Alexa Enabled Orbi Voice Harmon Kardon Speaker With WiFi Range Extender

Get your Orbi Voice system today!

Orbi Voice is the best way to get Alexa enabled music at your command while extending your WiFi throughout your home. Heck, you could probably extend the WiFi all the way to your neighbor’s house with this system.

The price is what you would expect to pay for a WiFi extender, but you get Harmon Kardon sound and Alexa control of your music and anything else you want to control… I happen to like being the boss and ordering my house to do my bidding, and I am sure you will, too!

Orbi Voice with Alexa

Geo Grid Driveway: The Final Chapter

Sorry this took longer to finish than I would have liked, but like all construction jobs, the weather is still the foreman. We had a few days (finally) of rain and then I ordered the remainder of the gravel before beginning the task of setting up the grid.

Final Size For Driveway

We had decided on the last day of digging that we didn’t need to go as far as we had initially planned. It turned out that the extra four feet would not add any benefit since the current length was actually already longer than both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Nissan Altima, so, unless we wanted to go all the way to the fence to be able to park both cars in the driveway, we were done digging up the lawn. We still had a day or two of leveling the inside of the hole so that it was at least 4.5 inches deep from the sidewalk along the right edge of the driveway. That would be our limiting height, since it is easier to bulk up the grass side of the driveway with landscape timbers than it is to make the sidewalk go higher.

Once we had the area leveled, we rolled out the landscape fabric. In hindsight, I would have rolled out two layers of the fabric, and then driven some wooden stakes or something to hold it in place. It only moved a little bit, but it was still irritating when it did. We then unboxed the Geo Grid and the stakes. I had ordered two grids, because my calculations originally called for a lot more than one grid would have been able to cover. But once we decided on the actual size of the driveway, one grid was actually enough to fully cover the driveway.

Unboxing the Geo GridThe Geo Grid was easy enough to manipulate and lightweight enough for one person to lay out, but I was glad my wife was there to help me with it, because I would have been cussing at the landscape fabric as I dragged it all over the place while moving the Geo Grid. I ordered a starter kit of stakes that includes the tool for pounding them into the ground and 2 additional bags. I could not find them on Amazon, so I ordered them directly from the manufacturer. After installation, we had enough stakes left over for the second Geo Grid if we ever decide to make a  driveway for the other car.

Laying out the Geo Grid

Note: the stakes are actually very important for the overall installation. You are better off using more stakes if possible to avoid the grid floating up when you pour the gravel.  I started in one corner and drove a stake every 3 loops along the right and left sides.  If your budget can handle it, I would recommend getting enough stakes to handle every other loop instead. At $1.50 per stake, it adds up.

I was a little confused as to how to use the stake driving tool, but once I messed around with it, I figured out how to use it without losing a finger or breaking a stake.

As you can see in the video above, I almost fell into the hole while driving that particular stake… but it was pretty straightforward.

Adding Gravel To The Geo GridAdding gravel was about as easy as it gets. If you can get a load of gravel from your local quarry, I am sure it is less expensive than the $5 per bag I paid to have delivered from my local home depot. Pea gravel is way better than the larger stuff. The first 10 bags of my order had the half inch sized gravel and I was not really happy with it, then I realized that the rest of the pallet was the pea sized gravel, so I spread the bigger gravel out and covered it with the pea gravel. Overall, I had to use about 140 bags to finish the driveway.

Finished Geo Grid DrivewayAs you can see from the photo, once the gravel was poured and the landscape timbers placed, the driveway looks nice and it is very functional. We already have the Nissan parked there and love the fact that the birds can’t get to it from the power lines anymore.  Now to figure out a way to protect the Jeep…

Geo Grid Driveway

 

Geo Grid Driveway Day 3

making progressRight now, I am really wishing I had bought one of these…

Even though it does not seem like we are making much progress, the digging is going smoothly and my neighbor is getting more than a couple of wheelbarrows of dirt… each day I talk him into more. “Hey, Dave, that spot there is looking a little low, you definitely need more dirt there! Oh, and here next to your patio, look at how low that is!”

