Construction Journal Entry Week of 11/2/03

11/4-6/03 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

It was a cold, clear, 30 degrees when I arrived at 12:30. Just as I was finishing lunch, Earl stopped by to see what I have been doing. I asked his opinion of a couple of options for casing the front door and I agreed with his preference. We talked about my problem of evicting the mice and pack rats from the building. I showed him my one-way rodent valve and he thought it will probably work. Earl also told me that I didn't need to leave the stickers on the windows for the inspectors. He said that if I left them on too long they would be hard to get off. He also showed me that the tempered window is marked "tempered" at one bottom corner.

After he left, I went to work mass producing some more screen parts and I screened over 4 more rafter spaces.

On Wednesday, it was 20 degrees. The night before I had put a nozzle on the end of the hose going into the creek and aimed it so that the water made an arc about 6 feet high. In the morning, there was a beautiful ice sculpture hanging from the trees and branches surrounding it. I took a couple pictures of it.

I spent the day screening the remaining rafter openings. It felt good to have that job done. There are 42 openings with at least six screen parts each for a total of over 250 parts, each one cut and bent to fit. I also made a sawing jig for a Cub Scout project and loaded it into the pickup.

On Thursday morning, I caulked the cracks around the rafters that I had screened, to close off any possible ant holes. Then I took the scaffold down that had I used to reach the south corner of the wall and then used the ladder to get up and remove the stickers from the windows. It looks a lot better now that there are no big stickers on the windows.

Next I went around and cleaned up all the rodent poop I could find. I'll keep doing that in order to monitor when the rodents finally all leave. I suppose some of them might hibernate in the building over the winter, but I should be able to tell by the presence or absence of poop on the floors now and in the springtime. I also cleaned out a box of 20d nails. The lid on the box wasn't closed tight and the rodents had used the box as one of their toilets. The nails were all mixed with little turds. I took it outside, dumped it all out, and then cleaned the box and the nails and put them back. I covered the box with a board so they wouldn't do the same thing again.

Finally, I went around and screened or plugged all the pipes penetrating the foundation. I used both hardware cloth and window screen on the bigger ones, and I used dowels to plug the smaller ones. I left for home at 1:30.

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