Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day. 

It's a holiday that I can support....long time friends have heard/read my ranting on other holidays, I don't think I need to repeat it.  What am I doing on this warm windy day?  Sitting inside typing.  duh.  Those unfortunate enough to be on the Val update email list know all about my wheelbarrow project, but I think everyone should be tortured, so here you go.

11 years ago, I saw a wheelbarrow along the road with a "Free" sign on it.  I can't turn down something that is free, so I picked it up.  I didn't have  list of things to do that required a wheelbarrow, but....free is free and I didn't have one, so that is that.  I found a few uses for it, including using it as a fire pit.  Safety first....I kept the hose close and would occasionally hose down the handles and tire so that they wouldn't burn.  Trouble is....fire doesnt' really care what it burns...so it burned off all the paint, and the ashes combined with rain water created lye, so the bottom rusted out of the wheelbarrow rather quickly.  By 2008 when we were roofing the house, I had to be quite careful how I loaded the thing so the shingles wouldn't fall out! 

So one day this year, on a trip to Menards, I learned that they sell the parts for wheelbarrows 3 ways:  handles, tray and hardware.  I have a set of handles....a few years ago I attempted to make an ice chopper, which sort of worked, but not really...so I have a set of new red handles that will work, even though the holes are not exactly in the right places.  For example, the holes that hold the wheel brackets are a little far apart. 

I disassembled the old unit to recapture the hardware.  What a task!  Only one bolt unscrewed, I broke about 6 others, and had to torch the rest.  No, I will not be reusing the one "good" bolt, it is rather rusty.  It will be interesting to see if I have enough bolts in my collection to complete this project, or if I'll have to go buy more.  More about the "hardware"  I had welded a piece of steel above the tire to protect it from the heat, so I took that off, ground the pieces smooth, sprayed some black paint on them, no primer.  (It's an experiment.)  I cleaned up the rim a little bit, put some tape on the tire and sprayed the rim gray.  Or is it grey?  Is there a difference?  The handles are red....what to do??? The new tray, which was on clearance for $11 is green, so I think the handles need to become a different colour.  Suggest one....white, grey, black are the choices.  Yeah, I could leave them orange/red, or make them more red, or blue...I'm leaning towards white.

I intend to reuse the tray by making parts of it into a new bottom for an old barrel that I have, that'll be fun, welding rusty metal onto rusty metal.  Wish me luck.  Reduce, reuse, recycle. The old handles will go into a small stack of wood that I'll use to cook hot dogs or brats, the old bolts/broken bolts will go into a bucket of bits of metal to be recycled. 

Anyone watch those extreme coupon shows?  Why do these people need enough deoderant for 150 years?  What if in 2 years they hate the smell of it, or determine that they are allergic to it?  Why go to the store and buy 30 toothbrushes?  The dentist will give you as many as you want.

Laughed yet?  I never claimed every posting would be funny!  Here's an example of the stepmonster's brilliance:  One year, on homecoming day, we were being forced to "march" in the parade, everyone in band was in marching band and concert band, but I doubt that anyone liked marching band.  Hey, if I didn't like it, why should anyone else???  Anyway...we were trotting along and I saw a hubcap lying along the road.  I actually retained the memory long enough to drive back there and pick it up.  Jill saw it and wanted to know if I was going to put an ad in the paper so that whoever lost it could get it back, really raised hell about it....which was her style.  It only took about a minute to determine that it would not fit my car, but would fit "MaMa's" car, and when I hammered it on there, Jill shut up instantly!  So the lesson is this....it's not ok for me to have a hubcap, but it's ok for MaMa to have it. 

I don't have many funny stories about her, Angela, sorry.  Most of the things that she did were rather mean.  I've not seen her since Grandpa's funeral, March 1996, well, I haven't talked to her.  She might have been at Terry's funeral, but I didn't talk to her.  Suits me perfectly.  Of course, our experiences are what create us, makes us who we are.  Just think, w/o her influence I might have been a college graduate, an insurance salesman, an engineer, POTUS, or maybe I'd be in jail. 

Well, never mind about the handle paint, turns out they were too short, so I went all the way to Menards, it's at least 20 blocks away, and got the last set they had.  Brown, clearance for $7.50.  I have bolts in sufficient quantity, but in 5/16, not 3/8 which the handle is drilled.  I think the strength of 5/16 will be sufficient...don't you?  Here is a linky that shows how strong the 5/16 bolts are, odd that the 3/8 column is blank...
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