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Admiral Biscuit


"This was quite well written, and the characters had a very natural feeling back and forth. Shame I didn't like it at all."

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May
15th
2020

Where’s my Shovel? · 4:30am May 15th

A Spring Story


Source

What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?


”Where’s my tractor?”

I lost my shovel.


For most of us, a shovel isn’t something you need year round. Depending on where you live, you might have multiple kinds of shovels, ones for digging dirt and ones for digging snow and if you’ve ever tried to use the wrong kind of shovel, you know you’re gonna have a bad time. Dirt shovels can move snow, but not very effectively; snow shovels can’t dig holes unless you’re really, really motivated.

I’ve slowly been building (for some values of ‘building’) a tree-y and shrubb-y border fence along the fencerow in my backyard, using whatever plants I think will do well in a clay/sand soil mix with an inch or two of okay topsoil.

Each spring, the county next to mine has a tree sale, and they’ve got good prices on pony-themed trees and shrubs. This year, I ordered serviceberries and spicebushes and snowberries and russet buffaloberries. I wanted some highbush cranberries, too, but they were sold out before I ordered.


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[Interestingly enough, I’m not particularly interested in harvesting berries from said bushes, so I won’t be taking any precautions to keep the birds from them.]


While ordering the plants worked just like in a video game--I clicked a button, put in a quantity, and handed over an appropriate number of bells bits actual legal tender--planting them is different. At the very least, I gotta make a hole in the ground that I can stick the plant in. And the most effective way to make that hole is with a shovel.

Since it was supposed to be rainy and thunderstormy today, and since I thought I’d be getting my plants tomorrow, yesterday was the best day to dig holes [all of this might be shifted one day depending on when the blog post publishes, but don’t think too much about that].

So I hied down into my backyard where I thought the shovel should be, and it wasn’t there.


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Of course, y’all know it wasn’t there; you’re all intelligent people and if I’d found the shovel and dug holes, the blog post wouldn’t be titled Where’s my Shovel, nor would it have been written.


The next thing to do is think about where I’d be if I were a shovel.

The most obvious place to check next was the garden shed. That wasn’t likely; all that’s in there is broken lawn tractors (three of them, I think) and broken bicycles (less than a dozen, I legit don’t know how many). As expected, there were no shovels there, except for the snow shovel. Which I knew was there.

Since it wasn’t in or by the shed, the next likely place was the back porch. I didn’t find the shovel, but I did find that an enterprising bird had built a nest on top of my stepladder. Mildly inconvenient; it means I can’t use the ladder until after the fledglings have fledged, but I don’t anticipate needing it anytime soon.

As a proper house in the country does, I’ve got multiple sheds and other storage places, so I started checking them in turn. Not in the shed with the S-10, engine hoist, various spare tires, and a lawnmower that actually works. Not in the convertible shed (the roof came off) that’s got the P-30, nor is it in the P-30. That was disappointing; that actually seemed like the kind of place where I might leave a shovel.


Source

Back up the yard, to the house this time. I got a walkout unfinished basement, and that would be a good place to leave a shovel. A little dirt on the floor wouldn’t hurt anything, after all.

Alas, there was no shovel to be found. I did find a box of car parts I forgot I had, which would be a nice bonus except that they fit a car I don’t have any more, and none of the parts would be useful in my quest to put holes in the ground in which I could put pony-themed bushes.

Since I was already in the house, I checked the spare bedroom. It was unlikely I’d’ve put a shovel in there, but perhaps I had been worried about shovel thieves the last time I’d used it and wanted it to stay safe and secure.

It wasn’t in the spare bedroom.

So, it was back outside again on the quest to find the missing shovel.


In Michigan, minivans and SUVs are both titled as ‘station wagons,’ and by that metric, I own five station wagons. Three Grand Caravans, a Suburban, and a Cherokee.

The thing with station wagons is that there’s lots of room behind the driver’s seat to put stuff, like shovels. Since I hadn’t found it anywhere else, I reasoned that it was possible I’d tossed it into a vehicle which was broken. One of my Caravans has been relegated to storage shed until I get unlazy enough to pull off all the parts which might be useful on my other two, and scrap it. Likewise, both the Suburban and Cherokee are a useful place to store things temporarily, and the shovel wasn’t in any of those places.

I did find my Matco prybar, though, so not a total loss. I’d forgotten that I’d put it in the old blue Caravan for safekeeping.

