|Tried to get Internet
||Replaced downpipes for the fourth time
Started putting up planks on the north wall
Happy new year to all readers! Temporary Internet arrived, and the solar panels were activated. We started putting up planks on the north wall.
Monday 28 December
There is almost sun breaking through this morning. It is not that windy. The package with the Internet is still underway. The dirt heaps will be removed tomorrow. My mind is in a state of pessimistic optimism. The paint for the fascia boards will arrive tonight.
After work in the evening after supper, the paint arrived. We went to the new house and started painting the fascia boards. This paint does not stink anything. The paint is perhaps a little less viscid than the turpentine-based paint. The turpentine paint continued to flow after being applied to the surface. It was easier to apply the water-based paint, though. Not to mention how easy it is to put the brushes in a bucket of water when done painting.
I think we might have been a bit groggy of the other paint at times. It is good we decided not to use that paint anymore.
We had room for painting the narrow boards. The broader boards were more difficult. They will be painted another time. To improve the drying, we also lit a fire in the woodstove. The paint should be applied at a minimum of 10 degrees Celsius, and it can be repainted after four hours.
Tuesday 29 December
I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about the ventilation grilles. I tried to sleep, but I could not. I thought there has to be a better way. I either draw the thing in CAD to figure out what I should do, or I make a paper model of the grilles on offer, and then I can test to see that the model fits what I need. When I had decided on this latter method, I could sleep.
It was a regular Tuesday with a full day of work from our old home. After work, we went to the new house to meet up with Jelle Rigter Grondverzet, who would repair the damage with the dirt heaps in our garden. I wrote about this in my previous blog. It was not an especially difficult task for him in the digger. When I tried to move the clay manually, it was so sticky I had to have something to knock off the clay from the spade. The digger just effortlessly moved it out on the verge. There he made a neat flat sausage of the dirt.
A representative of the road association was also present to oversee the restoration. I understood there originally might have been a misunderstanding of where the verge ended, and our garden started. When dumping dirt in our garden, it was thought it was the verge. This time I could explicitly tell Jelle to avoid the places with extra sticks marking out plants, the hypericum plants. There are rests of the dirt in our garden, but I am okay with that. We need to do something about this area anyway.
After the restoration of the garden, I checked the letterbox. Still no temporary Internet today. Neighbors indeed did not get any Internet via optic fiber. They got an optic fiber modem installed, but there is no light on the fiber, so it is not working. I told you. Both neighbors apparently had more luck with getting temporary Internet. It was already operational. Why is it so difficult to get a package to my house seven meters away?
We continued painting the fascia boards. All the narrow boards got their first layer yesterday. Today I wanted to up the game a notch and paint some more of the wider boards. Since they take up more space when laid out than the narrow boards, I suggested moving them upstairs placing them on the stack of floorboards, but my wife disagreed with that plan. The compromise was to put out two more trestles in the future kitchen suitable for two more wide fascia boards. Thus two wider fascia boards got their first layer tonight, and one wide board got the second layer. All narrow boards got their second layer. How am I ever going to remember this? Next time I arrive in the house, I will be standing looking at the whiteboards painted with white paint and wonder what was I up to? At that point, I will go back to the blog and remind myself. We can continue on the scaffold’s working area with three wide boards when we are ready for it. That is good.
I had hoped the plumber would install a toilet yesterday or today, but no signs of the plumber.
Wednesday 30 December
This morning it was nice weather—Sun and not so much wind. We had a half-day off. When we arrived at the new house, we discovered a package in the mailbox. The temporary Internet had arrived! I activated the Internet and logged in on the inverter of the solar panels.
The inverter got its own WiFi network. You log in on it and tell it what the password is for the house WiFi network. From a security standpoint, that is really strange, because now the inverter got the password for our Internet. Suppose Sungrow were into malicious business or, by accident, transfer our password to their server, and they have weak security. In that case, a hacker at Sungrow can access thousands of WiFi networks around the world. I don’t say it will happen, but it could happen.
