Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scraping off old Tag Stickers.....Not!

I violated on of those accountants rules today......  The one about putting new license plate stickers over  the older ones....  Aw heck, go on, just stick it on there!!!   And the new sticker is bigger than the old one, but we used to have two and the new one won't cover both of the old ones...

One sticker was the month, Like JUN and the second sticker was colored and had 2011 on it....  But now the new sticker has both the month and the year on it along with being a new color, so you can tell if its expired from way off.

But the new sticker doesn't cover over both of the old ones.....  But it was awfully hot in the RV park this afternoon, so I just stuck the new ones on, and you can see the old ones underneath....   Sloppy!

But that brings up the fact that we moved the Motorhome from storage this morning to the RV park so we could start up the AC and work on its inside and stuff... Haboobs cause a lot of dust....

And we needed to glue the back splash behind the stove back on the wall...  The heat had softened up the original glue and it let go while I was driving with a horrendous bang!!  But mid afternoon, I found out my tube of glue was about half hard.... I used it anyway...

So in that process, I gave in and stuck both the stickers over the old ones on the trailer and the motorhome which were in Arizona when I purchased the tags...

I fought off the urge to take pictures of the deed, as it would compromise valuable info like my tag numbers and things not supposed to be on the internet.....LOL

Retired Rod

Monday, July 30, 2012

More Haboobs

Yesterday it was hotter than the surface of the sun, as the home management guy declared....  And I was looking for a bit of a reprieve from the heat...

So when a big dark cloud grew out of the Southeast, Loyce and I decided to go see if we could find some cooler air....  We headed out on highway 60 East up into the mountains...  The lightning cracked and hit the ground in front of us and we drove thru the gust front about when we passed the arboretum out by Superior....

From there on East to Miami and Globe the heavens just opened up and the temperatures plummeted to about 70....It seemed almost cold..  We messed around out in Miami and Loyce went to the local quilt shop there coming out with fat quarters of what she called Southwest pattern and colors...

Of course I always look at those huge mine tailings piles and wonder if they will ever be put back into their hole in the ground....  I went into the Wal Mart out there and walked sort of slow letting the rain soak into my shirt...

The fun of this was that as we drove back into Apache Junction the rain followed us into Mesa..  The rain was soaking our new bushes and trees which really perked things up..

Fast forward to this morning and it didn't really warm up into the nineties  very early... I took advantage of this and rode the motor cycle up into the mountain to our North..  It was a good morning for a ride, but there isn't much ground around here that I haven't ridden over before..  Still I enjoyed the ride..

But again today, the afternoon produced that really dark spot to our South and East...   Only today it wasn't so far out over the mountains... I headed over to the storage lot to work on the utility trailer, and finally decided to bring it back to the house to load up some of the tools that we have been using in our move...

As I was loading things, we had another haboob wind event with dust...  But it was mostly West of us headed into Phoenix...  That didn't stop the rain, we were deluged.  Remember that discussion about the mulch..  Our back yard was flooded with rain, and if we would have had mulch, I would be out there with a rake right now trying to sort the wood chips out of the pebble rock.... Thank goodness we don't have any mulch....

Tonight has been the Olympics on TV so it been a slow evening...

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mulch, and Home Management!

Several folks have commented on using mulch around the base of trees and bushes....  And we like and use mulch as much as anyone back in the Midwest....  I trucked 12 bags of the stuff to our house in KC just to fill in the planting beds in front of the house...

But the soil down here in Arizona isn't black humus soil....  It's basically a form of powdered sand...  And with a little water on it, it becomes just like concrete....  Remember what an inch of rain did in our back yard??

The water doesn't soak into the ground, it just stands on top  of the sandy soil...


And then remember the wind that brings the dust storms?  On this afternoon the winds were in excess of 60 miles per hour...







This is all to explain that if we used mulch around the bases of the bushes and trees, at first it would blow all over the yard as the wind blows in.   Then the rain would fill the back yard with water and float the rest of the ground up wooden mulch all over where you wouldn't want it...

Loyce and I talked this over several years ago and realized that RV parks don't have any mulch landscaping down here as well.  And out here in the new housing sub division you can't find anywhere that mulch is used.....  And the lumber yards don't carry it much as well...  Maybe 10 bags in a small pile, but not the huge pallets that are stocked back in Kansas...

Also, most of the plants that you see in the medians of the road ways and also that we used in our back yard are desert plants... They grow naturally in the wild...  They are direct sunlight plants that are not effected by the heat of the sun on the ground around them...  So landscapers here don't do mulch....


Today's project was to meet with our Home Management Service folks here in our home at 11 AM..  They are a nice couple that make a business out of taking care of absentee homeowners properties.  They are also realtors as well, and the man is an agent for the home owner to hire maintenance people.....

Let's say they find your water heater has sprung that proverbial leak and it is filling up your garage or crawl space.....  They take pictures and send them with their Android phones...  Along with the email about what they have done to secure the situation.  That's in writing, so you can't say they didn't get a hold of you...

So at your request they have trusted workers that are in the business of what you need, like in this case a plumber...  So they would get a bid and come over and let the guy in to fix the problem....  Of course this is for their fee....

If you send your long lost great cousin to stay at your place, they will meet him and let him into the property.....  But more importantly, they will come and secure the place.. (Inspect) when your friends are gone.  And make sure it is locked back up and the security system is set.  No need to tell uncle Louie your code, or give him a permanent key....

But most importantly, you have an agent that is here in town to come over and handle things for you when you are elsewhere..  We arranged to have a walk thru every 2 weeks, to flush the toilets and run water in the traps of the sinks...  They also pick up the door hangers so you aren't advertising your absence.

Since there are a lot of vacant homes here in the summer, it is not uncommon to find where people have popped the lock on the back of your house, and just move in for several months...  Perhaps the gardener, or the landscaper employees that know you won't be back for weeks on end....

Also, these management folks are on the call list when someone trips the security system, and at times have arrived ahead of the police on emergency call outs...

Since Loyce had the place all spiffed up for our company to come over, I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures inside....


We have mostly worked on finishing up this main room.  Installing blinds on all the windows and a nice ceiling fan and then those big book shelves.

The Kitchen and our dining set is all complete and we even have that black fridge.



In the bedroom we have a nice king sized bed, and the new bed spread.  Biscuit sleeps on the floor, when  she isn't in bed with us....  Perhaps we can find a bedroom set this fall....


The master bath is now complete, as we have cabinet pulls on the cabinets, and towel bars... Notice I hid around the corner so as not to be taking a picture of myself.... LOL


And no headboard on the guest bedroom bed yet either, but hey you got a night stand and a dresser....


The hall is long to the front door, but the guest bedroom is the hall to the right just inside the door...  Visitors only have to load their things into the door and right into the front bedroom...  The bath is behind the wall where it says retired rod on the picture..

We have a long way to go in decorating this place, but will have all winter to get that job done...   And it is much bigger than the motorhome..

