So, this is after. What a difference a day makes. Next up, heat pump.

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9/22 '18 9 Comments
Nice work. When I worked for a fence company (who will remain nameless, but is not likely the one you used) the boss was bat shit crazy. BUT - he _really_ got us to do good work. If we didn't, he would tear it out and have us go back and fix it later. So while I elected to not continue working with them, I learned a lot about what good fence installation looks like. :)
I had a wood stockade fence and it is a stark difference on how much more privacy a solid panel gives you.

Sorry about the crazy boss. I know how memorable they can be!
Ray Conrad 9/23 '18
Yeah. True, he was nuts (I still remember the day I decided to leave - he was screaming that he would piss in all of our tool boxes) but like I said - I learned a lot, so I _did_ get something out of the deal.
Nice fence!

Also, heat pumps rool. We have a ground source heat pump that heats and cools our whole house, just an open loop of water in and out of a well through a heat exchanger.
Anne Mollo 9/22 '18
Yeah, if I were planning on staying and the budget would allow it I would love to upgrade to a ground loop. Mine is an air exchange, which means when it's really cold out it switches to electric heat. But the next owners are free to upgrade!
Ray Conrad 9/23 '18
Lots of people around here have installed air-to-air exchangers and love them! In my climate zone you can *kind* of go either way, but in the coldest part of the year the air-to-air systems usually require backup. The advantage is that air-to-air systems come prebuilt and are easier to install; ground source ones are built on site so you’d better have a good engineer who knows what they’re doing. And of course installation costs are different, so you have to weigh not only what you can afford but also how expensive what you’re replacing cost to heat/cool your home. So if you live in a part of the country where heating costs are relatively cheap, an expensive ground source system wouldn’t make as much sense.
Anne Mollo 9/23 '18
Why yes I COULD nerd out endlessly about heat pumps, why do you ask??!
Anne Mollo 9/23 '18
The real upgrade is a ground loop heat pump with humidity control. That system is worth it's weight in, well, not gold, but maybe aluminum? It's for those chilly, humid days you get in the midlantic and northeast. AC circuit runs to dehumidify and the electric heat circuit runs to keep the house at a survivable temperature.
Ray Conrad 9/23 '18
Ooooh-- that's a purty fence.
 

I'm sitting at work in a fit of mild anxiety. You see my new fence is being installed today. I'm not anxious (mostly) about the fence. But because the fence installation might take two days, my dogs are at a friend's house. So, the defense of the house, without my presence, has devolved to my cat, Spot.

Make no mistake. The  loyalties of cats never change. They are loyal to themselves, only.

Have you ever heard of a cat dragging their insensate owner from a burning building? Enough said.

I'm (mostly) certain that everything will be fine. And for those keeping track at home, this is remodel project #2, headed for the record books. Next up, we get the heat pump installed.

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9/20 '18 1 Comment
You and your dergs are gonna love your new fence! I'm so thrilled that your home improvement wishes are coming to fruition!
 

The day the HVAC contractors were coming over to quote out a new heat pump I put my dogs and my foster dog in my back yard so I could finish cleaning around the heat pump. This takes about an hour, but I'm finished in plenty of time for the first contractor's appointment time. I open the back door and let the dogs in. My pair comes inside. 

No sign of Mr. Pickles.

Crappity crap crap crap crap. He's done flew the coop. Squirmed his little body out through a loose picket and run away. I go outside and start knocking on my neighbor's doors to see if he's in their yard. Get a negative from one neighbor and I'm on my way to the other when my contact from the rescue calls. 

"Is Mr. Pickles missing?" I feel about 3 inches tall when I reply "Yes." Fortunately neighbors in my development who know the rescue found him, called them for the number for animal control. Then my contact made the connection with their description of a little one-eyed dog. Hmm, Ray lives in that neighborhood...

So I recover Mr. Pickles in minutes of that phone call. Then I use some tree trimmings to temporarily block the escape path. AND the other one he shows me that evening.

Now, I'd planned to replace the fence anyway. But it just got bumped up to ASAP. Fortunately, neither the heat pump nor the fence have conflicting dependencies. So, I'm going to run two projects at the same time. Not the way I'd prefer to run things, but needs must when the Devil drives.

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8/29 '18 3 Comments
Pets are wily! Our cats seem less eager to run away now that they have each other... but everybody wants to explore
Thomas Boutell 8/29 '18
How did I not know you have cats? Pics? Am I creepy for asking? Hahahahhaha..... show me your... kits.
Karen 8/30 '18
"...needs must when the Devil drives."

I absolutely love idioms like this. Good luck with the house stuff!
Karen 8/30 '18