Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Thanks, BobBIE, for posting the Dickey Lee tune.

When I was little, I thought the singers on the radio were singing live down at KRSN. Normally as tranquil as a September morn, I remember going to pieces one day when I heard Peggy Lee singing, because if we didn't get downtown really fast, she'd be gone.

Years later, P and I went to Opryland and saw Brenda Lee. I remember seeing her on TV and being enchanted by her voice and the fact that she was only a few years older than I. Her show in Opryland was fabulous.

And who can forget Eugene "Porky" Lee of the Little Rascals?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"On the roof, it's peaceful as can be / And there the world below can't bother me"

The title of this post is fraught with irony.

The sounds from the roof include
  • metallic scraping,
  • drilling,
  • pneumatic hammering,
  • raucous singing,
  • pounding, and
  • a radio favoring most of Western Area with hits from Mexico.
They're the sounds of progress.

The tongue and groove ceiling is also the decking for the roof in the living room and dining room. You could see daylight yesterday. Pumice sifting through and landing on everything sounds like a very gentle rain when it's falling, and when you walk on the grit, it sounds like you're crunching along in spilled sugar.

Here are the guys. Yesterday when it rained, they covered everything and, instead of calling it a day, hung out in the carport and ate Pringles and candy until it cleared up. Then they started working again and didn't quit until about 7:30 that evening.

I forgot to mention the sound of motorized equipment.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new roof

Last summer's epic hailstorm injured Sophie the Honda and damaged the roof. My insurance company reminded me that I have a deadline by which to start repairs on the roof, so earlier this summer I got estimates.

My neighbor recommended a buddy of his who was not licensed but worked cheap. The guy gave me his estimate written in a barbed and illiterate hand on a piece of scribble paper: "Fix roof," with a total that would keep him in beer for months.

The neighbor's ex-wife recommended a guy who is indeed a licensed roofer and maintains office hours at the bar at the VFW.

A friend recommended the guy who fixed her roof. He showed up six hours later than his appointed time, got up on the roof and walked around for a minute in a vague, desultory, poetic manner, promised an estimate by the end of the week, and disappeared. That was mid May.

Finally, I called my neighbor, who is a licensed contractor, and said, "Stan, I need a roofer. I need a reliable roofer. Don't argue with me." So he gave me the name and number of the guy he uses.

Ian showed up at the appointed second, gave me a sample of the material he proposed to use, gave me a detailed description of the structure and a potential problems with Original Western Area roofs, gave me a list of references, drew a diagram of what he proposed to do, got up on the roof and measured and took a core sample (I have two roofs, one of which contains pumice, which absorbs water), and gave me an estimate a couple days later.

Today I came home for lunch to see workers swarming all over the yard and roof and the materials staged in the driveway. And now, after work, they have already removed part of the roof over the bedroom. It sounds as if they're coming right into the house because the sound carries so well down the chimney.

The odor of 20-year-old waterlogged pumice is very sour, like vomit.

Here is the roofing material staged on the lawn. You can see a corner of the roof in the upper right.