Tuesday, November 12, 2019

You Load 16 Tons...*

510 pounds of floor tile.
Okay, it was only a bit over a half-ton. But when you lug it from the car to the dining room, it feels like a lot more. Did you know that the longer you carry a rifle, the heavier it gets? Yeah, it does, especially while on guard duty. Don't ask me how I know.

So, I may have mentioned that I had originally planned on retiring from the full time gig at the end of this year. Well, a directive came down from on high that the upstairs bathroom, being decrepit and of 1980s vintage (and style) would be re-done, transformed, updated, and enlarged. I, being a simple man, said...
"But nothing leaks, the shower provides hot water, and the commode is perfectly serviceable."
To which the love of my life, my soul mate, and raison d'être replied...
"It's outdated, the shower stall is like a freaking coffin and the top of the vanity is rotting on the underside."
I muttered, sotto voce, "It ain't that bad..."

She said...
"I HAVE SPOKEN!"


I said...



Without the "Pfft" at the end, of course.

Anyhoo, retirement now stands offshore still, well outside of U.S. territorial waters and, okay, okay, end of next year, maybe.

So the floor tiles will have matching tiles in the enlarged, luxury shower stall. Here those are...


Heavy boxes with 6" x 3" tiles, all awkwardly packaged to make pulling from the car and lugging into the domicile that much more challenging. Fortunately the first batch was hauled on Saturday, the second on Sunday.

Yes, boys and girls, "I lift things up, I put them down."

About a thousand pounds of marble, right there. Is it a bathroom we're remodeling, or are we building a Greek temple?

I know, just shut up and haul stone...

Speaking of Tennessee Ernie...



It's not all beer and skittles here at Chez Sarge.





* With apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford

56 comments:

  1. I think Homer and Jethro had it right, "Saint Peter don'tcha holler for me today, 'cause I'm digging the other way."

    Did you know that the Norden sight in FIFI was donated by Col. T E Ford? I got a chance to crawl up in there with a mechanic when I was just a pup. I got to sit in the left seat and crawl all over the front office. I saw the tail from Hwy 87, and drove over and was just hanging on the fence, staring at that beautiful bird, when a little red VW comes whipping up and some old grizzled guy gets out. He unlocks the gate, and says to me, "hey kid, grab that thing there and bring it here." We went under the plane to the nosewheel and he crawls up and asks me to hand him the two things we were carrying... "Well, come on up here!" Man, it was a dream come true.....

    That was back in the Confederate Air Force days. About 1978....

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  2. Sarge, Sarge, Sarge, quit whining. 510 lbs of floor tile? Pfft! You are being a bit of a piker. The year that I retired I decided to build a wall behind my shed because the hillside was falling down and encroaching on said building. I had 96 Versa Loc delivered figuring that they probably weighed about the same as cinder block. Nope, they are 86 lbs apiece. Being the 98 lb weakling that I am, they weigh almost as much as I do. That's 8256 lbs of block. Over 4 tons. That's not counting the caps and corner stones. Since there was no close place to put the pallets they ended up about 15 yards away from where I needed them. So that's 3/4 mile carrying 86 lb blocks to the wall site and 3/4 walking back to the stack. I ended up losing 10 lbs of weight which I couldn't really afford. Now I'm an 88 lb weakling with Popeye forearms........

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    1. I had this vivid mental image of you, as Popeye, going back and forth.

      How can you tell I'm whining? (Answer: My lips are moving.)

      Delete
  3. That much in floor tiles requires a weight lifters belt, I keep one around for heavy lifting such as yours Sarge. Heard your sotto voce as "It ain't THAT bad." Hmmmm.......... 6F out the back door, warming to 18F today..........geeeeezzz.

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    1. Warming to 18? Freaking heat wave.

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    2. Double agree on a lifter belt, conveniently found at your local big-box hardware store in the tool section.

      Back in my fighting days, my breast and back armor supported my back so well, sometimes I wore it while loading and unloading.

