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  • Dan Schumacher

Dry As A Bone

The white area to the right of the window was where the worst crack was located

We experienced some torrential rains earlier in the week. Creeks overflowed their banks, storm water pipes backed up, and streets flooded. On the bright side, none of the repairs I made to the cracks in the foundation leaked. I think the melting of the snow in the spring was a good test and after the recent storm I am confident the cracks are sealed and feel good about closing up the walls when the time comes.

The framing is nearly complete. The only remaining areas are the back wall in the first bedroom and the closet under the stairs. As a recap, the following rooms are finished; the family room, IT closet, fitness studio, hallway, furnace room, second bedroom, and bathroom. I have pulled the electrical cable for the outlets in all of those rooms except the bathroom.

Bathroom. Compressor is sitting where the linen cabinet will go, the shower is behind it, and the vanity will be to the right of the nail gun.

I experienced another "first" again this week. The first time I ever poured self leveling concrete. The floor in the fitness studio is about a quarter inch below the floor in the adjacent bedroom. I didn't realize this condition existed until I demolished the concrete footing separating the two areas. After watching a few YouTube videos I thought "what the heck, I think I can do this." The first step was to caulk around the floor plates to contain the self leveling concrete in the area I needed it.

Bead of caulk applied along the bottom plates and gaps.

There were mixed reviews about the need to prime the existing concrete but since the bottle of primer was only about $10 I decided to go ahead and put it down.

One coat of primer prior to pouring the concrete

The concrete sets pretty quickly and since I had to mix two batches I didn't have time to take some progress photos.

Finished self leveling concrete

It turned out as expected. I still need to grind a few of the high spots before putting down the flooring.

Another task that started this week was the decommissioning of the underground storage tank that held the heating oil. The environmental clean-up crew arrived Monday morning.

Hole to expose the top of the UST

It didn't take long to uncover the top of the tank. After they cleared a big enough area they cut a hole in the top.

You can see the little bit of reddish fuel in the bottom of the tank

Since there wasn't much fuel in the tank they decided it did not need to be pumped out. They removed the oil and sludge by hand using five gallon buckets.

Newest and smallest member of the team all suited up and ready to climb into the tank

They transferred the oil and sludge from the five gallon buckets to a 55 gallon drum. All told, I think they only removed about 20 gallons of material.

Good thing she's not claustrophobic

Once all of the oil and sludge were removed they cut a hole in the bottom of the tank and took some soil samples. It will take about two weeks to get the lab results back. If the soil is clean they will fill the tank with inert material and cover it up. If there is contamination they may have to pull the tank and remediate some of the soil. Keep your fingers crossed.

Trish and I started the weekend with a bike ride through the desert and eventually climbed up into the mountains.

About 20 minutes into the ride. Just getting warmed up.

It was a great day for cycling. The weather was perfect and there were no cars out on the road.

About a 13% grade up to the radio tower pictured in the background.

We've spent a lot of time riding in the mountains in preparation for the half Ironman in Coeur d'Alene, ID at the end of June.

Spokane is proud to host the largest torchlight parade in the country dedicated to the Armed Forces. The 81st annual Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight parade was held Saturday night and how could we not attend. It started at 7:45 PM and was comprised of over two hundred marching bands, floats, equestrian groups, drill teams, dancers, and cars.

At the parade. Border Patrol approaching on horseback.

We managed to only stay until "float" 130 went by. After all, we had to get up early to run in the morning followed by a long swim in the afternoon. Next year will have to go early with some chairs and refreshments to secure a good spot along the route.

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