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Bricks are rare.

Howdy! Sorry I've been offline lately. Much work-related stuff I don't want to talk about, plus a very busy couple of weeks. This week it's Spring Break at KU, so I've taken the time away from the office to build a brick sidewalk in my back yard from the carport and garage up to the house. Many thanks to the wonderful cba1282zyx for all the help in collecting bricks and other supplies (which was a deathmarch), cleaning them up, laying the path framework, and putting down the walk. Also thanks to madmatmax for dropping by today to help finish setting the bricks. Woohoo, I finally have a non-muddy walkway between the garage and house! This is a big deal in Kansas, especially in my neighborhood, as spring and fall = endless mud which = filthy floors. Sometimes the back yard has standing water, because the clay-heavy ground doesn't drain well, so anyone passing from driveway or garage to house had to cross a moat. No longer!

A discovery worth sharing: One can no longer buy actual bricks from home-improvement stores. Nor at building-supply stores (new or recycled). Nor at places with "masonry" in their name. Not even at brick stores, fer gosh sake! I kid you not. The "Lawrence Kansas" brick manufactury has ceased production, and the other local-ish brickmaker only sells wholesale. Everyone else only sells crappy cement lumps that aren't even the same size as real bricks. I already had enough bricks to do most of the walk, so I just needed to buy another 100 or so. Who knew that would become an all-day marathon of frustration?

Happily, each place provided tips to the next places, which finally led to the one store that still sells baked-clay bricks to regular customers here in Lawrence: Capitol Concrete. They carry all kinds of bricks, new and old, paving and building, concrete and clay. I bought 150 nice, dark-red bricks that look like they formerly served in a chimney. Two trips in the Saab later, we resumed laying the walk. A few hours later - viola! Done!

Next: Insulating the non-insulated roof over the living room. After that: Finishing building the Newport's 383. That's more than plenty for the rest of Spring Break, methinks, especially because I need to do a bunch of day-job work tomorrow. Once that's done, it's back to home improvement.

Chris

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Mar. 19th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Pictures coming soon!
siro_gravity
Mar. 19th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
YOU ARE SO RIGHT! where to find terracotta bricks?? most of them are are cement. sounds like you did a lot of work but it was worth it. nice to hear your voice again! you've quiet for so long.

did you see the pictures on tv, of the moons going around saturn? SO SASSY!!

i have some home improvement things on my plate, too. hope i am as diligent as you are!
mckitterick
Mar. 19th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I knew those photos were coming, must check them out!
normalcyispasse
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
Funny, I used to buy from Capitol Concrete all the time when I needed bricks to smash for Taekwondo.
clevermanka
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Well that's what happened. You smashed them all. Dude, some consideration for others, please? =D
silverfae
Mar. 19th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Well, hell's bells, Jay's brother has an entire nationwide brick biz. I'm sure we could find out. :)
kylielee1000
Mar. 20th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
So cool to see a Lawrence brick again!

And hey, can you come over to my house and do home improvement projects??
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )