Sunday, May 27, 2007

Screw Job

I worked late on Friday night, but now I have until Monday evening off. This is the first time I've had two days off in a row all month.

My weekend didn't exactly start off the way I wanted it to. Saturday, I rolled out of bed and went to open the blinds on one of the windows in my bedroom. I was surprised to see that some of the siding of the house was hanging off in the breeze! There had been a pretty rough storm the day before. Several trees lost some limbs on my street, but I didn't think it would tear part of the house off!

Luckily, I could reach the section by hanging out the window without having to climb out onto the roof. I could just picture myself falling off the roof and having to go into the ER-- definitely not how I wanted to spend my day off. I hammered the section back in, adding a few extra nails. However, it wasn't flush with the wall.

I decided to find the longest screws I had and drill through the siding into the old wooden stuff beneath. Unfortunately, this meant a trip to the hardware store for pilot point drill bits as the "all-purpose" set I had wasn't meeting my purpose. The new bits went through the aluminum like butter, and I bought some all-purpose caulking as there was still a gap between the siding and the window ledge.

This is where my project went downhill.

I squeezed and squeezed on the caulking tube and got nothing. So finally, I used both hands, only to have the back end pop off and the stuff started to ooze out the back of the tube! Then I tried spackling the stuff onto the side of the house (mind you, I was upside-down hanging out the window doing this), but it wasn't working. Finally, I just started sticking my bare fingers in the tube and slathering it on like frosting. It sort of worked, and luckily, since it is clear and high up, I don't think it is too noticeable. I wouldn't recommend this "technique" though, as I'm not exactly sure that caulking is non-toxic.

The gap definitely needed to be fixed though, as I have old plaster walls in my 82 year-old house. Just under that window the wall kind of bows out and I put my knee through it when I was cleaning the window a few months ago. Maybe with the siding water-proofed there it will stay dry and when I get around to patching the wall it will stay nice and smooth. Finally, because I'm a girl and care about such things, I put some clear nail polish over the screw heads so that they won't start rusting later. Pretty resourceful, eh? Or I guess I could have just used better screws.

Last night I was over at my buddy's for a movie and a few beers. He was impressed, right up until the finger-painting part. He said, "Why didn't you just use a caulk gun?" This is the part where my head spun around and I said, "WHAT?" Apparently, the back end of those tubes is designed to slide forward, which is why the stupid thing popped open when I squeezed it. I thought it was just supposed to work like a large tube of toothpaste! I have another tube to redo the mildewy part around my bathtub, but luckily I hadn't gotten into that yet.

I guess part of the problem is that I have all of these home improvement books, but I don't technically look up things before I do them. I just do them and am then later shocked to discover that there's a better way to go about it. Apparently, J isn't as clueless as he likes to pretend to be. I may have to start enlisting his help around here.


Today's mishap was in the kitchen. I am trying to do more cooking around here, as I basically use my stove to heat up frozen pizzas. I am smart enough to not attempt new dishes for other people, and am first trying things out on myself. Tonight's attempt was at stuffed peppers. One of the peppers split open down the side. I briefly thought about suturing it back together. It turned out that it didn't even matter, as the stuffing only filled four of the COLLOSSAL bell peppers I had rather than the six the recipe called for.

Other than trashing my kitchen , I thought that things were going well until I saw this:

Here's a closer look in case you missed it:

That would be a tupperware lid, melted on one of my burners. Luckily, the thing peeled off in one piece once it cooled down.

The peppers actually didn't turn out too bad:

I was too full to eat more than half of it though, as I also made some Beer-Cheese soup which was quite tasty... and it didn't involve harming any innocent tupperware!


~~Silk said...

You skipped the Domestic Goddess class in med school? Tsk.

ru said...

Hmmm, suturing dinner. Remind me to eat out when I visit:)