June 04, 2007

Okay, now then.

Sorry about the delay. Not only did we have a long staff meeting (with all of our long staffs) I had to make a run to the bank to stave off at least a couple of creditors. Temporarily.

Anyway, that took a lot of time due to the technological progress that has made everything go twice as slow as it used to. I used to could just go by the drive-through and be in and out in about thirty seconds. It takes five minutes now to do the same thing. BAH! Computers. Never will amount to anything.

AS I WAS RECOUNTING TO YOU, the weekend was very, VERY exciting, if you like it when I get all cramped up like a soda can in a trash compactor.

I decided it was Time.

Time to erect the Childrens' Large Fabric Playhouse. You might recall this as the fabric and aluminum-framed gazebo bought several weeks ago from Target. (vis., here, and here) However, in the interest of protecting myself from neighborhood busybodies who have nothing better to do than pick out improperly painted mailboxes, this will now and forever be named the Childrens' Large Fabric Playhouse, since it seems that--given the overwhelming amount of them--that the usual wood and pretty canvas swingset and playforts are exempt from the governing sections of our covenants. Probably not in the strictly legal sense, but in the reality on the ground, they're EVERYwhere in our neighborhood.

SO, this is a playhouse for the kids. Sure, it's not high up off the ground like some of them are, but we fear for their safety in something so high off the ground. And yes, it's not made of redwood and rainbow canvas, but we want our children to be all cultured and couthish and grown-uppy and all. And yes, it does have mosquito netting on the sides, but that's only because we'd rather then not succumb to some dread vermin-borne contagion of some sort.

So there.

OH, and no, it does NOT take the place of the Large Plastic Not A Storage Shed But A Playhouse. That will remain in place as something of a child annex, should they need a more private place that smells of gasoline.

SO, it was Time.

What did I need to do?

The wooden platform in the backyard is 10 feet long x 8 feet, 3 inches wide. Or vice-versa. The gazebo is a nominal 10x10, although actual dimensions are 9'-8 3/4" square. In either case, there needed to be a stretching of the wooden platform by 2 feet. Or .333 yards for those of you more familiar with the metric system.

Meaning carpentry.

Up early Saturday, had a fine breakfast of pancakes and bacon, then gathered up Middle Girl.

Why her?

Well, she's been wanting to volunteer this summer at our local PetSmart store for the St. Clair County Animal Shelter, who bring various puppies and kitties for adoption to the store on Saturdays. So, she needed to go fill out a form there, so I figured I'd knock that out of the way with my other trip. And it would give me someone who was actually interested in helping me tote things.

Got gas in the van, went to PetSmart, met a big group of very nice volunteers, including a very quiet little redhaired high school girl who sort of reminded me of Rebecca, let Bec fill out the application, got some information, and that was that. She's now signed up to volunteer, and I think if the volunteer coordinator had been there, she could have started. BUT, since she wasn't, the senior volunteer lady was a bit hesitant to hire on a new hand, so Rebecca will get to come in next weekend. And she's very, VERY excited about that. She loves puppies and kitties.

From there, it was time to go shopping, with a stop for some expensive air to fill up the rear tire. And I just now remembered I have a little air pump in the van I could have used. DRAT! I'll remember next time. Not.

To Lowe's--I'd made careful measurements the day before, so I knew I needed four 10ft x 6in x 5/4 pieces of decking (the cheap kind with big grain, even though it doesn't match), and a pressure treated 2x6 for the deck joists, cut into three 3ft lengths, and two 2ft lengths. That's thirteen feet, meaning that since they didn't have a 14 foot piece, I had to get a 16 footer.

And hardware. Screws for the decking, and some nail plates to lengthen the edge joist on the platform, since they had to be a straight splice instead of being sistered together.

Because I didn't have enough on my plate for the day, before I had the long board cut into pieces by the handy Lowe's kid who was running the saw, I stopped to get a new flood light for the corner of the house.

It's been broken forever, with one socket hanging on only by its wires. And both bulbs were burnt out. Since I was going to have to get up there anyway, I figured I might as well go ahead and change out the fixture to an unbroken one. And to cut down on the amount of times I'll ever have to get BACK up there, I got fluorescent flood lamps. Yes, I'm becoming quite the compact fluorescent fan, aren't I? They are more expensive, yes, but they do last a lot longer. If you don't BREAK ONE. More on that later.

Got my lumber sized, went and checked out, (and yes, all during this time Middle Girl was quite helpful at hoisting lumber), and it was time to head home.

Pulled around to the back yard, unloaded, and got ready for Phase II.

NEXT: Phase II.

Oh, and before I forget it--remember that story I posted last week about the kid that got fired from Wal-Mart because he made some lame inflammatory comment about his erstwhile employer? Well, apparently he now has plenty of time on his hands to do a little self-Googling to find out who all has written about him. And he felt compelled to show off his high level of self-esteem in the comments section of that post. He is truly an incredible young man. And really REALLY smart and enlightened and successful.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at June 4, 2007 10:50 AM