Friday, September 02, 2005

Apropos of Nothing

Wednesday and Thursday I worked with Edis. Naun is possibly in Florida to get work there. It seemed clear enough (given my limited Spanish) what Edis was saying, but unbelievable all the same. Even getting there by car would be expensive (especially given gas prices these days). But I'm guessing Naun doesn't own a car. I just read this interesting tidbit: only 8% of the people in the world own a car. Which is pretty staggering when you think about the huge impact that cars and all that goes with them has on our environment, and how relatively few people are part of that. And even if we can feel a little better because we drive a Toyota Prius instead of a huge SUV, that doesn't quite cover it, because we own two cars. Hmmph.

Anyways, on Wednesday, I had more concrete delivered, and Edis and I finished leveling the dirt inside the foundation walls, layed down plastic as a vapor barrier, and then placed concrete to cover that and for the rest of the thermal mass. Because the form for the thermal mass bowed significantly, I ended up with less concrete to spread over the plastic, so Edis and I made a Home Depot run, got a dozen 60 lb. bags, and mixed the balance by hand. And yes, my little VW Golf bowed significantly under the additional 720 lbs. of weight.

On Thursday we dug out the rest of the form boards from the foundation footing, pulled the remaining building stakes, and made more room outside the foundation for drainage.

Today I went to Economy Lumber and ordered floor joists, rim board, joist hangers, and some tongue and groove plywood for the subfloor, as well as the ever-important drainage board to go around the foundation and make sure water stays out. That was followed by a visit to Home Depot in Oakland for some drainage pipes, which was followed by a visit to Home Depot in Emeryville, because the one in Oakland didn't seem to have any of what I needed. The task was made more difficult by the fact the first Home Depot has its plumbing supplies spread out across the store: valves, fittings, water heaters, etc. on one aisle, and some of the pipes outside next to the gardening supplies. I never did find the drainage pipe there. If they carry it, it was hidden in a undisclosed third location. Probably for reasons of national security. I did eventually find what I needed at the other Home Depot.

On the way to Economy Lumber, I had one of those "God works in mysterious ways, but sometimes in ways that are pretty clear" moments. Since I didn't have to pick up or drop off Edis or Naun, I decided to take the freeway over to Economy Lumber. All went well, until I rounded the bend to I-880, and traffic was at a standstill. So I hopped off the freeway as did many other people, and took surface streets over towards High Street. As I was about to turn onto High Street, the car in front of me was stopped and suddenly popped open its doors. The woman driving gave a brief "help!", and explained her car had died. I put on my hazards, hopped out, and helped her passenger push the car through the intersection to a nearby gas station. So I ended up in the right place at the right time to help someone a little. If I'd gone my normal route, I probably never would have seen her.

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