I am having coffee on Sunday 7/24/16 at 6:30am while I write this and it is a very mild 60 degrees on the porch. Yesterday was very hot and I believe set a new record – something like 94 and humid. We had an absolutely cracking rain storm zoom through around dinner time proceed by about 3 minutes of really violent winds. I heard a wooshing sound like the winds through the mountain pines in the High Sierra and looked out at the 100′ maple trees on the other side of the field – their tops were being whipped 30′ or more from side to side. I would guess the gusts at that level exceeded 50 mph. Then it rained hard for about 15 minutes with really large heavy rain drops that sounded like hail but were not – just really, really large drops.
No lightening or thunder though. About 30 minutes after that blew through, we had a sunset that was pure melodramatic MGM – think Wizard of Oz or Gone With the Wind over the top color. So quite a day of contrasts!
This past week, I have been super busy – for our office in San Francisco, I have been working on extending our lease (along with BNY Mellon’s Real Estate team fortunately) for 3 or 4 years – it is all a blur now. Finally it got signed on Wednesday – but we have a ton of stuff to do in order to move folks off one floor by 10/31, demo the floor and give it back to the building owner (we have been moving people around the globe and don’t need all the SF space any longer that we currently have). Big burst of activity finally on the project – finally moving into the do phase! I have been juggling a bunch of other stuff due to a number of my manager’s being out on medical leave so I was slight bit caught flat footed. Pulled together a 830 line project plan/task list on Wednesday / Thursday and presented it to the Bank – it went over well which was great. Now next week I just have to put together a move matrix for 100 people – who will start moving on August 1st!
On the home front, scheduling is coming together. The electricians have been onsite wrapping things up and doing their usual fantastic, high quality job. The final exterior wall sconce lights surrounding the garage / shop door were installed. Also there is a new red fire-bell under the eaves – I am guessing this is part of the sprinkler fire safety system?? The generator is electrically connected to the house now as well. Paul Hebert and I were talking and he is reasonably sure that his site guy will be there next week to move all the piles of dirt and rock around to their final locations. That includes raising the grade for the car port, driveway etc… and smoothing out the area where the concrete pad for the propane tank is going to be added. Finally, the driveway lighting and motion sensors are coming along too. We decided instead of fully installed driveway light posts, that we would do 10″ concrete posts with electrical outlets installed on the far side from the driveway. Two reasons for this – one I am afraid of plow damage. Second, I really have been unsure of what I want for lighting. The driveway lighting was a suggestion of the electrician and was an add-on. I basically came to the decision that I will make my own lights and plug them in. Probably some sort of sculptures – maybe even seasonal 🙂
The project this weekend for my Dad and I is getting the tackle materials to hoist and mount the space shuttle experiment that currently hangs over my Mom’s sewing table (the experiment deserves its own full post – I am working on that with my Dad). We went to West Marine yesterday and bought a number of Harken Marine 10mm single sheave blocks, jam cleats and cleats. Plus 100′ of line. Today we are going to go over to the house and try and plan it out on the ceiling for exact mounting (which will be easiest done with the scaffolding Paul has onsite once the kitchen lighting is complete?)
On a final note – the bridge is out! But this time, it is because they are replacing it. The old colonial era stone bridge (not an arched stone bridge – it was an old school set of stone slabs stacked on a rock foundation – workable but not capable of holding a modern heavy truck) was built on what we suspect was originally a ford across Spencer Brook on what is now Westford Road. This is downstream Spencer Brook from my parent’s house and the shortest driving way to Concord from their house. The old bridge was limited to 5.5 ton vehicles (which seemed like everyone ignored) and had a fair amount of problems with flooding and other issues. It has been prepped for work for a LONG time. This summer they actually are doing the project – they used a very large excavator to remove the road surface and the original, really, really large slabs of rock (probably 1-2′ in thickness, 12×6′ square) that were the actual bridge structure and have put in a new pre-stressed concrete bridge. It looks to be significantly wider than the old bridge – which was several feet more narrow than the road – as the new bridge looks to be a few feet wider than the road itself. They are currently facing the concrete with river rock. It looks pretty good and it should be safer and function better during high water. Tentative thumbs up – since it is fenced off, we didn’t go too close yesterday – but it it looks pretty good.
Now onto the pictures