Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barely moving...

This move-in is taking forever. Of course the fact that we decided to live in an unfinished structure might have something to do with it. We have been in here since Feb. 20. And still, it goes slowly on.

We have gotten into the habit of stopping whatever we are doing each day to check out the sunset. We found that standing on the front steps at sunset frames a sunset like the pergola frames the sea:

I been using that one for my desktop. It's got some dark places to stash icons around the edges.

A lot has happened since the last post here. We have made several boat trips to Pine Cay, including two in pitch darkness. With all the unlit dredges and a forest of uncharted bouys surrounding the entrance to Leeward, night crossings have a fairly high 'pucker factor' lately. We have had house guests already, while subsisting on toast, pizza, and cold sandwiches. Oh, and things I can cook on a charcoal grill.

The house..well, everyday we seem to find something new that needs being dealt with. Small things, for the most part. Craftsmanship issues. Omitted components. Nonfunctional necessities.

For example, this is a photo looking straight up at a ceiling fan in the laundry room:

See the little pull-down attic door to the right? Stairs fold out of it so one can ascend to the attic. There one would do things like hook up vents, fix the plumbing on the water heater. These are things that need done. But first, notice that the ceiling fan prevents the attic stairs from unfolding. This was discovered about three weeks ago. It looks just exactly like that at this very moment. See what I mean?

We continue to unpack boxes of things we have not seen in literally years. Every day except Sunday, if our luck holds we have Romeo and Patrick here chasing down a massive 'punch list' that I keep adding to. We have sub-contractors for electrical, plumbing, glass, cabinets (don't get me started) coming and going. Things are getting done.

La Gringa put this year's "Christmas Stump" out to see how it would look. We have driftwood ideas. A lot of them.

Saturday I was headed up from the garage (now dubbed "base camp") in the Suzuki (now dubbed "Sherpa") in "4x4 low" with a full load for the dump. At the top of the driveway I went to shift that little sucker into "4x4 High" for the three and a half mile back to the nearest pavement. It made a pretty definite 'clunk'noise and jammed in neutral. I could not get it to shift. So I spent a big part of Saturday lying in the dirt with wrenches disconnecting driveshafts that have not been disconnected since 1994. That have been living in a high-salt environment. I was reminded of why wrenches ('spanners' to some people) are also known as knuckle-busters. Could NOT get it into gear.

So I spent a big part of Sunday learning the intricacies of the inside of a Suzuki transfer case. I even got it running again.

La Gringa and one of our new neighbors have found that they are kindred souls. They take our respective dogs on long walks along the beach. La Gringa has taken the camera along, to show me photos of another wrecked Haitian sloop sitting in the sand:

She knows I am interested in the hardwood planks and beams.

She is also finding some pretty interesting pieces of driftwood.

Of course there's really no shortage of it. Now if I can just get that workshop finished. I have spent the last two days on that.

When they return from the walks, Dooley the Delerious usually gets hosed down in the outside shower and then crashes on the patio. Working on his tan.

So, basically, we have been busy. We end the day dog-tired and covered with dust.
This is how I feel after dealing with a certain sub-contractor who shall remain nameless at this point:

Just kidding. That's a sunset from inside the shower looking through two layers of glass blocks. Bizarre, huh? Gives you an idea of my mind set.

Hey, at least we made the local paper. Page 47, but there's the official local media version of the story. All there in black and white:

We're the guys down in the corner, the "Reel Job" crew, in case you thought I was making it up.

We still wake up every morning to a new day, with new developments, and one of the first things we see is the sunrise over the ocean. It's a pretty good way to start a day.

And we remind ourselves that sometimes the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is your attitude about it.

It could be worse.


Anonymous said...

Great to see you're posting again, and that you haven't killed anyone yet!

Hope you don't mind, but that shot of the sunset from the front porch was irresistible - and is now hiding somewhere on my PC.


Anonymous said...

WOW, I was beginging to worry about ya'll. I check the site at least every other day and this is my first comment. I knew ya'll had been busy with the move in.

Congrats on the transmission, I know it's not like you can run it down to your local Transmission shop. I will tell you, but I'm sure you know this, you need to be at a complete stop before shifting in/out of 4 Wheel low but it doesn't matter when shift in/out of 4 wheel high. But like I said, I know you probably already know this.

Thanks and keep us posted,
Travis "RiverRunner"
Tallahassee, Florida

Anonymous said...

Thanks Travis.
Yeah, I know a little bit about transfer cases. Even more now. I was actually stopped when I was shifting from low to high.
The problem is that there is a round rubber bushing under the transfer case shift lever on the Suzuki. As I found out, eventually it rots away. Once I found this out and dismantled it and cleaned out the debris, I got it shifting even better than it has since I have owned it. I have been driving it with the shift boot off, and it's pretty strange to be looking down at the main and front drive shafts spinning away just inches from you. I ordered a polyurethane bushing ( Suzuki calls it a "shift sheet") from a cool 4x4 specialist shop ( Rocky Road Outfitters) and am hoping curly headed stepson brings it down with him from the US tomorrow.
In the meantime, I found out Romeo's Samurai has been in 2WD for a long time. He can't shift into 4x4. I am going to see if I can't fix his transfer case, too.

Anonymous said...

Hello GW,
Thanks for following the blog. I have not killed anyone yet. If I had, I would not admit it in writing. Actually, almost all of the guys who have been working on this project have been really great. In the fourteen months this has been going on we have become friends with most of them.

But there is one that I could cheerfully watch get keel hauled. He is the "cabinet maker", and quite frankly he is the worst professional craftsman I have ever seen in 40 years of travelling the world working with local people wherever I went. I use the word "professional" in this case not to include him in that fraternity, but merely to point out that he seems to be making a living at this. This afternoon I will dismantle what he did this morning, so that I can make it right. I have just written an email to the architect that states we do not want this individual back on our property, even though he is not finished.
I will finish the cabinets.

Ok, rant over. Glad you like the sunset photo. We have been watching those sunsets for weeks now, and it just struck me that we had a great place to "frame" them.

I know we have posted a lot of sunrise/sunset pix on here, but for some strange reason we cannot stop ourselves from grabbing the camera day after day. Maybe eventually another good sunset will just be the standard, "old hat" to us.
But that hasn't happened yet.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Sir Reel

HEY!! that ain't drift wood... it's a well preserved skull from a dinosaur specifically a triceritops.

And, as far as the attic acess... heck, just take off one of them blades and you'll have plenty of room. Fan might wooble a bit, but I'm sure a clever fellow like you can figure how to counter balance it. You guys are doing great! Hang in there.

Matt Cook said...

Yep, glad you got an update to us, boy did I miss it the last couple weeks. Have you settled on a name for the house? Very interested in that. Good luck with everything and thanks again!

Anonymous said...

We have our trying times...
They make us realize life is good, or we have a good life!
Don't sweat the small sh*t!

Hang in there you two!