Monday, June 29, 2015

Seventh Grade Rock Climbing

Living back east in the tedious flatlands as a child, for some reason enrolled in a rock climbing class. Learned ropes, knots, rappelling, and other relevant things. Past that class, the sport and the material never continued as other pastimes, occupations, and distractions had their way. Occasionally would use a knot or a carabineer for this or that use, but nothing more.

But now, a resurgence. How? Why?

What I have found in inspecting structures is that standing on the ground with binocs or a good camera does not do justice to being up and personal with the roof. We have had inspectors that would not get up on roofs, fearing for their safety. (Both roofs to me very accessible though a tad high.) The difference between seeing the chimney at one foot away v. many tens of feet. Looking down the chimney when possible. Seeing the aging of the roof, siding, windows. How the builders fit the components together. Slovenly or competent. The attention to detail or not.

Now before an inspection, I do everything possible to ascertain what the roof is like. How steep. What material. On Astoria’s particularly crazy steep roofs of three or four storeys, I like to take recon trips and figure out how to gain the summit. That awning to that level, then over to there. Up that valley to the ridge to the chimney. What ladders and gear will it take?  

A wood roof in wet weather? Rather than pulling a Nancy R. and “just saying no!”; looking to see if there is yet a way. And often making it happen.

On game day, when the top is attained, seeking an anchor point to temporarily secure a rope for the descent. Monkeying around getting the close ups and the pics for the report. Since going up is easier than down, the rope necessary for safety and stability. Kind of a half rappel to get back to the ladder point. Camera in one hand, rope in the other. Other tools out as needed. Often the best views in town, on those roofs. And peaceful, early in the morn before most people are up.

Never thought a seventh grade rock climbing class would have subsequent benefit. But it has, though it took years to reveal its wisdom.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Tought I Taw A Puddy TAT!

Tillamook surround, out in the country. Misty morning. Mild. There's something about the beauty of that place. The peace. Calm. The way the clouds wreath the surrounding hills in the morning. The milk trucks coming by every once and a while.

Finished on schedule. Time for the fun-finale, the crawl space. This crawl I had bad feelings about cause the vent hatches were uncovered though blocked and one block was ajar with fur on the edge. 

Underneath, looked across the way and saw two shiny EYEBALLS. Then four. But wait! In an instant, the recognition of things known, things good. 

The residents, pics following. 

                                   Can you see me? 

Scared little ones. I had to work hard to get them to settle down in a corner. Then making friends as well as possible in a nasty dark crawl space with what must look to them like this alien monster with yellow rubber dishwash gloves, respirator, goggles, rubber suit, etc. I handed them out the vent to the purchaser-to-be and he took them into what must be their first human contact. The purchaser was glad to have and keep them; his eight year old daughter would be ecstatic.

Fare well, little ones. . .  May God the One Lord give you a safe, happy life in the home above your birthplace. 

. . .

Update on one of the little ones.