Space Opera With a Twist

And on the Seventh Day…

On the seventh day, the author rested. Six days of solid tear down have been, shall we say, more fun than water-boarding but less fun than being stuck between a pair of crying babies on a long haul flight. The deck is gone and that part of the basement concerned by this reno is down to the studs and joists, and smelling a lot less like mold, mouse poop and various assorted odors. Out front, a fourteen cubic meter rubbish bin lies in wait for a Monday morning pickup, full to the brim with debris. The contractor’s been by and I’ll have an estimate for the roof repair shortly. Now, if I could only banish the remaining smells and that annoying little cough from breathing in too much crud when I forget to wear a respiratory mask, I’d be in temporary heaven.

Once the area has been waterproofed, I can start rebuilding, with new insulation first, after spraying foam urethane into every nook and cranny to prevent a new generation of mice from taking up residence in fresh, unsullied mineral wool. At my age, I’d rather not have to do this all over again in a few years.

Needless to say, progress on Howling Stars has been next to non-existent in the last week, but my editor assures me she’s progressing on Like Stars in Heaven. Since it’ll be a few weeks before the contractor can slot our job into his list, I’ll be back at the keyboard on Monday, taking breaks from writing only to remove nails and staples left behind by the teardown, and spraying a few patches of mold with a Mike Holmes approved product. The real rebuild will likely not start until later in August or even early September, but I only have to insulate and put up the vapor barrier before winter. I can do the rest in my own sweet time after that.  By the way, I’ve already replaced one incandescent light fixture with an LED ceiling lamp and I’m very pleased with the results.  Not only is it brighter than two 60 watt bulbs, it’s also impervious to the accidental contact with a wayward 2×4 piece of wood.  I’ll be replacing the other two lights in that area with the same type of LED fixture, which will once and for all eliminate the danger of accidentally breaking a fluorescent light tube, with all the crap that would ensue (I’m still baffled that anyone thinks CFLs are in any way rational, when breaking one creates an environmental hazard!).  LED is the way of the future, folks.

Although my middle-aged body feels a tad beat up by six days of non-stop activity, wielding crowbar and hammer, running saws and ripping wood, hauling debris to the dumpster and, of course, cleaning up after each step, I can feel just a smidgen of satisfaction that I was able to go from identifying the leak to having everything ready for disposal and repair in the space of six days. My doctor did tell me I needed to lose weight and by golly, I think this week helped a lot.  Plus, I made best friends with my reciprocating saw.

One day of rest, then back to Zack Decker’s latest adventure. He’s been marking time since last week and getting mightily annoyed. Anyone who’s followed his saga will know that pissing off our former Pathfinder never ends well for anyone, not even his creator.


  1. Randall

    I feel for you Eric. That first step in the remodeling process is daunting, particularly when your construction skills are limited. “They’re off!”, said the monkey, as he backed away from the lawnmower.

    • Eric Thomson

      Daunting is a good word for it.

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