Weeknotes 24 Jan 2022

Weeknotes from Donna for week 9 with MakerX; just wait until you see the shocking twist :)

Photo of terracotta pipes under a concrete floor

Week 9 at MakerX started well. I don't usually work Mondays, but had planned to work part of it this week. Then I got a last minute dermatologist appointment and snapped it up (usually a 3 month wait - of course I was going to take it). Then a couple of check-in meetings, a bit of wireframing and a lovely chat with someone about a piece of work.

Tuesday is when all the fun started. Tuesday was plumbing day.

After creating an exceptional amount of noise, dust and creating a big pile of dirt in the middle of my studio, we could finally see what the 80-year old pipes looked like and where they were leaking.

Concrete cutter in the middle of a room, a lot of dust in the air
Not a poor quality image - that's dust!
Photo of terracotta pipes under a concrete floor
Every joint in 5m of pipe was broken

The next thing was to figure out where the water was actually going, as it appeared to go no-where. We renegotiated the project scope and agreed to extend for another day.

Wednesday was plumbing and electricals.

The plumbing investigations continued, finally determining that actually, the stormwater was going nowhere (the pipe literally stopped in the middle of the footpath). Another project renegotiation happened and we figured out the best combination of scope and price.

This looks like just a photo of dirt. And that's because there is no pipe where there should have been pipe!

Meanwhile, all the old wiring was coming down. Not as messy as the plumbing but still pretty messy.

Photo of a lot of random, old, bits of electrical equipment
Demolition is the best fun!

The highlight of the mess was this beauty, found deep in the new trench to take power to the shed. It even works even after what was probably a long time underground!

Ceramic horse figurine with a circular thermometer (working)
I think we need a caption contest for this one

I patched up all the holes from old wiring with some artful plastering, taking the role of plastering apprentice for the day. Not bad for a newby!

2 photos showing a ceiling repair - the first is unpainted, the second is painted and plastered
During and after a ceiling patch repair

Thursday was less about making mess and more about tidying it. Lights went up, powerpoints went in (glorious double powerpoints! How can anyone get by with one outlet per room) and the switchboard went from a cascade of wires to organised and tidy.

A mess of wires hanging from the wall
Before the switchboard tidied everything up

I'm imagining you must be thinking by now 'Hang on, why is Donna telling us about her renovation? What does this have to do with MakerX work?

I'm glad you asked!

Well, the reason I'm telling you this is that I was working right through it. I didn't take time off to renovate or do it around work. I just did it all at the same time.

I love that I have the flexibility to figure out what work I can do, where to do it and when to do it. I had some wireframing to do, and I want a proper setup for that, so I did that in the evening with my big monitor and good chair (not pictured below). I had some brainstorming to do for our company website, and I could do that with paper and pen (well, the insides of cardboard boxes and pen - I forgot my notebook).

A desk with a laptop, flattened boxes and a pen
My temporary desk

I invented a standing desk on a shelf to keep track of slack conversations while my laptop charged.

A shelf with a laptop and kettle
This shelf was the perfect height for a standing desk

When my laptop ran out of battery, I did some plastering while it recharged. I popped my safety earplugs in during the noisiest parts of the day and when I wanted to concentrate.

Photo of Donna wearing safety earplugs
Who needs fancy noise-cancelling headphones when you can just use safety earplugs?

It probably wasn't my most productive week ever, but that's OK. I got everything done that I needed to get done. Clients didn't know I was having a distracting week. My team knew, but it wasn't anything other than humorous as we all work within real life distractions (usually cats walking through video calls in my case).

And most importantly, I now have safe electricity, stormwater that goes into the stormwater drain instead of under the slab. And my new fans are really cool!

Photo of what looks like a hanging ceiling light
Before, there is a light
Photo of the same ceiling light, with fan blades just showing
After, there is a fan (with clear blades, so hard to photograph)