And Loyce has her prized possession!


She just hates having to go to the RV laundry to do the wash... She is a nurse and thinks that the public machines are never as clean as she wants...  These things seem to run almost every day....  But I'm not running them so I have no comment!

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We have bushes!

I was awake at 6:30 this morning, but we didn't have any workers........  Should I call?  No lets wait a while, don't want to push it too hard....

But by quarter to eight, I couldn't stand it and made the call.  I kind of pushed a bit but only gently asking if they could please finish the bushes....  I made several arguments about needing to get back to Kansas and we were waiting for the fellows to get done......

Our contractor said they would be over mid morning.......  But by eleven they hadn't shown...  But I had made the call and wasn't calling again....They know what we need and pushing harder wouldn't solve anything...

Remember where we started...?




But just before noon, I saw the first wheel barrow full of plants go past the den window!!  Yea!!!  They've gone to the nursery and are here with the spoils!!!


Again, the workers seemed to head off into the far corner when they saw my camera..........!


The lead landscaper is a fellow by the name of Jose, and he said he had gone to the nursery himself and picked out each plant.  They all seemed quite healthy and vibrant.....  Jose worked for a nursery for twenty five years....


He put each shrub next to its pot that was buried in the ground,  and then stood back and looked the arrangement over...  Then he would go and switch a couple of plants around and step back and study the effect...  Of course I wondered if this was just for my effect, so I went inside.....


But no he went right on making changes until it was just right in his eyes.......  Looked good to me, but then I don't do this every day........

I didn't take any more pictures while the workers planted everything...  I didn't want to press my luck, since the leader, Jose had got back in his truck and departed once the layout was done.....


Tonight as the sun was setting, I went out and shot some pictures of the finished layout...  Some of the plants were beginning to wilt from the 108 degree day...  I will go run the irrigation once it is dark and the air has cooled back under 100...


The concrete hasn't cured completely, so we will have to wait until next week to get the chemical sealing completed...



The plants are still quite small, but perhaps they will stand the shock of being replanted out here in the desert, and not in their nursery...  Of course some will die....




And then just like clockwork, the boss of the landscape company arrives and wants to know what we think of the whole thing....  Of course he is here to get the final check......  He has to go settle up with the nursery....  Just a guess.......


But, I was happy that the yard is now complete for now and we can get back to doing something else at 6 AM besides wondering if the landscapers will be here today...!

Retired Rod

Friday, July 27, 2012

Another day without landscapers...

No trees or bushes and no landscapers.....  They must have a really important and big job going somewhere an they aren't saying anything...  But we think we are now sharing the workers...  But it wouldn't take much to finish us and get us out of their hair....

But anyway it is nice to be able to have Biscuit go out the back sliding door and be able to run around in the gravel and not the sandy brown dusty or muddy yard that we did have.  We do have to watch that the garage door isn't open along with the big door...  She still has that need to run away......

I had several shelving units in boxes from our trip to Ikea from the other day....  I had been putting off the assembly, so that was my afternoon...  Ikea doesn't even number or letter their instructions, its all pictures..

But I am fairly mechanically inclined so understanding what to do isn't too much of a problem..  Its just that its not much fun, or rather boring and I don't enjoy the finished product as much as my boss lady...

We again reached 108 officially at the airport three miles to our East, and I recorded 111 on the back deck inside the concrete block fencing...  The sensor is setting right on the patio table, so sitting outside is like sitting in a blast furnace...

This appears to be the norm around here for the summer, but its still 97 at 10 PM and the sun has been down for a couple of hours..  I'm never going to get used to that...

We have decided to give the landscaper guy a call in the morning if his workers don't arrive....  We need to know something more definite...

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 26, 2012

30 Tons of rock spread!

It was almost 8 AM this morning before the workers arrived ready to spread the 30 Ton pile of rock around the back yard...  I was going thru all the moaning and groaning that they weren't going to show up again....   But Loyce was confident that they wouldn't leave all that gravel in the street....

We were very hot again today as it was about 104 here at the house and these four guys worked like troupers on that pile of gravel rock in the street.  One wheel barrow at a time it went into the back yard over the now completely dry slab around the back side of the garage....

They piled the piles about every 3 feet heading back for another load....  Tipping the wheel barrow over on its side against the rock pile and shoveling the rock down the hill...  Kind of ingenious as I know I would have been lifting every scoop up over the side of the barrow...

Eventually the piles in the yard were spread out with a rake and the big load in the street was gone.  They even took the garden hose and washed down the rock so it would be more gray colored like the gravel in the front of the house...  At first I thought we had a different color, but no its the same, as they spread some of the rocks on bare spots out front too.

Now we have to wait until the bushes and trees arrive, and the workers had no idea when that would be...  They just told me to call the boss if they didn't come back tomorrow....

When we get the plants this project will be finished as well, but we aren't sure when that will be... But then as Loyce said, they will want the rest of the money so they will not drag it out too long....

I spent the day assembling some more of the tables and things we purchased, trying not to be out and bothering the worker all the time....  But late in the afternoon as they were cleaning up, I went out with the hose and washed off the concrete patio with all the dust from the dust storms last weekend...  That really made things seem a lot nicer right away....

I'll take pictures when we get some bushes as a bare gravel yard isn't much to look at...

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tomorrow?

They never came this morning!  The landscaping workers didn't show up...  I was merrily sleeping away at 7:15 and woke up in a start, because it was still quiet outside.....  I listened intently, but no wafting Spanish conversation, even in the distance...

Loyce got up and looked out the front window of the house and declared that we were workerless....

Now perhaps they feel that they need to let the concrete dry for a complete day before they begin to wheel barrow that rock over it into the back yard...  And that's just fine with us, but wouldn't ya let the people know that?  Our cultures are very different though.

It was quite cool outside at only 92 and 50 percent humidity, so I headed off on a bike ride around the area here South of the Superstition freeway...  And then ended up in the construction office where our job foreman Todd has his desk... I was telling him about the instruction booklets left behind in the furnace.....  He claimed he had never heard of that one...  But odds are he has seen most everything possible...

But about lunch time we had an indication of good things to come, as the largest dump truck I have ever seen, dumped a pile of yard rock out in the street beside our back yard gate...  It covers almost half of the street......

Late in the afternoon, we decided to head back over to the Ikea store in central Phoenix and buy a small dresser and night stand for the guest bedroom...  We looked the other day, but didn't have the pickup with us to make the purchase.  We also got a TV table for the den here where I sit in a recliner while reading the internet...  We have decided that designer furniture for these small rooms isn't necessary, so Ikea will do fine....

The drawback to this is that you have all assembly required, as they come packaged in completely flat packages..  Basically completely flat boards with hardware and instructions....  But tonight as I have assembled a couple of the items, I was amazed to find real wood in most of the boards and not particle board...  Of course everything is fastened together with speed clips where you put in a stud and turn the fastener a half turn to grab the stud.  But it ends up solid so we aren't complaining especially at the much reduced price...

