Monday, September 28, 2009

A Pour Time

Ready To Pour Floor, Concrete Supply Ready
Monday: (09/28) Got up early. Ernie is departing for a visit to Las Vegas this morning. I tinkered some preparing to pour the floor for the sheds. The concrete doesn't arrive until tomorrow so I'll be pouring Wednesday. I adjusted the drain inlets to be flush with the floor and placed the mixer. Lou helped by placing some bricks to hold a plywood floor over the rebar for safer work area. That's about it for real work today. Now some fun at the computer keyboard.

It seems like this project is taking forever. I started this in May. There were a few diversions though. A couple of trips to Utah with Ernie. Getting carried away rebuilding the fence, a project our neighbor calls Wilton Dam,. And I did have a few unproductive days as well. But now the project seems to have an end in sight.

Breakfast was cheerios and bananas. Lunch was Chinese, chow mein, vegetables and shrimp, and Di Chin chicken. Dinner was smoked chicken and macaroni salad.

Concrete Arrived Shed Floor Ready To Pour
Tuesday: (09/29) The phone rang about 6:40. It was Home Depot calling to advise they were on the way with the concrete. That forced an early rise. I moved the car from the driveway and they placed the three pallets there. It was drizzling. I should hire myself out as a rain maker. All that I need to do is get a bunch of concrete outside and it always rains. After breakfast, I started moving the concrete to the back yard next to the floor to be. I finished about 10:30 and still felt good but that was enough work for today.The sky cleared but there was some wind.

I spent some time watching the crews replacing the gas line on the adjacent street. They'll be on our street soon. I took a nice nap in the afternoon and Lou woke me up to ask if I'd seen our tent shop. I went out and saw the roof missing. We've had some heavy wind today. I went out to try to find a new roof but didn't find one. Finding an appropriate tarp wasn't easy either but I did retuirn with one. The sky's clear for now but the wind is still blowing so I'll try to wait to install it. It's dark now and won't be any more dark if I do have to install it in the middle of the night.

Lou went with Dawn. Dawn had her eye surgery today. They tacked her retina again in her good eye. All went well.

Breakfast was egg, cheese and bacon muffins. Lunch was donuts. Lou fixed a Chinese rice noodle dish with shrimp and vegetables for dinner.

First Pour Of Floor Done
Wednesday: (09/30) I started the morning installing the new tarp on the temporary shop. The wind yesterday destroyed the old tarp. I hadn't planned on doing this today but a roof is always helpful if it rains. That took much of the morning.

I had planned to start pouring the concrete floor early but that didn't happen. It was just before 11am when I started pouring. 81 sq ft, 57 bags. I didn't finish with the finishing until after 4pm. The day couldn't have been nicer, cooler than recently and no wind.

Breakfast was eggs, sausage and home fried potatoes. A very late lunch was a bologna and cheese sandwich. Dinner was a Pizz'a Chicago "Fridge" pizza, a meaty combination Chicago style pizza.

Thursday: (10/01) A day of mostly rest today. I went to a plant and  maintenance show in Santa Clara. Always interesting. CFL, fluorescent lighting, solar electric, and other energy saving stuff were in abundance. The new solar products were quite interesting. Thin film Photovoltaic cells sandwiched in glass to be installed as window panes. The look sort of like tinted windows but provide power as well. The circular solar collectors were also interesting. The look much like fluorescent tubes and are to be mounted about 8 inches above flat white roofs, the typical big box building. They collect power from all directions including the reflected energy from the roof. Very interesting. It's also had several maintenance management software vendors, another interest. Since I was passing the Micro Center, I stopped for a look around on the way home.

Breakfast was PB and J Muffins. Lunch was Mr Chau's fast food, chowmein, BBQ boneless ribs and orange chicken. Dinner was hotdogs and all the trimmings cooked at our campfire in the backyard.

Friday: (10/02) Up early this morning to watch a neighbor little boy for a few minutes. Today, the contractor finally started actual work on the new gas pipe on our street. That means we had to find a place off the street for all the cars.

Second Pour Of Floor Done
I started the second pour of concrete for the shop floor, about 72 sq feet, 51 bags today. Just 36 sq/ft more on Sunday. The weather was quite nice today.

Breakfast was the usual egg, sausage, and cheese muffins for all. Lunch was leftover meatloaf and refried beens with cheese. Sort of a meatloaf size. We went to Marie Calendar's for dinner. Their prime rib special was excellent.

