I was up at 7 AM and made coffee. This usually wakes Linda up, but not this morning. After waiting a reasonable amount of time I went ahead and started drinking. If someone tells you that 7:30 is too early in the morning to be drinking don’t believe it, and if someone tells you that you should never drink alone don’t believe that either.
Linda eventually got up but looked really tired. Unbeknownst to me she had awoken in the middle of the night and not been able to get back to sleep. Neither of us were hungry after the large meals we had last night for dinner so we just had a little juice to wash down our little pills (vitamins and an allergy pill for me).
I’ve been looking for a system to wall-mount multiple flat-panel LCD monitors above/behind the desks in the ham radio shack portion of the downstairs office. Linda was helping search for products and found AFC Industries in New York. Their website had a large variety of very serious looking products. The ones that caught my eye were a 72″ wall mount track with four articulated monitor mounts and a 48″ track with three mounts. They had an 800 number and the website said to call for pricing. That’s usually a bad sign but they appeared to have exactly what I needed so I decided to call them later.
I had planned to work on the custom desk design all day but Linda had other ideas. She had become frustrated with the clutter in the library and the inability to really clean that room and decided that today was the day to do something about it. Point acknowledged. Some of the clutter (but not all) is artwork and she thought the place for us to start was to get some of it hung on the walls. Again, point well taken and agreed. Doing this correctly is a slow process, however, so I knew my plans for the whole day had just changed. Sometimes you have go along to get along.
We have artwork that is not currently displayed which ranges in size from 8″ x 10″ to 2′ x 5′. Some of it is framed and ready for hanging and some of it is not. It is mostly paintings but there is some photography, a few poster prints, and some textile pieces. We went through every piece looking primarily for oil paintings that we liked and that would fit the spaces we had available to hang them. Before we were finished with this project for the day we had hung eight paintings. We also found four paintings that we liked but lacked frames, or ways to hang them, and set them aside for now. Most of the paintings were done by Ann Metzger, my late great Aunt, but one was done by my late mother. We had also moved a few items out of the library into the driveway to be donated to the Salvation Army. I tend to use drywall screws with large fender washers as hangers as they are strong and very secure. We ran out of stainless steel fender washers so that created a natural stopping point for our task.
For a change of pace I decided to climb the tower to measure the center sleeve inside diameter so I could determine what outside diameter mast to get. I got out Mike’s climbing harness, set up the step ladder, put on the harness, climbed up onto the roof, connected the waist strap around the tower, and started climbing. I alternately attached and detached the two safety cables and made good progress until I got to the DB8e OTA TV antenna. To go higher I would have to move from the west face to the northeast face and then undo the waist strap and reconnect it above the mounting point for the OTA TV antenna. I did not feel like doing that today. I was, however, able to reach the bottom of the sleeve by extending my tape measure. The tip of the tape fit inside the bottom of the sleeve with what appeared to be about a quarter inch to spare. I then climbed down and got off the roof, got out of the climbing harness, and put it away.
Back in the house the tip of the tape measured approximately 1-1/8″ across thus it appears that the sleeve is sized for a 1-3/8″ outside diameter mast. I checked Universal Towers website, since they are located in S. E. Michigan, but their selection of aluminum masts did not include this O.D. OnlineMetals.com has 1-3/8″ O.D. 6061-T6 aluminum tube in five different wall thicknesses and a large variety of lengths so that may be the easiest way to get one. But first I will check the usual ham radio places.
Next I called AFC Industries and was routed to Ewa who was very curious what I was going to use the multiple monitors for since I was not a company. I tried to explain why I would need at least three monitors in an amateur (ham) radio shack but she had never heard of ham radio and I don’t think I did a very good job of explaining it. She was paying attention to what I was describing, however, about where I wanted to position the monitors. She could not give me pricing on the phone so I gave her my e-mail address to send a quote. Ewa was prompt in the sending the quote but I did not see it until later as we had the leftover seitan stroganoff for lunch and then left to run errands.
Linda had loaded our donation items in the back of my car while I was on the phone. I brought seven paintings to the car and we left. Our first stop was the Salvation Army donation center between Brighton and Howell. We then went to the Howell Art and Framing Center, a frame shop on the east end of downtown Howell. The proprietor, Rick, worked with us quite a while as we selected frames for four of the seven pieces and played with his Jack Russell terrier, Rudy. These four pieces will go in the library when they are done in about three weeks. Our final stop was Meijer’s where we picked up fender washers, salad greens, and coffee filters.
Back at the house I went to my office to check e-mail and work on the desk design. The quote was there from Ewa and she had already made a follow up phone call so I opened the e-mail and looked at the quote. It was almost double what I expected which was already double what I wanted to spend. I e-mailed her back and asked for a simpler configuration but politely explained that her numbers were way out of my price range. The interesting thing about such experiences is that the Ziotek products I’ve been looking at on the CyberGuys website suddenly do not seem so expensive. It’s funny how that works.
While I was working I got a TXT message from Chuck following up on the refrigerator installation. I texted back that I had not yet checked whether we can open the fixed glass window frame but would do so immediately and call him back. I moved the 7′ step ladder next to the bus and climbed up to inspect the stop blocks as Linda pushed the window open. The two stop blocks on that frame were definitely contacting the drip rail immediately above them preventing the frame from opening more than about 8 to 10 inches at the bottom. The good news was that the Zip Dee patio awning would not interfere with the opening of the window. The bad news is that I was not able to remove the two Philips head screws that secured each block to the frame.
I called Butch to find out what the tool was that I used at his shop to work on my brakes. He said it was a manual impact tool. This nifty little device is a screwdriver that turns through a small angle when you strike the end of it with a hammer. This has the unique benefit of driving the screwdriver bit into the screw head while turning. Butch thought that any auto store would have these so I called the local O’Reilly’s but they did not have any in stock in the store.
While I was talking to Butch Linda was researching other places to buy such a tool. It turned out that Sears would be a good choice but the closest one was at Twelve Oaks Mall over 20 miles away. I was getting ready to drive there but called Chuck first. It turned out that he has two of them so I will borrow one tomorrow after our ham radio club breakfast. I spent the last couple hours of the evening working on the desk design. I then went to bed and worked on this post.