Feb. 13-19, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #19
Synopsis: A number of little things got addressed
this week along with advancing the major items.
Electrical Site Services -west side: The new electrical
and telecommunications services on the west side of the property
were put into service this week. This is a project which had
been on going for several weeks. The old services worked but
were unsightly and had been spliced so many times that the
signals had degraded. My Canadian electrician friend and advisor
said: "This won't do; it's got to go; bite the bullet
now and relax later" So, it's now done. He loves spending
our money!!!!! But I am now more confident of reliability
The front roadway: a strip about two feet wide had
NOT been paved;; only tarred. Now that we have the curb in
and that all construction has been finished along the street,
we addressed that strip.
Large Swimming Pool: this has been in service for
2 1/2 years. The wiring that the builder of the waterfalls
did to light them and the water at night, wasn't done right
and the lights began to fade. We had identified the problem
and the only solution was to rewire it. Easier said than done
because the installation of the wires themselves was the problem.
However, it is now done. The pool was drained, scrubbed down
with muratic acid to freshen it up and the rocks will have
their touch up coat of paint applied. I expect this pool to
be back in full service by midweek.
Walkways: It is almost possible to now walk from one
end of the garden area to the other end on a continuous walkway.
The concrete has been mostly poured. They will now begin to
be tiled. As a friend of mine said, the walkways have lots
of "sensuous curves" and "meandering through
the garden" is now has a new meaning.
Chipper/hogger: this has been a disappointment. An
8hp Honda engine was beaten up by palm fibers. We burned out
one of the bearings in less than an hour's use. We'll have
to experiment with what we can chop for composting and how
to do it. As far as I'm concerned there is a design flaw in
the machine but I'm in CR so I simply have to live with the
limitations. Just another realization that not everything
designed and made in N. Am. is well done.
Curbs: we've started to pour curbs on the main interior
road(s). This is a project which will be on going for some
time. I have yet to figure out how to surface the roads. Lots
of options but none is perfect (in my mind).
Unit 104: it's taken the full week to finish it off
-including decorating and cleaning. It has now been 5 weeks
that we've been working on it. We've gotten some fantastic
deals on pictures, as well as sofa and chairs. We having some
wrought iron furniture being made for end tables and coffee
table. Curtains were hung on Friday.
Unit 108: This is the focus of our attention now.
As work has wound down on 104 we've shifted the crew to 108,
I would love to have a PERT chart drawn of this construction
process. So many things are going on in parallel -framing,
wiring, plumbing, drywall boarding/taping and molding installation
are all going on simultaneously. The drawings have proven
to be not very good. Dimensions are inaccurate and/or missing,
spaces simply too small that they don't work, etc. Lots of
on -site adjustments. The owner wanted to have a balcony large
enough for two people to enjoy coffee in the morning overlooking
the pool and mountain in the background -not an unreasonable
request. The space was so small that it would not accommodate
two chairs and a table. Solution? I had several options but
opted to extend the balcony across the front of the master
bedroom. I think it will work out great. There are lots of
other drawing flaws as well.but we'll manage. The trick of
the architectural trade is that when it doesn't work, don't
dimension it and/or use a different scale for furniture and
We are pulling electrical wire, leveling the window sills
and preparing them for the finish coat. We've started to add
the re-bar reinforcing cages for the structural beams in areas.
Permits: The application for co-op status continues.
Target date for permit on this is not later than March 15.
We are actively exploring the requirements for conversion
to conventional condominiums. I've been given some information
but have a number of questions which are left unanswered.
More on that later.
Marketing: We've accepted an offer to purchase #111.
Errors In Judgment: I should have brought more of
the medium sized moldings from Canada. I underestimated the
amount we would be using. I can get it here but it is an inferior
product and takes much more time to install. I should also
have brought more insulation but I really didn't have any
more room in the container. Again, I can get it here -fiberglass
insulation but the Roxul mineral wool from Canada is my preferred
Our friend Terry has left for the Queen Mary II where he
will be entertaining many for the next 4 months. Sorry to
see him go as we've enjoyed his company and his great cooking.
But he has to make a living and sailing around the Caribbean
and the Mediterranean is not that hard a lifestyle. He has
difficulty getting tears from anyone when he leaves.
Lita has decided she is too heavy so has taken up exercising
at a gym in Santa Ana. She has a driver who picks her up and
helps her up the stairs; he brings her back as well. At the
fitness center she has bribed several of the people to help
her find and operate the machines and the same with her locker.
She's spending a lot of time at this -I think she has an admirer
there- and is enjoying her new activity. She expects instant
results (which doesn't happen) so hope she doesn't become
She also became frightened when someone said the parrot might
suffocate under the covers (I was hoping it would so didn't
say anything); I'm sleeping better now that the bird is back
in her cage!
This is the time of year that seemingly dead trees, trees
with no leaves and no evidence of life, burst into bloom.
The countryside is dotted with these trees -dark to light
pink. They are absolutely amazing. They have cousins as well
-brilliant orange and brilliant yellow. They last for 2-3
weeks and return to "dead" trees until the rainy
season when they leaf.
Five of us returned to the pool table on Friday night.
A 9 yr. old girl was playing when we arrived. After we determined
she was not too good for us, we invited her to even up the
boys against the girls -which is the way Lita had divided
us. The little girl was great. The good guys won and everything
is still right in the universe but she was a good sport. Her
parents looked on encouragingly.
Lita, Vicka, Hugo, and Brian