Saturday, December 23, 2006

SLO B Slow

What a past few days in SLO County. The weather has been mild and that has allowed some very important erosion mitigation in the areas that were burned this summer.

Straw rolls or waddles, and jute netting is not cheap but Farm Supply comes through again with low prices, great pricing and much help in finding the right vegetation to plant in the burned areas.

Also, the tortured tale of landscaping continues its' slow inexorable march. Perhaps it will begin sometime in Feb 07. In trying to find landscapers, there seem to be some fly by night operations and I seem to be going thru them alphabetically. For example, the companies that I have contacted, AAA Landscaping, C&C Landscape, and R&S Landscaping , either stopped returning calls, did not follow through on when they said they would provide a estimate to me or failed to show up.

Happy Holidays!

Hopefully the gentleman who I am working with now will follow thru. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

...and then there was the Blogosphere

My apologies for not keeping up to date on my blogging. It has been a busy time with the holidays, travel, and work.

As for the Paso Straw Bale House, the December cold weather wreaked havoc with the pipes from the well, to the pump, and to the water tank. Several days the temps dropped to the mid 20s and by 5th day of cold weather, the exterior pipes finally froze. Good thing is that after the ice thawed out, insulation was added to prevent a recurrence, the bad thing is that there was no insulation in the first place.

Unfortunately a bigger problem surfaced, mainly a broken piece of PVC at the well. This resulted in a mini-geyser while the pump was on. Luckily a cool head and fleet feet cut power to the pump and called Farm Supply in Paso Robles. If you ever have to call the Pump Division of Farm Supply on the weekend, be prepared to spend $200.00/hour. Fortunately they were not needed on the weekend and during the week they charge $100.00/hour.

In July I blogged about a grass fire. This fire damaged some of the plastic PVC that went to the CDF line. I called out Miller Drilling(who originally installed the well lines and water tank) and received a bid as follows,

  • Replace a pressure Gauge $4.50
  • Check Valve 1, 1 1/4x80 $35.00
  • Misc. Pipes & Electrical Fittings $150.00
  • Sales Tax $13.74
  • Labor: Replumb Booster, 4" CDF Line $500
  • Total: $703.24
End Flashback

Farm Supply came out on a Monday, fixed the broken PVC at the well that was causing the geyser AND fixed the damage from the fire in July for the grand total of $224.29. For those of you keeping score at home, that is a $478.95 difference with a larger scope of work. Farm Supply good, Miller Drilling, perhaps they do a good job but I cannot understand the price difference.

The irony is that Miller Drilling did the original install and did not use insulation. Needless to say, Farm Supply has my business from here on out.