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Sparky's Graffiti Experiment

When us guys sit in the van while the old folks go fer a bike ride, we often get out to stretch our legs, and there is often a lot of Graffiti on things around buildings near the bike trails all over the country.

Well, I got to thinking, that as soon as those people paint something on a wall, some other guys in orange uniforms come along and paint right over it.  That wastes a lot of paint and takes a long time to do.

Picture of me printing my special sticky notes on my Kelsey Printing Press

That's why I decided to get some of those sticky back note paper sheets and print my message on them using my special Kelsey Printing Press.  That way, them fellers in the orange suits ken jest pull them off and throw them out if that's what they want to do.

Or, since I'm famous, they ken jest take that note home to put on their own wall and show their family how cool it looks to have a note that they got from a reel celebrity!

Drawing of the sticky note sheets that I printed on my little printing press
Don't Even Ask!

Jest because now you know that I have this heavy duty special Kelsey Printing Press, don't think that I would be willing to print things for nobuddy else.  I am much too busy to operate a printing company!

However, if you need any heavy excavating work done, I would be willing to take on jobs that I ken do with my Powerful Steam Shovel.  Of course, all prices given will be "Batteries not included."  In other words, I charge extra for the batteries it takes to do the job, plus the root beer I drink up during the job.

Sparky's Back Yard
Page 7
by Sparky

The Split Rock City Railroad

Featuring Construction and Operational Information About the Railroad

The Big Ladder ContestSparky up on the top of his ladder and the guy next door also on his ladder

August 9, 2003, Saturday morning.  The day started out pretty nice, and there was some painter guys working on the house next door.  One of the guys got out a Giant Ladder, that was about 25 feet long when he got done stretching it out and putting it up against the house.  Then he looked over at me sitting in my easy chair under the shade of the big Maple tree and shook his head.

Well, I am not one to let a challenge go unanswered, so I got off my butt and went into the house and drug out my special train track ladder that I use for checking on the mailbox to look fer suspicious packagGuy up on the tall ladder and 2 other ladders also therees.  I leaned it up against the big Christmas Tree that we have growing out in the back yard and then I climbed up into that big tree and looked back at the guy who was up on that ladder by then.

By my calculations, his ladder was about 9 or 7 times as long as he is tall, while my train track ladder is 11 times as long as I am tall, so that means that I won the contest, with ladder to spare!!

That's when him and the other guy that was also painting over there went and got 2 more ladders that weren't as tall, and put them up against the house and stretched them out.  Well, I can't argue with that, Picture of me using my train track ladder to check the mailbox for suspiciour packages cuz that train track ladder was the only ladder I ken use so I guess they won the contest.

By that time it was getting pretty hot out, and I didn't want to be one of those guys that you read about in the paper, who got overheated, started seeing stars, and fainted in the yard.  My Powerful Steam Shovel isn't air conditioned, either, so I jest went into the house and kicked back and got a glass of root beer with ice and relaxed beneath the sealing see-ling ceiling fan and took a nap.

Sparky's Backyard Pitcher Photo Album

Sparky checking out the new little tree
1. Me Checking Out The New Tree

South Retaining walls completed
2. South Walls Completed

Wagon loaded with little bricks cut from larger tiles
3. Saw & Wagon With Little Bricks

Another piece of the east side cribbing completed
4. More east side wall completed

South Side Retaining Walls Completed

While I was taking the nap referred to above, Jim stayed outside and completed the retaining walls on the south side, as shown in photo #2 above in the photo album.

The big retaining wall blocks at the bottom are Pavestone blocks that we have all over the place in the back yard and along the east side of the house.  The next retaining wall is made up of small bricks that Jim made out of Saltillo tiles from Mexico.

Those tiles are cheap, about $1.00 per square foot, and they are made from very soft terra cotta clay that is easy to cut with that diamond blade in the special tile saw.  They're also very poor in quality, and the full tiles vary in thickness from about 1/2" to about 3/4", and many of them are bowed like the legs on a rocking chair, so I don't know how a feller would ever be able to put them down and make a reel floor out of them, but there are a lot of special designers that reely like things to be reel crooked, so they are pretty happy with them.

Gloria actually cut most of them tiles into little bricks, and by cutting them about 2" x 2-1/2", she was able to get about 30 little bricks out of each large tile.  Altogether, she cut up about 1,500 little bricks fer all the little retaining walls Jim needed to make.  To keep them from blowing away or falling over, Jim put them together with some waterproof wood glue.  The manufacturer of the Saltillo tiles says to only use them in areas that won't freeze in the winter, so Jim is hoping they don't jest fall apart next winter.

