Thursday, March 22, 2007

Estimating Effort

Bathroom additon. The nearer "bathroom" will be the kitchen while we are living in this cabin.

Two floors' worth of waste

Our early morning visitors on Thursday were two guys from San Antonio looking for work. We’ve had people showing up on and off, and mostly haven’t had anything for them to do, but these guys just picked the right day. I haven’t written about it, but part of our delay in closing was a slight difficulty with the Belize Zoo. The Zoo had come onto the property right around the time we made our offer and removed some of the cat cages. When they removed them, they just cut the welded wire off with bolt cutters, and left the spikes sticking up out of the concrete bases, making the area very dangerous to walk through. They had said they were going to come back and clean up and remove the bases, but they never did, so the real estate agent that had listed the property told us to get an estimate of what it would cost to remove the bases, let him know, and he would try to settle with the Zoo. The real estate agent had visited us on Tuesday and taken some pictures, so we hadn’t done anything until then, but since he had seen the mess and documented it, we had to figure out how to get an estimate. What better way than to let two guys see how much they can get done in two days, and then multiply that effort by the number of cages that have to be removed? These two guys just happened to show up on the right day, so by the end of the week we should know what we need to know to make a pretty good guess about how much it will cost.

Tom found an avocado in San Antonio. As I wrote the other day, I was thrilled to get mangoes and white onions in Belmopan, and wondered when the avocados would appear. The answer is, now. They’re just like the mangoes as far as cost – expensive by Belizean standards, but very reasonable by US/Wegman’s standards, at $1.50USD/avocado.

Tom and Selwyn spent the day getting the support posts set for the bathroom addition off the first cabin. They spent a lot of time measuring 2x6s, since a ten foot board can be anywhere from slightly less than 10 feet to almost 12 feet, and they want to get as much out of each board as they can. Even with doing a lot of measuring they set most of the floor framing for one of the bathrooms. We’re looking forward to more progress on Friday.

I rode Esmerelda and finished cleaning ticks out of her ears. I also wormed her, pulled her mane, and gave her a bath with the hose. A stud chain works wonders on an opinionated little mare; I didn’t go for any more drags. She’s starting to look like a horse that somebody cares about, and her behavior is getting better as she realizes she’s not running the world.

The guys who were cleaning up the cages suggested that Tom let some of the air out of the truck tires to improve the ride. Tom took everybody home to San Antonio because he had to go to the hardware store and to get more bottled water, and he found that less air pressure in tires makes for a much smoother ride. Now he just has to remember to put the air back in the next time he goes out and picks up a big load of something.

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