Saturday, August 6, 2011

Overnight Thread

My favorite Web haunt, Ace of Spades HQ, posts an Overnight Open Thread (commonly referred to there as the ONT) every night. It's a post full of random items, and it's very popular, typically accumulating over 600 comments on all but the slowest nights. In the hope of having that sort of lightning strike here, I'm going to try one too. 

South addition body ready to paint. I've sanded, vacuumed and masked, and tomorrow I will spray one more primer coat before applying the finish coat. I had originally intended just to spot-prime the patches, but upon close inspection I saw that the primer had to be sanded down all over. This was the first area I ever painted with the sprayer, and I did it way too thickly; while it miraculously didn't sag, it did settle into an "orange-peel" surface that needed to be smoothed out. The area could actually use one more pass with the putty, but time's a-wasting, and nobody but I will ever notice the tiny divots that remain.

If you've never used a paint sprayer, note how the area to be sprayed must be carefully and thoroughly masked off. The time and effort required to do this substantially offset the advantages of spraying over brushing, I have found. As I have mentioned, I hate to mask, but I am at least getting much more efficient at it with practice, and in any event the addition is much easier to mask because it is far less ornate.

It's a good thing I took this picture, because upon looking at it on the computer I saw instantly that I still need to mask the area to the left of the area to be sprayed, on the main structure between its eastern extent and the east window. A professional painter would instead hold up a shield of some sort to block the overspray, but I need my other arm free to maintain my balance.

Newest Farm House crop coming along nicely. The Farm House has proven to be well-suited to the raising of fruit crops. We unfortunately lost the mandarin and quince during the construction, but we still have the pomegranate, persimmon and fig, and we have added to that our own key lime and a Ponderosa lemon, a true family heirloom started from a cutting off my grandfather's tree. 

We also brought with us from Culver City a small blackberry bush, an Ollalieberry. It's a variant of the Marionberry that has adapted to the Southern California climate. It sat more or less dormant for five years, so last fall I did what I could to re-invigorate it.

Miraculously, my ministrations worked fabulously, and this season it's been making up for lost time. I say "miraculously" because my understanding is that blackberries only bear on year-old growth, but this bush has been producing on this year's growth.

This season it has produced considerably more than the previous seven seasons put together. This fall I will move it to a bigger pot, and once we finish the landscaping I'll plant it in the ground against the fence, where it can ramble along at will.

My poor neglected car. Some time ago, I finally got the car I'd been wanting for a long time, a BMW 635CSi. Not that this is precisely my Dream Car, nor even my favorite BMW; it is in fact the car that sits right at the intersection of my dream and practicality curves. But then, that's BMW at its best. Depending upon how you you approach it, the car is either a driving enthusiast's car that just happens to be practical, or a practical car that just happens to be a heck of a lot of fun to drive.

None of this, however, explains why we bought the 6. We bought it because it filled a specific need better than any other car. We had long been driving Wifey's mom around in our jumbo minivan, but as she got older it became more and more difficult for her to climb up into the seat through the relatively small door opening. We needed a car that was low with a long door, substantial enough for her to feel safe in it, and low enough in price for us to afford. The 6 filled all those needs nicely. How fortunate I was for a dream to become a need!

So we bought Sharky (we seldom name our cars, but this name just naturally fit), got him in good working order, and he filled our needs quite well, just as we had anticipated. It worked for Mom, and it worked for me. I babied him, going through the immense effort of clearing a space in the garage for him out of the weather, keeping him clean, and as time allowed, restoring everything to proper working order. 

Then came the painting, and Sharky's world began to collapse. First, he lost his space in the garage to all the paint, the sprayer, and the general disorder that arose from all the work I was doing in there. Then, I began driving him less and less, because most of my trips were to Home Depot for items that I needed the van to bring home. And any work on him was strictly out of the question; I couldn't spare the time. Now, I only drive him when I move him around the lot to keep his juices flowing and his battery charged. I've gotten him a cover, but I can't put it on until I wash him, and who has that kind of time?

Poor Sharky is a sad representative of all the hobbies and side interests that I've had to abandon in service of the painting project. Someday, I'll make it up to him.

Tonight's ONT brought to you by kittehs with attitude:

I. Am. Awesome.


  1. Hard to thread sooo many projects together. Sharky must want to run away as fast as possible!

  2. Adam is a wild thing, comfortable in any nook or neck of the woods! Leaves plenty of room for all us critter. Squirrel

  3. I could use a new paint job, with this heat and humidity my skin feel like an orange peel.


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