Operation Display It, See It, Sell It

Welcome back everyone.  Today happens to be a dog show day and we all know what that means don’t we !?!  Yep, plenty of time just waiting around for the next runs which translates to a perfect time to bust out another post.  Keeping with the non-bird theme let’s go with a show and tell entry.  It has  been awhile since we have had one of these (at least that I can remember) to the point I kinda feel like a slacker – although all free time has been invested in finishing up project Aaaauuuurrrnnnnoooollld.  The topic today is an addition we made to our photography business.  Linda is starting to get a lot of attention with her dog photography and even has a major dog show event coming up in a month or so.  She had asked me for a better way to display our wares.  Of course this was met with procrastination until the day before one of her shows last week.  Guilt stricken I headed down my favorite PVC aisle and planned something out.

PVC Picture Frame Display

Key design points was it could not fall over and had to handle a variety of sizes – particular the large 13x19s down to the more standard 8×10 framed offerings.  As per all my PVC projects a (very) rough concept is sketched out and the rest is designed either in the store or during the build process.  Concerned about the stability element a general collection of 1″ connectors were purchased and 10 5′ sections of pipe – usually I’d buy the larger size but did not want to bother tying them down in the truck.  They were also the same price whether cut or not so advantage anyway.

Hit the jump to read how this frame was put together!

Continue reading Operation Display It, See It, Sell It

Project Posey: Janus

Okay everyone, the Posey Project is coming down to the final designs before mass production. For those that haven’t been following my Halloween Project here is a group shot of all my design iterations. Each version introduced new design options that will be evaluated and a decision made on whether it will make it to the final design for the 2015 Haunted Trail. The four on the left have already been discussed in detail on the Blog

Posey Project V6.0

In case you missed those, here is a quick index of their posts – note, Posey V1.0 had already been put away with the rest of the trail decorations so it isn’t pictured above.

Posey V1.0 – Not Shown (link here)

Posey V2.0 (link here)

Posey V3.1 (link here)

Posey V4.0 (link here)

Posey V5.0 (link here)

Today’s post features the option on the far right which I appropriately refer to as V6.0 of Posey which is modeled off of the previous V5.0 twist coupler design. As you would expect (and likely see), this one had its share of new design features as well.

Hit the jump to read all about this latest version of Posey

Continue reading Project Posey: Janus

Project Posey: A Coupler of Enhancements

Hi all, it’s a new year but we have some unfinished business from a year ago….last Wednesday – sorry, old joke but I went with it since I actually heard it no less than three times while out in Vegas last week – maybe it’s making a comeback (likely not).  As you can tell from the title, in today’s post we focus on an upgrade to Project Posey – specifically, version 5.0 which brings with it a major design change thanks to an idea that came while hanging out one day in the PVC aisle at Menards  (almost for an entire day hehehe).  Here is a shot of the finished product, but I’ll take you through the key details.
Posey Version 5.0

There were a few issues with the previous designs that I was hoping to address.  The first of these was how to allow for changing the joint to any angle I wanted and still making the connection point strong enough to bear the weight of the configuration.  Up to now I’ve had to either lock the joint in a specific angle (as in V1.0) or leave the pipes free to move in the couplers but then they tended to give out on certain poses.  The other issue was to improve the storage aspect – the Posey’s were getting up in size and started taking up too much space in the storage area – The locked in version required me to basically rebuild them each season and the loose version required me to pop the pipes out of the couplers which basically started wearing down the connections making them even weaker.  Both of these issues ended up being addressed by a new twist coupler.

Posey Version 5.0

Hit the jump to see how this upgraded version comes together.

Continue reading Project Posey: A Coupler of Enhancements

Project Chiro: Posey Gets a New Spine

Time for another update on the Posey Project.  If you recall form the last post on version 3.0 (link here), the big change was to introduce the new joint made out of chain link fence caps.  That was definitely a break through moment in the project and my gratitude still goes to the individual that was referenced in that post as the spark.  To be honest, the modification that became version 3.1 was really a result of designing and building this latest version which I refer to as V4.0.  Here is the latest version all dressed to kill!

Posey V4.0

Of course you can’t tell the details with the costume on, so let’s take that off and see what tweaks we have to show in this version.  First off you will see that I stuck with the same chain link fence cap joint model detailed in V3.0.  That is the go to joint for now due to being sturdy and easy to position – thanks again to the individual that sparked the concept.  I do keep my eyes open every time I’m in a hardware store just in case something else will catch my eye – if I could shrink the overall length of the joint down it would be beneficial for a number of reasons.  One area that is completely different is the backbone design.

Posey V4.0

Hit the jump to see the design details and a few more shots

Continue reading Project Chiro: Posey Gets a New Spine

“You Know … I Can’t Do Basic Math”

Cough howdy cough sneaze folks!  I have fallen victim to a summer plague given to me by a certain someone who will go namelindess.  As a result, most of my nights have been spent laying on the couch turning my brain to mush with reality TV – apparently this is the only programming on TV these days.  This has been extremely frustrating seeing as how it has prevented me from some important training runs.  The good news is my steady diet of vitamin C coupled with heavy doses of NyQuil have finally gained the upper hand.  Unfortunately, this hell spawn has reduced me to a short post today (besides, my posts of late have tended to be a little verbose so it is probably for the best).

