Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Implements of mass construction.

When Mrs. N. and I moved into this house in 2002, one of the things that attracted us to it was that the backyard had "privacy fencing." It came in the form of a stockade-style fence, with swinging doors on either side of the house. It is a far better option than chain link fencing, which I personally don't like.

The previous owners had the job done cheaply, and within the first two years of moving in, several of the posts began heaving upwards. It appeared that the concrete slabs that anchor the posts were not dug deep enough, and with the combination of rain, wind, and general erosion, parts of the fence began to give way as a result. We would prop them up with temporary fixes, but it became obvious last year that something needed to be done to four of the most seriously damaged ones.

Last year, when Mrs. N's. parents made their yearly trek up north for 6 weeks in the summer, she got her dad to show her how to reset one post, and armed with this new found knowledge, we set forth this past weekend to start our version of the Saturday and Sunday afternoon post.

First, the right tools for the right job were needed: (this is only a partial accounting of them)
...and of course, the proper constituents for said re-posting efforts:
and at the end of a long frickin' day, you end up with these: (left and right posts, respectively)
The cardboard tube acts as a form for which the concrete will set into, and then we cut it away and back fill the hole.

While all turned out well, it did require double the usual amounts of Tylenol and other pain killers for my shoulders and back. Things just don't heal like they used to. One more post to go, and if there are any more that need fixing, I'm breaking down and calling a contractor.

This is why I'm happy that I never made the decision to be a day laborer. I was happier (and better at) trying to repair people than fences. Oh, and for the record, we did not uncover Jimmy Hoffa in the process.


Peter said...

To boldly go where I wouldn't dare to go myself, ever again ;-)

Roaring applause!

I tried something similar in my previous home and had to call a contractor.

Bina said...

Okay, I'm just a tad lost here. Is that NEW post? Or did you have to break the concrete off the old post, wrap it in cardboard, and then pour the cement in?

I would just DIE if I had to dig out around my fence posts. I can do just about anything, but I freaking HATE digging!

Sistertex said...

Things always seem a little easier in the planning stage. From there on in they seem to get ever more intense, involved and painful. We have done the very same here...but with an entire fence...the *first time*. The second time we hired a contractor. I think considering the way it all went the first time, we didn't spend too much more money on the contractor doing it than when we did it ourselves. (considering....)

AnneDroid said...

Well done you two.

And I like the title for the post!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Peter - thanks, and believe me, it was a photo finish as to whether or not I was going to pick up the phone and call a contractor.

Bina - We had to dig out the old concrete, break it, dig down some more (to about 19 inches), and then put on the mold ad pour in the concrete. You wouldn't have liked it one bit. ;-)

Tex - Right, which is why we're limiting it to these 4 posts, and after that, we pick up the phone.

Anne - Thanks, and I actually had another name for the title, but the more I rolled this one around in my head, the more I liked it.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Somehow, I thought it would be a white picket fence.

RuneE said...

I think I recognize some of the symptoms in the back and the slow healing :-)

Nice to hear that eleven years have gone fine with the "new" liver. It goes to show that we can continue with (more or less) normal lives.

We don't have any registries at all since the law opens for donation in spite of opposition from relatives. However, this option is not practised and probably never will be. Our use of cards are to ensure that the opinion of the potential donor is heard. That is also the reason for our recommendation that the potential donor tells all his/hers near ones and dear ones about the decision.

All donation is also strictly anonymous in the sense that neither the recipient nor the donors family know anything about each other. The family receives a written and signed "Thank You" declaration which states which organs have been used and how many people have been helped. I know absolutely nothing about my donor - and that is the way it should be. It does not make my gratitude any smaller.

Very nice to hear how things are in USA! The best of luck to you and stay in touch!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Rune - Interesting the way things work there. As far as donor families and donors meeting, there has been more of that happening here over the past 10 years or so, if both parties agree. While I have never met my donor family, I have found that those who do meet have had an overwhelmingly positive experience, so I'll disagree with you on that point.

While I have written my donor family 5 times, (with my identity not known to them) I have never received a response. I do respect their wishes, but it would have been nice to thank them in person. Such is life, but they do know how much I appreciate what has been done for me, and not to mention the 4 other people whose organs were transplanted from that 17 year old boy.

jay said...

Oh, good for you! That looks a very painful and tedious process, but ultimately satisfying, yes?

There is no way I could do anything like that these days. Not now I've torn the other rotator cuff too... :(

VioletSky said...

This is why I rent.

But kudos to you both.