Friday, July 23, 2010

Pageant of the Masters


OK here's the Yin and Yang of it.... I think I appreciate the Pageant more than everybody else. I couldn't help but think, if had made an evening of just catching up at the restaurant, we would have had at least as much fun. But we don't do that---unless you come up with some excuse to get together, it doesn't happen. If it involves dressing up, the spouses jump aboard and it happens.
I chose crappy seats. Trying to balance expense/seats is tricky. We were front row of crappy seats, which was crappier because you didn't get the tier effect and people were walking in front a lot.
We didn't get to visit with Shoemakers or Grams much at the restaurant (AWESOME restaurant---I'm biased. Very Flemish, like Vandewalle) I did something rare for me-ate way too much. Big bucket of mussels, then tons of raw salmon carpaccio, then a huge patty of completely raw ground beef (Beoff Tartarre) delicious! Always wanted to try it and would soooo eat it again.
AnnaMarie's been struggling with some pretty severe pinched nerve issues and she was very uncomfortable, to the point of tears---but trooped through. It made it hard to enjoy things since she didn't feel good. Mike drove us back to our hotel... It was hot and muggy (AM was freezing so AC was out of the question) I had my HUGE DHS webex meeting I kept dreaming I was late for, all on a very full stomach of Mussel, raw salmon, raw cow. All after visual over stimulation. Makes for some wild, wild dreams, let me tell you.
AM's Aunt took the girls to Camarillo the next day so it's just Patrick with us until Sunday when they take the train home

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting The Forms Finished


The method I came up with for the foundation on the first cabin project worked so well, I'm using it again. I've since seen 'Fabric formed foundations' as a 'green' building method, since it uses far less lumber. 'Green' is good, especially when it coincides with 'cheap'. What I'm doing is suspending 2x material over the trenches, halfway lining it with geotextile 'Morafi', then getting all the rebar in place. After the inside half of the forms are completed, pulling the Morafi up and over, rolling the edge in a 1x2, and screwing it to the form. The yokes that hold up the forms also hold up the rebar. An anchor bolt will sit in a hole drilled in each yoke too, to later anchor the building to the foundation.
When I built the cabin, we pumped in the concrete and the forms perpendicular to the slope started to bow out a bit. This time the yokes have sheer strength and are pinned to the ground with foot long sections of rebar. It's rock solid.
One of the required BMP's (Best Management Practices) is a concrete washout for catching all the rinse water at the end of the concrete pouring day. I saved the ring pool we'd replaced this year just for this purpose...You could say I'm building 'green' since I'm recycling the old pool. You could also say I'm building 'cheap' by not paying for a ready made basin.

Delays Building


"Hey, Daddy! We're gonna paint our room!" Oh boy...They've never painted anything. This is gonna be an unexpected, unscheduled project..."All you gotta do is buy paint" Well, OK, since my color vision isn't good, I can use this as an excuse for a date with AnnaMarie.
So we head to Lowe's. I needed stuff anyway. The phone rings---"Umm..Lauren was out watering and found a rattlesnake" What did she do? "Kept watering".
When I find snakes I use a makeshift snake pole and play Marlin Perkins, relocating them to an unpopulated place, then say nothing about it. Since we were gone, our neighbor came over and relieved it of its head.
Next day the painting started. I have to admit---the kids took it on, spent the whole day doing the painting, and never once complained or got tired of the project. I had to help a little with the removal of trim and the high spots, but they did the vast majority and love the results.
Rob---we had the whole room apart, no sign of Haley's Ipod. It's not in my car either

Friday, July 2, 2010

Forming The Forms

You can spend a lot of money on expensive transits to make sure everything is level....It's very important to get the foundation level, especially with a structure that's 50% taller than it is wide. The building site is 57" higher on one corner than the lowest one, and it's all sort of potato chip shaped.
Tool of choice for me is a $4 length of clear tubing with water in it.
The water will find its level no matter how far you go with it. You have to make sure there are no bubbles in the tubing, and wait a minute for the water to level, but it works well.
I'm about half done with the forms. They will hold up fabric that will line the trenches and bring the concrete to the tops of the forms. They have to be really sturdy.
Nice to be working with lumber