thu jan 5
We like an occasional bottle of wine for dinner and we like to take our chances with the cheap stuff – hey, sometimes you get lucky for $9.99, and sometimes you don’t. In choosing, there’s nothing much to go on besides the price and the label, and that only helps when you take a moment to read the label. (My old rule of thumb was to try to buy wine with a naked lady or a bicycle on the label because … I like naked ladies and I like bicycles, so what can go wrong? Then I found a wine with a naked lady on a bicycle on the label, and it wasn’t very good.) So what, exactly, was Mary thinking when she bought a bottle of wine called ‘Battle Axe’? The label said it was: “The perfect wine to enjoy with BBQ and pizza.” Honestly, it probably is.
fri jan 6
Mary set up a tour of the local sculling oar factory because her grand-nephew, who rows crew, is in town. It lasted about an hour, and there was molding, testing, tooling, and assembly going on. It was pretty good.
We brought them home and socialized for an hour or so and, while the adults talked and plowed thru a cheese platter, the 13 year old daughter killed time with the newspaper cross-word puzzle. She basically started in the upper-left corner and filled in every single blank until she got interrupted. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.
thu jan 12
It’s “the 19th day of Christmas,” and it looks like my cards and gifts finally got shipped today. You can rest assured that I will never use that Pack n Ship again.
What a fucking shit show. Apologies all around.
thu jan 19
Now that the kitchen hood is up, it’s time to finish the kitchen, and I never really liked the way the stove-top works with the countertops. To fix it, though, is a big deal. I’ve got to take all the drawers out, disengage the cabinets, move the stovetop base back 3″, change the kick-space, cut the countertops (getting sawdust everywhere) and re-locate the propane feed. Mary is out of town for a few days, so I guess you could say I “made my mess while Mary wasn’t looking” and got it all back together, all in 1 day.
I nuked leftovers for dinner, but I boiled a ceremonial pot of water, just to say I did it.
When Devin cooks tung oil in the basement of Mary’s business, it smokes and stinks up the whole building. Devin’s got to wear a mask, it’s so bad. So today we installed a ventilation hood. I loaded ten tons of tools in the truck and we used most of them mounting 2 blowers, a pair of ducts, a bunch of conduit, and the hood, with just 1 trip to the hardware store. It came out good.
fri jan 20
I did my own drywall, all by myself, for 2 whole houses and a couple remodels, but now I’m too old to be doing drywall. I remember when I used to hold up a whole sheet of sheetrock against the ceiling with one arm while I fiddled with nails and a hammer with the other.
On a ladder. Alone. Late at night. Night after night.
I remember one night in Westford, using a straightedge to make a cut, and I sliced the end of my thumb clean off where it overhung the edge of the rule. I put a bandaid on it and worked till 1:00 am and, 28 years later, my thumb still has a taper to it.
Ahhh, drywall. . . .
Today I got quotes from 2 drywall guys. One guy looked it over and quoted me 40% over his usual square foot price, because everything is out of square. The other guy’s price was 40% lower than the first guy, and he’s going to be sorry.
tue jan 24
I hired a drywall guy who’s a friend of a friend of a … Three degrees of separation.
I told him he could start no sooner than 9 days from saturday, which gave me 9 days to finish getting ready. Then I made a list of what I had to get done first and … it’s a good 9 days worth of work, so I better get going.
I did a burn pile. I moved load after load of old wood out of the house and up into the barn loft. I vacuumed. I moved the kitchen cabinets and appliances out of the way. I foamed a few more drafty holes, and I caulked 7 tubes’ worth of caulk. (Did you know that a tube of Liquid Nails costs $5.99, and you can get the big tubes, with 4x the goop, for only $2 more.)
It’s three days later, I’ve got six days to go, and it looks like I’ve got about four days of work to do. I did the math, and I’m thinking that after the seventh day, I’m going to rest.
sun jan 29
Jesse wanted to know when he could get the sheetrock delivered, and I told him Friday. On Friday, he shows up with sheetrock and a crew, and they want to start hanging. I still had 2 days of work to do, but I told them they could go ahead and do the ceiling, and then stop until Monday (which is what I told him the first time). Saturday morning, they’re back at it, working on the walls, and I’m afraid I sort of kicked them out. They were very gracious about it (and almost done with their half-day anyway, by the time I showed up with my morning coffee) and, to my credit, I finished my 9 days of work in exactly nine days, and I’m taking day ten off. I deserve it.
I’ve been stalled on a c3pr bug for a couple weeks, and it’s driven me nuts.
C3pr can’t just work. It has to work Perfectly. So every once in awhile, when it “seems to work,” I put it through a workout, and I look for problems. Something always comes up.
This time, I noticed that, when C3pr is (ahem) playing with itself, it seg-faults every thousand or so frames. Randomly: Never the same fault twice. Never in any of my functions. And sometimes with a Tcl exception. It acted like some kind of a weird thread synchrony conflict, and that’s the worst thing that can possibly happen. I tried everything, and I gave up more than once.
Sometimes, working on something repetitive at the green house, my mind wanders, and I go into a zen-like state. I was caulking air leaks next door, and I got to noodling the big picture of how all the threads in C3pr talk to one another and (long story short) I figured out a new approach to the problem.
And then I went home and solved it.