Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Chill In The Air

Mornings are becoming nippy but daytime temps are summer like. Its nice fall weather.

Monday: (10/20) Lou and I went to Ann’s Restaurant in Menlo Park for breakfast. We shared pancakes and a Denver omlette. After a walk around town we stopped in at Trader Joe’s for a couple of items, then home. When we got home there was a big FedEx package at the door. What had we ordered? Lou commented how whatever it was it was delivered to the correct address. They evidently hired people who can read, unlike the Post Office. Turns out, not so. The package was for our street number but for a street 4 blocks away. Unlike the consistent errors the postperson makes, this was at least to the correct street number. We walked the package over to the correct address.

I worked more on the shed project. Not too much accomplished. Lou worked on her crafts. Lou fixed steaks served with an avocado half, sliced red peppers and carrot and Raisin salad. Exciting, isn’t it.

Tuesday: (10/21) One of the problems with staying home is that there isn't always anything memorable to post. This blog is actually a diary and so reflects at least some of what happened to us but since I make the posts, mostly to me. Perhaps someday Lou will add something.

So, today I had my usual easy morning. While Lou gets up with or before the sun, I wakeup about 8-9 am. Of course, I'm the night person staying awake until 1 or 2 am while Lou's through for the day by 10pm. I usually watch Rachael Ray or Regis and Kelly then the View while enjoying tea and breakfast. Then, some times, I get to work. By the way, this is the typical day when we're home. When we're on the road everything is different.

Today we started with a trip to downtown Mountain View to the Tap Plastic store. Tap Plastic sells sheet plastic, fiberglas materials and foams. I was interested in foams. I want to add some foam under the bathtub while the wall is open to help eliminate squeaks and creaks when taking a shower. Turns out that the latex foams at the hardware store may work as well and be much cheaper. We then went by Minton Lumber nearby. Lou was looking for a good mildew sealer.

We continued on to Lowe's in Sunnyvale and Lou found her sealer for half the price. I was just looking around. We stopped by the Sunny Chinese Buffet again for lunch.

All Cleaned Up Ready to Break Out Concrete.JPG Crack In Concrete
When we finally returned home, I started sawing the concrete slab so I can remove the old driveway that is cracked and tilted about 3 inches. The crack was actually 2 inches wide before I filled it many years ago. Once the concrete is out, I get to pour a new floor for the storage sheds to be. I sawed about half way today. The saw only saws about 2.5 inches through the 6 inch slab but it usually breaks with a clean edge. I'm leaving about a six foot wide section as a sidewalk. In between while the saw blade cooled off, I tinkered with other projects.

Wall Repair Bare Studs Wall Repair After Sealing
Lou sealed (painted) the framing in the wall that she is replacing in the living room.

Wednesday: (10/22) Typical morning, see above. I made corned beef hash for breakfast. I continued sawing the slab. Lou went down to San Jose for her doll class. I made a hardware store run to get another blade. They don't last too long. Some of the rock in the concrete seems to be harder than steel. I finished the cut as it was starting to get dark. I also trimmed up the blackberries by the fence where the sheds will go. They will be removed and relocated to pots for the winter hopefully surviving to be relocated in the spring. Lou stayed in San Jose with Dawn.

Thursday: (10/23)  Typical morning. The project of today is to breakup the concrete. Lou wants me to rent a jackhammer rather than break it out with my trusty 75 lb breaker bar as I usually do. Sounds like  a good idea.

Concrete Debris
The jackhammer did the job quickly but it started out weighing 60 lbs and seemed to weigh 200 lbs before I finished? I'll be busy hauling the debris away for the next few days. I think the garbage man would notice if I threw it in the garbage can. It's about 3.5 cu yds or 5-6 tons of debris.

For my late lunch (about 4:30) I had Chinese from our local fast food Chinese restaurant. It's only a block away and quite good.

Lou and Dawn were riding the rails around San Jose and Campbell this afternoon and evening. Dawn will be able to get to many places very easily on the light rail system so they are practicing travel.

San Francisco Zoo African Safari.JPG San Francisco Zoo Keeping Its Ducks In A Row.JPG
Friday: (10/24) A day at the Zoo. We headed up to the San Francisco Zoo this morning. On the way we stopped in San Bruno at Neil's Restaurant for breakfast.

It must have been a while since we were last there. i drove to where I thought the main gate was on Sloat and it was now closed. They've spent a lot of money on a new entrance. We liked the old one. The African Safari near the main gate was quite nice, and natural looking not just a pen. Above right, we found they are keeping their ducks in a row, and a turtle.

San Francisco Zoo Kangaroos.JPG San Francisco Zoo Merkats.JPG
The kangaroos looked happy. Don't they always? The picture on the right looks like one of our family pictures. We're all sitting at the beach. Actually a colony of merkats.

San Francisco Zoo Grissley Bears.JPG
There was a nice looking pair of grisly bears sisters.

In all we found many of the displays closed for construction. No elephants, no tigers, lions nor any big cats. It seemed smaller than on previous visits. Still a good zoo though.

Saturday: (10/25) I spent the day taking five loads of concrete rubble to the dump. Each load was estimated at from 1200-1500 pounds. That's a pretty good load for a little volvo station wagon. It's actually more than the neighbors little Toyota pickup can carry. Several years ago we moved a bunch of 300 pound concrete blocks using both our Toyota longbed pickup and the neighbors shortbed Toyota pickup. We could carry 9 blocks in pours and 3 in theirs. Looks like our wagon cound have carried the three as easily. Our pickup could carry a full load od dirt filled to the top of the sidewalls and mounded up, over a yard of material. Moving debris with the car is a little different. The concrete rubble was in two forms. block pieces of various sizes fron 30 to 100 pounds and rubble. Today was spent moving most of the blocks.

Lou and Dawn also started the day as usual with a garage and rummage sale run. Lou found a really nice new sewing cabinet for her sewing machine. She was busy rearranging her room to accept the cabinet and get ride of her older cabinet as well as a love seat.

Sunday: (10/26) Lou and Dawn went to the Bridge Concert at mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheater today. It was about a 10 hour concert. They go with a bunch of friends and had a good time. The weather was even pretty good.

Wilton Yard Concrete Removed.JPG
I spent the morning taking a couple of loads to the dump. That eliminated the concrete rubble pile and some other junk. The last load was about half concrete blocks and half concrete rubble in bags and a third half was the love seat that Lou is getting rid of. It isn't worh anything to the thrift shops. That gives you an idea of our furniture quality.

When I was starting to get rid of the concrete debris i really considered calling a hauling service or getting a dumpster. Either would have cost a lot more and I do have lots of time and labor available and not that much cash. Then there was the fact it was Saturday and I didn't think i would be too successful finding either someone to haul the debris over the weekend nor in getting a debris box delivered. Even though I originally estimated 10 trips would be needed with the car it only took 7 trips, total cost $70. Not too bad. I also thought it would take longer but it only took about one hour for each load and dump trip. It's now all cleared and ready for whatever is next.

I spent the evening relaxing!

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