Friday, October 23, 2015

Best Rug Yet

Every few years I replace the indoor-outdoor carpet on the back porch. The first installation tripled the intervals between house cleanings as the nap on the carpet captured debris and street dust. Once I cut the first pattern for the porch floor, installation was a simple a matter of wrestling the rug into place and securing the threshold with a length of aluminum.

A few days ago I unrolled the latest length of matting and was delighted to find that it is as supple as an antique hand-knotted camel hair rug. The value is incredible and the color good as well. Even better, thin flat carpeting is period for this 1890 house.


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More after the jump.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Crow Chow

The other morning I watched a crow eat breakfast. Relaxed and very much at home, the bird made its way around a narrow parking strip pecking at bits of commercial food. The last course was excavated from sods and leaves at the base of a utility pole. Presumably the bird finished the meal with healthful organic protein  grown on the spot.


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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A New Kind Of Potluck

A minor project like hanging a picture can generate an hour's trip to spend four dollars on twenty small parts to get the one that is needed. A group of friends could save time and money by gathering to share the contents of single packages of hardware staples like screw eyes, zip ties, and finishing nails.

A lidded metal box that held skate bearings is a convenient format to store the few long aluminum push pins, roofing nails, florist pins, paper clips, fasteners, and safety pins that I am likely to need in the ordinary course of puttering around the house.

Round out the collection with gaffer's tape, narrow mounting and double-sticky tapes, bookbinder's linen tape, navy blue and cream thread, a small glue gun and hottest melt glue. You'll be set for a lifetime of Saturday morning projects worth hundreds of dollars each.


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More after the jump.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hardware Trumps Home Improvement

The market is chock a block with minor accessories that are at the minimum worth ten times their price in improved function and aesthetics. Edison base high intensity spots turn ordinary pendant shop lights into beautifully focussed pools of work light.
A five foot Doug fir two by four fitted with hooks at five inch intervals and suspended from the ceiling with steel chain makes a convenient pot rack that accelerates cooking procedures. Magical sliding castors protect furniture joints and housekeeper's backs.

Surge-protective extension cords in varying lengths relieve stress, as do ordinary extension cords. Dimming accessories amplify the range of illumination one bulb can provide. Spring-loaded curtain rods turn an afternoon's fiddling into one swift gesture. A free-standing heated towel rack dries laundry, heats a room, and doubles the interval between washings.

It's worth investing an hour or two to cruise offerings in a hardware store or big box specialty  boutique.


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More after the jump.

Monday, October 19, 2015

One Less Variable

The old-line American manufacturer of glass kitchen ware offers bake and store vessels with snap-on plastic lids. I find that the smallest rectangular ones rationalize food storage. 

The units stack, and I can tell the state of the larder simply by glancing at the shelf to see how many are sitting in reserve. 

I can cook, serve, and even eat from one. They are shallow so that hot food cools safely and fast.

A meal of many leftovers looks like a formal smorgasbord when the dishes are set out shoulder to shoulder. 


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More after the jump.