Saturday, March 14, 2009
For those of you who have followed this blog, you know that Mr. Cruisin's attempts at fixing this house have been great fodder for my writings. And so, once again I present another one of Mr. Cruisin's escapades, only this time it comes to you in his own words. Please give a big hand for my guest blogger...my old man...
Grab a beer or cup of coffee and sit back while once again, I make a complete ass of myself so that my friends can laugh at what a moron I am.
So when they did our landscaping years ago, they put a drain system in which for the life of me I don't understand why as we here in California are always in a perpetual drought.
Anyways, the back lawn has 9 drain spots where runoff water is collected and then gravity fed to the street. About once a year, I have to go around and trim the grass around them so they don't get covered up. I found 8 but the last one of course is MIA.
The typical protocol is for me to walk around with a shovel ( which my mother always told me "if you don't go to school, you better learn how to use a shovel".....so much for higher education...when you get your advanced degree, you will still be pushing a shovel...sorry to burst your bubble).
When you feel your foot fall into a small depression in the area where you think the drain was, you are probably right. For some reason, geologic forces beyond my comprehension have been in force and the area is aircraft carrier flat.
Of course, the walk area is a little compromised as my wife has switched dog foods which seems to be helping the velocity of my dog's digestive tract....enough said, you get the picture.
OK, time for plan B. Since the area is completely flat with no indication of where the drain was, we start punching holes in the area where I seem to recall the drain was.(like anyone even makes such a mental note of those things).
After about 45 minutes, the lawn looks like the last scene in Caddyshack after Bill Murray has blown up the fairways in pursuit of the gopher. Still no drains. No doubt someone has scaled my fence and stolen drain #9. I am telling you, this economic crash is having ripple effects no one even imagined.
OK, so now I am one hour into this idiotic quest. I could say screw it and quit and live with 8 drains, but a quitter I am not. It is the principle after all. Imagine where we would be as a nation if we were quittters......probably on the porch with a beer, but I digress.
OK, plan C. I saw this one in a Sylvester Stallone movie. You take a piece of fabric, wrap it around your forehead which makes you look dangerous, then you take a bayonet (or a big kitchen knife which you have to hide in your pants as if your wife sees you and asks you what in the world you are doing, you dutifully tell her, then she reminds you the dog craps out there and we carve roasts with that knife. You mumble something and run out. You also learn why it is not in your best interest to run with a knife in your pants.
So you get down and gently probe the ground with aforementioned knife at a 45 degree angle like you have seen in numerous war movies when they are looking for landmines. Of course, I have found landmines in my backyard courtesy of the dog but I hate to repeat myself.
Another 45 minutes prove fruitless. Now I am beginning to think one of my idiot friends came in and moved the drain so I could never find it. But they forget who they are dealing with. No doubt, they are perched somewhere with binoculars just laughing their collective asses off. I keep listening for the thump when they fall out of the tree they are hiding in from laughing so darn hard.
Where are we, plan D? Anyways, I grab an electrical fish tape, a small B/W camera which is 2x2" from Alllelectronics and the attendant data/power cable. I attach an led light array to the camera, tape the whole thing to the fish tape and down the drain it goes.
Of course, I have taken the small 12" tv out to the backyard with what can only be described as enough electrical extension wire to secure an aircraft carrier to a dock. Amazingly, I can see the inside of the pipe as I advance the camera. I think I could do colonoscopies!!! And with a 2" camera, some of my friend's are such big a##holes, well, let's save that for later.
12 feet later, I see the coupling which contains the missing drain. I mark the cable, pull it out, extend it on top of the grass, adjust for windage and plant my shovel. Eureka, there she is. The damn gophers must have dug a hole and covered it with dirt and the grass grew in. This is what happens when you leave the newspaper on the driveway, the gophers get it and read it thereby increasing their IQ's. But I fooled them, I canceled the paper.
So I spend the next 45 minutes replacing all the grass plugs I have dug looking for the stupid drain. I estimated my total time spent at close to 3 hours, but that's not the point, I did find the drain. Today I will measure and plot the location of my lawn drains on a plot plan of the house using GPS and a sextant.
Never give up, never quit (I think that would be more impressive in Latin)