      Gotta protect your back. Because, without your health... you're not healthy.

      Delete
  4. Will the floor support the weight of the tile? Serious question.

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    1. Yes, it will. Should take quite a bit more as well, but I won't be testing that.

      Delete
  5. Sixteen tons always reminds me of deployment loadout when the squadron hit the boat. Being a chancre mechanic I should have always been exempt; after all, I had heavy cruise boxes of medical/dental records to load as well as flight gear to wrangle aboard (gotta keep helo flight gear separate from F-14/A-6 flight gear) and there was only one of me. However, on several occasions I was nicely invited by the Skipper following Captain's Mast to be a good shipmate and help out. Which I was happy to do because reasons. I've no idea how it's done today, probably some star trek transporter thingy, but back in my day sonny it was all manual labor. I guess there was a conveyor for moving the big stuff from pier to hangar bay, but the rest was pick things up and put them down with a lot of carrying up and down ladders in between. Easily sixteen tons and more per sailor per day. And what did we get at the end of the day? A quick shower and a mad rush to the club. Ah youth, it's wasted on the young.

    Good luck with your project. It'll be a chore but you'll emerge triumphantly. After you fix all the problems the ORI team identify. :)

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    1. Heh, I haven't heard "ORI" in quite some time. There may be a tale or two there!

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  6. While I spent 2 months touring tile shops and granite yards making selections, I let the tradesman make all the purchases and deal with deliveries. Herniated disk made it clear I wasn't going to be humping tile anywhere!

    /
    L.J.

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    1. The installation will be done by an accomplished professional.

      In other words, not me.

      Delete
  7. It is always amazing how Skippers (whether with a Command Pin, or a ring, third finger,left hand) or Sergeant Majors, can invite you to partake in "a little" job that seems to expand exponentially.

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  8. ¿No hablo Espanol, señor? (or something like that). Or is it too cold for that sort of thing? Maybe Juvat can give you the operative wording.

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  9. I am sure you'll have a detailed op plan for renovation of said bathroom, but a wrod to the wise: count on it taking a lot longer than the plan, and count on things cropping up that you hadn't planned on. Such as water damage under existing features that takes a lot longer to fix .. kinda that "no plan survives contact with the enemy" sort of thing. DAMHIK...

    And who do you have (besides TMH) on the ORI team that will sign off on said renovations? Just curious...

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    1. We have a contractor who will be doing the work. There will be town types coming through to make sure it's all "up to snuff."

      And as to the things popping up that were unexpected - the contractor said to expect them. So we have no illusions on that count.

      Delete
  10. I'd have no problem hauling that stone in, but would not know what to do with it besides cracking half of it and laying the rest a bit wonky. I've paid hard earned dollars for such jobs. If I could do it myself I would, but after many years I've become pretty good at recognizing my shortcomings.

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    1. A man has to know his limitations, I know mine very well.

      "I lift things up, I put them down..."

      Delete
  11. Ahh.., home projects, aren't they great? One of the benefits of owning a home. As Rosanne Rosannadanna always said "if it's not one thing it's another!" And by the way, while retirement is wonderful, plan on more of those projects from "raison d'être". When I was retiring from the college, everyone asked me how I was going to keep myself busy to which I always replied "I'm an old hillbilly and I'm going to do nothing. If you drive by my place, you will see me out front propped up against a bale of hay watching the B2's and A-10's flying by.

    Well, it hasn't worked out that way. So far in the two years since I retired, we've had contractors replace all the flooring in the house, I've replaced all the trim inside the house, rebuilt the main bathroom, replaced about half of the fencing around our property (I still have about 600 feet to go), built a new shop and am getting ready to build The Missus a She Shed.

