Saturday, March 24, 2007


(pulls spruce splinters out of her palm) The saga of The New Floor in the Study continues...

I started to put in new joists today and managed to install two 8' pieces of 2x6 spruce. There are a couple of 2x8's down on the front porch, but I probably won't get to them till Monday. I haven't yet decided whether to use them to start the next two reinforcements or to finish the section I worked on today.

It's already obvious that the subfloor took a substantial beating sometime in the last fifty years or so. The original beams are in varying states of disrepair, and reinforced with quite an assortment of materials. Even with those reinforcements, the floor drops several inches from northwest to southeast.

This is not too much of a surprise, however. A year and a half ago, when I put a new subfloor on top of a small section (The "office" part of the room where I do my computing and blogging), there was a differential of 2½ inches from west to east. Nice and level now, though.

But now... Time for a nice, hot, lavender-scented bubble bath.

As for these splinters, nothing that Cure Light Wounds (and three or four days) can't fix.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Equiknock knock... Who's there?

Welcome to spring, folks. (For those of you in the southern hemisphere, feel free to scratch out 'spring' and write in 'autumn' in crayon. The autumnal deities will make it official just as soon as they get back from their Wednesday morning coffee-and-donuts run.)

I would've made my own ex officio announcement at 1907 hours local time on 2007-03-20, but I was out teaching guitar lessons and admiring some gloriously weird and wild windy weather.

It's actually been a really good day for music. One of my students is currently learning "Spanish Romance" (Romance Anónimo), from the 1954 French movie Jeux Interdits. Another student is learning the Mason Williams iconic piece "Classical Gas", which I've loved since I was a kid.

And I just put away my clarinet after tootling melodiously for about an hour. I'm working on a David Hite study, some Wagner, and a polka-like fiendish thingie. Really glad that I changed reed brands a couple of months ago -- All of a sudden I can control the blasted horn. Currently I'm using a Vandoren 2½, a bit harder in the heart than the previous brand. And a good match for my B45 mouthpiece which I got last spring.

Gooood grief... Listen to me. I've been playing clarinet for just over a year and a half and already I've turned into an instrument geek.

Not that I mind, mind you...

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Plus ça change...

There's a lot of activity in my life, but bordering on the sound-and-fury model espoused by Will Shakespeare. Stuff is getting done, after a fashion, but it feels very much like I'm treading water instead of swimming. The future is in a holding pattern over Eris International Airport, and the folks in the control tower are taking an extended lunch break.

I know this because I'm at the same table at the same restaurant, and no one's in a big hurry to get back to work. (Ordered pastrami on rye, hold the rye. *#$%!! gluten-free diet.)

So today I removed another eight square feet of flooring from the study. The cats tried to help. Freyja prevented my toolbox from escaping, Frey did likewise with the rolled-up carpet. And RJ-45 supervised. She's good at it.

As you can see from the picture, the room is in a state of organized chaos. I've been using my new 18-volt cordless circular saw (w00t!) to cut through and remove short sections of ancient fir boards, replacing them as I go with 3/4" plywood. The new flooring is currently resting atop the old joists, which had been previously (and badly) reinforced with various chunks of lumber. I'm going to bring in half a dozen pieces of 2x6 fir to put in brand new joists, as I've already found one very badly cracked joist under the old floor.

But the floor project is moving along steadily, limited only by my free time and my budget. Eventually there will be new joists, several new electrical circuits, and maple hardwood. And built-in bookshelves (*drool*), walkways and ledges for the cats, terrariums full of plants, and an aquarium full of goldfish.

(makes mental note to put in really, really good joists to support the fish tank)

In other news, my current temp gig ends next Friday and I'm getting an MRI for my knee the following Monday. And, sometime in the next month or two I hope to get tested for 8th kyu (yellow belt) in karate.

(pushes away from table at Café Procrastinato and slides a loonie and two quarters under the plate) Yoi. Hajime!