Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Close Calculation

The (stressful) pour day is over. Fingers were crossed when the second truck began to sound....well, empty(ish). It seems the concrete guess, (I mean calculation), was very accurate and we had just enough, with only a wheelbarrow extra. The finishers did a great job. For the first time this season, freezing temperatures were forecast overnight. Some of the water was drained from the heating system and all valves left open to allow for freeze expansion. The water drained was very warm from the concrete (as it heats via a chemical reaction) and should prevent freezing until I can mock up something to purge the whole system.

Now that the slab has been poured, it rekindled our interest in acid staining the concrete (to be used) as our finished floor. We've been able to visit a few homes on the island to see the different finishing techniques that people have used. It's a very cool, low maintenance and inexpensive finished floor.

Lloyd Khan, an author that has an interest in "unique" homes is coming to Denman Island to present a slide show tomorrow. His new book, "Builders of the Pacific Coast" features a few homes from Denman and Hornby islands. Check out Lloyd's blog HERE.

It's been a year now! Our nuke-free zone in still intact.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

quick update

Straw Bale House Update: The slab will be poured middle of next week. In the meantime, the finishing touches have been put on the garage exterior including hanging the carriage doors.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I-tube & Youtube

Straw Bale House Update: most of the week was spent laying in the heating tube. I used the Uponor Wirsbo HePex plus product. The 1000 foot rolls were a handful to maneuver for one person. But once I got the hang of it, it went quite smoothly. The picture shows just how precise the map layout was. Next week, I'll pressure test the system and we'll be ready for concrete.... another concrete pour.... they're never good days for me. Much too stressful. With the downturn in the building market, I'm hoping, just maybe, that the labour prices are creeping down.
Some of the good weather hours were taken up with some lot cleanup. Kari, the resident pyromaniac had a nice fire going late in the week.

The weekend was spent at an air brake course that the fire dept. was putting on. I was one of the few that still cannot operate the new tanker because of lack of air brake license. Next week, I'll have to find some time to do the written ICBC test to complete the process.
On Saturday the province had it's municipal elections and
Denman Island had it's own version with an election for our Island's Trust, trustees. When the smoke cleared, nothing had changed. The incumbents were victorious. There was quite an under-current of tension during the pre-election, different candidates seemed to have different versions of what is means to "preserve and protect" the island, (a trustee's mandate).

Yes, I'm well aware that my "ten latest visitors" tool on the right column is not working..... It will be given one last chance and then will be toasted.

Cheap Wine Corner: This is beginning to be a habit..... I came across another review of one of my first cheap wine reviews.... good ol' Cono Viognier..... (one of my all-time favs)...this time done with much more class than I could possibly muster and still a great buy for under ten clams. (no, I wasn't Googling "naked wine drinking"), but come to think of it.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Heat

Record setting warm temperatures hit Denman Island today.... 14c in my woodshed. As always the pineapple express is accompanied by strong winds. This time of year the wind makes short work of the leaves, but the old orchards will loose their apples more slowly, to the delight of the deer population.

Straw Bale House Update: The Hydronic heat SBK manifold has been assembled and mounted (temporarily) in the mudroom. It's quite a unique system that is comprised of modules. The number of modules can be adjusted to meet the needs of the size of install. We will have four heating zones and eight (loops) modules. Each loop (module) can be throttled within the zone. In other words, different areas of the same zone can be controlled (heat controlled) individually. (Sort of zones within a zone) Zones are: Great Room (consisting of kitchen, dining, living room and den) , Bedroom, Entry Hall and Ensuite. The heating tube layout drawing was done (thanks Clay) and tubes are being installed this week.

I have to say, I have an increased respect for the American public and congratulate them on electing a president that says he'll talk before he shoots. It seems he's won over all the demographics except white males... not sure what that means. The more I watched the pre-election posturing, the more I think publishing polls should be abolished.... along with the public endorsements of the media. Shouldn't the media be impartial?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Time Well Wasted

All in all, it was a pretty good Hallowe'en weekend on Denman Island. The monsoon took a short break to allow the trick-treaters to do some productive foraging. Looking rather professional, the fire dept pulled off the fireworks this year with no casualties or even near misses. The dance this year featured Time Well Wasted, a local Comox Valley Band. The 12 piece band with full horn and rhythm sections played Chicago, Tower of Power, Some Gloria Gainer Disco and some Stevie Wonder. Although not my favourite era for music, the all ages venue had the usual house party atmosphere. It makes me wish I'd grown up here. Ashley and her pals had a great time and at one point were up on stage showing off their disco moves. Lessons learned: (1)- It gets very hot in the hall and bulky costumes are a disadvantage. (2)- five foot span angel wings, scythes, daggers, spears and pitchforks should all be banned from the dance floor.