Sunday, July 25, 2004

Me mighty tool

This morning I tore out all the drywall on the west wall of the garage, meaning that once I clean up the rubble and pull out the nails, the laundry migration can commence. We've located a good woman contractor who says she can do the job. We specifically sought out women contractors because we felt they would be more honest, listen and communicate more clearly, honor our stated goals more closely, and have less of a tendancy to nod and then just do it the way they prefer to.

Not that women can't be snakes. Cateye and I worked on a project together and can vouch for the evil that women can do. But regarding our house, I believe that we stand a statistically better chance of getting better work from women. Plus, I'll be 'coordinating' with them closely. Which is something a lot of guys would bristle at.

I had done most of the drywall removal using a hammer that looks like it's for rock climbing. But today I used the crow bar, and I must say it's very effective. The crow bar gets back a little farther into the hole, and is much more persuasive in getting big chunks of the drywall out. Don't use it for banging. But you can stick the curved back part in there and jerk the wall toward you and you'll get a slab.

My son and I played a game of trying to throw balls into buckets in the back yard. He made up the game. He was a good sport. He put his baseball cap on backwards, the way the boys at preschool do. But I convinced him to put the bill forward, explaining the advantage of keeping the sun out of his eyes. But the hooks of the peer group are already upon him. For example the other day when I dropped him off at preschool he said he wanted me to take the sun hat back with me. This is the one with butterflies on it. He said, "Dad, other kids make fun of it. And it embarrasses me." I said I understood, hugged him, and removed the offending item forthwith. We'll get him a nice neutral grey one or something khaki colored.

The incident was really touching to me because it was the first time in a very long time that he has opened up to me and told me his feelings. He was honest. It meant, to me, that he felt he could trust me and rely on me. I was honored.

My wife rented a piano for the house. I don't know if I mentioned that. My son is in lessons and is picking it up quite well. Our rule is never to tell him to practice. He just plays because it's fun.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot what I was going to brag about. We were playing tic-tac-toe on the back patio, using chalk. I let him in on the draw secret. He flubbed it once, letting me win anyway, and thereafter played it effectively every time. So then I wanted to sit in a chair, and started telling him which space to put my mark in. He did that well. Then that was boring, so I suggested we play on a 4x4 grid. And because of the increased number of squares, I introduced the concept of a coordinate system to him (marking the spaces along the axes 1,2,3,4 / A,B,C,D). He picked it up without hesitation and correctly placed all my marks as I called them from the chair.

Next I am going to play Battleship with him. But I decided to explain it to him as 'Garden Wall.' Each person has some planters in their garden, and the object is to throw seeds over the wall, and be the first to plant seeds in each space in the other person's planters.

He supervised me while I got out the ladder and put some caulk into some cracks that had developed in the external surfaces of the window frames. Then his mom took him and his sister to the park. I came in here to rest the legs. The laundry is humming downstairs.
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