Saturday: (10/03) I stripped the forms from yesterdays pour and then setup the forms for the final pour of the slab tomorrow. Not much work.

Lou Installing Growable Paving
Lou worked on our front patio area laying some growable brick tiles in the flower bed next to the patio.

Dawn and I caught the bus and light rail to the city of Campbell for a walk-about.

Lou fixed a nice eggs, sausage and home fried taters for breakfast. Dawn and i were out and had Der Wiener Schnitzels best $1 menu items a chili cheese burger and hot poppers topped with chocolate coated ice cream cones. Dinner was smoked chicken, fried plantains, and a green salad.

Shed Floor Pour Done
Sunday: (10/04) The last pour went well, the weather was nice but getting nippy and a little breezy.

Lou found a bunch of large pots at a nurseries trash dumpster. She's going to move the plants around our deck fountain into the pots. Our plans seem to be in flux. The sheds that I just poured the floor for were originally going to be beside the house. We've since changed that area to be a garden plot and moved the bulidings to the rear of the lot. Lou's pottery shed is also beside the house and It will be moved after the new sheds are complete it will be placed where the fountain is currently. We have two fountains so we decided to eliminate one to save power and water. The end result will be that we will be able to drive into the back yard finally. We'll probably pull Ernie's trailer into the back yard when all is done.

Lou and I went out shopping for a few items. I checked on the paneling to be used for the buildings. We also located a cheap tin building to replace Lou's pottery shed. Her building is in pretty bad shape and by replacing it she'll only need to move her molds once. We stopped for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes.

Breakfast was a green pepper omlette. Lunch was a shared #21 chow fun meal from LUU Noodle house. Lou and I went out to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes Buffet in Santa Clara.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tons Of Fun

Baserock Arrived
Monday: (09/21) Up early. Moved the RV out of the driveway and down the street. Also the cars. Today's a busy day. First thing we received 8 tons of base rock on the driveway at 8am. The base rock is recycled concrete ground up to 3/4 in pieces with the sandy grit as well.

I then dashed over to Peninsula Building Materials in Redwood City to get filter cloth. It's placed under the baserock to keep the baserock from mixing with the clay soil.

About 11am the dumpster with the dirt was hauled away. I spent the day moving some of the baserock to the backyard for the base for the sheds. It may seem like I'm over doing it but we have heavy clay that heaves and ooses and I'm trying to make sure the floors stay somewhat flat and uncracked.

Breakfast was an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly. Lunch was Chinese from down the street. Our dinner was prepared by Courtney. It was Japanese. A nice tofu soup and a sweet chicken with onions on top of rice. Very good.

Lou and Dawn went shopping. They met Dawn and went out to Luu Noodle House for lunch. Ernie was busy with a doctor's appointment.

Baserock Installed
Tuesday: (09/22) Dawn had to get up early today to go to work in San Jose. It's supposed to be very hot today so an early start for Ernie and I seemed in order. We moved more of the baserock to the back yard and are ready to compact though I'll probably install some drain pipes first. I wanted to go to an Adobe Flex users  meeting in San Francisco. It was all about the life cycle of Flex components, whatever that is. It was very informative. I caught the train toward SF about 3pm. The return train from SF left at 9:40pm so it was a late night.

I had an apple fritter for breakfast. Others had cereal. Lunch was a roast beef and cheese sandwich. My dinner was free pizza at the meeting.

Excess baserock Pile Back View Of Excess baserock Pile
Wednesday: (09/23)Ernie and I made a corral by the arbor and moved the excess base rock into the corral. It will be used for a couple of future project but that may not be until next year. Most of that excess was free because it brought the quantity up to 8 tons and the cost of the additional material was less than the delivery charge which became free at 8 tons. It was an awful lot of material, about 3 tons. I then put things back in order placing the berry plants that had been there around the pile. It isn't too obvious but is sort of like hiding an elephant. Next was a trip to a couple of hardware stores to get the drain piping and the rebar for the floor.

Breakfast was a bacon egg and cheese sandwich. Lunch was cheese, crackers and our good bologna. Dinner was BBQ ribs, macaroni salad and green beans.

