Category: Miscellaneous

Bookshelf Adventure

We’ve been looking for bookshelves for a long time — both Scott and I have a lot of books, and Anya has an ever growing collection of books. We found about a dozen shelves — cantilever metal library bookshelves — and paid six dollars for them all. Basically, the shelves cost our labor and fuel to remove them from the site.

Now, that was a lot of work. We spent two days loading the truck with shelf bits — they used two 15′ box trucks to move the shelves in, but we managed to pack it all quite densely and got all of the shelves packed into the pickup truck bed in two trips. When we counted them all, there are 16 double-sided shelves and a single sided shelf.

Medina County GIS — Accessing Linked Data

There’s a lot of data that I’ve been using the old Medina County GIS system to access because I couldn’t figure out how to get it from the new Medina County GIS platform — finally got it!

The first step is to select a data layer that has linked data — this could be surveys, old tax maps, building permits, septic permits, etc.

Once a layer is selected click on the “Identify” icon — a blue circle with a letter I inside of it. I’ve been using “Draw Point” — this changes your cursor

On the map, draw your point on the icon for the data element — for tax maps, this is a gray box with some text in it. Building, septic, etc have colored shapes.

The trick, then, is to scroll down on the “Identify” tab — it’ll always start with the general parcel information (ownership, parcel size). But, if you scroll down, there will be new sections specific to the data layer you selected. Here, it’s the archived Tax Map scans. Click one of the “View” links …

Voila — you’ll have the information.

Indigo Bunting

I like watching the goldfinches eating the ornamental grass seeds. Today, though, this blue bird showed up too. Looking up small blue birds, we found a rare blue bird native to, like, Venezuela … seemed rather surprising to see one here. And then I scrolled to the next small blue bird — the Indigo Bunting — which is fairly common and native to our area. So … yeah, I’m going to go with Indigo Bunting.

Locking Adjustable Latches

We bought adjustable latches with a little extra metal bit where you can lock them. The problem, however, is that the range of adjustment is limited by the lock attachment point. Eventually, the screw bumps into the lock attachment and you cannot adjust the lock any smaller. If they had offset the lock attachment point, you could adjust the latch the full length of the threading.

Because we needed some smaller latches, we had to use a hacksaw to cut off some of the threads. Now it can be screwed down to its smallest size and our baby chickens are secured in their tractor.

Using Excel To Decrypt ROT

Anya has made us a scavenger hunt complete with clues — clues that are encrypted! While working out a ROT-1 or ROT-2 decryption isn’t terribly difficult, it was getting a little time consuming [especially when what was advertised as ROT-1 was actually ROT-(25) and I had to do it all over again!], so I made a quick spreadsheet to decrypt strings. The letter pairs are in the first two columns, then VLOOKUP is used to convert the printed character to the actual one. I found a trick card!