Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3 years in a row?!...

Last week Thursday we received a letter from our gas company; Semco.  It said that they will be replacing the gas main on our street and also the line that goes up the property to the house "service".  It said that the work was going to begin April 4th.

EGADS! Is my first response. We JUST had our driveway repaved!  What could this mean for the structure of the driveway.  And I was kicking myself that we were talked into only 4" of cement rather than 6".  Our cement guy said that we wouldn't need that much strength since we were already done with the garage, etc.  Oh why do we allow others to make us second guess ourselves?  OH, and Jerome is in Dusseldorf starting April 2nd.  Now I'm going to have to handle this on my own!...of course!  Did the gas company know that Bruce Township had JUST resurfaced the street at the end of the summer last year?  Does Bruce Township know that Semco is planning on chopping up the newly resurfaced street?  Couldn't they give us more time and kind of wait until after the ground thaws so that we can relocate some plants (...again!).

This would be three years in a row that our yard will be trashed.

Jerome's response was to immediately go outside to assess where exactly the gas line possibly goes - practical.  The meter is on the east side of the house and if you look in a straight line down the property to the street, there are 3 trees and yes, several rose bushes in the direct path.  Plus we have all those limestone slabs, but it seems like it may avoid all of them (fingers crossed).

I gave the letter to Jerome so that the next day (Friday) he could call the gas company to let them know about the driveway and the such.  Also he wanted them to tell him where the line is currently.  However, he was unable to call because he was so busy at work and didn't think about letting me know so that I could call.  Now we had the whole weekend to ponder what is going to take place in the next week or two.

We checked on Google Maps to see where exactly this work is supposed to take place and we called our neighbors to see if they received the letter too.

So, on Monday, Jerome calls the gas company first thing.  He then calls me to tell me what he found out.  The lady told him that in their records they show that our line is already plastic and has been replaced in 1973, they will not be touching our property.  YAY!  Jump for Joy!...but then, hey, wait...they are going to leave in a line that is almost 40 years old?...really?...hummm.

Later in the day I thought I'd make a stop at the Village offices to see if they are aware of what is going on.  The lady was nice enough as I told her that the gas company would likely be tearing up the brand new street.  She said "yes, isn't that a shame".  I thought YES! Couldn't they get their schedules together and have figured this out before they wasted the taxpayers money and created so much waste?  I said "well, if they really do tear up the road and have to resurface it again, can I make a suggestion?  Can they install cement gutters along the curb edge for the water to flow down the hill, because the asphalt is already crumbling from the water flowing underneath".  She said "suggestion noted" she had a piece of post-it and a pen - which was still blank when I left.

That night I told Jerome my concerns about the line being nearly 40 years old and he told me that I should call.  I think he was getting annoyed.

So, yesterday I called.  I spoke the the same lady he spoke to the day before...but with a different result.  She told me that our address is on the work order because our line is so old.  They will be replacing the line.  I tried to explain my concerns but it seemed to confuse her, so I asked if I could set up a meeting with the Field Service Technician...and could I have his number.  She called later to give me the number and name of the Tech.  We made an appointment for this morning - and before we left for work the guy came out and told us what we can expect.

He told us that they use a hydraulic boring device and it will bore from across the street, under the street up our property (2 feet below grade) and directly to our meter.  There would be very little to no disturbance.  They are able to direct the bore by remote.  There may be some digging close to the meter and in regards to the rose bushes, they would dig them out in a large ball, put them aside and then when they are done, place them back.  They will not start on our part of the street for another 6 weeks.

He made it sound all so nice and easy-peesie.  Stay tuned...

Friday, March 25, 2011

some seriously good shots...

Jerome took of the ice storm.  Can't believe that the ice is still so thick...the storm was days ago.

Jerome and I typically carpool and as I said on Facebook, this is one of the many reasons we like to take the back roads to and from work.

We said to each other, the only thing that would have made these shots better would have been if there were some deer around.

Click on the photos to make them larger - that way you can see more detail.
Squirrel Road, Auburn Hills

Stoney Creek Road, Oakland Township

and my favorite...very twinkley. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

just no time...

I don't know how all those other bloggers do it - post weekly, if not daily with something interesting. My life is just not that exciting, especially during the winter. I have to wait for something to happen before I go blogging about stuff. And I'd really like to feel creative when I am blogging, otherwise it just ends up sounding flat.

So, with that, I'm not really sure I'm feeling all that creative, but I think I'd like to finally post something about the 53rd Annual Corktown (Detroit) St. Patrick's Day Parade that our MINI club participated in this year.

We weren't a huge group, but we were still well received...for the most part. I mean, we did have some people yelling out that we shouldn't have a British car driving in an Irish parade. Someone should tell her we are no longer British; we're German...BMW. Yeah, that's right, I drive a Beemer :)

We also had the occasional "I only like American Cars" being yelled out - in which I gave my typical response "it's got a Chrysler engine!"...but at least no one threw eggs or anything and most people seemed to LOVE us, especially when we attempted the MINI Ballet. Well, it would have been more of a MINI Ballet if everyone had their walkie-talkies. Since not everyone had one in their car, they were relying on their vision to know when to start doing the cross-over and thus we ended up looking more like a MINI Weave. But it all turned out just fine.

Since we didn't have anyone that wanted to walk out in front of our group with our club banner, it was discussed on-line that someone should make a sign. Jerome jumped to the challenge and created two signs; one with an outline of Ireland in the back with a profile of a MINI in front. The other sign had our club logo in the middle of an Irish flag, just in case someone would be interested in looking us up.

The Friday before, Jerome sent me to some stores to find St. Patrick's day paraphernalia such as hats and maybe something like those round styrofoam balls (of course with something St. Patrick'sy on it) to put on our antennas. Since we thought about it so late, when I went to stores like Target and various Dollar stores, they really didn't have much to choose from. I found a couple of hats and some knee socks and some buttons. Couldn't find anything for the antenna and when I reported that to Jerome, he said we should just make something. He came up with making shamrocks for the antenna. I thought that was great and that we could use some stiff felt. And so we did. Went to JoAnn Fabrics, picked up some of their thickest, stiffest felt - which happened to have sparkles in the fabric too - bonus!  We used a template of a shamrock from the internet, I cut them all out, Jerome sewed them and stuffed them. But they were still a little floppy and wouldn't stand up on the antenna (most of us have "stubby" antennas). So, I thought we needed to have some kind of reinforcement such as a stick. We ended up using some wooden skewers from our kitchen drawer. It worked like a (lucky) charm :).

Sunday, the morning of the parade, we had a long wait from the time we all met at our "Division" until the parade began for us. We got to know the group that we were to follow. They were "The Wee Bit Tipsy Clan". Apparently they won last year. Their group has a float and then also some pom-pon girls whose pom-pons were made of empty Guinness cases. They danced to Pink's "Raise Your Glass". Fun. And from what they told us, someone in our group must have slept with someone in the Parade Committee because we were starting in the middle of the Parade when usually all newbies start at the end and work their way up. So, we're going to have to find out exactly what Chris did...or who he did (tee hee).

We really had a great time - the weather was Irish-like; cold, cloudy, some rain, some snow. But the inside of the car was warm...which was a good thing since Jerome decided that he wanted to show off his knee socks, so he wore shorts! Brrr.

He always goes all out!

We ended the day at Foran's Grand Trunk Irish Pub.  This was a place that I had just heard about as it was mentioned in this article (most underrated cities) and wanted to try.  I will have to give them another chance when it's not such a big day for them.  The service was friendly but extremely slow.  I think we were there for more than 2 hours.  Food was average.