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September 28, 2006


the structural steel continues.  they expect to finish up tomorrow.  I think they are hoping to find the corona "B" in the foundation.  the rented lift has been uncooperative lately and caused some complications.
tres came up with a solution to the weld plates that were not behaving.
now if we ever get a hurricane in central texas we should be firmly anchored.

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September 26, 2006

evidence of a second story

all the issues of the weld plates are resolved.  they inserted expansion bolts into a few.  it's not really a situation of structural integrity as the entire steel frame will be welded into one piece.  it was just a hassle for the steel crew as they needed everything to be straight and stay that way until the whole first floor was welded. 
second story framing is going up.  no more need to mess with weld plates.

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September 25, 2006

racked and ready/ obtainium

steel crew is making serious progress.  this section is now racked and ready to be welded into one solid piece.  I LOVE the cantilevered deck!
OBTAINIUM : fell off a truck
this weekend we were out running some errands and I spot an upside down chair on the side of road near 360 and 290w.  this is a VERY busy highway interchange and no real shoulder.  I shouted "I think that's a starck chair!"  we got off at the next exit and found our way back (this area is complicated so getting back to it involved a few exits, a few sections of access road and a U turn).  and there it was.  a bit scuffed up and maybe it's not a starck chair, but I think it might be a cousin to a starck.  it is a bellini sold by DWR
it had some road rash from falling off a truck.  I was able to sand it smooth and now it's resting in our back yard.  I feel like this chair was there waiting for me to find it.  one more thing to find its way to our new home.
Kat says:
Paul built the cool fence behind the Bellini chair in one afternoon, by himself. Perhaps I should start another blog documenting all the things Paul has done, is doing, and will be doing to make an otherwise ordinary ranch house a very cool place to live.

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September 22, 2006

going forward with the steel

the steel crew has really picked up some speed.  they expect to be done wednesday.   we meet with josh jones; our cabinet maker, in the morning.  we are discussing plyboo and the island etc.

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September 20, 2006

more of the same

columns going in.  tres still hopes to finish before monday.  I still see quite a bit of red iron on the ground. 
jeff from tech electric was installing the temp pole.  says it will be inspected tomorrow and will likely active on friday.

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September 18, 2006

what a nice pole you have!

this was installed this morning.  we hope to have electricity on site by the end of the week. 

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September 15, 2006

up, up and .... away

columns and beams continue to go up
the issue of the two weld plates that were left out on foundation pour day has resurfaced.  the two that were set in with epoxy have come loose.  Tres (structural steel guy)  had to remove two of these columns because they were wobbly and would not stand straight.  I might be the same way
later tonight.  if you look closely in the pic below you can see middle (#3) is not straight.  I was really excited to see just how high the ceiling is going to be in this portion.
here we can see the tallest portion of the house.  that's pretty tall.  is that a giant oxy-acetylene torch or a lilliputian scaling it?  (below)

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September 14, 2006


stopped by yesterday evening; 6:30 or so.
sunsets are going to be nice over those hills
and this was a/b 2.30 PM today

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September 13, 2006

heavy metal

the framing crew started today.  they were scheduled to start monday but they put it off due to rain and awaiting a septic inspection.
FIVE big piles of red iron were delivered in the morning.
then there was a delay as we needed an executive decision from mark meyer; the architect.  they found one of the mounting plates was a bit off and the slab was short by one half inch.  these were both minor issues and could easily be remedied.  but they needed confirm with mark that the fix chosen would not cuase some other problems.    mark showed up and things moved on from there.
the pic below you can see two LONG rectangular beams laying on their side.  I assume these will go under the master suite.  we have a balcony that cantilevers from there.
the very first weld for the first bit of framing.
now the septic has been inspected raymond's crew has back filled.  the big concrete boxes are gone.  just looks like a big patch of dirt with a few green pieces of plastic coming up out of the ground.  nothing out of the ordinary....

