Yard Work Is Hard Work

I spent (too) many hours working the back yard this weekend. I worked hard, and even harder than expected, due to my chainsaw’s inability to keep its chain on its blade. About three times I had to stop to return to chain to the blade. At one point I was so frustrated that the chainsaw found its way to the trash can, only to be saved by my inability to find a reasonably-priced replacement on Saturday night. On Sunday I repaired it once again, only to have it jump the blade an hour or so in to the work. At that point I gave up and decided to start pruning the limbs I had taken down and leaving those too thick to prune.

The backyard is starting to look good. I made good progress as the three-or-so-foot of branches and brush will attest. Not being that great with time estimations I throw out a WAG by saying that I have about three full days of work left before I can throw a “Paulie Ten Year House Anniversary / Rechristen The Back Yard / Hoooray, The Plumbing Is Fixed” party. Oh yeah, I guess I’ll have to get the plumbing fixed too.

It’s A Small Twitter World After All
On Friday my office building had a fire alarm, which I cynically called a “fire drill” given that it was May 1st and I saw no fire trucks arrive to investigate.

About an hour after returning to the building I read the tweets I had missed only to read one from a guy who mentioned being on the ninth floor during a fire alarm. His tweet was timestamped a mere two minutes from my tweet about the fire alarm! “What are the odds?” I thought. So I sent him a direct message asking where he worked and indeed we are in the same building working for different companies. Life is strange and random.

ITP Flickr Pic
I took a few “before” shots of the look off my deck, but determined that they were nothing spectacular and never took any after shots. So, here’s another from the Inman Park Festival. Oh joy!
May The Schwartz Be With You!
At the Inman Park Festival I did a lot of “shoot from the hip” photography. Believe it or not, this is one of the better shots.

RealiTV Update : The Amazing Race – “Millionaire Port-a-Potty”
We’re down to the Final Four on The Amazing Race and pick up from last week’s “To Be Continued…” ending. Off go the redheads (whose names I’ve never bothered to learn), then Margie and Luke, then Tammy and Victor, then Keisha and Jen. I was once again frustrated that no real-time clock is present letting us know the time separation of the teams.

Off they go! The Amazing Taxi Race is back on! Immediately the redheads frustrated by China because the Chinese refuse to recognize their beauty and double-back on themselves like Cirque du Soleil acrobats to help them win. The racers head to a shopping district to look for the Travelocity Roaming Gnome, heretofore known as the only product-placement schlock of which I approve.

With the Roaming Gnome in hand, um arms, the teams race through Tienanmen Square on neato electric bikes and then back into a cab to head either to the Beijing Opera house, well except for the redheads who go to the National Opera house first, or to a Chinese restaurant. Since Tammy and Victor speak at least on dialect of Chinese they choose to do the restaurant option of the detour in which they have to take a food order in which is spoken in Mandarin and successfully relay this order to the chef. The rest of the teams go play makeup and make each other look like drag queens after a rough night at the Clermont Lounge.

Uh oh, a non-nekkid U-Turn!!! Tammy and Victor get to the U-Turn first and U-Turn Keisha and Jen and write “Take that, bitches!” “Sorry, we can’t outrun you.” on it. Keisha and Jen now have to return to take and place food orders and for some reason interpret everything as “Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the following counties…” While Keisha and Jen fumble with Mandarin the redheads start getting on each other’s every last nerve because they can’t even find the U-Turn.

From the U-Turn the teams hit an infamous “eat a local delicacy” Detour. In this instance one team member had to eat starfish, grub, scorpion, and cricket — suddenly I think eating dog would be preferable. Victory munches, Margie munches, and sometime later Jen drinks copious amount of water while munching, and Redhead #1 munches quickly and oddly stating that it all tasted like quarterback penis — huh, who knew?

Tammy and Victor smash the competition and finish first. Margie and Luke finish second. As we see Jen and Redhead #1 munching together we know that they are going to finish neck-and-neck. And then Jen starts whining about having to pee because she drank too much water whilst munching. The two ladies finish at about the same time with Keisha and Jen leaving for the Pit Stop first.

As Keisha and Jen race to the Pit Stop Jen decides she needs a pit stop at a port-a-potty first. Are you fucking kidding me? You are racing for one half of a million dollars! You know how close the other team is (unless it’s clever editing). Pee on your damn leg for $500,000! Because Jen’s small bladder Redhead #1 and Redhead #2 and finish in the Top Three.

Here is the irony of all ironies….

Last week we thought Keisha and Jen were going to be eliminated by water — because Jen’s inability to swim. This week Keisha and Jen were eliminated by water — because Jen drank too much at the Detour. Life is strange and random.

Stats & Goals
Daily
Current Mood – frustrated (about private matters)
Current Music – listening to the “Tips From The Top Floor” podcast
Website Of The Day – More from the strange and random internet — What Color Is The Empire State Building? Apparently the Empire State Building has different colors symbolizing different events.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – yard work, yard work, yard work
Monday Morning Weigh-In – 198 pounds

Monthly
Foot Mileage – 0 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 1 (2)
Vegetarian Days – 1, Carnivorous Days – 2
Marta Rides – 0

May Goals
Still nothing.

