Looks Like Somebody Took A Nap On My Delivery, Literally

Wow, UPS. I guess it’s a good thing this box doesn’t contain anything fragile, like lightbulbs.
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Oh, wait, that’s exactly what is inside.
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I suppose most of the blame belongs to Home Depot for not marking the box “fragile”.

While nothing appears broken on first glance I will have to open each individual item and test them to ensure everything works.

How Did People Fix Things Before The Internet?

Tailgate latch

The latch on my truck’s tailgate failed last week (the plastic bar that pushes the rods which pull the pins from the side broke). I ordered a new part from eBay for $27 with free shipping. I was going to ask my repair shop to swap it out but I watched a video on YouTube that made me feel confident about replacing the part myself.

The latch itself has an opening for the back-up camera. My truck did not originally have a back-up camera but after the second theft of my stereo I opted to add it to the replacement unit. It appears the geniuses at CarToys decided to use the existing screws from the old latch to secure the camera to the latch and did not replace the original screws that held the latch to the tailgate — which explains why the latch was always loose and rattling around. I visited Ace and picked up a couple extra screws and washers for about a buck and secured everything in the tailgate.

I wonder if I had not seen the video on YouTube would I have even considered doing this myself… probably not. I’m sure my repair shop would have charged me $50 or more to do the same. Not counting the travel time to Ace and back the entire replacement took about ten minutes.

Completed tailgate latch

The New Basement Window — Finally

New Basement Window

After what seemed to be months and months of waiting the new window was delivered and installed today. It’s nothing fancy, just functional. The drier vent is built into the window itself so there is no longer an ugly wood plate through which the vent hose escapes.

Thanks to Denver Discount Windows And Siding for only charging me $230 for this custom-built window versus the $1977 that Champion wanted for the same project.

On to the next project — the radon mitigation system.

Jefferson Lake

The girls and I made another trip to Jefferson Lake. The lake formed in the caldera of an ancient (hopefully dormant) volcano about 70 miles from my house. July and August are about the only time one can visit and hike up there as the elevation is high enough that there is typically snow the rest of the year.

We hiked around the lake’s four-mile shoreline. On the side closest to the parking area and boat launch there is a trail of sorts worn into the side of the hill by anglers. Once you reach the far end of the lake the trail is less used and it disappears into the vegetation. The far side of the lake shore is a mix of gravel and boulders and is fairly difficult to navigate on two legs. The dogs’ low center-of-granity and four legs definitely had the advantage in this realm.

Since we were in the area I drove up to the top of Georgia pass and hiked around with the dogs there, too. They even met a couple other dogs up there before it started raining and we headed back to Denver.

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Gas Line Re-Route

For reasons unknown to me a previous owner of my house routed the gas line for the dryer in the basement through a window instead of running a branch off the main line already in the house for the other appliances (furnace, stove, hot water tank). As a result the window was not replaced when the others in the house were upgraded recently — window technology was not advanced in 1939 when the house was built. To add to the misery the dryer vent also exits through the window in a “Uncle Joe” type of wood box outfitted with a dryer vent opening. The gas line was only an inch in diameter but the hole was over twice that size, necessitating a towel be stuffed around it to prevent insects and air entering the house.

As part of my overall project to add a radon mitigation system to the house I needed to replace the window and re-route the gas line. I have already ordered a replacement window with a dryer vent built-in so today’s exercise prepared for the installation of said new window.

The Gas Connection sent out two trucks for what I originally thought was just an estimate. Since I had been dealing with other contractors that were so busy that simply getting an estimate required a three-week wait I was surprised when I was told they could do the work immediately. I agreed and less than two hours later I had the line re-routed through the wall instead of the window.

I didn’t take a photo of how it looked before the work but I can say it already looks a lot better. And yes, I did stuff the towel back in the corner of the opening to close off the hole where the gas line previously entered the house. This will have to do until the window company finishes building the replacement.

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Why yes, I am a cranky old man

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