Deck part 18 - Almost there

Today I spent time fixing up the gate, and getting it hung. When I finished that, I had about an hour before I had to start getting ready for work, so I put up some spindles. I got the first section complete...

One more day of extended shifts...

Today (Wed) was supposed to be a regular 3-11 shift for me. Last week, the police department I work for took delivery or our new "Command Post", and as one of the designated drivers, I was trained in on the operation of said "CP". The training supervisor got in touch with me earlier this week and told me I needed to take a crash course in driving a Commercial Vehichle.

Today was the only day he was able to work with me on this.. So - it's another early in for me again today... (that makes 5 of them in a row - I cant even begin to tell you how tired I am. I have not been able to sleep the last few days.)

Normally I will not talk specifics about my work here - I am sure my department would not look kindly upon it, and many 911 dispatchers have blogs where they talk about work. Most of thoes include posts about how they got in trouble at work for keeping the blog, have had to edit it, and have to senser future posts...
But, here's a couple of pictures. (I dont think I am violating any policies here..)

#1 A picture of me talking to the company rep during the vehicle inspection.
#2 An overall picture of the CP.

This thing is an AMAZING vehicle... You would not believe all the function it has if I told you!

Deck part 17 - Change in plans.

Ok.. Supplies are starting to run short. I have all the wood I need, but I need some shorter deck screws for the spindles.

Joe came over today, so I changed focus from the spindles (which I did not have all the parts for) to the stairs. Joe has made several stair risers from scratch, so I had him out to help. By 2 pm we had the risers done, and the treads cut and half of them in place. We only put in half because the original stair plans were for 36" wide stairs. I wanted a bit wider stairs, so when I cut the 39" treads neeeded, the other half of the 72" board is 33" and therefore too short to use for another step.

I am tired of running up and down the ladder to get on the deck, so I used the left over 33" and screwed them down as "temporary steps" - So I can now get up and down from the deck to the back yard!

When I ran out of stair treads - we called it quits. It was 2pm and hiting the hottest part of the day. I have gotten a lot done again on these days off, so I am rewarding myself with an evening off.

I head back to work again tomrow, and it's another busy week.

Sat 11am - 11pm
Sun 11am - 11pm
Mon 11am - 11pm
Tues 11am - 11pm
Wed 3pm - 11pm
Thurs 3pm - 11pm
Fri 3pm - 11pm
Sat (normally my day off) 7am - 11am

But, after that last Saturday shift, I am on 15 days vacation! Woo-Hoo!!!

Deck - Part 16

It is 4pm on Thursday, and I'm doing pretty well. I have all the railing posts up and leveled, I have the lower cross member and upper cross members in place, and the top cap on and leveled... Everthing you see is done.

I have the spindles to put in place (between the railing posts, attached at the upper and lower cross members.. And the steps left.... (oh, yeah... And my final inspection.)

Last night Michele and I sat out on the deck after the kids went to bed - visiting, playing the "guessing game" on what the band and the name of the song was on the XM radio's 80's station, and drinking wine coolers. It was wonderful... These are the evenings I love!

Tomorow my father-in-law is going to come over and help me with the steps. He has had a lot of prior experience with steps... So, I am not sure if I will meet my goal of everthing execpt steps finished by Saturday morning... But there still is a chance...

Other than forgetting to put on sunscreen, and again deep frying my skin to a crispy, crunchy coating, things have been going better than anticipated. (Knock on wood).


Deck - Part 15

Still working on the deck... Yesterday I got 14 of the 18 posts for the railing installed. (nope, since the job was not finished I am not posting pictures yet.. maybe tonight).

My goal by Saturday 10am (yup, another busy week for me) - is to have the posts, top rail, bottom rail, and rail cap on and finished.

Wish me luck.


Only a Dad

Only A Dad - Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

In Honor of the upcomming Father's Day Holiday

In honor of the upcomming father's day (in which I will be working my regular shift and overtime shifts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) keeping me from the family's festivities - I would like to pass along a couple of poems that I find relevant about Fatherhood each of these days....

Rich - By Edgar Albert Guest

Who has a troop of romping youth
About his parlor floor,

Who nightly hears a round of cheers,
When he is at the door,

Who is attacked on every side
By eager little hands

That reach to tug his grizzled mug,
The wealth of earth commands.

Who knows the joys of girls and boys,
His lads and lassies, too,

Who's pounced upon and bounced upon
When his day's work is through,

Whose trousers know the gentle tug
Of some glad little tot,

The baby of his crew of love,
Is wealthier than a lot.

Oh, be he poor and sore distressed
And weary with the fight,

If with a whoop his healthy troop
Run, welcoming at night,

And kisses greet him at the end
Of all his toiling grim,

With what is best in life he's blest
And rich men envy him

~Edgar Guest

Quality Reading time with Jonathan...

I'll edit the story in this post later... I have to get ready for work..

But a picture is worth a thousand words...