There was one place I hadn’t looked yet, my old RV trailer that’s being used as a storage shed. A 70s vintage American Rambler (I think?) that I bought for $300, partially stripped and with a leaky roof that’s perfect for things that can get a little bit wet when it rains a lot.

It also doubles as a feral cat habitat sometimes. You know, like how they sink ships to make coral reefs? This thing’s the trailer equivalent of that.

The trailer, too, was shovelless. I did find some clumps of rabbit fur; presumably some rabbit had had a really bad day and some feral cat--or one of the foxes--had had a nice bunny dinner.


Source


I’ve got two pickup bed trailers. One’s purpose built from a really nice boat trailer and an okay pickup bed; the other’s a terrible conglomeration of parts from at least three different trucks, a few wood blocks, and a pair of takeoff Firestone Radial ATXs. You know, the ones that blew out and made Explorers roll over?

You won’t be surprised to know that the shovel was in neither trailer.


Since it’s early in the year and the thornbushes haven’t come out with a vengeance yet, I ventured into my car corral. A few years ago, the township complained about the vintage Americana rusting in my back yard, and so I took some fence panels I had and made a proper theatre fence--there’s a lot of tech screws, some tech cord for wind resistance, and it looks okay from the side you’re supposed to see and is a crime against carpentry on the side you can’t.

I didn’t find the shovel I was looking for back there, but I did find a shovel, and as we all know, beggars can’t be choosers. It was a short-handled flat-ended shovel which had last been used in a fight at a haunted house--Woonsocket Wrench and I had adapted our normal quarterstaff choreography to work with shovels instead.


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Finally victorious, I started digging holes to fit my grand plan. And, I managed one complete hole and one half-hole before the handle of the shovel broke, leaving me with a useless shovel head and an equally useless shovel handle.

And I wasn’t even digging in the part of the yard where the soil’s got the consistency of cement. Seriously, I bought a mattock in case I needed to make a hole in that part of the yard. [That part of the yard is also why there are places where I’ve totally let nature take its course; any plant that thinks it can hack it there has my blessing.]


I thought I was supposed to pick up the plants later today (I just checked my clock, and what I said earlier in the blog post was today is now yesterday--I warned you), but instead it’s tomorrow. So I still had time to dig holes, and even better the soil might be softer ‘cause it had rained most of the day. I still needed a shovel, but after I got done with work and done with after work work--putting the summer tires back on my van, and doing a slightly overdue oil change--I went to the local Ace hardware and bought a shiny new shovel. It even came with extra wide foot-stomping-down-on parts to get through that tough soil and the roots and rocks which invariably hide under the sod.


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I finished up the half-hole, and the shiny new shovel dug through the soil like a knife through butter. There was a root in that hole, and it cut through that, too, with a few judicious hoof foot-stomps on the extra wide foot-stomping-down-on parts.

Six feet further on, another hole. Three down, seventeen to go.

That was it for holes in that section; now it was time to move down to the part by the cherry trees, where I was going to put three trees in a triangle arrangement to give my little private glen full cover from my back neighbor. One hole right next to a grapevine, one along the end of the lilac row, and then--

--and then my shiny new shovel’s handle snapped off right at the head. Just like the last one had, in fact. And once again, I was faced with two shovel parts, neither of them useful by themselves.


Source


I guess the moral of the story is that if I’m gonna be planting trees this year, I’m gonna be using dynamite.


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Comments ( 101 )

I get the impression that you have misplaced your instrument for generating soil depressions... you lost your bloody spade.

Dynamite is an underrated gardening implement.

At least you don't have goat heads in your yard. Those little buggers are the worst.

I still needed a shovel, but after I got done with work and done with after work work--putting the summer tires back on my van, and doing a slightly overdue oil change--I went to the local Ace hardware and bought a shiny new shovel. It even came with extra wide foot-stomping-down-on parts to get through that tough soil and the roots and rocks which invariably hide under the sod.
[...]
--and then my shiny new shovel’s handle snapped off right at the head. Just like the last one had, in fact. And once again, I was faced with two shovel parts, neither of them useful by themselves.

So, did that shiny new shovel also come with a shiny new warranty, or are you SOL?

And I wasn’t even digging in the part of the yard where the soil’s got the consistency of cement. Seriously, I bought a maddox in case I needed to make a hole in that part of the yard. [That part of the yard is also why there are places where I’ve totally let nature take its course; any plant that thinks it can hack it there has my blessing.]

