October 1st, 2005


Me: 2, Swingset: 1

We no longer have an old rusty monkey-bars/swingset eyesore in the backyard. Now we just have pieces of an old swingset propped up against the deck.

Took a bit of doing, as it wasn't as rusted-out as it looked, and a metal-cutting chisel only does so much damage per hit to steel poles or screws per. (It took us several hours to shear through two screws with the chisel last weekend, when we detached the slide from the rest of set.) Thankfully, the concrete footings were only around 8-9 inches deep rather than the 18-24 inches I normally see recommended for truly secure footings. Three of the four popped out of the ground with a little help from a shovel and pulling the uprights all the way down. The fourth... ah weh. Two inch thick tree roots hugging two sides, smaller roots all around, and the upright decided to shear off three inches above the ground.

After three hours of whacking at it with a masonry chisel and a four-pound sledgehammer, the last pieces finally gave up the ghost. Let me tell you, trying to get a good angle with a 4-inch long chisel in a 6-inch deep hole is not easy.

However, my hands are now handburger from the entire process. Hitting your hand with a 4-pound sledge is defintely not the same as hitting your hand with a regular hammer. Having a chunk of concrete suddenly give way just as the hammer hits the chisel, causing your hand to slip and be ground against the side of the pebbly concrete you've been chiseling isn't much fun either. One thumb knuckle is a bit swollen and sensitive to the touch, though I still have a full range of movement. One pinky finger looks like I got in a fight with a cheese grater. My elbow and shoulder are also fairly screaming from swinging a sledgehammer for three hours, and I can feel the gunk in my new-found blisters squish when I open and close my hands. Ow ow ow...

But it's done, and I feel a sense of accomplishment. Now to fill in the holes so no one breaks an ankle and so that part of the yard can be mown at some point. And at some point remove the rungs and crossbars from the uprights so that it won't be as hard to put everything out in the trash, but that'll wait for tomorrow, or next weekend.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
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    thirsty in pain
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