More Demolition

Today I decided to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Well, not take the whole wall down, but just take off all the drywall so I could see what was there. I’m going to have to cut this wall down to match the height of the kitchen cabinets. But since this wall is at the end of the slope in the floor, I’m not exactly sure where to cut it yet. That will come later. I also finished pulling all the furring strips that were close to the ceiling down, so the brick walls are bare, except for the outlets on them. I would have taken them off too, but that requires me to cut the power to the room, which means the lights won’t work. And today it has been storming quite a bit, so there isn’t much natural light to work with. I’ll see if tomorrow is better for that.

Here’s how things stand.



I’m also finding that I’m rapidly approaching the time where I need to make a decision on the windows. I think the smaller one I can just replace myself. It’s not that big and I think Home Depot probably has that size in stock. The big window is another issue. First today, I thought I should just block part of it up and put a smaller window there. But then I realized that I really like it and need to come up with a better plan. My idea now is to somehow embed a 2×4 or some piece of wood in concrete and then attach a window to that. And then to somehow make the concrete look really nice that it can still be seen on the inside of the house. I haven’t quite set all the details in my mind and I really don’t know anything about working with concrete, so this might be overly ambitious. But since my overly-ambitious floor came out so nice, I’m thinking I should give it a go.

I also made a list of things to do before the drywall goes up.

  1. Take out outlets, but leave about 2′ of conduit there for a new box to go in later
  2. Cut hole in cold-air return about 1′ from floor
  3. Cut hole for heating duct to go beneath big window
  4. Buy pink insulation, long screws and washers to attach to wall
  5. Figure out how to take out the small window so can figure out size of new window to buy
  6. Run PVC pipe from basement to second floor for ethernet cables
  7. Figure out what to do with the big window
  8. Lots of outlets…decide where they will all go
  9. What’s the plan for a microwave? Over oven (need outlet) or elsewhere? (I know I should have already decided this)

Rails4 and Assets

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get a background image to show on a production server running a new rails4 app. Everything looked fine on my laptop, but once I deployed to the server, the image wouldn’t show. I only had one image on the site, but I’m pretty sure that if I had more, none of them would have showed.

The image was here, just a background image in css.

body {
	font-family: ProximaNova-Regular;
	background-position:center top;
	padding-left: 25px;
	padding-right: 25px;
	font-size: 12pt;

I tried changing the image-url to all sorts of different things and it didn’t matter. What fixed it was in my deployment script.

Here’s what didn’t work.

desc 'assets_precompile'
  task :assets_precompile, roles: :app do
    run "cd #{release_path}; rake assets:precompile"

And here’s how to fix it.

desc 'assets_precompile'
  task :assets_precompile, roles: :app do
    run "cd #{release_path}; rake assets:precompile RAILS_ENV=production"

I don’t really understand why this is necessary, since I’m running the command on the production server, but it is. Possibly this is a bug that will get fixed later. But for now, I need to remember to add the environment. Thus, this post.

Really Done Now

It took a little over an hour, but I got the floor grouted. I will have to inspect it more closely in the morning when the light is better, but I think it looks pretty good.



And here is the spot where I was short one red tile.

I think I should get (find? I might have some) brown paper and cover up most of the tile to keep it clean while I work on the walls. Next up, I think will be to take down half the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Or take down the electrical outlets on the wall. I also need to rent a van to go and buy the big sheets of insulation. Since there is a three-day weekend coming up, I feel I should try to get a lot done. The good news is one of my brothers tonight just volunteered to help me drywall, which is great. Because at that point, I’m definitely going to need help. The only thing I’m unsure about is the windows. I may have to call Mickey for a consultation to see what he thinks. In the meantime, I plan on going to sleep early and letting my body relax a bit, as pretty much every muscle in my body is sore.

Know What’s Better Than Perfect? Done!

