At any rate, Thursday I finished said ditch, after rain threatened (thereby causing my wife to threaten). The fear was that the rain would come and stay until the entire pile of dirt froze in place for the winter, which would suck.
I'd been putting it off because the ditch would have to terminate at the retaining wall on the sidewalk, and the logical next step would be to punch through that wall with a clay pipe - but nobody sells clay tile pipe any more. But Thursday was the day. Above, you see my crowbar inserted into the aforementioned wall. Amazingly, I was able to lever a couple of stones out of the bottom of the wall.
Here's the front of the wall, showing the hole at the bottom. It's about two inches high and six wide. Well, once I got things to this point, I realized that this was already a large enough opening for a drain, so I tamped the dirt down and put a large flat limestone rock on the bottom to prevent erosion out of the hole, then I thought: dammit, Jim, I'm a bricklayer now.
So I went and mixed up some mortar, and built a little brick structure to hold the pipe in place; the light was starting to fail a little, and the rain had started, so this picture is blurry, and the last in the series out at the ditch; after this was built and I'd slopped mortar all over it, and next to the floor of my drainage outlet, I dumped in ten pounds of pea gravel and buried the whole thing.
Well, but then I had some mortar left over, so I used it up on some experimental tuck pointing on the carriage house, and mortaring up the seam between the wall and the entry door.
Here's a picture taken the following morning - see if you can tell which joints are tuck pointed. This little bit of work represents maybe half an hour. I'm getting much better at it (it took me most of the day to do the bricks under the window, remember?) but it's still time-consuming work.
Worth it, though. I'm really starting to love masonry.