Nov. 1-6, 2004 // CONSTRUCTION LOG # 4
Rain and mud have dominated this week. It’s rained
every day or evening harder than three weeks ago and at a
time which is more annoying than if it had happened then.
We removed the overburden of 114, 115,and 116, backfilled
with compactable aggregate, and had a roller in to finish
the compaction. We then set to work to dig the trenches for
the footings. That work is 100% complete and ready to begin
Re. 117-120, we have dug the footings, and have started the
compaction of the bases and have begun to pour the concrete
pad to approximate level on which the re-bar reinforcing cages
which have been made and stored inventory will be placed.
Several thousand cement blocks are on site which will begin
to be used next week. There are various qualities and sizes
of block and, of course, different prices. The 20cm W X 40
cm H block we are using, delivered and unloaded (by hand)
at the site cost $0.31 USD. This, when parged (repello) will
represent about a 6” wall. All the cavities of the blocks
will be filled with concrete.
As of Wednesday, about 20 people are on the payroll. They
just appeared as a result of the maestro de obra. The word
goes out and people appear; the moccasin telegraph works well.
We are continuing to define the scope of work and the prices
for the new gate we intend to install. As of now, it appears
that by separating the gate and installation from the controls,
we save money. Some issues are still being sorted out.
Next week, the backhoe will be diverted to the front walkway
and the creation of the conditions necessary for the new west
gate and re-designed west side entrance. The new gate is ordered
for Nov. 22 by which time I hope to have the new parking lot
created as well as the new gate columns. We will have both
a car entry gate and a person entry gate. Different entry
processes/codes for each.
Units 121 and 122 do not fit on the site. The architect whose
approach to measurements is, at best, casual, failed to properly
locate the existing buildings. Instead of there being a 20’
space there is only a 10’ space and that doesn’t
work. We have to rework the entire front of the property.
The architect was suppose to be here for that job on Friday
but it didn’t happen. You’ll have to stay tuned
for that development. I want it to happen sooner than later
as I have two large ficus benjamina trees which I had to move
from the 114/115/116 area that I want to relocate and, of
course, the sooner the better as long as it wants to continue
We had friends of friends here on Monday checking us out
from Newport and two other couples checking us out also from
Newport. Don’t know what is happening in Newport; I
find it unusual that three separate parties checked us out
in one week from the same area.
The container: it’s still in limbo. Supposedly being
processed through Customs.
Lita continues to entertain the parrot and vice versa; they
are singing duets. Hugo and I are mere onlookers. From my
point of view, neither will make recording starts but together
they could be a comedy routine.
The following incident is all about perception: From my perception,
Lita committed the ultimate insult to Hugo. She stuck a feather
from the parrot into his food dish. From Hugo’s perception,
it’s like a nation staking claim to territory, now,
the parrot has claimed supremacy of his food dish. How can
a harassed, proud, independent cat ever accept that??? I’m
sure Hugo will be certifiably coo-koo (if he isn’t already)
and I fully expect he may need therapy. From Lita’s
perception, she was beautifying Hugo’s food and she
was offering him the pleasure of a feather. “Just think
what the parrot would taske like, Hugo.” From the parrot’s
perception: we’ll never know because that guy is straight
poker faced even when all know he’s up to no good which
is virtually all the time.
Lita has been told that cold food will ruin the voice of
a parrot. That has started me thinking: if I were to make
some frozen pineapple cubes and he were to eat them ………….
The pigeon toed little bugger, standing all of 6” hi,
continues to bite my shoes whenever he gets a chance. If I
ever had sandals on and he did that, that bird would be about
1” high and 12” wide and pasted to the floor.
We spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon with friends and on
Thursday we renewed our “pool” night with friends
on the compound. We invited a new person on the compound to
join us; We continue to be lousy. The five of us were joined
by Terry, a friend of mine so we had a great time. Lita continues
to take advantage of her eyesight by moving all the balls
out of her way, claiming “slipsies” if she buggers
up……… Guess this is what you call “handicap”
in golf. She can be on my team anytime as long as she gets
away with it.
For the last few weeks, we’ve had a pleasant difficulty
keeping up with all the fruit produced on the site—mainly
bananas and oranges, We have one established banana “stand”
with two different types of bananas. (a number of other banana
stands are developing). One, and this is the first time I’ve
eaten it, is called locally “black banana”. I
have no understanding of the origin or reason for the name
since there is nothing “black” about it. It differs
only in size—about 5”long and thick – about
2”. This variety doesn’t seem to be as cherished
by the locals but when we offered them to the laborers, there
weren’t any left. The other variety we have in the stand
would be recognizable in N. Am. ….but there is something
special about the whole “frond” or whatever it’s
called, hanging on your front porch and ripening right in
front of you. …but beware, the “ripening”
usually happens to all w/ithin a few days.
We have a number of citrus trees on site— for some,
this is my first time to experience the produce. Lately we
have been swamped with oranges—very seedy and tough
but great for juice. In addition, another tree has something
which seems to be a combination of orange / tangerine—seedless
and is magnificent. Wow!!!! The juice from this is terrific.
The fruit on the other trees is yet to mature but will probably
include lemons, limes, grapefruit and “pamellows”
a “grapefruit like” fruit which we had last year
and it was delicious.