Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jerome David Salinger: Rest in Peace.

That was a long, reclusive, bitter life.

You’ll be missed.

Check that.

You won’t.

But, that was the whole idea, wasn't it?

You will not be missed, because your works will outlive you -- they have done so for fifty years already.

Friday, January 22, 2010

As I've mentioned to many of you separately, I've been poking my nose around this place lately. Needs a little love, but it's all there...

Built in 1895, modest-sized place that suits my needs aesthetically / emotionally.

Here's the pro and con that I can see:

* House is not entirely free of knob-and-tube wiring. Most has been replaced with romex, but some k-t still exists in the attic. It all looks in good shape, with no splices or additions, at least.

* Foundation: Half of the structure has a full-height basement, the other half, a crawlspace. The original basement was brick, but this has been replaced with poured concrete that looks good. The other half is still the original pier-and-beam, though it looks in good shape.

* living, dining, main floor bath, mudroom all contain original double-hung, single-glazed windows that will need reglazing and new sash cords if they are to open and close correctly.

* No insulation under main floor floorboards -- combined with windows, will make keeping living room warm in the winter inefficient, if I wanted to.

* No proper garage (There's a "1 car attached garage" that is basically the basement.)

* Lot size is small (future sale price?)

* Water heater is gas, but not very new

* Front porch is not original and probably needs redoing soon, certainly aesthetically. Seems a pretty small job.


* Location is perfect -- desirable part of town, near houses of a similar vintage that are well-kept, walk to cafes, restaurants, shops. If any part of my town is up and coming, this is it.

* Lot size is small (No yard, no worries!)

* All the aesthetic "charm" I want.

* Roof is reasonably recent and in good shape asphalt shingle. Gutters were redone, probably at the same time, and look sound from what we can tell.

* Gas furnace new, professional install in 07

* Upper floor has a recent refresher, includes energy-efficient windows of some kind, lots of insulation. Attic finished into living space well-insulated, with its own wall-mounted electric heat.

* Kitchen has a full modern remodel in 07. Not completely to my taste, but "Nice on a budget" stuff here -- Silestone countertops and ceramic tile, nice large LG appliances: fridge, "stealth" dishwasher, micro/convection, and electric range / oven. Most of the other houses I looked at in my price range had a resto that looked at least 25 years old.

* Washer / Dryer aren't particularly exciting, but they are included.

Sure sure, the house needs some "finish work" -- the old baseboard moldings are there, but the little quarter-sawn shoe molding thing, if that's the right term, is missing, etc, etc. But it's all there, and it all works.

Opine, please.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rainy dark morning, 6:30 AM, heading east on a two-lane city street. About to turn north onto the MUT, I have to stop to allow westbound traffic to clear.

Headcheck behind me shows a car a ways back heading east as well. Westbound traffic doesn't stop for me headlight and hand signal or no.

Spidey sense tingles. Other eastbound car has not even slowed.

Nowhere to go -- I hear screeching tires and have just an instant.

Forget the turn, I point both wheels straight forward, east, hands off the brakes, and stay seated just as I feel the impact of his bumper on my tire.

My rear wheel is off the ground, my front may have lifted off for a moment, and then I'm rolling forward on both wheels. A few wobbles, I make my way to the curb.

Of course, the driver speeds off.


I've got a couple of bruises on my thighs and "sit bones" from the saddle, and my wrists hurt, but that's about it.

Heck, my rear wheel didn't even go out of true. Thanks, Campy.

The car that hit me was a Civic. I thank the stars that it wasn't a pickup...