Thursday, March 31, 2016

Back yard remake - Part 4

Finally the sand arrives, two "yards" which is two cubic yards

Laying the critical first row

Nine rows, about a quarter of the stones laid

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Good Service

I had a flat, so I called AAA and they came and replaced the flat with the spare. Service with a smile.

We drove to Brenham, the nearest Discount Tire, and as I parked a guy immediately came out and checked all the tires and found my account. He said, "We will check the flat tire and try and repair it, and if not we can give you a discount for the unworn life left." I suspected sidewall damage and would need two new tires.

It was 11:00 and Chili's was just open and in walking distance. A little later he called to say we need a new tire, so we had two new tires installed on the back.

By noon it was ready, and the bill was under $200, as we only had to pay one of the two tires. Nice.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Warrenton Spring 2016

The weather was windy, hot, cold, sunny, and wet, at different times

A safe slice of Turkey without having to actually go there


Only $15, he had a lot of takers

Old bar and counter, $12,000

Willie Nelson is loved as an anti-government icon

They made these as they think they can sell them. Heaven help us. Please!

A very modern display

How did this get here?

A contender to the scary baby hotel

And more

Everything is bigger in Texas

This is deceptive, the body and the legs are separated items and unconnected

The Scary Baby Hotel, so famous there is no longer a sign

and more

The vender is from England, and sells stained glass and mirrors, and now bottles

A gaggle of baby vultures from Mexico

Housed in an ex-old car showroom are a collection of revamped caravans, for rent and for sale. People rent these out by the day, INSIDE the building. So weird.

The bathroom with two showers

And Goldie

The large artwork that was almost ours

It is large, almost two meters high, and unpriced. We were willing to pay up to $1000, but the vender quoted us $2800, so we were not close to being able to haggle.

We had the perfect place to put it, the back garden of the Blue House. It is getting funkier the more we work on it; home of the pink flamingos, the turquoise patio furniture, and the beehives.

If we had been able to buy it, we would have had to outsource moving and installing it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A strange place for a commuter jet to end up

This plane was last flown from Mexico to San Antonio August 14, 2015, see and

Found in a field in Texas, for $8650, including trailer. It is only 10 years old, and may have been worth $7 million last year, so something bad happened recently. The phone number belongs to Jason Barnett, Artist

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mysterious construction

This metal box went up about 18 months ago, but has remained incomplete since then.  From the sign outside it was planned to be a church school.  It is on church property and within a few feet of the church, a small brick building.

Such a cheap industrial metal building would never have been approved by the city. I suspect they did not contact the city for building permission and just went ahead, until there was a legal injunction to stop the construction, or they ran out of money.

And the "temporary" Now Enrolling sign is still up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Table lamp project finished

This project was put on hold for a year, as the charity auction was postponed.  See New Project in the Collecting stage. The minimum bid will be $100, and if no one bids higher, we get to keep it, and put it in the funky room in the Yellow House.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Back yard remake - Part 3

This was our "morning delivery," but when it finally came, it was fast and efficient.

Last delivery of the day at 16:17

And six minutes later the remaining 571 tiles are inside the gate

Friday, March 18, 2016

Conversation with my neighbor

My neighbor lives in a different world.

In January the city changed the trash pickup, and made it greener and more automated.  Organic material, like grass and leaves, is collected separately and composted.

Most people have their grass mowed and leaves collected by a company or gardener, who supply the plastic bags. Now they have to use bags that will rapidly decompose, they come in green biodegradable plastic or paper. It is up to the homeowner to tell them what to use or supply the correct bags.

The people who cut my neighbor's grass still leave black plastic bags on the curb. The first two times the city emptied the grass out of the black plastic bags into the machine, and disposed of the plastic separately. The third time they left him a note and left the bags. My neighbor then put the bags into the trash container.

The forth time I caught him outside and explained the system to him, and gave him an empty box to show what sort of bags he needed.

"I have to pay for them?" he pleaded.
"You can afford them as much as I can," I replied.
"Can I get them in Whole Foods?" he said in all seriousness.

Whole Foods is a trendy and expensive supermarket, and he is a lawyer and stubborn.

And later, he put the two grass bags in trash bin again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Back yard remake - Part 2

1229 pavers arrive from Brenham

The forklift is too wide to fit through the gate

And the ground is too soft to take the weight

First pallet edged through 

Second palette added on top 

and the gate closed

All pavers restacked ready for the the remaining 571 pavers next weekend, and sand

Monday, March 14, 2016

Liquid Surface Tension

180 mm of rain in a week. I needed to read the meter but it was below the water table.  I had to bucket out the water and snap a picture quick before it refilled.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Local Transfer Station

This used to be easy and reasonable. Now it is neither.

It used to cost $25 for a truck load, then last year it was $35, but the service was efficient and friendly.  After waiting for 10 minutes, I went to the guy's office in the portable office attached to the transfer building. I will be out soon he said. We waited some more, and then he came out and said it would be $50 to $70. "What happened?" I asked, "It was $35 last year." He said, "the last guy got laid off," which did not really answer the question.

He went back to get a tape measure, and measured the bed and calculated the volume. It took 20 minutes, and they had supplied him with a feet and inches calculator. I never knew they existed!

The price was still vague, but I firmed it up by repeating "$50" a few more times. I paid him cash in the office, and drove to one of the bins. They no longer recycle iron and steel, so it all went in one bin. He tried throwing it up and into the bin but half of it missed and fell back almost on top of him. Then he got the loader and we emptied the rest of the trash into the loader bucket.

We left in a hurry, we will not be back. In the rear view mirror, I saw him misjudge the distance to the bin, hitting it with the loader.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Back yard remake - Part 1

As the cottage garden area is now a feature instead of a old shed ready for demolition, it was time to replace the original deck and gazebo with a ground level patio.