Sunday, March 16, 2008

Home for Appointments

We're back home for a while. I have a dental appointment tomorrow afternoon and Dawn has doctor's appointment as well.

Monday: (3/17) Dawn worked at her Stanford internship project. Lou and I went grocery shopping. Lou has a fixed route. First stop the Milk Pale, a former drive through milk store but now a vegetable stand and a lot more. She gets most of her vegetables there as well as our favorite European bologna, not at all like the American bologna. Next we walked over to get lunch at the New Tung Kee Noodle House. We shared our usual #21 Combination Chow Fun plate (fried rice noodles with vegetables, chicken and shrimp). The second shop was Trader Joe's for yogurt, eggs, and flowers. Final stop was Safeway for everything else on the shopping list. In particular a corned beef brisket for dinner this evening, a must for St Pat's Day.

My dentist appointment was at 2pm. Just a cleaning but I am now scheduled for couple of filling repairs in two weeks so no trips until after that, at least. The corned beef was excellent, fixed with cabbage, potatoes and carrots.

Tuesday: (3/18) Dawn worked at her Stanford internship project. Lou worked on her dolls, pouring several today. I didn't "work' at all just playing on the computer all day.

Wednesday: (3/19) Dawn's doctors appointment. Lou's doll class. I went down to San Jose to the rental to fix a garbage disposer. It took all of 5 minutes to push the reset button on the disposer and give a little instruction on how to do the reset to the tenant. She gave me a couple of letters that had been around a while. A Christmas card from a nephew and an invoice from the termite company. Nothing vital. On my way home, I stopped by The House Of Eggrolls in Santa Clara for, oddly, some eggrolls. It's a hole in the wall but they make the best eggrolls. I also stopped by Lowe's to get an idea about window replacement, garage door replacement and siding installation. That's the idea anyway. I decided I need to make a few measurements myself first to get an idea of cost to determine the actual scope of the project.

Thursday: Lou worked on her dolls. Dawn enjoyed some time off and worked at her computer learning how to use Zoom Text.

I fell victim to a continuing problem, fence building. I removed one of the front fences here at home, the one I didn't replace a few months ago. The new neighbor was resistant to the replacement for some reason but he agreed to the replacement in December just before we left on our trip. The weather was perfect to do the replacement. The rain is gone and the ground is still moist but not muddy. Our soil is heavy clay and it's usually either gooey or like concrete. There's a short period that it's nice to do trenching and it's here now. One task that needs to be accomplished with the new fence is to bury the sump pump discharge pipe that ran on the surface beside the existing fence.

Today, I removed the old fence salvaging the fence boards for possible reuse on the new fence. The real problem with the existing fence is that the posts and rails are weak and the base needs repair. Many fence boards are broken as well. Another reason for replacement, probably the best is that the fence is crooked. It doesn't align with the rest of the side yard fence and veers off about a foot in the neighbors direction.

Friday: Dawn has been auditing a class at San Jose State but this week is spring break so no class. She's continuing to fight with Zoom Text, a program that is supposed to make her use of the computer easier. It isn't, yet. Lou continues with her doll making.

My first project was to go shopping. I needed some materials from the hardware store. I needed to run the 1 1/2" PVC discharge pipe under the sidewalk. To do that, I needed a drill bit bigger than the 1 1/2" pipe, but I didn't want to speend a lot. Lou helped me find a "deadman" that we had for Dawn's swing set. A "deadman" is an eyebolt like thing that has an auger on the end. It's intended to be screwed into the ground as an anchor. The auger is a 2 1/2" disk with a slit in it. It's welded to a 3/8" rod and is bent to provide a bit that will bit into and screw into the ground. Sort of exactly what I need to bore a hole under the sidewalk. I just need to extrend it so the rod will go all the way under the 5 foot wide sidewalk. Off to Home Depot for the fixings. I also needed a steel sleeve to drive under the sidewalk after the hole is bored. The PVC isn't strong enough to survive the bloes of a sledge hammer. First look found a 3 foot 3/8th inch steel rod for $5 and ridgid pipe that would cost $20 cut to the five foot length needed. Problems, both items are too expensive and the 3/8th inch rod would require two to make the bit long enough. Plan #2. I bought a piece of 3/8" rebar that was 4 feet long for $1.30 and a 6 foot 2-3/8" x 6' fence post for $11 as the sleeve.

Drill Bit.JPG Drill Bit Closeup.JPG
Once home, I welded the rebar to the deadman after I cut off the eye ring on the deadman first. I used a piece of 1/2" square tubing to reinforce the joint. The bit is pretty long, above left and closeup on the right. Done. Now will it be strong enough. Yes it was. It drilled a nice straight and level hole under the sidewalk. The sleeve followed the hole well and went in quite easily as well. I slipped a piece of PVC pipe through the sleeve and was most of the way done. Tomorrow I'll finish the trench and install the rest of the pipe and back fill. Then I'll be ready for the next phase, installing the forms for the fence base and installing the post anchors. Getting that pipe under the sidewalk has been a dreaded project on the todo list for years. It wasn't nearly as bad as i thought it would be. it was much easier than cutting out the sidewalk and replacing it.


Pushing The Drain Pipe Under The Walkway.JPG New Popup Drain Outlet.JPG
I finished trenching for the undergrounding of the storm discharge pipe, installed the pipe, backfilled and removed the usual excess dirt. Of course, the process involved a couple of trips to the hardware store to get needed stuff like sand and fittings.

Lou and Dawn did some grocery shopping and continued working on their same projects, as well.

Sunday: To day was a day to relax. It is Easter after all. We had our usual Easter breakfast of chocolate fondue and fruit.

Wilton Garden Fountain.JPG Wisteria Arbor.JPG
I felt like doing some gardening and trimmed up the plants around the fountain and the deck. The wisteria on the arbor looks like it's going to be loaded with blossoms. It's been several years since it has been loaded with blossoms. Lou worked on her dolls and Dawn with her program. The weather is great.

About 3:30 we went downtown to the Stanford Theater for a movie. Unfortunately, Dawn was looking at the schedule for April so we were 15 minutes late for a showing. We looked around downtown while we waited for the next showing.

We enjoyed a double feature of The Trouble With Harry and North By Northwest both Alfred Hitchock movies. The Harry movie was great. The Northwest movie good. We also enjoyed the organist during the intermissions. )ld movies are really nice compared the current junk.

We hadn't eaten dinner before we left and it was after 10pm when we left the theater. luckily, Dawn had whipped uop one of her vegetable soups and it was nicely ready in the crock pot when we got home.

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