Construction Journal Entry Week of 8/16/09

8/18-19/90 I went up to the property for 2 days: Tuesday and Wednesday.

This was a short trip so that I could be back home in time for a scout outing. I arrived at 12:55. Bert and Ernie were not there to greet me. I started out by unloading a garbage can full of yard waste I had brought with me. Then, after moving in and having lunch, I carried six buckets of water into the woods and watered the 12 sequoia trees. Then I went into the cabin and sanded the tread cut out of the loft beam so that it was ready for the next coat of varnish.

I had talked with Bill on the phone earlier and learned that I had figured the thickness of the finished floors wrong. For some reason, I had figured they would be 1/2" thick, but after talking with Bill, I found out they are 3/4" thick. This quarter inch difference made the riser heights different from my previous calculations. I redid the measurements and calculations to make the stairs come out right. Good thing I found out in time.

On Wednesday morning I had the start of a sore throat. I took a dose of Zicam and that seemed to fix it up. I also slept in which probably helped too. Before I could finish my breakfast coffee, Earl drove up. I went down to greet him but by the time I got to his car, he had already climbed the concrete stairs. I ran up the stairs and we had a nice visit and chat in the cabin. I couldn't get over how good he looks in spite of his Parkinson's. He told me that he works at not letting the symptoms develop by pushing himself to do physical work. He showed me a picture of the small log cabin he has just finished building. He also told me that he bought a new motorcycle and is eager to ride it. He has been riding his old one just to keep physically fit. I was impressed.

The course I am currently viewing on DVD in the trailer is a course on the brain. And, as it happened, this morning's lecture was on Parkinson's Disease, among other topics. I invited Earl to come down to the trailer with me for coffee and to view that part of the lecture. On the way, a chipmunk stopped us for peanuts, but unfortunately I didn't have any with me at the time. The chipmunk came up and sniffed our fingers anyway.

I split the cup of coffee I had made with Earl and we watched the Parkinson's lecture. I don't know whether Earl learned anything new, but I learned that the typical prognosis of the disease evidently does not apply to Earl. He seems to be beating it with sheer will power. Good for him. I took a picture of him that proves that his face is not stuck in the typical frozen look of most Parkinson's patients.

After Earl left, I carried two buckets of water into the woods and watered the sequoia trees Paul, Ellen, Bill, and Andrew. Then I set up the sawing jig on the loft beam tread and sawed one kerf under the beam. It is hard to make this cut because the saw has to be run upside down and there isn't much room to maneuver up there. But I got one kerf cut anyway.

When I finished that cut, I vacuumed the tread, applied the last coat of varnish to it, and went outside and washed out my brush. While I was out there, the chipmunk came back and finally got his peanuts. My watch was broken so I don't know exactly what time I left for home.

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