You probably mean a "mattock"

Mattock - Wikipedia

A mattock /ˈmætək/ is a hand tool used for digging, prying, and chopping. Similar to the pickaxe, it has a long handle and a stout head which combines either a vertical axe blade with a horizontal adze (cutter mattock) or a pick and an adze (pick mattock). A cutter mattock is similar to a Pulaski. It is also commonly known in North America as a "grub axe".

I grew up in the sticks. There, a mattock was something a coalminer could use to rip apart a mountain. Here, in Phoenix it's a hoe with 2 tiny prongs sticking off the top, suitable for yuppies to scratch at sandy soil.

How in the world do you manage to turn something so unbelievably mundane into something that would make a decent plot for a short story? :rainbowderp:


5262794
I don't know, he doesn't strike me as being a badguy.

Thanks for the story. :D
And good luck with the hole-making. :)
(And I, too, have had the experience of a useful shovel suddenly becoming significantly less useful shovel parts while I was in the middle of hole-making. Not terribly convenient, no.)

Is... Is Dale a self-insert?
Or what's his name from Haunting...?

In seriousness, the last time I wielded a shovel with intent was when my mother decided this row of completely useless, sun-deprived, sickly evergreen bushes needed to be moved. And then as soon as they were loose she cried off and had me move five fully-grown evergreen bushes by hand about 200 yards.

Later in life people comment with appreciable frequency on my great physical strength. Thanks for making me do literally anything that involved lifting over ten pounds mother

Reminds me...

Once upon a time, my family purchased a fiberglass-handled shovel. Great shovel, nice and light.

A few (several?) years later, we moved into our current home, and the previous owner left a wooden-handled shovel for us. Middling in the weight category, but with my mother's gardening and the high clay content in the local soil, it lasted two years, tops, before it, ahh, became very suddenly less useful.

The fiberglass-handled shovel still survives... but every time she uses it, I can hear it creak and groan- she really puts it through its paces. If she were still using it, I expect it would have ended up like some of the fiberglass-handled less-usefuls I carried to the backroom as returns at Lowe's.

So a couple years ago now, I saw a display case full of much, much heavier steel-handled shovels, bought one, and gave it to her. Even when I try, I can't get that sucker to bend one jot, and it cuts through anything. My mother is so "replace when it breaks"-prone that it took me months to get her to use it instead- I had to argue that, so long as the fiberglass-handled shovel survived, we would have two good shovels available the next time we had a major family digging project, not one, allowing two people to work with good shovels, not just one at a time.

I might recommend acquiring one; I got mine from Lowe's, but I think it was a seasonal item for in-store stocking. They're heavy, and as such can be exhausting to carry around, but you could probably run a truck over it- and the only problem you'd have would be a flat tire. I did notice that the steel handle was paired with a thicker/stronger blade- perfect for cutting through near-concrete dirt... or playing lever-action on the stickiest, most stubborn clay-filled dirt you can find. (In my experience, it's the latter item that's hardest on the shovel)

Ouch.

Maybe you need to treat shovels as consumables and keep a stock of them. Or maybe a steel-handled shovel like 5262813 suggested.

Thanks for entertaining us with your travails.

jxj

My parents have to replace their last shovel because the blade broke. There's a gaint crack that goes from the tip to about 2/3 way up the blade.

You wouldn't happen to have a freezer chest would you? You never know. I once found the TV remote control in the fridge. Granted a TV remote is loads easier to loose than a shovel but still; what the hay was it doing in the fridge?

I did find a box of car parts I forgot I had, which would be a nice bonus except that they fit a car I don’t have any more

For some reason this really made your post for me.

Reading towards the end where you bought the new shovel, I thought you'd be able to finish it all, go to stash it somewhere and then find your old shovel. Alas, not to be :(

When I bought my house back in 16', I looked at my HUGE backyard and said to myself, "This would be a GREAT place for a garden!" So I went to the local Home Depot, bought a shovel and some rose bushes, and went to work.

Little did I know the "soil" here in Central Texas consists of two inches of dirt, followed by several feet of hard clay and rocks. Undeterred, I went back to Home Depot to buy a pickaxe. Full of renewed optimism, I started swinging away with the pickaxe and shovel, and twenty minutes later I had a hole two feet deep.

After I finished the second one, I looked down at my sweat-covered self and said, "What the HELL am I doing?! I'm OLD!!" Never dug in my yard again. One of the rose bushes survived (never break up the root ball, kids) and is almost five feet tall four years later, so it wasn't a total waste of time. But digging by hand in Texas is a job for the young.

Oh, and before I forget to mention, I LOVE your stories and these Slice-Of-Life blogs.