Perhaps we will hear some workers at 6 AM mañana........

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Concrete by hand!



It was 6AM and I heard the men outside my back bedroom wall...  They were conversing in somewhat quiet tones, but it was Spanish, and Loyce doesn't speak a word and nor does Biscuit, so the workers were outside.....

I got up and did those early morning necessary things, but went back to bed..  The talking stopped, and I went back to sleep...  Fast forward to about 7:30 and someone banged the outside of the wall on the bedroom rather hard....  And I looked out to find a fellow with a wheel barrow dumping concrete into the forms behind the patio....

What had transpired in the meantime was that a call was put out for the concrete truck that they couldn't get on Friday...   And things weren't any better on Monday morning either...  No truck today..  So our men regrouped and took their own truck over to the concrete plant and got a load of  sand and rock that they make concrete out of, and a stack of bags of cement.

Another fellow had gone after their big mixer and had backed it up behind the load of rock.   An industrial garden hose was stretched out from our house into the street and they were rapidly making their own concrete.

These guys don't like their picture taken very much and kind of indicated that to me the other day, so I will  build this picture with words..  Two men were spreading the concrete into the forms while a third was barrowing it from the mixer.  The shorter fellow that ran the trencher the other day was in the truck with a shovel filling the mixer with gravel and sand.  And breaking bags of concrete in half dumping them in as well.  The boss man was kind of standing there with the hose adding the correct amount of water to make the mix into the necessary slurry..

This really worked quite well as the mixing was delayed while they were finishing the patio, adding color and stamping the pattern into the surface...  But before long they were going all guns again screeding the sidewalk behind the garage...  It was finished with a broom finish and natural concrete color.

And almost in a flash it was 2PM and they were cleaning up to be gone for the day....  I went over and bought a big bag of burritos muchos grande at noon, and the fellows were quite happy for the food...  Good ole Del Taco came thru in a pinch.....

Loyce and I both left and started running errands for the rest of the afternoon, but at about 5 PM I noticed that our AC condensate drip was coming from the emergency pan under the AC unit and not from the pipe it is supposed to.........  Oh, oh...........!

So the next couple of hours was spent calling the HVAC folks and explaining to three different customer service ladies what my problem was......  Eventually the third lady called a foreman, and when I explained for the fourth time that water was coming from the emergency pan drain and not the inside of the AC like it should be,  he said we'll be right over..............!!

The service man arrived within about an hour and we climbed into the attic....  He took the covers off, and we found that the installation instructions booklet for the AC unit was still inside the plenum, soaked in water and washed against the drain opening.  That caused the drain to back up and run over into the emergency pan...

I had looked mid afternoon and we had the exact weather readings here that were recorded in KC..... 102 with a dew point of 60.... That means we were quite humid here after the rains yesterday...  That had caused the AC to put out a lot more condensate..... Which pointed out our problem...  Ah, new construction and the don't give a darn attitude!!

I will take more pictures once the bushes get dropped into their holes and some rock arrives, but it will probably have to be after the workers retire for the day....

The area had another dust storm during all of this, but it was well West of us out here in the East Valley..  But it is lightning outside tonight as I write this.......

This has turned into a book, so I'll quit for now...

Retired Rod

Monday, July 23, 2012

All those odd jobs.....

This afternoon's Haboob didn't make it out here to the East end of the valley...  The TV was following it along with the helicopters staying out in front of it  so their video was something other than a cloud of dust.

It started farther west of Tucson, more in the Gila Bend area traveling North and East.  Eventually it crossed over the South Mountain and flooded more into Phoenix and the Western suburbs...  That was quite alright with us as we didn't want to clean up all that dirt again.

My day started at 6 AM with the beginning of full daylight, and fairly cool temperatures in the high 80s.. I needed to stain that fence door on the South side of the garage, and went right out to begin the project..

With a brush and the watery tan stain, it went rather slow.  The boards soaked up the stain rather than allowing it to be spread around much..  That sent me back to the paint can after only a couple of strokes on the wood.  As the clouds broke up and the sun rose over the East wall of the back fence, it was in the 90s almost instantly.

By 8 AM I was on the bottom end of the back side of the fence door, and sweating in the morning sun... No wonder workers start as early as possible...  Once back in the shade cleaning out the brush, it didn't seem too bad again.

I was glad to change to inside jobs again mid morning, but that British Open Golf business again trapped me in front of the TV...  But when the leaders and Tiger both began to duff all over the place, I lost interest and went on to the hanging of the new vertical blind over the sliding door...

That isn't all that hard, mostly unpacking the thing and assembly on the kitchen island...  But then you have to measure and determine where to mount the brackets so the blinds hang just above the floor..  The brackets are slotted up and down, so that must suggest that folks have trouble getting it right.

I did get it right the first time, but that is because I am desperately slow...  Sometime during that process the golf got over, and I saw that Ernie Els was the winner...  Never did understand how that happened, but he was right there on the leader board all day.. Everyone else must have started duffing when he didn't..  That always sums up these golf tournaments...

So Loyce likes her blind that matches the other darker wood blinds we put up in the living room, and it doesn't drag on the floor, or worse look high water......

Oh, and I was back at programming that little switch timer thing I installed yesterday....  I didn't have it right, or even close...  You can pick several day sequences  for each of the six program positions...  MWF, T Th,  MTWThF, SS, or every day...  or any single day of the week...  I was looking for every day, but somehow didn't get it selected.

I had a floor lamp up next to the little display with a magnifying glass to see it...  I'm sure it was quite the sight, but only Biscuit was home with me at the time, and she won't tell...  We'll have to wait and see if the lights come on tomorrow, before we declare the project as a success.....

Slowly my check list of stuff to get done before we head back to Kansas is becoming shorter....

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Odd jobs and setting off the security system...

Hey, no workers outside our bedroom window at 6 AM.....  That's a relief in itself... But we are not overly patient folks waiting for something to get on with construction, so perhaps workers would be a blessing......

I was out on the motor scooter this morning before it made it to 100 degrees and headed over to Home Depot where I acquired some paint for the outside fence gate and an electrical timer for the outside front light fixtures.

We have used these fixtures as dusk to dawn lights since I installed them a couple of days after we moved in.  Most of the houses are still empty and in varying stages of completion around us and the lack of neighbors doesn't add to our feeling of security much.

I purchased an electronic timer that is in a switch package, replacing the normal flip switch in the four switch box next to the front door...  This thing is completely electronic with a clock timer and electrical switches....  And the tiniest little screen to program that you have ever seen..

In the process, I decided to switch off the power to the gang of switches that are in that switch box...  Which was good, as I didn't have to be so careful about wiring it hot, which I often do...  But with so many open terminal screws on the sides of the switches it seems like I always get a screw driver over on one of the hot lugs..  That causes the fire to fly and knocks the breaker off anyway...

