Monday, August 19, 2013


Photo courtesy Flickr

Seattle’s Mark Bittner developed a relationship with the feral parrots of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill. The story became an illuminating film documentary that ends with Bittner’s move to the East Bay to study pigeons. He says pigeons are underrated and just as interesting as parrots.

I had not thought of pigeons, much, until I heard Bittner’s remark. I still don’t think about pigeons, much, except to be careful not to flush them into flight when I walk past them.

Last week I painted a floor that rightly would have been recovered with sheet goods. The neighborhood’s in transition, though, and I couldn’t justify installing a twenty-year surface. Besides, I love floor paint. Over the last year, I’ve been experimenting with using a straight coat of floor paint as a substitute for the tiresome synthetic wax I’ve been using to polish surfaces. It takes the same amount of time to lash on a coat of paint, and the result is better, although it takes a couple of days to dry.

So far, the experiment is paying off. My efforts on the kitchen floor brought me a pigeon’s eye view of the surface as I found myself on hands and knees intermittently pecking at crumbs with the corner of a wet brush. BBs and grains of wheat are escape artists.

It has been my privilege to enjoy some rarified arts and crafts tutoring. My notions of quality control and self-respect were soundly challenged while I contemplated, for n seconds, whether a fossilized m and m was edible and, for another n seconds, whether I could get away with painting over a crushed craisin. No doubt the fumes fueled indecision.


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