Driveway replacement part 2

This is an ongoing thing, seems rainy June weather is asking and giving no quarter. Today was rainy, so no work was done. These photos are from late last week.


This one shows what, exactly, was under the concrete. Most of these are like that. No gravel– maybe pea gravel if that. Not much in the way or reinforcement– the stray rebar, but not nearly enough for a proper job. Playground sand. I kid you not, playground sand underneath the concrete. How on Earth they ever got away with that I’d not be knowing.

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That’s as it stands at the moment. Power is restored to the garage and to the rear bedrooms– you don’t want to think of the jury-rigged system I used to have Internet and limited power during the time the garage feed was torn up. No vehicle that isn’t a 4WD with a winch can reasonably hope to navigate the drive right now– rain has turned it into a sopping mess. If the weather will begin to cooperate, maybe we can get some progress.


Driveway replacement time.

It’s time to replace the old driveway. The old one had been quite possibly since the house was built (1963) so it’s way past time. The concrete is cracked, and as it happens was never properly laid to begin with so it’s a wonder it’s lasted as long as it has.

Work began in the garage, where the old floor had to be saw-cut along the foundation then broken up and hauled out. Then the patio and garage apron were next. Getting the patio out had the not entirely unexpected effect of bolixing the electric when the Bobcat lifted a section of concrete which just happened to have the wire that feeds the garage buried in it. Took out the electric to the back bedrooms too. Nice little short. We got that straightened out today, new electric lines properly laid.

Now the front section of the drive is asphalt, and is in terrible condition. We’re replacing that with concrete so it will be concrete from the street to the garage floor.

How about some photos?

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I reckon that’s enough for now. Work has progressed beyond the point you see here– though actually it’s still in the destruction phase– and with a little bit of good weather (this is June and it’s been raining– sometimes torrentially) maybe the job will be finished in a week or two.


How about some photos of a little house, eh?

I need to update this critter, and besides– I kinda made a promise that I would share something. So–.

A few years back– in fact before marriage #2, so I’m thinking 2005 or thereabouts– my then-girlfriend-to-be-wife and I went out to Galena, Illinois. We stopped off at the US Grant House/Museum (I’ll have to stop there again and get better photos, the ones I have from that trip are garbage– my fault, I tried to take indoor photos without flash) and on the grounds there is a small house that served as a place a family lived in way back when. There’s not much to look at. One room, heated by a stove in winter. The family slept upstairs– up ladder really– in a small loft above the main room, this loft was heated by the stove-pipe coming up through the loft on its way to the outside. By comparison, sleeping in my van is like sleeping in a palace. I mean, try to understand that people really lived like this– and were glad to have it. OK, here’s some photos, I’ll try not to butcher things too bad.


This sign mounted on the house explains the thing rather well.


The front entrance. Yes, this house– about the size of a garden tool shed– actually housed a family on the Illinois prairie.


Here’s the back/left side of the house. I’m not just a woofin’– this place was tiny.


Looking inside, to the left rear wall. The stove you see in the lower left provided heating and cooking in the winter months– I’m not sure I’d want to cook indoors in that place during the summer, but if they did that’s where they did it. The ladder leads to the sleeping loft “upstairs”. See a two-man saw hanging on the rear wall.


The right rear corner. Pretty much the rest of whatever furniture they may have had. No TV, no Internet, no microwave, probably only got the Sunday paper when they went into town to go to church, and since space was at a premium I can well imagine that the books they had were the Bible (goes without saying) and a handful of classics that no educated man could be without. Books like “Odyssey” the works of Shakespeare, that sort of thing.

So– that’s it for this edition of “This small house”.


One of these days….

One of these days I’m just gonna have to start writing stuff here. Stuff somebody would actually want to read. I will say I have some excellent teachers here (by which I mean other WordPress bloggers). There’s a guy who is a young man, and an accomplished author in his own right, several books already to his credit. There’s a guy nearly 30 years younger than I am, writing about his life after divorce a couple of years back. He has the advantage (for writing purposes) of being a journalist— I am definitely NOT a journalist. There’s a fellow up in Canada, not much younger than I am, who is managing to keep it together and write of his life after having buried his wife of nearly 18 years (she succumbed to cancer).

Right now, this piece is filler. My writing suffers from having too much material when I’m on the road and allowing my mind to wander freely, and having no material at all when actually considering this blog and sitting at this keyboard. I suppose I’ll just have to stop giving away so much stuff on the forums that I get addicted to and see if I can bring some of it here. It’s good stuff— but spread to the four winds the way it is, it’s a wonder I can write anything.

‘Til then…


“Why the hell not?”

OK. I have to share this one. Anybody that can’t figure out why is beyond hope– stuck forever in Egypt because of not being willing to risk the trip to the promised land. Or something like that.

Must Be This Tall To Ride

Holden Caulfield doesn't get everything wrong.(Image courtesy of Holden Caulfield doesn’t get everything wrong. (Image courtesy of

I’m reading The Catcher in the Rye for the first time.

Holden Caulfield is the protagonist, and while we don’t share a ton of similarities (largely because I’m 20 years his senior, and grew up in a small Ohio town), we share two ideas I think are really important.

1. We can be intelligent and well-educated even if it’s accomplished in unconventional ways and mired in self-doubt. 

Thomas Edison. Albert Einstein. John D. Rockefeller. Walt Disney. Bill Gates. Richard Branson. Charles Dickens.

Icons, all.

School dropouts, all.

All that means is, while I very much respect people with advanced degrees in higher education, and people who use traditional channels to educate themselves and advance their careers, the thing that really kills me is when people don’t play by the rules.

When people don’t ask for permission to do something with…

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This Joyful God

It’s the Resurrection Weekend, and with that thought in mind it would be a sin if I DON’T reblog this. The whole Christian faith hangs on what happened on those days during the Crucifixion and Resurrection, without this– and most particularly the Resurrection– we would just have another religion.