Monday, February 8, 2010

Max, Destroyer of House!

 On Friday, I used a claw hammer and a crowbar to destroy a house.

OK, well, maybe I only used a claw hammer and a crowbar to destroy a part of a house.

OK, well, maybe I also got to use power tools in addition to a claw hammer and a crowbar to destroy a part of a house.

Or maybe I should start from the beginning...

On Friday I had a corps day in which we partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help remake a house that had fallen into condemned status. Most of the work that we were doing that day was demolition- knocking out walls, tearing out ceilings and other diverse delightfully destructive deeds. I chose to split off from the main group and partner with a regular volunteer named Dave to set about dismantling the bathroom on the second floor.



Dave (pictured above) is a Vietnam vet who also worked for the government for a time and likes to explain that he has secret clearance thanks to his time in both areas, and I am inclined to believe him. He definitely had some... interesting opinions on certain things, but he also definitely knew his stuff and the importance of his job at Habitat. Construction/demolition is simply what he likes to do in his retirement when he is not trying to find solutions to the problems of the world with his war buddies. We had a good time taking out sinks, showers and cabinets in the morning and smashing walls with claw hammers, crowbars and power saws in the afternoon.

Speaking of that, before:


After:


There was a lot of clean up.

Taking apart the house was a lot of fun. I got to get a lot of good exercise and use a lot of tools. It really makes me miss doing theater tech back in college and having the opportunity to both build and dismantle things on a macro scale (as opposed to the micro that I talk about on my other blog). Getting to repair and build things is definitely something that I want to get back into in the future- I might even start volunteering regularly with Habitat next year to start building up my repertoire of handyman skills.

Other things that were entertaining about the day:

-all of the little mementos that were left from past occupants. A lot of the, umm, "insulation" in the upper floors of the house was made out of old newspapers, some from as far back as the 1920s and 40s.
 
There was also some masking tape still left up on a wall of one of the rooms talking about all of the security protections that were in place to protect weapons. More masking tape was underneath this one displaying the types of weapons stored here, including swords, knives, guns, and FINAL DEATH (unintelligible) MOVE, all in a childish scrawl. I'll try to put my video of it up later, but blogger is being stupid right now.

-the most awesome tool in the world:

It's basically a large magnet on a stick, but who cares! It's awesome!

-Mystery Gum! With Mystery Packaging!

So yeah, I had fun. Manual labor is always a nice change of pace.

Until next time...

"...it is less trouble and more satisfaction to bury two families than to select and equip a home for one."
- Mark Twain's Autobiography

4 comments:

Siegfried said...

habitat is awesome. Well done good sir, we're gonna start doing it again once it gets a little bit warmer

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

This actually sounds like much fun. I may have to look into such things myself one of these days!

Max said...

@Frito: Nice!

@Ben: Thanks!