If I don’t make it to work tomorrow, it’s because the cats did not want to go to bed.

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Leaf claws

Lis bought these a few years ago for leaf cleanup season. I seem to recall I poo-pooed them at first, but they’re awesome! You put your hands through the handles, turning your dinky, delicate fingers into giant rake/paddle hybrids that pick up just the right amount of leaves, sticks, etc. to fit into a typical yard-waste bag. Plus you get to feel like Wolverine while you do it.

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I love the South Station Pirate. I get to see him every day when I leave work in the Dark Season and he makes me smile.

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Election day!

On this stressful day I bring you Relaxed Gandalf.

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Hard day’s work

I took a day off from my regular job today to make progress on the dry room. The rough carpentry is done. The hardest part? Getting all that lumber into the basement! Next up? hanging the door, a little electrical, and plastic-sheeting the walls & ceiling. Once that’s done it’ll actually be usable, though I would like to hang drywall and put down some cheap finish flooring just to make it a little more attractive and durable.

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Nice sunset

As I feared, I missed the best of it. But I did get to see some nice clouds from the train.

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Dry room

The conditions in our basement pretty much follow the seasons — cold in the winter, damp in the summer. This is to be expected given that it’s a rubble-stone foundation in a 128-year-old house. Still, we store stuff down there so we run a dehumidifier. When the weather is humid or damp, that dehumidifier is easily one-third of our electric bill.

As all of you know, I am working on digitizing family-history photographs. I’ve been thinking about what to do with the originals. We don’t routinely air-condition the house during the summer, so storing them in the living space is not ideal. But they need to leave our dining room in time for Thanksgiving.

So that got me thinking: what if I built a modern vapor-barriered storage closet in the basement, and used our existing dehumidifier to keep it drier than I’m willing to run it now? That would cut our summer power usage dramatically and give me an excellent place for those photos — and all the other moisture-sensitive stuff we’d like to store.

So that’s what I am doing. Today I got as far as the perimeter plate, floor sleepers, and floor vapor barrier. The hardest part so far has been emptying out this corner of the basement of the other stuff we’ve accumulated. The white-painted stud walls already existed, a big part of why I chose this corner.


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That’s a spicy meat-a-ball

Actually, not at all spicy, are you kidding? Lis has to eat these!

I did, however, make a prime number of meatballs. So I had to eat one so they’d be divisible.

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Elegance and grace

That’s our Gandalf.


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Stand back

I’m going to try SCIENCE!

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