Sunday, October 29, 2006

Barbecue deck complete

We had snow flurries today, but nothing stayed, thankfully! Unlike Edmonton where these it looks freezing cold (according to tonight's news).

This is the finished barbecue deck. The skirting really finishes it off, but also makes it uninhabitable for critters.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Back pains & the Better Business Bureau

When I was placing the rocks for the steps on the weekend, I twisted  my torso to place a rock and got a twinge in my back.  Ouch!  I spent most of Monday flat on my back on the floor and expect that will be the same thing today.  My observation (and this is not a unique one) is that most daytime tv shows should have vapid or insipid in their titles.  For example, the Vapid Regis and Insipid Kelly Show....

Also, I heard from the Ottawa Better Business Bureau that they have forwarded our complaint to the fireplace company for resolution.

Monday, October 23, 2006


This panorama was created by "autostitch" from seven photos that I took in February last year, when Freda and I took a walk around and over the lake. You can tell it is a composite photo because there are two Tawnys and one of then is sorta hazy/fuzzy.

I didn't crop the photo so you could see how powerful the software is - because it warps the source images if needed to accomodate change in location, camera direction, etc, when combining the photos.

You can download a demo version of the autostitch software from the UBC web site.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A view of the deck

This photo shows the deck from a bit of a distance to show how nice the deck looks with the lattice and boxed in stairs. (I need to do the same thing to the barbecue deck also.) I placed some flat stones at the bottom of the steps to give a nice solid footing when stepping off the stairs. I used stone as it gives a more natural look here in the back yard.

I filled in the cracks between the large stones just to the right of the deck with sand and crushed stone. It has a much cleaner look now.

Changing the vents

Freda found the whiteness of the floor registers too bright and attention getting. So we went and purchased taupe vents to replace the white ones.

This photo shows (a) the taupe register looks much better against the hardwood flooring, and (b) the builder's crew and the various trades left a pile of garbage in every vent. How disappointing.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Caulking nightmares

The builder had subbed out the job of caulking to the company that did the roofing and the soffit and fascia installation.

They have come back 3 times and it is still an awful job - holes everywhere and the sloppiest messiest caulking job you could ever imagine.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Automotive harvest

An all too common sight, unfortunately, dead wildlife beside the road.

This is the front paw of an adult racoon found beside Howie Rd on Wednesday morning. There was a smaller racoon beside it, perhaps a juvenile.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

A productive weekend!

We didn't get our Certificate of Completion for our septic, as it failed the final inspection because "Mantle must be extended to 15m, 0.25m thick at 15m". Personally I do not understand how we could have failed the final for this reason when we got a temporary use permit almost a year ago. Anyway, enough whinging...

A load of sand was delivered on Thursday and spread out on Friday. That should take care of the missing mantle. (And I thought it was Mr. Peacock in the Library with the Rope....)

Hopefully we will be able to get the septic completion certificate now. I hope the septic inspector doesn't want topsoil on top of this sand! He seems to be a real stickler for details so I guess it is a possibility.
Today, Jason came and fixed up the grading on the north side of the house. The inspector didn't like the grading on that side, by the window wells and a few hollows by the side of the garage and beside the air conditioner.

Once I get those other hollows taken care of, we can finally get our final inspection!

Deck is now complete! Yaayyyy!!!
Our goal this weekend was to complete the big deck. The only outstanding item was the stairs since we put the wire mesh (hardware cloth) and lattice on last weekend.

Last weekend, I had cut out the stringers. This weekend, I dug out the dirt and placed some clear stone under the stringers for better drainage. Then I installed the stringers, the treads, and some skirting to dress it up.

The stairs are about 13 feet wide. The building code requires stringers every 3 feet, but I put in 7 stringers, which is just over 2' between each stringer. Yes, the entire deck is somewhat overbuilt, but it is very sturdy!
This photo shows the final finishing details of the skirting at the end of the stairs. This was a bit of finicky work, but it makes it look "Pro-Fesh-un-ul".

Not just sturdy, but very nice to look at too!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Looking cool!

Tawny is looking cool.

She is looking forward to enjoying her new fenced in yard - just completed today!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thanksgiving Monday

There were two primary areas that the inspector was concerned about re: grading around the house. One was the north side of the house -- we are still waiting for the Bobcat to come back to fix that up -- and the other was the window wells. However, I needed some clear stone in order to complete the window wells. On Saturday when we were walking Tawny, we saw the landscaper's truck drive down our road, but he was gone by the time we got back to our house. Yesterday Freda discovered that he had dropped off the clear stone we had been waiting for, so I was able to finish the window wells today. I placed landscape fabric and scattered a few shovels of stone to hold the fabric in place, and then dumped the load of stone, levelling it out and stomping it down a bit.

So that's one more thing completed.

The other area I needed the stone for was by the back deck. I need some stone to level out the area for the steps. I dumped two wheel barrow loads when I took this picture, and will need a few more. The pile of stone is about half gone so the amount should be just about perfect.

This photo is of the antenna for our new wireless high speed internet service. The blue blobs in the sky tell me that the camera lens is dirty and needs cleaning! :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another beautiful day!

The day started out wonderfully. First, Fernando Alonso won the Japanese Grand Prix thanks to an engine failure in Michael's Schumacher's Ferrari - his penultimate race. (These links are all high-bandwidth sites.)

Then Freda and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee on the porch. The sun was warm enough that I could wear shorts. By the afternoon, the day had warmed up to the high teens, so we saw lots of other people wearing shorts!

Today, we had several long walks with Tawny. As well, Freda took her for a swim and a play while I was mowing the lawn. We got home from our afternoon walk around 5:30 and Tawny just crashed after she ate her supper. Tawny normally sleeps on the floor somewhere near us, but tonight we were making too much noise so she went to the bedroom to get her beauty sleep!

Deer on the lawn

When friends ask if we see deer, they are often surprised when we say that we see them every day. I took this photo of deer on our front lawn this morning, just so you can see the evidence for this statement.

The deer appear not to have touched the lilacs again since they chowed down on them. I got some advice from friends who live in the country, and so far it seems to be working.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A beautiful day!

The fall colours are at their peak right now!

Here is Freda standing by the completed line of fence posts. The fencing crew came on Friday and completed the fence post installation by drilling holes in the bedrock some places. They didn't say when they are coming back to install the chain-link - we hope it is on Tuesday! :)

Today we put the lattice on the bottom of the deck. On the other side, steps will run the full length of the deck. Before we put the lattice up, we put up some hardware cloth, to keep the critters out, in case they decided they wanted to chew through the lattice. :)

This is the deck with the completed lattice. It sure looks a whole letter better, and cleaned up!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fencing - Day 1

The fencing crew arrived today. They started digging and encountered rock right away. They charge an extra $15 per hole for "hard digging". We will be charged $15 extra for every hole because of all of the rock. At least they are digging the holes deep enough so they will be below the frost line.

In fact, there is so much rock, that they need to rent a big drill to cut through the rock. This truck is delivering the trailer mounted air compressor that will drive the rock drill. It works sort of like a well drill, it has a hammer action and rotates a bit with every blow. Lots of air flow is needed as that is what blows the rock chips out of the hole.

This is after some of the crew left for the day. They left before the compressor was delivered, otherwise they likely would have had all the posts planted. Unfortunately this means that they won't be able to stretch the fencing tomorrow as they need to install all the poles and have the concrete cure first.

This is Michael installing our antenna for the fixed high speed wireless internet connection. Unfortunately his drill bit was neither large enough nor long enough to drill the hole through the wall. Michael did manage to get the antenna mounted on the roof though, so that part is completed.

Tomorrow - the fencing crew returns and so does Michael to complete the internet hookup.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pink for October

This blog will be pink for October - see story here - which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month (US) and Canada.

And by the way, guys can get breast cancer too. In fact, my mum tells me that a former neighbour of ours in N.B. died of breast cancer -- he was 42.

I don't know enough about Blogger templates to make this all pink, so please accept my apologies in advance if anything looks ugly.