But, what I hadn't realized was that that particular breaker was also running the security system...  And in only a few moments, they were on the line wanting to know why the power had been removed from the security box.....  It is now running on battery back up, and did we do that or was our power out?  Loyce explained that I had done it and they ask enough questions that they know that it is you telling them and not the robbers......

So after the installation of that system and the programming, it was well over 100 degrees outside...  No more bike riding and it was too hot to do that painting too...  So the British Open Golf on TV grabbed my interest...  Tiger was trying to come from behind, and the younger guys were giving him a run for his money....

By 5 PM tonight, we had the Monsoon come back thru our area...  The storm starts down in Mexico and builds all day.  Then it goes over Tucson and passes by the mountain to the North.  In the Casa Grande area the storm collapses and changes into wind, gaining intensity and blowing up all the dust from the fields.



Pictures grabbed from KPHO TV website and were courtesy  of their viewers.. Used with creative commons license..


We were at 107 about the time it rolled thru here... We had winds of 60 miles per hour with a massive wall of red dust..  It was dark with a deep reddish cast from the dirt..  We had splatty rain blotches that changed the dust to mud.  The windows on the house shuddered and the roof creaked with the lift of the high winds.

I was really thankful of the hurricane clips that the builders used on each of the roof trusses as they were installed.  Also we have large hurricane brackets that bolt the walls to the concrete foundation..  It seemed to hold us together quite nicely...  But I didn't go outside in the muddy dirt and inspect to see if we had any cracks in the stucco.  By then it was only 90 degrees  outside..

The folks on the news are all a blaze with the coverage of the damages that the wind and dust did to many structures here in town....  I don't think we got a tenth of an inch of rain, but the plastic that the landscapers had taped all over the place to protect the walls and paint has now been blown to the next county...

Late tonight we were over at Lowe's where we selected a vertical blind to install on the sliding glass door going out to the porch...  Installing that will be a project for tomorrow or perhaps the following day.... Who knows ?

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not today....

I thought for sure we would have lots of pictures of the finished concrete job and perhaps some trees and bushes that had been planted in the ground, but alas, such is not the case..........

The workers were here at 6 AM like they were the day before, and there were a lot more of them.... I counted 5 of them running around here most of the morning, and we only had two of the same ones from yesterday...  But they didn't seem to get nearly as much done...  They kind of puttered around but in the process, they managed to dig all the rest of the holes with the electric jack hammer spade.

I did witness one of the phone calls to the cement company wondering where the truck was...  It was in Spanish, so I didn't understand much of the call, but where is the truck was the first thing out of the foreman's mouth....

They hung around for much of the morning, kind of making work while they waited..  They raked the entire yard with hard forked garden rakes smoothing everything out.  They covered all the walls with plastic and masking tape in preparation for the concrete...

But it never came......  At about noon, they announced that it wouldn't be here today in time for them to get the pour done by quitting time....  even if they stayed over more....  And it was about 107 by then  so they wanted to knock off for the day anyway....  And just like that they were gone..

So if I went and took pictures tonight, they would look almost like last night's.  They said they wouldn't be back until Monday now, so we have to wait until this landscape process is complete to contemplate leaving.

I guess we are now official summer Arizonans, Wow!

Retired Rod


Friday, July 20, 2012

Landscaping begins

We were awakened at 6 AM with all kinds of noise in our back yard....  Digging with power tools and a gas machine of some kind running.......  They're here!!!  Already?  We kind of slept on as best we could, but that really wasn't possible much...

About 7 I went out and made friends with the crew foreman, and hey he spoke English quite nicely....  The others, well, not so much....  About like my Spanish, not so much.....


Digging the irrigation trenches.


Where the trench comes under the wall




Holes where all the plants will go.


Concrete forms for rolling the garbage cans out of the garage back door.


We don't dig by hand, why not use an electric jack hammer?







The machine kept on getting rocks stuck in the digging chain.


Enlarging the back patio out into the yard.


Once they worked all day and then cleaned up we are ready for the concrete tomorrow.






The irrigation is now all in and buried and the pots are where the plants will go when they arrive.



I am told they will take out the plastic pot and drop in the plant from its pot and arrange the irrigation lines for each as they go.



Out in front, they dug up and removed  the old irrigation valves and installed new ones...  Adding that oblong water control valve box over behind the tree..  They had the entire front yard torn apart, as they are putting the trees on one valve circuit and the bushes on a second valve.

This allows different timing to be used for more time on the trees and less on the bushes...  So why didn't the first landscapers do it that way?  Cost.......  The builder will not pay enough for installing more than one irrigation zone, forcing us to come take apart the work and do it correctly at our expense after the builder is gone....

They did rake all the rock back together in the front yard so you can't really tell it was torn up again today...  Just as soon as we get some more rain to wash the dirt back down in the rocks anyway....

Retired Rod

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trapped inside with the heat.......

We have swung around to another period of intense heat here on the desert, which has translated to intolerable conditions for us Midwestern flat lander's.  

This has more than trapped us inside for the day, and further into the evening...  We may see these days of 103 or so in the Midwest, but as the sun goes down the temperature falls immediately as well.....  But in contrast, out here we are seeing 106 and the thermometer doesn't fall much even though it gets dark.....

We headed out for a burger at about 8 PM tonight, which is without daylight saving time, so it was almost dark and it was sill well over 100 outside.  And we had reached the 100 degree mark at 10AM...  Forecast tomorrow is for 108...

Everyone is mostly home bound during these times that it is over 100, except the outside workers building on the new houses around us...  And we have no idea how they do it...

And to that discussion we have learned that the landscape crew will be here in the morning quite early..  I'm not sure how early but the boss told me he gets up at 3:30..  That is about 3 and a half hours from right now.....

Also, we are taking the car into the local Toyota dealer in the morning to have some color sanding done on the scratches from the accident yesterday..  This will tell us whether we will need to repaint the entire quarter panel or just some of the clear coat on the top.......  Fingers crossed that this will not be thousands of dollars.......

So with the early wake up call for the morning, I am forced to say good evening for now......

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today;s fun....

A lot of stuff happened today which started by the backup beeper of the Caterpillar end loader being backed from the trailer that contained it at about 6:30 AM.  The men were about to landscape the front yard of the house next to us.....

Of course this diesel machine buzzing around outside our front door and windows precluded any further sleep...  And created an absolute cloud of red dust that permeated the inside of our cars and the front of our house....  We weren't camping happily about then.... But, we can hardly wait for our own landscapers to begin later in the week, on our own lot that is only a few feet outside our doors and windows............

I became intolerant of all this, but decided to just leave while it was going on, so I rode off on the motor scooter.....  Some shopping in Wal Mart for manly goods and then over to Home Depot where I had been summoned by the appliance department to settle up our bill!

The last I knew the bill had been settled, but apparently not....  Upon arriving, I could not find who had required my appearance...  The appliance department knew nothing at all..  But after some discussion I managed to get them to look into it on their computer....