Drain Lines Installed
Thursday: (09/24) I dug out some of the baserock I just placed and installed some drain pipes and then put the rock back. I should always engage the brain before deciding what to do each morning. We have a real water disposal problem when it rains and the pipes are just in case.

Breakfast was fried eggs and bologna with cheese. No bread in the house to place it in. Lunch was macaroni salad and an Italian sausage. Dinner was white fish, macaroni salad, and green beans.

Friday: (09/25) I did some final fill of the baserock then I went up to Redwood City and rented a plate vibrator. After compacting the baserock for the pad and returning the vibrator I cleaned up. I finished in time for all of us to go out to lunch.

Bread pudding for breakfast. We've been assigning Friday's as our dinner out night. Today's dinner was lunch at the Sunny Buffet in Sunnyvale, a Chinese buffet. Dawn baked some bread and we had hot fresh bread as our dinner.

Saturday: (09/26) Ernie and I built the forms and set the rebar for the shed floor.

Breakfast was the usual egg, bologna and cheese muffin. Lunch was macaroni salad and a sausage. Courtney fixed hamburgers for dinner.

Sunday: (09/27) Lou, Dawn and I headed over to Half Moon Bay (HMB) on the coast for a cooling off day.We visited many of th shops. Our favorites are the Half To Have It shop, an antique shop that has lots of interesting old yard decoration and lots of glass art. We also like the feed store. Traffic was mostly stop all the way across the mountains to the coast on highway 92. Lots of other people had the same idea to get away. That's the problem with weekends. We came home via Pescadero road a few miles South of HMB. It's a longer route through the mountains but much prettier and almost no traffic.

Breakfast was egg, bologna and Swiss cheese muffins. For lunch we shared a couple of sandwiches, avocado and cheese and a pastrami at a deli in Half Moon Bay. Ernie fixed meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes for dinner.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Now the Last Of the Dirty Work Begins

Raised Flower Bed Retaining Wall
Monday: (09/14) It really rained a lot last night saturating the yard, so little work today. I did strip the form off the flower bed retaining wall shown above. I also ordered a dumpster to get rid of some of the dirt. Now i do have to figure out what to do with all the concrete blocks that used to line the edge of the removed raised flower bed. Another home in our yard or to the dump? I'll have to ponder that for a while.

Walter On Dirt Pile Wolfie Drinking At Fountain
The dogs are enjoying the outside. They get put outside at 8am and don't get in again until 8pm.They find the dirt pile a challenge. Walter is resting in a hole in the pile. They are always tossing the dirt onto the patio. Wolfie enjoys his big water dish.

Dawn's friend Courtney is returning to Palo Alto from a couple of years near Boston at school. Lou and Dawn spent most of the day picking her up and helping her move into her apartment.

Breakfast was leftover French toast with bacon. Lunch was leftover sausage soup. Dinner was fried green tomatoes, baked chicken breasts, and a Waldorf salad.

Tuesday: (09/15) Breakfast was waffles, Italian sausage, and fresh pineapple. Lunch was leftovers. Lou and I had refried bean sizes (refried black beans on bread with Italian sausage and cheese. Ernie had pork chops. That got rid of half the leftovers in the fridge. Dinner was spaghetti with clam sauce.

About 10:30 the dumpster arrived and Ernie and I were loading it by 11:00. We got about 8 of the 10 yards loaded but decided to stop after I fell rolling one of the loads up to the top of the dumpster. I managed to twist both ankles so we called it quits for the day. Probably worked about 5 minutes too long today. Ernie started the day with a fall over one of the dogs. Such a pair of wimps we are. We should get the rest loaded tomorrow if we're still moving.

Wednesday: (09/16) Being in no particular hurry to start work ,we enjoyed some morning TV shows when my cell phone alarm went off reminding me of a club meeting today.I spent the morning at the meeting. Lou picked up some 3 gallon buckets for our use in loading the remainder of the dirt. That will keep me off a very precarious ramp since the last 1/5 of the dumpster must be loaded with the door shut. Ernie started loading while I was away at the meeting and made a noticeable dent in the dirt pile.

At my meeting of the Traffic Signal Association there were presentations on new signal products. Of particular interest to me was the improvements in accessible pedestrian signals (for the visually impaired). Some very nice tings becoming available.

Dirt Disposal Dumpster Dirt Pile Gone
When I returned, both Ernie and I worked on loading the dirt and made fairly short work completing the last of the dirt pile completely filling the 10 yard dumpster. Walter seems to wonder where the dirt went (above right).

