stairs weekend

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[ industriousness ] Message 507 (9 left): Thu Nov 28, 2002  12:38pm
From: @ (
Subject: Industry: day 1
22 lines (?) 

Last night, after the last tenant left, I whipped out my
power screwdriver and took out all 13 stairs by the front door.

It was amazing how much dust shook off: enough to make
a whole 'nother person, by my estimate. A jet black
powdercoat one, good for spying. Vacuum vacuum.

I'm increasingly thankful for my general spryness
and balance: bounding up and down the stairs using
only the 1.5" metal-frame ledges is no problem.

Today: metal-brushing and washing down the welded metal
frame and handrail. And now almost done masking off the
wall and floor near it, so I can paint it with
rust-inhibiting primer and heavy enamel paint. I got
black, but now I'm thinking maybe a different color.
I'll decide tomorrow...

(Today's post-industry reward: Thanksgiving with Briya
and pals.)

[ industriousness ] Message 508 (8 left): Fri Nov 29, 2002  1:26pm
From: @ (
Subject: Industry: day 2
25 lines (?) 

Woke up bright and early, caught a pseudosunrise involving sharp-edged
clouds, and had some iced-coffee and soymilk and toast and eggs,
applied yet another coat of Zar to my newly-painted kitchen
counter (love the smell of solvent in the house), and set to
work on priming the stair frame.

The stairwell has so much black plastic up that I once
again thought for just a moment that I'd arrived at
a Resort party.

Working the primer into all the little handrail detail was not
only more tedious than had imagined, it was more tedious
than I could have imagined. And then oops: the drying time is
not 4 hours as I'd thought, but 24. That leaves Saturday
for painting, then, and all day Sunday to actually insert the
new steps. All that prep, but finally I'll be able to get back
to the carpentry part.

Meanwhile, the best recycling is reuse: I used four of the old
steps to make a little bridge between my side-deck and my
back outside stairs; it always annoyed me to have to step down
to the ground then then back up, when the deck and 4th step
are almost exactly the same height. Yay!

[ industriousness ] Message 509 (7 left): Fri Nov 29, 2002  2:28pm
From: @ (
Subject: Industry: Day 2, postscript
22 lines (?) 

Forgot to mention: reward to self for the day's work
a delight be going to see a sci fi movie with Sef. Always
good to see sci fi with someone well-versed in the
available literature.

We're going to see a new movie from a major studio. But
not many people seem to know that it is a remake. It was
originally, actually, a relatively low budget foreign

That's right, "L Isola Del Tesoro In Outer Space," was
directed by my favorite Italian Sci Fi director,
Antonio Margheriti. His early movie, "Battle of the Worlds"
is one of my all-time favorite movies. Labcoats, flying
saucers, musical oscillator making First Contact, oh yes.

Margheriti passed away just a few weeks ago, at the age
of 72. His last film came out in 1996, "Cyberflic". Haven't
seen it.

[ industriousness ] Message 510 (6 left): Sat Nov 30, 2002  1:22pm
From: @ (
Subject: Industry: Day 3 (a)
33 lines (?) 

I hope you are all fascinated so far.

Sunrise, blah blah, coffee, bagel, ya ya.
8am, Mission Hardware opens, I enter, decide on paint color.
Ooooh "hammered silver". "Use xylol thinner." Sounds marvelously
toxic. The mature gent working the counter chuckled at that.

(I looked up "xylol/xylene" when I got home, turns out it's
in everything. Gasoline, cigarettes, probably mayonnaise.
Marvelously toxic.)

Oh this silver paint, it harkens back to my early experiences
as a Constructor: assembling little plastic models. But the
best part was using the silver enamel on them. It flows so
interestingly. My dad said he liked to paint pennies with it,
so I tried that, and it was good.

Phrase for this morning: ladders and fumes! Wheee. Stagger.

Very gaudy on this stair railing. I love it. Only problem is
that it shows texture very very well. Like old drips. They're
very very prominent. Its consistency is such that it creates
a lot of new drips too. Fortunately, me and my superego parted
paths long ago, at least regarding matters of such trivia.

(Similarly, once I agreed with myself that washing brushes
after use was optional, the process of painting became much
more enjoyable and probably more cost-effective.)

I'm covered in silver smudges now. 

[ industriousness ] Message 515 (1 left): Sun Dec 1, 2002  10:09pm
From: @ (
Subject: Industry: day 4
13 lines (?) 

Longest day so far! Caught sunrise from the beach
this time, and this is the first chance I've had
to post.

So much funtzing and wrenching and hammering to get all
these pesky stairs parts to fit together. But I was
just bolting in -- yes, this design is full of proudly
visible bolts! brass -- the bottom steps when the
first housemate arrived back home. Whew, JIT.

Tired of this project. Glad it's done. Ish.


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