Friday, July 24, 2009

OH, I've been beat down all week by the merciless Ramona heat. Ramona, which is where I'm working, is a stone's throw from Hell's doorstep, and I feel like a cauterized blotch on the southland desertscape. It's where all the fires start down here in Southern California. It's that hot. Things just catch fire spontaneously. No, really. I was admiring a sunflower in someone's backyard and it caught the reflection of the sun off a piece of aluminum, and it burst into flame right there in front of me, nothing left but ash and smoke. I'll have to be careful.

It's been demoralizing and debilitating. There's no shade in my business until my work is done, and I am like the hungry chef or the sick doctor all day. The only bit of shade is a small spot against the house that the dog uses. I kicked him off of it and collapsed there, but it smells of dog. Yesterday, I got to a point where I had to climb the ladder a thousand more times. It was 4:30 and I had already drank a case of Gatorade, and I just unlatched my tool belt and let it drop. I quit. Just walked off the job and left all the tools there. I never do that. I always load up the power tools so the customer is not responsible for them, but yesterday I couldn't take it anymore. I'm quietly wishing they'll be stolen in the hot night, and then I'll have to spend all weekend replacing them, while I pray for cooler temps for next week.

When the weather gets like this, there's just no predicting how long the job is going to take. Add to it that this job is another 60 footer. Sounds like money! you think, but the projection is so short (5' in parts) that it's not. Interesting thing: the wider the cover, the more work it is. The greater the projection, the less work. I won't explain it, so trust me, but one of the problems is that if your tools are on one side of the yard, you have to walk 60' every time you need something. What? Stage the tools in the middle? I can't. There's a pool there. Yes, a pool I can't use. It's possible it doesn't exist at all, however, and is just some luckless mirage. I'll check again this morning.

I use every tool in the truck. For some reason, these jobs take every tool. And I spend a good portion of the day just loading and unloading the truck. This house is also on a bit of a hill, and I couldn't park in the driveway, so the thought of loading up at the end of the day just killed me. I abandoned the jobsite, but I am not a quitter, as it was a tactical retreat. I've regrouped, and am returning to that battlefield now. But that ground evaporates the sweat and drinks in blood, and I am not sure it was wise to leave the weapons just laying out there.

Have a frost-free weekend!