Greetings yet again, fellow travellers. The week is over — at least as I mark them — and it is once again time for me to write something about it. Or about something else. When I get started I never know where these things will wind up going.
Actually that isn’t entirely true. I always check the photos taken since the last post to see if any are useful. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t, but it’s a place to start. Also, if I come across anything during the week that is particularly interesting or amusing I generally add it to the draft right then, when I find it. That way, on Friday it’s already here reminding me to include it.
But this week has been an odd one. Nothing came up during the week that I thought should be here, so I am facing blank page syndrome. Even worse, though I have a few photos I can share, none are all that exciting.
So what to write about?
Well, how about the fact that I can’t see the aurora? (You can thank — or blame — Anne for suggesting this topic.)
It might not have made the news where you are, or it might have been present there but it’s not the sort of thing usually in your news feed. Regardless, I found it interesting.
The other day the sun emitted a CME — Coronal Mass Ejection — which was pointed in our (earth’s) direction. For those not in the know, the sun’s magnetic field follows an 11 year cycle of activity. It actually flips orientations every 11 years, and we are now entering a more active part of the cycle. It powers sunspots — dark, cooler spots on the Sun’s surface — and more violent things like CMEs. A CME is effectively the Sun burping. It sends a bolus of plasma — on the order of a billion tons — out into space in some direction. Should one of those collide with earth, interesting things can happen. Power systems can be damaged, some satellites need to go into safe modes to avoid problems, and the arriving material can cause spectacular auroral displays, possibly moving father from the poles than usual.
As a result of the recent CME there were predictions of possible aurora down as far as Vancouver, which sounded interesting. Viewing an aurora would be safe during the pandemic so long as you remain socially distanced, and I have never seen one before.
Sadly, however, this is Vancouver, aka Rain City. We will not be viewing the aurora this evening, and probably not on Saturday either, though there is a slim chance then. Clouds are a bit of a problem in this case, even if they don’t hinder the other impacts of a CME slamming into earth. Oh well. Someday I’ll see an aurora in person.
When not pining for interesting phenomena to observe, it was all house projects this week. And here is where things get even more boring. Sorry.
First we have this little repair in the garage ceiling:
That took some hours. Before the plywood you see was jigsawed into place, it was an open hole into the floor joists below my office and studio, and insulation was the only accessory, kind of like the wall you see.
The foam pipe insulation surrounds the main water line into the house which was replaced by the previous owners not too long before we moved in. I had assumed the hole in the ceiling was cut to make the entry of the water line possible, but in the process of closing it up I noticed that the edges of the old tongue & groove ceiling material were painted. And it is not young paint.
Thus it seems the hole long predates the new water line, and I cannot explain it. But I sealed it up to help keep air from moving around, and eventually to reduce the dust getting into the boiler and water heater room (which is what the water line goes into).
Eventually I will finish sheet rocking the wall you see there, and get it all painted as well. But that is lower on the priority list than any number of other things.
I told you this was boring stuff.
Also in the garage I added two new light fixtures, since the old fluorescent ones were inadequate:
I had to redo some wiring to make this happen, but that was simple. And the new LED fixtures are much brighter than the old ones. I can see well out there now when working on projects. It’s a small miracle.
Also firmly in the level of mundane, I assembled two new dressers from Ikea:
Cruzer did not approve of that process. Anything that involves boxes and moving things around is definitely not approved of. But we needed more drawer space to fully unpack, and we can finally do that, so there you go.
The other big time sink this week has been an ongoing process of repairing holes in walls. In most cases these are just nail holes from art the previous owners had up, but I exposed a few more holes myself when I removed an alarm system that we were never going to use. No need for that thing to take up space and consume electricity while we’re living here, so it’s gone.
The transformer that powered the alarm was in the library (in which I assembled a bunch of bookcases a couple of weeks ago), and its original installation had resulted in a couple of holes in a wall there that needed patching. As a result of that and my disgust at the paint colour in there, this began:
The sheets you see hanging on either side of those photos cover the new bookcases, and the walls in the rest of the room have had one coat of primer applied to them. In the first photo you can see some of the darkish grey that the room was painted. It had to go after I had patched up the mess that was left behind. A 60 year old house will have seen some abuse, without question, and fixing much of it is not that hard.
The plan is to apply a second coat of primer where needed to finish making that grey disappear, then paint the accessible walls & ceiling our usual white. After that the bookcases move to the opposite (and newly painted) wall to let me repair and paint the other half of the room. Then they move back, another bookcase gets installed, and we leave it like that until it is time to replace the carpet in here, which will wait until Covid is no longer a concern.
Again, I told you it was a boring week. Sorry!
This is the only colourful photo I have this time:
That’s Anne putting decorations on our little Christmas tree. By this point that day the dogs were exhausted and were thus not trying to tell her to knock it off.
We wish you all the best this holiday season. Please stay safe!
I just ran some errands — between writing the initial draft of this post and editing it for publishing — and discovered that sometime in the last couple of days a creature of some kind made a nest under the hood of Anne’s car. I started it up to a flurry of warning lights on the dash that were not there the last time it was used. Then I opened the hood to find a bunch of still damp leaves on top of the engine block. Not good.
It will have to go to the shop to be diagnosed, and I have to figure out if I can drive it there or not. Oh joy. I hope I have a successful repair to report next week.