Thursday, November 8, 2012

Elements Of A Periodic Table

I made the, temporary, counter top today. Just a piece of 3/4" plywood with 2X4 Douglas fir screwed to the perimeter. I didn't glue it, since I will want to take it apart later to reuse the ply. Even though it is temporary, I had to dress it up a little. I rounded the corners with the router. I will, probably, put a coat of paint on it just to dress it up and so it can be wiped off when I slobber spaghetti sauce all over it. It is sitting 1 1/2" lower than the actual one will sit. I need to add another 2X4 down the center, where it rests on the steel beam. Something to do tomorrow. I still need to pull some new wires to move the kitchen light switch from it's current position, above the new counter, to the other side of the room. I can then cover the exposed studs, steel and wiring with new drywall. Some might like the rustic exposed beam look, but it doesn't work well with walls.

Tupperware Party

I finished the shelves and installed them a few days ago. I made them from 3/4 plywood and edged them with some red oak and covered the surfaces with Formica.They turned out pretty nice, I think. Wifey likes them so that's all that matters. The pantry, as it sits now, is in no way organized. I piled a bunch of stuff that was stored under the old breakfast bar because I had no place to put it. We need to sort through it and streamline our operation. We have enough Tupperware and other plastic storage containers to fill 4 or 5 refrigerators. She is also compelled to save all of those disposable containers that people give you when they insist you take leftovers home. There are two drawers full of more of the stuff, still to be dealt with, as well as more overflow in the garage storage closets. I realize now that we are typical and why these rental storage facilities are everywhere. Americans have too much stuff and we are unwilling to part with any of it. We would rather pay a hundred bucks a month to store a few old lamps, a bed frame and a set of worn out tires than to toss the crap out. Every little knick knack has some perceived value and must be saved, even though it's been stashed away and unseen for 40 years. Our house needs a high colonic.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No Visible Means Of Support

Part of my plan for the kitchen has been to remove the existing breakfast bar and cabinet and move it to the other side of the room.However, I do not want a cabinet under the counter. This way, we can sit on either side and we don't have to worry about grandkids who seem to enjoy kicking the cabinet and scuffing it up. So, since the counter will cantilever out from the wall and I don't want a leg to support the end, I built a steel support. It is bolted to a wall stud and the concrete slab at the bottom and lagged into the header at the top. There is very little deflection when I put my full weight on the end, maybe 1/16". I made it from 3 inch square, 1/4 wall mild steel. It might be a little overkill but I had a stick of it here at The Fongderosa just lying around collecting rust, so it was pressed into service. Free is good

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Growing Old

While growing old is not, entirely, bad, it is not for the faint of heart. Those that we love also are ravaged by the years. This year has been, especially rough. I lost two of my, beloved, Aunties. The were both, nearly, 90 and had been in declining health for some time. Their race was run and it was time to cross the finish line. I will miss them both, as they were special ladies and two of the last links to my parent's generation. In June, my baby cousin died. She was 51. She had been ignoring her health for a while, but at that age, nobody thinks that there is any real urgency. She woke up, sat up in bed, had a heart attack and was gone, just like that. We were pretty close. We all went camping together at Thanksgiving, with a few other people and had a great time, eating a full on banquet, sitting around the fire and taking snake bite medicine, telling off color stories and acting like kids. I will miss her all of my days. Yesterday I got one of the worse possible phone calls. My brother, Jeff, died. He was 61. He had some health struggles related to a severe infection that he had gotten that resulted in the amputation of his left leg. This was over a year ago and he had fully healed and was running all over on his prosthetic leg. He came to visit several times and seemed just fine. He had a mild case of diabetes, but he controlled it with diet and an oral medication. His doctors told him that his heart, blood pressure and cholesterol were all good. I'm not sure we'll ever know what happened. I guess it really doesn't matter. This is really hard for me to deal with. We were fairly close. Jeff was a bit of a hermit and would be incommunicado for months or years at a time, so it's only been in the past few years that we began hanging out more often. Sadly, that is over. There will be no funeral or gathering, as far as I know. I don't, necessarily believe in funerals, but without some sort of closure it just seems empty, as if a goldfish or a hamster had died. I need to get with my other brother and my niece so we can grieve together. It's what humans do.

Counter Measures

Today, we said "Bye bye" to the old breakfast bar and cabinet. Moving it by myself was a chore as it had cement board, mortar and tile. It weighed about 400 pounds, I would estimate. Archimedes said, Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I will move the earth." I set a few 2X4s on the floor as skids, lifted one end with a jack and set it on the skids. I then levered it, a few inches at a time until it was out of the back door and on the patio. No back strain or hernias. When I jacked it up about 5 pounds of kibble was under the thing. The previous owners had dogs and allowed them the run of the house. Mice got into the food and stashed it under the cabinet base where it has sat for 27 years. Yeech!!! Oh yeah, there was also a petrified mouse as well. I'm glad Wifey was away for the week so she didn't have to see the "icky" stuff. She would have made me stop while she scrubbed and disinfected everything with buckets of Lysol and other chemical agents. I try to do the big stuff when she's not home. I don't really require a lot of "advice" nor do I need to deal with certain womanly compulsions.