Thursday, January 24, 2013

Optimistic Success and an Electric Pole.

Following our amazing suspicious day of productivity, we had decided to treat the pole with wood preserver first thing and then go to Lowes to get the supplies we would need to set the pole in the ground, come back and set the pole. Oh and also stop by my aunts to give her some stuff she needed for the Woodsmith, oh and stop by that crazy discount food place with all the dented shit and get some more cheese.

What's that you say, we were being wildly optimistic? It can't be done? Read on, dear reader.

So I get up early and feed the animals and take the dog for a walk and then put in some laundry and then we are ready to began.

First off we roll the electric pole onto some wood blocks to keep it up off the ground, and then we gather our supplies and paint on the wood preserver while trying not to breath in. This is also where Holly learned an important lesson called, 'why you should have bought those knee pads when you had the chance.' Yeah, so maybe we had to wait for the sun to burn off some of the frost on the pole before starting in, but you know what the sun did not do?

If you answered, unthaw the frozen ass hard as marble ground, you'd be right!

My left knee may never forgive me.

So we painted on the wood preserver changed clothes, hopped in the car and set off for phase 1.5. So we get to aunt and uncles house and it turns out they are both home and so we get to talking and then we have some tea and then my aunt reveals she has some homemade pumpkin bread we can eat and then we get to telling stories and then Scott and my Uncle start to look through the Woodsmith manual and then it's like noon thirty.

Of course then we have to say our goodbyes and hop back in the car and drive off to Lowes for part 2. Every trip to Lowes is like a game. More specifically, like a scavenger hunt. Rule number one, sections are kinda sorta labeled, but they will not contain everything you would think would go there. Rule number two is that if you are going with a man, you are never allowed to ask an employee because that would mean admitting defeat. The only exception to this rule is if you split up, then you are allowed to hunt down in employee, but the two of you will arrive just as the man you are with has found the section and then he will have to pretend he does not know you to save his manliness. Rule number three is that you will always be on a time limit when you go, to add excitement/stress. Rule number four is that you will never, no matter how hard you try, understand which lanes are for the flat cart things and which are not. I shun you contractor checkout.

So after playing the Lowes game we went on to part 2.5, and went to the crazy cheap food store and then drove home. It was about oh, three in the afternoon. So I threw a sandwich and tea in my face and then went outside to tackle that pole.

First off, we had to tie it to the backhoe in such a way that we could take it down the road. Our only solution was to tie it to the bucket, and then tie one end to the side, so it looked like the backhoe was about to go jousting with a telephone pole.*

Then I wrapped a chain around the front end to stabilize the whole thing and off we went. If you are wondering that that is like, it was like walking the biggest dog ever. Or possibly a dinosaur.

Well, we got it over there safe and sound and then unhooked it. Then we filled the bottom of the hole, which was already filled with water because it's fucking wet here, with gravel and sand. Then we struggled and cursed and yelled and fought the goddamn pole onto the bucket and after a botched first attempt that made us accuse each other of not doing it right, we got the end in the hole and there was much fucking rejoicing.

Then we chained it to the bucket to keep it from crushing something, and niggled the backhoe around until the pole was upright and level. Mostly level, anyway. Then we set to filling in the hole. Looking up, I could see the sun had slipped behind the trees on the ridge, and that the sky was taking on that pale gray of a winter evening. Oh boy.

We commenced shoveling. I got rocks and threw them in the hole around the pole and then we shoveled in dirt. It got darker. We shoveled in more dirt and rocks. I managed to hit my head on the backhoe bucket. It got really kinda a lot dark. Like, oh hey, there is the moon dark. Then we poured in two bags of Quickcrete next to the pole, and the shoveled some more dirt around it.

By the time we were ready to place in the last bag, the night was coming in. You know that point where if you are standing out in a field it is still light enough to see, but the trees and forests and buildings are just pitch black holes against a deep blue black sky?

Yeah, we were at that point.

So in the almost but not quite dark we shoveled on enough earth to cover the Quickcrete and then cleaned up our tools. And by cleaned up our tools, I mean we threw everything onto the porch of the second mobile home, crawled back inside the livable mobile home and collapsed.

Sometimes I wonder about us. Do normal people try to cram two and three days into one day? Is this just us? Are we crazy?

The world may never know.

*You know what the Olympics needs? Backhoe telephone pole jousting. Get on that, people who decide what goes into the Olympics. Get on that.


  1. I would maybe think about doing all of that in one day. But then I wouldn't make it past the noon thirty visit before heading home for a nap.

  2. I used to be exactly like that. I learned it from my dad. But then, I got older and came to the realization that most of the time, the job cam be finished the next day if you run out of hours.

    Do you have lights on the backhoe? I've built fence by tractor light before. It's a pain in the ass, but it helps a bit.