Sunday, September 21, 2008

The A Team

Seven years ago when Michelle and I were framing the house on Rob Rd, help came from the south in the form of two veteran armchair builders. Armed with brand-new framing hammers and nail sacks, Tim and Rudy were ready to rumble. In one weekend we framed the second floor. Tim left with a bruised hand and Rudy was banned from power tools for rest of his month-long stay. But it was great fun. Maybe I could get Tim to resurrect the video he shot and post it on this blog.

Well, the A Team is on their way again with the addition of Helene and Anna to deepen the bench. I don't know, exactly, how I will use their vast arsenal of skills during their three day visit. Unfortunately, there are no old windows to scrap this time. (Sorry, Rudy.) We'll either form the concrete L-shaped wall or frame the shed roof. The arrival of Jeff Gray and his excavator could complicate things. I have a feeling that my main task will be to keep them satisfied with the slow pace of things.

Another disappointment for Rudy will be the uncooperative rototiller. On his last visit the old Troy Built wouldn't start. I got it going a couple weeks later, but then it sat idle for the rest of the summer. I tried to start it last week to prepare a bed for garlic. No luck. The internal combustion engine and I do not have the best of relationships, and I don't see it improving unless I check myself into a class on small engine repair. Not a bad idea. We need to make peace after years of animosity. I have your garden variety prejudice against gas powered things, and, as usual, ignorance is at the root of it all. I bought three kinds of garlic at the Common Ground Fair, and it sure would be nice to till in all the soil amendments. If the Troy Built fails to comply, I can always borrow the neighbor's supercharged Italian-made BCS tiller, a beautiful machine that makes the Troy Built look like a crude Stone Age gardening implement.

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