Monday, April 15, 2019

FINALLY, it's Spring! Will we stay dry for Easter?

Finally!  Everything is starting to green up!  It is hard going to bed before the rest of the family during the Spring and Summer.  But it warms my heard to hear the kids in the backyard playing. 
Evan has started crawling so we have been putting objects in front of him to go get and man he is getting fast!  Gone are the days when you can put him in one place and he stays there...
Weather was great last Thursday for a quick trip to the zoo.  Penguins were a big hit.  Lots of them were out and playing around with the kids on the other side of the glass.
Friday was a stormy morning, but I went into Summer's school to talk to the kids about weather.  Keeping the attention of 3 and 4 year olds is difficult, but I think I did pretty well. 
I let Dawn sleep in on Saturday and took the kids running.  Evan is teething and he started getting fussy after 3 miles so we ended the run a little early.  I had a feeling this would happen so we stayed pretty close to the car.
After a power nap, he was ready to go!  We went out to the Ohio State farm for their open house.  The cows were a big hit.
And also the horses. 
We went out with some friends to check out the animals and fresh air.  Then we grilled out in their backyard and the kids played until it was nap time.
After naps we planted our cold crops like lettuce and peas.  Summer did most of the planting with my coaching.  She was VERY excited to help plant.
It was a great weekend hanging out with the kids.  Dawn and I both were feeling crummy with the spring allergies.  But we loved getting our time with the kids.  I will be taking more time off soon and spending a lot of time with family.  But I will be back soon... Don't worry!
You may want to grab that jacket! Windy and much cooler today with brisk winds this morning along with clouds. We even have a few early flurries(mainly north) and light rain today, during the early morning. The winds will slowly ease up through the day and clouds start clearing through the afternoon with a cool high of 52. Partly cloudy and cool tonight with low temps near 40 and light winds. Mix of sun & clouds Tuesday with highs near 70 and a light breeze. Clouds start returning Wednesday and Thursday with a few isolated showers possible. High temps will be in the mid 70s both of these days with just a slight chance of rain. Another strong system approaches for the end of the week. Showers and storms move in Thursday night and Friday looks particularly wet and potentially stormy. Highs in the 60s on Friday with rain likely. Lingering showers on Saturday with highs back in the 50s. It appears the rain will be moving out in time for Easter Sunday with highs in the mid 60s. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, April 8, 2019

Rebuilding garden beds without nails/screws & wintry mix coming?

