Construction Journal Entry Week of 3/20/22

3/21-25/22 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

First thing in the morning I took the truck to Maddy's to have him look at a problem. Then I stopped at the post office before continuing over the mountains. I arrived at 1:00 o'clock and carried my gear up in two trips with no problem. I hoisted the flag, and then had my lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I practiced the piano and then did some exercises. I was happy to be feeling back to normal. Next, I removed the big showerhead and did some work trying to unplug some of the little nozzles. I made some improvement.

On Tuesday, after practicing the piano, Robert called, and we talked about my truck problems. He suggested that I check my oil level again. After we hung up, I went down and checked the oil, and it was OK.

Back in the cabin, I listened to the radio for a while, and then used the elaborate rigging I had set up to lower one of the big scaffold frames down from the loft to the first floor. It was a little tenuous and I took it very carefully one small step at a time but ended up having no problem. After lowering the frame to the first floor, I carried it out onto the porch to store it.

The elaborate rigging consisted of just two ropes and one pulley. The first rope, my "stout rope" was stretched horizontally from the top of the Grid D2 PSL to the Grid C2 RPSL above the light fixture. A noose on one end and a clove hitch on the other held it taut and in place.

The second rope, which I call the "Yellow Rope of Texas", is a 200-foot 5/8" rope. It was snubbed around the Grid D2 PSL just above the guardrail by about six turns around the column. From there, the rope ran up to a pulley attached to a screw eye in the log wall about 10 feet above the floor at Grid C1. Then from the pulley, it ran over the top of the stout rope and then the free end hung straight down.

Finally, the free end was tied to the frame with a bowline that was looped around each of the inner pipes of the frame so that the bowline was situated right about at the center of gravity of the frame itself.

To lower a frame, I first had to raise it so that it hung from the stout rope as high as possible. I did that by lifting each leg of the frame in turn and resting it on a chair. While I lifted a leg, I pulled on the yellow rope to take up the slack and I tightened the snubbing turns as I went. After lifting the second leg, and snugging things up, the center of gravity of the frame was above the guard rail, so I simply pulled the frame legs off the chairs and the frame was then suspended by the rope swinging just above the railing. Then I gently pushed the frame out beyond the railing, rotating it as I went, and at the same time, relaxing the snubbing turns just an inch or so at a time which little by little, lowered the frame on the other side of the railing. It was a little jerky because there was no pulley between the yellow rope and the stout rope, but the jerkiness was tolerable, and I easily maintained control. It was a rather exciting maneuver, and I was happy to have the frame lowered all the way.

After lunch and a nap, I spent some time writing. Then out on the front porch, I used the porch crane to lower that big pine stump that had been sitting on the deck for over a year. I had intended to use it for some wood carving, but I discovered that it was rotten inside. I decided to use it as my chopping block instead, so I had moved it one step closer by lowering it to the ground.

On Wednesday after practicing the piano I carried the two scaffold braces down from the loft and temporarily stored them on the front porch. Then using the same rigging that had worked before, I lowered the second scaffold frame down to the first floor and then carried it out onto the front porch and stacked it with the other one. Next, I carried down from the loft, the ropes, tackle, tools, small boards, and other things I had used, and put them away in their proper places.

After lunch and a nap, I took a picture of the loft light fixtures in a cleaned-up loft. Then I did some more writing. Then I went into the loft and worked on a geometry problem by building a couple paper models of pyramids.

On Thursday I practiced the piano and then Robert called again to check on my status and update me on his. Then I went down to the front porch and lowered all the big planks to the ground and then went down and stored them under the porch where they belong. Then using my stout rope, I dragged the pine stump across the roadway and put it in position as my new chopping block. Then I carried the braces down from the porch and stored them in the crawl space.

Next, I tackled a hard problem that I wasn't sure I could handle, but I took it easy and figured out a way to do it. The problem was to carry the two sheets of OSB that I had used to block the snow avalanches at both the front and back porches. My plan was to carry those sheets into the crawl space and use them to cover areas of the floor that were only covered with plastic.

I decided to try using the porch crane so I rigged my stout rope around the sheet at the front porch and used the crane to lift it, drag it out, and swing it over to the roadway where I could get at it. I tried lifting the sheet like I did when I was 50 years old, but it was just too heavy. So, I looped the stout rope around one end of the sheet and used it to lift that end off the ground while I dragged the sheet. I found it was fairly easy to drag the sheet across the roadway, up onto the back stoop, through the crawlspace door, down the ramp and across the floor and place it on the floor right where I wanted it. It worked slick.

Then I worked on the sheet at the back porch which was easier because it was right across from the door. I dragged it in the same way and laid it on the floor. I was super happy to have that job done.

Then using the porch crane again, I lowered each of the scaffold frames to the ground, carried each one into the crawl space, and stored it in its normal place. I hope I am done using scaffolding for a while now.

After lunch and a nap, I did some more writing, and then some more work on my paper pyramid models.

On Friday after practicing the piano, Robert called again for a mutual update. When we hung up, I went outside just to have a look at Paul. It looks a little droopy, but the foliage seems to be healthy. I'm not sure what to do about the crinkly stem or the scuffed-up bark. Back in the cabin I vacuumed the loft and the stairs and then prepared to leave for home. I left for home at 12:45 happy to be feeling good and back to normal.

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