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Ramp for Rover


I am constantly amazed to discover new subcultures on planet Earth that I had no idea existed. Such was the case when someone asked me if I could build a dog ramp for a woman who had had a stroke. I had never heard of a dog ramp. Was it like an exit ramp on the highway but for dogs to get off a walking trail after a long hike? Boat ramps let you back a trailer down into the water so that you can slide the boat into the lake. Maybe a dog ramp makes it easier for Fido to go for a swim without having to take a flying leap off the dock.

Google enlightened me that a dog ramp lets “athletically challenged” dogs get up onto a bed. Why that would be a desirable thing is not clear to me. I thought the idea was to keep animals off the furniture but I’m not a pet owner so what do I know. Anyway my job was not to ask questions but to build the ramp.

Your basic dog ramp
Your basic dog ramp

A doggie ramp has two main parts: the platform, which should be about even with the top of the bed mattress, and the ramp up to the platform. In this case, the mattress was 27” off the floor. The ramp itself needed to have a gradual slope so that the aforementioned athletically challenged dog could climb it. I thought it would be very entertaining to wax the ramp and put the dog on it like a Slip ‘N Slide but my ever-loving wife, “Gertrude” (not her real name), put her hands on her hips and said, “Zat is not funny.” Although I might have detected a little snicker, I decided to play it safe and make it a non-slip surface with some leftover carpet. Continue reading Ramp for Rover

Couch de-sag-ification

SkillLevel3Our new green couch was much more comfortable in the showroom than in our TV room. Of course they delivered one from the warehouse–not the one we sat on in the store–and quality, shall we say, can vary.

When my ever-loving wife, “Spud” (not her real name), and I sat on the couch the middle would sink like the Titanic and tilt us nearly head-to-head, which is all very romantic and everything but hard on the old spinal column. It looked like we were the Stephen Hawking twins slouching in our wheelchairs.

Clearly the springs were shot in this couch, which speaks to the poor quality of furniture construction these days. Continue reading Couch de-sag-ification

Coming to a big screen near you

 Skill level skill2

In our area of the country, mosquitoes and no-see-ums own the outdoors and my ever-loving wife, “Arbutus” (not her real name, but I suspect you knew that already), has always wanted a screen porch. Our house has a nice big deck but no screens and, as much as I like a challenge, it is not a trivial matter to put a roof over the deck in order to screen it in. Sometimes it is just easier to buy another house that already has the screen porch.

And that is what we did.

Buy a beach house and get a screen porch for free!

Screen porch by lagoon
Screen porch by lagoon

The beach house has many nice features but the screen porch overlooking the lagoon clinched the deal for Arbutus. (She likes it when I call her “Beautie.”) I knew she wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t buy that beach house. And if Beautie ain’t happy then ain’t nobody happy.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “lagoon”? If you said mosquitoes you are on the right track. The real bugaboo (a rather apt word) is the unseen world of little biting insects commonly called no-see-ums. Continue reading Coming to a big screen near you