Thursday, March 22, 2012

03_21_2012 Bye bye trees. Hello construction

Before. A yard with four big mature trees.

All too close to the house.

Unfortunately all have to go for some construction we are getting ready to begin. We will be adding a room onto the front of the house (the left side will be extended out into the front yard). We are also gutting and remodeling the kitchen. And adding skylights to the dining room.

The two giant evergreens have to go. Each is only feet from the house. One would be in the middle of the new room. The other is tearing up the sidewalks and new driveway. Why were they planted mere feet from the house?

My favorite tree was the Silver Maple. We may have been able to leave it, but it had been tearing up the sidewalk for years. And we'd have to take many big roots during excavation of the new room. It would likely make the tree unstable. And in the wind storms we get here routinely, that is not a good thing. I wouldn't think it such a beautiful trees if it were laying on my flattened car.

And the Ash. That poor ugly ash tree has never had a chance, nor has it recovered from a lot of abusive pruning when it was young (before we were here). It had to go just because it's so awful.

Happily Dave wasn't home for this. It was traumatic enough for him to just see the moonscape when he returned. A crew of three guys swooped in and removed all four big trees in record time - maybe two hours?. It was fast and it was cool. Why is it so neat to see controlled destruction? Neighbors were out all around watching them work.

They climbed the Maple to take it apart before pulling the middle section down. Same with that pathetic Ash tree. The two evergreens were simply felled. I couldn't help but yell "timber" as they came down with enormous 'thumps'. I got video of one going down. I'll try to load it - hopefully the software will allow that so check below in case it works. (tried to upload it for two straight hours. fail. sorry).

The house looks like new construction - no greenery. At the end of the work, we will add back a tree - placed well - for birds and shade and beauty. I'm looking forward to that.

So, look forward to lots of before/after/construction/frustration/happiness blogs in the near future. Construction has a way of doing that!

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03_12 to 17_2012 New York City - Part IV - ACJS

My last day in NYC was spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). Michael, Mary and I headed over to take in several of the exhibits. The place is enormous. Though I'd been there before, I still have not seem most of it.

I wanted to see Picassos. Mary wanted to see the Daisys. And she did. We saw many Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh and many other terrific artists' work.

Not much I can say about these, so I'll stop and just let you enjoy them. Flew home sick and was happy to be here. It's nice to travel, but it's always nicer to come home!

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03_12 to 17_2012 New York City - Part III - ACJS

Though the conference continued and I had to return to the hotel for some work, Mary and I moved uptown to hang out at her brother and sister-in-law's home for a few days. We not only got to spend some fun time with Michael and Kelly, we were entertained by Daisy Dodge, their Siamese/Calico cat. Daisy is 100% Siamese with the coloring of a Calico. Really pretty, funny, and 100% cat.

As all cats do, she honed in on anything with heat. Or a stray piece of paper.

We dined out while there hitting some fun diners and specialty restaurants (meatball restaurant).

And we spent a fair amount of time hanging in the apartment. Michael was getting over some crud. Kelly and I caught the crud. Mary somehow managed to avoid it (so far).

My last day there was St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick's Day in NYC - need I say more? LOTS of people out for the parade. A sea of green. A sea of drunk. It was nuts! Made for some interesting traveling back to the airport when I flew out.

We managed to make another trip to the Disney Store. That place is a riot. I only ended up with two new stuffed animals...for Dave. Yeah, they are for Dave. Actually, he scooped one up upon my returning home. I'll never get to touch that one again. :)

We also hit a couple of museums. We went to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMO) and viewed a very odd photographic exhibit (the nightmares are tailing off only now). I had to take off early to get back to the conference.

Great time was had. Michael, Kelly and Daisy are great fun.

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03_12 to 17_2012 New York City - Part II - ACJS

Mary and I had a bit of time the next morning to get out. We hopped on the subway and went to Canal Street. It was said to us that it was good people watching. It was. Anyone need to buy some sunglasses? T-shirts? Bongs? Every store had the exact same stuff in it. Puzzling to me.

We continued walking toward the World Trade Center. It's a fun walk - so many beautiful skyscrapers in NYC. It's a surprise I didn't run in to a wall walking with my face pointed up the entire time.

We arrived just in time to grab tickets (free) to enter the memorial. This involved a walk all the way around the site to get in. The memorial is really beautiful. As you can likely tell. Each of the waterfalls sit on the precise footprint of the towers that were destroyed on 9/11. The new buildings are going up fast. They are gorgeous as well.

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03_12 to 17_2012 New York City - Part I - ACJS

The annual ACJS conference (Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences) was in New York City this year. No surprise they had big attendance numbers. Mary Dodge and I flew in on a very work-productive flight (aren't they all?) and got an excellent overhead look at NYC. I didn't have the camera out in time to grab shots of the World Trade Center memorial and new construction. Happily, I was able to photos of them later.

Look at all those buildings! All those people!

The weather was beautiful! We arrived, grabbed our bags, then grabbed a cab to our hotel - the Marriott Marquis. This is located smack dab in the middle of Times Square. Seriously. Walk out of the hotel look left and see the iconic view of Times Square. Look right and see it again. Lot of lights!

And amazing restaurants. Huge police presence. Interestingly, the officers were in more photos than the Disney Characters roaming the streets.

As with any large gathering of people, there were some freaks running around. I managed to get a photo of someone I'd nominate and freak of the year. Guy in his underwear with a liberty crown standing around to get his photo taken. Oddly, I don't think he was even doing it for tips. :/

Because I was in NYC for almost a week, I've got a fair number of photos. So, this trip will be presented in a few different blogs. Enjoy!

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