October 24, 2010

Basketball Boy

Husband, Bruce, and I spotted a basketball hoop and stand at our local Barnabas Goodwill store. We thought it would be good for our grandgirl, Ava.  Forget the fact that Ava is just now able to sort of catch a ball. Her Grammy and Grampy, that's Bruce and me, are always looking for fun physical activities for her to do, be they three years down the road or ten.  That's what her parents have a garage for, right? - to hold all the treasures we find and foist off on them.

So we cart the thing home in my Gracious Mobile, unload it and examine what we bought a bit more closely.  The good news is the plastic square post on which the hoop is attached is adjustable and can be raised from 4 to 5 to 6 feet.  The bad news is that once the hoop is raised, there is no way to lock  the pole and hoop in place.  Some sort of wedge or something is missing.  Whatever shall we do? We'll take every tool out of the garage and fix it!

And that's just what we did.  Let's start with the small square. Bruce, manly-man that he is, determined he should dismantle it in an attempt to line up the holes he would drill through which we would insert the dowel to support the pole from collapsing. After assessing the square was of no use in this particular case, my assignment was to reassemble the square-thingie. All was going swimmingly- I mean I got the metal ruler almost into the bubble-level part and was about to turn the screw to secure it when my fingers slipped and several little pieces-parts flew into the air to then disappear into the sand and leaves on which we stood.  You see, we were balancing the plastic pole with the non-detachable hoop on the cement crib wall that surrounds our outdoor trash can. Why  not in the garage on the saw horses?  Because the saw horses are lower than the cement wall and we both have bad backs and we'd have to bend over and- you get that part. 

There I was, jammed beside the garbage can and the wall unless I was on the other side  reaching across my white climbing rose, dodging its thorns.  Hey, someone had to support that pole and hoop at all times.  Did I mention the gabage crib is surrounded/hiden by miniature orleander bushes.  They are quite lovely and full of blooms right now, all five feet of them.  (That's miniature? Perhaps less fertilizer next season?)  Oh, Bruce is allergic to orleander and as he's searching for the perfect spot to drill the hole in the pole for the dowel, he's scratching his forearms that are becoming speckled with hives.  Hey, don't feel too badly for him. They  weren't bad hives, but hives, none the less.  Don't forget the part about him being a manly man.

Okay.  He, me, we drill one hole on one side of the square pole.  We must naturally drill another hole directly across from  the first hole to keep the dowl straight.  A brainstorm erupts at that moment. It is from me and Bruce, I can proudly declare, is most agreeable to it.  Refer to the first photo below to see the rubber band. That was my suggestion. We slid a rubberband up the pole to where it crossed that first hole in the middle, eyeballed it and drilled on the opposite side. Perfect. We repeated this process until all holes are drilled.  

Next we need to saw the dowel to the proper length. (Oh, I got the dowel for free from our local grocery story. A big cloth banner of a shrimp hung from it and I use that banner to cover my table at book signings in the summer sometimes.)  Good thing the dowel was 4 feet long because after measuring once and cutting wrong twice- we are easily confused.  It should be: measure twice and cut once - Anyway, we got 'er done!  The proof of it is Bruce in the second picture below, dunking the used basketball we gave a dollar for, that holds air for almost 32 minutes!  We do love a deal!  

Note rubber band for leveling, hive-bestowing oleander bushes & thornywhite rose the other side of the trellis.

Note the stripes are worn off the used basketball.  Hurry and dunk it, Bruce.  You only have 13 minutes more of air!

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