Here is what I was thankful for toward the end of last month. I admit, at least one of these is from the start of September, but it is relevant to August since it mentions a special anniversary.

I am thankful for getting to learn more about AngularJS this morning with Brian Genisio, for fond memories of The Operative: No One Lives Forever and No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M .'s Way (two of the most underrated games of all time), for Xbox, for Barry and Shaun, and for going to see The World's End tomorrow night (so excited).

I am thankful for seeing The World's End last night with Chrissy, for great memories of the 12 pubs of Christmas, for the three days that we had a praying mantis living on our  porch window, for finally fixing that test at work, and for the Internet, which has helped me to make friends for over 15 years.

I am thankful for a smart, beautiful wife, for affectionate pets, for glorious sunshine, for the joy of experimentation when recording regardless of the frustrations, and for the amazing opportunities I've had in my life to experience fantastic events and inspirational people.

I am thankful for the return of Breaking Bad, for the peacefulness of an empty office this morning (spoke too soon), for experiencing the great story of Bioshock Infinite, for hearing my wife chat to her mum on the phone, and for learning that Cetirizine (aka Zyrtec) will mess up my sleep and my mood for well over 24 hours.

I am thankful for lunch with my wife today, the delicious tomatoes that keep coming from her garden, euphemisms, a fun night at Learn Something last night, and recognizing when I need to challenge myself.

I am thankful for our dryer breaking so I could learn how to take it apart and clean it out, for the Internet and it's repair videos, for our neighbours letting us use their dryer in the meantime, for me managing to fix our outdoor light, and for a great night last night resurrecting my pig dissection skills.

I am thankful for being at a point where I completely missed my seven year anniversary of controlling my nicotine addiction (it was 4 days ago – and yes, I have smoked since, but I haven't started smoking every day, every week or even every month again), for the work getting started on our bathroom today, for being able to work from home whenever I choose, for reliving the past through good music, and for getting started on a new project.

Securing my downspout

I may have mentioned this before, but we made our own rain barrel and I installed it on our new patio. However, there was one outstanding task to be done that I had been dragging me heels on.


The downspout that my neighbour and I had modified to feed water to the rain barrel was not secured to the siding, allowing it to pivot at the gutter. When the rain barrel was present, there was not much movement in the downspout, but when the barrel was set aside over winter (as you can see in the photo above), the spout would move in just about every breeze that blew. So, I stopped procrastinating and tooled up to fix it in place.


Tools for the job
Tools for the job

The tools and other items used for this project were (from top left, clockwise to center):

  • A rivet gun
  • Safety goggles
  • Aluminium bracket1
  • Safety gloves
  • 1/8" aluminium rivets
  • Drill with 1/8" bit
  • Pliers

Using the Rivet Gun

Rivet guns are kind of cool (at least I've always thought so). They allow things to be joined together from only one side, which means I don't have to get to the other side of my siding in order to rivet something to it. A rivet gun works by gripping the pin of the rivet and pulling it, causing the other end to bulge out, which holds the rivet in place. When it can't bulge anymore, the pin snaps off.

Rivet gun side-by-side with rivet
Rivet gun side-by-side with rivet
Rivet gun with rivet inserted
Rivet gun with rivet inserted
Rivet pin snapped off
Rivet pin snapped off

The Work

My intention was to match the existing approach used on the other downspouts, which was to attach the bracket to the house and then bend it around the downspout and rivet it. However, the existing brackets were all nailed to the house through the siding. I did not have nails to hand for this, so I decided to rivet the bracket to the siding.

First, I bent the bracket around the downspout. From what I know, this is not the traditional way to bend these brackets (usually, they are splayed out so the decorative arrows are flush to the siding), but I wanted everything to match up. Once the bracket was bent to fit the downspout, I drilled holes in each end where I would eventually rivet them together.



Before I could rivet the bracket around the downspout, it needed to be mounted to the siding, so I drilled two holes in the bracket and siding for rivets and used the rivet gun to secure the bracket in place.

20130427_163841 20130427_164004

Then I folded the bracket around the downspout and secured it with one more rivet.



  1. Yes, I know it's aluminum in 'murka.