Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How I spent my weekend

How I kept myself busy this past weekend:

After redoing the back patio we felt it time to move out to the front. We have a big front yard leading up to a gate. The front patio is surrounded by a block wall, with the entrance gate on one side leading to the front door. So when you come up to the house you enter through the courtyard. The walled area had a large concrete pad surrounded by about three feet of dirt on each side. There were a few cracks in the concrete, so we thought we should take it out and put down some pavers or something. The concrete is about 20 x 20 feet( 6x6 meters).

I rented a big electric jackhammer from Home Depot on Saturday morning. This sucker (sorry, Wacker) weighs about a hundred pounds, and is noisy as heck. After starting on the concrete I found that instead of the ‘normal’ three and a half inches of concrete this pad was about six inches thick (15cm). That doubling in thickness really makes a difference – I ended up working the jackhammer for over eight hours in order to break up the concrete. This involved setting the chisel point down about two inches from the edge, pressing the handle to turn it on, standing holding the bouncing device for about two minutes. Then lifting up the jackhammer, setting it down about two inches to the side and doing it again. After hitting two or three points a chunk would break off. Then repeat again. So not only was I lifting this hundred pound machine repeatedly I was holding the device as it tried to jump around, and was listening to the hammering. The results?

Here are the guys examining my work. Now I have about twenty tons of broken concrete to get rid of. I’ve got to call and get a dumpster put out in front of our house next weekend. Then it’s lifting all these blocks into a wheelbarrow, rolling it a hundred feet or so to the dumpster, and putting it in. I’m still sore from all the pounding, now I can look forward to the beginning of next week being sore from lifting and moving all that weight.

I’m still trying to walk every day at lunch. It’s been sunny and getting warmer again – usually around 60f or so in the afternoons. I took some more pictures when walking.

This is about a block away, looking towards the west mountains. You can see the natural desert plants on the vacant lot, and all of the clouds that we get during our damp winters.

This shot is from our parking lot looking north. You can see the typical tilt up industrial park buildings across the street, along with a plane taking off from the airport beyond.

Somebody had a discussion about not liking Gwen Steffani. In support of Gwen, yes she is quite thin but at least she tries to sing. I offer a different person, though physically similar she appears to have no talent. This is a person that spends a great deal of time in Vegas, appearing at the openings of new ‘ultra lounges’ and attending other casino based events, therefore appearing in our newspaper almost continuously. This person is Paris Hilton. Someone else noticed that Paris seemed to always strike the same pose for photos, and put together this delightful montage. The music is rather obnoxious, so be sure to turn down your speakers before clicking on the link. (rather large, don't try it on dial up - sorry Deana)

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