Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Stuff That Just Works
Every once in a great while, you find a product that just works. There aren't that many relative to the millions upon millions of products that Madison Avenue tries to entice us to buy. But one thing that just works, yet I've never seen an ad for is Orange Goop. It actually lives up to the claim of "gets hands dinner table clean", even with grease (from the jackhammer), latex paint, and just plain old dirt. I first learned about it at Habitat for Humanity, where you can end up with a variety of different substances on your hands at the end of the day.
The term "Madison Avenue" makes me wonder. Is it still the center of advertising media in the U.S.? You hear about it in old movies like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. It was a must-see given this project, though he doesn't do any actual building, just pays (and pays and pays) various contractors to do the work. But that was almost 60 years ago, and things do have a way of changing. I'd guess that even if it is still the center of advertising, most people these days wouldn't have the slightest idea what you were referring to. Makes me feel old, *sniff* and I'm not even 40 yet.
Today was a quieter work day. No Naun, I worked more slowly, and not on the addition at all. We have a hot tub, but we haven't used it since the California "energy crisis" when electricity rates shot up, i.e., Enron and friends milked CA for all they could get. Katarina realized that my back would probably appreciate the hot tub every now and then during this project. We decided it was time to fill it again, so Kat started by cleaning it. But at some point I got it in my head to rotate it 90', partly to reposition the cover and the seats, but also to give better access to the drain (which proved to be an issue when cleaning and draining it). So today I ran new wiring for the hot tub so the electrical could come into it in a different place, and built my first (and probably only) brick wall. Only, because I'm re-using some bricks that used to be part of the front walk, and because unreinforced masonry is just a bad idea for construction in earthquake country.
I think my body appreciated the semi-rest. Carrying the jackhammer to the car this morning to return it made me think it had grown much heavier during the night. I'm sure Naun felt fine this morning, even given that he worked incredibly hard yesterday, and started carrying a huge piece of concrete out from under the deck, hobbling along doubled over. No 'lift with the legs' there -- it made my back hurt just looking at it. I made him put it down, and I wheeled it out with a handtruck. Funny how a situation like that can inspire you to make yourself understood in another language.