Friday, October 4, 2013

Removing the Junk Yard...

Just a word about the furlough:  I don't think of this as some sort of paid vacation.  Far from it.  There have been multiple statements made by politicians characterizing it as such.  To them, thanks for assuming that things will all work out and eventually, I'll get paid.  My mortgage company and the two banks I pay car loans to don't necessarily feel the same way.  This year, I've already lost 48 hours of pay due to furlough.  And during this congressional impasse, I'm going into day 4 which is another 32 hours.  I will be thankful if over the weekend there is some signal to return to work.   If we end up being paid anyway, why not just let us stay at work?  I'll tell you why.  Because it looks better when politicians from both sides can point to the terrorists on the other side as being the reason for shutting down the government.  Terrorists?  No.  Idiots?  Absolutely.

In the mean time, there is work at home to be done.  On Wednesday, I decided it was time to attack the junk yard that I have been slowly growing since we moved out here.  See, the thing is, we have a once a week trash pick-up that only takes bags of trash, and lightweight ones at that.  There isn't one of those big garbage trucks that comes around to compact everything and move to the next house.  Instead, a little old man tosses the plastic Hefty bags up into a tall trailer.  He pleads for people to keep the trash to about 20-25 pounds.
 With no organized recycling going on, we burn everything we can - any cardboard, paper, all the junk mail we get.  That reduces the trash a bit, but what about bulky items that can't be burnt?  Big plastic things that are too big to put in a trash bag or old pieces of metal?  The answer is, my own private junk yard behind the garage.
A while back I fenced in this small area so I could park the lawn trailer, the wheelbarrow and stack used lumber, but eventually, it just became a place to toss all items that didn't fit the garbage bag or the burn barrel.  With time on my hands and Eva safely off visiting her mother, I got to work.
The first step was to get everything out and separate it into categories.  Things that I needed to save (like lumber), things I needed to take to Ashley Steel (the metal), and things I needed to get rid of.
Before long I had a truckload of items for the salvage yard in Devine.  That little trip netted me a crisp $8.00.  The fact that they paid me versus me paying them is the key.
I also made a new lumber stack on the other side of our house behind a fence in part of the yard we never really use.
From there, it was a matter of removing the fence.  Since I used screws instead of nails, it was fairly easy (not so, say my knees) to unscrew the fence boards and take it all down.  I'll save all the boards for use in later projects.  The 4 X 4 posts are still in place.  I'll just need to get a shovel, dig around them, then break up the cement.  Sounds hard, but it really isn't that bad (not so, say my knees).

The area behind the garage is where we plan to install a new shed eventually.  Part of another longer term project we have.
 In knee news, today was my first in a series of Euflexxa shots.  I can say without hesitation that the shots did not hurt like you might expect when they stick a huge-ass needle into your knee.  In fact, for the left knee, I only felt a small stick, then it was over. 

 The right knee did offer a few seconds of slight discomfort, but unlike steroid shots I've had that seemed to take a full minute to inject, the Euflexxa was injected in seconds, and done.  I don't know why, but I was a little surprised by the blood, but that was also quickly swabbed up and contained with a friendly super hero Band-aid.  I walked out feeling pretty good, and I even commented to Eva that I felt like I could feel something like a coating between the bones, instead of that bone on bone grinding I've come to dislike. 
Unfortunately, I think I over did it by walking for an hour or so around the Alamodome at the Home and Garden Show (do not waste your money) and by the time we left there, I was in considerable pain, walking all stiff-legged like one of the zombies on The Walking Dead.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow.  Full disclosure:  I did not win a $10,000 energy make-over.  Then again, I did not sign up for it, either.  That character is supposed to be one of those new energy efficient light bulbs that, if you break it, you have to call a HazMat team to come clean your house.  He seemed like a nice guy.

Next project:  Clean the hot tub.  Then get in it.


Steve said...

Dave, As a fellow federal worker I sympathise with your predicament. Since I am considered an emergency employee I get the pleasure of going to work unpaid for now. Hopefully this will be resolved soon and we can all get back to normal. If you should happen to run out of things to do, come on up to CO. My honey do list is up to volume 6.


Dave said...

Steve, Thanks for the comment. I just know how much I had to make up missing one day a week during the previous furlough. Honestly, I can't even imagine how jacked up things will be when I get back in to work. And of course, the September/October time frame is the worst time of year to be out. So many contract actions, stuff that has to be in place that requires multiple offices to coordinate. Call me lazy, but even without pay, it would improve my stress levels just to be at work to keep things from getting out of whack.

Anonymous said...

Amenski. I am tired of all politicians. Nobody is even good at it anymore.

Good job on the cleanup, especially the profit!


MsBelinda said...

You may not have worked at your paying job but you sure did a lot at your house.

Dig those super hero band-aids :D

Glad to hear your knees are doing better and that the injections did not hurt.