08/07/2010, Still stuck in Aurora
As so it goes. I took a drive up to my local Lowe's to see my new trim. I'd been assured that it would be in, at latest, Thursday afternoon for delivery on Friday(did anyone see the Easter Bunny?) As expected, it wasn't there. Gee, what a surprise. How gullible did they think I was. Reorder it on Wednesday and actually expect to have it at the store the next day? Come on folks. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can still cut butter. As expected, Jim(God bless him) was upset that he had to give the the bad news. The folks at Boise Cascade had fallen down and not shipped it. Not on Thursday and it wouldn't ship today either. No clear reason other than they had "sat" on the order. BUT, I was assured that they would have it at my local Lowe's on Monday(there goes that silly rabbit again). The folks at James Hardie(they make the trim) had sent Boise Cascade two faxes to make sure that it got sent out on Thursday but I guess they either "lost" the faxes of it just didn't fit into their shipping schedule. Either way, still no trim. So on to other projects.
I put another coat of epoxy on the rudder(for Sloop to Nuts) to seal it against the lake water to keep it from getting cracks in the mahogany. I timed it so that I got a coat on each side. One in the early morning and the second later in the afternoon. This stuff cures quick so you can't wait around. As I was smoothing it on the wood, I looked at the small cup that I mix it in and there was smoke coming from the cup!! Before I got it half poured out, it had started to harden and cure and the next time I looked in the cup, it was hard enough that I couldn't work with it any more and just dumped what was left in the trash can.
The front door of our house needed a new door sweep(rubber piece that goes on the bottom of the door). Our was pretty well shot. I checked on the internet and the company that made ours(Stanley) had been bought out(by Masonite) a few years ago. I placed some calls to local door companies and went in search of a new one(old on in hand). One of the first places I called thought they had one that would fit but they don't sell to the public so I had to go to one of the retail places and see if they had one. The map that the parent company has on their website(for the retail store) was only off by a few miles so after driving around for an hour or so(no cell phone), I stopped at a hotel(Hilton) and they were nice enough to get me good directions. Once there, the part they had wouldn't fit the door so after returning home(lunch time), I took off for the place that wouldn't sell to the public. I had nothing to loose at that time. They turned out to be a nice bunch of people and while they couldn't sell me one, they would GIVE me one!!!!! There are still nice people out there. Once home and with the door off the hinges, it fit perfectly!! Another job off the list. Now I get to go back to Lowe's and return the after market door sweep I bought earlier today. Tomorrow, more coats of epoxy on the rudder. I want to make sure it is well sealed so I don't have to worry about it again.
Tomorrow is another day.
08/05/2010, Still stuck in Aurora
I got a call from Lowe's yesterday morning. Here's the current update. Yes, the trim company screwed up the order. They are giving us 10% off. Lowe's, while not directly at fault, is giving us an additional $50.00 off and giving us free delivery.
As of now, somehow, they are telling us that they expect to have it at our Lowe's by TODAY--Thursday!!! Now the first order took a minimum of two-three weeks before we were expect it. Suddenly, we will be getting it within two days. I'll believe it when I see it!
So, we had to back out everything we have done(paperwork) and recharge it and start over. Fax the order to the trim company and then call to verify. I ended up with a good discount and a gift card for an additional $75.00 that I am still not sure where it came from. Not sure what I will spent the money on, but we still have several months to go before we head back to Zephyr.
I spent the rest of the day behind a computer getting some things straightened out watching rain fall. I did a rotisserie chicken for dinner since one of the local markets had them on sale for just .58 cents a pound. After a bit of basting and rotating on the spit, it came out just fine for a first attempt.
So today is another day. With luck, I'll get more epoxy on the rudder and get it done. At least one side of it.
More excitement to come.
08/04/2010, Still stuck in Aurora
If you read my last post, you have read about our trials and tribulations on our trim. It's journey around the US. Well, it finally after 5+ weeks showed up Monday morning. The driver called for directions and arrived about 10:00. He took his fork lift off the back of the truck, lifted the trim and carefully set in at the end of the driveway. As he put the lift back on the truck, we unwrapped and cut the straps that bundled the nice pile of trim. As Tracy turned over the first board, I hear"OH NO!!!". As we turned over the boards, we found that they had shipped us the wrong boards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had ordered smooth faced boards so they would match what we already had on the house so we wouldn't have to replace all the boards as many were just fine. These boards had a wood grain face!!!! Right size boards(still short 3 boards)but wrong face. I called Lowe's and spoke to Jim at the order desk. He told me to just have the driver take the boards back and he would start making calls. So off came the forklift and back the boards went. I got a call from Jim a few minutes later telling me that the distributor wanted to know what the boards had labeled on the back, so he had to wait till they got back to Lowe's so he could get that info. With that project now on hold, we took off on errands around town.
We headed for Target and Office Max as they were having a sale on school supplies. We are getting lots of these supplies to give out to kids as we sail to many of the back road towns along Mexico's coast. Many of these towns have very little for the kids and every little bit helps. They had toy trucks and lots of small toys to give out as well as pencils, pens, tablets, erasers and more at great prices so we loaded up. We've seen schools that have dirt floors and some that lost their roofs during last years hurricane. We already carry 400 pairs of reading glasses to give away so we are getting closer to having lots of things aboard to help them out.
We headed for West Marine to pick up more epoxy to seal and fix the poor rudder on Sloop to Nuts. It's taking lots more than we had thought. This time I bought cans of the stuff that I'll have to mix and spread around the wood.
