Friday, December 04, 2009

Winter comes to the mountain

The XO and I made a quick trip just to see the snow on Wednesday. The snow was mostly gone but the cold was still in attendance and more snow was to come in Thursday into Friday. We spent the night and headed back. All the way the news was that Austin would be paralyzed with snow on Friday. Yea,..Right. About noon I saw 4 flakes and they looked rather forlorn and lost. Well, it's early.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Update 11/12/09 Coming up on week four. I see the saw bones (literally) on Monday and I can start serious training if everything is in place. The XO and I have arranged to put a new roof on the house Monday so we may not make the trip next week.
Week Three:
Haven't blogged because I have been taking it easy. The XO has been working my arm three to five times a day and I am really coming along. My motion is better at three weeks with this routine than it was at six with the right shoulder. One more week before I'll see the Doctor and we can see the x-rays. If the little tab he placed has held its position holding the large muscle from my back in place on the arm bone I'll be good to go. We can begin some weight training and some stretching and the arm will be as good as new in a week or so.
We plan on coming out to the bunker after the doctor visit to spend some time (I had to promise no work). I might try to go down to Terlingua and look up John Wells at the Field Lab. His place is really looking good. I think it's because he works a lot harder than I do.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bionic man redux

One week out from surgery I had the stitches removed and the Dr. said I could begin PT, carefully, with the XO acting as coach. He was amazed that I was ready to go home the day after my new shoulder was installed. No sense staying though, I'm really good at pain control and I had a little football of nerve-block so off I went. He doesn't know about years of dentist visits with no pain meds. I have pretty good mobility because I have been working at it since the surgery. I can raise my arm forward from my side to 135 degrees, think heil Hitler, and pivot my elbow and wrist 100% of their pre- replacement motion. When my right shoulder went in the company I was working for required me to be off 12 weeks, I'll be 100% and swimming laps in 4 now that I'm retired.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bionic man

Back to the hospital next week. Number two shoulder (left) replacement. This time I will be more aware of what's going to happen and will bounce back quicker. UPDATE: Went in yesterday and was home today (10/21/09). Doctor was impressed with my lack of pain and my mobility so he sent me home early. Still have a couple of months of PT but I'll be back to 100%.
We have been in Annapolis, MD for the past few days on grandchildren watch. My son was in Egypt so the XO and I tried to help with the girls and had a really good time, they're 6&11 years old, we have to enjoy them while we can. The girls in Houston are older and almost out on their own, in fact one is away at college and the other is a junior in HS. I have tried to get the junior to look at Sul Ross in Alpine but nothing doing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Run for the Bunker

Got to finish that patio. I have that few blocks to place and I want to test my new high speed internet system. update: 9/23, works like a charm. I have everything set up and I'm bloging from the bunker now. The XO and I made the trip Tuesday because it was raining here in Austin and we couldn't get anything done here. We put down the rest of the patio blocks and declared the courtyard done. I spent the rest of the day getting the 20' trailer ready to haul back to the home front. New lights and pump up the tires (They go flat) and it's good to go.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Home on Our Range

Down the hill from the bunker there is another home in the most inhospitable place. Don't know what kind of bird it is, maybe someone will tell us. They have moved along now that the kids are grown but they'll be back.

Tiles Down

I have replaced the photos from the last trip below because it looks better to show a completed job. The XO and I ran out of tile last trip and had to come back to Austin to replenish. I counted 90 for the finish and guess what. Ran short again. By the time we cut the edges and replaced a few that cracked when I ran the tamper over them we were 12 short. The real problem was that we changed the plan. There was to be a rock garden in one corner (3X4) so 12 tiles. Oh, well, next trip.
Now that the big stuff is done for a while the XO and I can just enjoy the next trip.
I have tentatively scheduled the replacement of the other shoulder for late October or early November. That means 5 or 6 weeks of down time. I could use some front porch time. We will probably also spend some time looking up some of the folks that inhabit this part of Texas. People in these parts are the most self reliant and talented you will ever find. Desert-rats that take each day as a challenge and end each day with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Finished Courtyard

Monday, September 07, 2009

The August trip in September

Lots of stuff going on so we didn't make our August trip to the bunker till this week. We had to get out of the heat so we headed for Sturgis SD. We also went through Iowa to visit my brother. I call him my retarded brother because he lives in Iowa. I have tried to get him to come to Texas but he won't even come to visit. He says that Texans are all braggarts but I remind him that Iowans don't have anything to brag about. Especially football.
For the past four years I have had two pallets of patio blocks gathering dust out back. Last trip I spread sand in the patio area and this week we laid them. My knees still hurt. The XO would gather them in a wagon and bring them to me on the sand and I would put them down. I thought that each pallet was 250 blocks which would have been just right but it turns out that they were 200. I'm short (well...short happens) so next trip we have to carry a hundred and lay them. It really looks great though and when finished it will be nice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sand Sand Sand

Don't look like much but this is six yards of sand laid over a compacted base of small gravel. Lots of work and plenty of raking but it will pay off.....Next trip.

