Friday, April 19, 2013

A funny thing happened on the way to the garden

last year I bought a lion statue for the garden.

What I wanted was this gorgeous beast, weighing about 2000 lbs. and so far out of budget I couldn't even pretend to wave a credit card at the website with a straight face. Not gonna happen.

So what I ended up buying was this guy (below), about 3' tall for $40, made of plaster. Designed for outdoor use.

Off to the garden you go. Shoo.

Then winter came, and amazingly, our lion statue held up rather well... until Spring, and the sun shifted in the sky.

You see, it all started with these crappy old windows we had stored in our basement. We kept the ones that had the glass intact, I'm really not sure why. I guess we had fantasies about fixing them up. But you know me, I can't let anything go to waste. I'll eventually make something out of it.

And so I did.

So what I ended up doing was taking the glass out of the windows and painting the sashes white, then I ordered a couple of sheets of mirrored plexiglass to replace the glass with.

I used a box cutter to cut the plastic sheets to fit in between the muntons (divided light wood pieces) until someone told me I could use a reciprocating saw. Then I went straight for the circular saw and made my life a lot easier.

I bought the sheets here, btw:

Once I had the plexi pieces cut, I caulked them into place and used small tacks to keep them in on the backside of the sash. Then I hung them in my garden. This one is on the East side of the fence.

Well -- whilst I was trying so very hard to cut the mirrored plexiglass exactly to fit, I didn't really leave a whole lot of room for expansion, and therefore not only was it a tight fit putting the plexi into the sash... but as you can see from the picture above, the mirrored surfaces became... well, somewhat CONVEX in nature.

Did I mention that I hung the window on the east side of the garden wall... so as the sun set in the west, the sun's rays would hit the mirror, and the mirror would throw off a fist sized laser of light on to the ground in front of the window, and as the sun set, the laser would move across the yard slowly from east to west.

In case you're not getting the picture, here's pretty much how it worked out:

Two guesses as to where I placed the lion statue.

And you got it on the first try, good for you. Right in the path of the @#$%^&* laser.

So last week I was noticing all of the white shards of... well  . .. . something all over the ground. I hadn't really noticed them before, but I'm in full on garden mode, so let's just take a peek and OH MY GAWD I HAD EXPLODED THE LION'S FACE OFF and blown his body into bloody bits all over the place.

Of course it took me a few days to figure out what had really happened.

At first I just thought, 'Well that's just what you get for buying a crappy $40 lion and putting it outside all Winter. It just fell apart.....'   But a few days later I was weeding around (what was left of) the lion, and suddenly something HOT lit on my hand.

I dropped my digger and looked at my hand. Nothing there. 'What the....?"
I picked up my digger off of the ground and there it was again... "Aaaagh!"
I stared at my hand-held digger like it had suddenly come alive and was poking at me.
I was about to have a very terse conversation with an inanimate object.

No, self-- don't be an idiot. Too early in the season for that. No, this was something else altogether. Recreate the scene... and oh yes, there it is... the 5 o'clock laser beam just as it was climbing up the side of the lion statue.

And that's when I realized that all winter long, as it was freezing cold outside, as the hot convex laser creeped its way up the plaster, warming pieces of it in fist-sized chunks... they expanded and POP! off they went. One shard at a time all over the yard, extending the carnage about 2' around the lion.

My poor, tortured lion. 

Anyone know how to make a plaster eye patch? (Maybe out of Bond-o?)

hah. I kill me.

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