sailing the NorSea


WEEK 28 2011

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First Post, 17 March 2002
Nine Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Seven Years Ago, this week, 2004 Six Years Ago, this week, 2005 Five Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Four Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2009
One Year Ago, This Week, 2010

Saturday 16 July 2011
Saturday - Cleaned up around the house, permanently fastened the retaining wall planks (which meant disassembly/reassembly of most of it), put the weed cloth and bark down for most of it, put a finish coat of paint on the shutter boards, graded the lower tier in the front yard, replaced the solar lights, painted the downstairs door, the new rear attic vent, the new posts on the lanai, watered plants, sprayed for weeds, did a load of wash, collected and put out the garbage and greenwaste, generally worked up a sweat...

Eight hours of general labor...

The plan was to spend two or three days, instead it was a week and 66 hours of my labor time, and about $500 in materials. I ache all over, but it's good to get that front yard mostly under control. The remaining big job is the retaining walls in the back yard, a safety hazard, and after my experience in the front yard I think I'll try to get some help!

At 2:30pm headed south.

Friday 15 July 2011
Friday - This would have been Dad's 87th.

Here is a birthday party picture from ten years ago, 2001:
dads birthday 2001
Dad's 77th birthday. Left to right, Bob, Dad, Jessi, Kathy, Kimberley, Ashley.

I finished concreting in the posts, trimmed them for height, and dry assembled the wall. It looks pretty good. I added a 2x6 cap, which makes the level look a bit wider from above, to match the others, and a bit classier from the street. I then let it sit, to dry out a bit more before bolting together. Another trip to the hardware store, to pick up twelve bags of bark for ground cover. My brother laid his too thin, it'll have to be redone, but I bought enough to do this level 3" deep or more.

I also put some copper crud on the ends of the cut pressure treated timber. Originally I'd bought a spray can, but constant light winds and the presence of about probably $250,000+ of various Mercedes and BMWs (neighbors) made me exchange it for a can of gunk to put on with a brush.

This being Dad's birthday I marked the occasion by measuring up the old wooden faux shutters we'd installed back in the mid/late 1970's. I can remember designing and building them with him. Home Depot had some pre-fabricated shutters on sale earlier in the week, for $50, but they were gone by the time I'd made up my mind to buy them, so I just bought some #2 pine and started making a new set to the same design as the old. The only cutting tools I had were the $10 Skilsaw from a yard sale and a rusty hole saw, but with a bit of care I managed to cut things reasonably straight. Then I hammered some nails in the end to keep the boards away from the ground/wall and primed them all with Kilz.

A solid 12 hour day.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Thursday - I started assembling the wall. Because of various weirdnesses - nothing is straight or level in that yard - this took most of the day. I had to add a couple of posts for a turn of the retaining wall, and a couple of false posts, for looks and for where there was a butt joint of unsupported planks. Not a great job of design, but so it goes. A couple more trips to the hardware store for lumber and fasteners, and a drill & bits, and a string level, since my brother wasn't around to lend me tools.

I took the opportunity to return some leftover sheet metal fittings for the furnace and hot water heater fixes we'd done back when. About $100 total, and now the fittings aren't cluttering up the house.

Another ten hour work day.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Wednesday  - After digging a couple of post holes I realized that for this amount of work I could almost put in a level wall, so the plan changed again. A bit more digging and lumber would be required. I made several trips to Home Depot, picking up pressure treated lumber.

Building with PT is a bit tricky, because it's going to shrink. PT is actually greater than 100% moisture content, because the anti-bug stuff is forced into the planks under pressure. Fortunately it dries quickly, becoming noticeable lighter by the day when left out in the air. It might shrink up to an inch for an 8' plank, so you want to let it dry as long as you can before screwing and bolting a structure together.

Morning's have been nice, afternoons out in the front yard are just a bit on the warm side. Another ten hour day.

Book #74, read over the last few evenings, was Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse), by James S.A. Corey (pseudonym). This is pretty good science fiction, though I wouldn't regard it as the "space opera" it was touted to be. Space opera requires empires, and massive battle fleets of hundreds or thousands - here the space battles were limited to, I think, a maximum of three or four vessels. I'd guess this is the first in a series. I also guess that the alien life forms, so-far non-sentient, are going to kick humanities ass.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Tuesday - The intention was to simply replace the planks that had been there. These were about 16" high and followed the slope of the yard, sloping down to the east. Without my brother and his truck I was limited to 8' planks. The existing pipe posts were placed to support 16' planks. So I had to start digging post holes - something not in the original plan. A ten hour day.

I might say, I hadn't been feeling well since lunch last Wednesday, so my brain was not at 100%...

Monday 11 July 2011

Monday - Digging, mostly, and removing the rotted old retaining wall planks. Tricky business, with the water lines and sewer being buried so shallowly in the middle of the work area. I "found" one with the pick, shallower than I thought, but luckily didn't pierce it. About 12 hours work.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Sunday - I was pretty tired after the drive up to SF and Martinez yesterday, so only put in about 4 hours work. Picking up and organizing things mostly, and trying to get a game plan of what to do. With limited time, just a few days, the achievable tasks are limited. Particularly as the brother I was going to work with emailed to say that he was going to go car shopping and wouldn't be showing up. [And, for the entire week, he didn't.]

It remained nice though, a marine layer at night and only about 75F during the day.

I finished Book #73, The Witling, by Vernor Vinge, sometime last week. A light effort from Vinge.

Picture of the Week
East Brothers Island Light House
Photo Notes: Sunset View from the Beach, Cayucos Ca., 2011.

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