“Republicans believe every day is 4th of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15″

Home again

Coming up the hi-way from Alpine the mountains look extra green denoting lots of rain this summer. The temperature was around 100 at this point and by the time the XO and I get to the bunker it should be 92 max with a good breeze. (It was).

The project for this trip is to get the patio ready to lay the pavers. I have 6 yds of coarse sand coming up Friday afternoon and a Bobcat plus compactor set for morning. Ha, it worked out just that way and by dark the XO had to be moved by brute force into the bunker and I was so shot I couldn't even have the usual steak and red wine. We were in bed before 20:00 and just for the sleep. Morning came with the aching muscles and 4 or 5 hours left to finish so we got busy and Viola we finished early and called the rental outfit to come get the tools. Early afternoon nap and the steak in the evening. nice weekend.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pulled the plug

The XO checked it to them yesterday. The firm had a little going away party and then ---out the door. After 50 years she may have some trouble being out of harness. She has the rest of this month planned and written into her planner. I am 11:00 lunch and 2:40 doctors appointment. It may take a few more months to relax.

The Dr. said I was nearly back to 100% and we can start planning on the other shoulder. I think Oct. will be soon enough. Meanwhile we can get back to work on the patio. All I have to do is tamp the sub-base down and add sand for the tiles to bed in. Once the tiles are down we can begin to enjoy it.

I'm going to talk to the guy that has taken my place for the past two months and see if he needs me to show him how to do all the things he has been doing. Gee what for. Anyhow I was planning to retire the end of July so maybe I'll go a little early. That way we can slow down together (if we don't kill each other first).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On The Road Again

The XO and I finally made the trip all the way to the bunker. Two weeks ago we tried and my new shoulder hurt so bad we had to turn back. I had to promise not to do any work and I kept that promise except that the wind (yes it blows) had rearranged the dish on the roof. Had to fix it. I had a lot of trouble one handed so I cheated a little. Paid for it today. Now I have to sweat the pt lady tomorrow, she will probably rip my arm off and beat me over the head with it.
We took the car for this trip (so I wouldn't be tempted to work) and for the first time I was stopped for speeding. We chatted some and he let me off with a warning. That strip of hi way is notorious for catching speeders because it just invites speeding. Should have known better.
The bunker looked really good driving up the mountain. All one color and the West side cleaned up, some. We really enjoyed doing nothing. I was sitting on the porch about midnight letting the breeze blow between my toes. Barbara (the XO) had gone to bed and I had an urge to do something right out of the Man Book. Everyone should have the pleasure of peeing off his own porch. Ahhh, it was good and I didn't cause any global warming or any of that stuff.
Barbara is going to retire effective the end of June and I will follow in July. We will spend more and more time at the bunker so things will begin to be finished. Oh, happy day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here we go again

We've been to the bunker several times year but haven't done much. We did dig and level the courtyard getting ready to lay the pavers. I am going into the hospital on Wednesday for a shoulder replacement. Bit by bit I am becoming a new man. They will do the other shoulder in a few months, the irony is that the other one is the worst. While I am under they are also going to try to repair the thumbs so I am going to be a basket case for a few weeks. If they can stop the pain I'll figure it's all worth it.
I've revised the amount of work I am going to do around the place because of the surgeries I am facing. Oh, by the way another knee is coming soon. Already I can't even walk through an airport without setting off every alarm TSA has. We went to Tampa last month and they have one of those full body X-ray gadgets. Because of the weather up on the East coast we spent all day running between SWA and Continental trying to get home. They really got to know me at the X-ray machine and would call in all their friends to watch and point. Finally got the last SWA flight into Houston then rented a car and drove home. Maybe we will spend some more quiet time at the bunker. You know, sit on the roof with the telescope and a margarita and map the night sky.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

January Trip

Finally got some color on the gate beam. I also had to replace one of the doors that make up the gate. Just happened to have one left over when I decided to make the side gate out of iron. Killed two birds with that move. Got the door out of the way in the bunker and took the sag out of the gate. The door that was replaced just dried up and sagged. It was so bad that it nearly fell off.
Talked to one of the neighbors about some sand for the courtyard. I need to make a compacted bed for the pavers I will lay. For some reason the cement plant down in Alpine had only the kind of sand that still had gold in it. Must have at the price they were asking. Geeze, $65 dollars a yard plus delivery, I could almost haul it from Austin in bags for the same price. I was so flustered that I forgot to ask about concrete.