Well... Time to get to work! I have four garden beds.  I rebuilt them all about 3 years ago with pine wood, but they are reaching their life limit.  The strawberry bed, back right, was replaced last fall.  I figured I would share how I am rebuilding them, in case some of you would like to try building your own.
I am NOT building them like I did before.  Check out the corners.  They are splitting and the screws are barely held into the wood now. This is risky with the kids and myself in the backyard barefoot so often.  So let's go shopping to rebuild two of the garden beds. My beds are 12 feet by 4 feet.  
I had a coupon to Lowe's, so picked up enough to rebuild two of the beds.  For one bed you will need 16 8' landscaping timbers, 20' of 1/2" rebar, and a sheet of plastic. Thanks to Kurt Ludlow for letting me borrow his trailer for all the lumber.
Then you have to cut half of those timbers halfway.  So for one bed you will need 8 8' timbers and 16 4' timbers.
Time to get stacking...
Interlace the ends and stack them 4 high with the 4' seconds on the ends and then one 8' and one 4' timber for each side.
Then you will need a LONG 1/2" wood spade chuck drill bit.  Mine is 16" long and you have to drill down through all four boards for the rebar to be pounded in.  I do all three of the top boards then halfway through the bottom board.  Once all the holes are done then I remove the top three boards and elevate the bottom board so I can drill straight through and not ruin the bit by hitting the ground.  For all the seams, you will want to drill holes all the way down to hold the boards together with the rebar that need to be in 1' pieces.
Be very careful not to shift the boards too much when you are drilling because you want all 20 holes to be lined up perfectly when you are done.  If the boards move then the first drilled holes will not line up later. You can use thinner dowel rods or other long thin rods to help hold them together temporarily, but be sure you can remove the rods after you finish drilling.
Now to the beds.  I shoveled around the inside of the older beds to make sure I had room to put in the newest boards.  Summer and Evan were watching the whole time and making sure I was doing a good job. I took all the screws out of the boards and put them into coffee can and into the trash.
Since I am now using treated lumber I wanted a barrier between the chemicals in the treated lumber and soil, so I put plastic around the entire bed and placed the first boards on top of that.
Stack them up and make sure you are putting the same boards in the same places.  You can mark the insides with a crayon so you don't get them out of order.  I stake them three high then staple the plastic to the top of the third board and trim off the excess plastic.  
Then I put the rebar in the top board and hammer that in BEFORE I put the top board on the bed.  Might as well do some of the hammering before they move once you put them on the boards because the vibrations may slightly alter the stacking.
Hammer away!
Done! Be sure to check that it is going into the next board properly.  Again, the vibrations of hammering may shift the lower boards.
I put the kids to bed for a nap and I was able to get the second bed done, start to finish, in about 3 hours.  I wanted to get it all done before the rain came because I didn't want to boards to warp. Getting straight lumber is also a good tip.  That back bed is in good enough shape to last another season... hopefully. I may also get sealer to put on the boards to hopefully get a little more life out of them.  I don't want to paint them because paint will eventually peel and I want something to soak in and protect it longer.  
Dawn and I went to Katie McKee's wedding on Saturday.  Gorgeous wedding!
Katie was gorgeous!  They asked for no photos during the ceremony, but we did snap a morning show group shot with the bride.
It was so nice to get a night out with Dawn.  We don't often get a lot of time with just the two of us.  Love her so much.
Yesterday I took the kids on a run while Dawn got a nap.  Evan was able to ride in the stroller like normal instead of the car seat. I think he really enjoyed seeing everything passing by instead of stuck looking at the sky.
Ugh!  What a Monday morning!  When I pulled out of the garage and started heading to work this morning I could hear something a little weird with the wheels.  I could hear a tick, tick, tick, tick... So I pulled over and checked the tires.  They all looked fine so maybe it was just a rock in between the tread.  It is my wife's car and I drive it to work in the mornings.  It has air pressure sensors for the tires and I could see they were all properly inflated inside too.  So I got back on the road and a mile later the ticking stopped, but then one of the tires started dropping in PSI.  I only had 6 miles to go and I told myself that if the pressure got too low then I had to pull over.  I was able to get into the packing lot and the tire was low, but still going with 6 PSI.  I could hear it hissing.  I went inside to get some work done and then back outside to change the tire.  No screw or nail was visible, but I will check to see where the hole is and then patch it after the morning show today.  Fun times!
You might want to have the rain gear handy for today. A cold front is moving through Indiana now and will trigger some scattered morning showers and a few rumbles of thunder. Clouds will remain around the area a lot of today with a few peaks of sun. Once we warm up in the afternoon and evening then we will see a few more spotty showers popping up. Highs today in the lower 70s. Clouds continue clearing this evening and patchy fog possible by Tuesday morning. Early clouds and fog clear Tuesday with more sun by the afternoon and highs in the upper 60s. Another day with more sun on Wednesday with increasing clouds later in the day and likely staying dry and cooler with highs in the mid-upper 50s. More clouds Thursday and a low chance of some scattered rain later in the day, mainly north. Highs near 70 with brisk winds Friday morning we will see a strong cold front that will likely trigger scattered showers and storms for the morning with gusty winds. Drying out by later Friday and Saturday with partly cloudy skies with highs in the 60s. Cooler on Sunday with highs in the mid 50s and then scattered showers likely later in the day. A couple of the models are going cold enough for rain and a little wintry mix.  We will keep an eye on it... Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Back from a trip to Florida

Morning!  I have been very busy lately.  I was prepping for a big talk at Ohio State for the Meteorology Club's 23rd Annual Severe Weather Symposium.  They asked for me to come back and talk about my journey around Ohio doing the weather.  Very honored to be asked to be part of this.
Then I had 2 hours until my plane took off for Florida.  My brother Clark wanted to do some fishing for his bachelor party so we went to Tampa. 
Fishing went pretty well for us.  This is Bryant and Clark.  It was nice to have the brother's together, but we missed Marcus, who is teaching English in Hong Kong.
The beach was relaxing and we had some good times hanging out and getting to know the rest of his bachelor party.
I also got a couple runs in while there as well.  Running on the beach some of the time really made my legs sore now.  I plan on getting out for a run today or tomorrow, but took some time off to recover.
It was so nice coming home to see the family.  Summer was VERY excited to see me and was yelling DADDY! at the airport. This photo is from last night...
One of Summer's friends has a dad who hooked us up with tickets to see Sesame Street LIVE.  It was a pretty good show and entertaining for the kids. 

I have also been working on rebuilding my garden beds, so I will have a step-by-step process for that in the coming days because I have had a few people ask how I do that without any screws or nails.
Hope you enjoyed the sunshine!  We will see a little sun at times today between breaks in the clouds, but clouds will be dominant today with some scattered rain showers.  Temps today will start in the lower 40s and we will warm into the upper 50s.  Rain today will be light and scattered, mainly north for the first part of the day and then our chance of rain will increase through the day and rain showers likely for most of the area overnight into Friday morning.  So a wet/damp Friday morning commute then the rain will move out midday and a drier afternoon commute with temps warming into the low 60s. A mix of sun & clouds Saturday with high temps reaching the mid-upper 60s.  Clouds will increase on Sunday and we will warm into the low-mid 70s.  A couple models are trying to bring in more rain my midday Sunday.  If that comes to fruition then we may not get quite that warm, but other models holding off on the rain until Sunday night into Monday.  We stay unsettled for the start of next week with on and off rain, so keep the rain gear handy.  Temps stay mild with highs in the 60s most of next week. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

Back to the main page