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September 11, 2006

truck stop

friday afternoon I was returning a rented 45kw generator.  I was low on fuel.  at the intersection of ben white (290w) and I35 I felt the truck lose power.  I coasted to the shoulder and saw a gas station 1/4 mile up on the opposite side that did sell diesel.  I jogged over, bought a plastic can, filled it, jogged back.  the truck gets about 17 miles per gallon average (20 mpg not towing).  so I figured my gallon would get me to the next station on our side of the road.  I almost made it and lost power again.  this time I was in the middle of a busy intersection at 4 pm.  I was about 75 yards from my next diesel source.  once again filled my one gallon can, got the truck to the station.  filled both tanks.
but this did not cure my situation.  truck was running but still had little power.  seemed to be running on four (should be eight).  I was very near the generator store so we set off once again.    I was relieved to see my destination.  my plan was to get that generator off and call AAA to come get the truck.
then I noticed that my generator store was in fact an electrical supply place, I had turned in one driveway too soon.  that driveway was downhill and the truck just couldn't seem to reverse with that generator weight on the tongue.  to complicate things further they were loading a truck at the electrical place and I was now blocking their driveway.
so now I drug the kids to the generator place on foot.  I begged for assistance and they were quick to help me out.  Brooke escorted the kids into the conference room, started up a curious george video and issued paper and markers.  they were instantly comfy and happy.  the guys in the shop got their forklift out into 5 pm friday rush hour traffic and removed that generator from my crippled powerstroke
finally I was able to unclog the electrical company driveway and wait for AAA in comfort back at clifford.  kat was quick to journey across town and pick us up.  she hardly got lost at all.  horay kat!
what a day. 
this week the structural steel is scheduled for deliver and erection of the actual house to begin.
stay tuned.
below is the only pic I could find of our truck.  it's a 1995 ford f350 crew cab (four doors and seating for 6) with the long bed.  it's sort of like driving a train and not suited for mixing with regular sized vehicles.  the type of truck that is so long I can't take just one parking spot without the back end sticking out.  but it makes a great tow vehicle for our airstream
update:  mechanic says truck is running great.   said it likely had an air pocket in some injectors.  the remedy was to let the engine warm up then turn it off and let it sit for a few hrs (which I apparently did on friday).  at least there will be no repair bill and I will be more carefull to not let it run low on fuel. 

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September 07, 2006

aahhhrrrr...there's jewels in that there concrete (pirate talk)

Today Pal Currey arrived with his diamond head concrete polishing machine
he doesn't have a website but you can get him on the old telephone.  I know you're all going to want to give him a call; austin # 512-695-2407, dallas 214-693-9169
the girl with the brush is his helper.  the guy with the black shirt on seemed to be her helper.
they came all the way from whitney which is "way north of waco".  the drive is a/b 3 hours each way.  his end of the deal was to help her not to get lost.  I assume there is NOTHING going on in whitney. 
OK!  now on to the pics of the polished floor.  I didn't get to stay and see the completed product.  but you will get the idea of what it's gonna look like.
about half of what you see is stone aggregate from the concrete
there is a good deal of variation and I like the non uniformity.  some areas have more glass than stone, some more stone than glass and some don't have much else but concrete.  it's fun to find flecks of blue or yellow in the mix.
most of the glass is composed of recycled beer and wine bottles.  corona bottles have a painted on label.  I'll buy a 12 pack of corona for the first person who finds the "B" in the floor.
one of the septic guys has this minivan for sale.  I figured I'd give him a bit of free advertising.  he told me today it's a "super van".   the back bumper has a bit of rust and you might want to remove the bumper sticker that features a skull engulfed in flames. 
he's asking $1200, has a/c cell # 512-507-8685

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September 05, 2006

tanks for the....

the septic tanks arrived thursday
I was a bit shocked to see just how BIG those tanks are.  it took FOUR trucks to bring in THREE tanks.  tank number three was so big that it's lid had to arrive on a seperate truck.
the tanks are filled with water for the inspector
the stuff goes in here
and comes out here; the freshly cleared effluent spray field
  mark has suggested bocce ball court back there
our septic installer is
Raymond Vallejo Sr.
office # 512-376-5322
cell # 512-689-7374

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