Monday, February 23rd, 2009


As always, click through to comment on any picture individually on flickr, or to see the full-size…

So anyway… getting my granddad’s/parents’ wood art up was the hardest “picture” hanging of my life!  So… I must share in my misery. First off was the fact that it fit better sideways, so I wanted to convert the orientation from portrait to landscape. This also gels well with the societal trend towards widescreen…

20090124 - party prep - artwork - 175-7514-diptych-7515 - original back and mount - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
original back and mount
We never would have guessed that this wood art made by my grandad (and repainted by my parents) would take THREE EVENINGS (3-5 hours?) to hang up.

The frame itself was virtually non-existent — since the whole piece is all wood, the frame cannot actually support the weight easily, unless the support is distributed. With normal frames, you can just screw a hook into the wood and it will stay. Here, it appeared shoe moulding had been used as an anchor.The problem is that we did not have any spare shoe moulding in the house, and wanted to put this up without having to go to Home Depot.

Big mistake:

20090124 - party prep - artwork - 175-7517-diptych-7519-tach-7518 - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR

Above is our first, failed attempt at converting it from portrait to landscape orientation.

The portrait orientation was done with shoe moulding glued to the frame (see previous picture), and screws put into that. I noticed that one of the bookshelves I got from freecycle had ONE remaining piece of moulding on it; all the rest had been long gone. So we thought we could use the bookshelf moulding instead of shoe moulding.

Big mistake! I tore it off with my hand, and cracked it in two without a saw. We then nailed the hell out of it into the frame, and put some picture hanging hooks into it. EPIC FAIL. Nothing like being on a ladder and losing control of a 30-pound (if not 50), huge, awkward, cumbersome picture, and trying not to drop it down the spiral stairs while falling off the ladder. NOT FUN. The side with the nails that we bent (bottom) held, but the side with the nails driven straight through (top) did not. The wire didn’t fail; just the nails for one half.

So the next day I went to Home Depot and bought 1 linear ft of shoe moulding for 50 cents, as well as new wood glue. That probably took about 1.5 hrs. How annoying!

20090124 - party prep - artwork - 175-7530-diptych-175-7531 - Clampy McClampsALot - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
Clampy McClampsALot
We realized that we had to do this the right way: Shoe moulding and wood glue, just like the existing mount.

Even though I have wood glue, I posted a tweet asking people for wood glue recommendations, and went around Home Depot and talked to several people.

The help there didn’t really know, but there was some old man (a customer) who was willing to walk me over there and spend 20 minutes talking about the various glues. I ended up buying some glue that was the same kind I already had, but… I think it was a higher model.I then found out, only after putting the glue down, that you’re supposed to CLAMP it for 30 minutes. Maybe that’s why in the past I have been prejudiced about wood glue sucking — I never clamped it before. (I’d never had anything fail so badly that I needed to read the instructions before.)

The Vice-Grip — best tool ever — made an obvious first clamp. But what about the 2nd clamp? Since I’d just re-organized my utility room – I knew where the vice I made in 1987 shop class was!

20081121 - utility room organization - 0 - 172-7245 - main tool store by you.

I had actually made this vice from molted metal. Poured it into the mold myself, yada yada. For the first time in 22 years, I got to use it for its intended purpose! Go packrating!This picture reminds me of the Clamps robot from Futurama.

“Let’s give him the clamps! Or a clamp-like device!”

The glue would take 24 hours to fully set, and for the first time ever I intended to follow those instructions. This would mean putting the picture up 2-3 hours before people arrived at our party! A very close call!

20090124 - party prep - artwork - 175-7536-diptych-7532 - History, hooks - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
History, hooks
At this point, the wood glue (see previous picture) had been drying for 24 hours. I had bought several kinds of hooks, but the ones on the right were what I ended up using. TWO screws per hook meant these should hold very tight. And they did. total success!!!At this point, I figured maybe it was time to start a “history” on the back of the art, so that future owners would know where the hell this came from. Of course I had to estimate all the dates, so the information is not very precise, date-wise. But at least it’s approximately accurate.
Parents: Maybe you know more about the dates?

20090124 - party prep - artwork - 175-7538 - finished product - only possible with extremely dangerous ladder setup (see next pics) - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
finished product – only possible with extremely dangerous ladder setup (see next pics)
Success! After a failed attempt, this was very satisfying!

I used TWO heavy duty (rated for 50-lb?) picture hangers, as the exact center happened to fall in between 2 wood panels. So I had to put a hanger on each side of the indentation between panels.

I was very happy that via measuring and estimates, we managed to get the “margin” over the top of this to be about the same as the margins on the sides.And it turned out there was just enough vertical room left under it that our Drawn Together subway poster fit right under it. (People wont see this until our next party.)

