I drove over to Wilderstead today to do some measuring and leveling with 16' lumber and a 4' level. It's not that I distrust the laser level, but I really want to see physical contact and a bubble. The results are encouraging. The difference between my building corner (where everything is measured from) and the low corner of the undercroft wall is barely half an inch. Correcting for that, seven of the eight piers I've made are as near dead level as I can get them; the eighth (the uppermost corner) is only 3/8" low. A little discrete shimming will level my beams after I get the sill plates on.
Meanwhile, my friendly county building inspector is calling for extra post supports in the middle of my 16' spans. Grrr. It's an aggravation, and it'll look jury-rigged to mix posts and piers, but it's an easy fix, and nobody will see it under the house. Meanwhile, I priced what it would take to make beams to span the existing differences, and we're talking tripled 2x16 LVLs. Big and expensive. I could save between two and three thousand dollars by jury-rigging the supports. Hmmm. Gentlemen of the jury, you may commence rigging.
After messing about on the muddy hillside, I drove to the north side of Cincy and tracked down the nail gun shop I found online. Bought myself a gas-powered framing nailer. This means I don't need to run a generator and I don't need to also buy an air compressor. And it's not terribly heavy. This one weighs 7.2 lb. I looked at a battery-only one that weighed an ginormous 9.2 lb. Anyway, I figure after I'm done framing, I'll sell my nail gun to somebody who'll get more use out of it and turn around and buy a finish nailer. Then I'll sell that one when I'm done with it.
In other news, the hemlock is all over the valleys. (I hate hemlock.) The catalpas are blooming, which means full summer is just around the corner. (Catalpas are about the last tree to bloom in the spring.) And everywhere, road crews are digging up and rebuilding highways. Long stretches of I-74 WB are down to bare dirt.