Pile O’ $h!t:
Apparently it has been 2 months since I wrote the Homeresque blog post about the truck designed to rival Tolstoi in verbosity. You can imagine I needed a long hard rest after that blogging odyssey, and honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve gotten that long hard rest, but alas, I will blog again regardless. The whole thing would probably be a lot easier if I just blogged a little every couple of days instead of bundling a couple months worth of news into a single post. The bundling puts too much distance between me and some of the more significant events of the past 2 months, enough distance that any rendering of those events would seem too contrived and contemplated to have any real value. As such, we’re going to skip the most important stuff and stick to the most entertaining stuff, so put your finger on the scroll wheel and let us begin…
Maya recently encountered a post on Craig’s List by a tree service company offering to deliver wood chips free of charge with a 4 cubic yard minimum. Perfect, we happened to be in the market for a boat load of mulch to finish our comprehensive lawn removal project, so after some foot dragging on my part we gave them a ring. They said they would have about 8 cubic yards and asked how much of it we would like. “Sure, bring us what ya’ got. We’ll take it…” I said figuring we could easily spread 8 cubic yards of mulch. No problem at all. ’8 yards will be a perfect start’, I thought to myself when I hung up the phone. Keep in mind, I do have some idea of what a cubic yard looks like having hauled in several of them for filling the holes that I dig. A couple of years ago we had 15 cubic yards of soil delivered for the largest raised bed in the back yard, so I felt like half of that quantity was easily managable. Then they arrived…
In my estimation we ended up with about 20 cubic yards (Maya says 24, so perhaps it is somewhere in between), nevertheless, it was not 8. Nowhere near 8. A whole $h!tload more than 8. It filled the entire driveway (almost, kind of, ok, not the entire driveway, but the entire part of the driveway in which Maya parks, not the part that is ordinarily occupied by my truck canopy and other non-essential goods for which no other suitable location can be found). The funniest thing about the pile was the fact that several visitors shortly after the arrival of the pile expressed an acknowledgment of the pile’s presence in exactly the same phrase: “You have a big pile of $h!t in your driveway.” they would announce in an informative manner as they arrived. We kindly let them know we were aware of the pile and had a certain fondness and actual intention to utilize the pile and that no impending catastrophe should be assumed by the presence of the pile. Maya’s mother was really disturbed by the pile from an aesthetic perspective and inspired me once again to appreciate the fact that in Skyway no one is going to sweat the big pile of mulch in your driveway regardless of how many weeks it sits there. It is simply the case that around here there are matters of much greater importance than whether or not someone is fast or slow about their mulching procedings.
I had a picture of the original pile, but my fancy fricken’ phone decided it needed to mysterious reset back to factory defaults and I lost the pictures, so all I have is this one of the portion of the pile that remains in our driveway oh so many weeks later:
The original pile extended to the right hand edge of the above picture and just past the left hand edge as well as spanning the entire width of the driveway. The other somewhat irritating thing about the pile is that it consisted more of pine needles than anything else. No problem we thought, we spread it in the areas where plants are already accustomed to acidic soils (or where we don’t want plants anyway) and the rains of late May and June should help break them down as to prevent creating a giant fire hazard out of our entire yard. We have now gone 28 days without any measurable rainfall. Should this continue for another full day we will have beat the record (for this time of year, whatever that means, but weathermen need to report something, so I guess that is how records like that get created) set back in 1982. I will spread part of the remaining stuff in a final layer around the back yard where the previous three layers have been sufficiently trompled (along our main walking paths), and the balance I will take to A.’s house (A. doesn’t live terribly far from here and is in Maya’s permaculture class and we met her at a SURF Co-op meeting before that class began). So, soon enough the pile will be resolved. The biggest hurdle being clearing the back of the truck and actually pulling the canopy off again (I’m pretty sure it won’t sit in the driveway for 2 years again, but we’ll see).
As fate would have it, Maya had permaculture class on the same day that she was slated to provide food for her cousin K.’s college graduation party way out in North Bend, Washington which is about a thousand miles from here (or it might be 35, somewhere in there). Maya’s class got out at 5:30pm and the festivities were slated to begin at 6pm (which those of us who had previously graduated from UW and had to sit through and escape from the ceremony at Maya’s mother’s behest, knew was a farce since it easily takes an hour just to get out of the stadium and off campus with the droves of humans and automobiles overwhelming the area following the event), but nonetheless, the food had to be delivered, prepared and presentable prior to the previously determined start time. As such, the task had to be assigned to the person least capable of completing it successfully…me. Why am I the person least capable of completing the task successfully? Well, for starters I have a very fuzzy conception of time and an even fuzzier conception of arbitrary deadlines (note, I recognize a real deadline, but most deadlines I consider arbitrary at best). It is also the fact that I generally lack the motor skills appropriate to carrying, mixing and handling large quantities of food (and really you should have seen the mess I made attempting to mix the 42 lbs of tabouli Maya prepped for the event). But, safe and secure transportation of 7 rhubarb and blackberry pies (which ended up being 9) was the only part of the task that truly frightened me.
