So, the porch how has a new support post. Getting the old one out and the new one in was certainly *nteresting*. Since we're too cheap for a *real* contractor, Dad came up with this ingeneous plan of improvisation. When doing this job, professionals use something called a ceiling jack, which is like a great big, much sturdier car jack. My uncle Vic has one, but it's currently holding up his garage ceiling. And again, we're too cheap to rent one. So what does Dad do?
He improvises. *cringe*
He sets a bunch of boards on the ground about two feet along the bottom of the porch from the support beam that's rotten (the one we're removing). On these he sets two smaller beams, about the size of railroad ties. He places more boards on top, on top of these he places a car jack (a CAR JACK) an on top of the car jack he puts more boards. He wynches. And winches. And the porch goes *creeeaaaaaak* and lifts about two milimetres off the existing post.
Then (and this was the really *fun* part) he hammers the saddle (the thing attached to the concrete base in the ground - big metally thing with nails that attaches to the bottom of the post) out from the base of the post, and bends it so we can get the post out.
HIs original plan was to - get ready for this - CUT THE POST IN HALF and *ease* it out. But since there was so much space, what with the rotten bits falling off the bottom (very confidence-inspiring, isn't it?), we (my Mum and I) were able to just lift the bottom until the nails on top of the post pulled themselves loose from the post itself. Our house... is crap. They just sort of... slipped out. Yeesh. Makes me wonder how many other bits of this house will just give up the ghost and collapse in about five years. I mean, who builds a backyard porch, in BC, with *untreated* lumber?
Anyway. At this point, the corner of the porch was basically suspended in mid-air, with the exception of the little railroad ties holding it up from the middle on the edge. Dad has me and Mum (who don't have any gloves, because *he's* wearing the only pair) grab the new post, which is unsanded, and about one-and-a-half times my height, and at least double my weight, and shove it into place. This involved some more ominous creaking, some kicking, and some swearing. A lot of swearing, actually, but the best of that came later. After this, we pulled out the little railroad ties.
Finally, when we realized that the base of the new post was wider than the base of the old post, Dad had me go out onto the porch and... get ready for it... JUMP ON THE CORNER in order to shove the post down into the saddle.
Which of course didn't work, because I'm too little. Personally I think *he* should have gotten up there and jumped. At least then we would ahve known for damn certain whether the thing was stable or not.
We ended up angling another railroad tie against the top of the post and hammering down against it, which seemed to work.
It should be noted - because although it isn't all that funny it kind of is - that at some point during the removal of the temporary posts, Mum stood up with a railroad tie over her shoulder. Dad, doing what he usually does when he's in charge of a project, which is bluster and yell, caused her to stand up and turn just a *little* too quickly. And Dad didn't duck *quite* fast enough.
Understand I'm only laughing now because he didn't suffer any horrible injuries, barring a little lump. But I heard this *yeow!* and then Dad was sort of sitting all sideways on the ground. Mum put down the tie, and asked if he was all right. and Dad said "No, I'm just lying on the ground because I'm tired."
But he's fine. No concussion. I'm afraid I missed the actual conking on the head, but I did turn around in about enough time to see Dad go down like a felled tree.
He didn't do much more blustering today.
I am now viewing the world through a 15-inch ADi MicroScan monitor. The picture is all clear, and there is no blur, and I can actually *read* all the fonts!
And because Kimry lent it to me, this is me praising her.
And just for good measure:
Thank you, Kimry. :)
So; we planted a crop of zucchinis in the spring ('round May/June, just before I got back). And about a month ago, they started coming around to proper maturity to be dug out and eaten. We were counting on about three dozen good big ones.
But what do we find, one day, looking out into the garden? We find something little and black scurrying around in the garden. Suddenly, the little black (furry) thing looks up, spots us, and takes off running.
It was a squirrel. And it had a zucchini tucked under one paw.
Now, for one thing, I didn't even know squirrels could *do* that. For another, the zucchinis were really quite big - at least as big as the squirrel, if not bigger. And the squirrel was struggling along, zucchini in tow, shooting dirty looks over its shoulder every couple of seconds. Frankly astonished, we did nothing to stop it - partly because we were curious to see how far the squirrel would get. It got all the way to the fence, still shooting us dirty looks, and up it, and over it, then carried its zucchini through its leap from the top of the fence, onto a tree branch, and disappeared into the top branches of the tree.
Afterward, we could only come to one conclusion. We have Ninja Squirrels.
Immediately following this, we were forced to conclude that the Ninja Squirrels had formed some kind of sect for the retrieval of vegetables from unwitting gardens. The squirrel we had witnessed was none other than one of the vaunted Zucchini Ninjas - black from nosetip to tailtip, fiery-eyed, quick and clever. Not to mention freakishly strong. I swear, the zucchini was as big as the squirrel.
There are only two zucchinis left - only two survived. One about the size of my forearm (we assumed this one was too big and heavy for even the Zucchini Ninjas to spirit away) and a tiny little thumb-sized one, which had little tooth-marks in it. Such a sad little zucchini. We think they must have discarded it for lack of size.
Though for some reason, the Zucchini Ninjas did *not* raid our cross-street neighbours' garden. At least, not enough to be noticeable. Though they have been raiding the fig tree down the street. I keep seeing them running along with figs in their mouths as big as their own heads.
I don't think it's just the squirrels, though. I have clear recollection of the chipmunks on Parliament Hill, who would stand at the head of stairs, nearly reaching the knee, and give challenging glares to approaching tourists.
Not to mention the Granville Island Hell Pigeons, twice the normal size and which flock in groups of three hundred or more and mob unwitting tourists into corners. Regulars know to avoid being alone with the pigeons.
The the Zucchini Ninja Squirrels are only the latest sign of something bigger. I'm telling you, the animals are up to something. And don't let's forget about the lobsters.