Friday, November 18, 2011

The Prospect of Perfection, Foiled Again

Imagine a pond on a summer day, a perfect plane of green glass, or pretty close to perfect, with no breezes and no ripples on the surface other than the tiny circles of light caused when a dragonfly or honey bee dips his butt into the water.

The watery surface tells a story with two certainties: what is smooth and what is straight. Not absolute certainties, because of the curvature of the earth and quirks of physics that I don't understand, but close enough for carpentry.

Of all of the project work up to this point--the demolition, the plumbing, the framing, the flooring, the tiling--nothing has more potential for success than the work that has finally arrived: the wood work. I'll be framing the window and the door. And I'll be creating a bookcase and shelves. And I enjoy working with wood most of all.

In a normal framing project, we would expect to see virtually flat, pond-like surfaces on the wall, and we'd find some entertainment is finding and compensating for minor imperfections, like a wall that veers off a few fractions of an inch to the east or west for no apparent reason. Ha, ha, we would say, I can fix that.

In this case (as has been the project theme to this point), the adjustments I'll need to take are anything but minor. It's as if the quiet pond had a sudden step in the middle, so that you have to get out of the boat and hoist it up to the higher water to continue on.

Of course, there's a good explanation, and I will place all the blame for this elsewhere. More later..

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