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Greetings from Vienna, #25

June 8th, 2004


In this Issue:


Greetings from Vienna,
Part the Twenty-Fifth, The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in Austria[1]

Happy Birthday to You (and You, and You)
A new feature in this issue. There are quite a few birthdays this week amongst the recipients of this newsletter, so many happy returns to: Karen Tierney, John Schmidt, Greg Chow, Mary Lowery, Angela Amarillas Roth, Rob Stagmier, and Ken Campbell.

From Bottom to Top
The work on the house this past week was very limited. It been raining throughout the week, and it was the case on Thursday. Normally, when I'm at my in-laws with a bit of free time, I'm online and doing email and searches.[2] This time, I'd forgotten my laptop recharger, so my computer/Internet time was limited, and I ended up reading the latest issue of The Economist that day.

On Friday, the installer for the heating came and we worked on getting the more complicated bits of the heating ducts put together. You can see here a bit of this work:
IMG_4695_kitchen_heating IMG_4696_bathroom_heating
Since the ducting work is complete now for the kitchen/bathroom area, my father-in-law laid down a second layer of styrofoam, cutting channels for the ducts. The next step for that room is to put in the steel rebar and then the concrete.

After the installer left, the weather dried up for the first time in two weeks, so while my father-in-law worked on the styrofoam, I got to break up the last of the asphalt in front of our new place (to by replaced by gravel, I believe). And then, since there are no more ditches for the time being, I got to work on the highest points of this remodel, the attic over our new living room/bedroom. Now, this space was primarily for holding hay and/or straw. There is a hole cut into the floor, which made it simple to move the hay down to the stables. It also held (and continues to hold) roof tiles, and assorted pipes, the last of which we'd be pulling out and putting into the ditches over the last two months.

My job was to clean it up, as we were going to close up that hole with a concrete plug, and then run some more wires through for the remodel. As far as Karin knows, it's never been cleaned since the house was built after the Second World War, which explains why it took me several hours to get it from unbearably dirty to mildly dusty. I tried taking a flash picture, but the flying dust caused a bit of a problem, as you can see here:

A bit later, I tried again without the flash, and this is what the attic was turning into: attic_cleaning_pano
As you can see, there are still some pipes left up there, and on the left, the hole in the floor. Normally, the wooden cover would be over that hole, but we've moved the cover to under the hole, and jacked it into place to cover the hole from below. We might be filling that with concrete as early as this coming week.

Baby Update
We went to the Ob-Gyn this past Friday, and here is the latest ultrasound picture:
The baby is now approximately 38 centimeters long, and just over a kilogram. We still don't know what sex it is, and we're having a debate on it. Karin doesn't want to know, but I do. We'll work this out by our next scheduled appointment. :-) We've also just been to the midwife again. This time, we saw an American produced videotape called "Gentle Birth Choices"[3], as well as discussing many issues surrounding the choice of birth position, as well as who we might wish to attend the birth. Some of these decisions have yet to be made, including the opportunity for a water birth, which I was a bit too hasty in reporting last week. This partly depends on if my in-laws get a pool for their back yard (the above ground sort), and partly depends on if we can provide sufficient privacy for the pool. (Though I wonder if their neighbors would equally like to have privacy from the birth.)


Well, that's all for now. Again, happy birthday to the birthday guys and gals this week.


Bis Bald, Tschüß -Paul



[1] "The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in Austria": A play on "The Rain in Spain falls Mainly in the Plains", from the musical "My Fair Lady", based on the play "Pygmalion" by George Bernard Shaw.

[2] "Searches": Karin has over 60 tapes that she'd made over the years, either from the radio or from albums. Since it makes as little sense for her to try and bring all of her tapes for her year in the States as it is to bring all of her CDs or sheet music, we are in the process of identifying all of that music, and get it into the computer. As some of this is Euro-Pop from the late 80's, I'm having to run searches on the Internet to identify the song, the artist, and the CD that it might be found on.

[3] "Gentle Birth Choices": This tape was made in 1993, and features Californian couples, many of whom had had their birth at the Santa Barbara Birth Center. Not quite home for me, but Santa Barbara is a town I know well.



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