Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Doing my best Gladys Kravitz.

Or at least that’s my first thought whenever I see something in the vicinity that makes me go, “whu?”

Like this guy last Thursday.



So he worked his way from one end to the other, and then had to jump down.  Not a job for old guys it would seem.


Oh that would so hurt.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have climbed up in there with the recycling in the first place.  Shouldn’t there be a better system?

This reminds me of a little story.  This only happened a couple of times,  possibly because the word got around that muggins here wasn’t about to do something similar to what you see that young spritely fellow do.  And the truck was running!  Jeepers!


Here’s the set-up:  “Oh excuse me Mr. Caretaker! (What, you can’t take a minute to find out my name?  Already I don’t like you.)  Or worse yet, “Mr. Janitor".”  *grumble*

Me, with honey dripping politeness,  “Um…yes?”

“My daughter accidently threw out her retainer in the lunch garbage,  can you get it out for us?”


Best not to be taking a swig of anything liquid, for fear it might come out my nose.

It’s also best not to answer right away.  You know, just savour the moment.   And really,  what I want to say is,  “Are you f**king kidding me?”,  but first of all,  the kid is usually standing right there,  and even if that weren’t the case,  we don’t use that kind of language.  Doesn’t do well for ones credibility. We’re wearing the shirt that says “Facilities Services” after all.  (which is not to be confused with “Facilities Servants”. Just saying.)


So those are only words that float around inside my head.  Oh man, do they ever.


Knowing full well just exactly how this happened, I still like to ask the question.  It helps to reinforce the obvious.

“Oh my, how on earth could that ever happen?”   This would be while using the honey dripping voice I mentioned earlier.

Oh and, snickering under ones breath?  Not good. 

There’s usually some lame answer about taking it out when she eats,  bla bla bla.  I zone out, ‘cause I don’t really care.  But this gives me enough time to properly formulate my reply,  which goes something like, “Well see, the job is to put the bags of garbage INTO the dumpster, so I’m not overly keen on climbing in there and fishing around in some smelly lunch garbage for a tiny retainer.”

“Next time, be careful”,  and I start to walk away.  This usually results in some sort of grovelling, with tales of woe about trips to the orthodontist, hundreds of dollars spent. 

Again, bla bla bla.

It doesn’t help that nine times out of ten the parent is one of those overly annoying ones who wouldn’t look at you sideways if you were lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the hallway?  Unless of course,  you were in the way.

I look at the kid and she has perfect teeth.  Nicer than mine, that’s for sure.  And I almost want to say, “Oh, you don’t need a retainer.”  But I stop short of crossing that line. 


Most times I’ll relent.  But only to the point where I’ll provide the step ladder,  and the kid has to climb in the dumpster, (hey, parental supervision.  It’s all good. If anything, they’re trespassing.)  after which they can go through the lunch garbage on the boiler room floor.  THEN they have to clean it all up.  I give them fresh bags and show them where to find all the necessary tools. 

And here’s the curious thing. Little Suzy will never lose that retainer ever again.  Funny how that works. 


Now,  whether little Suzy threw out her retainer because she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?  Or was it a genuine accident?  Who knows?  Don’t care.  Leave it at home.  Wear it to bed. 

Oh ya,  I so miss that.


Then on Friday,  there was this commotion.

That was the end of the story, by the way…


At first I didn’t realise what the guy was doing.  Checking the oil?  Oops, no wait.  There’s some other fluid involved.



He and a buddy where there to rip up a section of failed sidewalk.  I didn’t actually take any pictures of that event.  I ran from the window after I took the one above.

He should have come back today to put some liquid on the finished product.


No wonder the sidewalks don’t last very long. Aren’t you supposed to keep the concrete hydrated as well as possible for the first few hours?  That’s what I’ve always done.  I may go out in a little while and throw some water on there.

Planned obsolescence I guess.


Meanwhile,  I have the wonderful job of trimming out the honkin’ big window.  Gotta make my own trim of course.


I have enough material for the sides, but for the top piece I’d need something close to twelve feet.  This would have meant a trip up to Waterdown for another piece of number two cedar.  Wouldn’t fit in the car of course,  so I’d have to have it sticking out the window.  Hate doing that.

So then I had a look at the piece I removed from the top,  and started to formulate a plan.  This is the best part of working with wood,  unless I do something really dumb, I can use that piece over again.

Just have to trim it a bit and spruce it up some.  Spruce was not a pun.


Good old Stanley 78.



This is straight grained,  clear cedar from the fifties.  Just such a pleasure to work with.  No crazy knots.  Nothing.

Because the window area is just that much bigger than the old one, (skinnier frames) I did come up short by just a wee bit.  Plus the mitred ends were a bit chewed from the removal.

Need a fresh cut, and then to add a small piece.


This,  by the way, is why you try and make all the work surfaces close to the same height? 

Just wanted to point that out.




I know it looks *wrong*.  Lemme ‘splain.  The place where it has to match is right at the transition point between the bevelled part and the flat part.  The rest I can trim.  It’s wood!  Can’t do that with freakin’ vinyl.

Plus of course,  we’ve always been told to never try and glue up end grain.  However, this is not structural in nature,  and I’m using this stuff called Gorilla Glue.

For most any other application, I would use Polyvinyl acetate, or PVA glue for short,  which is your ordinary woodworking glue like Titebond.  Gorilla Glue will glue just about anything to anything.  Best to wear gloves.  I sure do.  Of course, I’m not about to use it just willy-nilly,  since the darned stuff is like liquid gold. 

Anyhoodle,  by the time I’ve bored you with all this,  that glue has already cured,  so I’d best go back out and hack away.


Keep your knives sharp.


Thanks for stopping in.




  1. Love the retainer lesson, I just know it worked.
    I loved working with wood I made all the wood trim for our last home, every window and every door.
    All history now, keep up the good work.

  2. They should have used some Gorilla Glue on that sidewalk, it would never break again! :cD

  3. Gladys Kravits?? Maybe that new window is way too big and clear..... Are a set of 50 power binoculars on your next to purchase list...??? LOL.....

    Be careful with that gorilla glue, you'll be part of the woodwork.... Rod

  4. I see those new windows are coming in handy already. You are catching some pretty amazing sights and some not so amazing.

    I had to laugh at your retainer story. Paulette was a Gr. 1 teacher and she came home with some pretty incredible stories about parents and what some of them expected.

  5. You are some of a neighbour! LOL
    This guy - watering the concrete. What a HOOT!
    (and I cannot laugh aloud because Peter is having a nap)!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.