Friday, April 30, 2010

What a Day of Therapy!

Today has been probably the greatest single day of working out since I began therapy for my broken leg. It started easy enough with a visit to the eye doctor. He dilated my eyes so I when I left his office I was wearing sunglasses and squinting. But, I felt good and the day promised to be a real summer-type day so I started on a project. Last week I had picked up a pallet at Home Depot (for FREE!) that I planned to use as a platform at the base of my tower. I needed something there that would let me sit down and lay out my tools while I installed coax connectors and the like.

The pallet I got was a very heavy duty one that measured 4-ft. by 4-ft. So today I went back to Home Depot and picked up two 2-ft. x 4-ft. pieces of 3/8-inch plywood, some screws, paint, four concrete blocks and other sundries. Back home I screwed the plywood to the top of the pallet then mixed some sand (for traction) into the paint and painted all that I could with up to 3 coats of paint. I used the entire quart of paint.

After the 87° temperature, strong sun and the wind had dried the pallet, I proceeded to carry the concrete blocks over the hill to the tower. Those of you who have made that trip can relate to the difficulty of that operation. It took FOUR trips as I had to BACK down the hill and lift the blocks a couple of feet at a time. I was just not stable enough on my feet on that hill to try carrying them. (Actually, I had two full size and 2 half-size blocks and I did carry the smaller ones for part of the trip.) Then came the fun part. The pallet probably weighs in the neighborhood of 50 pounds and carrying it was possible only for short distances on level ground. I ended up "rolling" it end over end down the hill. Evelyn stood at the top of the hill and watched as I rolled the pallet to make sure I didn't get into any trouble.

At the tower I used a garden trowel and hammer to notch out a place for the blocks with the smaller ones on the uphill side and the larger ones on the downhill because of the slope. I wanted to make the pallet fairly level and, as it turned out, my first attempt had the slope 1.5° downhill and 1.3° away from the tower. That's a done deal! I still need to shim up one of the downhill blocks about 2 inches to make the pallet stable but it's in place and ready to use now. The sand in the paint (an idea from Rick, W8ZT) gives very good traction.

Bottom line - I now have a very nice, stable, and level place to work on everything at the base of the tower. And, I made a total of SIX trips down and up the hill (in addition to all the stuff at Home Depot, in the garage, painting the pallet, etc.) So, I truly gave the leg a workout today. I may not be able to roll out of bed in the morning, but right now I feel really good about what I got done. You can click on either photo to see a larger image then use your BACK button to return to this page.

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