    Now having said all that, I will say this -- I've thoroughly enjoyed all of it because it's all for us and not for the college or some business. And I have managed a little time to sit propped against that bale of hay watching the B2's and A-10's fly by along with Blackhawks, Apaches, Chinooks and even occasionally a Huey. Even had one day when 4 MH-53's flew over. (actually it's not really a bale of hay, it's rocker on our deck but the principle is still the same ;-) )

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    1. After 42 years of marriage, The Missus Herself knows that making "Honey Do" lists is pretty much a waste of time. I'm a cantankerous old mule when it comes to such things. If something is broken, I can fix it, or know a guy who can. Renovations, upgrades, and the like I just won't do. I get bored very quickly with such things. As long as I can hire someone, to help boost the economy dontcha know, I will.

      Besides, the books I have a mind to write ain't gonna do that on their own. Once I retire I'll be busy enough, or dead, either way, I won't be bored.

      Delete
    2. I'll stick to the "honey-do's". (actually I make the majority of those so called honey-do's) Writing books is too much work but I hope you will be successful.

      Delete
  12. I feel your pain, Sarge. Hope the surprises are minimal and the finished project passes inspection (yours and .gov.).

    We bought a fixer-upper when we moved to DFW in late 2015. Since then we have--

    Remodeled both bathrooms.
    Put in new kitchen countertops and added cabinets
    Replaced all the flooring. Tile entry, carpet for carpet in the bedrooms, wood (bamboo) for the rest.
    Ripped out (what had not already fallen down) and replaced yard fence (wood) with Cedar.
    Painted the outside of the house.
    Painted the garage door white. It was white originally, previous owner painted it black. Faces due west. Yeah, don't ask.

    The jewel in all this was our contractor, Rex. He works by himself, lives 10 minutes away, and is OCD about his work being perfect. I did some of the lighter work, was his third hand and go-fer. As a vet, I get 10% off at the Big Blue and Big Orange. Rex and I would confer on the shopping list, and off I'd go. We paid him for straight time.

    Also had new HVAC and windows installed, but that was done by those outfits.

    The other plus is that we got in at the start for a screamin' price. We only had to pull two permits, one for the HVAC and one for the fence. All the rest is off the radar for .gov., and so does not enter the picture when it comes to the appraised value for property tax.

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    1. It is a sad thing that we need permission from and pay for our government to do stuff, and then we need government to inspect it to make sure it's done (not right, because I've known far too many shady inspectors) and then when it's done, we pay for the privilege of improving our domicile and land and property that we've improved.

      Our forefathers would be collectively pimp-slapping all of us.

      Back in the days of the house, it was conveniently located just outside of city limits so I could do just about anything I wanted to without repercussions. Set up a firing line? I could do that, as long as I had a backstop. So the shed, the roof repair, cutting down big trees and some other stuff all done without pulling permits. BFYTW! My property, my rights... Ah, the rebel I used to be...

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    2. RHT447 - Since moving in, we have: replaced the roof , replaced all the floors, replaced the furnace, replaced all of the windows, put siding up (rather then paint every five years), replaced a chain link fence with a picket fence, and rebuilt the shed. Home ownership isn't for the faint of heart.

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    3. Beans - Concur on the government being assholes.

      Delete
  13. Is your contractor stripping the floor down to the joists or just down to floorboard? Because, well, you've had water problems before in your house. Not that I'm trying to cause trouble here...

    As to tiles, yeah, heavy, sucky. Who's lugging them up the stairs? Hopefully not you.

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    1. Oddly enough the water problems came nowhere near the bathroom.

      Contractor is lugging them up the stairs.

      Delete
  14. Ah yes, those pesky little 'honey-dos' that tend to get in the way of actual retirement...

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    1. At this point in time these are designated "Honey Wants."

      See above for caveats...

      Delete
  15. "Did you know that the longer you carry a rifle, the heavier it gets?"

    Having done a number of parades with my Civil War reenactment group, I rate this statement as "true".

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    1. Back in the day, walking from the encampment, in armor, with all my weapons bundled, two shields, a ditty bag with meds, drinks, food, armor repair kit, and so forth wasn't bad. Walking back with all that crap when tired really sucked.