When the inverter started, it was still sunny. It went to receive 4KW. Then it became more and more cloudy. In the afternoon, we had collected 1.1 kWh, and our meter displayed 1 kWh when the sun went down. The electricity meter is currently set to Dutch, and it is saying that it returned 000001 kWh to the grid according to the high tariff. We are not aware that we got different tariffs, but apparently, the meter thinks so. We will find out about the tariffs another time.
Thursday 2 July, I wrote I could not sleep well. I did not say why. It was because the building company had delivered the solar panels and placed them in the house. The panels were delivered through a locked door without a window. We were not at the site at that time. We discovered this later. The solar panels were placed in the working room with cardboard on top. It was a bad idea to put the panels there because the total value was well over ten thousand euros. Luckily the panels were not stolen. Then it took 181 days to get them up on the roof and start producing power today. This is an important day for us.
It is not that we started dancing a polonaise dance through the house because of joy and happiness. We started working on the house. My wife painted the two wide panels of yesterday a second time. I went out and put tape around an electricity cable above the door in the living room that caused leakage because it had not been taped.
Then we started putting up the narrow fascia panels. These are the panels acting as an external ceiling of the roof hanging above the wall. They are mounted on ventilated beams. We did six of the seven boards, and the final board needs to be cut to the exact size.
We also discovered a leakage from the chimney. I could see that because it had started raining while we were working on the boards. When we arrived at the sixth board, it rained so long that a tiny drip appeared below the chimney. We will talk to Dick about this.
The next outdoor task in the rain was to reinstate the downpipe on the house’s southeast corner. At that time, I had freezing hands. First, I tried to put up the pipe, and in the process, I strained a muscle in my neck. My wife had to put up the downpipe. It was the third time we put up this pipe. It is starting to become tiring to hang up these temporary downpipes. I helped her from one level lower at the scaffold pushing up the ring to be mounted on the gutter. While there on the scaffold, she brought the good news that the kit we applied on the fascia boards on 5 December 25 days ago, two of the seams started to dry. The seam in the middle is still too wet. It will dry, but we will need to be patient. When the seams are dry enough, we will paint them to avoid them develop mold.
With that, we went on with indoor tasks. We painted the four remaining wider fascia boards. The bucket of paint is now half full, or should I say half empty? It will not be enough for all boards around the house.
I developed a stiff neck today. The only remedy for that is to wear a scarf. At least it is for me. It is annoying, but it will go over. I even slept with the scarf on.
Thursday 31 December
Can you imagine it is the last day of the year 2020?! My wife had a day off, and I could leave work early. We went to the new house. When we left the old house, neighbors had already started partying at a parking lot. They had two oil barrels with wood burning, music from a large speaker. They planned for a long night; that was clear. I am a bit curious about how they saw Corona rules, saying you may not form groups of more than two people. They were already five when I came by. If there are no police to give out fines, I suppose they are all “fine”?
We went to the new house. In that area, we found the total opposite. A light brown buzzard had a quarrel with a brown buzzard right in front of our new house when we arrived—no music or peoples in a group on a parking lot. Well, there are no parking lots. I understand that next year, as more people move into the area, the vultures will be pushed away slowly but steadily. I will try to make attractions for the birds. We have a neighbor at the new house who made a stick for the birds. It is a rather tall stick with a vertical bar to sit on for the birds, and the birds are using it. I like that initiative very much. I want to make that, as well. I also want to make birdhouses of rests of the red planks. When we reached the point where we got some slack, it would be excellent to spend some time on side projects like birdhouses. Right now, we are full-on to work on the house. Only.
With that, we started to put up three wider fascia boards on the north side. The wider boards are mounted inside the gutter. I can screw the board in the gap between the gutter and the first roof tile. You can see we got an overhang below the ceiling board of around five centimeters, or about two-inch. It feels a little much on this side, perhaps, but it is relevant on the building’s short sides.
From a distance, it looks like this. This is a photo I take with the wide-lens functionality. I do that so that I don’t need to go to the other side of the Neighbors house to take the photo. This photo was late in the afternoon, so it is not the brightest of photos. You can see the three front-facing fascia boards, though. That is nice.
