Day 203, wood, furniture

Sunday, 6/23/2019

The sun, like a stage spotlight, shines into the room at 6 and works its way around the edges of my nose under the sleep mask. Need a better one.

Walked to Paris Baguette for Sunday morning coffee, and they immediately lost my favor. One, their plain croissants, although properly shaped and a good texture, have a sugar glaze. Come on, people! I’ve eaten croissants on a Sunday morning still warm from a neighborhood bakery in Paris. I don’t mind you selling a croissant-shaped sweet roll, but label it as such. And two, although I say “a cappuccino for here”, I get what can best be described as a small latte in a paper cup. That’s it, says the grumpy customer; I’ll be having Sunday breakfast elsewhere.

I extend my walk up to Alma and the hardware store where I get another kind of wood treatment for the coffee table. And two metric screws. For why? Boring story.

Sometime Friday I noticed that I have an old-fashioned aluminum framed window that opens, or should open. This is the kind of horizontally-hinged window with two levers you turn and then pull to swing it open; and it is regulated and stabilized by two side-levers that slide in the frame, or should slide. (I’d take a picture but it’s dark now.) I tried to open it and it wouldn’t. One of the two handles was dangling on a loose screw. The handle is secured by two screws, but one was missing and the other was half-out.

I turned the other handle and by heaving and yanking, got the window to grudgingly open. It clearly had not been opened in many years; the slide mechanism was balky and when I got it open, there were festoons of spiderwebs around the edge which was black with grime. Friday I had taken the one remaining screw in my pocket and when I stopped at the hardware store, I bought a mate for it. Feeling all clever, I brought it back and tried securing the loose handle. Hah! It turns out that both the screw holes for that handle had been stripped. Steel screws in an aluminum frame, too much muscle, the threads disappear.

Those screws were #10 machine screws. Today, just for fun, I bought the nearest metric size machine screw, which is juuust a bit wider. And brought it home. On the way in, I stopped at my car in the garage and got out the cane deck chair I’d bought at Cost Plus yesterday and brought that up.

So it was now about 9am, gotta love the early start on a Sunday. I tried the metric screws and danged if their little threads didn’t bite into the aluminum and snug up nice. So that handle is once again secure. I spent a while with cleaner and paper towels getting all the spiderwebs and general schmutz off the window frame. I also discovered I had a blind I could lower in that window. Well, it had been there, up at the top, now I found the string that raises and lowers it. The rod that you twirl to change the angle of the slats? Broken off. (Note that this window, being single-pane glass, will be replaced during the upgrade. Hopefully with a better style of window mechanism and blind.)

I assembled the deck chair and put it out on the deck, and fussed with the position of the chair, the little table I brought from the back yard at Tasso street, and the various plants, trying to find a nice arrangement. And failing. Not happy with what I have there.

I applied the new wood treatment to the coffee table and it is looking better. It hadn’t been oiled or waxed or anything for going on 40 years. The first application produced quite a bit of yellowish color on the rag, which I think was old nicotine coming off.

Killed a bit of time doing Zooniverse classifications and finally it was lunchtime. I went down to the first floor and discovered a traffic jam of hungry oldsters. This is actually the first time I’d come to the dining room for lunch. I didn’t want to stand in line so I sat in the lobby and did a sudoku, and then another, and it was 12:45 and still there was a jam-up at the food counter. I was aiming to walk to University to shop for furniture after eating, so I just started walking now. Had a sandwich and smoothie on the Ave.

Visited Design Within Reach and Restoration Hardware and didn’t see a good bookcase. So I took a Lyft over to Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park where I’d noted another furniture place. Didn’t like anything there, so I took another Lyft to Crate and Barrel at Stanford Shopping Center. Here I found something that is pretty darn close to what I want.


It’s the right size, about, and won’t clash with anything else I’ve bought. I’m letting it ripen in a browser window for a day or so before I pull the trigger on it. For one thing,  for a 5-foot by 3-foot bookcase, $999 seems a little steep. All right, it is real walnut, not veneer on chipboard. But the one at Cost Plus, see previous day, was about a third of that. I can maybe live with veneer on chipboard.

Had supper. Then sat down with Amazon and selected a better sleep mask, one that specifically says, it blocks light coming in around one’s nose. It’ll be here Tuesday. First time I’ve had an Amazon Prime order shipped to this address! And so, as Mister Pepys liked to say, to bed.


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