To find out more about them tiles, click below on these websites.  They also have some higher quality tiles that are pretty.

 Saltillo Tiles  or click here: More Saltillo Tiles 

Of course, you ken use any kind of tiles or veneer bricks that you like.  It takes quite a while to cut up those little bricks, and the wet saw spits a bit of dirty water out the back, so it is better to be done outdoors.  Jim also used his radial arm saw inside, with a dry diamond blade to cut up some retaining wall blocks, and the dust collector sucked up most of the dust, but it still made a mess, and it clogged up the filter bags with the fine stone dust, so that isn't a very good idea either.  Another possibility is to use one of those little tile cutters that works like a glass cutter, and they are affordable to buy so you don't have to work all at once, like when you rent a tool.

Photo 4 shows more of the wood cribbing completed on the east side.  This time Jim tried backfilling the wall with crusher fines, to try to better hold the wall and prevent it from bowing outward.

A Reel Sad Tale

Sparky Gets Ordered to Take a Bath

Me waiting for the sink to get full so I can start my bath
5. Me sitting there naked, waiting

Me dripping a little between dunkings
6. Me soaking in the water

Me dripping in the sink, waiting for a fresh towel
7. Me dripping dry in the sink

Me sitting on a towel to dry, with my pal Lil Benny
8. Me, waiting for clean clothes

It had to happen sooner or later.  Gloria has been hinting that I would need to take a bath pretty soon.  I figgered that I would take a bath at the end of summer, probably in late fall or mid-winter.  After all, it's not my fault that I got dirty working reel hard out in the yard, helping with the yard work, especially all the hard digging I've been doing with my Powerful Steam Shovel.

Well, as you ken see by the pictures above, specifically numbers 5 through 8, the deed has been done.  I sure hate taking several days off of working in the back yard jest to take a bath, but that's what happened.  Now I'm waiting fer my Super Hero outfit to get washed, cuz somebuddy noticed a little, tiny, speck of dust on it, and now it has to take a trip through the washing machine.  I'm glad I don't have to watch that ordeal.

That's about it fer now.  I'll have some more pitchers in a couple of days and then I'll add them to the album on the next page. --Sparky
August 9, 2003

7:00 a.m. 72° F. Warm, dry and not even a breeze.

12 Noon, 86° F., Hot & sunny.  Dark clouds coming in from the west.

1:00 p.m., 86° F., Dark clouds disappeared, hot, sunny and dry.

6:00 p.m. 92° F., sunny, hot and dry.


It's reel hot all over the place, according to the news:

Britain & Europe are in the middle of a severe Heat Wave, and people are jumping into rivers to cool off, even though it's full of "unwholesome" things that would normally keep such activity to a minimum.Traffic jam full of un-airconditioned cars

London is said to be entering the 9th day in a row of temperatures over 100° F., and folks are wading in the Thames River to help cool off.  The weather is normally not very hot there, and so very few cars, trucks, buses, trains, subways, buildings or homes are equipped with air conditioners.

One old codger was reported to say that it was so hot that "Blokes what sees stars should get in out of the sun and cool off before they ends up in hospital."

Paris was reported to be experiencing temperatures of around 110° F., and city work crews plowed a section of the Seine River and hauled in truckloads of sand to make a beach where folks can safely cool off.  They don't have many air conditioners there either, and people in the subway cars was melting, it was so hot.  (The New York Subway tunnels get very hot, but the trains are air conditioned).

An old Parisienner Parisanierite guy that lives in Paris reportedly said that it was so hot that the Escargot Snails went into hiding, and there weren't enough of them to eat, so government trucks brought in truckloads of foreign food, like hamburgers, spaghetti and chicken fried steaks with mashed potatoes.  "Ugh," He said, "I just hate foreign food!"

Today's Dinner

BocaŽ Burgers
Ranch beans
Potatoes with green chili & cheese
Snickerdoodle decaf coffee

Jim decided to try them BocaŽ Burgers, cuz he was curious about them.  They are meat-free, made from soy beans and cheese and some other stuff, and they really did look like reel hamburgers.  And all of us guys even liked them.  Next we're gonna try their breakfast sausage.

You ken find out more about BocaŽ products by clicking here:




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