With help from both Kathy and Matthew, I finished cutting all the bricks and then I layed them. Although it was about 100 degrees outside, Matthew rigged a mini-tent over my head which greatly helped keep the sun off me and Kathy. Before this Matthew mixed the mortar in the old wheelbarrow. Kathy helped me cut the bricks at the start of the day and then she served me mortar as I placed the bricks. I don’t know how I did it, but at least it’s done for now and it’s the best I could do. Next I have to clean off the residual mortar with muriatic acid and to remove the wood separator strip and fill it with an elastic joint compound.
Archive for August, 2005
Why do I have a penchant for returning my shopping cart to the exact spot where I got it. I know they have employees who are paid to pick up the carts in the lot and return them, but somehow I think I’m doing my part returning them. I’m reducing the entropy of the system. There are times when I spend the time to not only just return them to the starting point I return them to the main cart spot. So I’ve reduced the system’s entropy. Neat! Now I’m wondering if somehow my little idiosyncrasy might be passed on to my offspring. Nope, I’ve been told that I’m just being weird. Oh, well. It’s only a small thing, but I’ve been doing it for years. But why? Because it makes me feel better. It’s something I have control over.
I was directed by my “boss” to trim our trees because the local neighborhood management group will be marking any branches that overhang the sidewalk next month. So after about 2 hours of cutting branches I moved on to our bushes. These bushes have been growing for the past few years and are now too big for the house. So I decapitated them. Chopped them off at waist level. I don’t know if they’ll ever grow back. If not then I’ll remove them, but for the time being it works for me. I also did the bush on the side of the house. Thee bags of biomatter and five bundles of branches were the result. Now you can easily see the front door.
Yesterday Kathy went out to a stitchery get-together with friends. The garage door opened and closed fine. Katie came home from work for lunch and again things worked fine. I drove her back to work so I would have the car and no problem with the garage door. Upon my return I left the car in the garage and went into the house to do some computer work. Finally at about 4 PM Katie called me to pick her up from work. I went downstairs and push the door button and POP! Nothing happened – the garage door didn’t open.
I looked at the door mechanism and immediately saw that both door springs had broken. Now if you know anything about garage doors springs, they are not small, instead they are massive twisted coils about three feet long and I have two of them. So now I’m stuck… the car is in the garage and the door is down. I unlocked the door from the door opener track and attempted to lift it. I couldn’t budge it. I’m getting older and have less strength, but that door was heavy, very heavy. I tried and tried to lift it and nada, nothing. All the while I know that Katie is waiting at work for me and there is no way to get in touch with her. She doesn’t have her cell phone, I do. Luckily my next door neighbor and his two sons came out while I was puzzling over what to do next and they helped me lift the door open. Next I called a garage door repair service and schedule them to come out. These door springs are not for amateurs. They said they’d be there about 8 PM. Next I phoned Kathy and told her of the problem since I was expecting about a $200 charge. Then I left to pick up a slightly annoyed Katie who had phoned her mother and learned of my problem.
Back home and at 7 PM the repair guys arrived. The two guys said that I should get the entire door rebuilt replacing all the glide wheels and bearings for only $699. Sheesh. If I only did the springs it would be $470. So I told them to go ahead and do the big job. I didn’t watch them and I should have, because when they finished I notice that one of the door panels was now bent. Complaining about it they took $100 off, but with tax it was still $649.44. Sheesh again! It seems that the house is falling apart now that it’s ten years old. However the door is working and it’s much quieter now.
Well I finally got back to the front walk this morning. However, in no time my hand was blustered again and I had to stop. Nevertheless I’m now finished chipping off all the old mortar from the existing bricks. Next I have to cut bricks to fit the open spaces – like a jig saw puzzle because of the herringbone pattern. Then the big step of mixing the mortar and laying them. Well one step at a time…
Well I continue to work on my Open Source project in the evenings when I’m not too tired. Also I’ve been taking a break from the house chores on the sidewalk out front on the weekends. Next at work I’ve finished the design document, began development – what fun, then we reviewed the design document and now I have numerous changes to make to the document – ugh, boring. I continue to run on the weekdays around the neighborhood, and do long runs on the weekends downtown.