Then when that was done, we measured the angle of the ventilation openings. We got a device to fixate the angle, but it is not telling what the angle is. We then drew the angle on to a paper and hoped that one of our children had forgotten their “Geodreieck,” meaning geometric triangle in German. It is a transparent angle measurement tool that kids get for schoolwork. We had these lying around for at least 20+ years. Now when we needed one, they were all gone. Not like they were simply gone. No, they were gone as if a Geodreieck-troll had collected all their stuff and left the house. I found one on the Internet I could download and print. With that, I could establish that the angle was 22 degrees. That is about perfect for a 22.5-degree elbow fitting on the ventilation pipe. Tomorrow I will figure out the parts needed for this design.
We painted the second layer of the remaining four fascia boards. It was a full moon tonight. Outside our workshop window, the moon could be seen as a large yellow disc. With that, we went to our old home.
When we came home, the party was still going. It did not feel right to attend the party. We really do not want to acquire Corona, so this was no option. I hope for them that none of them had Corona and spread it to others. We were alone at home.
Friday 1 January 2021
The morning after, It was silent. The party was over. I did not sleep well. After midnight they started shooting with carbide. That went on four hours into the morning. Sometimes the explosions were so loud that car alarms went off in the street. Then it took a while before the alarms were turned off.
At the new house, the first task was to put out garden tiles on the house’s north side. There is no grass growing here, and it is very slippery. When the tiles have set a bit in the clay, they stay firm, and it is nice to walk on.
We had four fascia boards ready to be mounted, and we did three. The fourth had to be cut to the correct size.
When that was done, we started working on rearranging the levels of the scaffold. At the previous levels, we could not stand up but had to be bucking all the time. We removed the middle level and moved the low level one step up and the top-level one step down. That way, we can reach the entire wall with two levels and the ground. We did this reorganization on half of the scaffold. On the other half, we still have the last two fascia boards to mount. Since we cut these to the correct size, the cuts need to be sealed and repainted.
The scaffold is held together with wedges. You need a hammer to operate the wedges. The banging with a hammer on metal produces a lot of sounds. The professional scaffold builders cannot be bothered with lousy hearing when they get old, but I can. It is also hat weather, and I had forgotten my earplugs at the old house. All these logical facts added up that I wanted to wear a hat combined with ear protection. It does not combine well. It makes me look like a gnome. From time to time, the sun could be seen, and our panels collected energy.
After rebuilding the scaffold, we mounted a couple of horizontal beams.
In the evening, I tried to order things for the ventilation openings. I found that it is difficult to order this stuff. The gray boards are cement bound boards, and how do you drill a large hole in them? The drill needed was exorbitantly expensive. With that, the plan of round grilles was not going to happen. It is much cheaper to make the holes with the angle grinder. For that, it is easier to use a square grille. Due to Corona, all hardware stores are closed. You have to order things online. It takes so much time to get it right. You want the freight to be affordable, and for that, you need to order enough items. Then some items are available at one shop, and other items are available at another. It is so complicated at times. My neck ache was worse this evening.
Today we had a slow start, again. Actually, the whole day was slow. It was misty and cold today. My wife finished painting the last two fascia boards, so they are ready tomorrow!
We mounted the first four inner planks on the north wall. At the corner with the east wall, the plank had to be screwed on to the east wall’s plank. After mounting the second plank with the nail gun, a nail got stuck, and it was very stuck in the machine. That took some two hours to fix. When the nail gun was working again, it was already almost dark. The good thing is that the next time this happens, I know how to fix the gun.
In the evening, I sat down, ordering the grilles for the ventilation. That took almost the entire evening because I wanted some work gloves and a new measurement lint and so on.
My wife asked how I was feeling about the progress. I was not happy with today’s result, but things are fine with me for the rest. She was thinking about hiring people for bathrooms. We need to think about that. The outside walls we will be doing, that is clear.
We went to bed earlier, hoping that we will have a good pace in the project tomorrow.
