Rob Ainbinder - Digital Dad - Page 9 of 79 - Chronicling my adventures in DIY, Home Improvement, Barbeque and Fatherhood

Rob Ainbinder – Digital Dad

Chronicling my adventures in DIY, Home Improvement, Barbeque and Fatherhood

Pergo Max and Pergo XP, What’s the Difference?

August 16th, 2012

Have you been shopping for new laminate floor and wondered what’s the difference between Pergo Max and Pergo XP? After visiting both big box home improvement stores I have some information to share.

Pergo Max

pergo max
Overall our impression of Pergo Max was favorable. There was a color/finish we really liked. The installation cost though ultimately led us to another decision.
Retailer: Lowes
Attached underlayment
Lifetime limited residential wear warranty
Finishes/Colors: 24
Installation instructions (PDF)

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Pergo XP

Pergo XP
Overall our impression of Pergo XP was so-so. Although there are more choices in the Pergo XP line than the Pergo Max we didn’t see one that made a positive impression with us.
Retailer: Home Depot
Attached underlayment
Lifetime limited residential wear warranty
Finishes/Colors: 33
PergoExpressions Laminate in Jatoba
Pergo Accolade Laminate Flooring in Rustic Oak
Installation instructions (PDF)

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Want to see what floor we thought was better than Pergo XP and Pergo Max? Read Of Floors and Dust Bunnies

Writing, Ray Bradbury and Genetics

June 6th, 2012

Today I learned of the passing of a great author who I long admired. Many have written great things about Ray Bradbury. I will cast my pebble in the proverbial pond as well. My involvement with Ray Bradbury takes me back to my 20’s and my first “try” at college… Valencia (formerly Community) College in Orlando, Fl. Then, I was a little more of a dreamer, a little less saddled with responsibilities and a little more in tune with the Literary and Musical worlds.

During this time I participated in my first Coffee Houses where I read poems. Yes, poems that I wrote and, no the poems did not very often rhyme. The Coffee Houses were staged at the College and orchestrated by one of my English professors Penny Villegas who is also an author.

I can honestly say that much of my writing is a direct result of Penny’s thoughtful feedback and critiques of essays, term papers, poems and even haiku in a mandatory English class and also in a Creative Writing class. Penny was quiet.. almost serene in nature but, strong in will and purpose. I’m sure I didn’t always see her in this light (especially when it related to for credit written work) but, time has adjusted the lens I use to observe and come to understand people and life.

So, now that we’ve had a short jaunt down memory lane, you may ask: Where does Mr. Bradbury fit into all of this? It was during a particular Creative Writing class when I think Penny asked if there any books we would like to read. I had suggested a book I was already reading  “Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity” which interestingly enough was a gift from my Grandmother where she asked that an inscription be placed in a book that “you would like to own, treasure and re-read”. Here’s a picture of my copy of the book.

Ray Bradbury – Zen In the Art of Writing

Long before reading “Zen” I already had read some other books from Bradbury and had picked this up due to my increasing interest in writing. It was a perfect combination… a “Sci-Fi” author writes a book about writing… I was sold on sight. So, we read the Zen book in that Creative Writing class and it was good. Reading, writing, performing and being published in the College’s Literary magazine and News Editor for the College Newspaper… I was writing, writing,writing… and loving it.

Increasing I think that writing is an inheritable trait. It might even have something to do with my writing. My Grandmother who gifted me Bradbury’s book is herself a writer.. for a while she even blogged. But, if anything she loves to journal. She has journals going back decades of everyday things and not so everyday. She loves to write and I think genetics plays a roll.

Rest In Peace Mr. Bradbury. Rest In Peace.


Tips for Organizing a Shed

June 3rd, 2012

After some procrastinating. We finally got around to organizing the shed. After the crazy move in two years ago this was the last place to get any Extreme Home Makeover “love”. Add to that some beautiful, unseasonable (e.g. 70ish) weather here in North Carolina there really was no excuse. Time to get the shed ready for the high season of lawn care. Suffice to say that we had piles of tools strewn all over the floor making it necessary to circumnavigate the lawn mower, yard cart and assortment of handtools and lawn chemicals every time we entered the shed. We inherited the shed (likely a Dutch Barn “Basic Barn” with a gambrel roof.) when we bought the house. It’s a great size with a good amount of room on the floor. The downside of this design is very little sidewall space and along the way I include a few tips for organizing this type of shed. So we tackled the right side of the shed. Really not as dramatic change on this side except for a lot less stuff on the floor and something I did with the trimmer/edger which I will get to a little later.

