falling into that space was lost forever
Sunday, November 10 2002
Today I started sawing off the studs that form the wall adjacent to the lowest flight of stairs, those leading into the basement. Since beneath those stairs there is a closet we'll be keeping, I had to preserve the wall beneath the stairs while obliterating it above. This meant cutting off all the studs and trimming the drywall to the 45% slant of the stairs. As I worked, I disposed of demolished drywall and wiring by dropping it down into the open wall. Anything falling into that space was lost forever, and I had to take special care not to drop a chisel when removing electrical staples. As usual for wall demolitions, I had to re-route some electrical wires, something I'm getting better at all the time. I think nothing of running a wire through a space I cannot reach, using coathangers and such to push and pull it around.
With the stair wall open, I took the opportunity to extend the run of some ethernet cable I'd buried in the ceiling of Gretchen's office. I managed to thread it diagonally upward through the stair wall and then beneath a hallway floor and up into a closet adjacent to the first floor office, the office we've both been using as an internet station. Now Gretchen's computer is networked to the first floor office computer, but it doesn't yet confer much in the way of advantages because we're now dependent on dialup. Conventional broadband isn't available in our rural location, and we've been forced to use a temporary trial AOL membership. It sucks, but not as bad as we expected it to after becoming accustomed to Roadrunner cable.
Gretchen was down in New Paltz most of the afternoon and evening, hanging out with friends. At some point I drove out to Home Depot with Sally and bought a 110 cfm bathroom fan for the master bedroom's palatial bathroom, nascent though it is. I usually get my hardware at Lowes, but for some things Home Depot either has a broader or simply different selection.
There is some species of bug that lives in this area and, judging from its sheer numbers at this time of year, it's something of a pest. By "bug," I really mean bug, as in insects belonging to the Order Hemiptera. This species is about three quarters of an inch long, has a sharply-fronted thorax and no appreciable smell unless attacked. I've been bitten by Assassin Bugs (which these closely resemble), and I remember it being an extremely painful experience, so I steer clear of these guys, just as I do with wasps. I have no idea why there are so many of these bugs here, or why they live in such great numbers (along with Lady Beetles) beneath the insulation in the attic, but since bugs aren't known to destroy wood or lay their eggs in food, their presence doesn't cause me much grief.
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