Sunday 3 January
The first thing we did this morning was to attach the last two fascia boards of the house’s north side. It was cloudy and even a bit misty, around 3 degrees Celcius. I had my neck ache. We fastened the boards with stainless steel screws. We got several versions of screws, and currently, we got one box of screws with Torx 15 screw heads. We did not realize we did not have that many Torx 15 bits when we bought this box. The bit I had was something I salvaged from garbage that old neighbors had planned to throw away. It is perfect reusing tools, that is magical. Most tools are indestructible, so I was taken entirely by surprise that the only Torx 15 bit we had got broke just before the final three screws of the fascia boards were finished.
Luckily we had other stainless steel screws with Torx 20, and for those, we got bits. Now when the fascia boards are in place, we could rebuild the scaffold, but we leave that for another time. Instead, we started mounting more planks. The space between the east wall and the first window was our work area today. It turned out that we measured that distance incorrectly. Or instead, we measured it correctly, but we did not write down what we had measured, and then it turned out the calculations were wrong. Today, I thought that the principle from now on is to write down what has been measured. Until it has been written down, it is not measured. Another thing is that when something is measured, it should not be written upside-down since six can become a nine and vice versa.
When that was done, we put up more horizontal beams between the windows above the door so that next time we can continue with planks at the other side of the window. In general, we will do the long inner planks as long as we can and then switch to windows below.
We received two wheelbarrows of wood snippets in return for compost from the neighbors with the little yellow house. We can use wood snippets around the house at places we would like to be less slippery. Unfortunately, we have many of these places, so it will not be enough with two wheelbarrows.
In the evening, when we got to our old home, we watched “I am Greta.” It was appropriate to watch that film on Gretas birthday on 3 January. She is 18 years old today. It was a great movie. Did you know that there are scientific reports that show that the Netherlands will cease to exist in the future unless we stop polluting the earth with greenhouse gas? There are not many media outlets in the Netherlands informing you about that. You could think that this is because one way or the other most media in the Netherlands is owned or ruled by the fossil fuel industry.
In 1896 the scientist Svante August Arrhenius published a paper where he used chemistry to calculate how the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) will increase the earth’s surface temperature. He concluded that human-caused CO2 emissions are large enough to cause global warming. I like Svante’s work because he is a Swede, and it was published 125 years ago. One hundred and twenty-five years ago! That is a long time ago. What did your grandparents do 125 years ago? Since then, it has been proven over and over in independent peer-reviewed scientific reports. It is not a coincidence that Greta’s father has the name Svante because he is related to Arrhenius.
When an infrared ray of light hits the carbon atom, it gets excited and starts swirling around. Subsequent rays hitting the same carbon atom will bounce off in another direction. The more there is excited carbon atoms, the more difficult it is for the infrared light to leave the earth. First, you barely notice it is getting warmer. Then suddenly, there are no more Elfstendentocht anymore. The eleven cities tour is a traditional long-distance tour skating event in The Netherlands that cannot be held unless there is the right amount of thick enough ice. Instead of ice, you see flowering Meconopsis-Cambria.
These days 100% of all climate scientists publishing peer-reviewed papers are convinced that human actions cause the climate crisis. Usually, they say that 97% of scientists think that human actions cause the climate crisis, but 3% are actually bogus scientists. You can find articles disputing this 97% figure, and they are written by people related to the oil and gas industry.
Climate change deniers are spreading a lot of lies “I have personally not seen evidence for anthropogenic climate change.” Well, we are in the middle of the sixth extinction, with many insects dying out. Floodings, droughts, forest fires, pandemics, what is it you cannot see?
I get it that when you drive your car from your apartment’s indoor garage to the indoor garage at work, and this is the only dose of the natural world that you get, that you don’t see anything. Or you perhaps have a garden, but you tiled it all or covered it with “kids friendly” plastic grass. Then yes, you cannot see anything.
