HOORAY, it’s finally Spring! The windows are open, the breezes are blowing, and the kittehs are LOVING their window platforms, where they can lounge and luxuriate in all the odoriferous wonders coming in through the screens. I have no idea what cats consider to be good smells. My best guesses include bird nests, baby birds, mice, goose poo [plenty of that in the field near our house], the river, the neighbors, the compost pails, cormorant poo [plenty of that on the rocks in the river], and random dogs being walked by our house. No one ever knows with cats!
I took this pic this morning of Darwin relaxing on the upstairs platform in front of the open window [as always, he’s annoyed at having his picture taken – his ears are heading towards their “fully annoyed” position]:
Bonkers still hasn’t figured out how to get up there yet [poor Bonkers], so I’ve set up a temporary platform in front of a window in the girl cave so he can enjoy the breezes too. The window is directly beneath a starling nest tucked into the eaves of our roof, so both cats enjoy pressing their faces against the screen while craning their necks upwards trying to see the birds flying in and out.
Opening the girl cave window for the cats is what, in a roundabout way, is responsible for me having to apologize to Abbie. The window is a typical double hung window, with a screen that gets pulled down in summer, and a storm window that gets pushed up in it’s place. The problem with the girl cave window is that you can pull the screen down, but when you push the storm window up it won’t stay. The little plastic hooks that should hold it in place are broken. Last year I propped it up with a warped wooden dish rack [the kind that folds flat]. Ugly woof. So this year I decided to do it right and cut a piece of wood to use as a prop. I jammed a paint stick in there as a temporary prop, which looked about one step away from snapping and turning the storm window into a guillotine.
In my basement workshop I found a piece of wood that, cut in half lengthwise, would be a perfect window prop. I clamped the wood to the WorkMate workbench Abbie is lending me:
But quickly realized there wasn’t enough room for the circular saw to maneuver around the clamps and make the cut down the center of the board. So I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to center the board over one of the gaps in the table [to accommodate the circular saw blade] while securing it so it wouldn’t slide around. The table has little orange swivel pegs that you can pop into pre-cut holes to hold your wood in varying positions. But they were all in the wrong places to center my wood over the gap. I finally ended up using 2 pieces of scrap wood to fill in the gap between the board I was cutting and the orange pegs:
That actually worked really well. I’m sure there’s a better solution, but I couldn’t come up with one. Which was really irritating!
Then I made a VERY noob decision and didn’t draw a pencil line down the center of the wood before cutting. I decided to eyeball it… face palm. The cut started fine, but for the last 8 inches it veered off to the right. And cut 2 slices into Abbie’s table. O…M…G… I’m SO SORRY AB! When I buy a WorkMate for myself, you guys can have the new one and I’ll keep yours!
After a fair bit of horror and swearing, I laid the wonkily cut window prop on the floor and did what I should have done in the first place – measure a straight line, marked with a pencil. I marked the other board too, since I might be able to use it for another window. With the lines to guide me, it was a piece of cake keeping the saw on a straight track [well, mostly – if you zoom in on the picture you can still see my pencil line in multiple places – d’oh!]. Considering this was my 2nd attempt at using my circular saw [the first attempt involved cutting the cat platforms], I don’t think I did TOO badly…
The finished product [and it’s smaller partner] is mostly straight. And it is doing a splendid job of holding up the storm window in the girl cave – you can see it at the far side of the window:
At some point I will paint it white. But for now, it’s done!
I bought my own Black and Decker WorkMate table! It’s official name according to Amazon is “Black+Decker WM425-A Portable Project Center And Vise”: