Last Bubble Of The Season

We may still get snow. Maybe even some ice. Considering the weather this last year, either wouldn’t surprise me at all. What we won’t be seeing again, or at least I hope we won’t as green things are starting to poke out of the ground, are the crazy low temps required for me to be able to attempt another round of frozen bubble photos this season. That isn’t a bad thing and I’m so not complaining about that at all.

It would be nice if I didn’t have to bump up the temperature in the house just to be able to go work in the basement without needing 5 layers of clothes. Or work in the garage without the risk of frostbite.

I had planned on being able to do some of my work from the garage, but there has been no way to spend more than the 20 seconds it takes to run in there to grab something before sprinting back into the house because it has been so cold. Even on the warmer days, it isn’t comfortable for more than a few minutes.

My basement space has now become a full on tool shop. I think almost every single tool we own is now crowding up what little space was open in the basement, which is going to make working a little interesting. At least I’m not constantly running up and down the stairs all day.

Standing Out In A Crowd

I have to make yet another trip to the store today. This time, it wasn’t my fault.

I was putting together my table saw stand yesterday, managing to do a whole lot of guessing because the instructions were absolute crap and would have about the same understanding even if I were reading it in the other languages, getting my first project wound because I didn’t have the right tool to hold a nearly microscopic lock nut in place while tightening and having the pliers slip and pinch the hell out of my finger (said wound is now an ugly blood blister in the most inconvenient place on my finger of my dominant hand and felt like a cross between a bad cut and a burn it was so sensitive), only to find out when it was all done that the bolts provided to actually attach a saw to the stand were too big.

This is for a stand that is the same brand as the saw and every comment I found said that it works with my saw. Well, it does. Technically. Because it fits the stand and is within the weight tolerance. I just need different bolts. FUN!

This means that I might, just might, be able to actually do something building like later today. Maybe. And very, very carefully. With fingers and toes crossed that the project wound I got yesterday is the worst I’ll see for this entire project. Because… power tools and saws.

While I sit over here and whine about stupid instructions, wrong bolts, and manufacturers not providing the tools for weird specialty parts, please enjoy some of the last snowy pictures I have. I doubt I’ll have many more past the ones I’ve already taken. I’m so ready to be done being cold.

Drip

Yesterday, I got the majority of the materials I had planned to get to start the first part of building the recessed area in my craft room. Unfortunately, the store we went to didn’t have enough of one of the boards I needed, so I’m off to a different store today to get the rest. Grateful to every lucky star out there that the pieces they were short on weren’t the pieces we had to rent a truck to haul home.

I’m still waiting on one thing I ordered before I can actually get started, but that should be here in the next day or so. The waiting part sucks, but I’m getting there.

Beautiful Broken Imperfection

This one really stuck out to me. The fact that it was this lone snowflake caught in that space. That it was either broken or partly melted or some combination. That it was determinedly hanging on. That even imperfect, it was still amazingly beautiful. To me, it is one of those images that can hold so much meaning beyond just being a pretty picture.

Oh So Flaky!

I wasn’t going to go out. It was still stupidly cold. But… it was flurrying a bit and those flakes were the perfect kind to try and get actual snowflakes and the sun was out a bit and… of course I went out.

It really was kind of perfect conditions to get snowflake shots. The snow was so light and fluffy, I could scoop some of it up and still maintain the flake shapes. That kind of snow isn’t all that common here as our tends to be more wet and sticky.

I froze my butt and my fingers off, but dammit! I got snowflake pictures!

 

Visit From Jack Frost

Under normal circumstances, there isn’t any glass in this house that manages to form ice crystals. Mostly because everything is well insulated and the indoor temps are just too much for the ice to overcome.

Apparently that isn’t the case today with our front glass storm door.

I think it must be in part because Hubby was in and out of that door last night causing it to fog up when he was going to shovel the driveway and it just never got warmed back up after that. Whatever it was, when I went to open it this morning to look out front, there was no seeing out front. Just seeing an iced over door with a load of really pretty ice crystals clustering at the bottom.

Considering the thermometer was registering -9 this morning, it really isn’t all that surprising. Thankfully, we have finally broken back into the positive digits for the first time in more than 24 hours.

So far, we’ve been really lucky and haven’t been hit by any of the rolling blackouts that were a potential around here. I have a friend in another state that got hit by one that was only supposed to last maybe 30 minutes and was without power for over 2 hours and ended up with a frozen water pipe. And that was only one of the MANY times she ended up without power yesterday.

Our downtown voluntarily went dark for the night and almost every school in the area is closed today, even for virtual, both because of the weather and in an effort to not put a strain on the power grid. It’s kind of wild what’s going on right now.

I hope you all are staying in, staying safe, and staying warm where it is cold!

Feathered Ice

Of all the photos I got the other day, this is probably one of the best at the almost fully frozen stage. Almost all of the ones I took started to get too blurry by that point because of the transparency of the bubbles and the angle I was at.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing all the different types of patterning that these display.

Frozen Soap Bubble

Yesterday’s attempt at getting some frozen bubble shots was pretty successful and I learned a few new things.

One of the bigger things is that I really need to be wearing my reading glasses when I’m taking photos anymore. I struggle more and more often to see if I’m actually in focus or I have to rely on the autofocus, which doesn’t always give me what I want. This is especially true if I’m using my viewing screen to frame my shot. Wearing glasses is still a long way from perfect or even from where I used to be, but it gets me a whole lot closer than I’ve been getting lately.

When it comes to doing the bubble photos, I’ve also learned that the angle you take these from is critically important and I don’t always get that right. One is the fact that you have to have the light hit it in a way to bring contrast to those crystal structures or you just don’t see them well.

The other issue on angle is the fact that these are transparent and as they freeze, you will get the crystal structures on the back overlapping with the ones on the front, which can make the whole thing look blurry. Many of the ones I tried to take yesterday didn’t look that great once they were fully frozen, but the partially frozen ones looked great. So you have to be at an angle to get the crystal structures to pop, but mainly the ones only on the front side of the bubble, which can be really tricky.

I also learned that I pulled off some of my best images from the videos I tried, but those files aren’t nearly as good a quality as a normal photo, so that is a good and a bad thing.

There are several really good ones I want to share over the next couple of days, but this one is probably one of my favorites (though I do have a few that come close for different reasons). This one is up there because it is one of the best at really showcasing those crystal patterns as they begin to form.

In some ways, I wish we had more days where I could practice, but… nope! It has to be way too cold to play, so I think I’ll be good with the once or twice a year opportunities.

Frozen Bubble Time!

The conditions today were just almost perfect for playing with bubbles. It was just a tiny bit on the breezy side and I had way too many pop before they could fully freeze, but I was still able to get some great shots. I also tried doing a video for the first time.

Hopefully the video works. I think there is an HD option when viewing, but it may show a lower quality so be sure to check if it doesn’t look crisp.

Frozen Bubble In The Snow

This one was the only decent one I managed to grab yesterday. I think the fact that it was snowing is why I struggled to get a decent shot. The snowflakes kept popping the bubbles before they could really start to freeze. That and I wasn’t positioned well to get a good, clear line to see the crystallization on the bubbles. This is one of the few that you could actually see that, but it isn’t as clear as I’ve gotten in the past.

I’m going to try again over the next few days when I have a couple of extra minutes, which may be hard to find. I’ve got a cake to make this week, so my time is going to be packed. My goal is to get the table base at least painted and ready to assemble today, because starting tomorrow, I have to be in cake mode.

The forecast for the next several days is looking like we will have perfect conditions so it’s possible even with my incredibly busy week ahead that I’ll have a several chances to get out and try again.

Bright Center

Yesterday, I got the new filters installed, which made me happy. It made me even happier that they were the easiest plumbing project I’ve ever done. I had them both in and working in about 20 minutes.

I learned in my research yesterday that I can use the same underlayment I’m going to use for my floor under my cabinets to protect them from any moisture that might seep through the concrete. That means I don’t need an additional material that I don’t already have since I have enough to cover the entire space.

Craft Room Overview Layout
Craft Room Overview Layout

One adjustment to my cabinet plans that I’d been tossing around was to change my plans for the the “L” section that came back into the room (lower 36 x 72 section pictured above). The original plan was to have this built with a base cabinet and counter top like the rest of the space. Since this is in the middle of the room and sits in the open space to the rest of the basement, I was concerned that it might interfere with moving things around either in the basement or in and out of the storage space under the stairs since it narrowed down the space.

I finally decided that the best option is to make that section into a large, moveable work table instead. I’ll lose some cabinet space, but it makes the space a lot more versatile. This way we can move the table out of the way if we need to and open the area up for anything larger to get through the space (like the couch that is currently in the basement).

My concern about doing that was matching the table height to the counter height so that I had a consistent workspace all around. The solution is to get the table built first and then build the cabinets to match that height. I can do that since I’m building these cabinets from scratch and they won’t have to be standard, which they weren’t going to be anyway.

I then also had to actually build a table base. I already have the top, but no real place to start to build the base. If I was going to do a table, I’d want decent looking legs and not just square blocks. I found a place that makes the entire base in a kit form and you can customize it with the kind of legs you want, the measurements of the overhang and the table top size it needs to fit. After a lot of debate over the cost and eliminating any potential options I had here, I decided to go that route and have a base on the way.

It will take a bit to get here, so that gives me time to go through the rest of my plans to see if any other adjustments are going to need to be made. With the problem solved of what I need to do for the cabinets against the concrete and the decision on the table made, that is the last piece I need to resolve before I actually start getting all the wood I need to start building.

That and I still have to decide if I need to do something to level out the concrete before I can do any of those things.

I also have my inspection scheduled for tomorrow morning, so all fingers and toes are getting crossed that I actually pass this time.

 

 

Carnation In Black & White

Well, we have a nice new working shutoff for our waterline and no filter.

The no filter bothers me as I haven’t used water without a filter (a really heavy duty one no less) for over 22 years when I got a notice from the town I lived in that we had extremely high levels of a pesticide in our water and that we’d had those high levels for over a year. That was when I learned that there are ranges of what is acceptable in your water and times when they have to notify you when those levels are too high and that those points aren’t always soon enough for you to do something about it. Those regulations don’t always make since. I found out about those levels when OC was still a baby and realized I’d been drinking that water while I’d been pregnant and mixing their formula with that water for over a year.

So a filter is a absolute must in my house as I just don’t trust what comes in through my pipes.

The problem is that when we got our whole house filter, they pulled all the things from the water that I was looking for, specifically things like the pesticides. Now, almost all of those don’t work the same anymore. The only ones that really do are the under sink kinds, though I have no idea why there is such a difference. Considering the cost differences between the two, you’d think the whole house filters would do the better job, but that isn’t the case.

I had to do some research on what to get as a replacement as almost all of the under sink filters require their on faucet and my counter in the kitchen can’t handle another faucet. I did finally find one that just connects into the waterlines and goes directly to your existing faucet, but I had to get one for both the hot and the cold.

While those are going to do the job, I’m going to really miss not having to think about where I get the water in the house to drink. Cooking is kind of obvious as I would only ever use the kitchen faucet, but we have a waterline in the fridge too that isn’t being filtered. Our fridge has the filter option, but we don’t have a filter for it as it wasn’t needed. The filters for those aren’t as good as what I’d like, so I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about that one. As of right now, I’ve irritated the hell out of Hubby as I’ve locked out the water option forcing him to use the filter pitcher I got for MC to take to the dorm with him, but have temporarily stolen back.

My new filters won’t be here for another day or two and it is so weird having to stop and think about what I’m doing every time I go to use the water. I’m going to really miss the whole house filter, but it will also be nice to not have to worry about a repeat with another unit in the basement.