Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fortress Update

Another day with great progress on our safe-house! Davy and his 14 year old son Alfredo (at right) worked a long day today, and actually they're still hard at work as I write this. They're going to finish up the seventh run of block, where the wall will be just shy of five feet high.

For some reason that I don't fully understand (and probably never will), the County planning department requires an inspection when the wall is no higher than five feet high. So now all work on the project must come to a crashing halt, while we wait for the inspector to show up tomorrow. Since we have no idea when the inspector will show up (they give us no clue at all), Davy and his sons will work on another job tomorrow. Hopefully they will return to the job on Friday – assuming, of course, that we pass the inspection tomorrow.

The work done today was essentially a continuation of yesterday's process. I saw just a couple of new techniques. Davy used a piece of scrap lumber I had laying about, with a few blocks, to make a perfectly usable scaffold. If I understood him correctly, on future days when the wall is considerably higher, he'll bring a real scaffold to the work site. And I saw a simple and clever tool: a pair of cast metal pieces designed to grasp the top of the blocks on a corner while holding a string in exactly the right place to act as a guide for laying the block. With these tools, Davy had a guide string set for each new run with just a few seconds of work.

Here are some more photos of today's progress:

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Simon!

    We'll be storing some water and food in that building, enough for all of us for a few days (at least!).

    We also have 20,000 gallons of potable water stored on our property (in eight black plastic tanks that are visible in some photos). They may or may not survive a fire; though if filled with water they are surprisingly fire-resistant. But there's a chance we (or the fire department) may have used all the water by the time we evacuate to the safe-house.

    In the slightly longer term, most likely we'd try to arrange for a trailer to live in while our house was being rebuilt. This is not a particularly attractive proposition, but I think we'd muddle through somehow. One thing that's more critical for me than for most people: I'd have to have my Internet connection back up as soon as possible, and have a decent computer to work with. As you know, I make my living by doing software engineering from my home; I have no office to go to. In that situation, maintaining my income would be critical, so that stuff would be high on the priority list...