June 19, 2014

Lots of progress today. As you can see, I’ve completed putting the underlying frame together and was able to lay planks down to see just how all the lumber I’ve got piled up beside the pool is going to fit in. I first laid down all the planks to the east (nearest camera) and west sides of the Tiki bar to make sure my original dimensions worked out. On the east side, the lumber was perfect. On the west side, not so much, and all the planks needed to be cut back an inch; after that they all fit perfectly.

Because of the length of the planks, the brick border, and the framework underneath, it became apparent right off the bat that I’m not going to be able to fit entire planks under the Tiki bar, so some cutting is going to be needed there. But as I laid down various pieces of wood, I realized there was going to be a space of approx. 4″ that I was going to have to find a solution for. I wasn’t surprised – when you’ve got a finite area to work in you’ve got to prepare for surprises and compromises.

It was time for a break, anyways, so I went inside, cracked open a Diet 7-Up, then went back out and sat in a chair just staring at those 4 inches and drank in the warm Arizona afternoon. I could hear the sparrows, foo-foo birds, and mourning doves trying to get at the grass seed I planted over the bare spots in the east-facing side yard, and the pool vacuum softly chattering away. It was just a perfect summer day and a moment in time I knew one day I would look back upon fondly – probably when I’m laying in some hospital bed on life support under garish flourescent lights rand the twins arguing who was going to pull the plug and when. A soft breeze came up, rustled the palm trees and the mesquite tree above me, and dried the sweat on my face.

Four inches.

And then it occurred to me: what I’d do is have the folks at Lowe’s (who by now know me by name) cut me four 2 X 10 planks that I’ll place around the four legs of the Tiki bar. Amidst all the 2 X 8s no one will notice the difference, and I’ll have made up those four inches without any problem!

After my trip to Lowe’s, I finished laying down the new 2 X 10s amidst other 2 X 8 pieces of wood to judge the spacing, and everything is perfect. My neighbor John stopped by to see the progress I was making and he was really proud of the work I did; he joked that once everything is stained and bolted in I’ll have increased the value of the house by another $1K. 🙂 Not to mention the fact that I’ll have permanently pissed off the neighborhood cat that led me down this path to begin with!

As you can see in the picture, there’s still quite a bit of wood-cutting to do, but everything is finally starting to come into focus.

No work planned for tomorrow. Like God on the seventh day, I’m taking a rest from manual labor and playing a round of golf. After all, Goodboys Invitational weekend is just four weeks away!

On Saturday, I’ll finish cutting all the remaining wood so that it fits perfectly under the Tiki bar, then it all comes up and gets numbered so that once it is stained and polyurethened it lays down exactly as I’ve laid them down. After the wood is removed, I’ve got quite a bit of sand to shift in order to bring the underlying frame level with the patio, but slightly lower than the brick borders. It’s going to be painstaking work, but exciting nonetheless, and I can’t wait to get going. Remember, we’re talking about a guy here who used to blanch at the very thought of any project that required a tape measure and any tool that wasn’t a hammer.

About that piece of wood sitting at angle, just hanging out there. I’ve got a weird shaped opening around the side of the Tiki bar that the 2 X 8s just don’t cover. So I’m going to have to buy a jigsaw and cut a funky-shaped piece where our Tiki statue will sit and also allow room for the power cord that lights the Tiki lights to go under the boardwalk to the plug on the side of the house. The last time I used a jigsaw was in 8th grade shop class. 🙂 So now I’m buying a jigsaw…

Time for a dip in the pool!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:02 | Comments (2)
  1. You really need to thank the f*%#@!ing cat for presenting to you an opportunity to do something you thought you could not do. This cat has given you a gift of “look what I can do”. This cat knew that if he persisted you would step out of the geek life that limited you and give birth to a carpenter. I would recommend leaving the f*%#@!ing cat a thank you note a gift to show your appreciation. Cats are wise creatures and know who needs their help.

    Comment by Jana — June 20, 2014 @ 5:04 am

  2. Actually, I saw said $#@%! cat traipsing across the street this morning. I called the cat a son-of-a-bitch. He/she stopped, sat down, and stared right at me. I’m guessing what you wrote is what is was thinking.

    Of course, he/she also could have been thinking, now where did my litter box go?

    Comment by The Great White Shank — June 20, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

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