It rubs the lotion on its skin

 No animals were harmed in the making of this photograph

There’s a very good chance that I’m going to have to explain my project to a police officer before I finish. There are piles of dirt in a trench in my yard that only grow under moonlight and nobody has seen my wife in over a week. I’m sure this photograph won’t help my case any, but what can I say. He jumped in there (and out… it’s only a foot and a half) all by himself. Don’t judge me.

Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. Good news is that I was done today by 9:30. More good news is that I get some new tools tomorrow! But the bad news is that due to the spacing of current columns, I will only be able to do one pillar at a time. Bummer.

Sorry about the crotch shot. A main vent from the HVAC system is right behind me. 

What you can see in this picture is the first part of Hole #2, and the “support” of the old column. Being very generous, that’s about 4 square feet of concrete on a 5 inch thick slab. The concrete was poorly mixed, as it crumbles pretty easily. If you look at the banks of the hole, you will see an obvious change in coloration about 5 inches down from the surface. This discoloration marks the frost line, where any foundation support should start about a foot under. This current slab, obviously, is not under the frost line, and you will notice that the discoloration under the old slab extends about half way down the hole, or about 9 inches. This discoloration indicates a degredation of the soil under the support, giving clues as to why my kitchen was sinking into the ground.

Obviously, I left all the dirt under the column in tact. Before I dug out the hole, however, I placed a jack behind the column to help support the load of the beam and take some of the weight off of that newly exposed column of dirt. The jack was probably not needed, but it’s my damn foundation, so I’m not taking any chances. I will need to finish this column ASAP, so this might be the first column to be completed this weekend. We’ll see.