Construction Journal Entry Week of 5/11/08

5/12/08 Met with Brian Kemly at his place of business and discussed the plan for installing the electric service. He told me not to have the power disconnected and he told me to contact call-before-you-dig right away. I also called Bill and Dave to see if either of them could help in the installation. Bill said he might be able to; Dave said he couldn't.

5/13-15/08 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

Before I left, I called the call-before-you dig phone number and got directed to their website. I logged on and submitted a request for a locate on the buried utilities where I want to dig. I was surprised that I wasn't asked when I planned to dig.

I arrived at the property at 12:40. There was a light rain which stopped soon after I got there. Bert and Ernie were right there to greet me and get their dog biscuits.

The first thing I did after moving in was to de-winterize the trailer and put the screens back up in the trailer. Then after lunch, I went looking for the rest of the Giant Sequoias. The leaves still weren't out yet so I could see through the brush pretty well and most all of the snow was gone in the woods. I brought new plastic mesh sleeves and long sticks with red and orange flags on them which should make the trees easier to find from now on. I found all eleven trees and was very pleased that they all survived their second winter up there. The old sleeves had been accordion-squished flat to the ground by the snow and the little trees were squished down inside the sleeves. I gently pulled each one up and stood it up in its new sleeve. They all looked pretty healthy so I expect they will keep getting bigger and stronger each year. I hope they all make it to 200 years or so.

I was a little puzzled to find that one of the new sleeves I had put on a few weeks ago had been moved some 20 feet away from its tree. I suspect it was a bear who did it. I found a big lump of bear scat as I was searching through the woods.

Next I went to work and cut a half a dozen 2x4 hangers to support the conduit between two floor joists. The 2x4s span between the webs of the joists and rest on the flanges at the bottom. I didn't fasten them in to make it easier to install the conduit. Once the conduit is in place, the 2x4s can be fastened by screws through the web and into the ends of the 2x4s.

On Wednesday, I called the PUD first thing in the morning and talked with Darren Wurl. I cancelled the power disconnect and rescheduled the energizing for May 29.

Verizon showed up and painted a stripe over the telephone line down where we will be digging the trench. I hope we can leave that line intact so I will have phone service while we are installing the power service. It will help to know exactly where it is.

Bert and Ernie came by again for biscuits. I dismantled the part of the wheelchair ramp that I had installed so it wouldn't be in the way to the porch. Then I glued up most of the fiber optic conduit and strung it alongside the upper portion of the trench. Then I deepened the upper trench by cutting out some big roots. I got the whole upper part to the correct depth. I also widened the trench near where the big rock was sticking into the trench so that there should now be plenty of clearance for the conduit. Next, I went down to the old log pile area and moved a pile of rocks out of the way and over by the trees. That leaves most of the area available for parking.

Brian Kemly and I had talked about pulling the wire uphill and possibly rigging a pulley overhead above the LB where the electric wire will enter the building. I made up a cable, connected a couple ropes and made a rigging that would pull a snatch block up to the highest corner stub log in the corner. Then I measured the distance from the LB to the snatch block and found that it was only 17 feet. That would not be enough. I wasn't sure what we should do about it but I left the rigging intact anyway just in case we could use it. It seemed to me that we could pull the wire along the front of the building with the pulling rigging attached to the Grid G3 PSL. But that would mean that the sweep and maybe one section of conduit would have to be glued up after the wire was pulled.

Since there wasn't much more I could do to prepare for the electric service installation, I went up in the loft and did some nailing of the seams up on the gable wall to get ready for chinking up there. Then I got a couple of scrap pieces of metal roofing material and did some experimenting to see how to overlap them. When I install the panels where they slipped, I will have to overlap them and the way they are, they don't fit very well. I found that if I bent 1/4 inch of the bottom of the finished rib over flat so that it makes the flat part of the panel 1/4 inch wider, then the next panel can fit down over that pretty nicely. The finished rib doesn't go all the way over the one under it, but by removing the latching part of the finished rib, i.e. the bent-over flange that engages the raw rib, it seats down pretty nicely. When I get closer to fixing the roof, I'll talk to Curt Pritchard about it to see if he has any better suggestions. At least now I think I have a way of doing it that will work.

Finally, before I quit for the day, I consolidated two dirt piles that had come from digging the trench. Since the very top of the trench was very shallow due to the bedrock, that dirt pile was pretty small. I moved it over to a pile lower down the hill to make more room to work up near the building.

On Thursday morning I expected the PUD to come out in response to my call-before-you-dig request, like Verizon had, and locate my temporary power wire that goes under the driveway before heading up the hill to the cabin. Since this wire wasn't buried where it went through the woods, it was easy for me to find and follow it and figure out where it crosses the driveway. Fortunately, it is well away from the area where Mike will be digging. I want to make sure he doesn't dig up that wire either.

I went to work in the cabin and installed a phone jack in the bedroom and strung the wire from that jack under the floor over to the Grid A3 corner where the phone service will enter the building. I had some trouble, but I got the job done.

With the phone wiring done, I went out on the porch and was shocked to discover that there were thousands of winged carpenter ants all over the Grid F.5 log beam, the stairs, and that end of the porch deck. The 4x4 post at the top of the stairs had so many ants covering it that the entire thing was black. You couldn't see the post. I suspect that I have a nest of them in that log and this was the day that all the flying ones emerged. I think they do that all at once. I went down to the trailer and found two part cans of ant killer spray. I used that to kill all the ants I could see. None of the ants flew away, so I think they had just emerged and were not "flight ready" yet. I set out two more ant bait traps and I realized that I need to get more serious about protecting against carpenter ants.

One of the spray cans of ant killer I used was red. Twice while I was standing there holding that can, a hummingbird came up to me to check it out. I guess he could see that red can from quite a ways off. I left for home at 1:15.

5/16/08 Got a call from Bill confirming that he will come up and help me on Saturday. He said that Cam might even come up. That was a great relief. We can sure use the help.

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