So the drywall’s going up. I used up a lot of scraps left over from other projects. There were all these ticky-tacky areas that needed small pieces, so it was easy to use the leftovers up rather than chuck them out. On the right there is a sort of bonus room. The partition behind the washer and dryer formed one wall of this room, so we finished it off. It’s a fairly spacious closet, or a small utility room, take your pick. The water heater is in there. The hot water heater.
It’s funny, but there are two kinds of grammar nazis on the intertunnel. The first cohort, of which I’m a proud member, knows how to spell things, and points out when things aren’t spelled no good, naw. The second cohort hates these grammar nazis, and endlessly chants that speling doesn’t matter, you looser. But they’re just another kind of nazi. They pitch a fit if you tell them that paid is a word, and payed is another word, and it matters which one you use if you just got handed a paycheck and not an anchor rope. They don’t like to be corrected, but they’re fanatically devoted to correcting things that aren’t wrong.
Take the term hot water heater. The kind of internaut who can’t select the correct version of you your you’re to save their lives loves to take umbrage when you call a certain appliance a hot water heater. They get their panties in a knot over ATM machine, and calling multiple Lego blocks legos, too. God help you if you misspell Tatooine near them.
People try to correct my grammar from time to time on the internet. I’ve had people try to correct me when I called spelling grammar, which it is. They’re always wrong. Always. And I’m here to tell you that they’re always wrong about the term hot water heater.
Domestic Hot Water is a thing. In construction, when a thing becomes a thing, it gets called a certain thing, and that’s that. You can modify the thing with adjectives and adverbs and such, but it’s not amorphous. The thing is The Thing. The water that flows out of the tap when you twist the left-hand knob at the sink is domestic hot water. Or in the case of my bathroom sink, it’s cold water until I go down and swap out the pex pipes that feed it, because I hooked them up backwards. And the thing that produces that thing, hot water, is the hot water heater. You can call it the domestic hot water heater if you want to be a stickler. But “water heater” is vernacular, and “hot water heater” is canon. Period. End of story. And I don’t care how many ill-informed Snope-y typed people agree with you. Looking for citations on the internet is looking for accomplices, not looking for information. I’m the the citation in these parts, pardner. Now draw!
So our hot water heater will have a home of its own, along with the manifold that distributes domestic hot and cold water from the service coming in to all the fixtures in the house. And lots of cans of paint. It can get pretty cold down there in the winter, so enclosing a room with all the water and paint will make it easier to keep a small portion of the basement at 32-1/2 degrees Fahrenheit, instead of the whole thing. We’ll save a few pennies.
To actually enclose the room(s), we’re going to need one of these. Go ahead, guess what it is.
Yes, you guessed it, it’s several pieces of scrap lumber inexpertly screwed together by a bad carpenter. But it’s also a Thing. It’s a door jack.
It’s hard to work on doors. if you lay them flat on a workbench, it’s hard to get around them. It’s awful to work on the edges of a door when it’s lying flat. And edges are where all the work is, generally. So you make a door jack out of crap that you’re tripping over anyway, and save your back some aggravation. The slot (the jaws) is slightly wider than a standard door is thick.
If you’re smart, you make the cross-piece out of something bendy, and put it up on two blocks, like this one. That way, when the weight of the door hits the bendy part, it bows down and pinches the door tightly. When you lift up on the door, it bends back, and the jaws open up. If you’re working on fussy doors, you can pad the jaws, but we don’t do fussy around here, remember?
We bought two cardboard doors at the Orange Place, and rescued a solid fir door from the dump during the town’s Festival of Trash. We’ll be able to close off the laundry from the Basement Basement, and the rest of the basement, and use the fir door to make the utility closet with the HOT WATER HEATER in it cozier.
The Orange Place has a website. It’s a nightmare, like most online shopping sites. It assaults you the minute your turn it on. Things appear unwonted, and everyone’s yelling everything. If I wanted to see visions and hear yelling, I’d go to the tavern, thank you very much. What I wanted was a 6′-6″ door slab.
A normal door is 6′ -8″ tall. Well, a normal door in your house. In my house a normal door is a full seven feet tall, and weighs more than a HOT WATER HEATER. But the ceiling in the laundry is very low, and I can’t fit even an 80″ door in there. The Orange Place website said they didn’t have any 78″ doors. I went to the Blue Orange Place website, and they said they didn’t have any either.
So Mrs. Cottage and I went to the Orange Place to buy two 80″ doors, which was a drag. I’d have to cut a lot off the bottom, and they’re mostly hollow, so I’d have to put in blocking to beef the door up after I trimmed them. Kinda defeated the purpose of buying a cheap door slab. I was looking for quick and dirty.
So we went to look for the wrong doors, and it turned out the Orange Place had a whole bunch of 78″ doors. They don’t know they have them, but they do. There was lot in stock, which is unusual for a specialty item, but then again, if you don’t try to sell any, you probably won’t.We bought two, and ran out of the place like robbers.
I imagined the website and the store anthropomorphically. Two mean girls from high school who’ve gotten a little older and still hate each other. They sit two cubicles apart. A haze of hairspray lingers in the air. They apply hand lotion every ten minutes. And they’re not on speaking terms, no matter how many struggle sessions the bosses make them attend.
[To be continued]