necessary mental Tetris
Tuesday, November 26 2002
Gretchen and I drove up to Saugerties to pick up another load of native lumber with which to complete the stairway project. While we were there, we stopped once again at the nearby flea market place, this time to buy cast iron lawn furniture for one of our two outdoor decks. The guy helping us load it had one of those annoyingly fussy know-it-all personalities, and in this guy's case the readily apparent fact that he was gay seemed to intensify its effects (though, come to think of it, I think he would have been even more annoying had he had this same personality and been straight). As we loaded the furniture around our native oak beams, he kept making comments that suggested we had no idea how to load a truck and that he was some sort of truck loading guru, when in fact he was somewhat less capable at performing the necessary mental Tetris than we were.
Now that this homeslice named Darin is going to do the drywall and spackling of the rec room and my studio, the pressure is on for me to finish the technical infrastructure of these rooms. The rec room had more immediate needs than my studio; it needed some sort of wall around the pipes coming up from the kitchen as well as another wall around the pipes coming up from the half bathroom. Today I built the more challenging of the two, the wall around the kitchen pipes. It ended up being a three foot wide box intruding through the diagonally-slice space like a chimney. Since the walls of this box were the only vertical walls of the rec room aside from its ends, I took the advantage of the verticality and installed electrical outlets and a light switch on it. The only structural wood I used for today's project was recycled two by fours from walls I'd demolished over the past few weeks. Surprisingly, pulling all the nails and screws out of an old board isn't all that much work, and once you're done, the resulting board is nearly as good as new and often straighter.
My diet lately has been rich in Molson Ice beer and Stewarts icecream (Stewarts being a mid-Hudson convenience store chain with a franchise in Hurley).
My big home repair discovery of the day involved canola oil (known in Europe by the not-appropriate-for-Americans name "rape seed oil"). By soaking three inch galvanized drywall screws in canola oil, I was able to greatly improve my ability to drill them into wood studs (as an alternative to nailing). Without the oil, the screws tended to bog down in the wood and refuse to sink all the way to their hilts, often resulting in stripped heads and ruined screws.
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