sailing the NorSea


WEEK 41 2010

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Saturday 16 October 2010
Saturday -  not much to say, I was much too tired to do anything exciting. I did not, in fact, even leave the house.

Tomorrow I'll get a haircut, and there is an LPAC performance in the evening.

Friday 15 October 2010
Friday - Hey, back in Lancaster. Good to be home.

Lots of traffic on the way down - holiday level traffic - just what the heck is going on? Isn't there a recession? Shouldn't all these people be at home, unable to spend money on travel, sweating in the heat with the a/c off, listening to the game on the radio because the 60" plasma uses too much power?

It was the usual crew of morons, going too slow in the fast lane and too fast in the slow lane. A big slowdown - an accident on the way down - someone left the freeway at a high rate of speed and their vehicle was laying on it's side about 100 feet from the road, in a field. The police and paramedics were there, but no ambulances. I damn near rear-ended somebody in front of me who slowed down to gawk at the scene, but didn't bother to put his foot on the brake to alert people behind him. My fault, really, I know that you have to be careful about accidents & the looky-lou's.

Anyway, about 40 hours of work on the house this trip, bringing the total remodeling effort to about 250 hours for the year. Sigh.

I had someone call me - you can pick up calls with the 'droid locked. So that's OK.

I mentioned that the little weather applets at the top of the page now work on the Android. Life being what it is they have now stopped working in both Firefox and Internet Explorer on the Vista laptop.

It never ends, there is always some crappy little "gotcha" with computers.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Thursday - another day of work at the house. I installed the landscape blocks I brought up - a bit of digging and filling - in the morning. The temperature was mild, but the humidity was extraordinary, I was soaked in minutes.

After that is was more demolition under the house, prior to fixing an old support wall. Because my time is limited I decided not to start removal of the parts behind the water heater this trip. There will be all sorts of things to inspect, disconnect & move, water, gas, electrical - more than can be done in an afternoon.

After that there was more painting, a second coat of primer in the master bedroom, and a good round of cleaning up inside and out, getting as much debris as possible into the waste bin, and hosing down the patio, path, and stairs.

One nice thing about the new Android operating system, Froyo, is that the little weather applets now work. Prior to this they just appeared as little black squares on my phone, now I can see the time & the temperatures, just as you would upon reading this page with Windows Explorer or Firefox.

I finally got around to setting a password on the phone - there are billions and billions of possible passwords, so I should be secure against a thief reading my email or downloading books from Amazon. I sure hope I don't forget the password myself :-p

I also hope I don't need to put in the password to answer/see who's calling, that would suck.

I've been passing the evenings watching The Big Bang Theory, Season 2, on DVD using the laptop. It really helps with the slow evenings. Now, if I could only figure out how to turn off the subtitles, I'm not sure how I turned them on, but it's annoying...

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Wednesday - I didn't get much done, too darned tired. I can barely lift my arms - I did a little painting and even that made things ache (hands, forearms, biceps, back). But it's a long drive to get up here and I really want to maximize my time on station.

Tearing out more of that downstairs wall just wasn't in the cards. Tomorrow, I guess. I had hoped to head home Thursday, but that bad retaining wall is going to be the big outstanding task after the roof is done, best get at it.

In other news the client's big boss apparently really likes the Engineering Daily Record, as we are now calling the spreadsheet stuff, and we might get some more development funds. Yay!

At lunch I did some errands, looking at blocks for landscaping and retaining walls. The Verdura blocks look nice, but Ace Hardware wants about $9 a block. Just for the back yard basics that would run to fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars. Yikes. Maybe someone local has them cheaper, I'll have to look. Home Depot also has some stackable blocks, but only to 3' high, which doesn't really help with the back yard.

I can terrace, but would prefer to follow/replace the existing (though rotten) wood walls, the tallest of which is about 5' tall. Otherwise I'm building on fill, and will have to compact a bunch of soil.

You can also buy electrical outlet boxes for retrofit, they call them "old work" boxes, and rather than nail to a stud they have little wings that rotate out inside/behind the wall. What Home Depot actually had looked rather flimsy, and unlikely to fit the lath/plaster construction in the house, but it's probable there is better stuff out there.

Some of the wiring is pretty old, hopefully not 1920's wire-and-insulator, but maybe not up to modern codes and electrical demands. A quick check of the house with an outlet tester shows a lot of open-neutral sockets, and at least one hot-neutral reversal. Yikes. There are entire walls with NO outlets, and a number with just ONE.

I also suspect the panel is the one that came with the house when we bought it in the early 1970's - it may be a couple of decades older than that. I'll have to check.

Tuesday 12 October 2010
Tuesday - we started on time, but had to quit after only 5 hours - it was a fantastic 100F plus, in the shade, and just unbearable on the roof. The hammer would stick to the tar strips, and the shingles were sticking to pretty much anything they touched.

africa hot
"Africa Hot", in the shade of the porch - hotter on the roof.

Well, my other brother M is to come up this coming weekend, so he and B will have to finish things. I'll buy some more roof jacks and nails, but am just not up to carrying another 20 flats of shingles up all those stairs...

Monday 11 October 2010

Monday - a long, hot day, working on the roof. We got started late and there was a lot of startup tasks that slowed us down. But we did get some shingles on before it got too hot to work - 95F in the shade & much hotter on the roof!

The re-roofing, partway through.

Sunday 10 October_2010

Sunday - the day was mostly spent painting. The den needed a coat of Zinsser Bin, over the Kilz, and the roof of the master bedroom needed painting, after some patching on Saturday.

My local brother has said he'll show up tomorrow, and Tuesday, and help with the roof. Well, that's good, though we seem to be in a warming trend...

The 49er's lost, so they are 0 for 5. The quarterback has a good arm, but mental issues. And I don't really think Singletary is up to the job of getting him straightened out - they were apparently arguing on the sideline during possessions. If the coach can't control and have the respect of his quarterback then he should bench the QB - or himself.

Picture of the Week


Photo Notes: Dawn, Channel Islands Harbor.

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