Dragons of the First Age….Thank You!

It was the dwarves idea really. No one can deny that. Morgoth released his winged dragons and they terrorized the free folk of middle earth with their fire and clubbed tails. It was after the smoke had cleared that the Hobbits realized they could no longer live as they once had. Soon thereafter Durin’s folk introduced them to concrete and stone masonry construction. It was only natural for the dwarves to introduce them to the benefits of living underground as well. A dragons fire may scorch the earth but like I said, after the smoke clears you still have your house….and you live to fight another day. If not for the dragons we might not be building a hobbit house here today. Thanks buddy!

Ethan went to college this weekend up to SUNY Cortland. What beautiful weather we had on the drive up and all weekend for that matter. We had a good time. Google maps provided the directions. I didn’t look at them. I’m a map guy. I brought my map but I didn’t look at that either. You take 84 west to 17 and then you make a right just before Binghamton. I mean what do we need directions for? Those damn people at Google…Instead of giving simple directions they have to get technical and micromanage everything. On top of that the two interstates we had to deal with were in the eighties. I-88 and I-81. Interstates with the same first number should never intersect.Maybe I can get Obama to do something about that. I think Republicans will even get on board with that one.We got on the wrong interstate after Binghamton. It was one of those deals where you realize you’re getting onto the wrong road at the absolute last second….and your driving 75 miles per hour. The short version…the navigator (i.e. my wife) and I agreed after a heated “discussion” that  it was Google’s fault. I was able to turn around at the next exit. We lost about 10 minutes at the most.Georgia and Terence had come along for the trip as well and I have to say they were pretty quiet during our “discussion.”  Ha! (Jude had football practice so he had to stay behind.) The campus was pretty nice. I was happy how nice it was. I think it’s a really good fit for Ethan. I think he will do well there. Best of luck Ethan….Love,Dad. PS. We know how to get to your school now. And moral of the story: Check the Googles yourself before you go! Navigators aren’t always reliable…I mean…Google maps aren’t always reliable.

So me being a concrete guy means that I can’t leave the wall forms up for another whole week without taking something off. Since I lost Saturday I figured I would try to do a little bit on Sunday just to get a peek at the concrete.Here’s a picture at the start of the day.

Sunday morning August 25th
Sunday morning August 25th

It’s really just hard work getting everything off. I started with the stakes at the bottom of all the braces. I was bent over for about a half hour pulling these stakes out. If you want a stock tip buy whoever manufactures ibuprofen. I’m using it by the case. My back is a disaster area. I went up on the scaffold next and took all the braces off. Then stacked them in a neat pile.

Braces off and stacked.
Braces off and stacked.

I really only wanted to work about two hours today and I kind of wanted to see some forms off and take a look at the concrete. I figured the stair area would be a good place to start so I got right to it and stayed on it till it was done. It came out nice.You’ve got to love concrete retaining walls. You just look at them and you know these things are going to be here forever. I love it. Take a look.

Stair retaining wall forms stipped out.
Stair retaining wall forms stipped out.

This is where the stairs will be to get to the side yard after we backfill. The boys did a good job vibrating the concrete. You can’t even tell there was a cold joint in the wall.

Next week I’m hoping to get all the wall forms off and stacked for shipping!

Have a good week!



3 thoughts on “Dragons of the First Age….Thank You!”

  1. Jim –
    Yup, I-88 is basically the Binghamton-Oneonta-Albany connection built by our NYS Southern Tier politicians looking for an easier way to get to Albany! (And, it helps me at work when I have to leave Bing for Albany or vice-versa). I enjoy reading all the updates.


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