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I’ll never understand limitless greed, blind obedience to a religion, political figure, or ideology, or racism.

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Whew! I can hardly believe it, as I have said last week, the first deck has been started.  The structual portion has been built.  I am including some pictures.  I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. 

Structural for the big deck

Structural for the big deck

The guys from work came a built this while I was spending a day working on a Habitat for Humanity house.  Can you believe it?  So I come home and it is all nice and secure.
We kept changing the dimensions of the deck slightly, to accomodate an existing hose bib on the second floor of the house that was accessible from the old deck, to maximize usage of the dimensions of the lumber, plus the existing locations of the concrete piers.  To build the new deck with the least expense, time and effort I wanted to keep the concrete posts where they were.  In any case, it came out great! 
I finally got out this past weekend and got the final dimensions of the deck so we can now order the decking material. 
P.S.: The dead rabbit was all gone this Saturday.  Apparently whatever killed it and was munching on it during the week finished it off.  Only a few puffs of fur were left.  So I didn’t have to perform burial rites for the little guy.   There is some nobility in its death providing nutrition for other animals so that they can live.
PPS: One of Murphy’s Laws: Skinners Constant. “That quantity which, when multiplied by, divided by, added to, or subtracted from the answer you got, gives you the answer you should have gotten.”
Hamsters may be small, but we know what ‘s going on.  We are watching you. Don’t screw it up.

So anyway, last week I finished a book case I built last winter.  I was so excited to get it built that I immediately hauled it from my garage (last winter), up the stairs (not an easy task, I got a few bruises dragging the thing up two flights of stairs and around several 90 degree turns to get it into its final resting place).  As I was saying, I immediately filled it and its twin (I made two bookcases at the same time!) with books.

My thought was that I would varnish or paint them in the summer out on my deck where I wouldn’t have to worry about the paint fumes, and since it would be summer it would be warm and we do have some dry weeks during August and September.  Well, all plans seem to go awry and this was no exception.

I had also decided somewhat simultaneously that my deck was so far gone with rot that to avoid personal injury  I HAD to tear it out and replace it, this summer of course.  What is that saying?  Anything that can go wrong will?  No, thats not it; I think it goes: Anything that can go wrong will do so at the time that will cause the most inconvenience.  Something like that.

Whatever.  Anyway, I don’t have any deck at the moment and I decided I couldn’t stand looking at those bookcases another winter in their half-completed condition, so last week I pulled everything off the first one and went at it.  Sanding, puttying up the last little cracks, putting the first coat of paint on (I did decide to paint them, even though I usually varnish stuff I make because I like the look of wood grain and the knots in the wood), sanding and then painting with the final coat.

White, I painted them white. Well, the walls of the room they are sitting in are a version of white, so I decided to just go with that.  Besides, in my bedroom I decided to try to get away from the all-white decor of my home but the shade of green I selected turned out to be way too dark, so instead of re-painting my bedroom in a lighter color I put all white stuff in there.  It makes a nice contrast and I’m ok with that.

This is what I wanted my bedroom to look like

This is what I wanted my bedroom to look like

The trim is white, the doors are white and I have some decorative type shelves that are white.  Also the floor to ceiling curtains over a sliding glass door are white.  Makes it a little brighter.  I’m all for doing whatever takes the least effort and expense and makes it look like that was what I intented to do all along.

So, doesn’t this green bedroom look nice?  That was the look I was going for.  Sigh, some of us just do not have the home design gene, or the money to pay someone else who does have it.

This hamster soldiers on 🙂

Hey.  So, on Saturday I left the house around 8:00 to go pick up my 86 year old mom.  She lives at a retirement home not too far from me and since she is getting unstable for walking and can’t see very much, she enjoys getting out once a week at my place.  I take her out for lunch and to the park. 

Ok, so about 11:00 we came back to the house.  We go upstairs, unload our stuff, and I sack out on the couch for a few minutes.  Then someone pounds on my door, so I go down to see whats up. 

My neighbor is standing there and he says that right after I left, they could hear water gushing out from somewhere and running into the storm drain in the street.  So they looked around, and here it was pouring up from the ground between my driveway and my water meter.  Great.

So I went out to look and sure enough, there it was.  It might have been great if it was a real underground spring that was blessing me with free water, but noooo.  It was very expensive water from the city.  Just great.

So I call the city and of course it is the weekend, so they are going to charge me $75 to come out and shut it off.  I guess they don’t have enough fees tacked onto my water bill to cover this.  Of course they won’t FIX the problem, as the break is in the line from the meter to my house, not out in the street.  Yeah, its what I live for.  I would really hate it if life got boring . . . and everything went the way I wanted it to.  Yeah, that would really suck.

So I wrack my brain thinking out what I need to do next.  One thought that keeps running through my brain is: My parents lived in the same house for 50 years and THEIR water supply pipe never broke, why me?!  I know, jackasses will tell me not to whine, but I could make a very long list of problems I have had to deal with and opportunities my parents had that I will never have, and well, it doesn’t do to spend too much time in that train of thought.  It only leads either to depression or thoughts of violence, both of which I prefer to avoid.

Soooo, today is Wednesday and I think I have all the problems worked out at least as to how to solve the busted water pipe issue.  I had to call the city, as my plumber can’t work on it for a week and the city said they only allow a bypass hose to my house to remain in place for 7 days. 

Well, this is going to cost me a couple thousand dollars on top of the rotting deck I’m working on that will also cost me over $2,000 to tear out and replace, which work I am doing  myself to keep the costs down.

Did I mention that I am going out of town next week to visit my son and granddaughter whom I have not seen for about 2 years?   So, the actual repair will be going on while I am gone.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Let me leave you with Murphy’s primary law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” 

And this: “If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.”
Extreme version:
“If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong.” 

Also: “Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.”

The Hamster never gives up and never gives in.

Worked on the deck for 2 hours yesterday after my minimal pay day job that makes me do this myself because I can’t afford to hire someone else to do it.  I cut up a lot of the long deck boards that I have piled up alongside the house from previous days of demolition.  Last night I removed the small set of steps that are opposite the dining room sliding glass doors.

It was harder than I thought it would be.  So much of this deck is kinda wobbly and rotten,  you would think the boards and steps would come apart easily, but they just don’t want to give it up. Or as Murphys law says, “If anything can go wrong it will.”

Small set of steps up to the bank are now demo'd

Small steps against bank are now gone

And the extension of that law is what I fear the most: “It will be all your fault, and everyone will know it. ”  I hate to look bad in front of others. I try to pre-emptively spread the blame by telling people I’m getting advice from experts, and I have friends who are going to help me, so when something goes wrong I can at least place part of the blame on someone else, but then I usually get “that look” and I know they are not falling for it, sigh.  Life is hard.

However, I will not give up, and this deck will be totally torn down and rebuilt.  It will look great and I will love it.  Ya like that?  Positive thinking.  I can think positively, I just choose not too most of the time.

Murphy’s laws are great.  Here are some more:

“Nothing is as easy as it looks.”

“Everything takes longer than you think.”

“Everything takes longer than it takes.”

“Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.”

Ha, ha.  I am stepping carefully now on the deck, as there is very little decking left and about 5 1/2 feet to fall if I miss-step.  Will keep you updated as to the progress!

Hardhat hamster.