Sunday, August 28
Today was supposed to be the big bluefish-seeking adventure, but I called it off this morning, since the cruddy-looking weather mirrored my general physical and mental state. We ended up doing a first pass on the garage, figuring out how the three major projects are going to work in there and improving the feng shui of the house a little bit by stirring up the chi and putting a couple of Imagewriters out on the curb. I still don't understand why we have a storage bin full of rocks.
I'm especially pleased because I got to the box which holds the little daypack that zips onto my big convertible backpack and makes airports a breeze. It's part of the big backpack so I carry the whole thing on my shoulders, no need for a Smarte Carte (pronounced Smartie Cartie), then when I get to the check-in line I just zip the little pack off, tuck in the straps on the big bag and zip the cover over them, and hey presto, I've got a carryon and a sleek checkable suitcase by the time I get to the front of the line. I've had this backpack for years but haven't known for sure where the little daypack got to. We had a theory that it was where it was, but where it was was in a bin at the back of a closet whose door was behind a huge pile of boxes, so it took until now before I could get to it.
I'm trying to be realistic about the garage this time, to really figure out how much crap needs to be in there and make places where it all can go. It's like playing Concentration in there now, always trying to remember where like objects are, but it's all coming together. The "garden shit" quadrant is the only one that's close to done, after an onerous series of tasks that included putting the contents of the rolly bin onto the back garden, cleaning out the funky liquid in its base (getting distracted, weeding the garden and harvesting tomatoes, monster cucumbers, and a fresh flush of sweet raspberries), scooping out a repulsive anaerobic layer of the worm bin into the now-empty rolly bin, and dumping in the rest of the bag of leaves to try and balance that fœtid mess. Much as I hate fall, I don't mind its coming this year because I need some more good browns. Shredded junk mail works fine, but takes a long time to not look crappy, so it means we have to wait for the bin to finish every time. Leaves can go on the garden at any stage of doneness, especially the premium shredded ones my brother has in abundance and brings me bags full of.*
Anyway, that part of the garage is pretty much done, and with the POS Lumina gone we have room in there to turn around. Most of what has to happen involves moving items we don't need along to places they'll be appreciated, but a lot of it seems to just be putting stuff we do need where it should be. There were ten or twelve end-of-project boxes in there, every one halfway full with its own set of leftover Ikea hardware, rags stiff with stain or paint, a few tools, a baggie of nails and screws, a piece or two of creased-up used-up sandpaper wrapped around a scrappy wedge of wood. Paint trays seem to be another favorite storage spot; there were at least three of them being used as containers for anything from the natural paintbrushes and rollers to tiling and grouting tools and supplies and hey! my pop rivet gun!
A huge part of the organization effort will be to make a system wherein it's easy to put the individual things away, easy enough that the box doesn't just get stuck on the work table and left for months or years. It'll help that the work table is moving all the way out to the garage door where it won't be available for quick dropoffs.
Fall's here, and now it's time to really replace the heater and move that water tank. Sort of a bummer that we'll be on tour for much of it. Our heater is the last surviving one in the condo, and I really don't want to start another winter with that thing circling the drain. There's the underfloor heating system to be installed, and piped in after the boiler and tank are replaced, and the washer and dryer to deal with. One thing that we did actually decide on for sure today: washer and dryer will stay in the cat bathroom. We had all sorts of ideas about moving them out to the garage, and spent a bunch of time brainstorming duct runs and plumbing complications, but then B remembered the dealbreaker: we only tiled halfway across the floor in the cat bathroom, up to the edge of the dryer. So that's decided. We'll put them side by side, build a nice raised platform, and I was thinking we could put a thick rubber pad on it to cut the vibration down.
The dead washer is the other headache: we have to either fix it, get it fixed, or replace it. We also have to move the gas line if we're changing the position of the dryer, and it needs to be properly vented anyway, which is a massive pain in the ass because of the current configuration of the garage and the central AC that we don't use and I want to abolish, but that vent has to happen no matter what so oh well. The washer is the bigger pickle. Fixing it ourselves means special ordering the whole assembly for around $250 and installing it in what is sure to be an obscenity-laden frenzy of frustration and flesh wounds. Getting it fixed is out of the question; I think I posted about it already, but it'd be $950, and fuck that. The other thing is, both of these options are fairly certain to fail after three to five years anyway, so it's throwing good money after bad. Option C is getting a new one, but if we want to stick with a front loader, and I do, it's gonna cost us close to a grand for a good one, and whoever we buy it from will probably be difficult about installing it. Not the end of the world, I think we can do that part as long as they deliver the thing to our house, but still. I've heard that owners of the model we have, when their bearings have exploded like ours did, have managed to get store managers to credit them the price of the machine, since Sears is well aware of the problem even though they don't admit it. I'll try that tack, but apparently some managers just tell you to fuck off and even if you do get some kind of credit on a new machine, they give you absolutely no warranty at all. Really, I'd rather not buy anything from Sears again anyhow. I guess we could get over the whole saving-the-world thing and just get a regular top loader, but I really like how the front loaders spin the clothes so dry the drying cycle is the same length as the wash cycle. No bottleneck. And they're gentle on clothes, and use a fraction of the soap and water. Oh, hell, I dunno. Leave a comment if you have any ideas. Sigh.
*it's my party and I'll end with a preposition if I want to6:54 PM