Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/6/17

8/8-10/17 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

I arrived at 12:10 and to my dismay I found two mice in the traps. One was at the foot of the loft stairs and the other was under the kitchen sink. I disposed of the carcasses and reset the traps. I need to find that mouse hole.

After moving my gear into the cabin, I had my lunch. Just as I was about to take a nap I heard a loud engine. I looked outside and saw someone jump across the creek and enter the property in amongst a bunch of bushes. I went out on the front porch and saw that it was Earl.

When he saw me, he said he had something to show me. I went down to the road and he showed me the bright red Corvette he had just bought. He said that it was getting too dangerous to ride his motorcycle so he bought this car instead. He offered me a ride in it but I respectfully declined.

Earl asked me what I was having done to the cabin and what the guy was doing on the ladder up against the building. When I explained that nothing was being done and there was no ladder, he immediately knew it was another Parkinson's-induced hallucination. He says he is used to them but sometimes has a hard time telling whether or not they are real.

After he left, I picked about 24 oz. of blackberries. The temperature was above 90 which was plenty hot. The inside of the cabin was over 80.

On Wednesday, Dave called first thing and we had a nice conversation. After breakfast, I brought up a few chains and a come-along and started rigging up a system to bend the rail straight. I was planning on straightening it first and then heating it with wet rags, a sheet metal cover, and a blowtorch. But after trying a few different ways of doing the rigging, I didn't see how to do it that would be safe. Rather than fight with it, I gave up on the idea of straightening the rail altogether and instead I will just use it the way it is. It is straight enough.

I propped the rail up close to where it will finally go and marked it for cutting and mating with the lower newel post. Then I brought the rail back up onto the porch and cut the end of it to mate with the newel post. Then I tried the fit, and then drilled the hole for the lag screw in the end of the rail. Before I quit for lunch, I turned on the valve to water Brian and Paul and then went into the woods and checked on both of them. They are doing fine.

After having my lunch and a nap, I went back out on the porch and it was just too hot to work. Instead, I made and installed a plug for the hole I had temporarily plugged with the lag screw.

On Thursday morning while it was still cool, I picked a few more blackberries. Then I put away the chains and come-along that I had gotten out, cleaned up the front porch, and then carried up a sheet of plywood I had brought with me in the truck. I stored it under the front porch. Then I went down to the crawlspace where it was nice and cool and sort of fixed my chainsaw.

The bolts holding the exhaust manifold had come loose which allowed the manifold to vibrate. That broke the flange on one corner of it. I fixed it by putting a washer under the bolt head and tightening the two bolts that were loose. I think there are two more bolts that need tightening, but I don't know how to get at them. Robert had told me you can reach them through two holes in the top of the saw, but I probed for quite a while through those holes with an Allen wrench and could not find the bolts. Next time I see Robert, I'll have him help me.

I left for home at 12:45 after a hot but relaxing three days.

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