I'm ready to go. All packed and hoping my flight will be on time. For those of you who don't know, I'm going to one of the premier skiing areas in the world - Interlaken, Switzerland or the Jungfrau Mountain region. Oh, and I don't know how to ski. Nothing like going to a world class ski region and not knowing how to ski! I do have company, however, as another brave soul on the trip also does not know how to ski. I'm hoping that my hockey skills (or lack thereof) will aid in balance and my general fitness will aid in recovering from unintended cartwheels down the mountain.
It's a good thing my wife has a nice health plan. I wonder if the Ski Patrol takes HSA plans?
Our other helper was found under the lid to the water meter. The black blob you see along the lid is a black widow spider or Latrodectus mactans. I decided to put it in a jar so I could show it to Brandi. She and my dad wanted me to kill it, but I decided to do the right thing and release her in the woods.
So, now I have a septic tank that has apparently been in operation since 1951. I thought I was on the city sewer system but now I know why my grass in the front yard is always green. Time to call Stanley Environmental - to pump out the septic tank so I can then cave it in and cover it up. The nice men pictured above spent some quality time pumping over 1500 gallons of raw sewage from the tank.
The photo above shows them hitting the "solids" section of the tank. They've got a long way to go at this point. When I took this picture I thought the tank was only about 4 feet by 8 feet long. You can see below that I was WAY off. This tank was 12 to 15 feet long and basically full of crap. Oh, and it's only about 6 feet deep. Good thing I didn't fall in... I would have drowned.
So here is the empty tank. Our trusty back-hoe operator came back later and caved the side walls in and filled it with dirt and the broken pieces of my walkway. So what we've learned since is that the bathroom that Brandi and I use was on the septic system and the rest of the house was on the main sewer line to the city sewer system. My dad and I also discovered some shotty workmanship under the house - an uncapped broken line and leaky joints in the main line. In order to get everything on the main line, dad and I spent about 5 hours under the house running a new PVC line from the bathroom to the main line and replacing the connections that were leaky. That was four days ago and my dad claims he is still sore! Suck it up dad!
At the end of the day everything worked out. We left everything better than we found it and the inspection from the County passed. Who knows what surprises await us on our next project.
Travis' itinerary is as follows:
1. Budapest to Zurich (Swiss Air)
1a. A likely missed connection to London Heathrow due to the short connection time
2. Zurich to London (Swiss Air)
3. Piccadilly Line (tube) from Heathrow to Victoria station
4. Gatwick Express from Victoria to Gatwick Airport
5. Taxi to the Best Western Gatwick Hotel
7. Gatwick to Charlotte (USAirways)
8. Wait for Brandi's flight from Munich (1. 5 hours waiting)
9. Parking Shuttle to Lot Long Term 2
10. Car Ride Home
Brandi's Itinerary is as follows:
1. Budapest to Munich (Lufthansa)
2. Hotel shuttle to Marriott Hotel
4. Munich to Charlotte (Lufthansa)
5. Parking Shuttle to Lot Long Term 2
6. Car Ride Home
Travis' journey seems a lot worse right?
On our second day we did the whirlwind tour; Schonbrunn Estate during the earlier part of the day, and the Old City the rest of the day. Our pedometer read 21,000 steps after the day ended. Vienna proved to be a very accessable and friendly city with lots to see. We timed it right because the weather was outstanding - high seventies, low eighties.
Oh, one thing I nearly forgot to mention. Schonbrunn Palace is a great place to go jogging. This morning, prior to catching the train to Budapest, I went for a jog around the estate. It was perfect - the gardens open before the palace, so I was able to jog free of any tourists. I appears that most of the locals go to run here as well. There were hundreds of joggers on the grounds while I was there. After 45 minutues of jogging, including two hill climbs, I was spent. Shower, Underground, Train, Budapest. I'm now searching for a good run here!.
This is our Underground Stop. The public transportation in Vienna was outstanding! Clean, safe, efficient. And the iPhone app with the subway network was worth the dollar that I spent on it.
Apparently this astrological clock has been working for four hundred years - not bad. Every hour this thing does a little song and dance and hundreds of people stand in front of the clock looking up like idiots. I was one of them.
Prague is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities, but I haven't been overwhelmed like I thought I would. I guess my own hype got in the way. Regardless, we're on our way to Vienna tomorrow via the 12:30 train. Oh, and Brandi is starting to get sick - I might be doing a lot of site-seeing on my own in Vienna - which sucks 'cause I've already been to Vienna. (Tennis event - 1997)
Open for business! I made my first delivery of "Oak Trail" honey today to the Java Bean Coffee Shop. My neighbor Billy has been gracious enough to allow me to display and sell my honey at the shop. The photo shows our creativity in displaying this fine product. If you in the mood for honey, it's only $10 for 32 ounces, $6 for 16 ounces and $3 for 8 ounces.
I've done hundreds of golf events but this new scoring system for the USGA is new to me. So I grabbed a scoring unit and walked with the training group and scored a hole. I screwed up at the end - good thing I'm not an actual walking scorer.
Fox Hole and I set up TV today - probably the easiest set up I've been involved with. The TV folks were helpful and we were efficient. Basically it took us about 2 hours to set up and cable 17 computers. Before we left the compound, all systems were running with live data. On to the next task...
I have to have all of this honey spun before I leave for Wimbledon. You are looking at t 26 frames of honey which is close to 60 pounds. Notice my shiny new extractor on the right. This will probably take me four hours to do. It's not as fun as I thought it would be.
In total I've calculated that I'll get about 120 pounds for the season. Much more than I had anticipated.