Friday, February 24, 2012

Do not want.

As I was walking home from the bus this afternoon, I came to an odd conclusion: I don't really want a Chinese straight sword.

And I don't particularly want a Stratocaster XII electric 12-string, either.

Not all that long ago, I thought I did. One of the reasons I wanted the above-mentioned things is that I used to possess them and lost them.

I don't need them any more. I no longer practice Chinese martial arts and in fact have not done so for at least 14 years, so what would I do with that jian?  I've already got a perfectly good short sword, made of much better materials, in a homemade scabbard with Futhark runes that clearly identify the sword as Astrejureldingblót.  And a dagger called Thorn.  (And the Staff of Magius -- Long story.)

As for the electric 12-string, I'm barely playing My guitar Dr. Venkman and My bass Spiny Norman... And, right now, there are a lot of instruments I'd rather have:  A French horn; an alto sax (wouldn't mind a tenor sax, too); and All the Clarinets There Are (a professional-grade B♭; an A clarinet; an E♭; a bass; and perhaps even the wily alto clarinet).

Y'know, decluttering is a lot easier when you get rid of stuff before it arrives.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

She who laths last laths best.

Note to Big Box stores everywhere:  We don't need you.  Especially when you can't supply Us with what We want in quantities less than Ludicrous Size.

Earlier this week I attempted to purchase several pieces of plastering lath in order to close off the large gap in My kitchen wall... The one I had created when I removed some old iron pipes.

I needed three pieces.  The store had a lovely bundle of 24, which would be just the ticket if I were, say, constructing a brand new old-fashioned wall.  I certainly wasn't in the mood to buy eight times as much as I actually needed.

So today I made My own.  I started by cutting up a piece of ¾" plywood I had in the basement.  Then I used a chisel to split and plane the strips down to the right thickness:


Plywood is good that way:  All I have to do is take out the layers I don't want. 
 

And then, rather than run out to buy suitable short nails, I just cut down some longer galvanized nails I already had:


By cutting on an angle, I also gave the nails a nice point that made them easier to drive.  Dare to compare:


This is what the wall looked like after I nailed up the homemade lath:


And this is what it looks like currently, with the base coat of  plaster well underway:


Looks like I do need that store, after all:  I've run out of plaster.  Hopefully they sell it in something smaller than a 50-pound bag.