sailing the NorSea


WEEK 32 2011

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Saturday 13 August 2011
Saturday - good to be home, however tired and sore. Didn't get a lot done. Did a bit of grocery shopping.

Checked on the friends' house and fish, and picked up & petted each of their cats to keep them from going feral.

Sadly my friends had a death in the family on Friday night, not really unexpected as the gentleman was in a hospice, but there is shock and trauma none the less. So they may be spending more time down in San Diego than they thought. We'll see. I'll be attending the service near the end of the month, down that way.

Friday 12 August 2011
Friday - Carried up the capstones, but didn't put them in place as the neighbors may be walking in that area this weekend. Cleaned and packed and organized, from about 8am to 1pm, then hit the road south.

It comes to a bit over 80 hours for the two weeks I've been up, so pacing myself almost worked. I should have spread the heavy labor out a bit more, then I wouldn't be so sore. Ah well, so it goes.

Going down south, a long hot drive, temperatures in the low 90's.

I took a shortcut through the central valley, which worked as well as they ever do. The TomTom doesn't distinguish between paved, gravel and dirt roads - but I do. There were a lot of trucks on the road - both interstate and local routes. Annoying.

Stopped for dinner at the Taco Bell at the WeedPatch Highway off ramp in Bakersfield:

The actual colors were a lot brighter and more saturated than the cell phone picture here.

Then it was the drive up and over the Tehachapi's, down through Mojave and Rosamond and back into Lancaster. Home at last, with one more errand to run in the evening: I stopped by my friend's house and checked on their mail and cats - they are down to San Diego for the weekend.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Thursday - Arms and joints hurting too much to get a lot of work done. I tried loading some capstones for the landscape block wall in front, and couldn't really complete the task - I had to get some Home Depot help to get them into my Explorer, and then I just left them there, knowing I wouldn't be able to carry them up the stairs. It sucks getting old.

So only about four hours work, little stuff like touch up paint and hunting up varnishes and tiles for the kitchen. Also cleaning the horrible 'antique gold' louvers for the whole house fan, and painting the attic hatch and the trim about it. Cleaning the bathroom vent, and repainting the cover for it - I'd prefer to replace, but there just isn't time. Highlighting in red stripes the low beam in the wash room.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Wednesday  - Putting down the weed block ground cloth and bark for the tier with the junipers. Tiring and dirty work, but it looks better. I forgot to spray with RoundUp before putting the weedblock cloth down though :-(

My sister wanted to paint the porch steps while I was doing this, and I had to tell her 'no', as I was shoveling bark and dirt about. Instead she painted indoors, some closet doors and shelving.

I did some more trim painting myself, later, and put an new closet rod in the #2 bedroom - all it had was a 1/2" water pipe, probably put in by my father or Ernie Paisley, the plumber who owned the house before us (and who had painted the entire interior army green, the walls, ceiling and trim).

A solid eight hours plus of work.

Book #92 was In the Shadow of Ares, by Thomas L. James. This was coming-of-age (juvenile) SciFi, but pretty well done.

Lion cat made his usual appearances. He and a young grey-white cat are battling it out for use of the dirt piles in the back yard. I call the other cat "Little Poopie" for the obvious reasons (the battle is not particularly physical, but one of spray and excrement). LP even sauntered into the house one day when I left the door open - but ran out when he saw me. I always have to check that I haven't locked a cat in the basement before I leave...


Tuesday 9 August 2011

Tuesday - Put on the PT rail "cap" for the lower retaining wall. I was starting to see a bit of warp in the boards, and decided they'd better be attached to something solid.

The 2x6 PT caps for my new retaining wall are warping a bit, despite restraints and a good coat of stain. Well, that's #2 grade (or less) for you. Out of my hands. Scraped away a lot of old ground cover and dirt, carried to the side yard in a five gallon bucket. I obviously minimized the amount of that particular chore.

The young neighbor's are apparently moving on the weekend. They've a big slash pile in our side yard of weeds and dead plants - one of them told me that he'd lose his deposit if he didn't "take care" of things. Since they've let probably dozens of plants die over the last few years I'm not optimistic that a few days grubbing and clearing is going to help with the landlord, but it's his call. He did say he was going to take the pile away, which was my concern.

Monday 8 August 2011

Monday - Visited my friends' daughter in San Francisco. We have a nice lunch at an outdoor cafe' she knew of. She's happy, poised, professional, and starting a new job, and making her way into the field of professional photography. It's odd, I'm happy for her but miss the 8 year old rattling on about the Disney Channel and the music she likes...

Back at the house again, doing smaller chores, painting and such. I put a new light fixture in the small bedroom, so it looks a bit nicer. With new paint and trim it looks a lot bigger than it's 9x11 actual size. Without a closet we may not be able to advertise it as a bedroom though...

I also fooled around a little with the rear retaining walls. These are the last big items before we can rent the place (we're having professionals install new carpet and flooring). I've some idea's on how to re-use the old post foundations, but it may be easier just to put new posts in. For the rest landscape block may suffice. Despite my urgings no-one up north took my advice to plant any new landscape or even maintain the old landscaping - it's going to be pretty barren out there.

There may be enough loose old brick to use a paver's for parts of it. But there'll be a lot of gravel and bark.

My brother came by for a couple of hours. He said he'd tweaked his back the previous day, but we managed to put up blinds in the rear bedroom, which is an improvement.

Book #91 was Confessions of a D-List Supervillian by Jim Bernheimer. Amusing.

Sunday 7 August 2011

Sunday - Took it easy, just a bit of painting and little stuff. Arms, wrists and elbows are pretty sore (the ibuprofen with morning coffee kind of sore), and I've lots more to do next week. Maybe four hours work today. I also had a bunch of chores, laundry, dishes, cleaning and the like to do. A week's worth of living...

I'd hoped my brother would come by, but he didn't. No appearance, no call.

Picture of the Week
East Brothers Island Light House
Photo Notes: Yours truly, taken by an old style (light-shot) film camera,
Coastal Range, Ca., 2011.

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