Monday, September 15, 2008

Growing up mom used to watch me do different projects. It seems as long as I can remember being me, I can always remember being someone who did projects. In my youth most of my projects were destructive in nature.

Owning your own piece of land is great for doing projects. The materials lying next to the driveway and some of the eye-sore-results probably don't help the value of the home, but they're fun to build anyway.

Somewhere around my first deployment I noticed that my projects were generally more productive than they were destructive. That doesn't mean they started looking good. They just started working.

Now I've got some weird ideas about things and I'm happy to show you the results. A week ago we made this bird feeder. It's cool looking with wooden slats for a roof. Almost all of the wood is scrap--rescued from a burn pile at a nearby buildsite. We'll see if the birds enjoy the seed we've got. I've already logged a design flaw--hard to fill. The roof should have had a hinge.

Last night I ended up making dinner. I'm not complaining about having to cook. It's just that when I cook I end up having to eat whatever it is I fixed. I can stomach quite a bit. I've made a lot of things that haven't turned out. (Been working on home made potato chips recently). Part of the problem is that when we have other people who are going to eat the food I'm fixing. You see, I seem to treat the kitchen as a great laboratory for experimentation. So I'm either going to come up with a groundbreaking recipe to replace chocolate or I'm going to burn dinner. Experience has taught me that I'm more apt to burn dinner.

I made layered dutch oven enchiladas, asked Chrissy for instructions, and didn't understand what she was saying. So there was leftover enchilada sauce, the food was a bit dry, and the bottom was burnt. You know you've got good company when they describe it as having a 'real dutch oven flavor.' I wasn't going to argue with the pregnant lady (our guest) and tell her that it's called "blackened."

My crowning project to date arrived this weekend. It's not built properly, but it's built so the flaws can be things that get fixed. In front of our yard is a magnificent eyesore. It looks like something someone with very limited skills built out of some scrap wood. It looks very pieced together. //That's one way of looking at it//

Daniel, Rainey, and Eliza see it a bit differently. It's a see-saw. It's theirs. Their daddy built it. It also happens to be the biggest see-saw they'll probably ever be on in their lives. I made it so it has two possible fulcrums. The lowest one puts the 'high end' of the see-saw at my eye level. That's a bit much for Rainey and Daniel to handle without my supervision, and Eliza has learned to use a kitchen stool to get on the high end.

As soon as I can I'll be getting another fulcrum added to the base--something more the boys size. I've also got to figure out a way to fix the fact that the pole likes to slide off the fulcrum. I'm thinking duct tape. Aesthetics seem to have already been tossed out the window.

I'm not sure what's next on this list of things to build. I'm also going to have to say something about being safety oriented about now because I know my mom is reading this and these are her grandkids playing on it. I contributed to whatever gray hairs she's had over time. My father's baldness may also be attributed to my adolescence (my hair's thinning now too).

There were a lot of boards with nails sticking out of them from the burn pile where the wood came from. Having stepped on boarded nails a time or two I know it's not a good idea. Most of those dangerous boards are gone now. When I built the see-saw I cut the 'nailed' part off of the wood. Seeing how they were potentially hazardous to the kids I decided to dispose of them the best way I knew how.

Quiz time: What would Jacob consider the best way to 'dispose' of wood? That's right--start a fire! We had dutch oven enchiladas because I wanted to burn the scrap wood from the see-saw. It's a circle of like kinda- thing. The way I've got it figured is that by the time I get around to building the catapult, I'll probably get around to getting the enchiladas not to burn. :-)


PaPa Hovan said...

To keep the rods on the fulcrum try notching the fulcrum and putting a strap across the top. Use an old belt or snap straps at least. Got some great ideas for that catapult but don't tell Sharon or Chrissy. I still want to be able to visit my grand kids.

Roeckers said...

This would work if the rod wasn't fixed to the beam. As it turns out the rod/beam part moves as a unit. The hole probably should have been wider, but the drill ran out of power so I just did the best I could. When I was done the pole was slightly too large and had to be pounded.

Still working on what to do next. I'll think of something.

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