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Archive for September, 2011

We received notice on our front door two weeks ago that there was a water leak on our property, and we had 30 days to get it fixed. Or else. The blue wheel on the water meter spun when it should have been stationary. Water oozed up through the driveway and rolled down the street. Money liquified.

So on Friday, we rented a 905-pound Barreto trench digger and bought 100 feet of new waterline. We tore through big rocks and small rocks and sand and soil. Three of us held the half-ton machine back as it tried to roll downhill into the neighbor’s yard. And sometime during the first two hours of digging, my son reached deep into the ground in front of the rumbling trencher and pulled out a beautiful, docile skink.

The skink is just like a bright green chameleon, except that is dull brown and it reacts to the changes around it by staying exactly the same color. It does have a somewhat famous defensive tactic of throwing off its tail and growing a new, blue tail. But this skink did not have time to drop its tail. The trencher yanked it up into our world, or the skink fell into the new trench in a panicked run. In any case, we had the skink for a good five minutes, docile and confused. And then we released it back into the terrifying, quaking world.

Something like ten days after we received our notice, we had the new trench dug and the new waterline hooked up. So our money is no longer rolling down the street. And as I write this post, the skink is out there somewhere above our new waterline. Hiding from the cats.

Here is what I learned:

  • The walk-behind trencher is like a Grecian monster, half John Deere tractor and half chainsaw. You can use it to dig a trench to Australia if you have enough time.
  • All the how-to videos for walk-behind trenchers on YouTube have been made by people who were renting one for the first time. These people have no idea of how to use a trencher, and they should not be filming themselves.
  • The skink has a name which sounds extremely unflattering. Perhaps if it learned to change colors, things would be different.

Trencher Warning

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