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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Enclosure

Posted by Raul on April 9, 2014

2014-04-09  The Enclosure (1)


Trying to go in chronological order, to update you in what’s been going on, I guess the first thing I should tell is the almost finished enclosure.

After they finished replacing the whole roof on the house, we continued adding more elements to the enclosure: Inside walls; ceiling tiles; lights; electric outlets and switches, and lots of other little details that are part of a finished construction.


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The electric outlets ended up being a total of 12; 9 inside and 3 outside. From the 9 inside 3 are switch controlled and use a dark brown cover to identify them easily, so we can plug in them things like a Christmas tree or a water fountain, and be able to turn them ON and Off from a switch on the wall, rather than crawling behind the thing. From the 3 outlets outside, one is switched, in case we decide to have something like a water fountain in the backyard. There are 5 ceiling lamps in two circuits; both circuits are energized from one switch, but each circuit has its own dimmer. There is an exhaust fan in a corner up close to the ceiling, which is connected to one of the switched outlets, so we can ventilate the room by just operating the switch on the wall.


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Also, since the idea was to make things more comfortable, we included the BBQ inside in a special enclosure like a closet. It has an air extractor with light, and an air suction window in one side at the bottom, so the extractor could take the smoke out from the top of the BBQ, and the air would be taken from outside through the suction window and passing all around the BBQ, without ventilating out the warm air of the room in winter time.

There is also a swamp cooler that is still not “air” connected. What happens is that, when you have a swamp cooler as it is normal, it’ll be set outside, so it can take air on three of its walls, and push it inside through a small window in the house wall, where inside you cover that window with the part that has the grid and the controls. I didn’t like this idea since it makes the swamp cooler prone to get too dirty, and you have to be continually cleaning it. So I just set the whole unit inside the enclosure, to have it protected from the weather, grass and insects, and it takes air now from just one of its walls (the one touching the enclosure wall), and discharge the air in the front of the unit. I still have to make the window in the enclosure wall that touches the back of the swamp cooler, so it can take the outside air in. I haven’t done it yet because I left that for spring time, so not to waste time and give preference to more important things at that moment.


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One of the more important things at that moment (October-November) was to activate the fireplace that is incorporated slightly off the center of the room. As you can see in the pictures, it is ventilated through the roof with a 7 inches diameter straight pipe. We already used the fireplace throughout winter, and it has been awesome!! While outside we had 20 degrees with snow and wind, inside we could keep the room at 70 degrees. It was very nice to be warm inside, watching the cold weather outside through the big windows!

All the materials for the enclosure (except cement, wooden poles and panels, and electric wire) we bought them at second hand construction material stores, including the windows light fixtures, switches, etc. The “decoration” like table, chairs, fireplace, BBQ, swamp cooler, etc is also from Craiglists, and just the blinds and paint were bought new. So in total we spent $ 4,268.87; $ 3,701.36 were for building the enclosure and $ 567.51 were in equipment (fireplace, BBQ, swamp cooler, chairs, etc. Including the rent of trucks from U-Haul to bring some of the oversized materials, like windows and doors).


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Still there are lots to do to finish the enclosure. The ceiling needs finishing; the air extractor for the BBQ needs improvement; complete the swamp cooler system, and give the finishing layer to the floor, but the enclosure it’s been in “service” since November last year. I hope throughout summer it can be completed, so that would means one less thing in the To Do list not to worry about

It was a lot of work; we stopped in December for the Holidays, and never got to re-start again, for reasons I’ll tell you about in another post. The pictures included here are not very good, but I hope they can give you an idea of how the enclosure looks and “feels”  :)



Blog Restarting

Posted by Raul on April 2, 2014

2014-04-02  Blog Restarting

It’s been such a long time…again!

This would be post number 200 in this blog since I started it. Does it have any meaning?

So many things keep happening one after another, that time to write and post cease to exist.

