Shangri La

Shangri La

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tyvek as Taskmaster

The Tyvek is driving me nuts. The packaging warns that it should not remain exposed for more than 6 months, but the front of the cabin has been basking in murderous sunlight for almost a year. With average daytime temps dropping fast, I'm watching daily for those rare, remaining days when the mercury is predicted to be 50 and the chance of precipitation below 20%.

They are few and far between.

Last Thursday was one of them, though, and I was up at 5 with grand plans to finish the front siding and close down for the winter. I took a PTO day, carved a conspicuous hole in a critical project at work and packed the truck in the dark only to find that it had rained in Shangri-La until almost 8 am, and all of the siding was soaked.

[Insert profanity here]

So I set to work installing the front porch light, only to realize that the right way to do it is to cut a hole in the wall and place a single gang box behind it, not run the wires through the wall and splice them to the power supply unprotected. Duh. Unfortunately, I didn't have a jig saw with me, and so I compromised by mounting the gang box facing the inside of the cabin. It works, and will probably be fine, but I didn't feel good about it.

Figuring it would take another hour for the Tyvek to dry out, I began sealing the shingle that was already up. Easy, right? Should take an hour or two, yes? 3 1/2 hour later, the job was done, and I was looking at a late lunch and still not a single new shingle in place.

After a quick lunch, I gave up hope of actually finishing the siding and decided to mow the lawn, which was already almost a foot high. I set the lawnmower to the highest setting and discovered two three things:
  1. Mowing a sloping property is a lot harder than a flat one.
  2. Mowing on freshly spread and loosely compacted topsoil is a lot like marching on the beach.
  3. The thought that you might have a heart attack is more frightening when you have no phone, no close neighbors, and no chance the wife will wonder what happened to you until you don't show up at home many hours hence.

In the end, I put up and stained the final row of shingles under the porch, and began the process of rising up and around the porch trim work. Not a bad day's work, really, but the faded Tyvek mocked me as I pulled out at 4 PM and headed for home, knowing that I'd need to come up at least one more time.

I should have just used builder's felt.

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