Praetorium Honoris

Monday, August 10, 2020

A great week has, indeed, been a great week for the Juvat Clan.  

On the housing front, Monday through Wednesday saw the completion of the Road.  The Chip Seal bubbas showed up right on time Monday morning and did the prep work on the road base.  Because they'd dropped the price on the project, we were able to resurface the rest of our road to our guest house and current house.  

So, the prep work took all day.  Tuesday, they came back and put down the tar and gravel.  Wednesday was touch up and clean up.  As well as finishing out the parking spaces at the guest house, current house and new house.  Looks very nice and walking up to the barn is much easier on the knees on a paved road than on rocky base.

The painters came back to the house and did the touch up work.  The glass and mirror guy came and installed the mirrors and the shower glass.  Then the dirt guy came and added fill around the base of the house to help direct rain water away from it. Finally, the cleaning crew came and removed the protective floor covering, cleaned and polished the glass, and took away the construction debris.

Which means....

Around 9 AM this morning, Mrs J, the project supervisor and I will be doing the final walk through.  So, construction is "complete"...except for any punch list items.  

Now,  Mrs J and I have already done our walk through and have noted several questions, observations and or concerns.  The Gas Stove and Fireplace light perfectly, but the electric stove doesn't appear to function.  


There's a big button that says "Start", but, and I could have my switchology wrong, pushing it by itself or in conjunction with several tries of other buttons, doesn't seem to do anything.  Things that make you go "HMMMMM".

We took a small electric fan with us and plugged it in to every socket in the house.  3 or 4 times the plug would not go in.  Couldn't see anything blocking it, but it didn't go in.

Update: The plugs are all on a GFCI circuit and the supervisor said that if the plug isn't perfectly aligned the first few times, it is difficult to insert.  Sure enough, trying again, loosened them up.

Yes, Beans, I tried turning it over so the wider end was on the other side, no change.

The kitchen vent needs some plaster work.  I'm pretty sure the hole in the ceiling is not supposed to show.


All that having been said.  It looks like it's time to start packing.  Mrs J is, in fact, doing just that while I'm writing this.  I've got papal dispensation from packing for as long as I'm writing this.


So,  my friends, if you think some of Sarge's posts are long......

On the personal construction front, my latest project is complete.  Tuesday, we made a trip to Moscow on the Colorado to deliver MBD and SIL's anniversary present to them.  I was very grateful that I didn't have to make the trip to Detroit on the Bayou, as I don't really like driving in the fourth largest city in the States.  They were picking up some furniture that they had been storing at his parent's house, so win/win.

Now, all I have to do is clean the workshop of all the sawdust.  Piece of cake!  Next project?  Mrs J wants a Murphy Bed for my office.  (In case I'm in need of an emergency nap, Beans.  She's thoughtful like that.)

Finally, and THE reason it's a great week, Little J is back in Kuwait.  He's in quarantine in a house on the embassy compound.  LJW has to bring him meals and leave them on the porch, but the house evidently has a upstairs balcony overlooking the back yard.  I guess they'll have to settle for a Shakespearian Romeo and Juliet scene, at least for now.  

There was some bureaucratic fol-de-rol about testing for viruses, but...whatever...He's at least within yards of his wife now rather than a couple of hundred miles. So, he's on admin leave while he quarantines.

How is he keeping himself sane (OK, attempting to keep...)?  Well, he's putting together a Christmas Light control kit.  You know the ones you see on YouTube where the lights flash and change colors in time to the music.

He had a boatload of Arduino parts delivered via Amazon and is going to be working on that project.  We Skyped with him and LJW (a 3 way call) earlier this week and happened to mention an idea I had about linking our new gate, existing gate and the lights and doorbell in our new house.  He called back this morning asking me to take a picture of the innards of our existing gates.  

So...If all goes well, when Mrs J or I come on the property and push the button to open the gate, the lights in our new house will go on, garage door open and an electronic voice will announce our arrival.  (I wonder if I can get him to have it play "Pomp and Circumstance" or maybe "Hail to the Chief", that would do wonders for my ego.  Right????) If one of our guest's push the button, the front gate opens and the lights at their guest house come on.  Similarly, if my Sister does it, the lights at her place (our current home) will come on.

Ain't technology great?

But...Anything to keep him from getting bored for the next week or so.

So, as I said, it's been a great week.  I'm not looking forward to the moving phase (the 48th time in my life), but am very much looking forward to the moved in phase.

Hope all y'all had a great week also.  Peace out!

Oh and by the way, I found a link to this VERY interesting article about Pyramids at Chris Lynch's place recently.  The historian in you (and y'all know who "you" is) will be very  interested in it.


  1. I went through our house a few years ago on a whim with an outlet tester that checks to see if your outlet is wired correctly.
    I found a couple outlets that needed fixing.
    My gizmo didn't test GFIs, but I think some testers do.

    The corner desk looks very nice, and the Murphy bed should be an interesting project.

    I know enough about electronics to understand what you are going to do with the gate and light controllers, but as for how to actually do it, "I know nothing." Both of our cars can open the garage door by pushing a small button at the bottom of the rear view mirror. I don't know if your vehicles have that option, and if that option can be tied into the gate controller. Or you are already doing that.

    It's good to see some progress on Little J.

    The house looks great.

    1. Thanks John. To me electricity is very near to black magic. It works in strange ways and while necessary and nice to have, dangerous to fool around with. So...Little J is handling this project. I just hope to enjoy the fruits of his labor and if it can't be done, I've still got the gate opener on my truck visor and I know which button to push.

      Waiting on the project supervisor right now.

    2. We paid for a home inspector when we had purchased a new home. Completely worth the money as he caught things we would have never noticed.

    3. I'm very happy with our supervisor. We don't own it yet, and haven't lived in it yet, but, I have high expectations and a fair amount of confidence that things will be fine.

      Which probably ranks as high as the immortal words uttered by General Custer in Montana "Bring on them Indians".

  2. I vote for the Imperial March from Star Wars juvat.............:) The desk looks veeeerrrry nice. Good to hear Little J is out of the fire and back into the frying pan, progress is progress.

    1. Good suggestion, Nylon, I'll add it to the options list.

  3. Good news on the house/road/Little Juvat fronts!

    That desk is absolutely gorgeous, you have a way with wood my friend, and it shows.

    The pyramid post was cool, makes a lot of sense. There's a reason the Egyptians had such an advanced civilization, they were organized!

    1. Yeah, I'd always wondered about that especially when I got into the staff phase of my AF career. I wondered how the Egyptians could provide the logistics necessary to support the huge crowds I was led to believe were needed to build they pyramids. The article made sense to me from that point of view.


    2. When you have an agrarian society that produces huge surpluses, you can afford to have a small dedicated army working on a project and then throw a huge reserve at it on the off months to fix things, do the big stuff, build up a surplus.

      Much more sensible than 'space aliens.' I swear, often, at the tv because Mrs. Andrew used to like watching those stupid shows, post-brain bleed, because she didn't, due to dame bramage, the sheer awesomeness of the human mind. Fortunately dame bramage has mostly fixed itself and now she can't stand those jackalopes and guttersnipes who scream 'Aliens did it' when there's obvious signs of an extinct advanced civilization lying all over the place. Just because the pea-brained idiots today can't think past opening a can, doesn't mean our ancients couldn't have thought of ways beyond our ken to do things. Like, well, Mrs. Andrew had a calculus teacher (an actual Moscow Institute big-brained Russian!) who said calculus and advanced math most likely isn't a recent new thing, that our ancient ancestors were very advanced mathematically and we just kept losing it all due to societies dying. Makes more sense than 'Aliens....'

    3. Agreed, Beans. Growing up in the Military and then joining one is inured to the prevalent stupidity of most humans. Agreed, that there are stupid people in the military and everyone makes stupid mistakes occasionally, but my feeling was that by and large, people in the military were intelligent, had common sense and a strong work ethic.

      MAN was it eye-opening when I retired and joined the ranks of the civilians. And that was twenty two years ago. Humanity's stupidity level is increasing at unbelievable speed. I'm afraid the last neuron of intellect on earth is but a few years away from extinction.

