Sunday, April 29, 2007

Problem Solved?

A heavy rain came April 15 after the installation of the drain line I described in the last post. Scroll down to see that post and those pictures.

The picture above shows storm water flowing along the sidewalk and entering the trough. The picture below shows the same water entering a basin and spreading into the lawn past the house and basement wall.

The basement stayed dry.

Have a good week!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Muscle Ache

The above picture is a view inside our den at the end of one recent day. This picture shows Red Wing boots parked in front of a Bob Timberlake sofa after hard work on a home improvement project.

This work was needed to collect storm water runoff and channel it across the front of our house. During recent years, heavy rainfall resulted in water seeping into our basement floor.

After many years of maintaining a dry basement, water from heavy rains began flowing off the street and along the driveway, down the sidewalk and across the lawn close to our house. Also, the gutter downspout drain line flowed underground next to the basement wall. This drain line, perhaps, became clogged or cracked after 20 plus years and may have contributed to the wet basement floor.

Two pictures below show installation of a trough in the sidewalk and 40 feet of 6" PVC pipe laid in a open ditch to direct the water flow past my house. The gutter downspout flow now enters this new pipe at a T-joint.

The last picture shows the pipe covered with dirt and the finished appearance. Seeding this space for grass will finish the job.

This project took around 10 hours spread over several days to dig, shovel, saw, and break concrete in preparation to install a trough, grate, and pipe.

I believe this will solve the wet basement problem.

Have a good week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Famous Man

I read the book by Debby Applegate entitled The Most Famous Man in America The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, 527 pages published by Doubleday in 2006.

I am so glad I read this excellent book of a man about whom I previously knew nothing.

I read this book as if preparing for a test in college - that is, slower than normal, concentrating, and marking certain pages with Post-it flags.

Henry Ward Beecher was the brother of Harriett Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Henry and Harriett were two of several children of the famous minister Lyman Beecher.

Henry Ward Beecher was so popular and famous that President Lincoln invited Mr. Beecher to prepare and deliver the ceremonial reunification speech at Fort Sumter, South Carolina when the United States flag was re-raised there after the Civil War in March 1865.

Henry Ward Beecher was famous and influential as a preacher and orator who preached about God's love. This approach of teaching about God was different from his father's preaching and other preachers who emphasized the fear of God's wrath.

Henry was also a leading abolitionist and influenced many people to end slavery. Famous authors like Twain, Whitman, Melville, Dickinson, Emerson, Holmes, Hawthorne and Thoreau were attentive to the preaching and speaking tours of Beecher.

Beecher was born 1813 in Connecticut, graduated Amherst College and Lane Seminary. His first church was in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, "a destitute place indeed", according to Beecher's diary. Next, he served as a minister at a church in Indianapolis before he was recruited to Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York.

I learned much from this wonderfully researched and well-written book. Debby Applegate, Ph.D Yale University, researched Mr. Beecher for twenty years to prepare and write this book.

Have a good week!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Graduation Day

Our four days at Parris Island concluded on Friday, February 9, 2007 at the graduation ceremony. Families of the new Marines filled the stands as commanders and drill instructors marched disciplined and fit young men and women past the bleachers. Commanders made speeches and recognized outstanding trainees before the Marines were dismissed to join their families. It was an impressive ceremony and a proud moment for the Marine Corps and us observers.

I thank the Marine Corps for the opportunity they extended to me to visit Parris Island. I have great respect for Marine Corps history, current and former Marines and the young people who enter Marine recruit training today.

I "tip my hat" to all Marines and their families in respect and admiration for their service and sacrifices.

Have a good week!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fallen Heros

I stood mesmerized by images on the 8 X 10 photos as I read of their sacrifices to save others.

Crawford Hall at Parris Island, South Carolina is the Drill Instructor School building. Hallway walls inside are museum like with group pictures of DI graduates dating back to the 1940's. The wall that captured my attention is in the picture above. I estimated 50 to 60 photographs of Marine Medal of Honor recipients from the Vietnam War. A written citation described each Marine's heroic actions. The citations I scanned were awarded posthumously. When I emerged from my hypnotic state, I was alone in the hall because everyone else had moved into the auditorium for the presentation.

The first picture below shows the shopping space of the Marine Corps Exchange where we were allowed entry.

The bottom two pictures show teachers on the Crucible Course where we attempted the team challenges that recruits must accomplish to pass their training. None of our teams came close to completing the requirements within the time allotted.

Return here on April 8 for the final Parris Island posting. Have a good week!