Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

The Mocking Tea Cabinet and the Tale of the ESPoW...

So, I decided to do a few little projects today...

I have a tea cabinet that I wanted to hang above the water cooler / heater, or I should say, that it had me... It's nice enough, in a sturdy dark wood British kind of way, but it's very hard to hang because of the location of the hangers on the back... you need to hang it from two screws, and they have to be spot on, exactly one foot apart in order to fit in the holes and support the cabinet.

I'm quite certain that this is a mocking tea cabinet, however. I carefully measured the wall and the available space for the cabinet, established a nice centered theoretical space for the cabinet with a good equidistant margin of space on either side, measured in from either side to establish exactly where the screws should go, and put in the screws.

... only to find that the tea cabinet somehow decided to molecularly reassemble itself 3/4's of an inch smaller, thereby rendering at least one of my screws moot. Just the kind of trick that a mocking tea cabinet plays on its supposed masters, of course.

The mocking tea cabinet has been suitably punished, and is now hanging, at the cost of an extra hole in the wall. This is annoying to me, because I dislike aesthetically unpleasing holes.

Still, it could be worse. At least it's not a mock tea cabinet, because I don't think I could put up with that kind of behavior...


After hanging the Mocking Tea Cabinet, I started in my quest to fix the latch on the back screen door so that the latch would catch properly and keep the cats at bay.

I looked at the problem with the door... it was the bracket. It was painted over, installed backwards, and probably never properly fufilled its role of keeping the door shut, no matter how much our house has settled over time. The bracket's proximity to the latch only served to taunt the screen door, which would and could never truely stay closed...

I knew then and there what I would need to fix the problem. I'd need the Emotionally Satisfying Piece of Wood.

The ESPoW is about one and a half inches long, a half an inch wide, and a quarter of an inch thick. Accept no substitutes, or the latch will not work correctly... either the door latch will slip off the bracket when the door is headbutted by a particularly aggressive cat, or the latch would bang into the bracket, reverberating the screen door in the way that such doors do. Every time there was a storm, the screen door would repeatedly slam and reverberate. The one thing that would never happen, however, would be the latch actually finding a nice comfortable place to rest behind the bracket... not without the ESPoW.

In order to create the ESPoW, I had to go to OSH and get the smallest, least expensive piece of wood they had, which turned out to be about ten feet long, an inch wide, and half an inch thick. It sold for about a dollar. I had them cut it in two while I was in the store, because walking around with a ten foot piece of wood is insane. I didn't have the heart to ask them to cut it into numerous vaguely ESPoW-shaped pieces, as that would have been even more insane.

After much fiddling, I managed to carefully remove the previously useless bracket from the door jam, stripping several useless layers of paint from it in the process. I then took it and used it as the basis for making the ESPoW.

Then it occurred to me. I could use a significantly less satisfying piece of cardboard to do the job. Nobody would ever notice, and it would probably work more or less until we left the house. I tore a bit of cardboard for this very purpose... it was the EUPoC.

So, should I use the EUPoC or try making an ESPoW? It was a moral dilemma, as it's not easy to make an ESPoW. It takes time and effort, measuring and general fiddling. I decided to bite the bullet and try to create an ESPoW, however.

At first, it didn't seem like it would be a particularly emotionally satisfying piece of wood. I attacked it with a small handsaw, poked at it with a flathead screwdriver, and got sawdust all over myself. Over time, however, the saw sawed, the birds chirped, and the wood started to take shape. When it was finally free of the larger board, I measured it against the gap where I needed to put it... perfect fit. Very emotionally satisfying indeed. It happily screwed into place and the latch and bracket shall finally meet and lovingly embrace.

The odd thing about creating the ESPoW is that an ESPoW twin was created in the same process. I threw the EUPoC away, but put the ESPoW twin in the toolbox for safe keeping. You never know when you might need an Emotionally Satisfying Piece of Wood...

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