FYI, the duct tape on the ladder was to keep it from scratching the wall. But it was put on the wrong side of the ladder, so we scratched the wood anyway. But now the picture is over it so you don’t see it. :)

As for the ladder — that was as hard as the picture. The top of the ladder is actually in mid air; it’s not leaning on anything. The next pictures show how we accomplished this:

LADDER BONDAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20090124 - party prep - ladder bondage - 175-7524a-diptych-7524b - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
“Your safeword is banana.”

In order to hang up the heavy wood art (see previous pictures), we needed to be able to stand way high up.

Without a flat floor to stand on, there was NO WAY to get up there to do this!

I figured out that there was ONE alternative left: TIE our ladder (LADDER BONDAGE) to the spiral stair rails, such that the ladder goes up into MID-AIR.

We used the leftover pool cloth from our pool table refelting to protect the rails from scratches, and clothes destined for charity/attic-insulation to be “worn” on the “feet” of our ladder so.

Keep in mind the “left foot” of the ladder was STILL in mid air. The “right foot” was hooked UNDER a step. That, and the rope, is the only reason the ladder was stable. This is probably the most extreme thing we’ve ever done in our house!

The rope is high quality rope from a “fall compliance kit” I paid $160 for, so that I could clean my gutters (which costs $80 for someone else to do) without dying. And we were pretty thorough about tying it. Who needs Shibari knowledge to get some good tying done??

StairLadderway To Heaven:

20090124 - party prep - ladder bondage - 175-7526-7527-7525-triptych - Ladderway To Heaven - see how far it is from the wall?!?!?! - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
see how far it is from the wall?!?!?!

Going up was scary!

20090124 - party prep - ladder bondage - 175-7528 - anchored to foosball table - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
anchored to foosball table
In this picture, you can see how it was “anchored” to the foosball table. Not that this came into play. I knew that if the anchoring ever came into play, it would mean that the ladder and/or I was already falling. Still: Anything to slow down the fall would be advantageous. It was very inconvenient to use these stairs for the 24-48 hours it was like this.

Finally, the moment of truth:

20090124 - party prep - ladder craziness - 175-7537-diptych-7534 - even the cats know this is unsafe! - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
even the cats know this is unsafe!

As scary as the left picture looks, the right picture is even more dangerous!

At least in the left picture, 3 of my 4 limbs are leveraged on something: One foot on the ladder, the other on the spiral stair rail, and my right arm holding onto the vent enclosure ‘wall’.

In the right picture, I’m simply balanced on my feet, with my hands not really holding on to anything! Carolyn was holding onto one of my belt loops most of the time. And I took the rubber cap off the top of the spiral stair support column (I keep throwing things down it as a joke), so that I could grab its edge if need be. There are also spare couch cushions (from thrown away couches) on the stairs in case I fell. And of course the hard hat.

And a non-related picture for fun:

20090124 - party prep - mirror - 175-7699 - spiral stairs - please click through to leave a comment on FlickR
among other hangings, a mirror, which “creates more” toys

We did all this ladder business with the toys sitting on the shelf right next to it. I think we only knocked down 2 or 3, which is amazing considering what we were doing.  The mirror really adds to the look of the collection. It also means it’s now possible to see the downstairs door without having to go downstairs — by looking in the mirror.

To view all the pictures of this set on flickr, go to my 20090124 tag on flickr.

Happy Birthday Carolyn!!!!

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] The title really turned me off, until I realized what it was about and who was involved… Then changed my mind.

HAIKU REVIEW: Pineapple Express:
what a stupid fucking name…
But now it makes sense.

PEOPLE: Seth Rogan. James Franco. Gary Cole. Rosie Perez (?!). Written by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, who wrote Superbad.

QUIRKS: A stoner action movie. Dude, wait… What?

The first marijuana themed comedy to gross over $100 million worldwide.

POLITICS: There is often no way to contain police corruption, due to the power police have. That’s bad.

BAD STUFF: Since this was a combo pot/comedy movie and action movie, it fails to be a super comedy OR a super action movie. Instead, we get a really good (not quite super) movie that happens to be both. It’s still really funny!

Of course — it might have had more action if their budget hadn’t been cut in HALF because of the drug-related content. Fucking studios.

CONCLUSION: 4/5 stars on Netflix, 8/10 on IMDB, tho I’d probably give it more like a 7.5 if I could.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like feelgood action movies, or Rogan/Goldberg movies like Superbad — you will like this. It’s full of good quotes, at the very least.

MOVIE QUOTE:
Saul: This is like if that Blue Oyster shit met that African Kush I had – and they had a baby. And then, meanwhile, that crazy Northern Light stuff I had and the Super Red Espresso Snowflake met and had a baby. And by some miracle, those two babies met and fucked – this would the shit that they birthed.
Dale Denton: [smells the marijuana] Wow. This is the product of baby fucking.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian and Glen really liked it. (more…)