Monday, March 24, 2008

Fence Building Again

Monday: Dawn went to work and Lou and i went to play. We went to breakfast at Chavez market in Redwood City. I had Huevos Rancheros and Lou had a Nachos. They have the best Mexican food in the area.

Lou then hit a couple of thrift stores while I dropped by Home Depot for some material for the new fence. We then stopped by Costco for some things and finally Orchard Supply Hardware for a load of concrete. You might ask why buy concrete at OSH. Because they load it for you and Home Depot doesn't. I have to have a little pity on the guys as they load the bags in the car. We can carry 10-12 each trip so this job will require about 5 trips. My back prefers they do the loading since I get to do the unloading. I am a cheap guy. Home Depot would deliver it for $75. I can get it home cheaper a little at a time, especially when I have some time to collect it.

Just before sunset, a friend from out of town (Boston) called to ask me the open a door at their condo nearby. It's going to be tented for termite fumigation tomorrow morning. It's vacant and a key for the storage unit couldn't be found locally. I ask her to call someone there to let them know I wasn't breaking in. Since my method of getting the door open would likely have been a sawsall. Fortunately for me and the door, I found it unlocked. If it was locked the fumigation couldn't have been done since they need to look everywhere before gassing it. The friend would probably have been held financially responsible for any delay. On the problems 3000 miles can cause.

Tuesday: More runs to OSH for concrete. I also played with my new welding rig and stopped by the welding supply to get the acetylene tank filled and a hose set. They also tested the regulators and they all seem good except that the acetylene regulator leaks and I'll have to watch it closely while testing out the new torch and then send it in for repair.

Wednesday: Dawn had an early appointment in Sunnyvale. While i waited for her, I looked around at the construction activity for their downtown mall. They had a nice downtown mall during the 80's but it declined and has been closed for quite a few years. Now it's finally proceeding with construction after having demolished all but two main stores Macy's and Target (Formerly Wards) When they built it in the late 70's, they knocked down most of old downtown which was actually an active downtown business area, not ghetto. I used to work at the old Penny's department store in the early 70's. They also had a Town and Country shopping area next door that has failed as well. The old area of Murphy St has survived. it is mostly bars and restaurants but hosts a nice Farmers market on Thursday nights. I hope they manage to resurrect the mall. Unfortunately it probably will just be another worthless strip mall with no character or differentiation from every other worthless strip mall, when they are done. I found a nice cafe to enjoy breakfast while I waited, the Bean Scene Cafe on Murphy St. I had a nice ham and cheese croissant. I got online using the Cafe s Wifi. This update was made here. This little eePC laptop is nice for this kind of visit. I have a nice belt holster for it.

One problem with the little guy is the size of my fingers so there are more missing or extra letters in posting made with it. I try to restore order when I'm online with the big guy at a later time. Also, I'm sorry for the bland textual nature of the posts. When we're home there really isn't too much photo worthy. Also I tend to post photos in batchs cover several past posts. At that time I update the text to match and correct the spelling as I go. For that reason, it doesn't hurt to look back a few days every now and then to see if I finally got around to adding the pictures.

We went to Chevy's Fresh Mex restaurant for dinner. We had a nice coupon, bought two dinners for the three of us, and went home with leftovers.

Thursday: I dug out and installed the forms for the new fence base.

I finished up the forms and dug the post holes. I also made a dump run to get rid of some of the dirt and concrete debris.

Forms For Fence Base.JPG
Like most concrete projects, most of the work is in the preparation. In this case, the forms. It helps if they are straight and in the right position. Today I poured the concrete for the fence base and post anchors. That took care of the entire day for me.

Lunch was a pizza from the Pizz'a Chicago.

Sunday: A day of rest, mostly. We all walked down to the California Street Farmers Market. We stopped by Joanie's restaurant for breakfast. They live up to their rating as the best breakfast in Palo Alto. I did remove the forms from the fence base after we got home.

Dawn cooked a nice black eyed bean stew for dinner.

Monday: Dawn worked on her project at Stanford. She's about finished there.

Lou was busy with her dolls pouring, cleaning and firing the pieces.

