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Every move to a new space involves drawing up a list of new items to acquire at the hardware store, and this move has been no different. The only different part here has been figuring out the hardware stores around here. Not nearly as simple as I'd hoped. Fairly early on [personal profile] scrottie walked over to the local hardware store that's about a mile from here, and discovered that it's tiny. It also only has limited hours during the week (8 am to 6 pm) and on Sundays (10 am - 12 pm), making it nearly impossible for me to patronize it due to my work and commute schedule.

One of the items on our shopping list is a box fan or five, to help air out the house and especially the basement (by now, even the mold has mold). On his shopping trip, S noted that the little hardware store had all of one single box fan for sale, and he wasn't sure whether it would be any good, so he didn't buy it.

This weekend I finally had a window of time to do non-grocery errands, so I set out to visit Big-Box Hardware Store #1 to see about fans and also about a half-dozen other miscellaneous things. Pacing my way around the warehouse, I saw ceiling fans, and a whole end cap composed of humidifiers and dehumidifiers clustered together, but no other fans. When I finally asked a human being for help, she said, "Fans are a seasonal item and they're out of season. If there are any they would be in the front of the store."

So much for that.

On the other hand, this store had a HUGE bike rack for bike parking out in front, which was heartening. It might have been about 12 feet long - large enough for a big string of bikes. Unfortunately, it was the rack style that encourages people to lock up just their front wheel and then come back later to discover the rest of their bike has gone missing. Someone was locked up at one extreme end, so I took the other extreme end because the end supports make it possible to lock the bike's frame in addition to the wheels.

When I came back out, there was a third bike in the middle, locked to itself, that caught my eye because it was...encrusted?...in a layer of accoutrements. I counted three battery packs and noted some e-bike accessories, wires running everywhere, and big arrays of head- and taillights. While I was standing there, trying to decide whether or not to leave a bike ticket, its owner came out of the store. When I complimented him on his bike, his eyes lit up and he said, "Oh yeah! I'm an electrical genius!" and he showed me some of its features, which included: a full-volume car horn, big front and rear light arrays which were smartphone-controlled (I think he said the front one changes colors), a giant smartphone holder, and a sweet speaker so he can jam out to some tunes while he rides. Rock on, Mr. Electrical Genius, rock on.

Then Saturday afternoon S and I biked up to Niskayuna for a department start-of-semester barbecue. I wasn't sure how the route would go but it turned out to be just fine. A 28-mile expedition, round-trip, on top of the hardware store jaunt.

Today, back to work on house projects. Project 1 was to drill holes in the kitchen and hang up various things like the hanging fruit basket and the pot rack. Having been through this in several houses by now, I approached the project with some trepidation. Thankfully, the blueprints in the basement gave me a partial head start because they at least indicated the spacing and direction of the ceiling joists. From there, it was time to deploy the stud finder on the ceiling. Only...it wasn't doing a very good job. I reached the point where I thought I should be in the right ballpark, and decided to go ahead and start drilling. The bit went through the plaster and lath...and hit air. Drat. Okay, no sweat, I'll try again. Drilled 0.75 inches to one side of the first hole...and hit air again. Grr.

After the fifth hole, I was starting to get frustrated, so I pulled down the attic ladder to go up there and confirm the joist spacing (yes, 16 inches). Observing all this, S suggested that we try and find something I could poke far enough through the hole that he could look for it and measure how far away it was from the nearest joist. Eventually I determined that some straightened-out baling wire would be skinny enough, stiff enough, and long enough, and poked it through. When S emerged from the attic with the tape measure, he said it looked like the joist was about 6 inches away from where I'd been drilling. I wasn't even close! On top of that, he noted that he'd discovered that there was a gap between the ceiling and the joists. So the stud finder was almost worse than useless for this application. Well then.

I still had to drill three more holes before I finally managed to get one in the correct spot.
Fortunately the hooks for the pot rack are really long, so they were able to clear the gap and bite into the joists. Just barely enough.

In case that wasn't enough, in another spot in the kitchen I determined that the swag hook I'd used in Arizona simply wasn't going to work in the plaster because it relied on one of those awful plastic drywall anchors and was way too short. Frustrating.

So on to the third item, the wall-mounted coffee grinder. I wanted to mount it on the side of a cabinet, facing the swinging kitchen door. At just the right moment, S recommended double-checking to see whether the swinging door would actually clear the grinder. It's a good thing he spoke up. It wouldn't, for the original spot I'd had in mind, but I eventually figured out a position for it to where the door now clears the grinder's handle by a full 0.5 cm. It's a close shave but still seems like the best spot for the grinder.

After lunch, I was determined to expedition out to Le Target to see whether they had any box fans. It and other familiar national-brand shops are all located in a strip mall district called "Colonie Center," because they're on land that's part of the town of Colonie, adjacent to Albany, and about five miles from where we live. Not my favorite sort of destination, but I managed to figure out a route that didn't involve too many harrowing high-speed traffic sections.

Le Target apparently hadn't gotten the memo that fans are a seasonal item, so they had several different styles in stock to choose among. I got two, just to be on the safe side, a box fan and a room air circulator fan, and I probably should have gotten three, when it gets down to it, given the whole basement situation. There was also a Big Box Hardware Store Brand #2 just around the corner from Le Target, so I got a few more hardware items checked off the list, as a bonus, including a replacement for the vexing swag hook.

Now stuff is finally hanging up in the kitchen and there are finally a few patches of visible counter space. The basement now has two fans going instead of just one. It would be best if I could figure out how to get another window opened up down there, but every extra bit of air circulation is an improvement, at least.

I had a moment today when I was cleaning out and tidying up the steam cleaner, where I thought, "Ahh, at least I finally get to put this away for a while." [At this point the two rugs we had originally put in the basement have been re-cleaned and stowed in the attic, and I've also used it on a couple of other miscellaneous spot projects]. Then I remembered that we have yet another rug to go because we aren't sure whether or not Emma peed on it. Sigh. On the other hand, that steam cleaner has been 200% worthwhile and it works fantastically. I hate having to buy appliances of that nature, but at least we're getting a lot of use out of it.

And now it's Sunday night and I still need to finish writing my lectures and homework assignment for this week. At least tomorrow is a holiday, so I'll have some time to actually get work done.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1247804.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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