cleaning gutters for the first time in fourteen years
Tuesday, May 17 2022
I was feeling better today, and was able to get more done in the workplace. Gretchen wasn't doing as well and spent most of the day in bed or out on the east deck in the sun. When I saw her out there, I also noticed some sunflower seeds I'd started in some deck rail pots had turned into little plants, so I transplanted then into a line along the north end of the new raised beds in the garden, none of which had anything planted in them yet. I also transplanted some tiny tomato seedlings I'd started, continuing that line just inside the planters' north wall.
A little before noon, my boss (the CTO) suddenly started communicating on Teams about problems he was having with the AppStream login system I'd built. He'd actually uncovered some bugs in my code, but they were difficult to track down because most of them only affected logins other than the one I happen to have.
Mostly just to get out of the house, I told the CTO I'd be back in a half hour and then drove out to the Tibetan Center thrift store to do some thrifting. The only thing of any value was an electric glue gun (complete with several glue sticks in various colors). So I also went around back, where there are sheds holding larger or bulkier items such as furniture, LCD monitors, large farm "dishes," and vacuum cleaners. Back there I found a foot-powered set of bellows that could be made to suck or blow either liquid or air. I could use such a device to help with desoldering, pumping out water, or getting a fire to burn more intensely. These purchases came to less than $10 because Rob was running the cash register.
Towards the end of my workday, I started working on assembling a tool to help me possibly lift the heat-pump-powered hot water heater up a single step. Done thirteen times, that tank would be out of the basement. The tool just consists of a box to put on top of a step to make it even with the next step up, but with a slot in it for inserting a lever to pry the tank up a level. It still needs more work to make it functional, assuming I end up using this method.
A chore I've been procrastinating for over a decade is to clean out the gutters on the southeast corner of the house, where gutters form an L-shaped pattern at the edges of two intersecting gabled roofs. I don't think I've ever cleaned those gutters since installing them back in July of 2008 (fourteen years ago!). Setting up the ladder and cleaning the gutters wasn't as scary as I'd imagined, which makes sense given that I was able to install those gutters from that same ladder. The only fly in the ointment came in the form of a white-faced hornet, easily the most unnecessarily vicious creature with a stinger in eastern North America. I heard her before I saw her, and I knew the sound of her wings buzzing against an old dry leaf to not be a benign sound. But I had a job to do, so, using my thumb and middle finger, I flicked the hornet away in a single flick and was able to clean out the gutter without difficulty. Among the things growing in the accumulated gutter soil (which was as much as four inches deep) were two white pine seedlings.
I took 150 milligrams of diphenhydramine and was in bed while sun was still shining on the tops of the pines east of the house.
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