Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today I created a habitat.  For whom, you ask?  For humanity.  All of humanity.  Or maybe just a nice family here in Ypsilanti.  I forget which.

The Graduate Student Council (think High School student council but with older people padding longer resumes) got some of us students together to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.  I got to sleep in this morning till 7:15, grabbed some breakfast and headed out to the site.  Because I am used to Utah (and because I'm dumb) I just glanced at the Google map, thought I would be fine, and headed out.

It turns out that out East (which apparently applies to Michigan), streets are constructed under the Inverse Law of Pertinence:
The Inverse Law of Pertinence: The more important a street is, the less likely it is to have a sign indicating the street's name.
Of course, I got lost.  Because the main friggin streets here aren't labeled.  Not because I was unprepared.  It's the street's fault.  Well whoever's fault it was (the street's, remember), I called John for a rescue.  He lives in Boston which also looks like it was planned by a drunk goat, so he understands.

After a couple minute delay, I managed to get to the site.  I was surprised to see there was already a house there.  It turns out that Habitat for Humanity doesn't just build houses from scratch.  They also buy foreclosed homes, fix them up, and use them.  This was one of those situations.  Eight grad students divided up into three groups, and started reframing the three closets.  My group got done and we moved on to ripping up the foyer.  Yes, there was a foyer. 

We pulled off the wood paneling and found out that the foyer was a late (and not completely thought through) addition to the house.  Under the paneling were exterior wood siding, shingles (yes, shingles on the wall), and tar paper.  In one place, between the paneling and the shingles, there were a couple of long-dead mice.  Sadly, a bunch of scientists like us all just looked at them and thought they were cool. 

We spent a few hours ripping up paneling, siding, and all the rest.  It was really fun.  After that, I did some framing in the kitchen, which involved drilling into the concrete.  For those of you who didn't know, concrete doesn't like to be drilled into, so you have to use the Ear Drum Blower 3000 drill.  I wish I had thought to bring ear protection.

Then, after all that, I came home and wasted most of the rest of my day.  Yippee for wasting days!


the House of Payne said...

Kennedys are not drunk goats, and I resent the implication, sir!

David said...

It's Chow-dah, you idiot!

Bradwich said...

Columbus is the same way, crazy roads, hard to tell which is which, and no good fast, central roads (that I've found yet). The gps we bought has been a fabulous investment.

I'm a Mormon.