Updated: Bear Found In Rio Rancho, Near My House

There was a 200lbs bear in Rio Rancho this morning. The bear was initially spotted right near my house then was chased into a tree a few blocks from my house. There was quite the circus around the neighborhood with all the police, fire and ever single news van in the state.

KRQE has a report and video from this morning. I don’t know what happened to the bear but I’m sure Game and Fish knocked it out and took it away.

Update: The link to KRQE seems to be doing something weird. You can watch the original breaking news on YouTube. KRQE has a follow-up about the incident with a video on YouTube. They don’t know where the bear came from but it will be going to the Zuni mountains.


Attaching The Evaporative Cooler Duct Work To The Concrete Pad

Last year I received a Master Cool evaporative cooler for free. I purchased some duct work from a local home improvement store but never permanently attached it. I had used duct tape to hold the whole mess together last year. Duct tape does a poor job of sticking to concrete.

This year I came up with a method of attaching the duct work by installing concrete bolts and bolting down extruded aluminum L channel to the concrete. I considered gluing the aluminum directly to the concrete but I wanted to have the option to remove it in the future.

Broken concrete drill bit

I learned a few things about drilling through concrete. First: it takes a lot of power and my cordless Dewalt drill had a tough time with the drilling. It was just really slow (perhaps a lithium ion nano battery would have helped). I was meaning to buy a corded hammer drill anyway and the corded drill was 10 times faster. Second: it was easier to drill the holes in the aluminum L channel then use that as a template for drilling the concrete, rather than marking the concrete. The drill bit tended to walk a little in the concrete. Third: drilling concrete is hard on the drill bits. It’s good to have extra on hand.


I attached double sided window and door weather stripping to the aluminum L channel but left the paper backing on the other side. I filled in any remaining gaps with some outdoor rated silicon sealant.


I am far from done with this project. I need to verify that water is not leaking into the duct. I need to have someone clean all the duct work so I have not completely sealed the duct to the aluminum L channel. I want to install some sort of concrete sealant to the duct once it’s cleaned out.

Finally, I want to build a better stand for the cooler. I envision a wheeled stand with a built-in jack so I can easily move the cooler around for maintenance and adjust its height without additional help.

Gardening By The Yard TV Show In Rio Rancho's Waterwise Garden

HGTV’s Gardening By The Yard with Paul James will be showing an episode filmed at Sandoval County’s Waterwise Garden in Rio Rancho. The episode number is GBY-1807 and is entitled “Xeriscaping, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Wise Water Practices“. It will be shown in New Mexico on HGTV which airs Sunday June 7th at 5:30am.

Gardening By The Yard is one of my favorite gardening shows and it’s too bad I didn’t know they were here filming. I will add video of the episode here if it becomes available.

One Project Closer: $100 Home Depot Gift Card for Father’s Day

One Project Closer is giving away $100 Home Depot gift certificate. To enter you can use one of the following methods:

  • 1 entries: Leave a comment.
  • 10 entries: Subscribe via e-mail.
  • 50 Entries: Blog about the Giveaway.

Please, go over and leave a comment to get your one entry, but please to not create a blog post. I would like to keep my 50 entry advantage.

Actually One Project Closer is a great site. Their radiant floor heating installation was a great resource for my own master bathroom radiant floor installation.

Scorpion Amber Candy

Another potential use for the scorpions I keep finding in my house.

F49D145D-6BAE-491A-9EC0-62C02F811F3C.jpgAmber InsectNside (Amber Brittle), is a ribbon style toffee flavored candy with a real Edible Scorpion inside. Looks like fossilized amber. Net wt .75oz.

Installing Self-Leveling Concrete In The Master Bathroom

Another milestone is complete in the ongoing (3.5 year) master bathroom project as the self-leveling concrete was installed on top of the radiant floor heating. The process wasn’t exactly what I expected and the results weren’t perfect but the floor did come out level.

IMG_1544 - Version 2

The manufacturer of the concrete product recommends not to install it when the heater is running and when the humidity is low otherwise cracking could occur. That meant I needed to wait until summer when the heater didn’t need to run and the evaporative cooler could be running. I didn’t need the cooler, it was installed on one of the rainiest days of May and the humidity in the house was over 75%.

IMG_9771 - Version 2

Prior to pouring the concrete I made a riser out of aluminum flashing to extend the height of the air duct in the bathroom. I held the riser in with some cardboard and sealed it to the old duct with some concrete sealant. I did the same for the area around the toilet.

The entire house has an expansion joint around the perimeter and one wall of the bathroom has part of this expansion joint. The self-leveling concrete cannot go into the expansion joint or bridge it or it will crack. I sealed the joint with concrete caulking and put foam under the drywall so it sticks out over the joint.

IMG_9776 - Version 2

I had scheduled 3 friends to come over to help (although only two showed up), one who had worked with self-leveling concrete before. It takes at least three people: 1 to mike the concrete with the drill, 1 to pour water and concrete into the 5 gallon bucket and 1 to pour the floor. My $88 corded Dewalt drill had a tough time with the concrete mixture. Luckily I had an old heavy duty single speed craftsmen drill that tore through the concrete without a single complaint.

IMG_9775 - Version 2

The only problem we found during the pourig of the floor is there wasn’t enough water in the concrete and it wasn’t quite liquid enough. This made some rough spots where the different pours came together. it work in our advantage since one area where I had sealed the expansion joint gave in and started filling with self-leveling concrete and I completely missed a small crack in the concrete slab near another wall. The self-leveling concrete set too quickly for this to impact the level of the floor. Had it been more liquid the entire floor could have drained down these cracks.

It took four bags of self-leveling concrete and I ended up with a 3/4 inch floor, I will have to recheck my calculations as I expected a 1/2 floor. It cost about $50 in supplies and a few beers.

IMG_9774 - Version 2

I was a bit hesitant about doing this pour myself and considered hiring someone. I’m glad I did this small area first and I’m confident I can do the master bathroom with enough people. I may have to have a pour-party and get about 10 people together to have a constant flow of self-leveling concrete then bar-b-que when we’re done. I had meant to take more pictures but I was too busy working on the project, the pictures I did take can be viewed on flickr.

The next step is to install the Schulter Kerdi waterproofing material and to finish up the shower stall before laying tile. This will be a non traditional installation of a shower floor. I’m not sure if I will start this during the summer as I plan to spend my time working on outdoor projects as much as I can.