Monday, October 6, 2008

Aww Nuts!

I'd like to take a moment to talk about house building. In particular, choices of building materials and location. And by location, I don't mean zip code. What I mean is where on the lot do you orient the house?
For example: if your lot contains a 250 year old massive hickory tree. I would suggest you build a little bit away from it. This is so you get a chance to view its massive size and beauty.
And on the materials side of things: lets talk roofing materials. A metal roof is the way to go. Lightweight and lasts you years and years.
Now, if you were to take my advice on the metal roof, but ignore my advice on locating your residence -- then you would land right where I am now. I sit and sleep beneath several thousand pounds of harder-than-oak hardwood. And even more importantly, I sit beneath several hundreds of pounds of hickory nuts.
If you've never seen a hickory nut, let me describe it to you. Think of it as a one inch plug cut out of a 2x4. This time of year it is wrapped in a green sheath that is about 1/4 inch thick and still lush. This makes a heavy chunk of wood in the tree dangling above your head.
So, lets review what we have established so far: big ass tree posed to crush me and a ton of little 2x4 chunks all dangling from little brittle threads. This time of year they are starting to fall. It sounds approximately like a gunshot. Sure, you get a little bit used to it. But even if you are used to it, this is a 90th percentile. One time out of ten you are still going to be surprised. It will be when your hands are deep in the electrical panel -- sounding like the pop of a crossed wire. Or when your head is just under the hood of the car, making you jump and bonk it hard. Or when you think you are being sneaky and are stealthily creeping up behind your wife.
Now, let us introduce another variant. If you had such a bit of property already build improbably close to the largest tree in a 1000 foot radius... Don't build a dog pen right next to it. Why, you might ask? Well, dogs (dachshunds in particular) are known to hate squirrels. And squirrels are known to hate dogs. And squirrels are known to get hungry. And squirrels are known to eat nuts. What this creates is a vast amount of negative potential energy: An angry squirrel loaded with ammo sitting 100 feet above an obnoxious dog.

And I live and sleep in the crossfire.


Og Make Blog said...

Seems to me I remember Spork having a tractor and chainsaw.... maybe even a rope or chain. With a little ingenuity, a solution might be workable. Of course, a shotgun or .22 short (aimed very carefully) is another possible, but partial solution (won't help the gravity assisted part, anyway.)

I scored big points with a female friend of mine shortly after the hurricane for punishing the brazened squirrels a bit at her house with a pellet gun. Unfortunately, it only spanks their thick hides a bit, but they do get the message ... and it is a fun way to pass the time with some target practice. Mission accomplished, however, as they do not sit and throw pecans down on the vehicles and at the dogs much anymore... at least not when they see you nearby.

Spork In the Eye said...

a) I like the tree
b) there is almost no safe direction to fell it
c) disassembly would even be difficult without crushing stuff