06 January, 2010

Practicing for Saturday

It's been cool the past couple of weeks. In fact, the pool hasn't been warm enough to even think of getting into it. Lately, however, it's been downright cold. In fact, the past two mornings, I've worn gloves and a jacket while walking the dogs. We've even resorted to a second blanket on the bed.

I really can't stay
Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away
Baby, it's cold outside
- Louis Armstrong, from the album, The Greatest by The Greatest

During the day, if you're not doing something to burn calories (work of some sort) the house is pretty chilly.
Dianna Staying Warm This Morning
And, even if you are doing some work - I was out on the back porch cutting and installing trim pieces to finish up our porch screening project. There was a slight breeze which managed to keep me with goose bumps pretty much the whole time.

Now it's the afternoon, and my one project for the day is finished, I'm just about ready to put on my lounging pants, socks, and sweatshirt.

We've been joking about installing a fireplace. It is definitely something to think about. I did find a little candle-powered space heater that I really want to try. It used three terra cotta clay pots and an oil candle. ( Something to play around with anyway.
Here's a quick update on the canal bulkhead project. The guys are making good progress. With the weather being cold, the wind comes out of the north, so that pulls the water out of the bay and the canal, lowering the water level, which makes it much easier for them to place the initial bags for each segment. Especially in the boat slip area where they're working now since that is quite a bit deeper than the canal itself.
Rounding the Bend On Elsie's Side
As you can see above, quite a bit of progress has been made. The pipes you see there, the larger, nearer pipe will have a small extension added and will be run through the bulkhead. The smaller, pipe further back, was a temporary pipe added just to drain off some rainfall that kept accumulating. We'll be filling that area with some leftover marl and that problem will go away.
Lowering a Bag Into Place
The whole project takes time. First they mix a dry mix of cement, gravel, and sand, as normal except no water. then it's poured into the bags so that each bag lays with about six inches in height. As each bag is lowered into the canal, it's dunked into the water and gently sloshed around to wet all the concrete mix. Then it's positioned on the wall. As necessary, rebar is added to help strengthen the whole thing. A little walking on it helps settle it into position, and, voila, we have a wall. The crew can mix, fill, and position about 110 bags a day.

I received an interesting email the other day. It came from our old landlady, Linda. Well, not that she's 'old', I guess I should say, our 'previous' landlady. That's better. In it she said, her daughter, who's now living in the apartment, received a latter for me from the Washington State Department of Revenue. I thought immediately taxes.  But, Washington doesn't have any income tax, so that couldn't be it. She asked what I wanted her to do - open it and email me about the contents, send it to me, or pass it on to our friends who kind of 'manage our affairs' while were down here. That sounds so hoity-toity (What they do is send stuff to us that we buy online and can't get the vendor to ship it to us directly, send us some junk mail, take care of other stuff that is extremely awkward to try and do from out of the country, and keep us tuned in on the neighborhood since we left) Thanks, Owen and Sandy. We owe them so many Belikins by now...

Anyway, I asked Linda to open the envelope and tell me what it said. Which is what she did. Of course, I was hoping it was my long lost uncle who died, leaving me with millions of simolians, a castle in Scotland, and a hereditary title that made me the 19th Duke of something or other.

Linda said she hated to burst my bubble, but no uncle. Turns out it really was from the WA Department of Revenue, Lost Property Division. They said they had some money for me from a radiologist I had visited some time back. Apparently I over paid them. They couldn't find me, and turned it over to Revenue to try to find me. A whopping pile of money (less than $200.00 US, by the way). She gave me the reference number, their URL, and some other particulars so I could check it out myself.

It was fairly easy to get logged in, prove I was who I said I was and now, all I have to do is wait and they'll send me a check (or, warrant, as it's called in State government lingo).

Thanks Linda. That was almost like winning Lotto - except without so many of those pesky zeros in the number. Much easier to deal with.

So, pretty soon, we'll be able to buy that fireplace and maybe some wood to go in it! Next, matches!


toupeeo said...

Dave your blog is really great. I look forward to the next post. Of course with the weather here in the low teens I feel sorry for poor Dianna wrapped in a comfy blanket. However I too have been in the tropics and you are right it does seem to get to seem cold. I too walked yesterday and it was in the 40,s but I did not need gloves. But then I know you have been there and done that so here's to warmer weather.

Julian in SC said...

Well, I don't feel all that badly for you two down there. I'm attaching a link to our local weather -- which has been terrible (for us) lately. I have a rule that I don't go walking if it is raining or if the temp is 20 degrees or lower. I haven't walked a day this week. I am soo ready for spring. Take a look at what we have today:

Can't get in the pool.... tut tut, if I had one I couldn't get in because of the ice!! LOL

Take care

Lynn Merry said...

Well maybe it's time for that outdoor firepit or something! HA! You poor little babies! We have our vacation plans for March 10-18,2010. Is there anything you want us to bring down besides down vests? Just kidding! Looking forward to seeing you all!
Lynn and Pete

Dave Rider said...

Hey toupeeo,

Looks like the commenting finally worked the way it's supposed to for you. Thanks for the warm wishes.


That weather, in a word, sux. Come on spring!


You joke. I just checked our Sunday forecast - now they're calling for 50 degrees for Sunday night. We'll be frozen stiff!

BTW, I sent you an email. I would like it if you brought something down for me.

Cheers all,