Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

"If playground rules are not in effect, this is anarchy." - Kelso, That 70's Show


The Boy, swinging on the new swing set. The drill press, being drilly and pressy, sits to his right.

This was the second weekend of the swing set. I know I could have bought a kit, but that didn’t seem Alaska-y at all. It seemed a bit more fair, somehow, to at least buy the boards and screws and figure it out myself.

Yesterday, The Mrs. and I went to Home Despot. There, the main goal of The Mrs. was to find some flowers to plant out front of our house. We bought bulbs and planted them last fall, but in the end I think they gave up just rotted in the soil. The Mrs. got some actual live plants to kill this time.

An aside, it seems as if The Mrs. can kill any plant. If Bird Flu® (Run, Hide, Scream!™)were a plant, well, the salvation of mankind might be for The Mrs. to be put on the case. I kid. She’s been successful at growing tomatoes, which the dogs promptly ate before they ripened.

Home Despot was our spot. The Mrs. brought The New Boy in her car, and The Boy and I rode in my 1936 (seems that old) Ford truck. The Boy loves the Ford truck, since he can sit up front without fear that some safety device would explode and injure him. I believe it was the economist, Thomas Sowell, who said that if economists were inventing car safety devices, the best one would consist of a six-inch long razor-sharp knife stuck smack dab in the middle of the steering wheel. I think that would curb aggressive driving, too. As it is, I view air bags in a similar light, and am actually a bit irritated that I can’t buy a car without them because some lobby or other decided that all cars should have them. On behalf of all three of us that think this whole car-safety thing has gone a bit far, thanks a lot, pal.

Anyhow, car safety device irritation aside, The Mrs. brought a selection of hard to kill plants that she placed in our front yard. I bought lumber.

Two weeks ago when I had some time to dedicate to the swing set, I had miscalculated the number of 2x4’s that I’d need. I think I bought about 20, but ended up needing 30. Bad math. So yesterday I bought some more. I got home and began assembly first of the table for the drill press. That construction went well, but still took about an hour. I explained in my “please trust me voice” that all of the time I’d spent assembling the drill press would pay off once we could use it for drilling out a huge number of holes for steps on the swing set. The Mrs., to her credit, didn’t complain a bit.

When we finally got to use the drill press, The Mrs. remarked that it was “very drilly and very pressy.” She remembered a time about four years ago when I wrestled with a similar project that required a bunch of holes to be drilled, and was suitably impressed by what an improvement the drill press was over my past efforts. She figured out that we should use a ladder and some shims to hold the main beam (the part the swings dangle from) until it could fall on my head be attached to the main tower segment.

As we started back to the main assembly I looked and became dismayed to find I only had about seven screws left in the five pound box. Even given that, we worked on the swing set until about 9:30PM. I was completely disoriented on time, and thought it was about 6:30PM. That’s the downside of doing projects in Alaska – time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future. Why does that make me think of eagles? I digress.

Construction delayed until today, when I could once again venture into the big-box comfort of Home Despot. I got the screws, and another box of them besides, and started working as soon as I got home.

Now the swing is operable, and with only a ladder for the overhead bars and a slide to attach, we’re nearing the end of this project. That the end of this is near is very good, since I ran out of beer yesterday. No home improvement scheme should outrun its beer allotment.

9 Comments:

Blogger Woofwoof said...

The swing is nice, but I am curious about something else. How can you have green grass so soon? I thought the freeze stopped only a few weeks ago. Unless, of course, the grass is just "greener on the other side of the fence."

7:43 PM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

I also think you have done a fine job on the swing. Only five more trips into town before you are done.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Oz. said...

"very drilly, very pressy."

The Mrs. (My The Mrs.) is constantly
amazed at home much easier projects
become when the right tool is used.

She is starting to be less amazed
to find that there is a proper
tool for whatever it is I'm doing.

"You live and learn. Or you don't
live long." LL as channeled by RAH

8:20 PM  
Anonymous CWH said...

I will use your post for inspiration as I begin my "treehouse" project. I was thinking a simple floor with a rope ladder, but I wouldn't get a drill press or any other power tools with that plan. So the new version has a wooden ladder, hidden entrance, a rope bridge to another tree, plus a slide that lands in the pool. My neighbors will understand why I moved to an area with no covenants soon.

Have fun at soccer, wait until he's old enough to play on a team that has practice. I struggle each year as they get older.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

wow -- the boy has blond hair. Who knew?

7:30 PM  
Blogger lloydcheam said...

NSFW? not safe for work? Elaboration...?

10:26 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Looks like fun! (Both the drill press and the swingset)

Isn't it amazing how you can work well past when you wanted to quit just because your internal clock is messed up in the summer up here? It gets me all the time.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jacie said...

The Boy, he is just beautiful on that swing set, you've captured all that is precious in a child!

6:20 PM  
Blogger John said...

woof,
It's like that up here. When it melts, the grass is (in some cases) already green as the snow melts. Working theory: the sun gets through the thin layer of last snow. Dunno.

duck hunter,
Nope, done! Three total trips. Way easier than replacing a water heater. (still have a scar from that)

oz,
'tis true. I'm only a few tools away from the ultimate workship. Then it's time to move into upgrade mode . . . first in the upgrade target: Table saw. In 2009 or so.

cwh,
YES! That's the thinking . . . have to have metal steps, (3/4" EMT conduit works great), so you need a sawsall . . . etc.

shawn,
He had better, or I'da slugged his Momma.

lloydcheam,
Got that one on your site, too. NSFW just lets folks know that there might be a naughty word or two. Don't want to get anybody working fired.

erin,
Yes. That's tonight's post. I'm officially exhausted.

jacie,
I have captured that precious essence. I keep it in my desk drawer now, though.

7:59 PM  

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