Somewhere in the midst of all this tripping over string you are going to want to use a transit. The transit is a peculiar-looking tool. It is composed of two parts: first, a little telescope with a level mounted on a tripod; and second, a yard stick that is much longer than a yard. The experts tell me this tool is used to determine the height or depth of various locations on the building site. You take a reading at a certain point and use it as a basis for all of your other readings.
"Fine," you say, "so what good is this knowledge?" Theoretically, it helps you to dig a trench with an even bottom, so that when you pour your foundation, you will be able to build a cement wall that doesn't look like the reflection in a circus mirror.
This skill is all well and good. However, a transit has more interesting and subtle uses. It beats out many authentic surveillance devices for snooping on the neighbors. You can set it up anywhere, even in the open and look as if you're doing something really important when, in actuality, you are trying to get a peak through that slit in the curtains next to the shower in that house those nurses rent across the street and a little to the right.
Not that I ever stooped to such tompeepery. The black eye I acquired in chapter one left me holding the yardstick and my wife spying on the neighbors.
The key to using a transit in this manner is to make certain you have someone hold the yardstick in the direction you are looking. Most people know there has to be a stick.
Transits are also useful for celestial navigation. However, an explanation of the technique is beyond the scope of this work. I feel compelled to mention, though, that you should never look into the sun with a transit. Believe me; you will see spots for a while. Even dimmed by a black eye, it will last for a few days.
Finally, regarding transits, it is wise to rent this tool. The rent is nowhere near that of a bulldozer, and it has limited use since the neighbors are sure to catch on to the spying thing after a while.