If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tag Team Project/Vocabulary Lesson

Mike got a Purple Martin house for Christmas.

Let me correct this by saying that he got a box with the components of a Purple Martin house inside it.

I moved the box three or four times because it was setting out and started getting on my nerves.  I can only take clutter for so long and then I have to take action - and who wants to clean, for goodness sake?!

The box turned out to be less of a problem than the contents.

A week or so ago, Mike decided to begin putting it together.  Let me say right now that he is one of these folks who likes to putter.

I am not.

He put all the 'room walls' of one level together and then called it a day.  So, for several days the pinwheel of side walls is all that was put together.  The other umpteen jillion parts and bolts and nuts were left sitting on the table.

So, yesterday, I decided that I would work on getting it done while he cooked up a big southern breakfast.

I soon learned why he had given up so easily and set it aside to do something else.  There was a combination of reasons.  The material that the house is made of is a thin metal - tin or aluminum.  Yes, there are sharp edges.  Yes, the metal does a good job of nicking and cutting all parts of one's hands when assembling.  And, yes, there are lots and lots of little parts and tiny nuts and bolts.
notice the blue arrows
Each of those pieces with a blue arrow pointing toward it is a different metal piece which has to be joined to the center spoke and to one another.
the tiny nuts and bolts
There are four tiny bolts which attach each of those three pieces to one another and to the spoke in the center.  The nuts and bolts are about 1/8 of an inch in size.

People who are in their mid-fifties seem to struggle to grip such tiny bolts and nuts.

Mike is in his mid-fifties.

I am in my mid-fifties.

Curse words seem to flutter out.  Trying to catch the little nuts and bolts generally leads to gathering more of the already plentiful little cuts and nicks from the sharp metal pieces.  Curse words seem to flutter out.

After the white walls are all connected to one another to form a hexagon, the green floor pieces are snapped in place.  There are lots of sharp metal edges to the floor pieces which tend to cause more cuts and nicks to the fingers and hands.  Curse words seem to flutter out.
hexagon house and floors
There are little plastic rails which snap into the holes of the floor to form a porch rail or a perch for the birds.  Somehow, these don't seem to snap into the holes quite as simply as one might expect causing a few cuts and nicks to the fingers.  Curse words flutter out.
one of six porch rail/perches
Once the walls, floors, and porch rails are assembled, the roof can be attached.  The roof comes in six pieces.  The pieces are attached to one another using two of those 1/8 inch nuts and bolts.  The edges of the roof are especially sharp and pointy.  The more pieces of the roof which are attached to one another, the more difficult it is to continue to feed the tiny little nuts through the respective holes and attach a nut for holding them causing a few cuts and nicks and curse words to flutter out.

The center piece of the roof is sort of like a cupola which is assembled using screen, a round piece of metal, a pointy plastic ridge pole, and a folded metal piece which anchors it in the top in a spring-like fashion.  There is a good bit of finagling required to get this all together and stuffed into the top of the roof.  There is also a bit of a finagle to connect each roof piece to a wall piece of the house.  Some cuts and nicks to the hands, arms, fingers ensued and some curse words seemed to flutter out.  Finally, the top floor was assembled.
top floor
So, I took a bit of a break and loaded the dirty breakfast dishes into the dishwasher before I began working on the next floor.  I got as far as putting five rooms together and only had one left to connect before I got really outdone with all the cuts and nicks and bleeding areas on my hands and the dropping and corralling of nuts and bolts.  I stopped and told Mike that if he wanted the purple martin house to go somewhere else besides the trash barrel, he would have to complete the assembly.

I might have even referenced it in terms something different than a purple martin house.

Well, I definitely called it something other than that.

So, Mike got the last walls attached and wrestled with the floors to get them snapped in properly.  Then, he began attaching the porch rail/perches to the bottom floor.  I think he got three or four of them snapped into place before one went sailing across the room and curse words began to flutter out...with a vengeance!

two story bird condos
So, I poked the last two or three porch rail/perches into their respective little holes and stacked the two floors of the purple martin house atop one another.  The entire thing is now assembled and ready to be attached to a pole.  If you look closely, you probably can see several of the tiny little screws.

If you look really closely, you may even see smears of blood from all the nicks and cuts on our hands.  If there had been a sound recorder, you probably would have learned some new vocabulary words.
Assembled!
We noticed that Stephen and Bonnie were closing the store early yesterday due to the inclement weather.  So, I sent him a message suggesting that he spend that newly-freed-up time putting our newly assembled purple martin house up on a pole.

He responded with only one word.  It included a reference to a bull.  Again, a new vocabulary word might be added if I shared that response with you here.

I sure hope the birds enjoy this monstrosity if it ever moves beyond covering half the kitchen table!  I also hope we have fewer mosquitoes when we are outside on the deck this summer.