Sunday, November 25, 2012

16 Degrees South of East

When I first moved here there was a nice high and wide car port that was connected to my garage.  The roof was rather flat and covered with rolled roofing.  It leaked in several spots and the sheathing was rotting out.  It was time to fix it before it collapsed, so I increased the slope so it would have a faster run-off and I topped it with corrugated metal roofing.  Within the next year we had a wind storm and it pealed the metal roof off in one sheet and deposited it on the lawn behind the garage.  I learned that the screws that came with the roofing were too small, so I reattached the roof with much longer screws.  Though even with longer screws the wind would lift panels and the metal would rip around where the screws were attached  There were other problems with the metal roof where the seams would leak and then there was the dripping condensation.  Nothing beneath would ever remain dry.

Later when we got horses I decided to go back to a plywood roof with rolled roofing.  I converted this car port into two horse stalls and a room to store hay, feed and saddles.  The first wind storm that came up after I made the change ripped all the rolled roofing off, so I put down a new roof and I nailed the living crap out of the windward edge.  It felt good to know that it would never blow away again.

Then there was the great storm of 2007 where we had 100+ MPH winds for three days.  This storm didn't mess with the rolled roofing; instead it removed the entire roof, plywood, joists and everything.  I rebuilt it, but the next year the new rolled roofing was once again pealed off.

No matter how I attach this roof it finds a way of blowing off.  This roof had been good for the last two years however the storm last week deposited the rolled roofing in a pile on the lawn.  I am now replacing the rolled roofing one more time, but this time rather than rolling it out horizontally I'm rolling it vertically and I'm adding a lot of sealer to the seams.  I'm curious to see if this is the final fix.

By the way, a neighbor has the back end of his garage roof that faces the same direction, and there is a one-square section (10' X 10') that he can't keep a roof on either.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am for the most part a man without fear.  This is not to say I’m one of those guys who says, “Hold my beer” and goes off on an Darwin Award winning performance of stupidity.  I just don’t fear things that many people fear, like creepy/crawlies, the dark, Hell fire, avenging gods…

I have done things and assumed the risk of inherent dangers, such as working on roofs, driving in hazardous weather conditions and riding horses that weren’t suitable for a rider of my skill level.   I’ve worked overly aggressive bees and even stood atop a ladder collecting bees from walls of a barn.  I’ve done these things without fear, but with a healthy and sober respect for the situation and with a hopeful beneficial outcome.

Oddly there is only one thing I do have trepidation with.  One might even call it a fear; though I do tread cautiously and respectfully.  My fear is escalators.  When confronted with one I will always pause and wait for just right moment and then I leap on.  If I am wearing shoes with laces I’ll pause ten feet before the landing to make sure my laces are not anywhere that can be sucked in the maw of my mechanical demon.

When the ride is at an end I will bound off like a deer going over a fence so as to avoid a conflict as the step plates vanishes beneath the tines at the end.

I no longer come across unavoidable circumstances where an escalator is the only option.  I never go to shopping malls and I’m not even sure if any shopping malls in Oregon have an escalator.  The Portland Air Port is the only place I know of locally that has one.  When confronted with an escalator I will use it with caution, awareness and respect.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How Come?

How come people don't yawn while they are sleeping?  Further more why don't people snore while they are awake?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Chess Story

Jerry Seinfeld has a new series called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. It isn't on TV, but it is on the Internet.  It is actually another show about nothing.  It starts with Jerry driving a unique automobile and calling a comedian friend and inviting them out for coffee.  From there they just chat on the way to a cafe, at the cafe and on the way home from the cafe.  The conversations are insightful and at times very abstract. 

The shows run from six to seventeen minutes or so.  Presently there are about ten episodes available, but as the title of this post suggests there is one story in one particular to one show that I am totally fascinated with.  It is the one he did with Seinfeld alumni, Michael Richards and Michael talks about his experience playing chess which I can relate to because I once fancied myself as a talented chess player.  This story also alludes to why I no longer boast about my Scrabble abilities.

See the video here

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Anatomy of Envy

Envy often has strong overtones of malice, however when I speak of my personal situations of envy I have more of a "You Lucky Bastard" theme going on.

When we were new horse owners we would visit other friends with horses and openly admit our pasture envy.  Our horses were eating on fenced in lawn areas and others had vast expanses of real pasture.  Since then we've established five pastures on our property, so that envy is subsiding.  Now we have indoor arena envy.

I spent a lot of time with Gearhead at a conference this weekend.  Gearhead has been a dear friend for the last ten years and a major source of envy for me.  He lives on this beautiful farm, has an immaculate shop, a cool vintage trucks, motorcycles and he invents cool stuff, like his fork lift that can go 60 MPH.  He has a really cool tractor and the list goes on and on.  He rubs it in and I don't mind.  I know what hard work it took for him to get all these things and I don't begrudge him any of his success.  If I had different priorities, I could have a vintage truck and a tractor and so on.

Well Gearhead topped himself this weekend.  He introduced me to his daughter.  I never wanted children, yet oddly as I grow older and I see the now adult children of my friends I get a twinge where I wonder if it would have been worth it to have some children of my own, especially a daughter. It seems that daughters mature into better people earlier than boys.  Boys don't seem to mature into something you can be proud of until they get into their mid 40's, but it seems girls mature nicely by the time they get out of college and they just seem to understand what it takes to be mature and civil.

So thanks, Gearhead.  You've instilled me with daughter envy just when I was content without one.