Daily Illuminator

April 10, 2006: Paint Paint Paint

sand scrape paint fill sand sand sand repaint . . .

My current effort has eaten far more of my time than originally planned, and all the people who want me to finish various writing projects can justifiably grump at me for getting involved in a building task. So it goes.

My new office came with an "executive washroom" - a private half-bath with sink, carpeted (!!!??), and big enough for wheelchair access. Okay . . . I do not need a private facility when the regular one is just down the hall. But I could certainly use a walk-in file closet / wet bar.

So . . . I've drained and shut off the toilet, and built an enclosure to cover and hide it; the enclosure is grossly overengineered and will easily support my little fridge. And along the back wall there's room for a lot of shelving . . . a bit more than 5 1/2 feet long, and because the ceilings in this office are very high, the top shelf can be at 8 feet. That will keep a great deal of Stuff organized, close at hand, and out of the way.

So where's the painting come in? Well, rather than go buy expensive and flimsy shelves, or VERY expensive and solid shelves, I decided to build cinder-block shelving, which will support anything up to and including medium-sized anvils. Most of the blocks, and all the shelf boards, were salvaged from the old offices, both because I'm so incredibly cheap and because I like the idea of keeping some of the old place around.

But . . . it needed paint. I wasn't going to put crummy old boards and cinder blocks in my nice new office, not even in the closet. So I picked out a paint color that went with the wallpaper in there, and got to work. Well, except the boards needed a bit of sanding first. And some filling. And if I was going to paint anything, I was going to do it right, with a primer coat and two coats to finish. And I got rather involved in the detail of it all. OCD Man strikes again!

For a while it was . . . not "fun" exactly, but something to keep my hands busy while I thought about other things. The zen of physical labor; don't knock it. But I have gotten to the point where I need that storage space, now. So the pace had to accelerate to the point where it was officially Not Especially Fun.

But it's almost done now (48 blocks, 12 shelf planks), and that closet is going to be very nice and useful, and the work will last as long as we have this building, if not longer. And, as a useful side effect, I'm now really looking forward to getting to some admin tasks that normally I'd dread . . .
-- Steve Jackson

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