Deck Part 14 - Deck Surface is Complete!

It is 4:16 pm on Tuesday and the deck surface is totally, and completely finished! I finished 23 hours ahead of my intended goal... (True, I have not stopped, and I think my skin is deep fried in my own fat... But... The deck surface is totally complete and ahead of schedule!)

Last night (with only ten boards left to finish - all the "edges" that needed to be trimmed, ripped, and tweaked in many different ways) we sat out on the deck and everyone (except Ben) had ice cream cones.

Today, after finishing my last board, and cleaning the deck to take the pictures, I sat down and had a partially frozen beer slush and a cigar!

Victory! Success!

I am taking the rest of the night off, and taking the boys to their baseball game.

It is back to work tomorrow to a busy week. I have a meeting for Ben before work on Wednesday. Thursday is a "normal day". I work 3 days of overtime (12 hour shifts) Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Father's day). Monday is another "normal" day, and Tuesday is an ERU training day which means off work at 11pm on Monday, and back to work on Tuesday by 8am (quick turnaround). I wont be getting much done on the deck in the next seven days...

Deck Part 13 - No rest for the "Father of Five"

Ok, I have been working on the deck each day before going in to work. I have had very little time to eat, sleep or even poop, let alone update my blog - (which, by the way a few of my co-workers have been "gracious" enough to remind me). So, today I have an update for you.

I met goal #1, and have started on goal #2. Framework is all done! (execpt one "issue" that I will discusss a little bit later). I then started on the decking this morning. Ben came over and was a significant help! We got the first (about) 5 feet of decking screwed down. As we went further I noticed that one end of the deck was a little "off square" and that by the 18th foot of the deck, I was off by about 2". This made a difference as the decking was 20' and the unsquare end joist kept moving out a bit. Since it was starting to rain, and I was going to have to make an adjustment to that end joist, we called it quits for the day.

It was a fun family project, and all were out helping execpt Melissa and Michele... Michele was trying to get Melissa down for a nap...

Deck Part 12 - No need for pictures...

The pictures of the deck have started becoming a bit redundant, and take forever to load. I have done some "editing" and reduced the number of pictures by about 33.3%


Progress has been ongoing.

All the joists from the house to the first beam (10' out) are in place. The north half of the deck (18' deep) has all joists in place from the house out to the end of the deck. The south half of the deck is 21' deep and because of that I have to double the joists. I have 10' joists coming off the house, and will have 12' joists from the 10' beam out to the 21' beam.

I put some decking boards up on the deck today after I finished and had my lunch on the deck today!

Because of the changes made in the plans (doubled joists around the cantilevered patio door), I was a few 2x10's short.

Tomorrow, my day will be spent returning some unneeded items back to the store, and picking up the seven 2x10's that I am short. I hope to have all the framing (remaining joists and rim joists) done by Friday when I leave for work. If I do reach my goal, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday can be used to get the decking surface on the deck.

Goal #1 - Framing complete by Friday at 1pm.
Goal #2 - Decking finished by Wednesday at 1pm.

I'll let you know how it turned out, and hope to have some updated photos by then.


Deck Part 11 - Just keep plugging along.. + More!

Friday I spent a good portion of the morning cypherin'... I pieced the 2x10's by lenght to where they matched up best for the joists...

I then got about 1/3 of the joists up before having to call it quits early.

We got Ben and went out for Michele's Birthday... Ruby Tuesdays.
We also had a campfire with the neighbors last night.

Today we go to my Mom & Dad's for a little "birthday picnic" - then 11am - 11pm shift at work...
I've had actual consecutive "free time" to do whatever I needed for the first time in a long time, and I actually got a lot done... Back to the regular grindstone...

I found the answer!

Proving that she is smarter than her own father, today Melissa took it upon herself to show me the best way to care for my children!

(All kidding aside... She crawled into Molly's kennel and pulled the door shut behind her... I heard her giggling, and I steped out of the kitchen to see this! I could not help but take a picture... Honest folks.. it was all her idea - I had nothing to do with this execpt to take the picture!)

Deck Part 10 - Progress... Slow but steady... + More!

Today, Dad came out to help me.

Together we got the other three posts up, the thrid beam, leveled everthing leveled precicsly (both on the x and the y axis) and nailed all the framing connectors to the frame.

As of tonight, EVERTHING from the Beams down is done!

When we finished that, we hauled all the 2x10's (used for joists) to the back yard, and sorted them by size.

Tomorow I will take inventory of the 2x10's measure up all the spans I need to make and start putting them in order (think tetris). Then it's back to work for me.

Tomorow is also the kids last day of school... Parents worst nightmare!

On an unrelated note, tonight I took off Rebecca's training wheels and she rode her bike "training wheel free" for the first time... She was ESTATIC! She rode back and forth on the sidewalk for about a half hour, then went on a mile bikeride while Mom went for her evening walk (they went together)... We could see her smile from down the road.. No fooling!

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