Weekend Projects

It was a good weekend. A lot of time spent outside, a lot of things accomplished.

Apparently this was the weekend to get rid of the carpet on the porch, which I didn’t realize until Susan said “come help me rip up the carpet on the porch” at 11 am on Saturday. While originally skeptical, I could deny that the overwhelming smell of various animal urine on it meant it was a good idea. The surprise of “new big project right now” just took me a couple hours to shake.

With all the carpet ripped up in about 30 minutes, we were staring at a twice painted (at least) concrete floor, that was flaking up everywhere, plus a rather large flow of black mould coming from the biggest source of smells. Given that the mould would probably have killed me on the spot (asthma and all), I went off to other activities while Susan scrubbed heartily with Bleach.

So, my missions were:

Re-erect the garden fence, so our lettuce in the cold frame could be thinned, and 1/2 go into the garden proper. We’ve got a few too many Bambis (aka Wood Rats) in these parts to trust anything tasty in the vegetable garden without some sort of deterrent up. We learned the lesson the first year badly.

Paint the Garden Bench that has been in desperate need since we got it for free 2 years ago. A quick inventory in the workroom found a can a black spray paint. Black is good, and isn’t going to stick out to much… so a winner!

Repaint the Gargoyle. We got this gargoyle as a house warming present from our friends Mike & Shaun. It’s an outside size gargoyle, made of plaster, which means it will dissolve far too quickly if not treated. After 2 years it needed another couple of coasts of stone textured paint, and more clear coat (this time something stronger).

Back to the porch:

Fully scrubbed down, it no longer smelled out there (a winner!), but looked awful. In the new carpet vs. new paint debate, new carpet lost heavily to the idea of future cat pee cleanup. At the hardware store later, “Mountain Rose” seemed to be our floor color of choice. I was still somewhat partial to the textured floor paint, but those experiments will have to wait for the garage floor for later this summer. We also acquired some “hammered texture” black spray paint for the iron bench, which comes out a bit grayer, but quite nice.

Come Sunday afternoon, coat 1 of Mountain Rose is down, everything that was on our 25’x11′ porch is either in the yard, or family room, or garage. Coat 2 is scheduled for tonight, so it will have the requisite 72 hours hardening time before the family all gets here on Thursday night.

On the grad school front:

I spent a lot of time staring at what our Wednesday homework was supposed to be (create fake asm files for our assembler project), I decided this would all make much more sense if I actually wrote the assembler first, then had something to run asm files through. Although we were told we could write it in any language, the moment it became clear that this was getting handed in as hard copy, I figured python might be a bad choice, as it would make for a hard time grading. They teach Java a lot at Marist, so at least I can guarantee the prof can read it. And in Java 1.4 they finally gave us regex support, so it isn’t *too* bad. By the end of Sunday night I had pass_one correct (I’m pretty sure), with about 50% of the asm error checking it should have. pass_two is complete except for symbolic data declarations, though no asm error checking yet.

I definitely have a few questions/clarifications that I need made on this front. Email off to my prof today to get that sorted out.

I also realized that I might have a plan of attack to deal with the fact that I’m going to be missing at least the 2nd and 3rd week of class in the fall (maybe even the 1st) because of the wedding. I need to both find a subject I can catch up that much on, as well as one that has an understanding professor to let 1/2 have of the semester slide a little. Once I figure this one out for sure, that is one less thing I need to worry about.

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