first katydid of 2020
Monday, July 20 2020
Interspersed with remote-workplace work, I continued demolition in the upstairs bathroom, removing remnants of the old platform that the jacuzzi tub had occupied. Along the south edge of that platform had been a wall and narrow gap between that wall and the lip of the jacuzzi tub. I'd filled that gap in with a thin piece of wood that had then been tiled over with narrow tiles that I'd then mostly drowned in caulk. Despite all this waterproofing, water had found its way to that strip of wood, and over 17 years of apparent submersion, it had blackened and become as brittle as pizza crust. This rot had spread slightly to the plywood of the platform containing the tub, but hadn't yet reached any of the structure being preserved for the new tub surround.
After I'd completed this demolition, I realized my next task was to remove a rank of tiles so I'd have exposed Wonderboard above the level of the new tub to which I could attach flashing. But this tile didn't come off easily, even after I'd removed grout using a diamond blade attached to an angle grinder.
This evening Gretchen (and perhaps Powerful) made a delicious spaghetti dinner featuring a hearty red sauce containing mushrooms and tempeh.
Neville was restless tonight as I tried to fall asleep (it was my one night a week when I would be using no chemical assistance to fall asleep), and I kept getting up to make sure he wasn't wandering over to poke around the yard of our unpleasant neighbors. On one such surveillance mission, I tried to look for the Neowise comet, which was supposed to be somewhere near the Big Dipper. But there were too many trees blocking the northern sky when I stood on the ground, so I climbed up to the laboratory deck. The view was much better from there, but Neowise was not in view. Had it been, I would've seen it, as the sky was so clear that I could easily see the Milky Way. Ominously, I heard the first katydid of 2020. That is, as you probably know, a reliable harbinger of the end of summer. From now until November, katydids will grow first increasingly numerous and then gradually less so, their calls slowing down as temperatures dip, eventually going silent when they fall into the 40s.
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