Tuesday, October 30, 2007

project 365 #302: foggy morning walk 4

Yesterday, I had the day off. I had simple, modest plans that involved cleaning every inch of the house, taking out my winter clothes, going for a long hike with the dogs (possibly to the top of mountain or two,) visiting my mother, going shopping, fixing the router and, oh, I don't know. Writing a novel, maybe. Alas, however, the spirit was willing but the flesh? The flesh was only willing to fiddle around on the computer, wash the dishes, go to the Mart of Wal for wildly overpriced delicious Halloween candy and winterize the dog door. Click on that, y'all. It's a feat of engineering you don't really want to miss.

See, I realized a while back that ready made dog doors are a terrible rip off, because you're basically paying $65 for a hole. Even a person with limited technical skillz such as myself can create a hole for far less than $65. At the old house, I bought a "real" dog door and installed it in a good door, or, well, that's kind of what I did. Kind of, because I used a real dog door, but that exhausted my dog door budget and so I went with a cheap, cheap screen door that was, um, modified by my friend D by the addition of a whole bunch of plywood and then far further modified by the combined efforts of all the dogs who ever used it, so that finally it lost all claim to being even slightly energy efficient and I just hung an old brown towel over it and gave up.

With this house I decided to skip the $65 dog door route entirely, although of course I still had to have a dog door, and thus I got my friend D (another friend D with mad carpentry skillz - I am blessed in friends D with carpentry skills or at least a certain nonchalance about wielding power tools) to take out the landlord's nice vinyl door before the dogs ate it and install a $17 mostly screen door from Lowes. Then I just kicked a hole in the bottom right side of the screen and called it a dog door. It worked fine all summer but when the summer switched to winter as it did on Sunday night, well, it became problematic. Damn you, global warming - you're not working fast enough.

I had this brainstorm whereby I was going to buy yet another door, from Habitat this time, a cheap all wood door, and install that where the real door is and then kick, or possibly cut, a hole in that as a dog door. My friend A shot this down (possibly because he really didn't want to deal with it and also because even a brief telephone conversation convinced him that I know nothing whatsoever about what switching doors entails) and told me that instead, I should use cardboard and bubble wrap to insulate the screen door and that would not only be fine, but present all kinds of exciting new aesthetic and artistic possibilities. Yeah. That is exactly what I did and hey, it certainly is excitingly different looking. Well, to be fair, actually it looks kind of cool from outside - where noone is. Also, since I took that picture, I got rid of the white foam stuff - which, by the way, is the packing stuff I snagged when my job was throwing it away and on which I slept on Saturday night. Quite comfortably, but it functions less well as a dog door and instead I am now using a cut up striped cheap ass Mexican polyester blanket which the dog had already partly eaten. This is, naturally, vastly more aesthetic. Be impressed. I rock at winterizing, or, well, I would if there weren't still gaping holes all around the door that foam tape (which Django considers a tasty hors d'oeuvre anyway) isn't doing shit to block. Drat.

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