Interesting and Factual Events

This is actually frightening me a little bit. You may have heard, I’ve made a lot of it early in the summer here, I have a big list?

Well, I’m actually getting things done on this list, I’m crossing stuff off. My short “day” list from yesterday? I finished all but one thing on that list! And today’s is long, but full of things that I’ll be able to get done relatively quickly.

Big current news is that I got the apartment on Main Street that I applied for last week, which reminds me of one other thing I need to put on my list. But yeah, I made a call yesterday afternoon after work, and the building manager told me that she’ll have the lease all ready to go for me to sign next week. It’ll start on the 1st of July.

It’s going to be a complex moving process, because the 1st is so damn close the 4th, and more importantly, close to the 2nd (when I’m going to see John Mayer w/ Jen & Joe… shit, and one other yet-to-be-named person) and close the 3rd (when I’ll be at Veteran’s Park for the fireworks). On the 1st itself, I have class in the evening, so I can get some moving done during the day, but… y’know, could need to happen in stages or something. I’ll have to start the packing soon, make sure I’m all set on the day. I should probably put that on the list, too.

Let’s see, last night, Bryan beat out Dev & Marj for the pleasure of my company (it was a race to the phone, folks) and we swung by the mall, where I had the dude at Sunglasses Hut bend my shades so they would actually stay on my face, and I asked the guy at Verizon if they were gonna be getting this new LG phone that I want, and they’re not. I decided I’m just going to maintain my ‘free agent’ status until a really sweet special comes along or a phone that I really want hits the market.

We went and ate a sandwich at the Wooden Nickel on College Ave in Appleton, because they have a little outdoor seating and it was a gorgeous evening. I got to wear my sunglasses while I ate; it was a little bit like California for a few minutes. Nice to see in the forecast that it’s going to be nothing but clear for the next couple days at least. The weather has been for shit for the last couple weeks.

Oh, I went to Wilson’s Leather in the mall yesterday, too, and they told me they *did* have a cover for my notepad. Yeah, too bad the colors were lime green, highlighter orange, and blood red. All very fashionable for a young woman who likes to jot down notes.

Yeah and I’ve never actually seen North by Northwest.

This is interesting; I was working on a small carpentry project in accordance with my “list” the other day. While I was up north, Dad went through his miscellaneous lumber pile with me and we picked out some 1x material with which I intended to make “braces” for some crappy particle board shelving that I bought at Target when I was in MT.

Tuesday night, I get home from work, and after a couple of smaller things like sorting laundry and running out to pick up coffee (I was out at work and at home) I set about to tackle this bracing project. We cut the wood close to the length I would need, so I had to shave a little bit off to make it fit just so. It was at this point that I realized I no longer had a saw of any kind. I used to have a SKIL saw and a little hand saw, but the first burned out while Joe and I were working on the basement last summer, and the second must be buried in a box somewhere.

I asked Dave if he had a saw that would meet my needs, and he hooked me up with his miter box. It worked out pretty well, actually.

I cut everything to length and got out my drill, phillips-head bit and some short deck screws (they were the only ones I had) and was ready to get down to business. I plugged in the drill and squeezed the trigger. Something rattled around inside, and I distinctly saw a piece of something shoot out of the side. Broken drill. Dave, can I borrow your drill?

So Dave’s drill is cordless, and now I was really set to get cooking. I lined up the first screw and promptly cracked the edge of the brace. Yeah, those screws were not really designed for the sort of work I was doing. I decided I’d sink them into the middle of the brace, anchoring them to the individual shelves, and that worked out just splendidly. In no time, I had all my braces secured and I set the shelves back up on their feet.

Yeah, the structural integrity had not improved at all; they still wobbled and buckled in the same places. It was at this point that Dave popped his head around the corner and reminded me that for the braces to be good for anything at all, they would have to be secured to the side panels of this shelving system. Otherwise you’ve just got some boards screwed onto the back of some useless shelves. Duh, I’m an idiot.

Well, how are we gonna make this happen? Dave says, “drill some pilot holes,” and that makes perfect sense; it was a good thing he was around for this one. We switch out the bits and drill a hole, Dave has some actual wood screws that might work better than the deck screws, so we tried one of those in the test pilot, and promptly stripped the top of the screw. Dave turned it out with a vise grip.

I went back to the deck screws after that, and things seemed to be working out OK. I decided I would drill all my holes, then put in all the screws. The bit that I was using could be characterized as slightly dull, and I had to put quite a bit of pressure behind it to get through my braces. On the second to last hole, the bit broke off in the wood. I circled that hole so I would remember not to try putting a screw in there.

I happened to have another bit of the same size that was equally dull, and I finished the last hole. I start putting down the deck screws, and when I get that far, yet another revelation strikes me: you drill a pilot hole into particle board, you’ve pretty much used up all of particle board’s capability to hold a screw. So I was putting deck screws into a solid piece of maple brace, and then through a stripped-out gouge in a piece of particle board, essentially. I used my hammer to pound the screws flush with the brace, and that seemed to work out OK.

The entire job took around 90 minutes, and for future reference, I should probably think through these projects completely before trying to tackle them. I started with a flimsy, cheap piece of furniture, and now I have a slightly less flimsy, cheap piece of furniture. So what the hell.

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