October 9th, 2006


Aroma Therapy...

It was a three day festival of odors around Casa Machina this Columbus Day weekend. Saturday it was the smell of pencil shavings, followed by the aromatic (in the organic chemistry sense) odor of primer. Sunday had more of the primer, followed by the ammonia given off by aging latex paint. Today it was mouldering leaves.

Most of the weekend was devoted to replacing the exterior lights on either side of my front door. This turned out to be a far more involved project than I expected, with me doing, and redoing, the work several times before finally getting things to my satisfaction. There'll be more on that later (with pictures). It was a learning process to be sure. One thing I learned is that pencils are made of the same kind of cedar as clapboards. I figured this out after hollowing out the back of a piece of clapboard with a router, and finding that my entire basement smelled like the inside of a pencil sharpener. Or at least until I spray painted the wood with primer, which was where the smell of petroleum distillates came from. Once the primer dried, I used some ammoniacal leftover house paint to finish the job. I didn't actually finish all the work required until late this morning. Way longer than I predicted when I first put the job on my to do list, er, a year ago.

I also started a new project by installing a couple of knobs on the doors of the bathroom vanity. None of the cabinetry in either the kitchen or bath had any knobs when I moved in. The first home improvement project I ever completed here was putting knobs on the five kitchen drawers, but I never got around to the doors because there were so many of them (19 all together). Now there's only 17 to go.

Fortunately, it was a lovely weekend, bright and sunny and comfortable. Today was the warmest of the three days, and I took the opportunity to go for a ride for the first time in close to a month. As I was driving around, I noticed that the first trees were starting to change, so I was surprised when I noticed few spots on the bike path where the surrounding trees had not only changed, but had already dumped all their leaves. Got yer dead leaf smell right here. But only, as I said, in a few spots. Much of the path was still green. Micro-climates, I guess.

Anyway, it was a decent weekend for a change.