Thursday, September 27, 2007
Obviously, it's a pumpkin-eat-pumpkin world these days.
This one is the vegetable world's NSFW entry
We dodged a big bullet this morning at a hastily convened meeting that included the general contractor, the excavator, a supervisor from Public Service of New Hampshire, Fritz and me. We met at the pole PSNH had installed fifteen feet or so from the street to bring the power, TV cable and internet lines onto the property. The lines jump from the pole on the street to my pole, then run down the side and into underground conduits for six hundred feet or so before entering the house up through the slab.
PSNH had rejected the installation of the in-ground conduits by our excavator as not in compliance with their specifications. I'd received the call while about 45 feet in the air on a catwalk, focusing lights for the Inman opera a couple of weeks ago, with PSNH's field representative hinting that the entire installation might have to be dug up and redone. Much of the digging would have to be by hand rather than backhoe so as not to destroy a great deal of the conduit in the ground. It wasn't one of my better moments. But in accordance with the new, more-Zenlike me, I quashed my old tendency to panic and asked for further information and some sort of meeting to find a way out of the situation. However, the field rep went on vacation and the meeting finally got scheduled when his supervisor and I spoke on the phone yesterday.
I didn't know what to expect. In my experience, there's sometimes a great deal more drama in the calls I'd get from PSNH than in the actual problems they'd involve. When we gathered at the pole this morning and began to sort things out, a few interesting details emerged. For one thing, the "birthmark" on the pole, an embossed date and ID code number, was only about two and a half feet above ground level--it's supposed to be five feet. The PSNH crew had set the pole too low. When back-fill over the conduits in their trough was added, to bury them the required three feet, the birthmark was only a foot above ground level.
Once that fact had been established, a couple of others emerged, including one that if the excavator encounters ledge or some other immovable obstacle two feet down, for example, the three foot rule can be finessed. Working from there, the problem unraveled pretty quickly and it was determined that only a small amount of the back-fill, perhaps a foot or fifteen inches, will have to be regraded and neatened up for everything to be just fine.
With all that settled, I thanked everybody for coming, shook hands all around, and Fritz and I proceded up the hill to find that the remaining roof fragment on the west side of the house had its frame in place and that all the interior framing on the first floor that remained to be done was well underway and should be finished by quitting time today.
We're now in the process of choosing any interior lighting fixtures that we don't already own. I brought a large number of my own antique hanging lamps and chandeliers from my house in Boston, so there are only some utility fixtures and two sets of wall sconces that we need to purchase. Given that the house is in a kind of Mission/Frank Lloyd Wright style, I wanted something for the stairwell (that will be lined on one side by book shelves and on the other side by all our CDs), with nice horizontal lines in a simple geometric shape. This one came from an internet lighting site and has gotten positive comments from all the interested parties. Choosing the finishing details is currently one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire construction process.
give it a try and let us know how it works out.