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Patience is a virtue October 29, 2006

Posted by jeff in Uncategorized.
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And a truly necessary skill as well! It’s 12 days since our last post and the site looks remarkably like it did on the 17th of October! There are fewer leaves in the trees, perhaps, but otherwise it’s just the same. We’re in permit purgatory at the moment, waiting for the building permit to be issued by the town. The water sample should be all set, the plans have been filed, the insurance is in place and Ralph assures me that the subs are all lined up and waiting.

And waiting.

Isn’t the expectation going to make this sweeter in the end?

I find self-delusion is also a truly necessary skill.

If not necessarily a virtue…

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Only days now… October 17, 2006

Posted by jeff in house.
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  Well TestYou can live weeks without food, but only days without water. Having never been on a hunger strike or a long hike in the desert, I never thought about that too much. But we’ve now been four (4!) weeks from when the last excavation was complete and when we’re ready to start again! Four weeks! Heck, you could die of hunger in that time, let alone thirst!

Now, before you take any of this blog to be too much of a rant against our builder or the house building process, you need to realize something. Our builder knows of this blog. And we like our builder. (does that earn us any brownie points Ralph?) So please don’t think this is a rant against Ralph. It’s simply an insider’s view of the process. And the process does indeed take a darn long time!

Speaking of a long time, I moved some rocks today. A couple dozen of them. I was waiting for Andy, our driller, to return so that I could give him some money. And since he wasn’t there and I was, I decided to get a little exercise for a change. So I moved some of the weathered rocks that make up the rock wall where the house will be built to the wall on the street side of the house. And in the process, I discovered why people invented machines. Rocks are heavy. Kinda helps put this thing into perspective a bit, stumbling and heaving two dozen rocks around over 15 minutes. I looked back when I was done and couldn’t even see where the rocks were amongst the leaf litter. Nor could I see any improvement in the wall. But I know I did something. And now you do too!

So where are we?

  • Water quantity and quality tests are complete.
  • Ralph’s submitted for the building permit (we had to wait for the well on this one)
  • Dave Richard’s moving his equipment back in tomorrow and hopefully improving the driveway, stumping the building site and starting to dig the hole over the next few days.

So give us a couple days and we’ll hopefully have a few more interesting photos for you. And a hole!

What’s flowing at 23,760 gallons per day? October 12, 2006

Posted by jeff in Uncategorized.
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You got it baby – that’s our well!  Our builder just told us that the well fractured just under 500 ft and is giving us 16.5 gallons per minute. Luckily the guys at Bay State Pump are smart enough to not leave the pump running, so we’re not washing away our entire building site.  They’ll be scheduling the water test tomorrow morning and we’ll be back underway with excavation Tues or Wed next week!

Frack! October 7, 2006

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In case you’re puzzling over the title, it’s not a swear. Although it could be one. And a good one at that!*

The well hit 600 ft and produced 3 gallons per minute. While that’s enough to float a very tiny boat and maybe flush a toilet occasionally, it just ain’t gonna handle the geothermal heating system. So on Monday or Tuesday, they’ll frack the well, either by explosives or hydrofracking. Our builder tells us there’s a real good chance this well will work and we won’t have to drill another. Given the difficulty in taking down more trees, building more road and relocating the well, we’re praying for Frack over here!

So the plans for the upcoming week are to get the well going and then to continue with the excavating. We’re building up the driveway a bit more and pulling the stumps at the building site as soon as Dave Richard’s back with his equipment.

*Pop Culture Note – Don’t blame my husband, he does not know/retain pop-culture references, even when he sees/hears them on TV a few days before, like on Veronica Mars. Frak – is a pseudo-swear from Battlestar Galactia…yeah,  admit it – your life is just a bit more complete now that you know this little tid-bit.

Well? October 5, 2006

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We’ve been told over and over and over to expect the process to be trying. And we’ve set our expectations accordingly. But there’s something about the construction industry that makes communication impossible. I mean, if I’m supposed to finish a bit of website maintenance for a client on a Monday and my computer breaks, keeping me from doing it most of the week, I don’t just shut up and keep quiet, do I? Okay, okay, most of the time I don’t! Can my wife skip teaching her classes for a week and then expect to keep her job? What’s up with these people???

Well drillingAfter a week with nothing happening because the first well company punked out with broken equipment and no communication, Bay State Pump of Holden took over. We had some permit issues hold us up on Monday as our engineer didn’t have plans at the Public Health office in time, but Bay State moved the rig in and staked the well location on Tuesday. We’re 10 feet off the driveway, 50 feet behind (street-side of) the house.

Wednesday they started drilling. And drilling. Most of our neighbors have wells around 250 ft. We needed at least 300 ft for the geothermal system, but at that point had only 2 of the 15 gallons/minute we need. So we kept drilling. When I was on site this beautiful Thursday morning, they were at 475 ft and drilling. The plan is to go to 600 ft and then hydrofracture to try to increase the yield.