Friday, October 15, 2010

An Acid Bath

While Susun was in San Diego, I got lazy with our lawn irrigation.  I turned the sprinkler on high and didn't bother to move the green truck out of the way.  This was a BIG mistake, one I swear to never make again.
The city's tap water is hard as a rock and the sprinkler water left all sorts of ugly, tenacious streaks all over the truck.  There's really no way to get these streaks off at a car wash, they are impervious to soap.  There's only one way to deal with them: ACID.

Yesterday was the day we tackled giving the truck a full acid bath.  We used a couple of gallons of straight white vinegar and, even then, some of the stubborn streaks wouldn't come off.  We had to go over and over the truck, scrubbing as hard as we could to neutralize the streaks.  The ones on the windshield were incredible.  Susun had to pull out some really special acids that take lime buildup off of shower tiles.  And then she had to scrub again and again with a strong soap solution.  It was a real battle.  Just for good measure, we cleaned up both vehicles and they are sparkling now and getting ever more ready for their big trip down to Arizona.  Only a few more small tasks remain until they are 100% ready to roll.

Susun and Dina spent most of the morning together and began the design work for the 2011 version of Hilda's Garden.  It needs a sweeping redesign. The perennials are getting long in the tooth and completely taking over some areas.  Some of the annuals can out-compete the weeds but some can't, so next year's garden will have a double dose of the hardy annuals--mostly petunias and zinnias.

I went shopping for the structural supports for the porch project.  You'd think a mere two  4x4's and one 4x6 would be easy to find.  In and out and done.  Nope, not in your dreams!  Finding high quality lumber these days is almost as difficult as buying a winning Powerball ticket.  I visited both Lowe's and Home Depot and encountered the ugliest assortment of 4x4's and 4x6's I have ever seen in my life.  They were disgusting dregs and garbage--all twisted and full of wide cracks and big, glaring knots.  UGH!  Home Depot even made me stand up on a big elevated platform to peruse their selection.  There was no chance I could find even one suitable 4x4, they were all that bad.  Lowe's 4x6's were the worst specimens I've ever seen.  It looked like the Home Depot 4x6 assortment was useless, too.  Luckily, I spotted one 4x6 way in the back of the bunk and somehow got it out without wrenching my back.  Sure enough, it was a winner and I was smiling Big Time when I walked out of the store with my prize.

I can honestly say this one 4x6 was the ONLY decent piece of that size dimension lumber in either big box store. Truly one of a kind!

I used the belt sander to put a real nice finish on all four sides and the ends of this piece.  It's near perfect--only one small flaw that most people will never notice.  But the big thing is that there are no huge knots that will affect its structural integrity and both visible sides and the bottom will make a nice visual presentation.  Today, we will give it a couple of primer coats and then put it away until (hopefully) we find some decent 4x4's.   Who knew shopping for a couple of 4x4's would be such an adventure?

My earlier predictions of a cool, wet fall here are wrong.  It's been unseasonably warm and dry and the current forecast sure seems to point to a continuation of this pattern.  Yesterday's high actually reached 72!

The Diablo Burger post now has 3 comments, two of which are slightly baffling to me.

If you haven't been following The Goatherder's Verde Valley Wines blog, you may have missed that he's now going to have to learn a whole new array of wines.  Such tough duty, GH!  Imagine having to go to some wine tasting room and be REQUIRED to sit around sipping wine, making notes, evaluating what they call "the nose" and all the rest of wine stuff.  Imagine the utter difficulty in a job like this.  Oh, poor GH, you have our sympathies!

Today's going to be more of the same mundane stuff from which are days are mostly made.  Have a great day & Many Cheers, jp

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