      But, that's just me....being optimistic.

  4. I was wondering what the legs would look like on that table. Are they kinda "whippy"? Is it fastened to the wall?

    I lived in the Allen brother's swamp for 7 years. The ONLY way I can get in and out of there sucessfully is to roll the window down around Katy, and yell at the top of my lungs, "I HATE THIS PLACE!". I don't know why that helps, but it does. It must've taken a full month for the green stuff on my feet to dry up and fall off after we moved our here.

    ♪ Love is a many splendored thing, it's the stuff that grows, between your toes, in the early spring..... ♫ (good memories, Dad. I do miss your singing)

    1. I didn't measure the leg diameter, but eyeballing them I'd say they were about 1/2" diameter and steel. So they should be pretty solid. The desk itself is Cedar top glued and screwed to 3/4" plywood so there shouldn't (famous last words) be much play in it. MBD and SIL are very much into "mid-century modern" and I vividly remember those type legs on furniture at my parent's house growing up. However, back then, it was just called "modern".

      Yeah, it used to be Katy when my BP would start to rise. I remember the Movie theater just north of the freeway from back in the day. It was out in the sticks with nothing around it. Now it is surrounded by overpasses. and "Houston" starts in Brookshire. BTW Are they EVER going to finish I-10 there? They've been working on that section for 20+years. Talk about job security!

      Might have to try your technique. With my luck though, some gang banger would probably be driving by at that moment and take umbrage.

    2. BTW, Are they ever going to finish working on I-10 anywhere?

      There. I fixed it for you.

      I think the road designer actually had a thing for orange cones and barrels.

    3. Hwy 59 was called the 401K when I was there. Just another iteration of that. Same .gov, same drawn out schedule...

    4. Took me a second to grasp you subtle humor there STxAR, again, well played!

  5. I suggest the "Triumphal March" from Aida, Act 2 Scene 2. Like the Star Wars number, it starts out with a bang!
    Beautiful place you've got there, digital friend.I'm sorry, but I had to laugh at the vent/ceiling "finished work". What do some people think? As for the oven, I'm sure you've tried "bake, temp select, start". We're baking sourdough all day today, so that's why I can relate to your oven anomaly. Love your wood work, wish I had someplace for a semi-shop here.

    1. The Triumphal March was one of the first pieces of classical music I remember listening to as a kid. Loved it. So very likely that would make the list.

      As to the oven, a march outside to the circuit breaker and resetting one marked "Oven" was miracle working.

      Thanks D4, I wish mine was a tad bigger, but one of the immutable laws of nature is "Stuff expands to meet available space." I am realizing the truth in that statement is oh so many ways lately.

  6. 'Also Sprach Zathustra' with hidden woofers and sub-base speakers hidden in fake boulders so you get the full power of the kettle drums is my vote.

    And, of course, a voice track when the garage door closes and opens saying "Close the Blast Doors, Close the Blast Doors!" and "Open the Blast Doors, Open the Blast Doors!" would be appropriate reason for Mrs. J to whang your head with a cast iron skillet.

    I, too wonder as to the roof finisher not noticing a tad bit of an inconsistency on that hood vent-roof boundary. Yikes.

    So is that a broiler over an oven over an oven? Did it come with a technical manual and a checklist for your co-pilot to read to you as you prepare to cook? Does it need an APU to start it?

    Glad Little Juvat is in durrance not-so-vile. At least he has toys to play with.

    So... what's Detroit on the Bayou?

    1. Taking it from the bottom.


      Me too!

      Microwave on top, Broiler Oven next down, regular oven underneeth.

      The project foreman had it on his list. He didn't seem too pleased.

      Again, I like the way you think, Beans, But I think I'd program it so that it was Mrs J's garage door opener that said that. THAT would trigger the skillet.

      "Also Sprach Zarathusthra" would be motivational also. Maybe a rotation through several classical themes. William Tell Overture would have to be a departure based theme only, I would think.

