Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I support PAS

Over at the WVSR, Jeff has a brown ribbon signifying that he supports PAS research.

What is PAS, you ask? It stands for "phantom ass syndrome," that feeling you get (or, more correctly, DON'T get) when you sit for long periods of time and you butt gets 1) sore, then 2) numb.

It's only 11:30 in the morning, and I'm already working on a case of epic PAS.

Thought you should know.

Sanding multiple coats of paint off a wood floor is a tiring, frustrating business, even with the right tools with which to do the job.

A big ol' drum sander with 36-grit paper on it can only do so much when the floor is 100+ years old, it's been varnished then painted then painted again, and has dips n' ripples akin to a sandy shallow lake bed. Also? The drum sander does not get to the edges so much, which means that some other means of dross removal must come into play.

Bring on the angle grinder, baby.

And the ear protection, and respirators or bandanas around the nose, and the farging safety glasses, because the machines are loud, messy, and have the potential to kick up shrapnel which may or may not contain lead, old dog pee, cat hair, years of other people's skin dust, and possibly the ghost of Milton Berle.

Nobody wants Uncle Miltie in their nostrils, is what I'm sayin'.

After a feeble attempt at angle-grinding away the 4 or so inches of buffer left around the perimeter of the room by the drum sander (being run by a supportive and, (dare I say it?) slightly crazed friend, because really? sanding a floor is so NOT a wonderful way to spend the evening), I took a perma-break to go take a shower and fix dinner. One look in the mirror told me that the bandana I was wearing as a means of keeping my lungs in the pink simply wasn't cutting it for respiratory protection, for the flares of mah nares were outlined in brown paint dust, or perhaps Miltie-mess. Either way, 'twas the ick.

More ick was to be had in the actual shower itself, when, as I am wont to do, I blew my nose (hey - the shower moisturizes with STEAM and you can get really GREAT boogs out !) and thereby realized that the dust had not only deposited itself on the outside of my nearly perfect lil' nose, but it had gone well into the inside of my lungs, as evidenced by the deep brown nose grits that got blown out.

Seriously, teh gross. And not a little scary, to think that THIS was in my nose n' troat, finding purchase against my cilia, festooning my delicate passages with the flotsam and jetsam of years of OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVING.


And the floor's not done yet. Joy.


But hey! I got to use an angle grinder! Wheeeee!!!!

The MOST fun when using that tool is when the grindy bit comes up against a nail or staple, for then there are sparks! In the HOUSE! Who wouldn't get a little thrill out of shooting incindiaries across the oh-so-flammable saw-dust-covered wood floor?


Lastly, may I just come right out and say a hearty 'thank you' to the person who invented knee pads? Without them, all the floor-level work would suck harder than a new Dyson. They're about the only thing that makes that kind of work even remotely possible for more than 5 minutes on my middle-aged knees.

So, thanks, Mr or Miss Knee Pad Inventor! You make it possible to be on my knees for fully 30 minutes at a time! Shooting sparks and huffing dust! Yay!


I gotta get up and walk around. The PAS is in the acute phase, and if I don't move around soon I'm going to be crippled from the crotch down, and I simply can't have that.

Y'all rock this Tuesday like Van Halen, mmkay? See you tomorrow.

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