Time dragging complications and the need for changes in marriage; Problems at work that keep the mind in a state of unrest; the required support a child needs at the beginning of another life stage; a medical diagnosis that threatens with the cancellation of life time dreams; and the list goes on and on…

“One day I’ll be able to stop saying one day” (I say that in a way that reflects my own sarcasm).

While my cars patiently wait for my hands and time to nurture them into the happy machines they used to be; a house silently cries its needs while untruthfully says “I can wait”, and lifetime dreams and projects keep piling up and remaining alive by just the hopes of one day be free to fly in the real, physical world.

The doctor said: “You have to consider changing to a different kind of work, and changing your projects for the rest of your life”. But for someone that needs to touch the physical world with his hands to retain the connection between him and the others in their physical world as a way to retain his physical existence, those words felt like someone helping you to release the grip you have on the only thing that keeps you hanging and prevents you from falling to the abyss under your feet. You fall…and there goes life; getting away from you at the speed of freefall. Then you think “It’s over”.

I’ll try to re-start this blog once again; I’ll try to keep posting in a more regular way; I’ll try to explain you all the things that have been happening in the last six months.

I cannot promise to be back in full swing; I cannot promise to even have the energy to go visit you; I cannot promise anything at this point.

I’ll just try



New Roof!

Posted by Raul on October 11, 2013

2013-10-11  New Roof (1)

Yesterday was a very noisy day in the house! Finally, after what seemed to be like months of wait, they came in the morning and, after tearing apart the old roof, installed a new one. It really was like 26 days from the storm to the new roof installed, so not bad at all!

2013-10-11  New Roof (2)

Now we are confident that there should be no more inside rain, so we can plan the finishing of the enclosure, and get it done before winter arrives. Still, with all these delays, there are a couple of improvements that we are not going to do this year because of time and money, but next year will be back, armed with a hammer and a screwdriver, ready to attack another project!  LOL

2013-10-11  New Roof (3)

As you can imagine, because of all this stuff, I really haven’t had much time to write here and visit my friends, but I hope at least by winter, when all the improvements stop for the season, I’ll have the chance to do some more here.

Hugs to everyone! 


Hosting Problems

Posted by Raul on July 20, 2013

2013-07-20   Hosting Problems

I’ve heard of other bloggers with the same problem, although I don’t know how they fixed it. The thing is that a couple of days ago I received a letter from the hosting company that provides the hosting for this blog telling me they cancelled my automated payment for the package I had with them. Immediately I sent them a letter asking why they cancelled my subscription and the answer was a play of words I didn’t understand.

After thinking about renewing the automated payment system I realized I’m paying too much for the hosting service, so decided that it could be a good moment to change to a different package (slightly smaller) that would give me what I need but just for a fraction of the monthly cost I had.

Looking around it seems the best I can do is just switch to a different hosting provider and just move this blog, keeping everything the way it is but with a new monthly payment of about 15 percent of the original amount. Great!

Only one problem! I have no idea how to move the blog from one hosting company to another, and for what I’ve heard it is a real pain the whole process. And even that I searched for offers providing the move automatically as a way to get the business, I couldn’t find any at this time.

So I’ve been thinking to just sort of finishing this blog here and re-starting from scratch in the new hosting company. Then just re-publish the best posts and leave the rest behind. It is not that I’m going to loose a bunch of readers! Still, I’m not sure if that would be the best move.

Any suggestions, ideas and/or advice?


Flying Time

Posted by Raul on June 21, 2013

2013-06-21   Flying Time

Time can really fly! A couple of home improvement projects; things that take longer than expected or don’t work out as planned and almost two weeks are gone!

Sometimes it is just scary when you think of it. Time goes so fast that it is easy to think that our life will be over in three days! (Which is several years of running the calendars)

The thing is, after the intention of keep posting a couple of times a week, not only I haven’t been able to do that, but also not even visited my friends blogs!

I hope (although I don’t promise) that now I’ll be able to post a little more regularly (like once a week), and have the time to visit my friend’s blogs to say hi and participate of the conversation.


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