Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Manly Man Maintenance Bloopers And Blunders

Previously I had wrote about my attempts to do some maintenance on our bathroom tub/shower sliding glass doors. A project that went so extremely well....NOT...that I decided to share a couple of additional maintenance battles that I have had. My story begins on a nice Summer day. We have a Crepe Myrtle tree that is planted adjacent to the driveway. When this tree is in bloom, the tree is not sturdy enough to hold up the flower laden branches and the branches dip down into the driveway in such a way that when you drive the car into the garage, the branches rub against the top of the car. Being the ingenious maintenance person that I am, I figured that I would just pound a few steel poles into the ground and use something to wrap around the branches and the pole in hopes of pulling the branches up and out of the driveway area. What I would call a simple and easy no brainer fix. I had three 4 foot steel "posts" that we had got from Home Depot. Before pounding them in the ground, I looked around to see if I might hit or damage any piping for the underground sprinkler system. It appeared that the coast was clear and I could proceed without a hitch. The 1st post went in without a problem at all. I then started to pound in the second post. I was just about done when I decided that it needed one more whack to be in the ground deep enough. As soon as I gave the post that last whack, the next thing I know is that the earth is moving and a flood of water is bubbling up and shooting into the air. The usual verbiage flows out of my mouth as soon as I see the water gushing up...it went like this...oh sh*t, wtf and of course the typical WHY ME???!!! with a few hair pulls thrown in for good measure. It turned out that with all of the yard area that I could have placed these posts in, I just happened to pick the 1-2 inch area where the main water line runs into the house and I ruptured the pipe. Now I am running around like a swarm of bees are after me trying to figure out what to do next. I ran into the garage and turned off the water to the house...DUHHHHH...a lot of good that does me...that only closes the water valves from the garage into the house. I finally figured out that I would have to go to the end of the driveway and turn off the main valve that feeds into the house. Unfortunately the water company people are the only ones that have this specially designed water valve turner offer gizmo. I had to call them and eventually they made it out to our place and shut off the water. I then called a plumber so that I could get the ruptured pipe fixed. Of course I had to dig about 2-3 foot down in order to get to this pipe so the plumber could fix it. You know what really amazed me is that the main water pipe that feeds into our house is so small in diameter. I was expecting a 4-5" diameter pipe but it was an inch or less. Several hours later, all was back to normal, poles were securely placed in a safe area in the ground, the water filled hole had drained and was filled back up with dirt, all of the water and mud caused by the burst pipe had been cleaned up off of the driveway and the tree branches had been pulled up and were blowing in the wind, a full 5 inches higher than where we started this adventure at.
Oh, but I am not done quite yet. Another day, another job. I had planted a young Weeping Cherry in the center of our front yard. I planted it in the late Summer to early Fall. After planting this tree, I placed some landscaping concrete bricks in a circular pattern around the tree. I had then put mulch around the tree to make it all look nice. By the time the following Summer came along, the tree had died. So I quickly dug it up, took it back to the nursery and got a replacement. Before planting this second tree, I had to dig some of the dirt out so that I would have a bigger hole to put this tree in. So now I have concrete blocks moved out of the way, a pile of dirt on the grass from the hole I dug and another pile of mulch that I had to move aside. Now please understand...I am flat out in the middle of our front yard. There is no way anything could go wrong...yeah right. While digging out the hole for the tree to go into, maybe 18" deep, I end up hitting some type of pipe. Well wouldn't you know it, the next thing I know is that I have the fountain of youth squirting up in the air and water filling up the hole that I had dug. Once again, of all the areas in the yard that I could have dug and had absolutely nothing bad happen, I ended up digging and rupturing the water line that they bury for the sprinkler system. Who runs the sprinkler system pipes diagonally in a yard???? They should run from one sprinkler head to another and the sprinkler heads are usually on the outside portion of the yard...not in the middle. I ended up turning off the sprinkler system in the garage, got the sprinkler man to come out and fix the damage I had done to the pipe and several hours later, finished getting the new tree planted. Although both jobs went wrong very quickly, I did manage to complete my tasks. I will take my wins anyway I can get them even to the point of "fudging" on my scores. Maintenance Man 2 Murphys Law 0. But something strange has come from all of these challenges. When my neighbors are doing some type of job outside and are having a hard time and they see me
putzing around in the yard, they make sure that our eyes never meet...I never ever get asked to help them out. For the life of me, I can't understand why. Is it something I said?

6 comments:

Frank Baron said...

Rick, if it's any consolation, you have a soul brother in the Inept Department up here in the Great White North.

If I pick up a screwdriver, my sons start looking for a place to hide. Power tools are out of the question. Like that famous Seinfeld episode - if it needs fixing, I wait until I can afford "a guy."

Glad the only injuries were to your pride and your wallet.

Tanna of The Brick Street Bungalow said...

ROTFLOL!!!

TR said...

oy vay

Chatty Crone said...

You sound like Tim the Toolman.

My husband did the same thing - he was putting a rod in the ground - a lightening rod. Hit right through the gas line to the house.

Can't tell you what fun that was. We had to have the gas turned off, the fire trucks, and the gas company out until midnight!

♥ Kathy said...

That's too funny..bless your heart, your luck sounds like mine :)

kanmuri said...

Ummm, you should move to the Sahara and start digging for wells.

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