The right side of the shed – after the “makeover”

So, with the right side organized we tackled the left side. I set up my trusty Workmate as a table. It’s served me well for many years and is a great worksurface if you’re tight on space. Then, we moved some shelves from the garage and disassembled them into two sections for twice the shelving space and maximizing the vertical space we did have.  On the short wall next the door I used two of this Screw Hooks
that I salvaged from the garage to hang the extension cords. What a difference it made. Here’s a look…

Left side of the shed organizing project.

Overall it was a great project to complete but, there’s one part of it I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I have this Troy-Bilt Gas Powered String Trimmer
that always wound up laying on the floor of the shed (in my way and a trip hazard). Not the best place if you want access to anything else. So, I took two more of the Screw Hooks
and screwed them into the rafters. With my Wife’s help we got the spacing just far enough. The bag hanging off the far hook holds my supply of trimmer string.

Hanging a string trimmer in a shed with barn roof

Now, there’s no more stooping over to get the trimmer and I can easily grab and go.

My How Our Garden Grows: Update On Our (Almost) Squarefoot Garden

May 12th, 2012

On April 1st we set up and planted our 1st squarefoot garden. Since then, we have made a few additions.

1) Since we’ve seen a few wild rabbits and some squirrels we decided to put some fence. This is a flexible, plastic  fencing that was Tenax 3ft x 25ft Green Plastic Poultry Fence from the big box home improvement center.

2.) Adding a perimeter of marigolds for some pest protection.

3.) Also, some great performance of both the plants and seeded vegetables

4.) We also added some support for the tomato plants. The Mrs. found this Ultimato Tomato Cage at Wallyworld. Excellent product.
Ultomato Tomato Cage

Check out the squarefoot garden! We are amazed and happy.

Squarefoot Garden picture

Washing and Cleaning a Car Like a Pro (sort of).

April 23rd, 2012

We recently added a new to us (aka used) Nissan to our garage. And since we took delivery I’ve been itching to get out some tools to fix some of the issues I saw. These were some “picky” things that I wasn’t willing to let the lowest paid employee at the dealership (the car “detailer”) try and correct. Turns out the dealer wasn’t willing to try to fix the issue any way.

Look at the photo below. Starting at the reflection of the light fixture and working down you will see lots of finer scratches going from right to left (actually from the front of the car to the rear of the car).

The problems in the paint… “tunnel scratches”

These are what I call “tunnel scratches”. Why? It’s what happens when you repeatedly go through those auto car washes. The scratches could be anything from overhead brushes to drying cloths that hang vertically to dry your car or, even recycled water that was improperly filtered.

I have been a Meguiar’s fan for few years. Participating in the forums I have learned a lot from the many skilled professionals and car crazy auto appearance fanatics on techniques to enhance and protect the finish of your car. If you want to learn a little about ways to protect and enhance your car’s finish follow along with me. You’ll also see some pictures of our newer car and what I did to improve the appearance.

Step 1: Washing is Not Cleaning and Cleaning is Not Washing

Maybe you are asking yourself if Rob has lost his mind but, the first thing that the Meguiar’s gang would love for you to know is that when you wash your car it’s only the beginning of getting your car/paint clean. And how you wash it will very much determine if you will remove dirt and not add additional scratches to your car’s paint. So, what do you do to prevent additional scratches to your paint? Wash your car with two buckets! Two buckets? Yes, two buckets. Preferably a 5 Gallon Wash Bucket with Grit Guard
Here’s a video with some highlights on washing

Step 2: To Clay or Not to Clay, That Is the Question

After you have washed and dried your car it’s time to find out if you need to clean it with a Clay Bar Kit. This is the real cleaning and what determines if you will get the car really ready (if needed) for polishing (correcting) and waxing (protecting)

I “clayed” the Nissan… this is one picture of some of the bonded contaminates that I removed. There’s a longer (video) explanation here.

This is stuff off the paint after washing.

Step 3: Polish Away, Polish Away Those Defects

So, we have washed, dried and clayed the car. Now, we will work on the defects in the paint. Now, if your car is parked in the driveway or, you don’t want an absolute show car shine this step might be one where you spend a little less effort. But, what is absolutely essential is that you match the correct polish to the type of paint and problem you are trying to correct. Don’t just assume that the one clearcoat safe polish you have will do the trick… especially if you have more than one car.  In fact, for this Nissan I tried a total of three products before deciding to use…

After polishing with the compound I waxed it with Meguiar’s NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0
and we were done.

Rob Ainbinder – Digital Dad

Chronicling my adventures in DIY, Home Improvement, Barbeque and Fatherhood