Day 240, echo, alterations, brass polish

Tuesday, 7/30/2019

First thing today was to go to PAMF to have a cardiac echo test. This is preparation for a routine exam by my cardiologist in a couple of weeks. I had opted for an 8am appointment. The Encina street office of PAMF is nominally 20 minutes’ walk and my first plan was to do that.

However, yesterday afternoon my box of new clothes arrived from Bonobos. As expected, the blazer is a good fit in the arms and shoulders, but too tight around the waist. Two of the three pairs of pants are also juuuuust a bit too tight for comfort. Those two are from one line, the pair for a different line are exactly right, despite all having the same nominal size. Anyway, I wanted to drop off the jacket and pants for alterations at Jacquie’s Sew and Sew, a tailoring shop I’ve used before with good results. Jacquie’s opens at 9am. There were other options but I chose instead to toss the clothes into the car and drive.

The echocardiogram was a short routine operation. I’ve had them before, and from what I could see on the screen, it looked the same as before. The technician of course wouldn’t offer any opinion. “Your doctor will tell you about it.” Which is only sensible.

So to the Prolific Oven for breakfast, and then to Jacquie’s, where they took my instructions and clothes and said, August 9th.

From there, on to Tasso street. Here may aim was to polish the brass door and window handles. They were more than ten years from their last polish, and the window handles especially were more the color of a briar pipe than brass. There were two painters there, working away. I didn’t monitor them in any detail, strictly not my job. I set myself up on the front porch with my cardboard box of polish and cleaners and my cordless drill with brush and buffing attachments.

The painters had already removed all the brass door handles into a bucket. I started with those and they polished up very nicely and quickly, using only “Mr. Metal,” a product that I’d picked up at the hardware store that promised “shine without rubbing or buffing” and doggone if it didn’t pretty much do that. When there was no heavy layer of dirt or corrosion, it was a wipe-on, let-dry, wipe-off operation and the hardware looked shiny and good.

The window handles had, I”m not sure how, picked up a layer of gummy crud, like a thin layer of brown crayon. To get that off took soaking in cleaner and whizzing with the abrasive brush. Then I used Mr. Metal and followed with Brasso on a polishing pad.

Each window handle is held in place by three short brass screws. In order to reattach them, you have to start the screw while holding the window open. And of course, I twice dropped a screw trying to start it. Dropped into the bark mulch on the ground under the window. One time I found it. One I couldn’t find.

I was already short one screw, as I discovered when removing the backmost handle from the laundry room. The handles are acceptable with only two screws; clearly I’d lost one back at the turn of the millennium. So I drove to the hardware store and went through their quite good screw and bolt shelves. I found what I thought might be a replacement but in fact, it was just too large and a tighter thread. Who knows what thread standards they were using in 1930? So now I (or actually, the future owner) is short two screws, two handles held on by two screws. I’m going to have one more try at the hardware store later on.

I finished up around 1pm and headed home. When I checked the mail that evening, I found the Amazon package with three copies of To Thrive Beyond Belief. One for my bookshelf, one for the house library. What to do with the third?


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