Monday, October 12, 2009


I spent a portion of the weekend working on rental property. Saturday was efficient, because I assessed the overloaded closet (in their defense, overloaded by the previous tenant), went to Home Depot, bought two cobalt drill bits (in case one breaks), four lag screws, slightly larger than the stripped screw that had come loose, and a spare L-rod in case it all went pear-shaped. 30 minutes later, I had the old screw hole redrilled, a second hole drilled, and the shelf up and solid. My only concern was the slight crunching noise the wood behind the wall made as things went up. I suspect if I were to rip down the wall I wouldn't be happy with the state of the pine.

Sunday was more difficult. We have a house of 10 that had a garage door opener without functioning safety sensors. When we fixed the opener and ran the wire before, it didn't work at all. Taking a multi to the wires revealed they were broken/clipped at several places. So I bought 100' of heavier wire and went to work, climbing over all the boxes the new renters (combining two familes, so just imagine) had in the garage. I even managed to hurt my back a little moving book boxes. I ran the wire, confident I had enough because I'd estimated: over my head = 8', at least twice that far back into the garage, 24', and about 1.5x that to center, 36' of wire per side. So imagine my surprise when I got to the end of the second wire a good 8' before the sensor holder. I checked the packaging and realized some nice customer had dumped a roll of 50' in the 100' bin. So it was back to Home Depot. Ugh. But it works, and all is safe.

Except me. I came home, only slightly beat up from straining my back with the box off books (it was actually several boxes of books, and many more boxes off other stuff, and while I was in a maze of boxes clearing a way to the wall, one of the renters dropped a number of 40# bags of salt under the garage door line, so I had to move those as well), with a generous amount of crusty blood all over my thumb from poking it with a razor blade, worries about how all the renters had been suffering from H1N1 only a week earlier, and an itchy head. The back ache got better with advil. The thumb washed clean and only feels a little numb in one spot. I don't seem to have H1N1 despite being sick. But the itchy head wouldn't stop! I scratched and scratched, and then dumped lotion all over my head. It itched through the lotion, but I fell asleep. Then today, it still itched. And got worse, and worse (and I was sick on top of it). By the time I took Pooteewheet to see the doctor, I was scratching non-stop. Grating, finger-nail etching, trying to pull up skin from my head, scratching. Then the hives started. And the itchy ears. And the back ache (not the back ache from lifting the books, but an allergy-style back ache like I get from rum and too many tomatoes). Finally, aboout 4:30 it faded a bit, and I'm still scratching at 8:05, but it's better.

I don't know what fell on me while I was running sensor wires, but I don't think I'm going to climb around that garage again any time soon.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

I don't know if the area was finished and insulated or not, but fiberglass insulation can get a heck of a itch-scratch cycle going sometimes...