Gosh Darn Deluxe

It all started when the Little League World Series took a bad turn on the last game. It might not have been a bad turn for the Japanese team (they won), but it was a bad turn for my husband (he was for the California team who lost).

During the course of the weekend we had to turn the electricity off to the house in order to replace the siding under our meter loop. That included temporarily removing the whole kit and kaboodle from the house wall and re-locating it on a 2×6 tripod of industrial proportions. All that went well, no big dramas other than my irrational fear of electricity and lack of muscle power  for lifting heavy stuff, neither of which were tested. The power was temporarily restored until Sunday when (after the siding was replaced and new insulation installed) we planned to put the meter loop back on the front wall of the house. It only took an hour to move it to the tripod, so it should only take an hour to put it back. Easy! Right?

Sunday, 9:00 a.m. A trip to the big blue box of DIY madness in the nearest city (35 miles away) for plywood, lumber and breakfast tacos.

11:00 a.m. The power going to the meter loop was disconnected at the source, leaving the house in a black out situation. No air conditioning, no refrigerator refrigerating beer for our afternoon refreshments, no cook stove (my personal favorite), and perhaps the worst of all… no Sunday afternoon Little League World Series Final game.

Thank God for the Man Cave. It’s creator was brilliant enough to wire it separately from the main house when it was built. It has it’s own meter and transformer and all that jazz independent from the house. Our water well is powered from the Man Cave, and that’s a good thing. The Man Cave also has a new flat panel television with uber high tech antenna reception.

Martins contribute to the incredible TV reception of this 40 year old device. No electricity needed.

Martins contribute to the incredible TV reception of this 40 year old device. No electricity needed.

And that antenna reception picks up important TV shows like The Little League World Series! Yay!

Noon: During commercial breaks we worked on the house. I have to mention that commercial breaks during the Little League World Series are few and far between. And when those commercials do come on they are short and sweet (as apposed to pro sport commercial breaks) so the work done was just as short but not nearly as sweet. The saying “Haste Makes Waste” was never more demonstrated than on Sunday afternoon.

I got bored with the game ages ago, so while he was trotting back and forth from the Man Cave to the job site, I was doing little jobs like putting pookie in cracks, squirting foam & goo (my new favorite insulating option) into bigger cracks, watering my plants, and piddling in general. When he came hustling around the corner to do something before the game came back on, the pace was fast and furious. And mistake ridden. First he cut a piece of plywood wrong, cussed, then went back to the game. Next he mis-measured a two by six, mis-cut it, cussed again, then went back to the game. The third time he came around the corner in a rush, I handed him a beer and told him to please please go back to the man cave and finish watching the game ~ we were running out of lumber to waste! He was relieved, I was relieved, the house was relieved.

2:00 p.m. or so he came back with devastating news… The California team had lost to the Japanese team. Fair and square, but still a loss. The Little League World Series was over and his team was not the winner. To some that might not be a big deal (to most of the world I imagine) but to my husband it was. He was disappointed and grumpy and mad. He couldn’t stop grumbling about the winning team and how the losing team should have been the winning team and so on and so forth. Needless to say his mind was not on quality craftsmanship, and it showed.

3 p.m. or so…. After a look-fix session in the shade, he rallied a bit and we got back to work.

We got out the other sheet of plywood, measured it properly, and began the cut when all of a sudden this outrageous screech came from the circular saw. It was spitting fireworks out of the motor and the blade started wobbling. He finished the cut and examined his saw. Wee slivers of red hot metal chunks fell out onto the board and started smoking. Rats! The well seasoned (Texan for worn-out) Made In America saw had finally given in to the harsh life of cutting everything from oak to hard rock maple to cement board. It was officially dead.

What to do? The house inside was getting hot, the ice cream in the freezer was getting soft, and our beer was warming up in a hurry. Atticus (the fabulous budgie) didn’t have the radio on for company, the ceiling fan wasn’t blowing on napping cats, and our Sunday night TV shows were in danger of not getting recorded.

4:30ish ~ Off to the local grocery store that doubles as the most expensive hardware store on the planet to see if they had a suitable circular saw that fit his discerning tastes (made in the U.S.A) located somewhere near the frozen food isle. They did not, but he bought one anyway. A cheaply made (not cheaply priced) Skil Saw made in China. He told me he was giving it to me for my birthday after he buys a better one, but for now it was his and it had work to do. Gee thanks, Honey!

It cut like a champ and in no time we had our plywood up on the wall and nailed on (with the pneumatic framing nailer from hell). After that we put on the meter loop, and he proceeded to wire it back up in order to get the electricity to the house back on…. But what’s this? Why won’t that big black very important wire pull from the conduit hole? And what about this wire? It seems stuck hard and fast somewhere. WTF is wrong? I need slack in this wire to attach it to the breaker box! What could be the problem?

Sigh. In our haste to get this “easy” project finished someone had not checked the location of the wiring inside the wall when the plywood was nailed up. That someone (I had a feeling) was me, but I was never openly accused. Instead it was blamed on the Japanese Little League baseball team. The entire team was also blamed for the Skil saw incident as well as the two bad measurements resulting in the wasted lumber. I was off the hook for this one but it still had to be remedied. What a pisser!

The kind of nails used in our air nail gun have a sort of glue on them that activates when heated. The friction of sending a nail into lumber at a zillion miles an hour heats the glue on the nail and the whole thing attaches to the wood never to be pulled out. EVER. Too bad we needed to pull out a dozen of these nails to loosen the wire that was trapped between a stud and the plywood sheathing we had painstakingly cut and put up.

7 p.m. After a long struggle with three prybars, a screw driver, hammer, Daddy In Law for an extra pair of hands, some cussing (it was a big day for that activity), a little bloodshed and some creativity, the wires were freed and the plywood was hammered back up and the wires were connected and the electricity was turned back on. The only things left to do were gather up tools and staple a big plastic sheet on the front of the house and hope it held if the rain clouds came.

© Copyright 2013 Leegay, All rights Reserved. Written For: Truth In Decorating

About Leegay

My husband and I live in the Texas Hill Country with a herd of animals and a million projects. We wouldn't have it any other way. Although being a big lottery winner might not be so bad.
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