I am really tired, but the tile is all in. Sometime this week, I’ll grout and it’ll be completely done, but that’s pretty easy. The difficult stuff was this weekend and I got it done. It’s no where near perfect. In fact, I ended up needing one more red tile. But since it was going in a place that will be under cabinets, I just stuck two smaller pieces together. And if you look closely, you’ll see a number of other mistakes, but I’m going to try to not look closely and just be happy with it.

Here’s how it looks.



So Close

My intention today was to finish putting down the tile in my kitchen. I got really close, but then ran out of thinset again. So I need to go to Home Depot for more and then I can finish it tomorrow. Yay!

How close did I get? Take a look.



Two rows, that’s it. Just two more rows of tile and I’m done.

Smarter Than I Look

I’m getting to the point in my kitchen where I’m rebuilding walls. Unfortunately, my memory of how the contractor did the rest of the house is fuzzy. So I searched through iPhoto on my laptop to see if I could find any pictures of how the walls went up. And I found a movie I made where I walked through the house to look at the electrical connections and could see how the walls were built. And even better, I said what this piece of electrical conduit that’s currently sticking in my kitchen is for. That was great because I was leaning toward cutting it out since I didn’t know why it was there. Yay me! So this morning I’m going to make another movie for myself just for future reference.

Ruby Methods

I’m still learning where methods go when writing ruby on rails applications. I read something earlier today (and had read it before) that you need to think “tell, don’t ask” when it comes to methods. So basically when working with an object, if you want it to do something, you tell it to do that. This method will then go into the model and get called with @object.method. So, in my application, after an applicant is saved. I want to send a message to the object to send email to that applicant. I had this in the controller, but now I’m pretty sure that this belongs in the model. It ends up looking like this:

def send_thanks_for_applying
    pid = fork do

The other bit of advice (got it here), was to put only methods that deal with session, params, request, render, redirect_to, and so on in the controller. So, if I’m not looking at info that came from the webpage or that is going to change a webpage, the method should go in the model.

Not sure that I explained this very well, but in my mind, I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Pittsburgh Trip

I just got back from a long weekend spent in Pittsburgh. I went there to attend Steel City Ruby Conf, which was pretty good. The first day had a lot of self-described “touchy-feely” talks, which I wasn’t crazy about, but understood why they were being given. Though Julie Pagano’s talk on Front-End Development was pretty good and Jim Weinrich’s “Friendly Flying Robots” was a lot of fun. The talks on Day 2 were much more what I was looking forward to. The talk on git by the Steven Ball was really informative and I’m hoping I can start using some of his tips right away. Avdi Grimm’s talk on Pair Programming has pretty much convinced me that I should give it a try as soon as I get some time. And Leon Gersing’s inspiring talk was the perfect finish. So, based on the strength of those talks, I feel it was a pretty good conference.

My time in Pittsburgh was enjoyable as it usually is. I got to see a Pirates game where they won. (Yay! Because pretty much since then, they’ve been losing.) I also got to walk around a lot (my calves are finally not sore today) and see my favorite sites. I’ve posted the pictures I took here. The weather could not have been any better for my time there or the drive in and out. Pittsburgh is a pretty easy town to get to. Just for reference, it took me about seven hours to drive there. It cost $7.60 to drive across Indiana, $16.50 to drive across Ohio and $5.25 to go IN to Pennsylvania. (There was no toll when I was leaving Pennsylvania on the same road. Weird.) My car was great the whole trip and I really did enjoy the drive. Tomorrow it’s back to work with a renewed sense of trying to accomplish some amazing things. I’m looking forward to it.

Kitchen Tile

I took a few days this week and got to work on the tile floor in the kitchen. I had hoped to get more of it finished, but ran out of thin set mortar and energy. Thankfully, Julie came over to visit and Paul brought us both lunch, so I had a lovely lunch with them. Not sure if I’ll be able to finish it tomorrow, so I this may be on hold for a week or so. Going to try to just be satisfied with what I got done today.


I also had to put some valves on the water lines going to my kitchen. Happily, I was able to cut the lines I had and add the shut-off valves without having to call anyone for help. Yay me!