It seems that we had purchased a electric cord for the dryer, and the newer design dryer came with an electric cord...  So they wanted to give me the money back for the one I purchased that didn't get used... Well alrighty then!!!  But we can't do it here, you have to go to customer service....

So back up front to stand in line again... With only one CS rep available for about 6 customers....  I tried to put on that unhappy look as I waited...  A second clerk came but didn't take the customers in the order that they had arrived, which further made some of us more unhappy...

But after another little wait, it was my turn, and I went thru the entire explanation again and they found the documentation in the computer and with my credit card and signature, the money went back on the account....  I had been in the store for over an hour...

Are we having fun yet...?  But that really wasn't the full extent of today's enjoyment, as later in the day Loyce went out to return some purchases and make some replacement buys...

And while she was in Ross store up by Wal Mart, a lady parked next to her backed out and scraped the rear portion of the side of our car with hers....  She left a name and phone number but said after 4PM...

So later tonight we have been dealing with this lady who doesn't want her insurance company notified and will just pay us in cash......  And I assume that will be a two party check that I can't negotiate anywhere....  Which will have a 14 day hold on it since I don't have a bank account out here....

But I had better keep quiet about the happenings on this matter because making it public could have bad ramifications of its own....

But can you see us staying here a lot longer to get the car fixed....??

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday in the Desert

I really can't get used to this statement, but we had a cooler day today as it only got up to 100 degrees.....  It was a little over 100 degrees for most of the afternoon, and we were out in the yard with the builder's landscaper showing him some of the dead plants.....

They are under warranty and he indicated that someone would be out yet this week to replant them and check out the water system they installed......

Uh,  late in the week, our landscaper, a different guy, is supposed to arrive and begin to install more additions to the watering system and start on the finish of the back yard..... or garden in some cultures... Will it be our luck that they arrive at the exact same time....??

Two vendors to work on the same system...... That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, as they will not see eye to eye, and if something dies it will be the other guy's fault.......  I would bet this will be the last of any warranty plants from the original landscaper...!

And in the department of the monsoonal rains that washed all the dirt out of the unfinished yard next door, the builders arrived with a group of female workers who swept the dirt out of the street.  Slowly they swept it up into shovels and re-deposited it back into the bare dirt front yard......  We kind of marveled at that as we watched....

We really hope that some of these neighboring homes get delivered to our upcoming neighbors in the next couple of weeks so that it will cut down on the barrage of pickup trucks that show up every morning and park all up and down the street..  I'm sure our neighbors that were here before us wished the same thing about our workers.....

And perhaps Loyce isn't as excited about the brown color that we picked for the den room, as she told me today that for now I didn't need to paint any more of the swiss coffee color to brown.....  Uh, that was the original plan to repaint most of it right away.......  But that's OK as it really is a lot of work to repaint the entire house inside............  See why I only bought a gallon!

That's the news for tonight!

Retired Rod

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not staying home again!!

Early on this morning, I decided right off that this wasn't a day for painting......  Enough of that already...  Well, I did open a can of the original white paint they used in here as builders, and was alarmed to find that it was just like water.........

Years ago we used to use white wash on the country places that was like chalk and water, and that was about the same consistency as the paint in the can.....  Sure glad we didn't ask to have the $3 K upgrade of colors........ With that crappy paint.......  Waste of money!!!  But I did touch up the brown mistakes, and it took several coats of this stuff to cover....

We decided to take a car ride, and headed out to our West and up around the North side of Pheonix....  Just buzzing around and seeing the sights...  Ended up going North on I 17 but we decided not to go all the way to Prescott, so we turned West again toward Wickenburg..

Again this is mostly out in the desert, but we did stop at the intersection by Carefree and have a Jack in the Box burger, as there were no Wendy's around.....  Once in Wickenburg we drove down the main street, but the place was deserted....

I don't know what I expected but,  since I have only been there in the early spring when all the tourists are climbing all over everything, the lack of people in the heat of summer was a surprise....

We decided to go North out of Wickenburg and head on to North Ranch Escapee RV park........  I stopped at the local quick shop and confirmed that the area had received over an inch of rain, and the streets in the park confirmed that.

The rain had washed out a lot of mud and rock from folks yards and drive ways.....  North Ranch was also quite bare of people...  Oh, there are more folks that live there during the summer, but the transient camper row was totally empty...

We drove back to the end of the park and passed by Mike and Pat McFall's home to see if the storm did them any harm..... but no they looked high and dry...



So then we decided to see if we could find Al and Kelly's new place....  All we knew was that it was on Ghost Town Road.....  We drove to the center of Congress and found the road right off...  We drove up the road until it turned to dirt..  Nope didn't see it....

So then coming back South, more slowly this time we spotted that we had driven right by it on the West side of the road....  Must have been looking East.....


There were some puddles of water left in the road on their South side but the drive was dry and solid.  The ground falls off to the back side, but I never left the driveway, as a neighbor came out into his carport on the house North of them and watched my every move....

I took a couple of pictures around the front and hopped back into the car.......  Folks around here have shootin arms and stuff, and I would want to be on the receiving end of that sort of stuff....  I did drive up to the neighbor's house to try and say hi and that I knew Al and Kelly, but he had retreated inside once I was back in the car...

The thing that also struck us was that it had been well over 100 when we were driving around Phoenix, and that in Congress it was only 90 with a nice breeze.  Its about a 1000 feet higher up there and that seems to make all the difference...

When we came back into town, we traveled down 60 toward Surprise, but chickened out before we came to town, turning down the new bypass 303..  We took that to the interstate which stays out in the country all the way....

When we got back to the skyharbor airport, the winds began to be high and full of dust and rain again....  We are definitely into the monsoon weather now as this seems to be happening every night...  But the weather folks are saying 107 again by Friday of this week......  Uh, I can't wait!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday painting and Monsoonal rains....

Saturday was for work on the painting in the den for me...  I started this project yesterday when I rode the motor scooter over to the Lowe's to purchase a gallon of color test paint....  I call it color test, because I didn't purchase a 5 gallon pail...  Now that is more of a commitment, than a test!!

I never left the house all day but stayed right with that color testing here in our den....


Pictures are notoriously wrong in color, but this is called hopsack....  Its a brown that has a little more caramel color to it than the chocolate milk color we used back in Kansas...


Looking the other way the lamp doesn't distort the color so much, but still it is hard to see the color has more warm brown in it than milk chocolate....  We had to do that because the white is a swiss coffee kind of cream color... So the brown has to blend with that.

As you can see we don't have much furniture in these rooms...  The recliner was in the motorhome from last winter when we stayed here at the RV park....  I brought its right chair in the trailer when we came this time..  When Loyce saw the completed walls, her comment was that now we had to go get some furniture for our nicely painted den.................Uh, what did I start?