If you need dynamite to put the trees IN, youre gonna need a BOLO to get the things OUT.:trollestia:

Ah, the Navi shovel.

Steel Handled, Steel blade, steel rimmed

And a sod to straighten out when the Irishman manages to bend it in the heavy clay subrock.:eeyup:

And to think, people call the fragile tools in the new Animal Crossing unrealistic.

I guess the moral of the story is that if I’m gonna be planting trees this year, I’m gonna be using dynamite.

Oh my!

That mention of minivans reminds me, I have this Caravan C/V that I need to drag out and throw a battery and some fresh fuel into and see what it needs to run and drive and such. (It did get to its current location under its own power, which is generally a good sign.) I may have to cut down a small tree or two to get it out, though.

As far as the shovel goes, I suppose you could remove what's left of the broken handle and then either bolt or weld a steel pipe to it in place of the original handle?

a crime against carpentry on the side you can’t

Sounds like my area.

So go back to the store, call their product a sham and get new shovel?

I lost a garden fork once.

A year or two later, I found the tines in the compost pile. As near as I can figure, I had left it there after turning the pile. It must have fallen in without me noticing, and then the handle composted.

Dan

Make sure you put the Fortune enchantment on your shovel so you get lots of flint from gravel piles.

And unbreaking, obviously, since shovels wear out so quickly. Unless you have diamonds to spare. A mod to let you stick Sharpness or Looting on it so you can use it as a weapon is cool too.

derpicdn.net/img/2018/9/16/1834354/large.jpeg

Georg #24 · May 15th · · ·

5262794 I've found that hardware stores and warranties are highly flexible, particularly when you bring the busted widget parts in, place them on the counter carefully so none of them roll away, and say, "I bought this here yesterday" then just stop. Normally, the clerk will be on the intercom to the manager right after that, and I'm out the door with a replacement unbroken widget in about five minutes. Most of the time you don't even need a receipt provided you have the right store and that's really a part they carry. (Yes, I oopsed on that once.)

So you're planting a shrubbery. Are you a shrubber?

Ni!!!

Trump #26 · May 16th · · ·

In my part of Texas we start with a post hole digger and a pick, sometimes a steel bar and a sledge hammer are required. Shovels only work in raised beds.

Dude, where's my shovel?

Dude, your shovel's gone!

Dude, my shovel's gone!

Dude, where's your shovel?

Take this job and shovel it!

5262787

I get the impression that you have misplaced your instrument for generating soil depressions... you lost your bloody spade.

I did!

Maybe when I mow the lawn, I’ll find it. When I run it over with the lawnmower.

5262791

Dynamite is an underrated gardening implement.

Agreed. Pity my local home improvement store doesn’t carry it.

My brother has (or had, not sure if it needs to be renewed every now and then) and explosives license, so maybe I could ask him if he could mail me some dynamite.

At least you don't have goat heads in your yard. Those little buggers are the worst.

Goat heads or goat herds? There’s a difference . . . .

I did have goats in my yard once, when they got out of the neighbor’s pasture and started eating my trees.

They’re gone now (the goats, not the trees) which is kind of a shame, ‘cause whenever I cleared brush, I’d just toss it over the fence and they’d eat it.

5262794

So, did that shiny new shovel also come with a shiny new warranty, or are you SOL?

It did not come with a shiny new warranty, it turns out. Find out more in part 2 of the shovel series!

5262796

You probably mean a "mattock"

For just a moment, I was tempted to go all Skinner and his steamed hams with some convoluted explanation of how they’re called maddoxes here in just this one township in Michigan, but of course you’re right.

I grew up in the sticks. There, a mattock was something a coalminer could use to rip apart a mountain. Here, in Phoenix it's a hoe with 2 tiny prongs sticking off the top, suitable for yuppies to scratch at sandy soil.

Yeah, that’s what we’ve got here, too. One side is a pickaxe, and the other side is a slightly wider pickaxe.

5262803

How in the world do you manage to turn something so unbelievably mundane into something that would make a decent plot for a short story? :rainbowderp:

It’s why I’m the King of Slice of Life, baby :heart:

5262804

Thanks for the story. :D

You’re welcome! :heart:

And good luck with the hole-making. :)

With the aid of a trusty new, all-steel shovel, holes have been made. And in an hour or two, I’ll have pony-themed bushes to put in them.

(And I, too, have had the experience of a useful shovel suddenly becoming significantly less useful shovel parts while I was in the middle of hole-making. Not terribly convenient, no.)

