Our cats have their own room!

It gets pretty cold in the Winter and we lock our cats in the garage at night, but it’s still cold in the garage as there is no heating and air in there, naturally. They’re also getting up there in age, and I feel bad that while we’re in a heated house, they’re probably cold in the garage. We have little beds (nothing special, just those little pet beds you can buy at Petsmart) and a couple of heated pads for them, and they do use them, but I don’t think it’s enough. So, I decided to do something about it.

I actually made this little structure last year, but just never posted anything about it. Well, here’s some pictures:



Yaaay, we have our own warm room 🙂


Yes, I like building things with PVC. It’s cheap, light and easy to work with. I just added some cardboard to the sides, attaching to the PVC with wire ties. Threw some wood on top for the roof, draped a nice big piece of tarp over the whole thing and called it a day.

The little heater in there was a cheap one from WalMart – about $15 with a built-in thermostat, and tip-over safety shut off.

Now we sleep better knowing that our boys are warm and safe.


No more under-kitchen-sink leaks

So what did I do this last Labor Day? Nothing fun, that’s for sure! But I did replace our kitchen faucet because it was leaking like crazy – in the cupboards directly below it, there was tons of water. 😦

I bought a cheap (relatively) Delta kitchen faucet (#B3310LF) @ Home Depot a few weeks ago, but I just didn’t have a nice big block of time to make the change until the 7th, Labor Day.


New kitchen faucet

It’s pretty much the same as the last one. The only thing I don’t like is that the base is smaller, so it’s exposing some of the dirty area from under the old one…I tried using synthetic steel wool to clean it up before installing the new one, but that didn’t really do anything.

A Hulk moment

One cold November evening after work, I was ready to take a shower as usual. I went to pull the handle that turns on the water, and the whole thing came off in my hand. I didn’t actually pull that hard (I thought), but it sure came off easily. An endless, powerful stream of water came shooting out of the hole that was revealed behind the shower handle.

So here are a couple of photos of the old one:

Old, broken cartridge

Old, broken cartridge

Old, broken cartridge

Old, broken cartridge

I did some searching on Google / YouTube for what is going to be involved, and finally discovered that this is a ‘shower handle valve cartridge’. I wasn’t seeing any exact replacements online, so I was hoping there would be a ‘universal’ one. I looked at some small print on the area where this came from and noticed the brand, Price Pfister. This helped a lot.

After consulting with my dad, I went to his place and picked up a spare that he happened to have (works for a plumbing/HVAC supply company). Home Depot / Lowe’s seems to actually carry these too (for about $15).

As soon as I got home, I installed the new one (my dad also sent some special grease for this part) in about 2 minutes. It was very easy, and it works perfectly I discovered after turning the house’s main water back on!

What’s the point of this story? I’m not sure.

Until next time…


Gear up!

Worn-Broken Gear - 1sm

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I apologize, but I’ve been extremely busy.

Moving on…

Can you guess where this came from? No? It came from my (Sears Craftsman) automatic garage door opener. The AGDO was already in place when we bought our house, and it looked old then. Now, about 10 years later, the thing stopped working. I didn’t know why – when I pushed the button to open/close the garage door, it made noise, but nothing seemed to be moving.

Having no idea what’s wrong with it, I opened it up, and low and behold, found this. My friend (Google) that knows how to fix anything, told me what to buy and how to replace this gear. Google (more specifically YouTube) was right – it only took about an hour to replace it and have my opener up and running again.

Sorry I don’t have any more photos, such as the new gear or the process of replacing it, but our mutual friend can tell you what you need to know.

Well, that’s about it for now. Let me just say that if I would have called a professional to fix my opener, I’d be out at least $125. (Oh, I bought the part off of eBay for $7 including shipping)

A little (green) light for the backyard

Well it’s been a while, because I’ve been busy. But here is one of the little things that I’ve done recently. I’ve been hearing noises that I don’t like late at night, so I decided to add a solar motion security light to the shed in our backyard:


See the little light there in the corner by the downspout? And the solar panel is on the adjacent side mounted on the trim.

Here’s a closer look:


We do have motion security lights mounted on the house (hardwired) in the backyard, but doesn’t reach the entire backyard, so I decided to add some more light.

The solar panel charges the internal rechargeable battery during the day, then when it’s night the LED lights come on when motion is detected. It outputs a decent amount of light…below is a picture I took when it’s on at night:


(The photo doesn’t really do it justice – it’s a bit brighter than it looks)

If interested, this is the item purchased from Amazon.com. It seems to work well – it’s fairly bright, and was easy to install. I don’t think there’s much better for the price.

That’s all I have for now. The next one is probably going to be a little project I’m working on for my garage workbench.

Jamie The Nerd (it’s been certified!)

Last month I became A+ Certified.

What does that mean? Well, let me just quote from CompTIA’s website regarding just that:

“In order to receive the CompTIA A+ certification, you must pass two exams.

CompTIA A+ 220-801 covers the fundamentals of computer technology, installation and configuration of PCs, laptops and related hardware, and basic networking.

 CompTIA A+ 220-802 covers the skills required to install and configure PC operating systems, as well as configuring common features (e.g. network connectivity and email) for mobile operating systems Android and Apple iOS.”

Soooo, does this make me a certifiable nerd? Idk (I don’t know).

What, you want proof that I’m certified? Ok, well you can verify here. My code is:


Finally, here’s a copy of my certificate:

CompTIA A+ ce certificate

CompTIA A+ ce certificate

Shed officially done now?

Well, after a long time (months and months…ok maybe a year), I finally put the finishing touches on my shed. I added the downspouts. You see it?:

Downspouts Installed

The reason it took me so long is that I only bought 45 degree elbows a while back but realized that it wasn’t working. 😦 I recently saw a shed somewhere (probably Home Depot of Lowe’s) and realized that you can just cut a piece of the actual downspout to make everything fit correctly! Duh.

I have a question mark in the title because even though it’s officially done, I’ve got to redo one (or both) door as it sagged a lot for some reason, but that will take a few hours to do so will have to handle that later this month hopefully. (I already bought a new hinge and some replacement wood (and painted it).