Saturday, July 18, 2009

Feeling a Little Too Manly

I spent most of today building a bookshelf. Actually, I'm working on turning an entire wall in my home office into a built-in bookshelf. That probably sounds incredibly impressive, except for the fact that my office is a rather small room. The measurements for the wall in question are 114 inches wide by 100 inches tall. Last night I asked my dad if he'd be able to help. I don't even have a clue where to begin with this crap. I'm not a handyman, and I am not that motivated to develop the skill. My dad, on the other hand, revels in this sort of thing. He actually stayed up late last night crunching numbers and brainstorming designs to get what I wanted for my wall in the cheapest and most efficient fashion. Despite heading out for supplies around 9:30 this morning, we didn't finish the unit today. You just don't finish a project that large in one day. We probably would have gotten a lot further along with the project if I didn't have to call it a day at 4:30 so I could go home and get an assignment done for my masters class. I thought I was going to have time to come back after supper to help work some more, but the assignment took much longer than normal and we ended up running out of time. Of course, my dad went back out as soon as I left and got a significant portion of the project finished without me.

Still, it feels a little weird. Like I said, I'm not a handyman. In fact, I'm more comfortable cooking and doing the laundry than I am mowing the yard. I've just never considered myself a very masculine man and I've always avoided treating K like the little lady whose place was in the kitchen cooking me a pie, although she does make some damn good pies. Despite that, there I was today slaving away in a hot shed working saws and power drills to build a massive piece of furniture while my wife worked in the house with my mom to clear out the office, cook lunch and supper, and make fig preserves and pickled peppers. We were so freaking traditional that it made my stomach ache.

So, to cut all that masculinity I've been swimming in all day, here are some more photos of the ducks.

This kind of reminds me of a band photo. I just wish I hadn't cut off the beak off the buff on the far right. This photo is pretty representative too. The crested duck in front tends to lead the flock. It's always seems to be the first one to head off somewhere and the rest follow close behind.

The crest on that duck is impressive. I could imagine how strange the sight of an entire flock of these would be. K calls this one Puff Ball. I think Einstein could also be appropriate.

If you haven't figured this out already, the ducks have been freed of their pen. All ten birds spend the day outside where they can stretch their wings and practice their aquatic skills. I've actually been able to train them in a couple of days to follow me, so after supper every night I head out with their feed and lead them into our fenced-in back yard where they eat and spend the night. In the morning, I open the back gate and they waddle as fast as they can out to the pond a few yards away.


Julie said...

I think it's neat that your dad is helping you build something. I think it's kinda dumb that you feel a need to counteract the manliness though. I mean, if you'd come in the house and addressed K as "Woman" then you would need to be reeducated but I doubt it went that far.

FYI: you said you wouldn't refer to K by her name on this blog and you have failed.

Jacob said...

Um, to make a joke about my normal lack of "manly" activities, maybe?

And thanks for the catch. When I don't post regularly I start forgetting to change the name. I do a search of the blog every week or so to make catch any I've forgotten.

Courtney said...

I've never seen a duck 'fro that big before! Now get in the kitchen and make me a piiiieeee.

A Free Man said...

I've never been much of a manly man either. Assembling Ikea furniture is about as close as I get to ever building something. Like you, I'm a bit more useful in the traditional woman's role. My dad built all our furniture growing up, but I just never got that kind of thing.

Like your afro duck, though. How come they don't fly away?

Jacob said...

They don't fly away for a couple of reasons. First, they're a little on the young side. I'm not even sure if they were wild mallards if they'd be able to fly yet. Second, they get plenty of food here. Even ducks that can fly tend to stay if there's ample food. Finally, most domestic breeds tend to be a little too heavy to fly well at all. Wild mallards are excellent flyers but I think they're less than half the weight of a white Peking duck most of us are used to. It's just like how wild turkeys are pretty good flyers and red jungle fowl are competent flyers while most domestic turkeys and chickens can jump a little higher than normal at best.

I don't know if any of these will be able to fly. Looking at the breeds that they are, I'm thinking most will be too heavy to ever fly except the runners (the skinny black ones) and they aren't know for flight either.

Chris said...

I do enjoy a good home improvement project -- though I probably am not as skilled as I would like to believe. Still, it's good counter-activity to spending most of my waking hours sitting in front of lighted screen.