Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa Claus Must Die

My prediction yesterday turned out to be right. My dad came over early today to get started on the swing set and had a section of it completed by the time that I got up and ate breakfast. After breakfast he took a break for us to do our Christmas presents. K and I will be with her parents for Christmas this year, so we're doing stuff with my family this weekend. After gifts and lunch, my dad and I got back to work on the swing set. It wasn't necessarily bad for the most part. We did occasionally have to undo and re-do sections when we'd either done something wrong or, in at least one instance, the directions lacked and information to differentiate the two parts. We'd finally gotten into a good groove when around 5 p.m. we realized that the the packet of 5/18" by 2.5" hex bolts was apparently missing as well as a couple of the flat washers needed.

Of course, this meant a trip into town. We hurried to the hardware store only to find it already closed. That meant a trip to Walmart where we found the washers (and butter that K wanted), but couldn't find the bolts. This is one of many reasons why I hate Walmart. They have a ton of crap, but never the items I actually need. My dad remembered a local convenience store that is basically a mini-Walmart. They've got hunting and fishing gear, guns, thick-cut steaks, and plumbing and carpentry supplies. We went back into the hardware room and found the hex bolts we needed. I was pleased. We were going to have just enough time to get back home, finish that section of the swing set and call it a day due to darkness. We'd have to finish the rest tomorrow, but it'd still be a reasonable quitting point.

The only problem was that the hex nuts didn't fit. I'd either looked above the shelf label instead of below or they were mislabeled. These bolts were far to fat to fit into the T nuts we had. By that point it was getting too dark to justify a trip back into town to exchange these for bolts that fit, so the job was left unfinished in the middle of a step in the process. Oh, the Christmas joy!

We've got to finish it tomorrow. K and I are supposed to leave for Atlanta on Monday, so my next chance to work on the damn thing will be a week from now if we don't get it completed before dark tomorrow.

On a much more pleasant note, K got me the MSR Dragonfly camp stove I was really hoping for. I'm kind of surprised she didn't save it for the actual Christmas Day with her parents, but I'm glad she didn't. Now I get to play around with it for a few days before going out on the trail after Christmas. My parents and sister are also giving us a weekend in Charleston, SC. They're putting us up in a nice hotel, my sister bought us a gift card to a nice restaurant she's been to there, and either she or my parents are going to babysit for us while we're gone. I'm excited. I've seen a couple of travel shows do Charleston and it sounds like it's a pretty cool city. Any excuse to travel to a place I've never been is a perfect present for me.


Julie said...

I'm glad it was a merry (early) Christmas for you both. That was good coordinating on behalf of your sister and mom.

Courtney said...

A free trip to a new place is a really good present. I want a pony.