18 September, 2011

It's Just One Thing After Another

Wednesday afternoon, as I was off in dreamland getting a massage on the living room floor from Nelson, our erstwhile masseur, it sounded like all hell broke loose downstairs. My first thought was that the upper cabinets in my workshop had pulled away from the wall and collapsed.

Dianna, who had been gaming on her laptop and I, accompanied by Nelson, jumped up and ran downstairs to see what had self-destructed. As we opened the downstairs door, we saw that it wasn't my workshop that had suffered a cataclysm, but Dianna's. One of her shelving units that had been mounted to an exterior concrete wall had pulled away from the wall, bringing the little plastic anchors (or shields as they call them here) with it.

The damage wasn't really all that bad. Most of the things (a lot of parts and miscellany for working on miniatures) that she had on that shelf were in containers and they stayed sealed during their journey to the floor. Only two things, some glass bottles with stoppers like you find on Grolsch Beer had gotten destroyed, but that was about all.

I decided instead of just putting it back up, to seek some expert advice from Andy at National Hardware. Since it was too late to do it that day (after all we had to swim), I decided to head into town the following day.

That evening, we got an email from Mae saying she was heading down to Belize City to meet with her Ophthalmologist (not Dr. Hoy) for a torn retina problem. I answered her, telling her of my recent escapade with eye surgery.

The next email I got from her the following morning was that the problem was worse than initially thought and that she was booked on an afternoon flight back to the states to get surgery there as the doctor decided it was beyond the scope of what could be done at the hospital.

So, since things always seem to work in threes... who's next for eye problems?

Now, it's the following day and I went to National Hardware to see if Andy could advise me on how to resurrect Dianna's shelving. When I described the problem, he said that he knew exactly what I was talking about as he had put up some shelves for his wife in their laundry room and had the same thing happen.

What it turns out to be is that because the shelving standard (the vertical bit) is about a half-inch deep, when you drive in the screw and it bites into the plastic anchor it tends to want to pull out the anchor a bit. Even if it doesn't pull it out, because of the half-inch stand-off, there's not enough of the screw that has gone into the anchor to make a really secure connection in the concrete wall and it will tend to pull out.

What Andy recommended was to get some epoxy (which I did) coat each anchor with it and reinsert them into the holes and let them set. He also recommended getting some sort of material (I decided on narrow strips of wood) that will fit inside the standard. Those strips will be pre-drilled so the screws go through them into the anchors. The strips keep the anchor from pulling out.

I just finished cleaning all the concrete dust out of the holes with my compressor, and then mixing epoxy and coating each anchor with the mix and reinserting them into the holes in the wall. I'll let them set up over night as I have to visit my friendly cabinet shop to have some wood ripped thin enough to fit in the standards. Then I'll be ready to re-assemble the shelving and hopefully, this time, it will be bomb-proof.

I dismantled Dianna's other shelf and did the same thing to it, so hopefully that prevents another catastrophic fall. I'll be doing the same thing to a set of shelves in my workshop and also in the tool room where I have probably 50 or 60 partially filled gallon cans of paint and varnish and such. That needs to be done before we have a really catastrophic separation of shelving units from the wall.

And now, another thing... Not related to eye problems or shelving. This goes back to my weather station. You may recall I've had problems with it, saying we've had over 200" of rain in a month or so... and also, just failing to receive data from the outside unit itself. I've solved that issue.

I was rooting around in my laptop's start-up folder (as you do, if you're adventurous and foolish) the other day, when I noticed two instances of Cumulus, my weather station software. "Hmm," I thought. "That's not right." So, I rooted around some more and found the older of the two and moved it to the desktop - not deleting it just in case it was needed.

Then I moved to the system registry file (as you do, if you're really adventurous and foolish crazy). I made sure there was only one reference to Cumulus there and got out of the registry file toot-sweet.

I have no idea how I had two instances of the software running. Anyway, I think that caused most of the problems as since then, things seem to be working the way you would expect them to - finally.

I haven't heard anything more of anyone with new eye problems (other than Vivien buying some very expensive glasses up in Canada). I guess that would count. So, you can probably breath easier. The three-fold rule has been fulfilled.

The only other thing I can think of is that Dianna and I missed the second anniversary of Art In The Park last night. Totally forgot about it. I had even bought new batteries for my camera so I could maybe take some video of three steel pan bands that they were going to have playing. Dang it! They probably even had CDs for sale too. Next year for sure.

Ok, that's it for now. Oh, yes. One other thing. The dogs have been going bat-sh** with cabin-fever. It's been days since we've been able to walk. The puddle in the road, has grown exponentially and is a couple feet deep, covering the whole width of the road. Not good for walkies.

We were going to go the opposite direction this morning and head down by Mike and Mary's house to the south. Just about the time we were going to leave, the heavens opened up... again. This is all just local rain stuff. We have no storms coming toward us or anything.

Ok. Now I'm really done.



JRinSC said...

You're right about never a dull moment -- always one thing right after another. I'm just glad the shelf you learned from wasn't the one with all the paint in it. Now that would have really been a great blog idea. Think of all the neat colors merging on the floor! Wow..

I'm like you in that my patio home is around 2 years old now and I am finding that a few things are up for doing over/again or to do another way.

Have fun...


Vivien said...

I am glad that Dianna was not working on her miniatures or something when the cabinets fell off the wall. Be careful when working in your room. Maybe strap the cupboards to the wall or something.

We wish Mae a speedy recovery from her eye surgery.

I believe my need to purchase a 'very expensive' pair of glasses here in Canada, surely can count as a third mishap. I had a perfectly good pair of specs until I had the bad judgement to go on an expedition down a river with some much younger people using an inappropriate floatation device. (air mattress) I fell off the mattress every time I moved, and at the time I lost my glasses was trying to dislodge myself from a rock in some shallow rapids. The rock caught and opened my mattress air valve, and I fell off backwards while trying to put the stopper back in. My glasses fell off and did not float. Blind for the rest of the trip. Yes, definitely a mishap.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

It's amazing down here. Even things that were done right seem to fail waay too soon. I guess it's a combination of heat, humidity and strong sunlight... or just bad luck.

Anyway, it's always fun to do things over, to see if you can do 'em better second time around.


Hi Vivien,

Jaysus H... Vivien, that was Dangerous! That was with a capital 'D' too. You got off easy with just losing your glasses. Even slow water hydraulics can be extremely dangerous.

You need to get down here soon. We don't do crazy stuff like that here - mostly.