Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh, My Heart...

Here is a sweet little Valentine story.

Friday last, I dropped by Dad's for fun. And to see if he wanted to go to dinner.

He was psyched to show me his clean, organised, exotically lighted workshop. Being a power tools kinda girl,§ I was excited to see it.

One whole wall is pegboard and all the repressed memories of dyeing^ schemes long buried floated to the surface.

"I want to get some pegboard and the holes... and the pegs... wood... posts... not metal... plastic? non-reactive..."

As I burbled, Dad reached between two workbenches and pulled out a piece of pegboard. Roughly four feet by 18". Roughly what I'd dreamed would be PERFECT for some sort of dyeing board.

"Now, what were you saying? No metal?"

"Acid dyes react with metal... well, not stainless steel, but they must make the metal pegs with, say, rubber coating on them..."

As I burbled, Dad walked over to a bucket full of dowels# and pulled out a handful of 1/4" dowels.

"Would this work?"

"That would be *perfect*!" I crowed.

We talked about what I was envisioning. We continued to bat about design flaws and solutions over dinner.

Family Dinner was Sunday. At some random point in the evening, Dad turned to me and said, "How long should the dowels for your dyeing rack be?"

"About... this big," I said with my hands.

"Four inches?"


Monday morning I got an email saying, "Your dyeing rack is done. You can pick it up any time."

So I got a mixed six of the finest beer I know and headed to Dad's after work. We thought we'd have a beer to celebrate, but first...

See that lathed edge?††

I was ooing and ahing over the board and Dad turned it over to show me the risers that both keep air circulating and allow the round dowels‡‡ to stand stably§§ in their round holes.## There was a rough spot on the edge of the frame.

"Darn. That was supposed to go inside."

"That's OK. It won't hurt anything."

"Yeah, you'll get splinters every time you pick it up. I'll just smooth that off..."

And he did. And it was a little like Lloyd Dobler saved Diane Court from the broken bottle.

On the way out after our celebratory beer, I said, "Thank you *so* much, Dad. It's perfect."

And he said, "What are fathers for?

...'specially retired ones?"

I love my dad.


Pics of the finished product... and cat for scale.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Bet you never thought you'd see the day.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Visualise if you will: The workshop used to be the garage. Dad built another garage right on the mouth of the original garage. Thus, you can open two garage doors and have one four-car garage where the cars would be stacked two-by-two. He mounted tube lights in the workshop, but had to allow for the roll-up on the garage door, so he created a sort of track system where the lights can slide out of the way of the garage door when he needs them to, but slide back to optimum lighting position when he's working. I just wanted to slide the lights back and forth because I could.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): That's what he said!

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Not "dying," as in "tits up," but "dyeing," as in, "look at all the pretty colours!"

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): NOTE: This computer with the missing space bar also does not support paragraph symbology. We apologise for any inconvenience.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Why... where do you keep your dowels?

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Because, y'know... I've been told "...this much" is eight inches for so long, I have no sense of measurement at all.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Is "lathed" a word? Is it the word I want? I tried to check, but it crashed the entire Holiday Inn and I don't want to do it again. I don't think they'd let me near their computers if I crashed them again. Anyway, Dad took a slidy-scrapy thing (like a mandoline you use in the kitchen) and smoothed that edge.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Cut to five inches to allow for the inch of dowel lost in the stabilising process. He thought of everything.

§§FOOTNOTE (my little heart is all awhirl!): Stabily? Damn you, and your porn-pulling, computer crashing ways!

FOOTNOTE (we are experiencing technical difficulties with the paragraph symbol. Please tune in to our regularly scheduled pounding):

##FOOTNOTE (like the pounding of my heart): Not that I expected square dowels in round holes, but it would not have been inappropriate.

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