master of door technology
Wednesday, September 7 2011
No matter how simple, mastery of a technology takes experience. This applies to a technology as simple as a door. When we first bought our house and I was tasked with installing a number of doors, I wasn't sufficiently wise to the importance of door jambs being plumb, level, and square. This accounts for the problems we've had through the years with the door I installed in place of a window from the dining room out to the east deck back in 2003. I've never been able to shave enough wood off it to get it to close smoothly, and this all stems from the fact the finished door hole is too much of a parallelogram.
But recent work with doors have made me into something of a door expert, or perhaps more accurately, a door connoisseur. It's hard to be tolerant of sticking doors after taking the time to hang doors correctly. So today I finally got around to doing something about our house's front door, the door that gets the most use. It has always been impossible to open it completely because it drags too much on the floor. And since all the rain of Hurricane Irene, it's also been impossible to close. So today I took it off its hinges and sanded a good eighth of an inch off the door's bottom rail, which had expanded that much beyond the vertical dimensions of the stiles. Combined with some longer screws through the hinges into the house's structure, I was able to get the door to swing freely and close without resistance. Even once I'd reattached the bottom sweep (to seal out drafts), the door could be opened much farther than had ever before been possible.
The other day I was listening to last week's Kunstlercast, featuring the second half of an interview with Richard Heinberg (author of a book entitled Peak Everything), and he made a passing reference to The Road (either as a book or a movie), saying the future probably wasn't going to be quite that bad, but it wasn't going to be Ecotopia either. So I downloaded the film adaptation of the novel (which may or may not have been subsequently novelized) and watched it. While I normally and drawn towards grim films about the starkness of the human condition, I found The Road mostly tiresome. I'm not a fan of the strong silent type, and that such people (the only people Cormac McCarthy peoples his novels with) are the ones to inherit the post-apocalyptic future, then there really is no hope. And (spoiler alert) what was with that Hollywood ending? Really? There's no biosphere but a nice family comes along and wants to adopt you soon after your old man dies? Lastly, the idea that there could be an apocalypse that would only spare humans is too absurd for my belief-suspension facilities. Sometime while it can still be done, someone needs to make a film about survival in the post-fossil-fuel future, but this is not it.
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