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Jul. 27th, 2005

Abrasions mixed with chemical burns. On my fingertips.

Well, at least the constant annoyance of that pain is distracting me from the lovely sore muscles that seem to have sprung from all of the rather odd maeuvering that I was doing with the cement blocks to get them in place. While I can move today, it's more on the slow side than I would like. I also discovered that half a bag of mortar mix is about the most I can work through in one sitting. It started to harden on the last couple of courses, which sucked. About 2-1/2 hours of working time.

I stopped at Waglreens to pick up some Neosporin and Band-aids. You'd think with as much stuff as I do that involves the potential for bleeding, I'd have a ready supply of bandages in the house, but nooooo.

The good news is that I got the north wall and the north side of the front wall done four courses high. The fifth course needs to be cut block, so that will take some additional time. I also need to do some grouting and filling for those spaces where things didn't quite fit. But I'm out of regular blocks, and can't buy more for a while (bills have to come first), so for now I am stalled. And right when the weather is perfect.

There is some stuff I can do. The walls that were originally put up when I was going to be pouring the walls need to come down at least part way, lest they interfere with the upper courses. It sucks, because they were a lot of work to put up in the first place, but plans change. The curb wall on the south side can be done, though I need to get the grinder and the diamond blade out again, along with the chisel and maul.

But I have to say, coming out this morning and seeing the foundation about a third of the way done was a rather nice feeling. Plus, this was the hard part with the most cut-ins and the cranky short wall. The rest of it should be a lot easier, since the long wall is a continuous run of eleven feet and change, and the south wall only has one vent. The vents are a little intriguing: they are 16 inches wide out of ease, since that is the width of a block. The height is something else, since I haven't yet figured out quite how to make a header for it. I have a couple of ideas though (like that's surprising).

I also need to cut the bricks on the front step rails. The top course of bricks are made into a cap that is just that much too high, and since I'm planning a refacing anyway, the bricks will end up being covered. Making it all the same height with the same material will make it easier when I do the refacing. It also lends itself well to the idea of an awning over the front door, though I don't know how well the æsthetic that I originally planned lends itself to an awning.

And there is sidewalk stuff to consider. One of the cool things (and yes, there were cool things) that came from my time in the Gulag were the interesting combination concrete-and-paver walkways. They looked really cool, and even though I thought they could concievably be a really stupid idea with that whole frost-heave thing, they turned out to actually survive the winter really well with no buckling. With the right drainage, they're really nice.

And so it goes.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
Two words: Work Gloves.

I've burned through 2 sets of leather work gloves doing lawn and garden work alone, but it's protected my hands from major damage.
Jul. 27th, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remembered that last night after it was too late.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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