austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Lazy day, Sunday afternoon

So I did get out of the house, go to up with dad to one of my brother's (and his wife's) house. Dad has been working now and then on their house ever since they bought it, several years now, and work has been intermittent partly because he doesn't get much dedicated time (he has a reasonably full contracting schedule) and partly because Dad will obsess on particular projects. Dad asked me several weeks in a row if ``this weekend'' I'd help him string new lights in the basement. They don't particularly care about lights in the basement, nor about the shelving he's putting up in the garage, but those are his Missions.

We didn't get to the Missions. Instead my brother and his wife wanted to seal the doors from the garage and laundry room, because with the recent cold weather freezing air has been racing in and they're tired of it, and who can blame them? There's also the patio door upstairs letting cold air pour in. (They tried closing it, so don't go making that joke now.) The need to find ways to plug up little holes lead us, naturally, to Lowe's, which is for Dad what the Book Garden is for me. My brother's wife urged me to try speeding him up.

And my brother and I gave it a try, but after Dad gave my brother a list of items dutifully entered into some kind of palmtop computer gadget, Dad went around the store picking up whatever it all was. Brother and I got talking about his job, my lack of a job, and his confidence that he could find me at least temporary work with an organization so ludicrously inept that I think I'm going to have to take it just for the stories I'll gather. Brother, who worked for them a while last year, mightily impressed the programming staff when he cured a glitchy tangle of if branches. He introduced the team to the wonder of the case statement.

Back at the house Dad and Brother put new weather stripping on the doors. My participation amount to standing somewhere nearby in a manner not unlike Vanna White without the letters or appeal. Also over the patio doors Brother set up that plastic sheeting you blow-dry into place, which I used several years in a row when I was in Troy. These sheets don't do much to make the place less cold, but they do make you feel like you accomplished something. Brother and I were stunned to learn Dad had never put these up before, particularly since he and I independently came to trying them out. They just fit his personality, somehow. Maybe Grandmom used them. We must have got the impulse from somewhere. It's certainly not something people decide to do rationally.

Trivia: John Glenn's Mercury capsule was lifted by Atlas number 109-D. Source: This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, Loyd S Swenson Jr, James M Grimwood, Charles C Alexander. NASA SP-4201.

Currently Reading: Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence, A J Langguth.


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