Mary and Pye
|The new section of the house has
radiant floor heat, so we decided to heat it with a gas boiler. Side
benefits are that we can now replace our battered electric cooking
range with a gas range and heat all the hot water for the house with the
boiler, thus freeing up a useful closet where the 25-year-old electric hot
water heater lives.
|Step one was for excavator Buck
Painter to dig a pit like the one outlined in the diagram above. I would
love to get a virtual backhoe with full-size controls and learn how to
operate one. It would be like those virtual NASCAR race cars, where you use
a full-size steering wheel, foot pedals and shifter stick. The virtual
NASCAR races are reportedly so good that -- with a good subwoofer -- you
actually feel the joints between the cement slabs of the
track. Imagine the sub-woofer effects you could put on a virtual backhoe
working in different terrains: rocky forest, city streets, desert sand,
Arctic snow ..
Step two was getting the
propane tank delivered on August 5, 2004
Buck the excavator is
the man in blue. Buck is a strapping six-footer but when he stands next to
the other guy, 6-foot-five Kenny, he looks like a little boy. Kenny's his
laborer. Mary said Kenny looked like a Marine or a cop. Pye said he looked
like CIA covert ops. Kenny's well-spoken and smart. It turns out that Kenny
IS a cop. He works the night shift for the Berryville Town Police Force.
Small Virginia towns don't pay their cops excessively large amounts of
|The submarine prepares to steam
through the dirt around the house. Maybe it's not a submarine. Maybe it's a
subterrine. The white bags are supposed to grab the attention of lightning
bolts and draw them into the earth without exploding the propane. A thousand
gallons of propane exploding would turn our house and Mary and me into
sawdust and damp pink mist.
|A 15-Kilowatt generator
arrived. I won't tell you about the Old Dominion Freight Lines drivers being
scared to come back here in their 18-wheelers. They missed one deadline
because a driver was "sick." They missed the next one because "My liftgate
done broke." In fear that the next thing that would happen is that "the dog
done ate my mudflaps" we sent Chuckie (standing in the pickup) to pick up
the thing in his pickemup truck.
Master-Carpenter Charlie Kinney and Journeyman-Carpenter, Electrician,
Plumber, Machinist, Auto-Mechanic and computer-fabricator Bobby Burton
offloaded the Generac generator.
||The generator goes in its house. The
house's walls are made of SIPS, sandwiches of OSB (oriented strand board)
and foam called Structural Insulating Panel Systems, to deaden the noise of
the generator, which, even though the generator is fired by propane, is not