Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why do I do this to myself?

So I have the bees, I put in a clothesline, I built a fence and a composter, raised bed gardens, install "monster" water tanks, moved the freakishly heavy shed (yes, I took everything out first) and now this. Ugh!!!


This is the side of my house. Stunning, huh? Yeah, it's really not all that. (the dead tree is my neighbors)Here's a list of things I need to do before this next project kills me.

1) remove sidewalk.

2) dig out the bushy weird ground growth in front of fence.

3) remove fence and replace with gated arbor

4) put in pathway

5) put in cow panel fence

6) install secret side project the zoning people don't need to know about.

7) put in pretty pretty flowers.

8) drop dead. :) Weeee!!!!

Just imagine me laughing manically as I write this list and realizing just what the &%$#@@ I've gotten myself into!!!

Well, the worst part, the very very worst part, the part that this whole entire insane project centers around that must be done first? Numero Uno? Remove that bizarre side walk.

Look back at the photo. There are a few things wrong with my lovely side walk. 1) it's drifting away from the house like a concrete glacier. (I'm into lists today. 1) think of stuff 2) write it down 3) create a list) 2) the drifting concrete if not dealt with promptly, could do damage to my gas line (when they built the house they put the gas line right through the middle of the side walk) and finally 3) if you look carefully at the photo, you will notice that the side walk bisects the gate. So technically, it's half a side walk. There were some real genius's at work when putting this thing in.

So first things first 1) scream out in aguish over having to remove a side walk.

Well, that's not much of a list. But really, after thinking about having to remove the thing, I had nothing else to add other than screaming.

Then I was off to the good people at Home Desperate to rent a concrete cutter. What's that you say? It's this thing straight out of a horror film...


The blade alone costs 75 bucks! It's coated with itty bitty diamonds. And no they don't rent blades...I asked.

All told, for a 24 hour rental 179 freakin bucks I will never ever see again. (That's with the blade)

Now when I first looked at my side walk, here it is again...


It's only 30 feet long...the longest "only 30" feet of my entire life.

Now if you don't know much about cutting concrete, which I didn't and only watched other people do, it's much like cutting tile, which I have never done but have watched other people do. You need lots and lots of beer, no wait! not that, although it helps, but water. Lots of water.

You want to keep the blade cool and it cuts down on it's wear. Otherwise I would be flying through blades quickly. Flying through blades? That's an image, huh?

I forgot to take photos of that first little block. My demo block if you will but we now join our hero cutting the rest.

First score the concrete...


one way then the other...


The photos eliminate the concrete water spraying up my leg and the entire time me being bent over with my forearms resting on my thighs while I slowly push the cutter through the concrete while my back screams obscenities at me in several different languages.

Each one of those lines I had to cut 3 times at 3 different depths. The concrete was 4 inches thick. Each "score" was about 1 inch deeper than the last. So first time 1 inch, second time 2 inches, and lastly 3rd time 3 inches. (Thanks to my co-worker David W. for the suggestion!)Then I went back with a block of wood and a sledge hammer and knocked them apart.

Here is a photo of a very tired and miserable SuburbanDweller...


Yes, those are sandals and yes, I still have all my toes. That's me, breaking apart the concrete after it had been scored. You will notice the gas meter behind me...


Note the crack in the concrete. That was a big help. I cut round it as best as I could without setting off an explosion. I'm writing this so I guess I didn't blow myself to smithereens.

After a long tiring day, of being soaked with wet gritty concrete mud up my legs, working out in the backing sun, and hauling around a 50 pound concrete cutter all day long, for which my back still hasn't forgiven me, I was done...


What will I do with all that concrete? Well, that was the reason I rented the concrete cutter in the first place. I cut them into blocks which I will use to block in some of my flower garden my back yard.


It's not pretty now, but after some "shaping" it will look a lot better.

I'm tired of saying and writing "concrete".

So that is part one of this crazy @ss project.


Now for a few picts..

My first tomatoes of the season...

These are sun sugar cherry tomatoes, I highly suggest you try growing some of these yummy guys next year.  (A helping hand by...um...Mr. Hand)Photobucket

(My days as a hand model are long behind me)

And a few yet to be picked... (you can't tell in the photo, but these guys are as big as baseballs)

And lastly, a bee pict...


As always, Green is good!



Prof said...

Project the zoning people don't need to know about...


Congrats on the gorgeous tomatoes.

Sue said...

Sun sugar tomatoes!!? They sound so tasty! I've never heard of them. But what do I know...

You are one hardworking good green man, Hermano. You have to be the ultimate recycler, too. Love that picture of you in the hat. And the bees? They're incredible!!