I guess the only good thing to come of it (besides two fantastic blog posts :P) is that I wasn’t in a huge rush to get the holes dug, so I didn’t have to go panic buy a new shovel before my plants died.

5262805

Is... Is Dale a self-insert?
Or what's his name from Haunting...?

Neither of them are specifically, no. On the sliding scale of self-insert to totally unique (as much as a character that comes out an author’s mind can be, anyway), Dale’s closer to a self-insert than what’s his name from the Haunting.

5262809

Later in life people comment with appreciable frequency on my great physical strength. Thanks for making me do literally anything that involved lifting over ten pounds mother

I used to have more upper body strength than I do now, largely because part of my job at Firestone involved throwing one or two hundred tires a week upstairs. Now that I work at an independant shop, I don’t have to throw tires any more.

5262813

A few (several?) years later, we moved into our current home, and the previous owner left a wooden-handled shovel for us. Middling in the weight category, but with my mother's gardening and the high clay content in the local soil, it lasted two years, tops, before it, ahh, became very suddenly less useful.

Boy am I familiar with that.

Until I got the shiny new wood shovel, both of the ones I had were hand-me-downs of unknown vintage. And they weren’t the first wood-handled tools I had in which the handle failed due to years of outdoor exposure; I’ve got a couple broken rakes where the same thing happened.

I might recommend acquiring one; I got mine from Lowe's, but I think it was a seasonal item for in-store stocking. They're heavy, and as such can be exhausting to carry around, but you could probably run a truck over it- and the only problem you'd have would be a flat tire. I did notice that the steel handle was paired with a thicker/stronger blade- perfect for cutting through near-concrete dirt... or playing lever-action on the stickiest, most stubborn clay-filled dirt you can find. (In my experience, it's the latter item that's hardest on the shovel)

That is in fact what I bought. I saw them at the hardware store when I bought the one I bought (they had fiberglass ones, too), but figured that the last wood-handled shovel I’d owned had lasted a good long time (as has the one I can’t find) and for the amount of hole-digging I do, I didn’t really need a fancy all-steel shovel.

Lesson learned. :derpytongue2:

5262820

Maybe you need to treat shovels as consumables and keep a stock of them. Or maybe a steel-handled shovel like computerneek suggested.

Yup, that’s what I got.

Thanks for entertaining us with your travails.

You’re welcome! :heart:

5262826

My parents have to replace their last shovel because the blade broke. There's a gaint crack that goes from the tip to about 2/3 way up the blade.

That’s actually impressive. That’s something I haven’t managed to break.

For years, we had two good canoe paddles, and one that had a huge split. We kept that one as a spare, becuase it still worked, and in case of emergency, we’d still have an extra paddle.

Back in high school, my brother and I were out canoeing, hit a tree, capsized, and lost the canoe and all its contents downriver. We found it about an hour later, wedged up against another tree, completely swamped, and with that one paddle still in it.

5262828

You wouldn't happen to have a freezer chest would you? You never know.

I do, but it’s not big enough to hold a complete shovel.

One with the handle broken off would fit, though.

I once found the TV remote control in the fridge. Granted a TV remote is loads easier to loose than a shovel but still; what the hay was it doing in the fridge?

I do that kind of thing sometimes, too. Haven’t put the TV remote in the fridge (yet), but I do wind up putting things in weird places and then find them later and wonder why they’re where they are.

5262841

For some reason this really made your post for me.

:heart:

Reading towards the end where you bought the new shovel, I thought you'd be able to finish it all, go to stash it somewhere and then find your old shovel. Alas, not to be :(

I can’t rule out finding the old shovel (although I still haven’t). I did get another shovel, this one all-steel, and got my holes dug.

5262854

When I bought my house back in 16', I looked at my HUGE backyard and said to myself, "This would be a GREAT place for a garden!" So I went to the local Home Depot, bought a shovel and some rose bushes, and went to work.

That was my same thought back in ‘08 when I bought this house. Except for the roses; the one and only rose I ever tried to grow produced nothing but thorns.

Little did I know the "soil" here in Central Texas consists of two inches of dirt, followed by several feet of hard clay and rocks. Undeterred, I went back to Home Depot to buy a pickaxe. Full of renewed optimism, I started swinging away with the pickaxe and shovel, and twenty minutes later I had a hole two feet deep.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve got, along with sand because Michigan. Not so many rocks, though, at least not close to the surface.

