Sunday, September 09, 2012

Ramp Deconstruction

The ramp is coming down.  Slowly, so I can dispose of it in a cheap manner.  I'd rather spend my money on a circular saw than on a dumpster bag.  So I'm prying it all up and cutting it all into bite-sized pieces.  The 4x4s get set to the side for reuse.  And the 2x4s, which have a lot of damage and nails are getting cleaned up and turned into a large Jenga set for when we have visitors.  That, and a bit of it might be used for redoing the deck steps which are rotting away.  These 4x8s are the target of the circular saw.  I'd keep them, but they're in really rough shape after several months on the ground, and there's some mold and about 4 dozen nails (or nail holes) in each.  I'd need a quarter of putty per board to reuse them for the shed.

I have to say, my friends put the ramp together so that it wouldn't fall apart beneath my wheel chair.  That's a lot of heavy lumber, and in places it's sunk into the ground for leveling purposes.  I have a big crowbar for dismantling everything, but it's more than just simple popping things loose.  And I have to be careful, because I find myself using my leg with the plate and pin to hold down a piece of lumber while hammering in the crowbar or bending a piece of semi-cut wood to snap it loose.  I'm well aware that using my leg as a lever is probably an easy way to inadvertently knock something out of whack.  I was careful not to play paintball yesterday at Ron's island, but instead sat in a chair in the safe area and yelled "Go" for rounds.  The idea of taking a paintball to the hip seemed to be just below roller skating on the safety continuum. 

You can see the dirt that's under the 4x8s in the above picture.  I'm using the recycling bin from a generation ago in Eagan as a riser while I cut.  I have the boards face down so some poor kid or dog doesn't take a nail to the foot, but I flip them over to cut so I don't take the circular saw to a nail.

Looks like I'm digging in rock, but that's where the ramp builders dug down to make sure everything was level.  That's my new neighbor Jeff's super cool hose caddy next door.  Leave it alone.

There were several toads living under the ramp.  All summer we've had toads hopping around that Luna (our dog) keeps trying to catch, and one even made it into the house and was hopping around by the Xbox 360.  
 Apparently this was the perfect breeding ground for toads, so I don't know what they're going to do now that their habitat is gone.

I wanted to make sure I removed the wood from the back of the house today, even if I don't get it all disposed of for the next several weeks.  Feels a little more normal walking the dog out to her pen if I'm not stepping on the wood platform.  My wife swept it up so it looks like it was never there (except for that mess at the end).

The 2x4s, currently full of a variety of nails.  Picture them all cut up in 16" sections stacked four wide by as high as I have sets of four.  Jenga!  I'm sure some child will eventually be pinned under a stack of wood in a tragic Jenga accident.  Then I'll have to turn the 16" sections back into a ramp.

I was my own victim today.  Like some idiot, I took the hammer to the end of the crowbar without removing my hand first.  Like the world's biggest nail.  Sure, it's easy to grab the shaft of the crowbar instead, and I'd been doing it all day, but who the hell has time to make sense.  It doesn't look nearly as bad as it is in person.  That hand aches.  But I didn't break anything, not even the skin - just a big blood blister.  I told my wife it's one of my weird superpowers.  I heal quicker than usual, like a sub-par Wolverine.  I conduct electricity, like a crappy Thor.  And now I'm invulnerable, like Superman.  But just my skin.  My innards can still be pulped.  So given enough force, I'll just be liquid in a bag.

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