I have never earned my living with my hands. We would have starved. Now I am remodeling the lanai (northerners: that's Florida-speak for "porch"). I have always been able to wield a hammer equally well with either hand - badly, that is - slamming thumbs often but only occasionally striking nails even a glancing blow. I swear a lot.
If you haven't been following this blog with religious ferocity, you may not know that I bought a mobile home that once was owned by Judy's Uncle Bud. Bud was a true believer in bathtub caulk - a regular vinyl acolyte. Install enough bathtub caulk and you get 77 virgins when you move on.
Bud laid down thick ropes of vinyl everywhere. Every crack and joint in the place is securely plugged with once-pliable plastic goop. So I was not terribly surprised when I went to strip the vent covers off the soffits on the lanai to see that each one was carefully sealed into place with caulking compound - so they wouldn't leak. Uncle Bud, wherever you are now, these are VENTS: they are supposed to leak. Old caulking is really, really difficult to scrape off.
I roughed out the wiring in preparation for installing a false wall to hold paneling and banged up a bunch of furring strips to hold up the panels. I planned to lay in a stereo wire to a headphone jack so I could sit out there and listen to music while I napped. But the Internet advised me that you can't just wire the output from your stereo to a headphone jack. You need an attenuation circuit or else John Prine or Justin Townes Earle will produce enough raw current to blow your eardrums to hell.
In theory, an attenuation circuit is just a couple of resistors and switches that send excess electrons off to their ethereal reward. Luckily, I hold an Advanced Class Amateur Radio License, which I earned back in the 1970s by sending Morse Code at 20 words per minute and knowing what resistors do. I still cling fondly to the illusion that I know what I am doing. But after 35 years, memory fades, technology moves on, and the guy at Radio Shack never heard of a resistor ("but we have a great sale on 4G cell phones"). Screw it - I'll run headphones from the jack on the amplifier and just string it around the door jamb. Problem solved.
Today it rained. Hard. The freaking lanai roof leaks! It didn't do that last time it rained. The leak lines up perfectly with the electrical wiring I am installing behind the paneling. Crap. Visions of electrocution swirl through my conscience.
More later. But this looks kind of grim.