Fence Base Curing.JPG
I backfilled by the new fence base and cleaned up the debris. Looks pretty good. I tacked up some 2x4's on the post anchors. They can be treacherous if you trip over them. I then dropped by OSH to get the fence posts and rails and other hardware. The posts and rails went in quickly and I started installing the used fence boards. I like the patina of the used fence boards and old boards are better than any new boards could be. Old redwood lasts a long time. Some of the boards i used came from the rear fence I replaced a couple of years ago. it was a six foot fence but the tops and bottoms were bad but there was at least 3 feet of good board left and that's the height of the front fence. I hate to waste good material or is it just being cheap again?

Tuesday: Today started out with my visit to the dentist. I had a couple of chipped teeth to be fixed. Dawn finished up her internship at Stanford this morning, she then had a doctors appointment. She and Lou then headed to San Jose. Dawn is looking to do an internship with the City Of San Jose, possibly. Lou has a doll class tomorrow.

Fence Finished.JPG
The last of the boards were added to the fence and then the cleanup began. Another trip to the dump to get rid the remaining left over dirt and wood debris. DONE.

We want to get out on the road but there are a few things still to be done first. Taxes, renew drivers license, and to get rid of the rest of the concrete I bought. I intend to pour a little more driveway. Currently there is a strip of gravel between our two driveways. I'm going to start filling it in. Shouldn't take long. Maybe we'll get away early next week?

More Driveway At RV Entrance, Ready To Pour.JPG More Driveway At RV Entrance, Ready To Use.JPG
Wednesday: I dug out some of the rock between our two driveways and poured a section of concrete that will make getting into and out of the RV easier. The RV was pulled forward to allow opening the awning because of threatening rain just after I poured the concrete. The door normally sits behind the new concreteMaybe the rest of the driveway will get done at a later time.

Front Sidewalk Crack, Trip Hazard.JPG New Crack Appeared On Break out.JPG
Thursday: The walkway to the front door has a major crack. That wouldn't be too bad except that there is a trip hazard do to the twisting of the walkway. The heavy clay soil here really moves. I cut out a section of the walkway to provide a smoother transition between the two pieces. No need to replace it all. It would just add more unnecessary fill to the dump. My diamond concrete blade is about used up cutting this and the other cuts earlier when I put the fence in in San Jose.
Ready To Pour.JPG Front Walkway Drying.JPG
Friday: I started the day finishing up the prep work for the sidewalk repair. I drilled for the rebar couplers to keep everything together. On the right above, the (just) finished patch. I'm slowly learning to leave well enough along. It's not perfect but it's going to crack anyway, so it's good enough. A final dump run finished this project.
Dawn had a doctors appointment this morning.
Flat On Toad.JPG
It works. Lou went out to the RV and found the Pressure Pro Tire Pressure Monitor alarm sounding. She checked the car and found a flat tire. It's nice to know it works. Too bad that the reason for the flat was the pressure sensor being loose. That's a potential problem. We'll have to add checking their tightness to our walk-around procedure. That wouldn't be a problem with the Tire Sentry (Inside the tire sensors) but they require mounting and balancing and could be damaged in that process. I also wish the monitor device would scan each tire to show the current pressure automatically. So far I've only figured out how to do that manually, for 10 tires.

Over the past couple of evenings I've managed to prepare the first draft of the taxes. It has now been submitted to the accountant, Lou, for review. Only 11 days remaining. Looks like we'll be ahead of the deadline this year. I don't know why we're always so late. It could have been done in the same amount of time three months ago. Maybe there is a point where "hate to do taxes" is less than "better do taxes."

If you're a regular reader, you may remember my recent parking violation in Santa Cruz. I submitted a request a couple of weeks back requesting an administrative review. I got the reply back a couple of days ago and of course the violation was upheld. Surprise. Of course, it's obvious that the reviewer didn't even read my complaint nor look at the pictures that support my claim that there were no parking restriction signs present. This evening I resubmitted the same information for a Hearing Examiner Review. Probably the same person but what the heck, it's only 41 cents and a desire for justice. I do hope they come to their senses and fix the problem and remove the citation. It's not going to be pretty if they don't. I have a lot of stamps and addresses remaining.

As it turns out, I may not have to worry about parking citations if I don't get busy and renew my license. That's next on the list. I wonder if the DMV is open on weekends?

No comments:

Post a Comment