Monday, August 11, 2008

Spare Us The Cutter, Part 2

I saw my knee doctor about a month ago and he went over the MRI results. The bads news is that I have several small meniscus tears as well as some built up fluid/bursitis as well as some damaged cartilage as well as a whole bunch of other minor crap. At one image the doc said, 'It looks like you've crushed something there'. How I've accumulated all these tears & things including a crushing injury since the last MRI 2 years ago is an utter mystery considering how little I've been doing. The good news is that he thinks the meniscus tears are small enough that he doesn't recommend surgery. The bad news is that the tears won't heal on their own no matter what I do so if they get worse I will at some point need surgery. In the end he prescribed physical therapy to build up the strength in my leg that I lost due to foot surgery. My activities have once again been restricted, no running or hiking at all and only an hour on the bike on the flattest terrain I can find (flat terrain is a challenge here in Boulder). Agility activities have been restricted but I usually give the older dogs the month of July off anyway because it's so hot. Unfortunately despite a month's worth of stupid stretching and mind numbing strength exercises my knee still hurts and I'm beyond frustrated. The only thing that makes the pain go away is rest and the P.T. said resting is no good either. Anyway, yet another summer goes down the tubes to injury. I miss the hiking most of all but I'm also finally starting to miss the running too.

The other bad part about this is that I suddenly have a bit of spare time for 'projects'. I need a table for working on Cody & Lola's table issues but also for propping up my board for running contact practice. Normally I would just buy one because yeah, I've got time to build one myself but this weekend I suddenly found myself with time for it. I've got the design part all worked out, no problemo, the problem is the execution. It turns out I can't saw a measly little 1x4 in half by hand, at least not with the saw I have. Then I thought about all the millions of pieces of 2" diameter PVC I'd have to saw and did a quick calculation on what are the odds I'll lose at least one finger in the process and decided hmmm, maybe this particular venture into the world of DIY is a false economy. If only I had a power saw. Oh, you mean like this? How cool would it be if I had my own power saw??!! Then I started thinking of all the cool things I could build or rather I realized hey I don't need to build anything other than this table so maybe this is a waste of money. Then I remembered the chickens.

I've been wanting to get chickens for a while now. Or rather, I've been wanting to get farm fresh eggs for a while now. To be honest, I have no interest in chickens for chicken's sake. I had a good source for home raised chicken eggs but she changed her work location and now it's not convenient to get eggs from her. I was getting them from a farm on my way home from work but they weren't as good. Once you've had good eggs there's no going back to the grocery store kind, even the 'organic' ones. So I've been entertaining the idea of my own chickens and one of the many hurdles has been the chicken coop. They need a coop for sure, even in summer, since my neighborhood is rife with racoons, foxes and all other manner of predators including my idiot neighbor's wolf hybrid who's already gotten another neighbor's chickens.

The other big hurdle to all of this is Jonny. He's not at all down with the chicken idea. In fact I believe his exact reaction to the mere mention of chickens was to roll his eyes, throw his head in his hands and yell, 'For fuck's sake!' As far as he's concerned there are already more than enough animals leaving presents in our small little yard. He thinks the organic grocery store eggs are plenty delicious thank you very much.

Where were we? Oh yes, the table saw and my agility table project. I sent Jonny the link to the table saw and his reply was, 'I feared this day would come'. It's no wonder I'm not handy what with all the complete lack of support I get. On the other hand he's seen me trying to cut a bagel in half so maybe he has a point. Maybe I should just order the darn table from someone who knows what they're doing and leave the chickens and finger slicing for another day.


  1. Save the saw for a birthday request...and make a cordless circular...can't do nearly as much damage! And by the time you have charged it, you will have worked out the crucial details of what you were going to do!

    That being said, buy the table. I have more pieces of wood and what not CUT FOR ME by Home Depot and Lowe's and they are still in pieces in the garage!!!

    And speaking as one who pays someone to pick up the dog poo...skip the chickens! Reality isn't nearly as ideal as the thought.

  2. As it happens my birthday is next week but there's no WAY my husband will buy me a saw. Not in a million years. He can't stop my buying my own but he's terrified of the thought. I'm surprised he hasn't offered to buy me the table to keep me away from the saw.

    I too have bits & pieces of wood and pvc in my garage. In fact I was going to use the base from an unbuilt set of weave poles for the edges of the table. Is there any agility fanatic out there who doesn't have a garage full of pvc?

    Are the circular saws easier to use? Somehow they looked more dangerous than the table saw but maybe not. I saw a circular saw for only $40, that would be much better on the budget but it looked like I needed a worktable or something to use it. I have one but getting to it would entail cleaning out the garage and then things start getting complicated.

    I don't think we're in danger of any chickens coming to live with us anytime soon, mostly because that project is way down on my list and I'm too easily distracted. Also I think my husband would finally have that breakdown he's been talking so much about.

  3. Roxanne5:18 PM

    Since I'm married to the KING of DIY, who is also a perfectionist, if I ever tried to make something myself, he'd have a conniption. He made my jumps and my weave poles. He bought my tunnel (a good one), and he has promised to make me a half-size A-frame and dog walk at some point. But, with a million and 1 home projects pending or in process, that might not be for a while.

    As one of my mentors often tells me ... sometimes you just pay "the man," which is her way of saying just buy it ... and save yourself the hassle (and possible injury).

    P.S. Sorry to hear about the knee. I might post soon about my DIY foot rehab that seems to be working (and saving poor me with crappy insurance PT costs).

  4. Sadly, my husband is not very handy. Probably even less so than me but maybe not. He's an excellent cook though which is good because I am not. I cook one night a week and by cook I mean throw a frozen pizza in the over. And sometimes I mess that up.

  5. Anonymous8:48 AM

    I'm going on record as saying "buy the table". You'll be glad you did because making a good table that will last for years is harder than it seems. I bought one from Max 200 about 10 years ago and it's still in perfect condition--just needs painting every 5 years or so.
    And I vote the same way on the eggs--buy them. I've seen way too many dead chickens in friends' coops who thought they were safe from marauding predators.