Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pooling Your Resources - Final

Well the big day finally arrived. Time to fill the pool with 22,500 Gallons of agua through a garden hose! This should take about 20 hours.

The funny thing I noticed about filling our pool is that we need to check the water level about every 30 minutes. I don't know why. I don't mean just looking out the window. I mean putting on the flip flops and going to the edge of the pool and staring down at the growing reservoir. Maybe we want to assure ourselves that progress is being made.

We were also instructed that a permanent water line could form if for some reason the water stopped flowing before the pool filled to the tile line. Checking progress covered this possibility.

The hose does not look up to the task! It looks more like a piece of hair in a sink.

The pool now has some interesting reflective properties due to the darker surface material.

A view from the diving board.

The spa with a new dam wall.

I really like the tile work in and around the skimmer. The water look so blue and inviting.

The steps seem to be inviting you down into the tranquil waters.

The early morning sun highlights the deco tile interspersed on the riser. Such a different look that the blue 3" tiles.

The surface colors and the reflections are truly amazing at the time of morning. The pool seems to be saying dive in.

A new look to the Boizelle resort and health spa! We look forward to entertaining family and friends in the years to come.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pooling Your Resources (Cont.)

The pool resurfacing began this morning. I heard a banging outside the house at 5:30am. I got up and went outside to see what was going on. The workmen were already starting to work! One guy was knocking old dried mix off the inside of the mixer drum - at 5:30am! I told them to knock it off and wait until 7am. They went at it again and this time the lady of the house went out and read them the riot act. They should have listened to me. I was much nicer about the whole thing.

Anyway, the process is pretty cool. After a little additional surface prep, a scratch coat is applied to fill in the gouges from when the original surface was chipped out. They then apply a first coat of the pebble/quartzite mix. They trowel it in, shape it to the contour of the pool and let it set up for awhile.

Notice the boots that his guy is wearing. He is not actually standing in the mix. His boots are attached to a platform consisting of 4 spikes. The only thing that is supporting his weight are the 4 spikes. This way he doesn't mess up the troweling .

A second coat is applied and the troweling process is repeated. The overall thickness of the new surface is between an inch to an inch and a half. Thickness is a little greater on the bottom and then tapers thinner to the tile line.

This is a shot of the process in the spa.

The stairs are being formed with a special shaping tool. The color of the new surface is not the result of a poorly exposed picture. The mix is really blue at this point. The colored quartzite floats to the surface due to the troweling.

Once the troweling is complete, the surfaces is washed down with water through a fine spray nossle. The small pebbles are exposed and the true beauty of the surface starts to emerge.

The balance of the pictures are after the workmen have finshed the resurfacing and cleaned up the plastic masking, etc.

The surface will cure over night and tomorrow the workmen will apply an acid wash to completely remove the remaining quartzite and fully expose the pebbles.

New drain covers will be installed and pool lights will be reconnected.

We had achors installed (second hole from the left under the riser) so we can attached a rope buoy. Lindsay is planning to offer swimming lessons next year and we want to rope off the deep end of the pool.

Suprisingly, the color of the cool decking is quite complimentary. The deck will need to be repainted but we may not need to change colors.
The pool really looks great with new tile and
surface. We hope to enjoy the pool for many more year to come.
It is sad the summer time is many months away. But spa will be up an running for our guests over the Christmas Holidays.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pooling Your Resources

Some people drop money on boats. Others drop money in RVs. I decided to drop money into another hole of sorts....a pool renovation.

After so many years, pool surfaces begin to deteriorate. Our pool is about 15 years old and it was time to resurface and retile.

The process is pretty simple. Chip out the old plaster down to the concrete and remove the old tile. Repair any structural damage and get on with applying new tile and a new surface.

The tile goes on first. We chose a tile in keeping with a desert landscape. I think we will like it. It is more subtle than the original blue tile. The tiles are also 6 x 6 tiles which are larger and adhere to the surface better than the smaller 3" tiles.

In this picture, the workers are applying the water line tile.

We added some decorative tiles in with the regular tiles on the riser. It may be a little hard to see this unless you magnify the picture. It is subtle.

We chose a custom color for the surface called electric blue. That means the pool surface will not be white but have a blue tint. The surface will also not be plaster but something called Baja Mini-Pebble, similar to pebble tech. These are small, smooth pebbles purchases from around the world and mixed with a colored quartz aggregate.

The pool surface is mixed at the street and then sprayed on. While the surface is setting up, workers trowel the surface until smooth. The last step is to do a light acid wash to expose the pebble and the quartz color aggregate. The pool company turns the project over to me to fill the pool with water. The water must run constantly until filled. Stopping the filling process could result in a permanent water line.

