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Friday, April 17, 2015

Wrapping It All Up

Time flies when you’re having fun and we’ve had a great time during our “Tour of Duty” here at the J. Strom Thurmond COE Project in SC.   We had two jobs that we wanted to finish up before we leave for our summer travels (and our next Caribbean cruise).

The first one was a bit challenging, we had placed life jacket reminders in all the gate houses around the lake, except the one which had the much smaller window.


We headed back another day, armed with scissors and tape to try and cut and squeeze all the letters together to fit the window.  Marti carefully cut each letter out.


We trimmed the letters and carefully pieced them together tightly to fit.  We did a loose alignment to make sure we’d be able to bunch them up before we applied them to the glass.


Once we were happy with the fit, we applied pressure to adhere the lettering to the glass.  It came out pretty good, and all the Rangers were happy with the result.  We were too, after all, our reputation as expert decal installers was on the line.  ;c)


Our final project was to make copies of the Water Safety posters that were borrowed from a COE park in Florida.  After pricing out local reproductions of the posters (about $4K for four sets!!!) we were determined to find a cheaper way to get copies of all 15 posters for use here at the Thurmond COE.

I photographed each poster with my little point and shoot camera, holding it as steady as I could.



Then my pictures were loaded onto a computer where they were enhanced by Ranger Ron using Photoshop.  His skills were first class.

Next the pictures were printed out poster size on a special printer here that that the COE uses for making large maps.  After the pages came out we trimmed the excess paper off to standardize all the posters.


Then we ran each page through the laminating machine in the COE office.


A final trimming of the excess plastic,


and we had a complete set of posters all done and ready to be used here, now we can return the borrowed posters.


Now that we have the first set done, the savings have been realized.  Four sets of posters can be done for about $200.  That frees up money to be used on other projects around this wonderful Corps of Engineers Project.  Now if some of those savings would show up as a refund of my income taxes…

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Don't worry Paul I am sure your cost cutting efforts will not go to waste and your members of Congress will put those funds to good use.

  2. Nice job on the lettering! I don't think the IRS knows how much we save the government.

  3. Amazing what you dan do with digital reproduction, good job.

  4. Your definitely have maintained your reputation...that window looks wonderful. Great money saving job on the posters. I believe you have secured you volunteer spot at Modoc.

    Thanks for all you and all the volunteers do to make things so nice for all of us!!!!

  5. I definitely think all volunteers should get a tax deduction on their income taxes. Very nicely done with both the decals and the posters. You are making yourselves indispensable there.

  6. Good job. I wish the federal government would look into some of those cost saving ideas.

  7. It's amazing what can be done if you just take your time to do it. It's like you just learned a whole new trade. Just wish both our governments would think that way.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  8. You did an amazing job on the cut and paste project. I would have had the letters all over the place. And as for the posters, imagine if the government was as economical. We wouldn't be drowning in debt.

  9. Glad the posters have been re-created for our use here at Thurmond. Now we just have to pack them back up in our rig, and return them to Florida where we can "un-borrow" them.

  10. Good job! And somehow I *knew* Mike and Terri had something to do with the borrowing :)

  11. It's nice that you're both still working but probably nicer yet that it's almost time to head off for your next cruise.

  12. Wow, that's using your noodles! I'm sure the COE really appreciated those money saving ideas. They will miss you :)

  13. Great job! You cruise will be such a treat after all your hard work..