    2. Always wanted to have a kitchen with 2 wall-mounted ovens. Sigh...

    3. I think I’m going to like the workspace flow quite a bit. Our current kitchen’s work triangle pretty much forces cooking a meal to a single person. Even with the three of us checking things out this morning there seemed to be plenty of room. We’ll see. But I’m pretty sure, even the kitchen help can partake in the conversation in the living room.

    4. You should have a couple cannons flanking the gate... The gate opens with the 1812 Overture, the booms would be.... memorable....

    5. STxAR, I've said it before and I'll say it again...I LIKE the way you think!

      We made a Lowes trip today to purchase fridge, washer and dryer. On the way down, Pandora played the Overture with the live cannons. We arrived at Lowes just as the final cannon firing occurred. As we shut down and dismounted, Mrs J asked "You did know that I had my hearing aids in and didn't need you to adjust the volume to full blast, dincha?"

      I'm sorry. I can't help it. That's one of those "Anything, just play it LOUD, Okay?" Overtures.

    6. Yep, the 1812 played with accompanying 105 mm howitzers for the cannons is pretty awesome. 😎
      Glad la casa neueva de juvat is looking so good - when is the house warming BBQ for Chanters?

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, I appreciate it. It will be very moving when the moving experience is over!

  8. I've a great deal of respect for electricity, even more so when electronics are involved.
    I was going to suggest the March of the Gladiators*, but then it occurred to me I really don't know you that well.
    I'm guess that whoever created the opening in the ceiling did attempt to find out the shape of the vent.
    Happy to hear your roads are done and that you don't have to share them with neighbors, only guests and family.
    Thanks for the Pyramids link.

    *I will save you (and everyone else) the trouble of looking it up:

    1. I like this for my own music, the blog was almost named after this.

      Le Chant de l'Oignon - because I really do love onions fried in oil!

    2. OK, Skip, you owe me for two new monitors. I had just taken a sip of water when I hit play. Very subtle of you. I never knew that the circus clown music was named that. Well done.

    3. Sarge,
      I'm glad you didn't, some of the comments on that video were priceless, and funny.

  9. Yea!! Down to final punch list stage!!
    Boo!! Having to pack and move...just ugh!!
    GREAT idea about taking a fan along and testing all the plugs--never heard of that one--gonna remember it!
    Yea!! Little J is in quarantine!! Now that is great progress!! Working on electronics--this could get interesting...
    The electronic stove doesn't work--first thing I thought was "Is it plugged in?" when the computer doesn't work, before calling anyone or panicking I reboot. (Thanks to an IT guy from a prior life a looong time ago)
    Yea!! The desk set is beautiful!!! And it looks awesome there with their wood floors!
    And the roadwork is all done--very cool!!
    Yes, I am late to the party--work is just nuts crazy due to so many full time nurses thinking they are allowed to go on vacation. So LOTS of work for us part time and per diem folks. Plus the garden is really beginning to crank up production, so lots of canning/freezing, etc. But next week I will be hanging out in Sarge's neck of the woods at "The Beach", so it's all good.
    I have learned many things from reading this is NEVER EVER take a sip of ANYTHING LIQUID during reading it. Before/after but not during...the comedy to be found here at unexpected moments is sneaky!!

    1. No worries, Suz! I thought the same thing, but thought that might have been deliberate to keep workers from cooking lunch or something. So just noted it on our list.

      Frankly I think medical people SHOULD be allowed to take vacations. I don’t want a cranky person to be jabbing me with sharp objects. I prefer it be done by a rested and relaxed person with steady hands and sharp eyesight. So...enjoy your garden and The Beach! We’ll be here when you get back.

  10. Juvat, I think you are having problems with the Tamper Resistant (TR) plugs they put in the homes. We replaced our master bathroom plugs (non-GFCI)with non-TR plugs because hair dryers and other bathroom appliances were giving the same sort of problems.

    1. That’s what I thought also Bill, The supervisor had brought a GFCI tester plug with him, and after we plugged it in to the troublesome sockets a time or two, then rechecked with the fan everything was fine. I think we’re ok now.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.