Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Puttering about on a stormy Wednesday

Well, we're being hit with our first major storm of the winter, and the Avalon Penninsula is closed. Everything! I've been listening to the CBC all day so far, and they keep reading off these ridiculously long lists of closures. I suppose they are obliged to be specific, otherwise it would make more sense to simply say what isn't closed. Which is, apparently, nothing. The airport is effectively shut down, all our ferry services are suspended, and they've been clocking gusts of up to 100km/hr.

So, I have had the pleasure of a snow day mitigated by the looming task of digging my car out. That, I will be addressing once I complete this blog post. I've been putting it off in the hope that the wind dies down a little ... which doesn't seem about to happen. Sigh.

In the meantime, I've been puttering around the house. After a year and a half of living here, I finally got itchy to start improving my new place. I don't have the capital to take on the tasks I really want to do (i.e. hire a contractor to gut my kitchen and put in an island and tile floors, or remake my sunroom--currently essentially a storage space--into an actual pleasant breakfast nook).

Hence, I'm starting modestly. Of the three upstairs bedrooms, the rear two have been unused space--mostly, I've just been storing my books in boxes, lacking the shelf space for them. Shortly after Christmas, I retasked the middle bedroom as a workout room and invested in weights and a bench (moving all the boxes into the rear bedroom).

And then, after several frustrating visits to Home Depot in which their panel saw was out of order and therefore unable to provide me with the cut plywood I needed, I finally was able to buy my supplies and build the shelves that will help turn the rear bedroom into a study / reading room / guest room.

Now, I should point out that to say I'm not particularly handy is like saying that Dick Cheney bears a mild antipathy to liberals. So I'm quite pleased with what I've managed to assemble:

These do not, it should be noted, bear a close inspection--I lack as a carpenter the kind of eerie perfection that someone like my father brings to these kind of projects, where every line is plumb and the entire thing knocks together almost without a need for glue or nails. There was a lot of spackling and cutting little shims to plug of the shortfalls in my measurements (measure one, cut twice is my motto). Fortunately, my time working as a painter through summers in my undergrad gave me, if nothing else, a talent for making imperfections if not go away, at least hide pretty well.

In addition to now having an upper floor of my house that I am quite pleased with, and will use now for more than sleeping, this process was quite fun. It took place in increments, a couple of hours after work over about two weeks. Plus, it gives me the confidence this summer to rip up my grotty deck and rebuild it.


Dallas said...

Those bookshelves (a must-have furniture piece for every young professor, of course) look amazing. Great job!

Anonymous said...

They look great!! Thanks for the cudos. Dad

Matthew R. Loney said...

Nice shelves. They display your Harry Potter collection quite nicely.

Chris in NF said...

Was that a dig, Loney?