Okay, so I’m not John Henry.

Late posting today, because I got an early start on M’s Dome. Long-time readers may have noticed that there haven’t been many M’s Dome updates lately. Yeah, M noticed that, too. And that’s because there’s been very little progress on M’s Dome, which M also noticed.

I’m supposed to be moving the dirt that will in the fullness of time transform M’s Dome into M’s Earth-Bermed House. It’s proving rather more difficult than I anticipated when I made my ill-fated promise. The tractor gets hung up on a rock: I chisel out the rock. The tractor can’t make the final turn around the rear of the dome because the trench is too narrow: I widen the trench. All the time I’m moving dirt in behind the dome to raise the level of the trench four or five feet. I’ve moved a lot of dirt, and have really made very little progress at all.

It’s frustrating, and to be honest it’s frightening sometimes. I’m not a heavy-equipment operator. The Dome is built into a slope, and that top-heavy tractor doesn’t do slopes gracefully at any angle. When I get frustrated and/or frightened, I procrastinate. Procrastination is one thing at which I’m a world-class master, but it doesn’t get the job done.

But I promised that at an absolute minimum I’d get his water lines underground before frost. After many trips into the trench – and getting stuck backing out of the trench every single time, rock or no rock – I finally just gave up on the tractor. Because I’m working on a tight curve, and the front bucket sticks out in front of the tractor by quite a lot, I can only dump dirt on the far outside of the curve – which on the tightest spots means outside the trench entirely. So even using the tractor I was spending a hell of a lot of shovel time. I finally decided that if I was ever going to get the water line and its support structure underground, it was just time to go low-tech.

Fortunately I just refurbished my old wheelbarrow. You know how I’m always saying people throw away the damndest things? Well if enough people throw away enough worn-out wheelbarrows – and this terrain wears out wheelbarrows quite reliably – the guy who’s in charge of making the old ones go away can build himself quite a serviceable machine out of cast-off parts. My wheelbarrow contains the best parts of no less than three broken ones, and works quite well.

So on this cool, cloudy morning the dogs and I attacked M’s Trench with shovel and wheelbarrow. After two hours I was as wet as if I’d just stepped out of a shower, but the water line has vanished underground.

Still have to get it deeper, though.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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