Tuesday came and went with not much information from Lowe's as they are working with the distributor to see where they can get the right boards. The did admit that they had indeed screwed it up and loaded the wrong stuff. With luck, we will hear today as to when we may get the boards.
Stay tuned as the saga continues.
07/31/2010, still in Aurora, CO.
I headed up to Lowe's yesterday morning to check on the trim. It was due in-finally. Jim--my friendly Lowe's associate--told me it was in!!! He called receiving to see where it was located in the store. "What do you mean it's short?" was what I heard during the call. That's right, not all the siding shipped!!! They were short three of the 3.5"X 12 foot boards!!! Off we went to check the bundle out. They pulled it down from the racks and sure enough, there were 12 of the 5.5" boards and only 9 of the 3.5" boards. Calls were made and they would order more in for me if I needed them. Of course they would have to order another 12 boards as that is the only way that James Hardie ships. I'd get my three and Lowes would get the rest for free as James Hardie admitted that they had screwed it up. I checked my pad where I had complied all my measurements of what I needed. By my calculations, I only needed about 90 board feet of the 3.5" so missing three boards wouldn't be a problem. Actually sort of a blessing as now I would get some money back!! Jim apologized for the shortage--heck, it wasn't his fault. He'd already set us up for a Monday delivery as the weekend was closed for deliveries. If I needed the other three boards, I had to let them know as soon as possible. I did ask Jim to see if I could get a discount of some sort for the long delay and the shortage. He said he'd check and let me know on Monday. Hey--it never hurts to ask.
I then went in search of "drip edge" to go above the windows around the house to make sure the water stays out after I install the boards. Lowe's didn't have anything that would do the job so I had to go to Home Depot--the big orange store. It took some traveling as the first store didn't have enough, but I finally got what I needed. So after the trim is in place, I will run a bead of caulk along the top of the top trim edge and then nail the drip edge in place and then apply another coat of caulk. We've had problems with leaks with the old boards popping their caulk along the top of the trim with the initial boards. This will take care of that problem. Aaron, our neighbor will loan me his nailer so I don't have to buy one. It helps to have nice neighbors.
So, today I'm off to classes at the new Microsoft store. I need training on the new Windows computer we bought. I know nothing of WIndows 7 and since the classes are free(plus the temp is to get in the mid 90's today)I don;t mind spending my time in an air conditioned store. Plus, it's near the Apple store so I can tour there too.
I set up our computers to use "Skype" so Tracy and I can talk when I'm in New Jersey next month at my diesel class. It even has video.
Well, it's about time to leave for class. More to come.
07/30/2010, Still in Aurora, CO.
Here is a second post after I posted earlier today.
We saw a computer on sale at Walmart for just $298!!! How could you miss?? We use an Acer computer for our Nobeltec navigation software to help tell us where we are when out on long treks. As with most things in a boat, we know it will eventually fail(normally sooner than later). Backups are a necessity as well as a general rule.
I expected Walmart to be out of them when we got there but they still had plenty. It's another Acer(like what we have) with much more memory and a faster processor. We will load up all the navigation software we have and then shrink wrap it and put it away for emergencies once back on Zephyr. It will use our existing GPS that works with our older Acer so we will always be prepared should a sudden spike(lightening) cause our electronics to get fried.
And so the pile of parts gets bigger.
07/30/2010, Still in Aurora, CO.
Our trip to Lake Granby was great. Sloop to Nuts was waiting for us with a badly torn tarp. It was in bad shape when I was there back in late May and was worse now. Off it came quickly and got folded and stuffed in the local dumpster.
Once we unlocked the companionway door, she looked just great inside. A bit dusty, but still the same pretty boat we have loved for the last 23 years. We'd brought every key we could to unlock the lock on our outboard motor. We'd left a set of the keys with the marina two years ago so they could hopefully sell it. For the first year, they forgot that they were supposed to sell it so she just sat. Last year, we found out that they had lost the keys and had to cut the lock off the door to get in. When they lost the keys, they lost the only copy of the key for the outboard that we knew we had. Let me tell you, the lock we had on it was HUGE. I'd tired to get it off a year ago and bring it home for storage rather than leave it there. I'd brought a set of bolt cutters from Home Depots tool rental. It made a small dent on the lock but wouldn't cut through it. It made channels in the blades on the bolt cutters. Basically, it ruined the bolt cutters. We got lucky and we found the one last key we had for the lock and it came off easily. Sure an glad we found it as using a hack saw would have taken quite a while. Off came the motor and into the trunk it went.
Next came the rudder. The bottom paint on it was long since gone and lots of small cracks had developed in the mahogany. The varnish on the top half of the rudder needs a good sanding and renewing.
Out came the two batteries we use for power. One read 1.6 volts and the second read 2.5 volts. A bit low for a 12 volt battery. I made a diagram as to what wires went to what posts and out they came. We lowered them over the side with dock lines through the handles. Into the trunk they went.
That was all we were bringing home so after inspecting the rest of the boat, we locked her up and headed our for the 2.5 hour drive home.
When we got home, I plugged in the battery charger and hooked it up to one of the battery to see if we could revive it. The gauge on the battery didn't move yet you could hear the charger trying to force the charge back into it. By the next morning, the battery read 13.1 volts. The second battery did the same but the gauge ramped up after a few hours on the battery. It appears to be at a full charge as of this morning. We'll see if the charge lasts.
I'll be sanding down the rudder to start it's repairs this morning and so it goes.
Still no trim from Lowe's.