: views from the Hill

Friday, October 22, 2004

Best laid plans

Dropped in at Dale last night for a be-spoke dinner at Manresa with Chef David Hawksworth, of West, Vancouver, B.C., and discovered why I'd been having odd e-mail problems at Hill.

My mail setup, shared between Hill and Dale, is convoluted.

With the advent of gMail, it became a bit easier.

I setup an assortment of gMail accounts. My towse.com domain directs incoming @towse.com mail to my gMail accounts according to some finger-in-the-wind sense of importance.

Those mails addressed to me one way, go both to my e-mail process at Dale and to the gMail account I make sure to check while I'm at Hill. Mails addressed to me in one of my maillist personas go to another gMail account. Mails that drop through towse.com because they aren't sent to any established xyzmno@towse.com sort of address go to a gMail account I sort through and dispensed with when I find the time.

This past week I've been more or less constantly at Hill, keeping an eye on the painters who -- as we speak -- are sanding the walls of the deck in prep for painting the deck and the south-facing wall of the top floor. Faffing around at 33KB and a $/min charge at Hill, I noticed that my laptop's OE was picking up mail off my ISP account that should've been handled by the machine at Dale.

The duplicates I needed were being sent to the Hill gMail account and I could check them over the Web. I didn't need nor did I know why I was getting the copies Dale was supposed to be handling as well.

The paint jobber who showed up yesterday morning split at lunch and told me he wouldn't return until 8A this morning. I headed back to Dale because I had a dinner date with his nibs and to dive into the house flushing needed for The Final Fling, scheduled for next Friday.

Arrived at Dale to find that the reason the machine there hadn't been handling my ISP's mail account was because the storm that passed through had knocked out power Monday lunch and my machine couldn't reboot because of a password required by my McAfee setup.

The good news was (1) your-site's swap over to grey-listing has eliminated most of the spam so the ISP's mail cache wasn't overflowing and (2) all my maillists go to gmail -- otherwise either my ISP account or my laptop OE would've been swamped.

Bad thing (1) is my incoming mail archive is now in two places.

Oh, well. Now I know to set things up differently for when I'm either here or there and power interruptions may happen.

The incoming mail archive at Hill is only forty-four messages, so I can send those off to Dale and kinda get the archive in synch again.

Did I mention the reason why the painters are still here and haven't finished prepping yet?

The painters were supposed to show up at 8AM last Friday. I was planning to head up to Hill Thursday PM so I didn't have to make an early morning run up the Peninsula Friday morning.

The paint contractor called Thursday PM and said they wouldn't be there until noon, which meant I could head north Friday AM. As I arrived at 11:45A, his nibs called to say the contractor had just called and they wouldn't be on site until 8AM Monday.

Ah, well.

his nibs drove up Friday evening and we had an entertaining weekend. We walked over to Pier 41 Saturday after 8AM to pick up tickets and head over to Alcatraz on the 9:30A ferry for a "behind the scenes" tour for Park Conservancy members.

Our tour guide was tops. The tour was interesting! (Pictures to follow some day ...) Because it was fall, the bird hatchery on the south shore of the island had closed for the season, so we got to walk on the parade grounds and down by the water's edge, which we never had been able to before. The views of the city from Alcatraz are terrific.

Sunday we poked through open houses. Monday AM his nibs headed south to the office after the painters arrived and he discussed the project with the contractor and the contractor and I agreed on the paint colors I'd chosen.

The painters worked all day scraping off old paint and gouging out where the wood had rotted. I got his nibs on the cell to discuss possible solutions to the now-gougy pieces of wood with the contractor.

Tuesday rained liked the dickens and the painter types didn't show. (They'd told me they wouldn't if it was raining.)

The storm was pretty impressive. The wind howled and whipped the prayer flags, jumbled the chimes and created a loud harmonic hum on the double glass doors on the mid-level that look out east to the Bay. The doors now have paper wedged betwen their upper edges and the frame, which seems to have helped stifle the hums.

The rain was sufficient to show that his nibs had sealed at least some of the leaks we'd found last winter. his nibs had caulked the windows that leaked last year -- no water came down the inside of the windows this storm, as it had last year.

his nibs had also discovered and patched some leaks in the deck. The previous owner -- no lie -- added gas tower heaters on the deck and while so doing punched the gas pipes straight through the edges of the deck, neglecting to seal up the gaps where the gas pipes passed through the deck edges. When the water on deck surface, under the wooden deckwork, reached a certain stage, it ran into the holes and into the building structure. his nibs patched those obvious leak sources and some others.

Coincidence or not, no water oozed out of ceiling near the fireplace and remote dropdown screen on the first floor like it had last year. No water dripped from the light fixture located directly above that leak on the middle floor.

Water still dripped out of the light fixture outside my office door on the middle floor. (We'd already pre-placed the bucket &c. from last year when we'd heard that the rains might start early.) That leak had been the most serious last year.

Tuesday I found a new drip leak right inside the door to the closet/bath six feet to the right of where I'm sitting. The leak might've been there last year too. Hard to say. The leak isn't as robust as the other leaks had been and it's possible that it might not have been noticed last year simply because I wasn't sitting here tip-tapping to hear it drip-drop-drip.

his nibs plans another roof survey after the painters are done to check out possible sources of leaks. The leaks on the deck level seem to be fixed, though.

But enough of weather and leak reports.

Wednesday it wasn't raining but it must've still been too wet because the painter types didn't show.

One of them showed up Thursday morning and worked for three hours or so and said they'd both be back bright and early today to continue prep work.

They are. I can hear thumping and a radio and electric sanders and chatter.

The skies are shades of grey. The sun is peeking through in spots. Bits of blue. Flashes from sun reflecting off the windshields of traffic dashing back and forth on the Bay Bridge. A ferry is pulling into the ferry building. A sailboat is heading north, sails are up but it's obviously running on power.

Life goes on and I am getting back to work.

Update: sigh For some reason I'm picking up the Dale copies again. I'm going to need to re-think the hand-shaking and hand-offs.

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