Where Does The Time Go?

Hi all.

Well, it’s been another pretty dull week here.

No, really. Dull.

I spent most of it working on preparing to file our income taxes (always a challenge for US expatriates living in Canada), working on website and social media content for the community association, and continuing to refine our home’s window replacement needs. As you can see, not a lot to share with you. Sorry.

There are a couple of other things, though.

First, the chimney continues to drip and thus mystify me. It’s not a lot of water, but it has not stopped despite all the roofing cement I slathered over the flashing. The next test is to see if it is wind driven water getting into the chimney opening. The concrete cover over the top of the chimney is not all that large, and in theory it is easy for wind driven rain to get into the opening, so:

Chimney Protection

I hacked that together from an old shelf the previous owners left us. It’s glued and nailed together, and held in place with zip ties in a long chain. I deliberately left it a bit short on the sides and even shorter inside so that air can still flow out of the chimney, but it rises high enough that it is now much more difficult for wind driven rain to get to the opening. And there is nothing for water to condense on and drip back down. I learned my lesson about that with the baking sheet.

If this stops the drip then I will at last have identified the issue. If not, I get to put a lot more roofing cement down to seal up below the bottom flashing, where it gets close to the roof. That would be silly at some level, but it’s the only other place water could be getting in. (Of course, if that is happening, I have no idea how the water is getting through the bricks to the inside of the chimney. This is all a big, weird mess.)

I should note that a walk around the neighbourhood the other day revealed at least three houses with tarps over their chimneys. We’re not alone in fighting weird battles with these things.

Another thing from a while back was the issue of ice on the flat roof, and specifically of it freezing in downspouts. I might have found something to eliminate that problem:

Those are ice melting mats for stairs being tested in my garage. The roof has five downspouts: two on the upper roof and three on the lower. Of those, four are in scuppers, so all I need is one heating mat across the entrance to the scupper and that should keep water from freezing over the top.

The middle downspout on the lower roof is more complicated, but I can put mats on either side of it as well as one just above. That should keep the water flowing there. Plus, it turns out that middle downspout is the one that carries the most water off the lower roof, so more heat in that area is probably better anyway.

This system is not yet installed. I need to improve the outlet that it will plug in to first. That’s a job for this weekend.

It’s lucky I have this weekend, though. I was going to get my second shingles vaccine tomorrow, but I have rescheduled it. Anne got hers the other day and it wiped her out for a full 24 hours. All her large muscles were sore. If it hit her like that there is a very good chance it will be worse for me. Also, I had my Covid booster shot only a week ago. While I’m past all the obvious side effects, my body is still working overtime on Covid immunity. It doesn’t need to worry about shingles at the same time. Seems like a better idea to let that wait a few weeks.

All that is to say that instead of laying around moaning this weekend I should instead get those heating mats installed and ready for use, even if doing so will assure warm weather for the rest of the winter.

Finally, I have a confession to make: I had no clue what an NFT was. Or rather, I knew what it stood for and had a tiny hint about them, but even as an artist they made no sense to me. Then I watched this video:

That’s Julie Nolke, of “Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self” fame, but this time tackling the subject of NFTs as only she can. It’s funny, and definitely worth a watch, but it also caused me to do a quick search for something that might explain NFTs for real. That effort turned up an article I like. If you are even slightly curious about what NFTs are and how they work — still at a very high level, this is not a technical article — here you go:

Be sure to read the updates at the end of that story.

That’s a wrap for this week. I really need to get back to something creative, or at least to painting the walls or something. One of these days. I promise!

Until then, here is your obligatory photo of a sleeping dog:

He misses grandma.




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

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Jeff Powell

Jeff Powell

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

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