Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lock it Up

The empty hole in this picture is where the latch for our bedroom sliding door should be.  We haven't been able to lock that door since we bought the house, so we resorted to a pipe in the rail to secure the door.

A trip to King City Glass resulted in acquiring the exact piece we were missing, for the low, low price of free.  After an easy install, we now have a locking door in the bedroom.  Thank you, Jernigans.

The lock in the dining room sliding door was also not working correctly.  It turned out the mechanism was slightly broken.  A pin became dislodged, preventing proper operation, and also making removal difficult.  I only had to destroy the aluminum door a little bit to get it out.
Home Depot had a replacement mechanism and it installed without a hitch.
The pin on the lower right should not be protruding.  The design of the new part has eliminated the pin.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lube Job

Not our mower.  Same model, but not rusty enough.
Our free, manual lawn mower was running a little rough, so I decided it was time for a tune-up.  It was actually much easier than I thought it would be.
You start by popping off the hub cap and removing an E-clip.

Pulling off the wheel reveals the gears that drive the blades.

The gears were bone dry, so I applied a healthy coating of grease to the teeth, then repeated on the other side.

I also sprayed a thin coat of WD-40 on the blades, per the manufacturer's instruction.
Preview of our new and improved back yard.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Yard Duty

Ah, the yard. I kept saying "once the inside of the house is finished, I'll get started on the yard". That was such a darling notion; you see, yards don't wait. They don't care what you are up to all day, they just do what they want and before you know it you have a jungle. Well, it was time to get my jungle in check and turn my soft peachy thumb to green.

I started by sprucing up the front a little, I pulled some of the agapanthus from the flower bed to make room.

Crazy roots trying to wreck my life.

All clear!

Then I planted some super awesome hydrangeas in their place. Easy enough right? If you think uprooting a plant who refuses to leave is easy.

One down.

Ah, much better.

But alas, my yard demanded more attention.

The worst part of the yard, the area screaming for my attention, was the side yard. One side is beautifully paved and houses our trash cans. The other? It has a paved walkway and the rest is just sad uneven dirt that really enjoys creating the scariest spiderweb covered weeds.

I refuse to insert a photo, it would give you nightmares. Instead I will move on to tell you of it's current glory.

After pulling all of the weeds I was left with an empty wasteland. I was fairly confident the loose sandy soil that is dry and mostly shaded wouldn't support plant life. This left only a few options and since Andy's awesome friend/co-worker was getting rid of some lovely small river rocks; it left only one!

We were able to acquire a large amount of lovely 1-2" river rocks. We laid some of the anti-weed fabric and with the help of some friends filled the dirt pit with rocks. We did buy a few more bags at Home Depot just to fill it in a little more.

Just a handful or so.

The truck was a little weighted down with a meager 1.5 tons or so.

Some more rocks to fill it in and a preview of future Pekema Projects.

It looks not only way better than it did, it actually looks good. I stop over on the side yard after watering just to look at it. I highly recommend rocks for areas like this, especially free ones.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, we are well underway on some serious landscaping. More soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

100th Post!!! - Patio Progress

This is the 100th post on Pekema Projects!  Wow.  I think at least half of them weren't totally inane.

Anyway, we finally got some patio furniture.  Aluminum bar height table, six chairs, and an umbrella stand.  Should last a good long time.
As I've said before, if you are patient, you can usually find exactly what you want on Craigslist for a great price.

Another angle, with spectacular bougainvillea.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

12 Inches of Extra Length to My Handle

My wagon handle.
You see, I got a wagon for my birthday so we could walk to the grocery store and pull our purchases home in the wagon.
Unfortunately, the handle length was optimized for a four-year old.  As you can see in this promotional photo:

The wagon was essentially unusable for the us, the tallest married couple in Torrance.*
Luckily I have skilled friends.  My coworker Juan, who used absolutely no company resources for this personal project, welded in a foot of additional length to the handle.  Thank you, Juan.
Here's what it was like before (stock photo; we are currently not using the wood panels to improve aerodynamics):
Stock (lame) Wagon
And here's what it looks like now (notice the handle is as high as the telephone lines):
Custom (baller) Working Wagon, and Beautiful Bougainvillea...and Sweet Fence
*Verification pending.