Oh, and before I forget to mention, I LOVE your stories and these Slice-Of-Life blogs.

Thank you! :heart:

5263516
Allow me to expound upon one of Nature's more fascinating spiteful offerings.

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Starr_030612-0067_Tribulus_terrestris.jpg/1280px-Starr_030612-0067_Tribulus_terrestris.jpg
The Goat Head, or Tribulus Terrestris, for it's latin name, is a hateful, spiteful, bastard weed who's only method of propagation are the seeds you see above you. Or below, as this one's just started to germinate. You can also see where they get their common name, from the cross section of the spiky bastard plant.
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a0/Tribulus_Terrestris_Germinating.jpg/1280px-Tribulus_Terrestris_Germinating.jpg

Once germinated, they grow into a plant whose root can extend a foot below ground level, with vines that radiate outward from the original plant at ground level. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/60/Starr_030612-0070_Tribulus_terrestris.jpg/1280px-Starr_030612-0070_Tribulus_terrestris.jpg

They do this because the only way that they can propagate their hateful, hellspawned offspring is by having something, generally some poor, unsuspecting fauna tread over them, and thus having their spiky seeds impaled upon the poor fauna (usually some version of canus domesticus, or in my case, our two canus domesticus imbecilicus) causing said fauna to limp briefly, shouting imprecations in their native tongue and cursing the little bastard plants and wondering why a just and loving God would allow the ground to be angry. Eventually, the goat head seed is disloged from the poor fauna's feet, either through gyrations of the fauna or by said fauna's owner getting the offending spiky bastard plant out from the fauna's paw, once said owner has disentangled himself from the leash. The spiky bastard seed, now having been moved inches, sometimes entire feet from the mother plant, and fortified now by the blood of the living, is free to germinate and thus the circle of spite and pain is continued once more.

Fortunately, as we live in the ages of miracles and wonder that we do, it is rare for one to venture out barefoot, but it is not uncommon to find scores of these little spiky bastards embedded in the soles of one's boots after a leisurely stroll through the high desert. However, with the advent of indoor carpeting, if one has, say, miniature versions of homo sapiens obnoxiousticus gingericus running around their house who aren't particular about which rooms they wear shoes into, the spiky bastard plants are commonly dislodged from the shoes of their unsuspecting carrier and are nestled into the carpet loops, where they can achieve their highest calling: to wit, impaling the foot of an adult homo sapiens paternalis grumpicus on his way to the bathroom in the morning.

No, I'm not taking this personally. Why would you suspect such a thing?

5262861

If you need dynamite to put the trees IN, youre gonna need a BOLO to get the things OUT.:trollestia:

Oh, I’m not worried about getting them out.

Ah, the Navi shovel.
Steel Handled, Steel blade, steel rimmed

“100% steel plated steel.”

And a sod to straighten out when the Irishman manages to bend it in the heavy clay subrock.:eeyup:

I haven’t bent a shovel yet, but I did bend my Matco 48” prybar.

5262862

And to think, people call the fragile tools in the new Animal Crossing unrealistic.

I know, right? Use real tools and you’ll find out how breakable they actually are.

Besides breaking I don’t know how many tools at the shop (mostly with warranties, luckily), I’ve also gone through a number of keyboards writing ponyfic, and as a result have generally gone for stronger, mechanical-switched keyboards so they’ll last.

5262866
A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. :derpytongue2:

5263533
Well hey, if nothing else, if ever you can't find the all-steel shovel, get a metal detector... :pinkiecrazy:

5262868

That mention of minivans reminds me, I have this Caravan C/V that I need to drag out and throw a battery and some fresh fuel into and see what it needs to run and drive and such. (It did get to its current location under its own power, which is generally a good sign.) I may have to cut down a small tree or two to get it out, though.

Assuming nothing important rusted off or got chewed through my mice.

My white minivan ran and drove when I parked it, and then a year later it had no power steering (rust) and only second gear (mice chewed wires). Still movable, though, so that was a bonus.

When I get un-lazy, I’m gonna finish stripping it out and have it hauled off for scrap.

As far as the shovel goes, I suppose you could remove what's left of the broken handle and then either bolt or weld a steel pipe to it in place of the original handle?

Yeah, or put a new wood handle in it, which is probably what I’ll do. I’ve got a few gardening tools that need handles, so maybe one of these days I’ll head to the home improvement store and get replacement handles for them all.

5262872

Sounds like my area.

That fence has been up for two or three years now and it’s still standing strong. I’m actually impressed, given how shoddy the construction is.

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