Late in the afternoon, we had the big monsoonal temperature change from over 100 to about 80 with a massive downpour...  The rain washed mud down our street out of the unfinished back yards along our street...


The water was running down the curb on our side like a river full of mud..  This picture was actually quite dark, but I brightened it up with the photo editor...


I made this picture bigger because across the street behind the mail boxes you can see the big pit they build to hold the monsoonal run off.  They don't get much rain all year, but when it does rain, it pours and makes massive water washes unless the water runs into holding pits where it can soak slowly into the sandy desert ground...  Without these holding pits, the storm sewers wouldn't have anywhere to run off to...  We don't have the usual creeks that are normal back in the Midwest...



And finally our side yard looking from the door in the garage...  Remember when I said the monsoon would destroy our grading if we didn't do the landscaping almost as soon as we could?   Well, that soon as possible can't come soon enough, as we have this same lake all around the house...  The pond on the North side was even worse, but I didn't want to wade in the mud to go around there and take its picture..  This is after it stopped raining for a while...

But at least it washed the dust off of my truck!!!

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 14, 2012

On the scooter...........for Paint?

It was significantly cooler today as we topped out at 97 degrees, but it was about to rain at any minute almost all day long....

So what to do on a cool day?  Why scooter riding is always in order on these cooler days.   So I was on that scooter and rode back over to the Valle Del Oro RV park, but not into the park but rather by it as Lowe's is across the street....

We have been studying paint swatches from both Lowe's and Home Depot during the last week and we finally picked out a color in Valspar, which is handled by Lowe's.....  I have had good luck with the Valspar brand in the past, and they have good quality paint the is $27 a gallon in egg shell finish.

The salesman made me a gallon in the color we selected and I had a bunch of other things too, like drop cloths and a brush and a cup....  This all fit under my seat on the scooter...  And I was surprised about the gallon standing up under there...  I was sure I would have to lay it down and worried about the lid coming off............

So that fairly well took care of me for the rest of the afternoon..........Just trimming the room that we call the den..  Its right inside the door off of the garage once you get by the washers...  I guess Loyce isn't too worried about what happens in here because it isn't the living room or anything like that...

Perhaps tomorrow I will get enough of the trimming done to actually get out the roller and fill in the color all the way across the wall.....

I know that this isn't the most exciting stuff, but sometimes that's how days are.........

Retired Rod

Friday, July 13, 2012

Local TV and the Washer

You remember that work bench that I built the other night out on the garage?  It fits into the plan of work for today, but I didn't realize that it did right off in the beginning.....



This is probably the cleanest you will ever see this work bench, because I am notorious for not cleaning up tools and stuff when a project is finished.  I start off talking a good line, but never get it done.

But this picture has to do with today's project of trying to get some local TV stations on our TVs  throughout the house...  They wired us for cable and I will probably subscribe when it is winter time and we are going to be here for several months at a time, but it doesn't make sense to me, to pay for it all the time at over $140 a month when we are not here..

So lets watch what you can pick up with an antenna, which here in Phoenix is quite a bunch of stuff....  Way more than KC anyway....  But we proved fairly rapidly that using rabbit ear antennas doesn't work very will under our tin foil roof sheathing.

So I had to dream up something else....  We have coax pulled into several of the room jacks and a big splitter in the utility closet but without the cable feed from the outside how do I use it?  And the covenants state that we cannot have outside antennas on our roofs...

I went over to Home Depot and sorted thru their powered indoor HD antenna's and came up with the one that I mounted on the top of the work bench pictured in the upper left of the picture above......

See it?


It's actually three barn door UHF antennas with a VHF rabbit ear off to the left.  You can move the two doors on the sides to effect your reception and of course the rabbit ear is loose too...  It gets its power over the incoming wire from a power brick back in the wire cabinet inside.

I then hooked this gizmo up to the incoming wire where the cable is supposed to be connected and quick as a flash we had TV at all the indoor outlets inside the house....

It took me most of the day to whomp up this arrangement and then wire it, as the cable from the garage had to go up into the attic and then come down into the wall where the cable cabinet is located...  But tonight we are scanning about 30 channels of local TV.....  Of course several of them are in Spanish, so now we have the opportunity to work on our language skills.............

And just when we reached our hottest here at the house, 105, the truck came with the new again washer and dryer....


They came out of the boxes without damage this time and are the latest design models available, for the close out price...  But Loyce reminds me that we waited for two weeks to get them so that had to be worth the better models....  But somehow I wonder if GE sees it that way..............

They work, and they haven't stopped since the second the installer guy ran the washer thru on its first rinse cycle to prove that everything functioned.....

Its still grinding away beside me here in the Den.  I'm certain it won't stop until Loyce actually nods off to sleep, and the timer comes to its final rest for the day....

Retired Rod



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Home Depot is up to bat again!

Tomorrow we again are set up to receive another dryer from the folks at GE and their associate store Home Depot..  Loyce is trying to wait very patiently but......

They did call this afternoon, and said they would be here somewhere between 2 PM and 6 PM...  At which time she was overwhelmed that it might be so late in the day...  Declaring that she was going to use the washer all day long and have clothes ready for drying the minute they get here...

They did indicate that they would be bringing another washer to match the newer dryer, but we will hold our breath on that one.....

In Home Depot's defense, they only ordered these machines as drop ship items from the store here in Mesa, and it is completely out of their hands from that point on.  GE is the people that boxed up the defective dryer or didn't box it up adequately to keep it from being damaged as it was shipped from Tennessee where I think we were called from initially..

Problem is that for Home Depot, they will suffer the bad reputation of the vendors mistakes, and the shipping companies lack of care..  Even the moving and delivery company wears bright Orange and Black shirts to match the HD logos....

Perhaps if the machines were purchased from a store that holds inventories on hand, and that store had numerous items in stock, these things would be identified a little earlier than on the lift gate of the truck in my driveway..  But that isn't how just in time marketing works these days....

Tonight on the news channels, they were celebrating the fact that it was only 111 at downtown skyharbor airport today which was a degree cooler than yesterday at 112 and Monday at 113..  Seeing this as a trend of the future weather here in the valley.....

I did see 110 for a brief time this afternoon on our electronic gauge, but most of the day was recorded at 108.  But we were quickly over 100 this morning before 9AM..  It is now 11:30 at night and still 91 outside......  All I know is that for a fellow from KC this is darned hot...  We just hung around inside all day and watched the TV and worked with the computers....  We've kind of run right out of steam on the new house projects.....

Retired Rod

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Parking the trailer and working with service folks

Today we decided that we would take the trailer back over to the storage lot where the motorhome is parked...  Its up in North Mesa on the boarder with Apache Junction...  There is barely enough room to park the trailer in behind the motorhome and stay within the parking markers in the ground..

But we managed to get it parked by backing it in so that back ramp doors of the trailer are against the back end of the motorhome.  That way the tongue of the trailer is sticking out  just a tad over the back of the parking space....  The storage guy was there while we were parking, and didn't say anything, so we took that as good to go....

