Monday, October 05, 2009

Insulation: Day Eleven

or, "Marathon Ascending and Descending of a Ladder"
or, "How Calculus Relates to Insulation"

We had quite a day yesterday. The weather was wet; I wasn't knitting. And so we thought we do the last top-off of the insulation and be done with it.

I woke up feeling bad enough that I didn't go to church. But I was willing to give the insulation a try, hoping to be improved by the afternoon. Troy trotted off to church and picked up the machine and cellulose afterward. By the time he was home, had lunch, and had a nap it was about 4:00.

As he's getting his work clothes on he mentions that he got a different machine because he went to Menards this time. (Usually we go to Home Depot.) The machine is heavy enough he doesn't thing we can manually lift it out of the truck. I suggest we just leave it in the truck and use it there. Problem solved.

Then he mentions we're doing the dining room as well. "What!?" I don't like surprises. I don't care if it's only 15 minutes more work, I need to know ahead of time. I need to psyche myself up for these things. But I decide I don't have much choice and suggest that we just drive the truck outside the window and run the hose through an open window. That's Plan A, anyway; we'll see if we need a Plan B when we get there.

We never get there. After getting the shop more or less ready (moving everything away from the walls to make room for the ladder, setting up fans in the windows, repairing a fan that fell out of the window, etc), we turn the beast on. I notice right away that it is a lot dustier. In fact, it's spewing insulation fluff up out of the top of the machine. We soon realize this is because it's clogged. It won't blow anything out of the hose. We can't get it going. We can't adjust the feed rate. We are not impressed.

Troy gets fired up. Fired up enough that he takes everything back to Menards and says he's going to Home Depot for our regular machine. Then we're going to start again.

I pick the rest of our beets while he's gone, but then go back to bed. It's all I can manage.

He returns by about 7:30. I set up the new (much lighter) machine while Troy drives back to clean up a bag that flew off the truck a couple miles back. When we turn it on, this machine works. (Ok, so about half way through, we got this one clogged too. We go 10 times with no blockages, and today we get two. :sigh: But this one is cleared up in short order and then we don't have any more problems with it.)

We make it around the room, topping off each and every stud bay. It's now 10:15. We are dirty and tired. But determined. So we head off to the dining room, dragging the hose, blower, and some insulation with us.

Fifteen minutes later we have the dining room done and everything packed back into the truck. I am in bed by 10:38, watching the Steelers nearly blow a 28-0 lead.

Oh, what about the, "Marathon Ascending and Descending of a Ladder"? That is Troy. Each bay only took from 15 to 90 seconds to fill, but Troy had to move the ladder for each one. So he was bopping up and down the ladder all evening. He got quite warm. (Naturally, I was quite cold standing by an open window with not much to do--turning the machine on and off while occasionally putting in some more insulation.) I guess this is turn-about-is-fair play from the first days when he was sitting on the ladder while I was running around throwing insulation in as fast as I could.

And the "How Calculus Relates to Insulation"? So when we're about three-quarters done last night, Troy yells that we have do this twice. It's a little hard to communicate when we're both wearing dust masks and ear plugs, but I assume he means that bay. (I have no idea why but that is not my job to question.) Then I start to think maybe he means we have to do this whole topping off thing twice. I stew on that for a while. (Like I said, I need prep for these types of pronouncements. I was wondering if that was my "notice.")

Troy gets all the way around the room and then starts doing bays we've already done. When we have a break from the noise as he's adjusting the ladder, I can't keep quiet any longer. I ask, "How many times are we going to top this off?" And Troy says, "Once; why?" "Well, we've already filled those bays." Troy was happy to hear that--he had forgotten where we had started.

I then said that I thought I was going to have to explain how calculus works and the fact that no matter how many times we went around the room, he could always fit in just a little more. Less each time, but still more each and every time to the nth degree. He laughed and agreed and confirmed that we are done. (I'm sure those of you who know Troy are not surprised that I was worried he would want to do everything again. Sometimes I think it's my job to keep his thoroughness in check. But not this time.)

In any case, it's done now. I will be happy to not have it hanging over us anymore and to not hear that machine for a while.

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