Sunday, June 29, 2008

4 years in the making...

I've had this vision for sometime now... pretty much ever since we first moved into the house. Time, money, time, lack of vision, and a plethora of other excuses kept me from starting this project.

This would be the year that I'd start and finish the backyard. It had to be done if we're going to sell this house and not get a lot of negatives due to the back being unfinished (and worn down by the pooches).

April: It begins... I wear the dogs out the first big weekend of work. The storage shed gets moved to open the space up more. You can see the beginning of the "trench" where the retaining wall will eventually be. The 2 cement pads to the left will eventually be removed (2+ hours with a jack hammer, yeah, I busted out with the big boy tools). The whole backyard pretty much looks like this surface, well packed down bark dust.

May saw little work due to a lot of little things, but there was the weekend with the Bobcat MT-52 mini-loader (google that bad boy! it totally kicks ass!). One long day of leveling things out on the upper end of the backyard, finishing the retaining wall, and realizing I've now made a HUGE mess back there.

June: This was the month I had to get this done. One big push the weekend the pavers were delivered. Rototill, level, spread, 3 loads (ultimately needing 4) of 1/2 cubic yard of gravel (3/4 minus with a top layer of 1/4 minus), and 4 pallets of pavers.

240 sq. ft. of patio space is done, put a fork in it...

Final weekend of June: Wash, rinse, repeat. It was a do-over of the previous weekend of leveling, smoothing, gravel, plate compactor, laying the pavers, and realizing I'm not 20 anymore.

About another 180 sq. ft. of patio is done. The project (for the most part) is complete. We now have a kick ass place to beat the summer heat. In all, I estimate that it took me roughly 60 hours of labor to do this project over several weekends.

Tools of the trade:
Bobcat MT-52 with bucket and tiller attachment

5 HP and 9 HP tiller (the 5 didn't cut it).
Bosch electric jack hammer.
Plate compactor
Brick Saw

I'm done, put a beer in me. Barley's satisfied with the quality, that's all that really matters.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


22 years in the making... I grew up in a house where the Celtics were the team my father loved dearly. Being Irish, what other team would he root for? Bird, Parish, DJ, McHale, Ainge, Russel, Havlicek... and of course, Red. Now it's Pierce, Allen, and Garnett.

Watching the Celtics DESTROY the Lakers tonight was amazing and emotional. 3 years ago my father passed away on Father's Day. I wish I could call him tonight about this game. I know he'd be very happy and probably a bit choked up too. I know I was...

Boston. Beantown. City of Champions. Red Sox, Pats, now the Celtics. 17 Championships in 62 years. Beating LA by a ridiculous amount at home. Priceless.

This one's for you dad... one for the Irish!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Drop Top 10k

I had this goal last year, run a 10k in under 40 minutes. Well, I never raced that distance until this weekend, so the goal was still there.

I felt real good at the start and went out a little too fast, but it didn't feel out of control. I got into a solid rhythm through 2 miles and kept that pace through 4 miles. Then, just like old times, mile 5 I dropped off my pace, way off... but still in good position. I was in 10th place through the first 3.5. I dropped a place but kept him in check until we crossed back over the highway. With 1.5 to go, I slowed and lost contact and didn't get it back. I did push hard through the last mile and finished strong in... just under 40 minutes.

6:25 ave pace.
11th overall
10th male
3rd overall masters men
1st in age group

How sweet it is!