ETHOS

ETHOS

Monday, July 21, 2008

summer of bargains

It all started when I bought that meat from some guy on the street. (I know, it sounds like the beginning of bad fiction) He was hauling around a freezer in the back of his truck, and I was in the front yard with my dog, and he asked me if I liked steak. I've never been very good at lying when asked a direct question, so I told him the truth. Hell yes, I like steak. The rest is history, recorded I suppose in the annals of this blog, which has become more and more like quacking into the void. Recorded there, yes, and in the interior wall of my arteries.

We took Wyatt to Hartville flea market the other day, bargain hunting for the first time. Truth be told, we left him with my parents, who set up there weekly. We did not use him to whittle the vendors down, though in retrospect, it might have worked. I may be biased, but he is turning into a very handsome young man (at seven weeks).

I bought a brass door knocker in the shape of a sperm whale for three dollars. I don't know why I bought it, just that I was attracted to it. I think it will go into the basement, and I plan to screw it into the wall, or the fireplace mantle. Certainly not a door. It had occurred to me to mount it on the wall in my study, next to the desk, so I can reach over and knock on it at will. Don't ask me why, I swear I couldn't tell you. You're supposed to go to a flea market with a quest item (probably a subconscious throwback to all those years spent playing Dungeons and Dragons, reading the Dungeons Master's Guide list of magical equipment and writing modules) -- a quest item is the supreme sought after item for your particular player character. Mine happened to be a sitar (I saw one out there once, and it was cheaper than the extra pickup I could buy for my Strat), but I found an unassuming quest item- a telescope- something I've always been looking for, but never quite realized. I'm pretty excited about it. I've always wanted to see the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter, and perhaps now I will. It came cheap, because it's a cheap model. When I asked the guy if there's anything I should know about it, he said, with an innocent expression. "Nope. Works great." Well, the first night I tried to use it, I saw nothing but blurry white dots. I came to find out it's a Meade, (check out these pictures) but it's missing the diagonal and the eyepiece. The cheap telescopes use a .965" aperture eyepiece and focuser. What you want is the capacity to use 1.25" eyepieces, so, what could have been a really disappointing turn of events ended up being advantageous. I ordered a diagonal that converts .965" to 1.25", and I also picked up a 9mm, 1.25" eyepiece. Wow. I know. Jupiter here I come.

Flea markets are a great place to buy cheap books, too. And pipe bowls that double as the carburetor blower of a miniature 1987 Trans Am- the kind with the bird painted on the hood. Anyway, I got some cheap books for the classroom library (not the Trans Am... thought I'd clarify). I bought an advanced readers' copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, which I originally lent to a student and never got back (if you're reading this Mandy, you know what to do), a clean hardcover of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (what a great book), an audio version of Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. (CD, $5!!), and issues 1-4 and 7 of the original Punisher series. For $10! D&D, a telescope and some paperbacks! I might as well be back in the eight grade, staring at the designs in my bedroom ceiling on Friday night. I know, that sounds a little pathetic. The truth was that I would call girls... only to tell them about the designs in my bedroom ceiling...

Monday, July 7, 2008

house work

So I stripped three layers of shingles from the garage, first layer dating back to 1954, and apparently in 1954 they didn't use tar paper, so some of the shingles stuck to the boards (not plywood), and the nails stuck because the boards were old and dried out. After the shingles and old nails were gone, along came the tar paper, luckily, because it rained on Thursday before I could finish, but I pulled off the eaves and fascia and replaced those mostly so the squirrels stay OUT. Cut a ridge vent and finished the roof on Friday and started the soffit under the porch eaves. Lots of restless energy.

I was trying to think if I've ever read a scene that involved roofing. I don't think so.

Postscript 7/25/08 I recently read a story by Dawson Steeber about two roofers. It's a knockout.