Hey Kev – What did you on Vacation

I took the month of May off work this year. We get 3 months off kid leave at micosoft, but we got busy and stuff and only managed to squeeze in a month out of the three; Oh well. It’s now about three weeks into month and I’m at work visiting a few people here from out of state. Trying to avoid doing real work on my day off at work. Figured I’d list out accomplishments for three months so far instead of taking tickets.

In order of first work appearing in my May photo feed –

Shop || Built a 30×40 shop using 40′ tall stack shipping containers as the walls. We started by pouring a 34×42 slab and 6 2x2x3′ blocks. The containers sit on 2′ of concrete and on 2 blocks in the corners. Containers are designed to support all of their load in the 4 corners so no reason to set them on a full solid surface. The roof is a metal carport erected over the course of a day with some help. Still to be done is the front wall ( it will be concrete ) followed by lights and power.

prepping for concrete
Shop as it sat last night after getting a slight sun burn

Lego || Built a Lego capital, Louvre, and Buckingham palace with Maddex. We’re going to have him build things then visit them after we make the big move to Dublin and start our european adventures.

I find parts, Maddex does all of the building

Wall || Michelle and I built a concrete block wall using 500# blocks. It added a bunch of parking and makes the front of the house look prettier.

Starting on the wall
Wall finished. Next trim and landscaping and gravel

Auction || Spent half a day at an auction with Tyler and picked up some new tools, and the “random contents of an office for 10$” Thanks James G Murphy. Cleaning out the office felt like storage wars! ended up with some desks and chairs we put in a container to recreate the Lab, a pike of staplers and some other cool things.


One of the tools was a nice, new to us, cutting Torch complete with hose reel and owner bottles

Containers and cleaning || Setup the purple container as a Lab for me and the kids, moved all of my tools from all over the place into the purple container, organized all of the things, built some wire shelves for my tool container, and shelves for our house container using repurposed 9′ doors from work. Built a table out of one of the doors for the shop. Moved more stuff into the blue container from the house to prepare to close the place down, and collect things in one place for our move.

Maddex setup one batch of wire shelves as stairs to get onto some scaffolding

Rack and Stack || Moved a Rack of servers from a data center in Lynwood to a data center in Factoria. Sadly the new data center did not support Dell Rapid rails, and they “forgot” to configure our data port correctly. These two bits cost an extra 5 hours of listening to servers and loud AC.

Picture I sent the data center monkeys showing no physical connect link light

Moat and power || Dug a moat around the house to run water and network and power around the parking zone.  Broke one of my 2″ water mains during the process. worse, broke it inside a 4 way. Was not looking forward to the fix. Luckily I was able to find an internal bushing style reducer to fit in the busted pipe without replacing the 4-way.

The kids added the bridge over the moat by the front door.

Vegas || Michelle asked to see Celine Dion this year. I can’t say no to her, so we flew to Vegas for a few days. We walked all over the place, crashed a tax conference, ate a Whalburgers, In an Out, and a Buffet then we say Celine, and Copperfield. We had a btilliant successful odd trip without kids. Missed the kids, enjoyed time away from them.

Michelle and Celine 

Mini-Split fix || The 36,000 BTU mini split I installed last year seems to have sprung a leak and stopped making cold. I purged and incorrectly recharged the compressor, then gave up and called in help. Learned how to do it better next time – Need more tools

410A comes in a pink bottle and should be measured by ounce not by PSI.

Metal buildings || Built four metal buildings over the course of the two hottest days of the month. 30×40 for the shop, 12×20 over the swim spa, 18×40 Trenton welded to the top of some other containers we have, 16×40 over the trailer.

Trenton welding the base down to one of the containers

Time with the Family || Spent all kinds of great time with the family on the Patio Michelle built, over at my parents house, at Michelle’s parents house, on walks. all over the place. I like my wife and kids and it is nice to spend time with them

Family dinner on the patio.

A few things missing from the picture feed still on the list of accomplishments

  • Setup a burn pit for the kids – they did not like it and improved greatly on my design. Good for them making their own and more better.
  • Moved a 20 foot container across the yard Seems simple, but a 20′ container weighs the same as my excavator. Took a good half day and busted one of the teeth on the bucket. Thanks Trenton for fixing the bucket.
  • Installed some more cameras around the property – Can you have too many? I think not. I have 2 more ready to go into and outside of the shop; because cameras are rad.
  • Started setting up a Green house zone next to the house. Should finish that up next week.
  • Ran power and water to the trailer, and setup a mini split in the trailer. Well Mounted the inside and outside units. Need to wire it still. Maybe saturday. I’m up to about 400′ of additional water line so far on vacation with more shutoffs and hydrants.

More pictures with captions in order.

First pass hand trowling after the Fresno run
Rained on us while finishing the slab. We had to cover everything with a tarp
Door table for the shop. Legs are logs used to move containers.
Had a nail painting social one night with the kids
Busted pipe in the 4-way | sad face panda
Michelle setting a water hydrant
Grandpa and Maddex fishing at my parents house
Shed over the old containers
Working on the Shop metal roof
Sitting on top of a container looking towards the house
Roof over the trailer almost finished
Roofs all finished time for a pool party under the new roof.

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