WEEK 28 2011
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
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.
- This would have been Dad's 87th.
Here is a birthday party picture from ten years ago, 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
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
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
#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
- 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.
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.
12 July 2011
- 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%...
- 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
- 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
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