As it turns out, a cubic foot of dense dirt weighs about 125 pounds. Since 10 cubic yards is 270 cubic feet we moved 33,750 pounds. That's a little over 16 tons. We're now another day and a half older and deeper in debt as Ernie Ford might sing. Actually it went pretty quickly.

Ready For Baserock
The area for the shed floor is ready for the baserock.

Breakfast was leftover sausage soup. Lunch was leftover risotto from the neighbors and leftover baked chicken. Dinner was, of course, more leftovers. We are making headway. Spaghetti, Waldorf salad, Italian sausage, Swiss steak, etc.

Thursday: (09/17) Not much accomplished today. To move the dirt, we borrowed our neighbors wheelbarrow giving use two making the job go faster. That worked for a short while until the wooden handle broke. Old age. Today, we replaced the handles on the wheelbarrow and returned it just like new, maybe  better than original. Other than that I just waited for the dumpster to be picked up but they never showed up. Tomorrow we'll be off to the Santa Cruz County Fair in Watsonville so will miss the show.

Dawn had a doctors appointment so she Lou and Courtney went down to San Jose. Courtney picked up some things for her apartment, Lou visited the doll shop and Dawn had her eye doctor visit. Unfortunately she will need another surgery set for next week. Dawn and Courtney went across the street to the neighbors to read to there children this evening.

Breakfast was Ernie fried potatoes and eggs with sausage. Lunch was leftover spaghetti Alfredo. For dinner Ernie baked a pork roast and potatoes and steamed some broccoli. Courtney joined us for dinner.

Friday: (09/18) We all headed off to Cupertino for breakfast at the Country Inn. Dawn and Lou started with a slice of apple pie followed by a shared California eggs Benedict. Ernie had biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs on top. I had eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and Swedish pancakes.

After breakfast we headed to Watsonville South of Santa Cruz to the Santa Cruz County Fair. It's a nice smaller real fair. Few vendors and lots of animals and competitive entries.

We stumbled upon some old friends, Harvey, Georgia Cohen and their daughter. They have been selling  stone lithography seedart packets for a number of years. They usually sell at art and wine type events. They've been looking for a new venture so they started selling Harvey's Gourmet Mini Donuts this year and all is going well. It was interesting to stumble across them again. (Learn more.)

We had dinner in Watsonville at the Super Taqueria then returned over the mountain home.

I forgot my camera so no pictures of the fair. Here is a link to last years post.

Saturday: (09/19) Lou and I made a shopping trip. Gas, a check at Big Lots, and then finally, the purpose of our trip, a visit to Lyngsol Supply. I ordered my base rock but they can't deliver it until Monday morning. Lou picked up some drivable grass bricks. She's going to install them by our front porch in the flower bed and grow baby tears in them. Of course, we stopped at a thrift store on the way home.

Breakfast was a egg,cheese and bologna sandwich. Lunch was a nacho supreme at Chavez Market in Redwood City. Dinner was ??

Sunday: (09/20) Today was a day off. I tinkered at the computer some and accomplished little.

Breakfast was an English muffin with peanut butter and jam. Lunch was a gripped cheese sandwich. Ernie roasted a chicken for dinner

Monday, September 7, 2009

Finishing Up The Fence

Monday: (09/07) Labor Day? Aren't they all. Dawn fixed some homemade sourdough pancakes and bacon. She got the starter from our neighbor Eric. Lunch was leftover tuna salad and potato salad.

I stripped the forms of the fence base, backfilled around the base, and installed the fence posts and rails for the fence.

Lou fixed BBQ ribs for dinner with bean salad and potato salad.

I had planned a walk-about in San Francisco tomorrow but the extended Bay Bridge closure suggests a better day might be Wednesday. I plan to ride the train up to SF then to walk the Embarcardero to Fishermans Wharf, through Fort Mason, along the marina and through the Presidio to the Gloden Gate Bridge, then through the Presidio along the coast to Golden Gate Park then back toward home via the train. Ernie is going to go with me, sort-of. He'll go to Fisherman's Wharf then make his way to Golden Gate Park and meet me there. With the potential traffic problems I'll probably work on the fence tomorrow instead and head North on Wednesday.

