31 March, 2008

The Basement Tapes

Oh, wait. That was Bob Dylan and the Band...

This is something different. It's our ground floor. We tend to think of it as the basement, so that's where the confusion came from.

I need to apologize for the delay on posting. I rebuilt my hard drive since it was getting really slow. I mean 3-4 minutes or more to boot up. So, after I got my 1TB hard drive, I used my backup software (you do backup yours, don't you?) and then reformatted my PCs hard drive. Wow! What a difference. A pain to do, and it took the better part of a week, but well worth it.

But first, a digression. I was walking over to the canal a couple of days ago and saw this pretty little flower. As far as I know, it's just a common weed - but, with a really pretty flower. Probably deadly if you touch it or something.
Tiny, But Pretty
The generator room is coming along. I had been looking for a place to house it (a 5.6Kw gasoline genset). They're very loud and very stinky, but necessary down here. Anyway, this location kind of spoke for itself.

It's close to the house, but isolated, and in it's own room, the generator will be relatively quiet. The exhaust smell shouldn't bother us at all as the wind generally blows east to west, so this is on the far west end of the house.
Cindy Showing off the Generator Pad
Walls Going Up
Showing Vent Blocks
Transitioning from the Generator Room to the rest of the basement (ok, ground floor) is a breezeway. This shows part of the west breezeway with the door into the main area.
West Breezeway
Just so you remember, here's a shot of the house with the basement just underway. The floor has just been cast. Looks kinda empty now.
The Way It Was
Casting a beam over each door way, well actually, the whole end at each end needed a beam cast. Complete with rebar. complicated business this construction stuff.
Casting the East Beam
Casting Bucket by Bucket
Nice Pic of the Beam Form
Here's some shots of the main room of the basement. Soon to come will be the louvered windows and plastering the walls. We're going to tile the floors of the main room so that will be something to look forward too.
Views of the Main Room
Views of the Main Room
More Views of the Main Room
Yet Another View of the Main Room
Francisco and Abraham Talking
Did anyone notice anything unusual about Abraham in the picture above? How about the soft cast on his forearm? Let me tell you, Easter celebrations down here can be downright dangerous. Abraham will tell you, it was the last fight of a boxing tourney, when he broke his wrist... Reality says it was when he whacked his wrist with a stick on Easter morning. Not quite as exciting.

I thought it might help to see what the view out of each window is like. Here's five shots showing just that.
A Window Shot
Window and Doorway Shot

As work on the basement goes on, Cody's project with the curbing is continuing. It's almost done. Then we'll bring in lots of black dirt for the planting beds, then finish it all off with white crushed gravel in the driveway/walkway areas, with some 1" white gravel on top to keep the crushed gravel from sticking to your shoes during the rainy season. It will be so nice to stop tracking mud and dust into the house.
Cody Prepping Curb Form
The Long and Winding Curb
The backside of the house, the part that backs up against the septic drain field/garden, is somewhat junky right now. After construction is done, Cody will clean it all up and put in a good layer of gravel to keep it pristine. I'm thinking of putting in some sort of stairs over the drain pipe (for the clothes washer and deep sink) that is in the middle. Right now, it's kind of an obstacle. Unfortunately, there's no other way to run the drain to get it into the septic tank.
Back of Beyond - 1
Back of Beyond - 2
Here's a couple of views showing the new walls getting near to being done. It really changes the way the house looks. Makes it appear much more substantial than before. I like it.
New Walls
New Walls
We started with a tiny little flower. Now, we're going to end with a really large ant. I don't know what kind this is. I thought it was an army ant (you can usually tell by the helmet, rifle and dog-tags), but now I'm not so sure. It's unusual to see just one of them, unless maybe he was on a recce (as the Brits call recon) patrol.
Big Ant, Big Ant
This morning, the last of March, I had to run to Dept. of Transport and renew my vehicle registration. Of course, they didn't have any stickers for the windscreen (mandatory to have that piece displayed) so, I have to come back Thursday to pick up the sticker. Hey, it's Belize, Mon!

And, since it was a Monday, I only made three separate trips this morning to Gomez, for 1) 10 bags of cement, 2) 3 lengths of rebar or steel, and 3) 3 more bags of cement and a 4x8 sheet of celotex (Masonite). But that's not all, I also went to Majil's Block Factory and got 24 vent blocks for the generator room.

I still need to go to Vasquez Windows and Doors this afternoon to get an estimate for the six windows for the basement. Ah, Mondays. What would we do without them?

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