Winter Is Not Coming… It’s Here

It’s not raining or snowing, but it’s been cold. 0° C last night, in fact. And the rain is supposed to return on Monday, which will be welcome.

We’ve been pretty laid back lately. Well, I have. Anne’s been working hard at her real job, so… there’s that.

Alas Cruzer has not had a great week.

He’s been getting more and more afraid of the stairs, and this morning he simply would not go down. I spent an hour trying to coax him downstairs in various ways, all of which failed. And of course he will not be carried. You’d wind up with 65 pounds of panicked, squirming, barking dog in your arms if you tried, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Eventually we put a sling on his butt, a leash on his collar and I half carried, half dragged, and half restrained him down the stairs. (Yes, three halves. Don’t ask.) He screamed the entire time, and was falling out of the sling as well, but I got him down without injuring him. What happens now is anyone’s guess. He might have to become a downstairs dog. Skookie did that, but she did it on her own and with a lot more grace than Cruzer. Worse, Cruzer’s separation anxiety — greatly worsened by our being home all the time since Covid arrived — means he may squeak all night in desperation. We’ll just have to see how it goes. We might need to have a “better living through chemistry” talk with our vet. Some sort of doggie tranquilizers… ugh.

Tinkerbelle, however, does not care.

While we had dry weather I made a few more repairs to the siding on the house. All were in locations exposed by the removal of the old fences and gates. I’m sure the contractors would have been happy to deal with them, but I had the time and materials and now that I have watched them do the work I figured I could do it myself.

Only one was particularly challenging. I noted a spot of rot where an old gate hinge had attached to the house. My intent was to replace a single board, perhaps three or four feet long, but once I got the first piece out I found more rot on the back — on both sides of a seam — going both up and down from the location where I first found it. So the job got a bit bigger:

Note the dirt and grunge on the Tyvek. There’s been a fair bit of water back there over time. My best guess is that water was running down a (now removed) TV cable in that corner, and at some point it ran between the two siding boards in the corner and down the wall behind, following the joint between the boards. I only noted it because it hit a hinge screw, rusted that out, and rotted everything up to the surface there.

Thankfully the wood at the top went dry and solid before I had to remove everything up to the flashing on one side or the window on the other. Had it continued I would have stopped and called in the pros.

Eventually, the repair looked like this:

The black gook is Weathermaster caulk. It’s paintable, and already covered with white primer. We had a tube of black around to fill a couple of holes in the (black) flashing on the deck over the front door.

Also this week, the contractors have done some of the interior trim work. We need another couple of days for them to finish that up and we should be done with them until the kitchen remodel happens.

In other news, I am still awaiting my citizenship certificate. Not sure what the hold up is, but it should arrive any day.

And finally, here’s my one time out (for real) in the past week:

That’s Heather, pointing at her name in the list of Fabrication Technicians who worked on this exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver.

It’s an interesting show, even if most of the art is not for me. But walking around with Heather and having her tell me stories about how things did or did not go well in the fabrication of the various plinths, displays, and other related items was a lot of fun. Apparently she was hired for two weeks that has (so far) turned into five months. I get the impression the museum doesn’t keep a large, permanent staff of fabricators on hand, but they hire people like Heather as needed. I’d love to see her get a full time job there, but for the moment we just have to see how long they keep her around. Apparently there’s another exhibit coming up that needs work, so maybe she will be employed there a while longer.

That’s it for now. May your own employment last as long as you want it to!

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Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.