Monday, September 22, 2008

Lake Jackson Cleanup Weekend

So, the weekend started with a rush to get everything packed. Parrish, William, and myself got all our stuff in my car and we set off for Stephen F. Austin state park. We arrived shortly after the park closed and locked the gate. Luckily, one of the other campers drove up behind us and notified us of the combination to the lock on the gate. We got in, pitched my tent (thanks andy) and went straight to bed. I woke up at 5 and started breakfast. I guess i was noisy because another camper yelled at me from inside his own tent across the street. Parrish and William got up around 5:30 and we finished making breakfast and striking camp. We had sausage and pancakes without syrup. We left a little later than i would have wanted, so we were a little late getting to the rondezvous point.
We met up with 4 of the other guys from our ward and formed a squad. We had 2 chainsaws and my chain pruner. We went to our first site only to find out that the other two chainsaws didn't work. So, i used mine for the little jobs that were still undone. At the next house, there were two branches that were broken but had not come loose from the tree. I climbed up the tree using my spurs and climbing gear and cut the branches out while the rest of the group lowered the branches without letting them hit the power lines.
The next house was in a poorer part of town. There was a lot to do. We got two saws up and running (mine and a 16" one). We did the most work at this site. All of it was trees though, no house gutting like Katrina. We went to our third assignment only to be refused because the work had already been done. We went back to headquarters and got another assignment: a park. There was a park that we had passed several times going to our distinct locations and several crews were already working on it. We added our saws to the mix and took down a couple large trees.
We finished the day and headed back to Austin. All in all, it was a really good day of work. Wish we could have stayed another day and continued the work. I guess if they were giving us parks to work on, they must not have had much to do. Maybe next time we'll go closer to galveston. We made it home by 10:30.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One Month and Counting

I realized today that i only have one month until christy's birthday. I have a couple of ideas for what she wants. We'll have to see.

I'm in NYC for a few days. Actually going home today. I'm ready to be home. I haven't slept well while here. Must be something about the time zone. I took sleeping pills both days, but i must not have given it time to wear off because i've been groggy both mornings. I want to get home to the nice weather there.

The next project we did on the house was our master shower. It was a glass and aluminium shower, but the grout/caulking had mildew underneath it. Wouldn't normally be a problem except that the caulk was clear so we could see it but not clean it. So we decided to take off the caulk, clean it, and replace the grout. Well, the more we took off, the more we found that we had to take off in order to clean properly. We eventually removed the entire thing. I lost confidence that i'd be able to put it back together. So, we put it out in the garage and i went curtian rod hunting. it wasn't that easy since i had to get a curtain rod that wasn't straight but had a 90 degree bend in it. I eventually found one at Home Depot, brought it home and installed it. So we now have a curtain up instead of the glass. I don't know which i would have preferred. There's a little water escaping and getting on the sheetrock wall. We might have to put a piece of glass on the entrance step to raise it up a bit. That way, it's harder for the water to get up and over the glass to get on the wall.

I need to take more pictures and post them. I post pictures and videos and links on my facebook blog. Also, this blog is automatically imported into my facebook. So, for the latest and greatest, go to facebook. Maybe one day, this blog will finally fail and i'll go only with facebook.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Garage Door Opener

Now that i have my own house, i'm automating it to the extreme. I've always wanted a garage door opener so i didn't have to go in and out of the front door. Parking the car in the garage is also a plus. My garage had been so full of stuff since we moved in that i couldn't really get the car in anyway, but the task weighed on my mind. The first thing i had to do was tighten the spring. This is harder than it seems and much more dangerous than you might think. The problem is that you have to tighten the spring with the door in the down position, which puts the spring in a stressed state. If you ever have to do this, let me know; i bought some steel rods that will help. Plus, it requires two people and probably two ladders to keep the cables from getting tangled up. Anyway, after i tightened the spring, the door would pretty much open itself, but it required effort to close it. That meant that i had tightened it too much and had to reverse the process a little. Not hard, just unweildy.

Gotta go, but i'll post a picture and the rest of the story later.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Temporary Pergola

Our new house didn't have any shade in the backyard, which was especially hot during the sunny months of the summer. We decided to build a pergola. A pergola is one of those pavillion type things that doesn't have an exactly solid roof. You can build it fairly simply and put vines and stuff on it.

So, we were going to build it during the summer. I say "we" really meaning "I". Due to the hot weather and the abundance of other projects that needed doing, we decided to opt for a temporary solution then build a wood pergola in the fall when the weather cooled off. So, this is a picture of the temporary solution. I'm not sure where we're going to get the money to build the pergola, but at least i can probably count on Caul's help.