Wednesday 10 June 2015

Me vs Mission Creep

It started innocently enough. We have septic tank lids in the yard that needs to be covered.

The offending septic cover
The builders we hired were supposed to build a little wooden cover for them, however like in so many things, they failed to do that and told me that they had left us enough wood that we could figure it out for ourselves. Ass hats.

So this left us with a bit of a dilemma. What to do with the unsightly septic lids in the middle of the yard? If we simply grassed over them then when the inevitable time came to drain them we would have start an archeological dig to find them. Obviously we should build a deck over them so we could have access to them if we needed them and they would still be safely covered.

Then the deck got paced out. Then it got bigger. Then it got a hot tub.
This is the definition of mission creep, and I have lived it.

Ultimately, this evolution of my building plan has one major drawback. I can’t afford to get someone to build this for me, and I’m not a carpenter. Nor is Husband. This is ironically the reason we wanted the original septic covers build by the builder who basically gave us the finger and told us to do it ourselves. So now in order to spite them, we’ve tripled the complexity of the project. I’m not sure this is winning.

Because I’m not a patient person, now that we had decided to do this, I wanted to start immediately. Husband drew up the plans, and figured out what materials we needed. Since I was headed to the city, I said I would take the trailer and pick up the cement blocks we needed for the foundation.

This seemed like an easy enough task; take the truck and trailer, pack up the toddler, find the building yard, get the bricks.

Nothing is ever that simple.

First, I had an almost-2yr old with me. This complicates every task by at least 120% without question.  And it's always very loud. Then it took me 5 circuits of the block to actually FIND the place. It was only then that I realized there were two places, and I had pulled into the wrong one. Thanks people who have a production location AND a retail location one block away from each other and not uniquely named or specified on the website. That's super helpful. 

I also had a utility trailer. I have never driven with a utility trailer. More importantly, I have never backed up a utility trailer.

Backing up a utility trailer in public is kind of like being a teenager experiencing your first hangover. You feel like shit and everyone around you is laughing at your suffering while trying not to be obvious about it. But they suck at being subtle. 

After deftly completing a 62-point turn, I loaded about 1000 lbs of cement blocks into the trailer with a maximum weight capacity of approximately 1002 lbs. The trailer dropped about 3 feet closer to the ground than it should have been. This caused me some stress.

I was pretty much convinced that the trailer was going to fall apart within 2 blocks of the supply yard, and God help me if there were any speed bumps. I wouldn’t have cleared them.

And so with the refined speed of a two-legged gazelle, I began the expedition home.
The little trailer that could

For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of being chased by an overloaded utility trailer, here is what I discovered:
     1. Rain doesn’t help you slow down. In fact, it reduces your already shitty ability to stop. This isn’t news to me, but when towing a trailer it becomes frighteningly evident.
      2. My anxiety level increases in parallel with the truck’s temperature gauge.
      3. Do not schedule your first time wrangling a trailer on a day when you will also need to race the clock to pick your child up from a rural bus stop. Just don’t.
      4. Toddlers should not be invited. They yell at you all the time for no reason and do nothing to help you load, unload, or back up. But they would like you to pick up the toy car they just hurled across the vehicle. No not that one. The OTHER one.  The one you can’t reach.
      5. Any deer that chooses to leap in front of my vehicle will be run down. This goes for small rodents trying to beat the train as well (See item 1, don’t worry, it lived).

Basically, it was a long drive home going 80% of the speed I would normally be able to travel, and I spent most of the time wishing I had opted to have this shit delivered.

I imagine the line up of vehicles behind me was collectively thinking something similar.  Eat a bag of dicks big trucks; I hate you and your towing capacities.

Finally home. Now to actually BUILD the deck.
I'll call it a work in progress.

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