There's Always a Bigger Hammer - The Paving Stone Demolition Experiment

I'm trying to remove the cemented-in mystery stone from our pool deck. The same stuff is on our patio, so if I'm successful, I may go after that area too. Why would I do that? Cause it's ugly, bad stuff.

You can read about this delightful stone in my last post about our upcoming swimming pool renovation if you like, or you can stay here for the hard-core, hammer-slammin' action.

To update progress on the renovation, I've had two pool contractors give renovation options and quotes for a total pool re-do / repair. The first contractor thought we could remove the mystery stone from the original deck, and cover it with brick pavers. The second promoted jack-hammering the deck down to dirt and starting from scratch, with a new acrylic coated concrete cool-deck.

We're considering both approaches, but the paver idea hinges on successfully removing the stone, and they want $2,000 to do that. Just to remove the stone, not to buy or install the pavers. Holy crap! I decided to see if I could do it myself.

The Next Big Thing - Swimming Pool Renovation

Necessity has once again led us to fail in keeping to our Strategic Doctrine of Inside-Out Home Renovation. The swimming pool continues to be unusable. First world problems right?

Wrong. Access to a swimming pool is a requirement here in the fierce desert southwest. In fact, when you get off an airplane, they check your luggage, just to make sure you have your suit with you. The Border Patrol prowls the edges of the state, making sure anyone attempting to enter without towels, inflatable float toys, squirt guns, and a pair of swim goggles is promptly sent back the other direction. God forbid you try to bring children here in the summer without intending to routinely hurl them into the cool, refreshing embrace of a sparkling, chlorinated aquatic wonder at least once a day.

Whist most of the country is emerging, bleary-eyed, from their winter hibernation homes, blinking at the sunlight like pale zombies, basking in temperatures approaching 60 degrees, we're eyeballing the pool, with temperatures already tickling the low 90's. Oh, it's time.

Shadow Mounting Small Art Pieces

My wife has had this beautiful heirloom crucifix for years. It is something beloved family members who have long since passed brought back from a trip to Rome.  We had it hanging, on a simple nail. in the living room over the entry to the kitchen / dining area before the remodel. After the remodel, with the crown molding and trim around the entry, it just wouldn't fit anymore.

I came up with this this little trick that I thought worked out quite nicely. For a change, I have a quick, little post to share instead of my normal monstrosities.

Using the magical powers of JB Weld, I affixed a large, flat headed screw to the back of the crucifix, roughly dead center.

The Home Automation Project: Garage Opener Door Edition

In my ongoing campaign to fill the house with electronic automation wizardry, the workshop / garage only makes sense for the next step. In addition to the camera that's integrated into the Inston system out there, I'm adding a garage door controller.

I teased this story a little bit in my last post. You know, the DIY Disaster one, where stuff got all explodey and smokey.

Let's just put that episode behind us, shall we?

My second order of stuff for the Inston system included this slick Garage Door Control and Status Kit. I'll be installing more cool expansion devices in the near future.

Insteon Garage Door and Status Kit. Device #43

DIY Disaster - Score One for the Pack Rat

Sometimes a DIY project takes an unsuspected turn and goes poorly. The terms used for this phenomenon normally involve various forms of expletives, but I'll just term the situation as, "...going to hell."