15 August, 2007

Progress, Progress, Progress, and Storm...

Ok, a day without rain. Boy, did Bob and Adelio make progress today! They started with the electrical tower, finished filling the cavities in the blocks, and then "parged" the tower.

What is "parging" you might ask? Well, I'll tell you. An alternative spelling is “pargeting”, and it can be pronounced either par-jay or parj (like barge). What it is is simply applying a batch of mortar to a wall or other structure, such as our electrical tower. It's just a way of finishing it.
Bob Mixing Some Concrete to Fill the Block Cavities

Below is a shot of Adelio pouring concrete into the cavities of the blocks. Although it doesn't show it, this is a risky move here. Adelio is about 5' 2" or so. Adelio is standing on a 5-gallon bucket with a cinder block placed on top of it, and he can barely reach the top to pour the bucket of mix. Thankfully, no injuries. We neglected to bring Bob's truck down to act as scaffolding, y'see.

The other shot is of Adelio applying the parging mortar to the tower face.
Filling the Column
Parging or Plastering
These two shots show Adelio and Bob really getting with the parging program here. The tower is beginning to look quite good.
Adelio and Bob Showing the Back
Adelio Working on the Front
Here's the piles of gravel, sand, and white marl we had delivered to finish up the piping in the drain field for the septic system. And you thought the dozing was all done... Hah! But, this is going to be done the old fashioned way - with a wheel barrow.
Piles and Piles of Stuff
The following shot shows the result of tidal inflow to the pit... We got to the site this morning about 7 AM or so, and it was a good 2 to 3 inches higher than it was yesterday. So we waited for the tide to go out before tackling putting in the floor of the septic tank.
Wet Hole in the Ground
Later this afternoon, Bob decided it was low enough to tackle the fill for the floor of the septic system. Adelio brought several barrow-loads of dry mix and dumped them into the pit. Bob spread them around and little by little, a floor began to take shape.
Dumping the Dry Mix
Raking it Into Place
After the last load, it became apparent that we had a floor going on. Tomorrow morning, Bob is going to parge (that word again) the floor to make it even for the block walls that will also be going up.
Finishing Off the Dry Mix
So, Tropical Storm Dean...

WTNT34 KNHC 152032
TCPAT4
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEAN ADVISORY NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042007
500 PM AST WED AUG 15 2007

...DEAN INTENSIFYING OVER THE CENTRAL TROPICAL ATLANTIC...

A HURRICANE WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LESSER
ANTILLES LATER TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY. INTERESTS IN THE LESSER
ANTILLES SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF DEAN.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 500 PM AST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DEAN WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 13.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 47.9 WEST OR ABOUT 910
MILES...1465 KM...EAST OF THE LESSER ANTILLES.

DEAN IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 22 MPH...35 KM/HR...
AND A MOTION BETWEEN WEST AND WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 24 HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 65 MPH...100
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. FURTHER STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST
DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS AND DEAN COULD BECOME A HURRICANE LATER
TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 994 MB...29.35 INCHES.

REPEATING THE 500 PM AST POSITION...13.1 N...47.9 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 22 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65
MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...994 MB.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT
1100 PM AST.

So far, it looks like Dean is barreling down on us. We'll see. It is beginning to look as though it might turn north enough to just give us a brush. We'll hope so anyway. It is kind of exciting. Our first hurricane on land (I've been through a few of them out at sea on my rich uncle's boats, but those don't count).

We have been coming up with some ideas of things to do as far as hurricane shutters for the Mennonite house. Other than that, it's basically wait and see. We don't even need to stockpile water here - everyone has at least 300 gallons in their cisterns. Losing electricity is no biggie - we lost electricity twice today. And, where we're living right now, we really don't need to evacuate anywhere. In fact, we may have some folks joining us!

We'll keep you tuned in and let you know as much as we can, as long as we have power, etc. Yaaaahooooooo!

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