Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thank Heaven it Rained

We were beginning to lose the watering battle. The grass is slightly crispy but the plants and small trees are all doing great thanks to nearly non stop watering during this recent heat wave.

R and I decided to work on projects that were located in the shade, mainly weeding, mulching, and trimming. Except for one project that R decided might be aided by the heat.

Asphalt Repair

Yes, you read that correctly....asphalt repair. Our asphalt driveway was neglected for many many years before we purchased The Gear. Last year in a desperate attempt to help bide us some time, we had the entire driveway spray sealed. This was at a cost of $2200 and almost immediately soaked in as quickly as they sprayed it.

This year we purchased some cold patch, a bottle or two of crack filler, and some stuff in a tub that you trowel on small areas. Ironically, R thought the added warmth of the last week would help the cold patch compress and fill the areas we were fixing.

First, we removed any small broken pieces of asphalt or dirt from the cracks and holes we were repairing. I then used a garden hose to flush out the majority of the dirt and debris. The area quickly dried while R filled his portable air tank with compressed air.
Next R used the compressed air and an air gun to blow out the remaining small particles.

R then filled the small cracks using the bottle of crack filler we purchased at Home Depot. By this time the heat had gotten the most of us and we called it a day.The next day we filled the large holes with cold patch that we let sit in the sun (comes in plastic bags). R used a trowel to move the product from the bag to the hole. As he filled the hole, I compressed the cold patch by tamping with the end of an old 4 X 4 post. Yes, that is the curb area we are fixing. Technically the asphalt we are fixing is in the street but I cannot get Grand Blanc Twp to clean the curb so I surely could not get them to fix a hole in their asphalt. But...there is always a but in township politics....if I lived in a private development on a private road the township would probably have fixed the hole before I even noticed the hole.

We will continue this process until we have fixed all the holes in the driveway. R will then trowel on the stuff that came in a tub to level out the repaired areas.

Once all the cracks and holes are repaired we will begin to spread out a thick layer of sealer. This should occur sometime in the fall and will take quite awhile since the driveway is quite long.

We realize this sounds like a lot of work but when we quickly received an estimate for a repaving job we realized that +20K was just not in the budget and that we had better quickly take preventive measures.

In between the heat wave, asphalt repair, and weeding my laptop mother board went on the fritz and the digital cable quit working on 2 of the 3 TVs in the house. Comcast took their sweet time coming out and repairing the problem. The technician immediately went to worst case scenario and wanted to run all new cable. I told R absolutely not. It is all new RG6 and nothing has damaged it. After 45 minutes of debate, I was finally able to get him to look outside where the cable comes into the house. Well lo and behold.....the drop from the pole to the house was 59 and not RG6 but he assured me that was not the problem we were having and that after he replaced the 59 with RG6 that I would still be without digital cable on 2 of the 3 TVs. Well, long story short I made him (he resisted) hook everything back up after he replaced the drop. While he was hooking the cable back up I told R "if we are living right the cable will come back on." R replied "well if that is the case...it will probably burst into flames." Cable guy laughed but again assured me that this in no way would have any effect on our problem and that our problem was bad cables but that he would hook the TV back up to show me.

I bet you know what happened next.......that's right......all the TVs started working perfectly. But you will not believe what happened next. Mr. I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT AND YOU DON'T received a phone call from his boss inquiring if he had fixed the problem yet. He promptly took credit and told his boss that upon investigating the problem further he found the 59 drop and replaced it with RG6 and it promptly fixed the problem AND that he should investigate and find out who didn't replace the 59 drop in March because Comcast policy is that whenever you are called out to a job the FIRST thing you do is check the drop. Gees Louise...I was ready to make a sling for this guy's arm because I was sure he damaged it patting himself on the back.

I was so happy that the cable problem turned out to be on their end and required no money on our end that I promptly went out and bought a refurbished laptop. I am completely computer stupid and thank heaven for Windows because basically it found everything (modem, wireless etc) and just prompted me through the process.