I have failed in the past at transporting exactly this type of pie, and the sadness that befell Maya when I arrived with a broken crust and spilled filling haunts me to the day. Having a deep desire to not repeat the crust breaking filling spilling heart break I had previously deliver upon the woman I love, I set my mind to conquering through technology the pie delivery obstacle which layed before me. I needed to develop a comprehensive pie transportation solution, and I only had a week to do it. So, I spent 5 days thinking about it, and then started working on the solution the day before I needed to have it done. Whilst working on it the number of pies increased and Maya detected a near fatal design flaw which resulted in some last minute adjustments (for the design flaw, not the number of pies, I had already accomodated 8 pies in the design and figure putting one floating pie at risk was far better than starting over and working toward a 10 pie solution). The challenging aspects were to utilize existing materials (specifically existing materials not likely to be useful to any other project in the near future) and to make sure that my design could accommodate both the small aluminum pie tins being utilized for this event and the larger ones that might be required for some future event. I got the inital frame work assembled, glued, nailed and cured and had a solid design to work with after the first day. So during the day of the event I finished off the pie transportation devices and managed to still get out to the event in time to set up the food (with the help of Maya’s Dad and K.’s boyfriend). Also, J.’s arrival just before I completed the second device played heavily into my success as he offered to wrap the pies while I showered and changed to get ready to leave the house (about an hour and forty-five minutes later than I had originally intended to leave, but this ended up being fortuitous for reasons I am not willing to discuss at this time). And so, I present to you, the CPTS (Comprehensive Pie Transportation Solution) as it appeared filled and loaded into the Super-Cab of the previously discussed Bio-Beast of an F250 that I drive:
Primarily constructed of fir trim removed from our house 4.5 years ago during our massive remodel (and since that time floating around the shed in a huge unweildy mass to be moved to and fro whenever we need to get to something), the CPTS fit the bill with relatively little sliding, no breakage, and most importantly no spillin’ o’ the fillin’. But, I’m really hoping the day we have to transport 12 pies is in the very far future because I am not at all looking forward to the hassle of making another one of these (a lot of awkward corners to wedge the little electric tack nailer into and oh so many little cuts and clamps and frustrations along the way).
Hair Weave on the Loose:
On the day after Maya’s cousin K.’s graduation festivities J. (formerly of JnX) and I took Huxley on a micro walk over to the mini-mart (so I could buy smokes) and to Nevzat’s esspresso drive through (so I could get a dose of my other ‘eine). The mini market is right next to an action packed little bar in our neighborhood that has experienced more than it’s share of massive law enforcement interventions and county sherriff helicopter hooverings. At 2am each weekend we can hear relationships coming to an end as the bar let’s out and final determinations of the relationship status are loudly resolved in the parking lot. So, it was highly entertaining, but not terribly surprising when we found this:
The picture is blurry, but suffice it to say that is a portion of someone’s “Weave“. The picture of the intense “chick fight” that resulted in this aftermath, as well as the words that must have been exchanged at the time, were immediately apparent to J. and I. Fortunately J. had his phone with him and was able to capture this priceless photo. But, wait for it…after I got my smokes and we crossed the parking lot to visit Nevzat’s espresso stand, I thought it would be funny to point the unwoven “Weave” out to him. His response:
“Oh yeah, I saw it this morning when I arrived. EVERY WEEKEND there is one,” and his eyes got really big, “sometimes a whole head of hair out in that parking lot…”
J. and I both almost fell to the ground laughing. This wasn’t a special occassion, I just usually fail to get over to the mini-mart and the espresso stand early enough in the day to see the aftermath of the Skyway weekend nights. So, if you’re looking for your next viral video to post on You Tube, drop me a note and I’ll direct you to a suitable location to set up your night vision camera on a Skyway Saturday night to capture what is apparently the regular sacrafice of the “Weave” that happens here on the hill. This fact makes me realize that each weekend we are probably hearing both the end and the beginning of some relationship out there in the parking lot as to the victor go the spoils and who ever inspired such conflict is not likely going home with the girl who just lost her “Weave” in the parking lot. Just a guess though, now I’m talking out my a$$, so I’ll bring it to a close and wish you well ’til next I bang this keyboard into temporary submission.