2009 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalapeรฑo Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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19 Responses to Yard Work Is Hard Work

  1. sal says:

    I know this is stating the obvious but did you tighten the tension screw? Next time buy a Stihl or Huscarvana! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was really hoping the red heads would be eliminated.

  2. Yeah, I messed with the tension screw a few times. Since it was intended to be a lightweight chainsaw the body is made from plastic and has cracked significantly due to my usage. I think that’s the root of the problem. I am hoping not to have to buy another one — I rarely use the one I have.

    Had the redheads been eliminated I would have had to purchase a song because of my weekly bet with Cheese Nips. I think the finishing order will be

    1st: Tammy and Victor
    2nd: Margie and Luke
    3rd: The redheads

  3. Barb says:

    Allan bought a way too expensive Stihl last year (I know that shocks everyone that knows Allan – ha!), but hey, they threw in a hat & a t-shirt. Actually, a friend paid for half of it, to get Allan to take down two small trees. So now, as a joke, everytime Allan gets the chainsaw out, we call Mark & ask if he wants to help too, since it is half his. (our friend Mark isn’t handy at all).

    The way I look at it is, at least you made some progress!

    Amazing Race annoyed me last night, I had to fast forward thru parts of it.
    I’m ready for it to be over.

  4. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to have made the progress I have made thus far. I just have a lot more to do.

    What part of Amazing Race annoyed you? It’ll be over next week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Steve says:

    Judging by the time of day each team went through Tienimen square, they must have been within minutes. The redheads should have lost, if only because of wasting so much time after the opera house, looking for the next clue… in the lobby.

    Strangely, the biggest health risk was probably not from eating all the various bugs and such, but drinking the water.

    I think I have finally dried out from working the race in Anniston Saturday.

    -FP

  6. Andrew says:

    Nice picture, do you have the copyright for those purses? If you don’t you’re going to get sued.

  7. debbie says:

    I’m glad the redheads stayed in just to see them get the smackdown that was teased for next week. I’m pulling for Marjorie and Luke to upset Tammy and Victor.

  8. There are purses in my photo? Huh, I have never noticed since I only see the girl in the t-shirt. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Debbie: Pity the taxi cab drivers that get either of the redheads in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just don’t see Tammy and Victor losing.

  9. Steve says:

    Clearly Tammy and Victor have had an advantage in the last few episodes, as their basic understanding of Mandarin has been useful. Wonder if the producers considered that before selecting them? The routes must have already been chosen- I would think.

    -FP

  10. Yeah, I wonder if the left hand (the route organizers) know what the right hand (the participant planners) are doing. Because Victor and Tammy have had the upper hand knowing the language.

  11. bob says:

    When people refer to us as stupid Americans, it’s the redheads they are talking about. WTF? you are in China and get mad because they don’t speak english? Get a clue.

    I’m sure Tammy and Victor will win. Then Tammy will kick him square in the nuts for being so overbearing. She has some serious patience.

    I also hope Jen enjoyed that half a million dollar porta potty stop. I think I would either hold it or pee on the finish line mat for that kind of money.

    Is your photo of the purses, the girl in the t-shirt, or do you have a new fascination with mommy jeans?

  12. Barb says:

    As to the language thing, there have been varoius teams over the years that have known Spanish, and no one really made that big of deal about that when they were in spanish speaking countries, so I don’t think it really matters to the producers.

  13. Clearly my shot is of the young lady in the t-shirt and clearly I am a dirty old man. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I was hoping Tammy would punch Victor in the mouth when he kept speaking over her at the restaurant.

    Good point about the Spanish speaking, Barb. I guess it seems more “okay” because so many Americans also speak Spanish whereas relatively few also speak any variant of Chinese.

  14. Steve says:

    There are more English speakers in China then there are in the U.S.

    Kinda boggles the mind, don’ it?

    -FP

  15. Especially since the redheads can’t seem to find any of them… unless they are just playing stupid. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Martha says:

    I wish there was some other description you all could use, other than ‘the redheads’, I’m getting self-conscious.

  17. There is, but it takes too long to keep typing “self-centered former NFL cheerleaders”

  18. brenan says:

    I wish there was some other description you all could use, other than โ€˜the redheadsโ€™, Iโ€™m getting self-conscious.

    Perhaps, but ‘the babes’ just doesn’t sound pc.

    As for the potty break – heck, if marathoners can shit their pants mid-run…

    And Paulie, you beat me to the punch with your H20 observation. The same thing crossed my half mind enroute to work and I was all set to post my clever observation until I read your comment. Dang you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Barb says:

    Kara & Jaime I think are their names……… but they have the exact same color red hair, sorry Martha for giving you a complex.

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