And then a bit of household repair stuff, even postdating the basement steps. We broke one of the windows in our bedroom, an accident. Who knew a pane of glass could break that easily? Nobody was hurt, although we couldn't clean it up completely since the window was one of many painted shut in the house. And it was embarrassing as we had to post a bit of cardboard over the window while waiting to get it fixed.
We got quotes from two window-repair companies in the area, both scheduled to come in the same afternoon ... er ... window, and worried a little bit about whether it would be awkward if they both came at the same time. That would be a freak chance, but the world is a bunch of freak chances. It didn't happen, anyway. One of the company guys doing quotes didn't actually go up to the bedroom window to measure the pane that needed replacing; he used our first-floor windows as the guide, trusting that they wouldn't be terribly different. I believe he was right, but have to say, it didn't inspire confidence in me. We went with the other company, more on the grounds they were willing to also repair the attic window, which has been broken since time immemorial, for almost no further cost.
They couldn't save the mullions, the little wooden slats subdividing the window, for the attic window, which is a shame. But we also weren't really planning to hang the glass window as we understand now the attic should be well-ventilated and hanging the glass would just block all that off. The glass in there will serve us well in case, I'm not sure, I guess there's a hurricane and we need to batten the windows down for that case.
And the window folks replaced the pane in our bedroom window, as contracted. The easiest way to do this involved taking apart the windowsill and reassembling it, so that along the way the stuck window has become un-stuck. It's increased the count of house windows that are actually openable, and this is maybe the best one: it'll open and stay about where you set it, without (so far as we know) spontaneously dropping. That'll be more useful come autumn when the outside is cool enough to just go with ambient air; right now, we're on the room air conditioner. But it's so very nice having the option.
Trivia: In the mid-70s the average American airplane passenger walked an average 650 feet from parking lot to check-in and 950 feet from check-in to plane, for about 1,600 feet on average. It could be worse; O'Hare in-transit passengers could walk as much as a mile and a half. Source: Naked Airport: A Cultural History of the World's Most Revolutionary Structure, Alastair Gordon.
Currently Reading: Storm In A Teacup: The Physics Of Everyday Life, Helen Czerski.
PS: Why Stuff Can Orbit, Part 9: How The Spring In The Cosmos Behaves, 2700 words on mathematical physics that Hemingway App somehow tells me is about a third-grade reading difficulty. Also featuring banner art by Thomas K Dye!