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I still feel like I’m on part two, aesthetically I mean, and I don’t know how much of the alphabet I’ll get through before emotionally moving on to part three. My nightmare is that I’ll devour the 26 characters and have to start over with a Part Two A(a) or some such thing. Actually, I’ll be disappointed if I go past “D”.

IMG_0655It is my third day of vacation, each day a 12 hour plyometrics workout, kind of like a insaneĀ  12 hour session with Tony Horton, except more dangerous because I couldn’t count the times I’ve tripped downhill and nearly impaled myself on a stick of rebar. In fact, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened given my propensity for self-induced injury. As a naturally intelligent person, after the 4th or 5th stumble, I began stacking blocks around the rebar so that the shards of iron were at least covered. I also carry my cellphone in a fanny pack centered at the small of my back because in the front it would get too wet. That way, if something bad happens I can call 911 from my back, just like I did a few Memorial Days ago; only this time, instead of a bubbling brook rushing past me, I’ll probably be staring at a red piece of rebar sticking somewhere from out of me.

It’s kind of like building a pyramid I’m thinking, except that it doesn’t look triangular. I’ve been thinking alot about pyramids lately; like how in the f_@k did they build those things without Quickcrete and rebar? At least it was under 70 today, and breezy, and I even listened to the Packer game while assembling my obsession.

I have an inkling of what it must have been like to have been a prisoner back in the day when they had those chain gangs; you know, before flat screen TV’s and weight rooms. I have a huge pick-axe I’ve had for years, bought it at an antique store; and I’m swinging that, feeling the thunk before I hear it. I pry and pull and sweat, constantly sweat. Then I dig and pry and heave; and then I stumble up the hill to get something that I can’t remember when I get there so I drink the jug of water on the flat surface of a boulder next to the pond.

trenchingHere’s an example of the rebar. Problem was, I ran out of concrete blocks, so I couldn’t stack them around the rebar. I know it looks like a mess, but it’s starting to make sense to me. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing when I started; but I do now. I know that type “S” mortar does not stick well to vertical surfaces. I know that the mortar has to be more wet than dry to use in the joints between the blocks. I know that the liner of my waterfall had a low spot that leaked water slowly over time. I know that in some years not too distant I won’t be able to do what I’m doing now.


I definitely prefer this to pulling weeds or spreading mulch. I like the physicality of it. I like that I figure it out as I go. I like that I’ve lost ten pounds since starting and before it’s done I should most likely be rippling like a Spartan.

Thank God for the 5 yards of quarry wash at the side of the driveway that I had delivered 3 years ago for some reason I cannot now recall. It’s amazing what a modest amount of disposable income, quarry wash, and a stupid-strong back can accomplish.