Tonight’s post is as fresh as it gets folks.  This didn’t happen a year ago like my vacation posts, or even a month ago.  Nope, this entry is based on an experience that happened a mere 4 hours ago.  It isn’t so much one aspect of the event that caused my quandary as it is the contradictory logic involved.  Let’s get to the details shall we?  Linda likes to refer to me as Mr. PVC (actually that is probably one of the nicer monikers she uses).  This is due to the fact I tend to head straight for the white plastic whenever I need to translate a crazy idea into something tangible.  Take for example the Halloween decoration (link) or the latest example of the new bird feeder (link).  She nixed my idea of building our house out of the versatile product.  Needless to say, another project is at hand which involves the need to interchange certain parts.  A few hours in the PVC aisle solved the problem which included the three piece coupling pictured above.  A late design change (after a prototype flaw) required me to purchase 5 more of these couplings to perfect the design.  Not wanting to get confused with the half million (just a slight exaggeration) different coupling options available, I decided to take one of them into the store with me.

After work today, I decided to stop by the local Lowe’s store and finish the material purchases.  Conditioned by the annoying Walmart and Best Buy greeting system coupled with Sam’s Club’s “everyone that leaves the store is a thief” model has made me overly sensitive to causing a shoplifting accusation.  Big thanks to those three stores for making an honest person worry about this – all they need to do is add a TSA patdown when you come in and I’ll be turning Amish.  Holding my little coupler openly in my hand (picture above is almost lifesize), I waited in line at the return desk to get a sticker or something to indicate that I had already purchased it.  My turn came up and I held out my coupler and asked him if they needed to mark it.  The clerk looked at me and said “Oh no, we don’t sticker anything, just go right ahead”.  Ummm okay, that is both refreshing and concerning at the same time.  Hey, this company trusts me … or is it Hey, we have a sucker on the hook.  I decided to give them some credit and went with the former assessment.  Fifteen minutes later I had built the 5 new connectors and headed to the register.  I placed the couplers on the counter and made it clear to the clerk there were actually 10 end parts and 5 middle parts so again, no one thought I was trying to sneak something by them.  At the same time I showed her the one I had brought in and told her I brought that one in with me and put it in my front shirt pocket.  She didn’t hesitate a second and proceeded to ring up the 5 new couplers.  Wow, Lowe’s appears to have a well understood “trust the customer” policy.  There was probably a goofy grin on my face the whole time she was ringing up the items…. and then she hit the total button.

Hit the jump to read the rest about the rest of the experience.

Continue reading “You Know … I Can’t Do Basic Math”

Operation: Pesky Varmint Control

It has been awhile since I’ve embarked on an operation around here.  Most of my time has been spent training for some upcoming runs and dealing with the daily upkeep around the lot.  Unfortunately,  the catalyst for this effort is based in some sadness.  We had to say goodbye to an old friend this month.  While scouting out our lot to set the placement for the house, we became attached a tall sturdy oak in the middle of the woods.  In fact, we liked it so much we actually positioned our house around it so we could enjoy it from our windows every day.  There was a lot of construction near it which might have caused it some undue trauma or possibly succumbed to some tree pests invading the area.  In either case, the tree didn’t make it through the Spring and we had to put it down.

Not only did we lose an excellent source of shade, but I also lost my bird theater since our feeders were hung off its branches.  I literally have thousands of bird pictures as a result of that tree and it was heart tugging to watch it be ravaged by the chainsaws.  Once down my immediate concern went to how to keep from losing all the birds that had adopted my feeders.  In desperation I rigged a temporary solution off of the deck railing.  This sounded like a plan until I came home and saw this one day.

That would be a mother raccoon hanging onto the bird feeder in order to drop seed down to her 3 (actually 4) babies. Unbelievable how intelligent these creatures are. From that point on, those babies came back all day long to feast on whatever the birds dropped into the grass or porch. Of course, this included a passion for digging holes in search of any seeds that may have slipped into a crack. This is unacceptable and since I will not harm a young animal or an adult with its young I was forced to initiate Operation Pesky Varmint Control…for simplicity, lets call it Operation PVC. This was going to take something that can withstand the elements, be easy to work with and be a hindrance to bandits with thumbs. A trip to Lowes was in order and I knew just the aisle to start in. After about 6 hours across multiple trips to Lowes I had gathered the following.

If you are curious how all these fit together, hit the jump to see the rest of the post.

Continue reading Operation: Pesky Varmint Control

Let the Ghoul Show You the Way

Let’s just keep the Halloween theme going.  The previous post was driven by our annual Halloween Cookout Party.  While I was gathering up the materials for the fire pit patio, I decided to go ahead and pick up some extra items in order to attempt a new decoration  idea that I had been kicking the tires on for some time.  Each year, we try to add one new decoration to the collection.  Typically these are the latest air blown offerings, but this year we went in a different direction.  Living out in the country, it can be difficult to actually navigate to the house.  This is even more difficult at dark since there is little ambient light in the area.  This makes for a great stargazing, but not so great on the driving.  Oh, and to top it off, the GPS directs everyone to my neighbor’s driveway which is a down the road a bit.  What started as a internal debate on how to ease the difficulty for our guests resulted in this new decoration:

This particular shot was taken before darkness fell making it look a tad less scarier than it did once the guests started arriving.  Not only did this fit the overall theme of the party, but due to the clever hand placement, it also provided a functional role since it was placed at the road as an indicator for drivers to turn left into the correct driveway.  I wanted it to last from year to year, be able to withstand various weather conditions and (most of all) be relatively easy to disassemble and store away.  I don’t know about you, but those types of conditions almost always lead me to PVC.  In the sharing spirit, hit the jump to see how it was built.

Continue reading Let the Ghoul Show You the Way