Friday, January 18, 2008

New pantry shelving

So, after we did the floors in the pantry the shelves looked woeful. They were warped, wrapped in ugly faux-wood paper, and wedged into a crumbling wall. So they became the target of the latest condo modernization project, and perhaps the last one of any great significance: the previous owners did a lovely job with the kitchen and the bathroom, leaving only the pantry in a state of yuck. Here is the way things were, taken without flash to exaggerate the ugliness. The first picture shows in the inside of the pantry with from the kitchen. When you walk into the pantry and look to the left, you see the view in the second picture.

The old shelving had been attached with old wood nailed to the wall, and much of this wood was splintering, and much of the plaster was crumbling. I decided to remove the wood from the wall. Since it was in truly bad shape, chunks of wall came off with the planks. The next step was, then, to spackle and compound the wall back to health and even things out a bit, followed by coats of paint to make that side of the wall match its opposite, which we had painted when we replaced the floors. Because we didn't want the wall to support the new shelving, we bought a freestanding unit. It cost more, but seems much more stable. We're more organized, have a lot more storage space, and are finished with our pantry renovations!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A hard rain has a'gonna falled

I wasn't sure how to take a picture of a rainstorm in the dark, so I took a picture of a streetlight reflected in a giant puddle in the middle of the street. I don't think this experiment was a success, but you expect illustrations around here so you get it anyway. The amount of leafy detritus this time of year means that any heavy rain washes a great deal of it towards the drains...which then clog. There were 4-5" inches of standing water on my street until I went out with a neighbor and a shovel and unclogged the drain, removing at least 50 pounds of soggy leaves in the process (there were many many more pounds to be had, but the bag couldn't take any more.) The puddle began to shrink before our eyes, until we can the only dry corner for blocks.

P.S. I know I'm always on about how weather systems in these climes are chaotic, and there are natural random fluctuations that lead to unexpected and extreme weather events each year, and that, although these are "extreme", they are still normal. Similarly, if you flip a coin 1000 times, you expect to have some long runs of heads in a row in there...if you didn't get any sequences of 8 or 9 heads in a row over that amount of time it would surprise you and tip you off that perhaps the coin wasn't fair. So some apparently anomalous things are normal. All that said: it should not be 65 in January, there should not be tornadoes, and this rain should probably be a lot of snow. Wearing a Hawaiian shirt and laughing it up, as a local weatherman did, is not endearing. It's sick.