We had to get back to the house as we were waiting for the Security service man to come and install the system and get it running...  They rough in the window and door switches, but hadn't mounted the magnets on the actual windows... Something about the cleaning people knocking them off when they clean up the house after construction......

Also we needed the cellular phone system installed that links the entire thing back to the company...  This is required because we don't have a land line phone here...  It wouldn't make much sense when we will be gone so much of the time...  Not cost effective.....

Of course we didn't do any of the work, but had to be here while the system fellow worked on everything... One by one he tested each sensor and proved that opening and closing the door or window would trip the alarm...

Then he called in and set the system up with the home office...  Plus we had to be taught to work the system as well...  And we can be thick headed sometimes..........  He left about 4 in the afternoon.....

But that was just in time for the landscaper to arrive to help us decide what to do with the back and side yards.... They are just graded gravel at this point and can't be left that way.....  It is monsoon season here in the desert so drainage is paramount.

The loose dirt will wash under the fences and out into the street if left un rocked.....  He calculated that we will need 30 tons of gravel to cover the yard....  That's more than a semi truck of crushed rock...  We sat outside under the patio roof drawing up a landscape plan on an oaktag card...  Some of it will be stamped concrete and also the irrigation system needs extended...  It was 109 degrees while we were out there.

This will be a tad pricey, so I am getting used to sticker shock tonight...  Its almost as bad as that furniture store......

But at about 10 PM we got our first taste of the monsoon, as it reached 112 for most of the afternoon while building high clouds cooked the remaining moisture out of the ground...  The lightning cracked and the thunder boomed for a while tonight as the clouds let go of this rain all at once.

It was sill about 106 as this started, but the wind came up and blew the heat away.  Suddenly our electronic gauge read 90..  And it just poured for a brief time...  This is what will wash away the grading if we don't get after the landscaping right away...

90 almost seems cool, after 112 in the blazing summer sun....

Retired Rod

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A short rant!

My thoughts about Home Depot and their appliance center......!




I understand this came from Nick Russell, and Froggi Donna copied it and put it on Facebook, where I lifted it and uploaded it to my blog.....  But just the same it describes how our appliance delivery went this morning.

The guys were obviously lost when they called, so I had to talk them in on their cell phone...  Once here, they began unboxing the appliances and when they got to the dryer, the main guy let out an "Oh oh........!!!"

The entire front top of the dryer where the electronics are mounted was broken free of the machine and kind of hanging on its wires.....  "I can't put that in your house, as it is an electrical hazard!!!"  The cardboard box that housed the dryer wasn't damaged in any way....  Was it boxed up that way?

So a lot of phone calls later, we will be getting another washer and dryer that match each other, and I guess it will be another newer model again, since this model is now out of stock too...

But the kicker is that we will be waiting again until Thursday...  The washer works though and we are doing some washing that really needs to be done and hanging it on dryer racks, that Loyce thought to bring from our KC home.......  It'll be slow, but will get us out of running out of clothes all together, or going to the laundromat...  Yuck!!

At least those clothes dry rather fast when its 115 outside.  That was what the reported temperature was over at the Mesa Gateway Airport 2 miles West of us here.  I needed a mattress foundation for the guest bedroom, and found one at a mattress store over on Power Road.  I knew it felt hotter yet but didn't understand until I looked at the report from the NWS.

When I was hitching the trailer to the truck, I couldn't hang onto the crank handle on the jack to crank up the trailer without a glove on... And when I got back out of the truck, my leg touched the chrome metal tubular step rail on the side of the truck!!! Yeow!!!  It burned like an exhaust pipe on a cycle....

Over at the mattress store we kind of ran the foundation into the back of the trailer, not even bothering to strap it down...  Just tilted it at an angle against the wall of the box and called it good.... It was only about 5 miles home..

Again I just slid it into the garage and parked the truck out on the curb... I'll deal with that later when the sun isn't so scorching....  Even the local TV people are now talking about records, reporting that the overnight low of 91 set a record for the warmest overnight in many years.....

And of course we have to be here to experience it... It's just our way of doing things..

I've seen hotter, but that was back in my younger days in Viet Nam.. It was routinely in the 120s over there...

Retired Rod

Monday, July 9, 2012

Taking it easier with the work.........

At Rick's suggestion, I decided that all this work around here was becoming a bit much, so early in the morning, I decided to take Salt the motor scooter out for a little ride..  As I left the house it was only 96 outside, almost cool for the desert in July...

I went over to McDonalds for a biscuit and sausage...  Remember we still have no fridge and only very limited groceries...  Then it was on to Home Depot for my first run of the day in things to continue the move in.....  Bolts and nuts for specific projects and a vise for the new bench...  And peg board pegs to use in hanging all those tools..

After I wrote last night's blog, I went back out and finished the long brace on the back of the bench, declaring it finished...  It is now in its place along the back wall of the garage...

But while I was in Home Depot, the sun did its desertly thing and heated the air up over 100...  As I was packing the stuff I bought under the seat, it seemed like a blast furnace, so I rode directly home...  Enough, as it was 104 on the dash thermometer of the bike..  I can't help wondering how these folks can ride around down here, with nothing but a dew rag on in the desert sun....  They are a lot tougher than I am....

But in the mid afternoon, I cracked and went back over to HD again, purchasing the remaining cabinet pulls for the rest of the bathrooms....  That kept me busy for a couple of hours...  And we did have some drawers that didn't line up with the pre drilled holes in the template......  So I drilled the correct holes for my application in the template..

I only had to measure it once on the template and from there on, the template marked the holes on the drawers exactly every time......  In total I mounted 42 pulls in the entire house....  I'm a tad tired of drilling doors and drawers....  But still I have the $600 that they wanted for the job...  The actual pulls cost around $75.

Oh, in the big news for today, the furniture store actually brought out some chairs for the kitchen table....  We can eat a meal sitting down now.......!!

And in even bigger news, the delivery company called late in the afternoon and will deliver the fridge and washer dryer between 9AM and 1PM tomorrow...  Fingers crossed that it all works when it gets here..........

Retired Rod

Let's answer Phil's question about the times things were written and posted...  I write the blogs late into the day the night before they are posted...  So if I write at 10PM its the night before you read it.  When I post it, its always for the next day, usually with a delayed posting at one second after midnight but it has tomorrow's date on it and time.  That way when Bob looks at it at 8AM over in Europe, its only about 1 AM here.

But the blog time zone is registered as Central time, so that causes some trouble, sometimes posting the blogs early, because it is midnight in Kansas....  But what you are reading was usually written the night before you see it....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The last fan and Cabinet pulls....

Just a one fan day!! But that fan mounted way up into the gable end of the master bedroom on the back of the house..  Its about eleven and a half feet to the fan box, and the eight foot step ladder left me standing on one of the upper rungs...

