The Digital Photo Guy

Men at Work

by on Sep.20, 2012, under Articles, Monday Morning Tips

And, the Beat Goes On and On and On…

Just when I thought things were coming to an end, the remodel has entered a new phase, Finding Things the Contractor Screwed Up! It’s amazing how many things a contractor can totally and completely mess up if the owner isn’t around to keep him honest.

Initially, my gripes were mainly cosmetic, things I could readily see but, as we dug into the issues, it’s become obvious many cosmetic issues were covering up major errors of omission and outright incompetence. Since I never want to deal with that contractor again, I’ve hired new people to fix his screw-ups.

Marv fills the washed away gullys     


Here’s what we did last week. When the contractor graded the RV driveway, he conveniently failed to mention the drive would wash away with the first major rain. When I saw what was happening, I hired Marv, a former builder from Oregon. He advised me to have 15 tons of rip-rap delivered and he would take care of it. A few weeks later, he showed up with his son and a rented skid loader. In two hours, Marv and his son cleaned up the mess the original contractor had created. It’s so nice to deal with people who are conscientious and knowledgeable.

Eastern Sierras 2012

It’s time to start thinking about my annual trip to the Eastern Sierras. This year, due to logistics, the trip will be shorter than usual. I’ll be arriving in Lee Vining around Monday, Oct 22 and leaving Thursday evening, Oct 25.

My itinerary depends on the weather and I’m reading conflicting forecasts. Some sites say winter will come early and hard this year based on sandhill crane migration patterns. Others claim there’s no reason to expect more precipitation this winter. I’ll save you the mind-numbing science-speak by quoting the NWS, “…much of California where drought conditions are expected to persist. Most of these areas are moving toward a climatologically drier time of year, and there is no compelling indication that substantially above-normal precipitation will fall during the next 3 months.” If you really want to read the report, HERE is the link.

When faced with conflicting reports, I fall back on my technical training and flip a coin. Normally, I would be in the Eastern Sierras in early October but, this year, due to other commitments, I’ll be there two weeks later. It’s possible Bodie will be snowed in by then which means Schulman Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pines NF and Tioga Pass may also be unreachable. If that’s the case, I’ll spend my time around Mono Lake and Alabama Hills. If the passes are still open, I’ll divide my time between Bodie and Ancient Bristlecone Pines NF.


Join me in the Eastern Sierras this October     

Contact me if you’d like to join me. If you have a 4WD truck or SUV and can drive in 3-6 inches of snow, we might be able to get some great photos that aren’t normally seen. If you truck camp, you can get electric power and water from my RV.


10 Comments for this entry

  • Karen

    Love those photos of Mono Lake…such lovely light contrasted against the taupes of that unspoiled “barren” landscape. Beauties, both!

    • Lee

      Thanks Karen,
      I imagine Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierras are quite different from your prairies! Thanks for reading the blog.

  • Andy Kliss

    I LOVE your Mobius shot! Of the hundreds out there, yours is one of my favs. Really! I plan on going there myself in winter, as a chance to stay in Lone Pine with a friend of mine has opened up. That may impinge on the burrowing owl shoot we planned, but it really shouldn’t.

    • Lee

      Thanks Andy,
      It’s one of my favorites because it came out almost exactly as I envisioned it in my mind. The only lucky component was Venus in the sky above the arch. I may be returning to the Eastern Sierras in Mar/Apr to capture a different season.

  • Dick

    Hi Lee, Don’t like hearing about contractor issues as I have one tearing up the floor in the master bath as we speak. Hope all is well in AZ.

    • Lee

      Hi Dick,
      I’ve learned the best way to ensure high quality work is to first invite them over for drinks and show them your collection of guns and medieval torture devices! Also, mention how your Uncle Louie used to work for the mob and never got caught with the bodies. 😉

  • Jill Johnson

    Hi Lee, I am enjoying your photos. I esp. like the old car (Prob. younger than me, Ha).
    We can empathize with you re. contractors. Very frustrating!!!
    You are doing a major project. How fun.
    Your planned trip sounds exciting.

  • Cyndi

    Re house….ouch!

    No Sierras for me this year. I will be in Las Cruces those days then home to FL.

    • Lee

      Hi Cyndi,
      I’ll probably go back to the Eastern Sierras in early 2013 after Mary retires. Then, I can spend 2-3 weeks there as long as it isn’t snowing/freezing.

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