Wednesday, February 28, 2007

UST update

It is all quiet here on the eastern front.

The above is the final picture for February 28, but not the final picture for the tank removal. Cohesion INC. will finish the job by prepping and seeding grass in the work area to try and restore the lawn to "pre-tank removal" condition. I think it will take years. Check out the updates below to see how we got to final picture of the day.

This is the truck they used to hauled our contaminated dirt to the private landfill.

Tucker standing next to the UST.

Nice quad dumptruck bringing in the crush-n-run.

It was huge.

Pushing the crush-n-run and topsoil back into the hole. (btw, the hole ended up being about 10x12 by 18 feet deep!)

Chris showing us how deep the dumptruck ruts were in my grass. I might sound like an old fart but, it made me hurt to see the lawn torn up so badly today. Hopefully it will be better soon.


Who would bury an above ground tank? It just shouldn't be done. Why not you ask? Because they aren't designed for it! Finally, someone else is digging! Selina will be happy to know that our kindly excavator operator dug up the hydrangeas.

Nice isn't it? Would have been better if this above-ground tank was actually installed above ground! Notice the holes on the bottom of the tank.

Can you believe they just pulled the filler and vent caps?

This hole is now about 8'x8' by about 13 feet deep. Because of the holes on the bottom side of the tank we'll end up with much more exfil than first thought.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cool Tools

The other day I mentioned our tools. Other folks have cool tools too. For example, what boy hasn't wanted the biggest Tonka toy on the block? I have it in my backyard right now!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Shed Update

The shed has been moved and it is still standing! Thanks to everyone involved.

Friday, February 23, 2007


There is a tour going on, are you watching? Most people probably aren't watching and many of you probably don't care about bicycle racing. For those of you that do care, here is a quick update on the Tour of California. The kid from Montana is winning, 2 stages left in the race, short of a nightmare he'll win it. Levi is his name, Levi Leipheimer. Checkout his website if you'd like to see more.

The race can be seen on the old OLN channel, or as it's now called Versus.

Those of you at work can sneak it in on the computer if you'd like here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Evening Smile

Kate is at meditation, I'm getting ready to meet some friends out for a drink. While checking the weather on the computer I see an instant message from our earlier chat. It ends with xoxoxo. I read it, and smile...

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Project

Now that you know what's growing on around here, I'll fill everyone in on what's going on at the homestead. The new project has begun. It's a big one. So big that I've called out a few good friends to help get it done. The shed needs to be moved, and we're going to do it Saturday. Here's the basic picture.

The shed move has consumed me over the past week or so, it's all I talked about for days. My poor friends... :) After talking to a professional about the methods used to move a shed I decided that with help it was possible to do ourselves. A few calls and we've got a crew. There will be pictures from the move, I promise.

I'll share some progress before I fall asleep. It's been a long day round here. I started by exposing the 4x4 skids the shed rests upon, then I started unloading the shed. I am shocked at how much stuff we have. At twelve feet wide by twenty feet long, it provides a ton of storage space and is a huge plus for our house.

Dig, Dig, Dig...

All four of them. Dig, Dig, Dig...

Nice sawhorse table.

Can I dig? Carrying all this stuff is making me tired. By the way, does everyone else keep every little scrap of wood that might be useful in the future or is it just me? Ridiculous, eh?

Everyone needs a little supervision. T-dog is providing the supervision for this project. Can you tell he'd rather be playing with the Frisbee?

During today's excavation I took note of our tools. We have cool tools. Does everyone recognize the tool on the right?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What’s Growing On (chapter 2)?

It is early spring here in North Carolina there are a lot of things “growing on”. We have had a pretty good winter so far, it has been average compared to our normal winter. We have had some extremes on the high and low side of the thermometer. It is warmer in Billings, MT than it is here in Raleigh. The mercury says we are struggling to hang onto 43 degrees. It’s windy too, the wind-chill has us at about 33 degrees. There is a cold front out there that will drop us to 18 degrees tonight, which is chilly for here.

Winter clouds moving into our area

It also looks a bit chilly in St Augustine, FL at 53 degrees right now.

Anyhow, even through our cold spells we are looking at serious change on the ole homestead. We are still planning our move north. We’ve got a nice burr under our saddle-blanket cramping our move plans. The guy responsible for the clean-up is trying to argue with the state of NC about the removal of the curve ball. It will likely delay us a few months at most, but not inevitably. We’ve got to sell this house!

Most of the changes around here have been with the plant life. Here are pictures of change around here today.

Blueberry buds

Switch stick


Plum buds

Flowering Rosemary

Goumie buds and Tucker

Downtown Raleigh [The City of Oaks]


I'm a lucky man, Kate made bread today!

btw: Did ya see the haircut? Our photo repository

Monday, February 12, 2007

I mean really!

“Did you see that?”
“See what?”
“He just picked that spoon up off the floor and put it in the silverware bin”
“No Way”
“Yes, really!”

The silverware was clean. It had just come out of the dishwasher. Barely a second went by before I asked him, the skinny teenager, if he really did it. Did he grab the spoon, fresh off of the 70 year old floor, and throw it in with the rest of the clean ones? Really, did you really do that? “Oh, I didn’t even think about it” was the response as he casually removed a spoon from the pile. He didn’t miss a beat, went right back to his chore without even a second thought. We were shocked, as I noticed the dried marinara on my spoon and made a mental note not to use my spoon either. The pizza was mediocre, we should have said something to the manager and left as soon as the first spoon hit the floor. I had high hopes for Amedeos because it had come highly recommended by a few local Raleighites so I was pretty disappointed that my second visit to the place would likely be the last since we are 0-2.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I’ve got a question for everyone. Has the world of higher education always been so cumbersome? During my search to find the right program I’ve noticed that few things remain constant throughout nearly all educational institutions. Just what is one of those constants? Randomness!

Every 2 year college, 4 year college, and university seem to have a different set of standards that must be met in order to apply. Some of the nursing programs out there have random prerequisites while others are just plain outrageous. The programs I’ve research include those in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and North Carolina. Each program is 180 degrees out from the other programs with regard to prerequisites, and curriculum. No two are the same. Some insist that you must be a Certified Nursing Assistant or LPN prior to applying. Others say you must have taken Chemistry, Algebra, and Biology within the past 5 years (or you have to take them again prior to applying). Some programs dictate that you must have 2 semesters of a foreign language in order to apply. Some of these prerequisites apply even if you are 2nd degree student! I felt that if I were going to get accepted into any program I had to apply to every program I could find. Then I found Boise State University, and it seems to have kept its sanity in check while designing its program. Boise State University seems great so far and with just a few steps, the application process was simple. Get my transcripts sent. Apply. Bang, I’m accepted into BSU (I even have a student ID).

Next comes the Nursing Application, with even fewer steps it appeared to be a skate. All I had to do was take a placement test, send the transcripts and I should be in…

Nothing good in life comes easy… Right?

It hasn’t been quite that easy because, in North Carolina, I couldn’t take the exact test that BSU requires.

All I had to do was enter the college algebra section in order to max out the math score at 99. If we were in Boise when I took the test I would have scored 13 points higher I needed to cinch it. Alas, here is where the “nothing good comes easy”. I took the only version of the test I could find here in NC and the test didn’t let me into the college algebra section. I was back at the books. After a couple more weeks of studying I rescheduled the test, confirmed with BSU and the testing facility regarding how the test needed to be administered. My test was supposed be Monday, and I was ready!
Monday… I played it safe and spoke with the test coordinator to confirm what I had been told the previous Thursday. Good thing I did, she informed me that the rules had just changed on Friday and I couldn’t take the test the way I needed to be administered. With the application deadline of March 1st, I started to panic. I thought I would be on the first plane smoking to Boise to take their test. After several hours, phone calls, and emails with the testing coordinator at BSU I finally got some good news. Since my score of 63 on the test exceeds their standard of 50, they will accept my test.
According to the projections made by BSU regarding this coming semester’s crop of applicants will need to have a test score of 196 in order to get into the program. My math score is 99, my english score is 97 so with a 196 I would be borderline. Bonus: I get 6 extra points for the classes I’ve completed that are part of the BSU curriculum! My application score should be 202! I am still crossing every digit I can find for good luck. I really, really want to be in the BSU program. I am not going to say “I’m in” yet, but I do feel better about my application for the nursing program at BSU than I have ever felt.
I really, really do NOT want to go back through the random application phase again. I might not survive another venture through the application gauntlet with the dignity that I’ve managed to maintain through this one. Cross your fingers for me!