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John Henry

[A story in which our heroine confirms that water is wet and concrete is hard]

So, weekend.

I went rowing Saturday morning. The weather was glorious, and the rowing was no worse than it has been on recent days. Maybe even marginally improved. After rowing, I came home and we got ourselves geared up for a tidepooling expedition out at the Point Reyes National Seashore, because the weekend was an extreme low tide and sytharin had learned that supposedly it was a good spot for tidepooling.

I found it highly enjoyable, especially because we kicked things off with a picnic on the beach:

Shoreside picnic

The only other picture I took, however, was of a few found artefacts:

Treasures?

This is a picture of: some human-made substance heavily weathered by time in the ocean; a large and smelly dead, rotting chiton; and some animal's fin-bone.

I guess I spent most of the rest of the time poking anemones (never gets old!) and enjoying being out along the beach, as I failed to take any other pictures of anything, including of the beautiful sunset. We also saw: a small dead dolphin; several starfish; some fish in the tidepools; sea urchins; adorable hermit crabs; regular crabby-crabs; sea grass and algae; a tiny living chiton; and, well, you get the idea.

When it got dark, we returned home and burbled in the hot tub for a bit.

Sunday was devoted to projects. I am still working on the overall bike storage situation. This has been the subject of a great deal of conversation in the household. The original garage for the house has been converted into a studio apartmet, where L lives. The front portion of the garage area was walled off, with room for a little bit of storage, a couple of bicycles, and a washer and dryer. The garage doors were replaced by a set of handmade double doors, which up until now have been secured with a tiny luggage lock looped through two screw eyes in a half-inch gap between the doors. The doors are made of two-by-fours and plywood, and like to expand and contract as the humidity changes.

Not especially secure or ideal, but the doors are beloved by our itinerant landlord, so they're what we've got to work with. He was in town for about a week in January, during which he added a deadbolt lock across the gap, but we're still concerned that it would be too easy for someone to come along and pull the doors open and help themselves to a few too many bicycles, so further measures are needed.

Based on some ideas from scrottie, I eventually decided that a cane bolt would make a tremendous amount of sense, especially because it would keep the doors from slamming around so much on windy days. He determined that the Ace Hardware didn't have any, so I set off for the Despot instead.

The only trouble is, the bolt needs to go into some concrete.

...long story short for the moment. The Despot's selection of fencing supplies was in horrible disarray, but I somehow miraculously managed to find a single intact cane bolt, hurrah-phew. After about an hour of drilling in total, I've made it an inch into the concrete so far, with a pilot 1/4" bit, in preparation for a 1/2" diamter hole, which I think I'd like to get up to about two inches in depth. This is with a standard drill and multi-purpose masonry bit, contrary to WikiHow's recommendation for drilling into concrete. Since I don't plan to do much concrete drilling, I am figuring I should be satisfied with this progress so far, even if it is slow going.

While waiting for the bit to cool down between rounds of drilling, I worked on other bike storage elements. For one thing, I put in a base board below the hooks in the bike garage, so our rear wheels aren't digging into the insulation. For another thing, I got Froinlavin securely stored away in the workshop, finally.

Hook'd

There's a large screw-eye with a ring in it behind the U-lock, so Froin's attached to the wall and not just hanging there.

It's frustrating to have to pause in the middle of a large project, especially because in the meantime we're using both the luggage lock AND the deadbolt and it's fiddly to get in and out of the bike garage. But, it's progress. I'm going to try and do a bit of drilling every evening this week to keep at it.

After wrapping all that up, I cooked. It was not the most glorious of cooking, but consisted of: bran muffins, chocolate-marmalade cake, bbq tofu (for weekday sandwiches), seitan fajitas, and chipotle pinto bean puree. There is food in the fridge and we won't starve this week.

I sort of feel like I should have had some time in there to sit down for a minute, or maybe get some work done, or maybe work on a creative project instead of house-fixing, or maybe just think a little more about the manuscripts. Mostly it would just be nice to have the bikes all situated to a point where we don't have to think about them or work on things anymore. It will happen. Soon, I hope.

Comments

( 9 remarks — Remark )
bluepapercup
Feb. 8th, 2016 09:04 pm (UTC)
If you like tidepools then a trip to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (http://www.fitzgeraldreserve.org/newffmrsite/visit/) is in order!!
rebeccmeister
Feb. 8th, 2016 09:59 pm (UTC)
Hmm! I don't know if sytharin has been there before or not...she's mentioned a couple of other good places and said that the Reyes Station spot was pretty good but not her number 1. So we'll definitely keep it in mind. :-)
randomdreams
Feb. 9th, 2016 02:34 am (UTC)
zomg drilling deep holes in concrete is such a horrible task. You have my symapthies.
When i had to do that -- put 100 1/8" holes 1" deep into concrete -- I ended up getting very good at kneeling on the back of the drill to make it cut into the cement enough. (Masonry drills do better at lower speeds as they don't overheat from rubbing.) Man that sucked.
randomdreams
Feb. 9th, 2016 02:35 am (UTC)
Btw if Home Despot has a rental department, you can have the hole drilled in 15 minutes with a hammer drill.
rebeccmeister
Feb. 9th, 2016 11:46 pm (UTC)
My housemate L (upper left in photo) pointed out that Berkeley has a Tool Library, though one has to have a Berkeley address to check out tools.

The closest Ace Hardware is within walking distance of my house, and is approximately 100 times better than the Despot, so really I should see if they've got one first.

A HUNDRED holes in conrete?! Yuck! And here I am, complaining about one hole. ....stay tuned. :-)
randomdreams
Feb. 10th, 2016 02:39 am (UTC)
Yours is roughly 63 times harder than mine, though.
shellynoir
Feb. 9th, 2016 09:02 pm (UTC)
Home Despot
There's this grocery store near us called Food Dynasty. We're always forgetting what it's called and saying Food Despot, Food Royalty, Food Emperor, Food Evil Bad Dude. Aphasia can be fun sometimes.
rebeccmeister
Feb. 9th, 2016 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Home Despot
Hee hee!

In Phoenix, before Sprouts bought out Sunflower, S and I would get the two confused (I lived near the Sunflower, he lived near Sprouts). Eventually, we just called both of them Sproutflower. And then Sprouts took over, much to our dismay.

We also keep confusing two grocery co-ops. There used to be one called Gentle Strength in Arizona, and the one in Lincoln is called Open Harvest. So we would often refer to Open Harvest as Gentle Harvest or Open Strength.
rebeccmeister
Feb. 9th, 2016 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Home Despot
Oh yeah - Home Despot actually dates back to a college roommate of mine, who liked to build all the things (engineer nerd, ha!).
( 9 remarks — Remark )

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