to take a lot of work.

Installing that deadbolt was complicated by various things and took a couple of hours, but it works, so now I can open and close the door with the handle and lock it with the new deadbolt. And to prevent the sticky mechanism in the old deadbolt from gumming up the door handle, I removed the lever that lets it get turned, so you can’t even use the old deadbolt anymore. Problem… avoided? Worked around? Definitely not solved. *sigh*

In the spring I will find a few days in a row where the weather is reasonable, remove the old handle & lock mechanism entirely, back fill the holes in the door with wood, prime them up, and then install the new door handles. And during all of that I will be able to keep the doors closed and locked with the new deadbolt.

All that being said, the doors are so poorly hung and in such bad shape that eventually they may get replaced entirely. Not sure, but it is possible.

In one of the breaks in the rain this week I wandered out back, noted the moon through the clouds, got out my phone and took this photo:

Not bad given I had to hold it above my head to get the shot. The Night Sight mode on the camera seems pretty good.

Another photo comes from last night. We risked going out to eat, and even sat indoors. Next week the capacity limits come off all the restaurants & bars, and we expect things to get kind of crazy. They’ll still have to check everyone’s vaccine passports, but the crowds will definitely get larger. Anyway, this was at the podium:

It’s a common joke these days, but I appreciated seeing it and I was happy they were enforcing the vaccine requirement.

In other news, the new dishwasher and microwave arrived, but are still in boxes in the garage. Not sure when I will get those installed, but sooner would be better.

That about wraps it up for this week. I leave you with three pictures of rainy day dogs:

They’ve definitely got the right idea!




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Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.