The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Raindrops fallin' on my head

Simple projects never turn out to be simple.

I have a screen porch in the back of my house. It's where I keep my potted Key Lime tree and other small plants. It's also where Faye and Francis sit and smoke so the house doesn't get that "smokers live here" smell. (Not my idea, Faye's, though I heartily support it.)

The screened part is an extension of an alcove-like area between the bedroom on the north and the bedroom on the south. When we planned the house, we had wanted a curved screen area for the "roof" of that section. Instead, we ended up with a flat screened roof. I was not happy. If it was to be flat, it might as well be opaque, a solid roof. I soon learned that it should have been a solid roof.

I should have known better. I have lived in Florida for a lot of my life. We get rain. Lots of rain. Rain is not stopped by screen. Rain comes right through. And, when the gutter between the eave of the house and the start of the screen gets clogged up with pine needles (we have, in addition to rain, more pine trees than weeds in Florida), you get a waterfall effect. I have found that there is very little drainage on that porch. Which means, every time it rains, we get a little pond. When it rains really hard (which it also does a lot in Florida) we get a big pond.

So, we decided to call for someone to put a roof, a real roof, on the screened area of the porch. If not for the Great Kneecap Incident, I would have eventually put some kind of cover on that section. It would have been cheap and it would have been noisy when it rained but it would have been functional... and cheap. When you contract with someone to do it for you, it costs a lot more. It is not cheap. But it is allegedly better.

I expected to pay almost a third less than I am paying. I don't know why I expected that, it has never happened before, but I did. I wanted to pay that much less but I only get one vote and Faye gets two. On the other hand, the gutter will no longer be between the eave of the house and the screened area. It will be on the eave of the screened area where I can more easily clean out the pine needles and other debris gutters collect along with the runoff from the roof of one's house. And there will be no more large ponds on my back porch. Small ones, perhaps, because it is still screened and there is nothing to stop the rain from blowing in. But not large ones. Not ones where I spend time vainly squeegeeing the water off the tiles and out the back door. A bit like bailing out the Titanic.

Or paying down the national debt.

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