Goodbye Mysterious Palm

Living around LA, you sometimes forget the natural reproduction of things like Palm trees.  So it came as a bit of a surprise to find one growing in the backyard.  It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that the fronds were spiky, and the trunk was overtaking cement.  I kept thinking I should did it out one day, but procrastinated on actually doing the job.  Well, the tree got as big as me, and the fronds were blocking the back door.  It was time to go.  Dad supplied me with a tree saw, but “slow going” would not do the work justice.  So I looked around the old garage and pulled out a small hand saw, a shovel, and a back hoe.  I lieu of clippers, I used the hand saw to cut off all the fronds.  It made getting close to the trunk a lot easir, and made the overall weight of what I would eventually be putting in the trash can significantly lighter.  Then I started digging at  the dirt I could get to around the base of the trunk.  Once I started hitting roots, I hacked away until I got some leverage to push the tree from the other side, the edge over the cement.  Pushing in the opposite direction revealed more roots to hack through.  Fortunately for me, this palm tree has not master root, just dozen of small ones bunched together.  This means I could use the hand saw to cut through them quite easily.  When It got too thick for the hand saw, a quick run through of the tree saw gave the space I needed.  After a few minutes the tree gave way!  I’ll probably leave the roots for next week.  I’m tired!

As seen on TV, but it works??

A few days/weeks ago, my computer chair had a small break in one of its internal washers.  I didn’t notice at the time, and just assumed that the reason the chair didn’t like moving anymore was that the casters were a bit scratched up.  Then my roommate notices scrapes on the wood floor beneath the chair!  Turns out a metal bar had broken through the bottom of the chair and was digging into the floor.  And now it was badly torn up.  Over the weekend I stopped at CVS and glanced at a spray bottle meant to fix scratches on wood.  It was cheap enough, so I took a chance and bought it.  A little sanding before spraying, some wiping, and the floor looks much, much better.  “As Seen on TV” – who knew this stuff actually worked?!

Wall Painting

Spent about 10 hours this week painting a side wall at the Orange County house.  The Home Owner’s Association sent us a letter reminding people that it was our job to repaint them.  I’m assuming they sent the letter to everyone who had a wall like ours, as ours did not seem as bad as some others down the street.  Either way, it took way too long to do.  Stucco eats up paint, if you’re curious.  If the wall had been flat, we would have needed maybe a gallon and a half of paint to cover it all.  With the stucco, it was nearly seven gallons.  Well, it looks better now at least.  And one passing homeowner asked what paint we were using since they had a similar wall to repaint.  That was pretty amusing.