sailing the NorSea


WEEK 27 2012

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Saturday 7 July 2012
Saturday - A bit warm, 90F+,  and humid. Bob had to go into the office - one of his guys had a serious workplace injury, so I mostly just worked through to the hot part of the afternoon demolishing the old brick wall.

It had no foundation at all below ground level, and was leaning over about 30 degrees. Sometimes the bricks would just fall away as the mortar failed, other times you had to bash with the sledge. Interestingly while there was a double layer of bricks showing at the top, this continued for only the top three courses - the lower four or five layers were a single brick layer thick. It might be that the upper courses were added later, or possibly a contractor back-in-the-day cheated the home owner. In any case it lasted a long time - we've had the house 40 years and it was there and looking old when we moved in - so everyone got their money's worth.

I had hoped to save the square pier at the west end, but it was in worse condition than the wall. A motley collection of bricks of different types, including fire bricks, broken bricks, half bricks, all held together by habit and a the merest smattering of mortar. After Bob returned we looked at it together and decided to demo it as well and make the wall continue in a curve to meet up with another (failing but not as bad) retaining wall. It means more 55# landscape blocks will be needed, carried up those stairs, though. More base and pea gravel as well.

Beach Books. Just two this year, off the Kindle.

Book #56 was Caliban's War, by James S.A. Corey. This is the second book in the Expanse series, the sequel to Leviathan, and pretty good.

Book #57 was Double Share, by Nathan Lowell. Again, pretty good. The Ishmael Wang series is about star travel & starships, but not in the usual veins of exploration or war, but commercial. Which is what the bulk of shipping is, even on this single planet. Reasonably well done. I have a couple of issues with this book, but nothing too serious.

Friday 6 July 2012
Friday - Pretty tired. I got up late, and Bob had to work, so that was OK. In the afternoon I potholed the backyard, tracing the water line that runs alongside the failing retaining wall. It will have to be moved, since the landscape blocks for the repaired wall have a significant setback, about 6" for the 24" high wall. It was hot and, as I always forget until I get here, humid. But I found the line(s).

I picked up a couple of rib-eye steaks, and we had a nice dinner, and watched the A's win in the eleventh on TV.

Bob's cat Rita, enjoying the morning sun.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Thursday - At the beach. Lunch at Hoppe's, good as always.

Since N realized her next photo shoot was this Friday, not Saturday, I volunteered to drive her up to SF. I was going to head that way anyway, on Friday (and this way I get to avoid the Friday morning cleanup at the rental).

We left fairly late, about 2:30 or 3:00, and got to her place in SF at 6:30. We quickly unloaded her stuff - including a replacement microwave - and then I was on the road and arriving at the Grandview house at 7:00. My brother wasn't there, understandable since I was 24 hours early, but a quick call established that my old key still worked, and I made myself at home.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Wednesday  - Happy Fourth of July!

The parade was nice, perhaps a few less entries than last year, but still lots of fun. Our rental location is pretty much perfect for viewing!


A late lunch of BBQ Tri-tip from the grill was delicious. It was so good that we ended up eating all the meat, so no sandwiches for dinner with the left overs. Though we were essentially too full for dinner anyway.

The truly horrible judgment by the Supreme Court this week, essentially allowing Obamacare to stand, sort of puts a damper on things for me, but I didn't go on about it to my friends, I guess time will tell.

But up to this point the government could only impose on the average citizen two basic duties: (1) Jury duty, and (2) Selective Service Registration (for men).

Certainly if you made money you had to do taxes, if you owned property you had to obey the EPA's rules, if you fly you have to deal with whatever harassment the TSA feels like imposing, and so on and so on, but these were the only two fundamental duties.

That number is now however many Congress and/or the President wants. No limits, except for things explicitly covered under the Bill of Rights.

Well, 236 years, nearly a quarter of a millennium. It was a good run.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Tuesday - At the beach.

Monday 2 July 2012

Monday - At the beach. We picked up K from the San Luis Obispo airport, then I stayed in Cayucos while the parental units went off to pick up N in Salinas, where her boyfriend was dropping her off. Apparently they met at a BBQ in what appeared to a fairly industrial part of Salina, but was actually good food.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Sunday - At the beach. It's typical weather, a nice soothing fog in the morning, burning off to blue sky in the afternoon. There have been some high winds, and interesting lighting when the sun shines under the marine layer onto the more/less disturbed sea.

I drew up a little plan of inexpensive improvements to my sister's back yard and sent it to her the other day. It isn't a fancy layout, but it'll be better than what's there, and can be improved by her, bit-by-bit, as time goes by.

Picture of the Week
greek festival 2012
Photo Notes: Dancers at the 2012 Greek Festival at the Camarillo airport.

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