But like most things, once you get used to the fact that your up there, its time to get on with the work..  The fan was mostly together from my work last night, so it was a matter or wiring it and then all those phillips fan blade screws..

But in a couple of hours it was all over and spinning merrily...

So that was my trigger to head back over to Home Depot..  To buy more stuff for the ongoing projects around here....

The builder wanted $600 to put cabinet pulls on the cabinets through out the house.....No way!  So today I bought the first bunches of pulls...  Bunches or boxes of 10, I bought 30..  And the hardware man asked if I wanted the template.....  What template?  He handed me a little plastic square like gizmo with a lot of holes in it...  "$8 and worth every penny", he said.

Once back home and working with the template, I soon learned that you picked the correct holes and it lined up the drilling exactly so the pulls were on the same every time.  A couple of starter holes with a small bit and then drill it out with the bigger one...

I would have never guessed that I would be able to install all 30 pulls in about 4 hours, but I did with that template gizmo..  And worth every penny, like he said.  The kitchen is done and one of the bathrooms too.  But I still need to go buy another couple of boxes of the darned things for the rest of the cabinets....

I also piled the truck full of dimension lumber to make myself a work bench like I have at the other places..  I've built the same thing over and over as we have moved around over the years...  It is too heavy to take with you so it just stays with the house when we go..

The bench will be 30" by 6 feet on its top with a height of 3 feet from the floor.  I extend the back up high enough to put a 4 foot tall piece of peg board on it for the entire 6 feet wide.  I like to hang tools and handy man stuff up there so you can see it at a glance..

But we reached 108 degrees this afternoon, so I wasn't man enough to go out and work on the bench until late tonight.....  Once the sun went over the hill to the West, but even then I was raining perspiration and my glasses wouldn't stay on my nose...

The bench is mostly done now that it is 9 PM, but it needs a brace cut to go across the back of it yet.  Those tools hanging on the peg board will end up weighing a bunch so the big brace in a must....

And yes I should have built the bench first thing before doing all the inside stuff, but Loyce wanted blinds in the windows for some reason, so they were priority......

I just looked, and it is still 97 outside at 10 PM... No wonder my shirt is such a disaster....

Retired Rod

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Robertson Screws?? What's That??

My loyal friends from Canada are heading me out to go buy Robertson screws.....  And if I were in Canada, that would be a simple thing to do, but down here,  the hardware man would look at me kinda funny and say What's that?

And yes I do own several Robertson screw drivers, but, other than the RV industry, we just never see such a thing anywhere around the US..  And of course the only reason that I have the screw drivers in the first place is to work on those RV's..  Ya, I know, they never strip out....

Now if Mr Robertson had just licensed Henry Ford to use the screws in the US way back when, we would all be using them today.....  Funny how some things turn out like they do...

Again today, this was another of those great put together and hang it up kind of days....  But I was even less productive, as it was only 4 blinds and 2 ceiling fans..  But the one fan was on a long down pole and hangs in the middle of the living room.  Needed the 8 foot step ladder for that fellow...

And just as I was about to finish the bugger off, suddenly the lights went out!!  Not just the breaker for the fan circuits, but the entire house.....AC and all.  Dead silence!! No lights in the entire place..  Of course you wonder if your wiring you just completed is bad, but that would only blow just its own breaker, not the master....

But a quick check of the outside box proved that our service was still in tact.  The workers next door were using a big contractor genny, and said they lost everything too....  We were out for over an hour and the house did fairly well at not loosing its cool...  But it wouldn't have made it much longer without becoming rather hot...

I finished installing the fan and went without testing it... just assuming it was fine...  After I was done, and sitting on the couch, all of a sudden the lights were back on and the fan began to spin..

Later, after the second fan was installed in the front guest bedroom, I tackled all the rest of those pesky faux wood blinds..  And their phillips head screws..  I thought about going after hex head replacements, but reasoned that I would have the job done before I got back from the hardware store.

I have one more fan to install tomorrow, and I have saved the dusey for last....  Again it is on a long pole, and hangs in the master bedroom from a vaulted ceiling...  I think it is over 11 feet up there, and will be a stretch even on the 8 foot ladder....

I sat here tonight putting all the blades of the fan together and assembling the down rod with its wires and covers..  But its putting on those blades over your head with those testy phillips screws.  Made in China phillips screws.....  I go slow and really don't give a darn when I get done, so perhaps that attitude will carry the day....

We did find a area rug to put on the tile floor this morning over at Home Depot, and it took both of us to get it out to the truck, and into the house....  Its now under the sofa and love seat, and I think Loyce is pleased....

But we still don't have any dining room chairs for the table, and the furniture store can't tell us when they might come in..........    grrrrrrr.....

Retired Rod

Friday, July 6, 2012

Putting Stuff Together!

I was awakened this morning by Biscuit as she had crawled under the bed to my side and was licking my mouth and nose.  Nothing like a big slurpy dog kiss at 5:30 AM.  Her internal clock is still back in Kansas along with the rest of us....

About three times last night in the post I mentioned that we didn't have any blinds.  And that East sun coming into the bedroom without blinds is what is awakening Biscuit..  So after some breakfast and some clean clothes, it was off to Home Depot again!

This place is beginning to have all our money.... and today was no exception as I needed another of those fans that I pictured yesterday...  and some blinds..

I was armed with my list where I went around and measured all the windows.... and found the blind lady that is specialized in cutting these buggers on her big specialized saw grinder thingy...  She kept asking me what the next one was on my list, and what color it should be...

When we got done, I had nine faux wood blinds in my basket.  So when I got back home I had nine blinds and a fan...  I set to work on the fan, since I had done one yesterday and they were just alike.  Still a million little screws and rubber grommets on the blades and wiring and all over my head....

I don't know where the time goes, but this took a couple of hours again...  Then I worked on the blinds in the den and Loyce's sewing room... They were just ordinary 2 inch white blinds, but I had to mount the brackets on the ends and find wood studs for the screws.. More screws but I have a drill gun so it twists things for me..  Until the Philips heads strip out anyway..

Eventually our realtor lady stopped by to make sure everything was together like needed with the sale and all its papers..   She was gone over the holiday, so we had to finish the paper work without her guiding the way..  I think she was concerned that we would need her, and followed up to see what else might be required...

But after she left, I started on the blinds in the living room.  They are 2 1/2 inch premium faux wood, but still made from plastic....  They are dark colored like the cabinets and matched fairly well.  The brackets were much larger as the blinds are heavier, and they went in slower too.

So all I have to show for today is one fan on the ceiling and five blinds in windows.... Oh, and late tonight, Loyce sprung a box of table lamps on me to put together...  There were three of them in a single package...  I almost refused.... I'm tired of putting stuff together.... but, I still have two more larger fans and four more window blinds...........

It was back to weather as usual here in the desert today, as the temps zoomed back up over 100 degrees..  I didn't have time to watch it today though as I had too much stuff to put together...

Retired Rod