Tuesday: (09/08) Even though they did get the Bay Bridge open this morning only 2 hours late, I had already started work. I made a trip to the hardware store for sand, mortar, concrete and 2x4's. When I got home I reinstalled the green house floor that was removed to install the fence base. Erine and I also grouted the bottom fence rails to seal them.  We then installed most of the fence boards. I then worked on finishing the rails for the fence section around the tree. When we get back to work Thursday the last of the fence boards will be installed and and we'll install the rest of the screws and it should be a fence, again. Quite a diversion form building a shed.

Breakfast "to each their own". I stopped at the Happy Donut for an apple fritter on my way shopping. Lunch was left over dinner from last night. Lou fixed a meal-in-one using the leftover quinoa.

Wednesday: (09/09) Ernie and I left early to catch the train to San Francisco. I haven't had a day off for a while and this is my day off. We were in SF by 9am and stopped at McDonald's for breakfast. We then walked up the Embarcardero to the Fisherman's Wharf looking over everything along the way.

Pier 39, San Francisco Pier 39 Sea Lions, San Francisco
We stopped at Pier 39 to look over the sea lion colony. It was foggy so the views wer not the best.

Fort Mason View Of Golden Gate Bridge Crissy Field View Of Golden Gate Bridge
Ernie wasn't up to one of my treks so I continued on up through Fort Mason, Crissy Field, by the Golden Gate Bridge and along the coast through the Prisidio to Baker Beach. I decided to abbreviated my trek and walked South on 25th Avenue to Golden Gate Park. I enjoyed a walk through thew Strybing Arboretum there and then called Ernie to see what he was doing. He had walk down the "crookedest street", Lombard Street, up to Coit Tower and was sitting down to a late lunch or early dinner in Chinatown. I grabbed some eats as well. I stopped at the Crepevine Restaurant on Irving at 7th Ave near the park. I had their Tuscany savory crepe. It was a crepe with chicken, mushrooms, tomato, provolone cheese, pesto, and sour cream. It included home fries and a green salad. Very good.  I then caught the Light Rail "N" train to meet Ernie at the Caltrain station to head home. We were home by 7pm, much earlier than my usual return but we were both worn out.

Lou and Dawn went down to San Jose in the afternoon. Dawn had a job interview with the County.

Thursday: (09/10) Finished putting the fence boards on and putting all the screws in. Then I cleaned up and put stuff away. Not too much but it filled the day.

Breakfast was cereal and yogurt. Lunch was the quinoa meal-in-one leftovers. Dawn baked some sour dough bread. She got the starter for the dough from our neighbor Eric. Ernie fixed sauerkraut, potatoes, and pork chops and or sausage for dinner.

Friday: (09/11) Breakfast was Don McMuffin sandwiches. I tinkered most of the morning in the office writing letters, paying bills, and  catching up on email. I also reassembled the green house. It uses the fence as the back wall and three feet of the fence are part of what was rebuilt. Lunch was a salad.

Ernie took us to dinner at Cecelia's Mexican Restaurant about a block form home. The food is good and they have coupon's in our local paper.

Saturday: (09/12) First thing today I was watching the morning news and the weather report said lighting, rain and hail today. I went outside and covered my concrete sacks. It had been drizzling but no rain occurred, just some thunder and sprinkles.

Lou fixed breakfast of eggs, pork chops, and toast. The toast was from Dawn's homemade sourdough loaves.

I worked doing more earth moving. I did what I hope was the last of the digging. It took all day but hopefully it's now ready to receive the baserock next week.

Lunch was more of the quinoa meal-in-one leftovers.

For dinner Dawn made sausage soup with kale.

Sunday: (09/13) Ernie fixed French toast using Dawn's sourdough bread. It was served wth eggs and bacon. Lunch was toastados made from the leftovers from our dinner out at Cecilia's the other day.

Completed Fence
The fence is finished, above left. I built the form for the end wall of the remaining raised planter and then Ernie and I poured it. That was all that was accomplished today. After i poured it i got to sit around and watch it dry until the final finishing of the 4"x40" surface. BIG job. Tomorrow we may get busy, if not then then soon thereafter. I'll be ordering a dumpster to be loaded with the dirt I've been digging up and will have the baserock delivered. Hopefully the two don't get in each others way. Pretty soon, our street is going to get busy as the City replaces all the gas lines on our street. They're starting the next street over tomorrow.