Of Second Breakfasts, Bat Houses and Career Day.

Well this Saturday wasn’t a complete bust but it’s one of those days where you feel like you have nothing to show for 7 hours of work. Let’s begin with where we ended last time. Oh yes my second breakfast last saturday. Yes, two eggs on a roll with bacon. Simple, concise, easy to remember, something that every deli in the greater New York metropolitan area has heard of about eight million times. Yet this must be something quite unheard of by the men of Bree. Or at the Inn of the Prancing Pony for that matter.

Have you ever seen something coming at you and you know what it’s supposed to look like but you know something looks a little strange about it. Well this is one of those times. As soon as my son gets out of the car I can tell that there is something larger than a egg on a roll in the bag. I know they had breakfast at home so as they’re walking to me I ask “You guys got something as well?” They say no. I open the bag. One egg on one roll and another egg on another roll…no bacon on either…… I mean these guys are good students too. Where did I go wrong? Of course after that the denials and blame game begins. Somewhere in all of the bickering it was somehow my fault.???????????????? There will be other second breakfasts.

Like I was saying before, Saturday felt like a bit of a bust. I picked up a flat plate tamper and spent the better part of an hour and a half pushing this thing along. Very boring work. The exciting part was getting it off the truck. I should have taken a picture of how I got it off. That would have been a bit more interesting.Here’s a picture of what one looks like.

Flat plate tamper.
Flat plate tamper.

The rest of Saturday was spent re-establishing the batter boards around the house. It took quite a while. I had to make a few adjustments here and there. If the batter boards are set up correctly and the string lines set right the footing forms go in a lot quicker. After I had everything set we checked the diagonals to see if they were the same length. This goes back to your high school geometry.  I think the proof  goes something like this: If the diagonals of a rectangle are of equal length then the sides of that rectangle are perpendicular. Our diagonals were close, within a half inch over 58 feet or so. That is close enough for now.

I forgot about another thing I did: I also backfilled the footing drain trench that I dug by hand. I capped the end of the drain pipe so critters wouldn’t go into it.

Footing drain to daylight: Capped and enclosed with some stone.
Footing drain to daylight: Capped and enclosed with some stone.

I don’t know how many of you have been reading these posts but I harken back to :This Lot is Soaking Wet. When I bought this property the water would run down the hill and kind of stop on the lot. Wherever you would walk you would get that squishy sound of water getting mushed into the dirt. Well it wasn’t everywhere but it sure seemed like it was. Anyway this place was like a breeding ground for mosquitoes. That is why I put the curtain drains in. The mosquitoes aren’t that bad this year but I had looked into putting up a bat house for insect control.

I went on the internet and found www.batmanagement.com. these guys have done the research and make bat houses that you can buy. I bought the three chamber bat house. All you have to do is paint it, put the roofing shingle on and the landing screen. Once that is done you have to mount it on a post,dig a hole and plumb it up and backfill. It was pretty simple. Hopefully in a few weeks we will have a couple of bats on pest control. They say a single bat can eat up to 3000 insects a night.Maybe I should offer a free toaster oven for the first resident. The sucess of a bat house is very dependent on it’s location. It has to get a lot of sun so I didn’t have a lot of options as to where I could put it. Here’s a picture of the installation.

Bat house for mosquitoe control.
Bat house for mosquitoe control.

On an experimental note. I’ve been meaning to test the strength of a 2×4. When we pour the roof slab of the hobbit house the maximum thickness will be about 16 inches. If the 2×4’s are set at 12 inches on center and are supported at four foot centers we have a load of about 798 pounds on that one 2×4. I made a small mach up and brought it to the gym. My son loaded it up with 760 pounds of weight. I’m going to add some extra support when we pour but I was glad to see the 2×4 take so much weight. It didn’t seem to deflect much either. Here’s a picture.

Load testing a 2x4. Simply supported holding up 760 pounds.
Load testing a 2×4. Simply supported holding up 760 pounds.

 

 That’s all from Hobbit Hollow this week. I hope to start the footing forms next weekend.

Oh yeah, career day. They have a career day at my sons school for seveth and eigth graders so they can get an idea of different things people do for a living. The teacher thought that  I had an interesting career path so I got the call. What follows are just a series of pictures of the job I am currently working on in Queens, New York. It’s right across the East river from Manhattan.

Front of building
Front of building
Courtyard
Courtyard with crane and concrete pump

 

Scaffold supporting 9th floor
Scaffold supporting 9th floor
Top deck looking north towards the 59th street bridge.
Top deck looking north towards the 59th street bridge.

 

Placing boom: Concrete is pumped up the building and placed with this machine.
Placing boom: Concrete is pumped up the building and placed with this machine.
Courtyard from above: Crane and concrete truck dumping into hopper.
Courtyard from above. Crane at left and concrete truck dumping into hopper.

Enjoy your week!

Jim

2 thoughts on “Of Second Breakfasts, Bat Houses and Career Day.

  1. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and
    sources back to your weblog? My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my
    users would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!

Leave a Comment