We're back irrigat'n.

Took too much fussing and threats and escalation, but we're back on-line. I'm a smart guy. I suspected a wiring or timer problem. So proceed through standard tech support protocol:

  1. Call my point of contact, the installers. They figure it can't be them, must be the timer. They call the SkyDrop timer folks.
  2. They figure it can't be them. Blame the user (ME!)
  3. Screw that. This is power alley stuff for your musist. If I'd done something to it, I'd tell you I did something to it. Back on the timer folks.
  4. Who defer by saying will run overnight diagnostics. Yah, I bet they will.
  5. Hear nothing in the morning. Call late morning. Nope, checks out perfect. Can't be the timer.
  6. At this point I step up the rhetoric with the installer folks. They sound like they want me to go dig stuff up. BS to that. Be good if I saw your smiling faces...
  7. Out they come. Seems the SkyDrop folks have been in "if not the user, you, the installer must have screwed something up" mode.
    • I'm not a big fan of what always looks to me like spaghetti wiring associated with any irrigation installation I've ever seen. So I'm buying into the must be a wiring issue. And, there is a spaghetti knot looking splice, that should not have existed in the first place, that was going to be randomly buried with the rest of the wire when I insisted it be carefully located so we could find again; that sure smelled to me like a strong candidate for trouble.
    • We found it again and tested it. No wiring problems.
    • Our irrigation folks are yet another husband and wife team. Tucson and their second generation and husband wife teams. It's a great thing, but certainly nothing I've encountered anywhere else!
    • Anyway, Rayes (the husband) is the irrigation guy. His wife Mahaya (no idea how to spell that, but it sounds like I spelled it) is the power behind the throne. Don't know how she cooks (from our conversations, I suspect quite well). From my observations, she gives Sweetie a run for her money when it comes to hard work. Now Sweetie has some years on Mahaya. Mahaya has four children on Sweetie. So I'm calling it two tough women. And, she's a pit bull. Course so is Ann, so still a draw.
    • Mahaya took some offence to accusations that mistakes were made on this end. I was set off at the beginning when accusations were being thrown in my direction. And I know a fair bit about supporting software. So, when things looks like progress is not being made. I sprinkle a little gas on the fire.
  8. SkyDrop decides it must be a problem in the back plate of the timer. The timer comes in two parts. The back plate is a terminal board that attaches to the wall and accepts all the wires coming from the valves that feed water to each zone. The smarts is all in the pretty face plate that snaps over the back plate. I can see the face-plate having a logic board with a little infant mortality. But, what amounts to a terminal strip failing. I smell bullshit again...
  9. More testing. More gas on the fire. Mahaya is pissed. Heads down to the lower part of the Quail Manor Grounds for some serious ass chewing. May have even been in several languages.
  10. Now we're escalated far enough up the chain with SkyDrop who sorts that a software update failed Thursday night (he blames my WiFi which is absolute bullshit, but we'll let him save some face if the damn thing works). We do a factory reset and reapply the update.
  11. Have to reenter all our settings, but the Quail Manor Grounds are irrigating on automatic as I muse.

After we're running again and testing and retesting. Mahaya's phone rings. It's the original SkyDrop support guy from Day 1 of the support sham. Calling back after not returning any calls on Day 2 of the support sham. He was out of the actual support loop. Mahaya returned to the lower reaches of the Quail Manor Grounds. I wanted to go listen!

Meanwhile. CtC, his nephew and your musist are assembling IKEA kitchen cabinets. Shocking easy and trouble free. Best I can tell, no trees lost their lives in the making of these cabinets. Particle board and chemicals. The fronts are MDF, which is technically not anymore wood than the particle board. So, these cabinets are an engineering marvel. Everything fits perfectly. Worst part is hand nailing the backs to the cabinet frame. Suggested a brad gun to CtC. Apparently we need nails with a head on them and these are too small for a gun. Shut-up and nail. Sometimes I hit the nail instead of my fingers, but mostly it was a combination of nail and finger.

Our strategy is to do all the base cabinets in the kitchen and both bathrooms so we can start the counter top fabrication process. This whole IKEA thing has been too smooth. Counter tops are the next interaction, so fingers crossed! Then while we await counter tops, we'll do the tall wall in the kitchen, the upper cabinets in the bathrooms, hang doors and do the door and base trim.

So we started installing the cabinets. Trick is to kind of dry fit them just enough that we can move things around so everything lines up nicely. Then we come back and really screw everything down.

On the window end of the peninsula is a filler so the drawers don't hit the wall. We want the filler to be as small as possible so the cabinet run is as short as possible. So we start on the other end and work back to the wall. Good plan. (You knew it was coming) until we get to the oven cabinet.

Micrometer Bob (the plumber) installed the gas line at EXACTLY the height of the counter top. Not sure what he was thinking, but in no scenario does that make any sense... And, JCE (the electrician) installed a GFI outlet for the gas cook top igniter. Now, we need an outlet, but if (ok, when) the GFI trips, going to have to remove the oven to reset it. Not a good plan. It's about the end of the day, let's shut down and hit it again Monday. 

Your musist is curious how big the filler will be. Let's measure. Well (you knew it was coming) there's not room for any filler. Got to have a little filler.


CtC and nephew are coming back on Sunday. 

To de-install everything and move it over an inch or so and reinstall. Up to the oven cabinet. Which has to wait until Micrometer Bob figures out a way to snake his gas line down through all the PEX tubing that is so beautifully arranged evenly between where his gas line is and where it needs to be. I'm looking forward to the fussing that will entail...

The real pisser is that half-way down this cabinet run is a sink cabinet. The engineers among you will know that a whole passel of pipes come out of the wall and into the sink cabinet. Have to drill holes to let them through. Hacks just just cut out the back of the cabinet. These may be IKEA cabinets, in the barrio, but CtC is no hack. At this point, we already have holes in the back of the sink cabinet. Lined up real nice too. So, in the interest of craftsmanship, we have to replace the back so we can redrill new holes. He found a piece of whatever the back of IKEA cabinets are made of (don't know what it is, but not much more than paper). The found stuff is white, but who knows if the same white as the cabinets. It is the back of the sink cabinet so I suspect we'll live.

Forced us to figure out how to finish off the end of the peninsula. We'll (more correctly CtC) will attach a 2 x 6 to the end of the peninsula to extend it and inch and a half so we have room for the filler on the other end. The 2 x 6 covers the ends of the drywall on either side of the 2 x 4 peninsula wall frame. We don't need the full 2 (really 1.5) inch thickness, but a 1 x 6 would not be thick enough. Then we will run a piece of base molding up over it to finish the end between the cabinets on the kitchen and the breakfast bar sides of the peninsula.

That's way more than I though I had to say. Here are the pictures. Been testing locations for the trash barrels. Have a picture of my favorite spot so far. Had to use a couple of "drop-offs" from the pergola roof to shim up the downhill side of the barrels. If this continues to be a winning location, will put some end caps in and call it good. Oh, and the pergola fans went up. And, there's a "proof of life" picture of the irrigation irrigating one of Sweetie's new trees.