WEEK 28 2012
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
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Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
|One Year Ago,
Saturday - Internet still out. About noon I got an automated call from Time-Warner that a tech would be out between 3-5pm, on Monday.
Monday. Five days of no service, it's nice to have a monopoly. Less
stress that way - for everyone but the customer. I'll have to make sure
they credit my bill for that. Losers.
I've read a few more books, but without an internet link I'm not going
to bother listing them just yet. I'll use PdaNet to upload this stuff,
but it's too slow and clunky to do much with.
Dinner with friends in town. I made a salad, and brought a bunch of
tomatoes from the garden. Fresh sweet home grown veggies. The children
there were dubious - tomato's should, in their experience, come from a
bin at the store!
Like most cats, Xeno is a lover of the morning sun puddle.
- The internet is still out. I called and complained, and they are going to send a technician out to fix it.
Doing bills, running errands, generally trying to catch up on about two weeks worth of chores...
Thursday 13 July 2012
- I got in very late, a little before 12pm last night, and, honestly,
didn't do much. Did some shopping, because the food was mostly gone.
Riley was very, very, very happy to see me. T
had said that he was acting strange, clingy, and mostly stopped eating.
He doesn't like it when I disappear for two weeks at a time...
The cable internet went out about noon. It's roasting hot, so I'm not surprised.
Wednesday 12 July 2012
Wednesday - OTR.
Well, we got the wall mostly done, there are about another 7-8 blocks
to place on the top course, and the pipes to move, but the heavy
lifting is done. It helped that the weather ameliorated a little, not
quite as hot and humid.
I headed south just a little before 4pm. This meant I hit the commute
traffic in Livermore heading for the suburbs in the valley. It was 109F on the I-580,
and it took the better part of an hour to get from the I-680
interchange to the top of the Altamont pass, usually a half hour or
less proposition. Ah well.
Then, traveling down the I-5 I began to see signs that they were closing the entire southbound freeway for the night, starting at 6pm, at the Stockdale Hwy, which is the CA-58.
No word on whether there was a detour, no word on whether the 58 itself
would be open. So I took the CA-198 to the CA-43, and the CA-43 south to Bakersfield and then to the 99.
Where Caltrans had shut down three of the four southbound lanes.
Got that? All the diverted traffic from the I-5, plus all the usual traffic that takes four lanes - funneled through a single lane. You can't even get mad at this sort of idiocy. Let's just say that it isn't our father's Caltrans, and leave it at that.
On the amusing side, I saw this sign just about a mile outside of Corcoran, on the 43,
and had to take a picture. Corcoran is the southbound terminus of
California's High Speed Rail to Nowhere, and it leaves the impression
that perhaps the local farmers aren't entirely behind the project:
"Hey Mr. Farmer. We're going to raise your taxes to build a train that will bypass
your town. Also we're going to use eminent domain to seize your land to build
it. How do you feel about that?"
11 July 2012
- OTR. We finished most of the
wall. There were a couple of gotcha's, we had to finish bringing the
sprinkler conduit and discovered that the old line was deteriorated. We
replaced the deteriorated part, but that meant that we had to
continuity check the line, because the wire colors did not match at
either end of the old conduit and it was apparently stapled inside the
house wall and therefore we couldn't fish an entire new line through.
So, we did that, and soldered and taped a new line to the old. Those
colors don't match either,
but there isn't much you can do sometimes. We also had to pick up some
more pea gravel and base for the French drain, and another 10 blocks.
One interesting thing was splitting blocks. I'd never done it, and was
considering renting a block cutter, which is expensive. But a little
bit of research on YouTube showed people breaking this stuff with a
small sledge and mason's chisel. And since it was $8 for a chisel it
seemed worth an attempt. And it works fine! You just draw a line with a
Sharpy pen on the block, the proceed to follow the line around the
block with a chisel, rapping smartly. In two or three revolutions the
block splits, cleanly, right along the line. Amazing.
Monday 10 July 2012
- OTR. We finished the trench,
routed the conduit for the sprinkler valves, and placed the base and
sand. We then laid the base course. This is always a pain because you
have to carefully level everything - a lot of work with 55# blocks, and
more so when you are making a radius in fairly tight quarters with
defined endpoints. However we had that done by mid afternoon, when it
hit 95F, and called it a day.
- OTR, in Martinez.
We got started a bit late, but did a lot of the digging and trenching.
The wall is about 2' high, so we are digging deep enough for a layer of
base and sand and a buried course of blocks. We also had to dig out
some conduit and pipe that will have to be moved and repaired.
In the evening we had pizza, and watched a couple of interesting shows.
One was older, a documentary on finding the wreck of the HMS Hood. They didn't really have
much trouble - the nearby HMS Prince of
Wales had decent navigators and recorded the location. They
argue that there was a shell strike to the aft magazine, which everyone
agrees upon, but that a flash fire through the hull when it exploded
also set off a forward magazine. Perhaps, though they didn't really
show any persuasive evidence. And their habit of overstatement and just
plain wrongness rankles - for instance: Hood was a battle cruiser, not a
battleship, and this wasn't the worst naval loss of all time, etc.,
etc. It's an amazing and tragic story, fascinating in and of itself,
and they really didn't need to gild the lily.