Monday, June 23, 2008

The Handy Man Can & The Field of Nightmares

I am not a bad husband, overall. I have my strengths and my weaknesses, but when asked, my wife's big complaint about me is how completely and utterly "unhandy" I am with tools. I do not build, fix, or repair anything. My father-in-law was a regular McGyver and his yard is a treasure trove of decaying tools, inventions, and jury-rigged devices of uncertain origin - or, as my children call them, "toys."

My father can also fix things, but I did not inherit this, despite his efforts to teach me. I believe that I was a poor student because as a southpaw, I am at disadvantage in attempting to repair right-handed devices - just another way rightey keeps us down!

So I am sending her (through the very private medium of this blog) this recent Washington Post article about Jim Scardina who's -
entire front yard is a baseball field. With dugouts, bleachers, even a concession stand.

Piece by piece during the past 10 years, Scardina has built the field from scratch, to the astonishment of his neighbors, the disapproval of his wife and the delight of his son....

But it didn't stop with grass on the outfield. Scardina started working on accessories: A bathroom so players wouldn't have to hike all the way to the house. Bleachers and a concession stand for the kids.

Then one day, Michelle Scardina noticed a big shed being erected beside the house. At the time, they were using a tractor to mow the grass on their 10-acre lot. "A storage shed for the tractor, that's how he explained it," she said.

But within months, the tractor shed had somehow transformed into a $100,000 winter baseball training facility with a bathroom, shower, kitchen and office. Two batting cages were installed with 90-mph pitching machines. An area to the side served as a mini-infield for the boys to run drills.
This will be a quick lesson that she should be careful what she wishes for. I have lots of big ideas. Recently I've been considering a catapult system to send the kids to school so I don't have to drive carpool, but I can't find a good contractor.

But since my primary medium is words, the biggest danger my wife faces is that I'll start another blog. The pen may be mightier then the sword, or hammer, or even the lathe. Perhaps my words will change the world. But they won't clutter up the yard (although my office is a wreck.)

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