New driveway

When we bought our house last year, the driveway was in pretty bad shape.  After going through one winter trying to shovel the snow off the cracked, uneven, and crumbling driveway, it was time for a new driveway.

The driveway crew showed up Thurs afternoon, and broke-up the old driveway.  They had it all hauled away, and the new driveway prepped for the pour crew, which showed up the next morning.  They had it poured by lunch.  First a video, then pictures.

First snow in Longmont

Last night we had our first significant snowfall, about 1.5 inches.  The picture below is from our deck this morning.

Last night we had Cheryl over for dinner, and planned to do some hot tubbing.  There was not a forecast for any significant snowfall, so I was surprised when I went to fire-up the hot tub, and turned on the outside lights to see snow.  It was pretty cool to be in the hot tub with snow falling outside.

There was still snow around tonight, but I expect it will be mostly melted by tomorrow.

Interior house painting

Heather's mom arrived last week for a two week visit.  They've both been busy painting the interior.  Much of it was plain white, and the one room that wasn't, the family room off the kitchen, had wall paper that was starting to lift/peel a bit.

The pic below shows the living room with the wall paper removed and then painted chocolate brown.  Heather and her mom did the 4 paintings over the couch to match.  My earlier post "Interior House Pics" showed the family room.

The next pic shows the living room, just as you come in the front door to the right.  These walls were all white before.  Now the far wall is a medium sage green, and the other wall is khaki.

Gas leak!

On Monday there were four trucks from the Gas company in front of my house!  Now that I have your attention…

There was nothing really that dangerous, but we did have a minor gas leak at the house.  Shortly after moving in on Sept 6, Heather complained that she thought she could smell gas in one corner of the basement.  I could smell gas a little, but not too strong, so decided to wait to see if the smell would go away.  Last week on Wed, we had some friends over on the deck, and one commented that over on the far side he could smell gas.  So I figured it was time to call the gas company (Xcel Energy).

I called last week on Thurs, and a guy shows up in an hour.  Right away he finds a leak in the gas meter, right outside the basement window.  He fixed the leak in about an hour by replacing some parts on the meter.  I asked if we had been in any danger, and he said not really.  The only danger was that the leak could have abruptly gotten worse which might have been dangerous.  He said they put so much of the odor into the gas, even the teensiest leak smells pretty strong.

So what about the four trucks?  Well, the next day on Fri, we could still smell gas, but I figured it might be some kind of lingering odor.  But after still smelling gas in that corner all weekend (although not as strong), I called again on Monday.  A different guy shows up, and using a meter he gets a gas reading right at the ground where the pipe feeds into the meter.  He says he has to call in for a specialized crew to pinpoint things.  Once again, nothing dangerous, other than the risk that it might get worse.

About an hour later, the trucks show up one after another within about 5 minutes of each other.  The first to show up is pulling a trailer with a small backhoe.  Yikes!  So now I've got 4 or 5 gas guys on my front porch talking about what to do.  They say they need to start digging at the gas meter, and tell me the bush (that was planted way too close) needs to come out.  Fortunately, it wasn't a particularly attractive bush, so I say go ahead.

In the pictures below, you can see them driving the backhoe across the lawn on plywood sheets, so no damage to the lawn.  They pulled the bush out (which still took 4 or 5 pulls from the backhoe), then dug things out by hand.  Fortunately the leak was right there at the bend, so they didn't have to dig up any sidewalk or lawn.  The leak was at a seam in the underground pipe.  It was all original pipe from the late '70s, so it had just worn out.  They had it all repaired and things filled back in a couple of hours.  Other than the missing bush, you can't really tell that anything major happened.  I was really pleased that they didn't trash anything.

The good news about all of this was that the lease were all on the gas companies "side" of things, so there was no charge to us for them to fix things.

I also got to meet another of our neighbors, Sandy, who coincidentally works as an engineer for Xcel Energy (the gas company), and even new a couple of the guys on the crew.

Interior house pics

I've finally gotten around to taking a few pics of the inside of our new house.  Heather has done a great job setting everything up.

First you might want to check out an aerial view (you can rotate this view).

The pic below looks into our family room from the kitchen.  Right now the TV is in front of (hiding) the brass fireplace.  We'll eventually mount it above the mantle, and paint the brass with black paint.

Family Room

The next pic looks from the family room back into the kitchen (my back is to the fireplace).

Towards kitchen

Next, if you go out the sliding glass door from the kitchen (on the left in the pic above) onto the deck, this is the view just after sunset (looking southwest):

Finally, a pic of my office.  I still haven't fully unpacked.  The entrance to the office just behind this pic, on the left.  There's also a full wall of bookcases behind me.  This is on the main floor, and the window looks out towards the street.

My Office

I'll take more pics later, so stay tuned.

Longmont bike map

Did I mention that I've recently moved to Longmont, CO (near Boulder)? Anyway, I was getting frustrated that I couldn't find any online bike maps that cover Longmont. I quickly found the official City of Longmont Maps page — although they talk about bike maps, none are available online from the city website.

Updated Aug 12: In the comments, Pete points to BicycleLongmont.org which contains a 2008 front (pdf) side of the map. You'll still need to use the Wayback Machine for the cached back-side (see below) which includes helpful info, like which parks have drinking fountains and restrooms.

Thanks to the Wayback Machine, I found a Feb 2007 cached version of the City of Longmont page, which had links for bike maps as of 2006. Even better, the Wayback Machine actually cached both these PDFs:

City of Longmont Bicycle Map 2006, front (pdf) and back (pdf)

As for other Boulder-area bike maps, the ones I like the best are the 2006 Highway 36 West corridor map (pdf), from the Bicycle or Walk section at 36commutingSolutions.org site, and the maps at the City of Boulder's bike section.