Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Lady Slippers!

Originally uploaded by Larry13.

While walking today I went off the highway to see if the Lady Slippers were out this spring in a wooded area "in town" near our house. To my delight there were 10 of them in full bloom today!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Mystery Room and the Condo

Originally uploaded by Larry13.

Here is the room sitting forlornly out in the field with the house it was taken from off to the side.

The Mystery Room

Originally uploaded by Larry13.

Here is the "mystery room" up close so that you can see the floor joists that were cut to remove this from the house. Two lolly columns that supported this in the basement (steel pipes that were concrete filled) were also cut off. It was moved using a chain let down through the slit in the room for the ridge vent and supported by a beam under the floor joists.

Foundation and Cellar

Originally uploaded by Larry13.

You can see that the concrete in the basement that was under the house has been jackhammered to make way for a new rear wall to the basement. This will create the most expensive support for a deck, which will go on top of the existing foundation, that I have ever seen!

New Temporary Carrying Beam

Originally uploaded by Larry13.

The foundation for the "mystery room" which has now been removed is in the foreground and the new temporary carrying beam can be seen supporting the "cut off" floor joists.

Memorial Day in Maine

This is Memorial Day. We went to the town's parade and the ceremonies on the mall, which was attended by both Senators Snowe and Collins. It was a very moving service with the Navy's personnel there to give a 21-gun salute at the end of the ceremony. Special honor was paid to the veterans of the Korean War today.

The Grand Marshal of the parade was an infantry man who was part of a 399-man strong contingent of GIs who held their position in Korea through the against over 2,000 Chinese who were attacking them. Only 28 Americans survived and our Grand Marshal sustained wounds and received two Purple Hearts, an Oak Leaf Cluster and the Bronze Star for his service in Korea.

After his discharge from the military he worked actively with veterans groups and with the state legislature. He was instrumental in getting legislation passed to ensure that every year every veteran's grave will have a United States flag placed on it this time of year.

The senators both emphasized that the Department of Defense has violated its own rules by placing the facilities in Maine on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission list. Senator Collins, as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security has subpoena power and has, with Senator Lieberman of Connecticut, submitted a Letter of Demand to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. If he fails to respond by Tuesday afternoon she will issue a subpoena for the materials that are needed including any emails!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mystery Solved

A lone carpenter was still working when we went walking through the "construction project" this afternoon. We stopped and asked him what happened as we found this to be very unusual.

He said that the house was built from plans that had been used for a previously constructed single-family dwelling but it was NOT the plans selected by the family who have PRE-BOUGHT this particular house which faces the pond that was built for storm water control. The family was given the option of:

1. Leaving it on at an increased cost (I guess $15,000 and the carpenter said, "More like $50,000!),

2. Buy one of two OTHER single family dwellings that are either already built or nearing completion

3. Having it taken off.

You guessed it:

They chose Option 3! They are going to pour a new wall to close off the entrance to the "cellar" under what will now become a very well-supported deck!

And I thought that it looked really nice WITH that extra room. We regretted, when we had gotten home, that we hadn't taken the camera to get a picture of this unusual construction project.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Unusual Construction

Last night just before dark as we were walking through the construction we noticed what appeared to be a small garage sitting off to one side of a single family home that has had little "progress" visible in the past few days. As we got closer to it we saw that it was the sun room that had been literally cut off the end of the house and lifted off the foundation by a crane using a chain that can down through a hole in the roof and a hole cut in the floor.

Closer inspection of the house showed that two lolly columns, about 10 pressboard "I" beams, all the bolts imbedded in the concrete foundation had been cut with a Sawzall or comparable piece of equipment. The 15'x10' area of foundation is completely open to rain falling into the cellar.

In all my adult years I have never seen anything like this and I am very curious what changes have been mandated to this building. It looks very strange with this major room literally ripped off the side of the building.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

2nd Day Update

So far so good.

The first day started at 8:30 PM with Orientation.
  • Employment documents (e.g. I-9 showing my passport to prove I am eligible to work and sign with them watching, W-4 x2, etc.)
  • Dress code
  • Benefits
  • Repetitive Stress Injury Prevention
  • Privacy (HIPPA)
  • Inclement Weather Notification

During the 2 1/2 hour PowerPoint presentation we had a bit of excitement: every time he came to one slide the computer shut down! He got tech support up to work on it to no avail. Finally he did what I would have done - he started at the beginning and scrolled through the slides to where he wanted to go. Problem solved!

We finished early so I got back to the main campus well before noon, dodging rain drops. Work was waiting. Suffice to say I love my work and there is plenty of it!

Going to bed at 10 PM last night was enforced by the power going out due to high winds accompanying heavy rains. I was up before 6 AM, showered, studied my Sabbath School lesson, ate breakfast and headed off to work. Surprisingly, despite being 25 minutes later than my 'usual' time, I arrived in about 35 minutes. Must have hit the traffic lights in town just right.

This evening I dodged the raindrops to walk for about 1/2 hour - checking on the progress in the 95-unit condominium development in the block behind our street. The work continues, though at a slower pace, with all the Pacific Northwest-like weather for the past 5 weeks.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

A New Life

How many of us get to live two lives? And have both of them be lives that one really enjoys?

I have enjoyed my nearly 17 years of fulltime work in the ER but as of today that chapter in my life is coming to a close as I turn the page on this chapter in my life. I have enjoyed the many patients that I have treated - almost all of them are friends. But night work has gotten harder as I have aged and I am looking forward to not having to work Friday nights any more so that I can attend church every Sabbath (Saturday) morning and enjoy the blessing of worshipping God with my church family. The older I get, the more I look forward to Sabbath: worship, singing, walking on the beach or in the woods, visiting friends or family, playing musical instruments. Sabbath is a little oasis in the turmoil of life that connects me closer to God and brings peace to my soul.

Monday I start full time work as a Medical Director for a disability insurance company where I have been working part time (1 - 2 days per week) since early November 2004. This new job will allow me to have every night (including Friday nights), weekend and holiday off AND will allow me to have some paid vacation time so that Jean and I can take some forays into the pre-retirement world. She hopes to visit our building lot in Florida some cold February week - soon. Or maybe visit our family (daughter, SIL and 5 young grandchildren in BC). Actually, I have accumulated a couple of "free" tickets using our credit card so...who knows!