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August -- Ground Prep

Wednesday, 1 August --- Video: MPEG
Today they put in the drain pipe AND started filling in the hole. Let's see, we paid big bucks to dig a hole, now we're paying even more to fill it! Better yet -- we cannot simply put the original dirt back in the hole. Even though it's been there for hundreds (thousands?) of years, it's no longer good enough. Go figure.

Actually, it makes sense in an odd sort of way. I've been told we want the dirt to compact so the house doesn't sink (that's a good thing), and the existing dirt simply will not compact enough. Much of what was dug up is called ``Santa Cruz Mudstone'' and it's basically clay. Large chunks of it everywhere. It would be like trying to compact chunks of concrete.

I've also recently learned of the Soils Engineer Employment Act (OK, I made that up). It seems that every time a hole is dug, we need an engineer to come out and say, ``yep, that's a hole.'' And then, every time it gets filled in the same engineer has to come up and say, ``yep, hole's gone''

Thursday, 2 August --- Video: MPEG
I couldn't tell from the pictures yesterday, but gravel was put into the hole, not dirt!

Talked with CW Excavation & found out that much of the dirt can be reused! Hooray! It looks like the driveway will be filled with dirt, and the area under the foundation will use engineered fill.

Originally we wanted a 10,000 gallon water tank. This part of California follows a predictable cycle : 4 years of drought, 6 years of rain. We thought we could save a bunch of water by collecting the rain & using it for irrigation during the summer. Looks like the cost is prohibitive. Bummer.

Finally, everyone wave to the tractor guy, Bob! We'll be seeing a lot of him for a while.

Friday, 3 August --- Video: MPEG
Monday, 6 August --- Video: MPEG
Tuesday, 7 August --- Video: MPEG
Wednesday, 8 August --- Video: MPEG
Thursday, 9 August --- Video: MPEG
Friday, 10 August --- Video: MPEG
You cannot see it, but we have string! OK, not that exciting, but the house was laid out in string so over the weekend we can stand in the middle of it and pretend to be in a house. It's slowly coming together.
Monday, 13 August --- Video: MPEG
The footings are being dug for the house! And, unfortunately it's not visible but someone arranged rocks to spell out ``hi folks''. It's blocked by the orange plastic fence at the driveway approach.
Tuesday, 14 August --- Video: MPEG
Today I talked with Derek the framing foreman dude. The forms are being built for the footings. I cannot wait until the frame starts to go up.
Wednesday, 15 August --- Video: MPEG
Thursday, 16 August --- Video: MPEG
Friday, 17 August --- Video: MPEG
Still working on the foundation. I thought this would probably take a while. We're putting in a slab foundation, which means everything that normally would simply go under the house goes into the slab, so lots of things have to be laid out before pouring (it's very difficult to move things around once the concrete has dried).

It appears that someone Hogan & Pinckney has found this page! Actually, I told him about it at the beginning and he claims that he doesn't surf the web. Equally apparent is that one of his foreman must! Look at some of the videos before 16 August & you'll see the contractor's vanity sign barely visible somewhere under the stop sign (not the one painted on the road, but the red octagonal street sign). Then, look at the video shot on 16 August. Around 7:30 the sign mysteriously moves into the center of the orange fence. Finally, sometime in the afternoon of the 17th the sign moves just about into the middle of the picture. I'm sure it's just a coincidence & they keep moving the sign to get it out of the way.

Monday, 20 August --- Video: MPEG
Tuesday, 21 August --- Video: MPEG
The rebar begins & there's a lot of it. Rumor has it Friday the concrete will be poured
Wednesday, 22 August --- Video: MPEG
Thursday, 23 August --- Video: MPEG
Friday, 24 August --- Video: MPEG
All the footings & the house pad were poured today! That ran 80 - 90 yd3. It was rather impressive how fast that much concrete can be poured. According to Lynn the trucks were queued up down the street.

It looks like next week they'll finish the rebar for the carport & pour the garage & carport pads.

Monday, 27 August --- Video: MPEG
Tuesday, 28 August --- Video:
I don't know why, but I expected this to happen : the camera went dead at 8:15 this morning. Allison was good enough to give it a whack around 7:30 in the evening, but it went dead again a few minutes later. So, for the meantime, there won't be any pictures.

The camera worked flawlessly for the two weeks of watching concrete cure, now that the framing has begun it's gone kaput. Blech!

Anyway, yesterday they marked the major walls with chalk, and started laying the sill-plates. Today they put down more sill plates & looks like they started framing a wall. Hopefully we get the camera working soon!

Wednesday, 29 August --- Video: MPEG
The video's working again. I don't know what I did (other than annoy my neighbor). I twiddled with a bunch of different buttons & it seems to work. Let's see if we can capture the remaining framing.
Thursday, 30 August --- Video: MPEG
Friday, 31 August --- Video: MPEG

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