Monday, November 8 2004
Gretchen flew down to Maryland today on an expedition to see her nephew, whom she hasn't seen since his bris (circumcision ritual) back in January. Meanwhile I'd decided to go ahead with a plan I'd been incubating for months to open up a fresh air supply to the house's boiler room through its west wall, 12 inches of Sparfil masonry mostly buried below grade. This, I hoped, would solve occasional boiler problems including backdraft and something that makes me have to hit the reset button every several months or so.
Using a powerdrill equipped with a 12 by 3/4 inch masonry drill bit, a hammer, and a chisel, I was able to cut a hole through the Sparfil big enough for a four inch wide piece of PVC pipe, which I then cemented in place using Portland cement. With a 12 square inch cross section, this pipe would be considered too narrow to supply all the air for the boiler, but there's already 25 square inch air supply going to the boiler room from the (admitted interior) teevee/map room. Since this new air supply hole is on the house's upwind side and since the house forms something of a wind dam, air tends to enter the new hole under pressure. I'd wager that on most days it will supply several times the volume of fresh air as the duct coming from the teevee room.
As I was driving around today I had a thought about all the yellow "support our troops" ribbon stickers that one sees on so many cars. Perhaps because of the trauma I've suffered at the hands of a purported "moral majority" that re-elected George W. Bush, I wondered if perhaps the ribbon was, among other things, a cryptic reference to the Jesus fish. It has an identical form, though it's usually oriented at 90 degrees from the way a Jesus fish is attached to vehicle. Given their orientation, one might refer to the yellow "support our troops" ribbons as "Jesus bombs." If it turns out that the yellow ribbon stickers are actually crypto-Christian references, perhaps all the people who have them actually got them from their evangelical megachurches. How the hell else did they get them? I see the damn things on a good third of cars on the road, but I've yet to see them for sale anywhere. I have creepy feeling that I'm being deliberately excluded from a key phase of the great American Fascist takeover.
Related to my thoughts concerning the yellow ribbons was an idea I had for a "Darwin ribbon" whose frilly-fonted textual label might read "Support Science," "It's not the 14th Century anymore, folks!" or perhaps "Wake up and smell the Enlightenment." That last one sounds a little like denial, I know.
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