Monday, September 13, 2010

The Glazier's Art

Saturday I started a project I have known about and have been avoiding for more than two years, and that is a comprehensive renewal of the window glazing compound on the Casa de Dougloid.

Of course the Dragon Lady did her part by staying out of the way and refraining from offering helpful suggestions, for which she earned a tip o' the hat from yours truly.

The time consuming part is chipping out the old glazing putty that's deteriorated but still hanging tough, without inflicting too much damage to the window frame and glazing strips. I knuckled under to the temptation to try an electric sander to speed up the chore and succeeded in breaking one window pane which now must be replaced today or I will die a horrible death.

It will give me a chance to try out my heat gun and see if that speeds the process any. I hope it does because the windows at the front of the house have 12 panes each and they are up off the ground an injurious distance.

The way to remove the balance of the old putty, or as much as you deem safe is with a sanding block and some 40 grit paper for digging out and leveling what remains of the old stuff. There are also some temperature and time constraints-the glazing putty must be repainted, it cannot be applied at low temperatures, and it takes a week to cure enough to paint it.

There are allegedly rapid cure latex products on the market and I even have a tube of the stuff, but for right now I am using good old fashioned Dap 33 oil based stuff.

One trick I figured out on my own is that if the surface of the glazing putty looks grainy after you've run the knife across it, it can be made pretty by lightly brushing it with a clean paint brush.

Thus the esthetic sensibilities of all true artistes are satisfied.

What I really need and can't afford is new windows all around.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Wild Places

I woke up about three am this morning with this in mind. No idea where it came from.

I want to go to the wild places
Beyond the end of the road.

I want to feel the cold wind on my face like brook water.
I want to wash my mouth out in a mountain spring and drink deep.
I want to smell a wood fire in winter.
I want my legs to hurt and quiver from the climb up the trail to Old Smoky.

I want to go to the wild places
Beyond the end of the road.

I want to feel the panting and the sweat and the bugs and the bitter taste of insect repellent that Mother would anoint us with.
I want to breathe deep until my lungs ache.
I want pain to be earned and not just received.

I want to go to the wild places
beyond the end of the road.

Friday, September 10, 2010

the winter of our discontent

I've been away from my desk for a while but my intentions are to get back to more important things here at the Dougloid empire.

We're coming up on some important anniversaries here, and as is the practice here at the Dougloid Towers we mark the occasion and try to do it with some original thought.

The most important one of course comes tomorrow on the ninth anniversary of the attacks on our beautiful city of New York, and in remembrance of all those who perished. As long as one man remembers, you live on.

And somewhere along in here is the third anniversary of the recession, although nobody;s really sure when it started and a lot of people probably should have seen it coming and bailed out before the Great Skedaddle and Educational Explosion Of Life As We Knew It.

Suffice it to say it is a new and cold world we find ourselves in, but one thing's indisputable about hard times-it focuses the mind wonderfully on what's important and what's not.

Recessions end in time, as will this one-and in another fifteen or twenty years there'll be another one because people forget-just like Sunday's hangover repentance morphs itself into Friday's cocktails.

It's worth remembering the quote from Richard III is incomplete, and the focus has been on the part mentioned but there's more:

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this Sun of York;
And all the clouds that lowered upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean is buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

Richard III, Act 1 Scene 1.

In a sense, the message is one of hope although in the play things went downhill from there.

So, hope to you. Do not fret too much. The harvest comes. Liberation has arrived for a small child I know.

Change is in the air. Ramadan's ended, everyone on that side of the house has a chance to tuck into some victuals, Rosh Hashanah is underway with its celebration of life, and summer's heat is nearly over. The harvest is coming along nicely and my apple tree's doing better than last year.