The renovation also includes retiling and resurfacing the spa. I am really excited about this since we will use the spa more frequently during the cooler months. I will have further pictures as the project proceeds.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tribute to Rex Spackman

Early on Tuesday Morning, September 16, my father-in-law, Rex Spackman, passed away in his sleep. He was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife, Mildred and their 14 children.

I met Rex Spackman for the first time when I visited my wife to be at her home in Lewiston, Utah. I learned later that he was concerned at how long I had been at the Spackman home visiting his daughter that day. He wanted to know my intentions!

I remember the day I called Rex to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. I was fairly nervous about calling him to respectfully ask for his blessing. I don't remember much of what I said but I do remember how much he appreciated the call and the follow up letter.

During the first years of our marriage, I visited the Spackman home frequently. I got to know Rex fairly well. I would often go out to the milk barn to talk with him while he milked his cows. He would typically ask me to help with some aspect of the milking. I helped him on the farm and on his rental properties now and then. I occassinally joined him to watch Lawrence Welch, his favorite TV program. We had some lengthy discussion on range of topics - business, politics, religion, world affairs. He was a well educated and informed man. I enjoyed those discussions and I hope he did as well.

Rex allowed me to borrow a little money at one point in my married life to help us with a down payment. Beef from the farm and other gifts from time to time helped us survive our early married years. I was always welcome to borrow the pick up to drive up to High Creek to fish. There was an expectation, however, that I repaid him with a fish or two. He was peaved if I ever chose to release the fish.

Over the years, I developed a great respect for my father-in-law. He was the father of 14 capable and talented children. Anyone who can raise and support a family of that size has my respect. Rex was a gifted teacher. He was a skilled musician and a respected farmer. He was a good father-in-law and friend.

I will miss Rex Spackman.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ride to the End of Pavement

This week's cycling has been exhilarating to say the least. I have been cycling with a group formed by a local bike shop. We ride on Saturday mornings at 6am and again on Monday mornings at 5:45am. Saturday rides are usually focused on endurance and thje Monday rides are training for the Tour of Tucson in November.

This last Monday we rode to the end of the pavement on the Apache Trail. This is the historic road that was built to ferry men and materials during the building of Roosevelt Dam.

After my ride on Monday this road is historic in my mind for other reasons. The ride was a 40+ mile round trip of steep grades, tricky switchbacks, sheer drop offs, narrow single lane bridges, a tarantula, a rattlesake and some suspicious characters with a handgun.

As the group entered the Tonto National Forest I had to dodge a large tarantula crossing the road. I was ahead of the group. I turned and warned those following but they couldn't hear me and they didn't see the critter either. Maybe they ran over it.

A mile or two up the road, I dodged a small rattlesnake. We were going too fast by then to determine if the snake was already roadkill or just paused in crossing the road.

The balance of the ride we encountered large yellow catepillars crossing the road in great numbers. We had to be careful going through turns at speed. This sounds gross but wet tires from squished catepillars could have been a problem maintaining traction.

The grades were punishing on the legs. Simple as that. I was able to keep up with the group through Tortilla Flats but the climb to the end of pavement put me in some hurt.

As I approached one of the last turns on the way up, I saw two guys sitting on a guardrail. One of them had his hand in his pocket. I didn't think anything about it until after I had made the turn. I realized that we had one lady riding behind me and the thought crossed my mind that she would be alone as she went through the turn. I started to think these guys were up to no good so I turned around and road past these guys and stopped about 30 yards below their position. I waited for our last rider. As I was waiting I looked back at these two guys. One of them had a hand gun out. It was probably in his pocket as I road past. A red pickup came up the road and pulled over at the turn. The two guys hopped in. The driver turned around and drove back toward Tortilla Flats. I have no idea what these guys were doing out in the middle of nowhere. I have to wonder if they were running drugs, illegally entering the country or maybe they were coyotes.

The thrill of the day came on the way back to Tortilla Flats. What goes up must come down. I clocked 52.5 mph at one point in the descent. Crazy fast! I wasn't even pedaling, just coasting. I can't imagine what speeds I could have reached if I pushed it.

My high speed descent enabled me to catch up to the front riders by the time they reached Tortilla Flat. The climb out from Tortilla Flat was a little easier than I expected but I still got behind again on the final grade.

Once we all regrouped, the fun was on as four of us jockied for position to see who could finish the ride first. For several miles our speed reached 28-30 mph with break away atempts at well over 30 mph. My legs were on fire by the time we finished. What a great training ride.

Overall this week I rode 125 miles with most of the riding focused on conditioning in the mountains. I can tell that I am getting stronger. I recover faster after hard climbs. I am riding faster that at any time in my life. I continue to lose weight. I am down to 168 lbs, a loss of 14 lbs so far this year. Cool!