You are perhaps blindfolded by powerful men that created a media ecosystem to keep you in a bubble so that you, without knowing it betray your own fatherland because one day, the icecaps will be melted if we go on like this. Everything, especially in the Netherlands, will be flooded by twenty meters of seawaters above today's MSL. Everything will be gone, your investments, your heritage: the churches, the palaces, your work, the museums with the fine golden age paintings. Perhaps the Netherlands will become a kind of Waterworld, but I doubt you will be Kevin Costner. There are no winners. We are all losers.
There are so many more problems in this future than just floodings. It will be a considerable challenge to access drinking water, and there will be a permanent food shortage. Pandemics will be more frequent. Forests will burn out, and there will be earthquakes and large volcanic eruptions. Half of the earth’s population will be permanent refugees.
You were promised to be able to drink a cold beer or glass of chilled white wine in your 1.5 degrees hotter garden with your plastic grass or garden tiles free of insects, and then I am shredding all your dreams like this. Not only that, I tell you that you are betraying your fatherland and generations of manual hard work of your ancestors to build the dykes making this country; I am saying that all of it will be lost. The dikes, the windmills, the fertile soil, the churches, palaces, streets, and villages all flooded by twenty meters of salty seawater. How awful I am. Atlas's statue on the roof of the palace at Dam Square in Amsterdam will be at the waterline.
Greta got it figured out by listening to what the scientists are actually saying. It is not that difficult; you can also listen to the science. The good news is that there is time to do things to avoid this dark future.
I believe that climate adaptation is like a medicine that should be administrated consequently and relative to your own situation. Every person and organization should take a relative step into a sustainable future every day, or once per month, depending on who you are. If you drive to work every day, you can start using public transport once per month. If you eat a lot of red meat, you can start by replacing some of it with vegetables and poultry. If you are already a vegetarian, then you can stop eating dairy products once per week. Everybody could do that extra step their own way. Consuming less clothing is good. Start buying more second-hand things. Next week or next month, you take the next step. Stop using plastic bags? It is up to you. There is always the next step. It is simply not realistic to do all changes at once. Doing things in smaller steps is more realistic.
The problem here is that the bigger the organization, the bigger the steps need to be. We cannot have that a big corporation do the tiniest of baby steps for the climate while private persons take responsibility. The world got clear goals with the Paris agreement, and they are necessary and achievable, but they cannot be extended fifty years ahead, especially not by governments. Governments or large corporations need to do better and move much quicker than they do today.
Thus, not all things to avoid a climate catastrophe should be driven only by private persons’ actions. There are a couple of companies in the world, causing the worst of pollution, and it is not realistic that they should be allowed to go on with business as usual while you and I start using led lamps and drinking Oatly, they must also change. The rich countries in the global north can “easily” change their consumption patterns to be more sustainable. Do we really need to import so many roses, bananas, and avocados to the Netherlands?
In the west, in the global north, we have so much wealth. It will not be fair to force undeveloped parts of the world to take greater responsibility for climate adaptation than we do. We already got to a higher standard of living; we will need to adapt more and quicker than less developed countries. This is the part of the climate adaption where real egocentric climate change deniers go ballistic over. I understand that. What I don’t understand is the cuddling of billionaires as if you cuddle a billionaire, some of the wealth will be tickling down to you. I have terrible news for you. Democracy is NOT a pyramid game. You are so totally wrong on this point. You cannot gain anything of the wealth by cuddling a billionaire. If this is what you are thinking, then you are cheated on big time. Do realize that all money is just unreleased CO2 pollution, even if that money’s bearer is an ultra environmentalist. A billionaire is always a ticking bomb of unreleased CO2 pollutions. Stop cuddling billionaires because they just want to screw all of us over so that they can collect more money. Even if the billionaire is philanthropic, it is still just a billionaire and a dangerous ticking bomb of unreleased CO2 pollution.
With this, I end this rant about the environment. Thanks for that you listened.
The week has come to an end. According to the Swedish way of counting (Which happens to be European standard), this was the 53rd week of last year. Tomorrow starts the first week of the year 2021. It is a European standard ISO 8601 that a week starts on Mondays.
I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.
Here on this site I let you see my creations.
I create, that is my hobby.