Rain Don't Wait for No Man


Damn, any more days like today and I'll hang up my sander and paint brush.
Live in an old home with an arbor or pergola or some whachamacallit attached to the house just off the kitchen's side door. Needs paint. Needed paint last year but just couldn't drag my butt up the ladder to sand the peeling paint and do all the prep work. Lo and behold, this summer I see the pergola still needs paint.
Drug out the old aluminum extension ladder and PC333 sander and begin the task of sanding every side of the ten, 3"x8"x12' rafters. Damn there's a lot of surface area to cover. Also had to do the two main support beams but decided to let the posts wait for next year. Maybe letting them sit through the next 8 months of rainy weather will cure their paint problems.
Had the ladder extended to its max and climbed to the top to sit on top of the rafters as my arms were getting tired holding the sander above my head. On the last step up, I dragged my knee across the top most part of ladder's side rail - where the rubber house pad used to be - and scraped a deep gash right down to the juicy bits. Damn, I thought, that's gonna hurt in a minute or so; *and* start bleeding down into my sock if I don't get a patch on there. Blood was soaking through the Band-Aid in short order, but at least the wound would stay fairly clean.
Back up the ladder and was sanding away once again when I forgot about the mandatory 3-minute ritual of dumping the dust canister. The little air holes clogged, blew the thing off the sander and I watched it fall about 10 feet to the driveway below. Not wanting to put up with that damned canister, which was the second one that has given me nothing but trouble since the 30 minutes after I first put the sander to use some 7 years ago, plus not wishing to traverse the ladder again, I left it where it rolled under the rhododendron. Went back to sanding and promptly got a blast of sanding dust in my face from the uncorked dust pipe. Shoulda thrown the sander off the pergola while it was still running to watch *it* crash to the driveway... Instead I blinked a few times and came to the realization that whatever was in my right eye wasn't going to come out on its own.
Peering into the bathroom mirror, I could plainly see the speck of paint right in the center of my pupil and not moving at all when I blinked. The watery tears flowing from the ducts did nothing to budge the chip. Damn, now I gotta call my optometrist and spend a few hours away from the painting project. Oh, by the way, did I mention that rain's comin? Yep, it'll start with a day or two here and a day or two there, but the number of sunny days between will get shorter and shorter until it's just solid gray overcast and nothing dries out until next May. I gotta get the primer and paint on the wood before it gets damp and isn't dry enough.
Called the optometrist's office; he's on vacation, "Give your primary care doctor a call so he can get the speck out," says she. Called my regular doc; no go, "Dr. Mike says we don't have the proper equipment to handle something that delicate. He says to go to the emergency room," says she. Let's see...
Emergency room equals at least an hour sitting in the waiting area; an hour sitting on a gurney while no one pays much attention to me after the initial look-see while I'm the only one in the ER and the staff is sitting in the glass-walled office drinking sodas, coffee and joking around; some pre-med student taking my blood pressure and commenting about it being a bit high ("Ummm, yeah, I've only been waiting around for 2 hours now," thinks I); some mumbling about running tests and X-rays just to make sure the speck hasn't affected my spleen or inner ear canal; after a few numbing drops in my eye, 30 seconds with the corner of a Kleenex; and a bill for $456.71 - which includes a $5.98 Band-Aid that accounting thought the ER stuck on my knee, I decide to wait 'til morning just hoping it comes out on its own.
Wha'd'ya know! This evening while watching Homer strangle Bart for the umpteenth time I felt a sensation in my eye as if a boulder had just scraped across the surface of my cornea. Excitedly looking in the mirror I could plainly see... Nothing. The speck has moved on. Maybe I *can* get the primer on before the next weather moves in on Friday.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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H Owen,
Wow, what a story!
It doesn't help now, but the long extension hose that PC sells for the 333 has been worth every cent to me. When I am in the shop, I drop the other end into a DC intake. When outside, I simply allow it to funnel the dust into some shrubbery etc. I hate the little cannister for anything "big".
Take care.
Lou

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<snip of an all too familiar saga>

You have my sympathy. When given a choice, I have always chosen to stain exterior wood structures, because scraping paint, while standing on a ladder ranks right up there with dental surgery in my book.
I'm getting the sense that summer is ending, too. That means that my 'auxiliary assembly area' will be considerably less useful. During the warm months, I've allowed my inventory of machinery to grow to the point that some of it has to roll outside to where most people park their cars, were there not sawhorses and temporary work tables and several logs waiting to become turning blanks waiting to become practice bowls on their way to becoming firewood.
There has to be a way to get a bigger shop. ;-)
Sorry about the knee. Maybe let the moss grow?
Patriarch, trying to finish the closet cabinets today...
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