Also thinking about putting a sign up in the front yard: FREE DIRT. But I talked myself out of it when I figured people would start grabbing bags of gravel instead of the dirt.

Still, my wife and I are managing to not give ourselves heat stroke. The temps have been steadily increasing daily. This weekend, the temps are hitting 80 by 10 AM, so the digging stops early. Might have to set up a lantern outside and start night digging if I want to get this done before football season! The Geo Grid arrived yesterday, but I didn’t have the energy to take photos of the unboxing. Will try and get that done on Monday, since we aren’t near ready to bring out the grid anyway!

On Monday, I am also expecting the landscape fabric to arrive as well. The plan is to lay a couple layers of landscape fabric down before I place the geo grid and the landscape timbers. This will help keep the weeds from taking over for a year or so. Hopefully longer, which is why I am going to double it up.

Landscape Fabric

As we are digging up the yard, we find some stones that we are keeping to the side. I figure if I can accumulate at least one gravel bag’s worth of stones, that will be one bag less I need to put down. Back at it tomorrow!

Geo Grid Driveway Day 2

Getting more digging doneDigging is quite a bit of work when you are used to using a mouse and a keyboard all day. This became painfully evident after the first hour. But I digress from the timeline.

I woke up with a brilliant idea! Yesterday, we had taken the sod around the house to the backyard. It was a long process that required us stopping the digging and taking the wheelbarrow full of sod and rolling it around the house, down one step and up one step then maneuvering the wheelbarrow around the gate in the fence.

This morning, I grabbed my 20 volt circular saw and sliced an opening in the fence in the front yard, so we could drag the sod straight back without a lot of struggle. I wanted a gate there, anyway, so this solved that problem, too!

After that was accomplished, the digging began. My neighbor noticed us working and stopped by to say hi. It turned out he needed some dirt, so I was able to talk him into a few wheelbarrows of dirt. Another problem solved!

While I would have loved to have finished the digging in one day, the heat, my age and my lack of conditioning led me to decide that I should take it a little slower. So each day, the plan is to get three wheelbarrows of dirt out and be happy with the progress. A few times, I saw people driving by with backhoes and I would have loved to talk them into shortening the workload here, but I was too tired to chase them down the road.

Maybe tomorrow I can get them to stop…lol.

 

Geo Grid Driveway Day 1

When I ordered the Geo Grid, I also ordered some gravel from Home Depot for less than $5 for a .5 cubic foot bag. I ordered 70 bags, knowing I would have order more before the job was done, but I don’t want my yard to look like a department store parking lot.

In the image below, you can see the pallet of gravel. I also ordered a bucket of pathway stabilizer to help solidify the gravel once I lay it down. Obviously, the Geo Grid will be the main stabilizer, but I also don’t want to see my gravel all over the lawn after a winter of snow blowing. I also ordered some landscaping timbers.

After receiving the gravelThe first day was the toughest. I waited until after the gravel arrived to start digging. Home depot is excellent about delivering the home improvement supplies the next day, so I got my timbers and the gravel right away. I had just put together my wheelbarrow a couple weeks ago, so I was prepared for the task at hand, digging. First, I measured and staked out the area to be dug up. The Geo Grid I ordered is 4 inches deep, so I want to make sure I dig an extra inch and then level it out as needed.

The pitchfork was pretty useless, the only thing that worked good was my rounded end spade. I would cut two spade widths in each direction and then pry it up. I cut the sod from the dirt blocks that came up so I could use the grass in other areas in my yard.

After doing a couple rows, I ran into another issue: where do I go with all this dirt? My yard is small. The backyard is smaller than the front yard. The sod raised the backyard by a couple inches, so I didn’t really want to add more dirt to the backyard. So after filling in and ruts around the house and along the side of the street where water eroded the dirt away when we had some heavy rain, I ran out of places to put the dirt. So, I decided to call it a day – to give me some time to figure out where I would take the dirt, because 65 cubic feet of dirt is pretty big when it isn’t under your lawn.

Hopefully this will be solved tomorrow. The temperatures are supposed to be manageable for the next few days, and no rain in the forecast, unless you ask Google Home… she kept telling it would rain the next day and then in the morning would change her tune.