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    2. Did they have anything like Marius/ Mule in the Middle Ages? I understand that they were pretty useful for lugging armor and the like. (As opposed to wearing it, that is.)

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    3. Every foot soldier was supposed to carry his own kit and kaboodle. Mounted dudes? Well, in the Bayeaux Tapestry, there's an illustration of a wagon full of maille armor, helms, shields and such.

      Forward thinking war leaders made sure their people carried the stuff they needed, along with mule or horse trains. One of the functions of camp followers was to carry all the camp stuff.

      Neat thing about late period crossbowmen. Their shields, called a pavise, could be worn on the back, used as an arm shield, or lashed to a pole the crossbowman carried in order to serve as a standing shield when lashed to the pole.

      More forward thinking leaders had their troops carry logs or spiked poles. Most leaders weren't forward thinking...

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  16. Home renovations!!!
    The last home had some thing or another done in each room, but 32 years in the same place will do that.
    We re-roofed twice... there was a 25 year interval.
    The fun time was the major remodel, which consisted of a new garage add-on, conversion of the old garage to a family room, kitchen & bath renovation, and update of windows.
    It took a few days longer than planned.
    The one drawback to the entire renovation/add-on is that, once the new garage was added, there was no way to drive into the back.
    That necessitated the use of manual labor to make backyard deliveries.

    The Prairie Adventure memory serves to remind me of the all hands evolutions at the Naval Supply Centers, at Naval Weapons Depots, or underway replenishments.
    None of those were much fun.

    MB doesn't make lists for herself that she's let me know I can cherry pick.
    Major tasks are a joint decision, well discussed beforehand.

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    1. Joint decisions are good.

      What's that like?

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    2. MB and her first husband, my good friend, were the first owners of the home.
      He was a general contractor who actually finished a lot of his own work.
      Most of what we do now is maintenance or repair.

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    3. Cosmetic wants are understandable.

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    4. Maintenance and repair, something every flight line mechanic understands.

      And homeowner...

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  17. Good luck with the renovations. We're (fortunately?) still in the stage of just undoing and fixing correctly the "fixes" made by the previous owners of our home. On the plus side, it's usually something relatively uncomplicated, like a piece of pipe under the kitchen sink that was cut too short and installed anyway. On the negative side, there's the moment every time of "Why the firetruck wasn't this done right the first time?"

    Unrelated - I successfully avoided falling out of the aircraft over the weekend. I was rather less successful in visually identifying the simulated debris target, a 3'x 5' silver reflective space blanket. It's some small comfort that the other aircrews had a similar lack of success, but I'd really like to be able to spot these things, dagnabbit.

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    1. Fortunately the previous owners did little that needed undoing. In fact, from what I can tell, they did nothing towards maintaining the place. Which is probably why we had to do so much.

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  18. "...they did nothing towards maintaining the place."

    Same here, as in nooooothing. When we first looked at the house, I noticed (among other things) a ring from standing water in the master bathroom sink and that the stopper was down. After we moved in, I moved the stopper handle--nothing. I got under the sink and found that linkage had simply worked loose and just needed to be screwed by hand back into place.

    The master bath shower was not being used because there was a crack in the floor tile, and who knew where the water was going.
    We got money off the sale price for anticipated repair. When Rex ripped out the shower, nice surprise. The shower pan had worked, and everything was perfect--zero water damage. We had him redo it all, floor in a sort of river rock pattern, walls, and ceiling in white subway tile, complete with a corner seat and shampoo shelf.

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    Replies
    1. It's nice to expect the worst, then be pleasantly surprised.

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  19. Sarge. Don't forget about replacing the bridge over the River Koi.



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  20. We've been considering re-renovating out bathrooms. It's been almost 20 years since one of them was done. Maybe I'll lay down and the thought will pass. I hated home remodeling- the mess, the delays, the contractor BS, the delays, and the delays.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)