WEEK 35 2012
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
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
|One Year Ago,
Saturday - Woke up feeling more than a little tired, but it was a nice morning, so I decided to mow the back lawn.
I had trouble starting the mower, and after only 50 feet or so the left
front wheel fell off. It had been wobbly for some time - it's 8"
plastic wheel had fractured and deteriorated. Since the speed
controller is on the right my habit is to mow alongside walls and the
house with the left wheel against them, so as not to hit the speed
controller. So that left front wheel gets all the abuse.
After that there was just a bit of touch up painting, then off to lunch
with friends at the Kebab place. Tasty, and big portions - I took half
of mine home for dinner.
As I said, feeling tired, which turned out to be a sore throat and some sort of summer malaise. Gah. I had things to do, but in the end just fell asleep on the couch.
- Mostly I painted. I painted the posts on the patio a while back, but
the upper edges of the patio cover had paint that was badly in
need of a new coat. I decided to give it a quick coat (hah!) since the
neighbor was having his party and it's so easily visible over the wall.
It took about five hours, which, in retrospect, is about four hours too
long. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that painting with a 2"
brush on a ladder, and taping and removing tape at the same time, takes
Riley didn't mind, he just laid in the shade and watched me and the
ladder. He doesn't trust that ladder at all - he regards it with the
loathing that most household pets reserve for vacuum cleaners.
The underside of the patio cover is white, and should be redone at some point, but it isn't too bad right now.
I did a bit of 'work work' in the afternoon, but my arms and shoulders
were stiff, it was hot, and the neighbor's party was going full blast.
Not bad, but distracting. I fell asleep on the couch (too loud
upstairs) and finally woke up and went to upstairs and bed about 2am.
Dreaming of Tuna, fresh from the sea.
Thursday 30 August 2012
- Dave, the neighbor, said that his BBQ was going to be Friday. It's a
Labor Day thing, and there was also to be a golf tournament held in
memory of his son Michael, who passed away last year.
Mostly I just picked up junk in the side yard, moving a lot of it to
the garage for now. Though I moved the pile of clay bricks on the patio
TO the side yard - I'm tired of looking at them. Then I leveled the
piles of dirt on the side yard and gave the area a quick hose down, to
keep the dust from arising. The tires on the little trailer for the
lawn tractor have deflated, and come off the rims - no tubes. I'll
probably had to take it over to the trailer place to get those back on.
If I put in planters with gravel and landscape blocks in back - the
current plan - it'll come in useful.
Dinner with friends at the Soup Plantation. We didn't stay too long - it's a school day for their kids tomorrow.
Book #75 was Very Willing Griffin,
by David Blagden. Blagden entered the Singlehanded Transatlantic Race
in 1972 with the smallest boat every to compete - a 19' sloop, the Willing Griffin.
He very nearly didn't get accepted, but determination, grit and
completing a multi-day/night qualifying in a full gale convinced the
committee that he had a safe enough boat. He also had an ally and
friend in the yachtsman Blondie Hasler - committee member,
self-steering gear designer, and someone to whom I can recall Francis
Chichester also giving praise in his books.
The race itself was arduous - the small boat meant he scrimped on water
and provisions, and the weather was horrific, which made the motion of
such a small vessel a rough ride. It took him 58 days,
but, using the OSTAR corrections of the time, that made him 10th out of
a field of nearly 50 - many of which did not finish, suffering damage
enough to mandate their retiring the race (14, including Chichester),
or taking more than 60 days to finish (3).
My choice of name resulted from my love of mythical beasts. A Griffin
(or gryphon) has an eagle's head and wings and a lion's body. It used
to go around protecting knights in armour, ladies in distress, dragons
and other monsters - in fact anyone needing a 'watchful overseer or
strict chaperon'. Just what I needed. The only trouble was that the
creature had a reputation for being grumpy ... hence Willing Griffin.
Wednesday 29 August 2012
Wednesday - I built a little railing
for the west side planter, using 2x2's, so that I can attach the tomato
bush trellis to it. It's somewhat protected from the usual westerly
gales, but not enough. I still need to paint it.
I went to Home Depot and picked up some eye's to attach the trellis
support to, and a piece of 4" drain line, for going under the
(notional) flat paver area on the west side of the house. I was looking
to end that area with a 2x12, but HD didn't have any pressure treated
2x12's in stock. I'll have to check Lowe's. I could make that boundary
edge out of concrete block or brick I suppose. Wood doesn't last long -
the 4x4 post that I put in for the gate there is decaying and settling,
and dragging the rest of the fence down with it, and I doubt that it's
been more than five years :-( Termites?
The neighbor was fussing around in his side yard, which has as much
debris and weeds as mine. He generally has a party near Labor Day, so
I'm guessing he is getting ready for that.
Lunched with friends at a little cafe' in Quarz Hill called "A Touch of
Europe", I think. Quite good sandwiches! This was payback for me acting
as chauffeur for them leaving their Volvo with a mechanic in the
It was hot & humid enough that the a/c couldn't quite keep up -
about 82F inside the house. I worked at the demolition job plans for
about six hours, which is longer that I thought, then knocked off and
read and watched bad tv until about 9:30, and then hit the sack.
- As I may have mentioned, hot. What I've been doing is outside work in
the mornings, then indoor work from about 1:00 on, with the air
This morning I split a paver, for the far end of the small area I've
been working on. This went pretty well, so now all that is really left
to do is brush in the sand for the cracks, and insert some colored
cement for the octagon cutout spaces.
I also started cleaning up the side yard - lots of debris there, more
than I realized. Some I can fit in the trashcan, some can be stockpiled
for next week in the trash, and some is toxic waste - motor oil, old
paint, etc. - and this weekend the free drop off in Palmdale should be
open. Some is huge - tree trunk bits, and I'm not quite sure what to do with it. I guess if I soaked it in the motor oil they'd have to take it at the toxic waster place....
Book #74 was Return to the Sea,
by Webb Chiles. I've been pecking away at this one since before the 4th
of July. This is about Webb sailing, with his wife Carol. It's isn't
the long, painful, dangerous sailing ordeals of some of his earlier
books (he turns 60 during this trip, and has definitely mellowed) - but
Monday 27 August 2012
- Beavering away on stuff for work, dividers and engineers scale and magnifying glass all in use...
I did spend some of the morning laying in pavers on the east side of
the house. Because of the overhang of the stucco, and the overhang of
the flower bed, and the general narrowness of the area I couldn't
actually put gravel and sand in and tamp with removable scree boards. I
just had to lay them in, tamping the sand as I went. It's pretty rough
- wouldn't pass muster for a pathway, but it isn't a pathway, it's
really just weed block done in the same octagonal blocks as I used in a
nearby area. It'll do, I guess.
I'm tempted to pull them out and try again, but I guess that's silly. For what it is it'll do fine.
- I was pretty depressed by the news of Neil Armstrong's passing. Still am. What a shame.
A hot day, but not quite as miserable as the last week. I took the
opportunity to start digging, in preparation for laying some pavers
alongside the house, where it's dirt between the tomato bed and wall. A
narrow area that just makes mud in the winter and weeds in the spring
and summer. It was such a narrow space it was hard to dig, and I was a
little concerned about a gas line, though I think it probably stopped
at the fireplace a few feet away.
This has been, with temps in the mid 90's, the coolest day in several
weeks, maybe a month. Sheesh. I actually had to set the swamp cooler to
"Low Cool" to avoid getting chilled in the evening.