Sunday, November 15, 2009

surfboard repair 1

Finally had some time today to start the repair of the surfboard. You have my permission to skip this post, its really only meant to document what a nerd I am.

Okay, so the first repairs I attempted were small ones on the underside of the board. See a surfboard is basically a shaped piece of foam, wrapped in fiberglass cloth and enameled with epoxy or resin. So any bonks on rocks or shells or door handles can put a divot into the resin, and allow the board to become waterlogged. Waterlogged boards not only weigh a lot more, handle poorly, and fail to float, they can also smell bad. This board has a ways to go before it is water-tight.

So this first picture shows a previously repaired ding (left) right next to two small holes that I have now covered with fiberglass resin. On my first attempt, I used the resin with an overlay of smooth plastic. Would have worked great, but had bubbles under it that resembled pox upon drying. Not the smooth surface I was going for. So I tried a second time with another batch (this stuff dries in 10 minutes, so I am making only an ounce at a time), and I think I have the holes filled. I did sand it first, and it is really important to do so. In fact, the roughest sandpaper (40 grit) had the best results. The resin just peels off where it wasn't sanded.

This second picture that looks like garbage is what happens when I added pieces of fiberglass cloth (cut up) to the remaining resin to use as a filler. I pushed this sticky hairball into a much bigger crack to fill a hole. This crack went all the way through the board's fiberglass cloth shell right into the foam core, so I needed something to take up space in the hole. The second part of this repair is to sand it down and then use just resin to make it smooth.

An alternate is to wrap a patch of fiberglass cloth (intact) around the side rail of the board and resin it down, but that is not as smooth, and probably not necessary for the three inches of gash that this is.
See, as this third picture shows, sanded down, this same gash is filled very nicely. A layer of resin over the top and it will be smooth as butta'. As a side note, I do! tape off each repair in a little circle around the ding with some painters tape. That way, I can smear the resin around, and don't have to worry too much about it getting where it is not supposed to be. This was especially important for this rail because the resin drips over the side and will form permanant 'drips' on the top, like big zits (also not a look we are going for).
stay tuned for part 2

my aunt and other things

So my aunt is out of the hospital, and my mom is off to visit her this week and help her recover from surgery. The nodes are clear, but unfortunately, not all of the cancer is out. There are some places on the abdominal wall that just could not be removed at this surgery because there was simply too much to take out at one time. So the surgeon wants to go back in in a couple of months. So, not out of the woods yet. I will update more when I hear from my mom when they visit the doctor.
Busy packing for a week in Pennsylvania. Tday is at my sister in law's parents house (soon to be her house!) Should be a fun week! Just have to pack efficiently, and not forget anything important. Like the gifts, and the contact lens solution, and the pan to roast the turkey in, and onand on...
Finished a few projects off (yay) like grouting, now I just need to seal the grout. I still need to paint in the kitchen - behind the fridge. Yeah, I know, its like the last place anybody looks, but it will help to have that done. It doesn't even have to be a good job, but it cannot be left undone.
At some point I have to Kilz the ceiling and paint it too. I just hope I have enough ecru left over from the bathrooms paintjob almost seven years ago.
I haven't been keeping up with much else... I haven't FB'd, I haven't hardly emailed anyone back in an appropriate time span. I feel like I am barely keeping afloat with the paying of bills. And am I going to write christmas cards? I think I will have to do a letter and print it out, or not bother. Maybe photo cards! I feel like every minute must be accounted for, and every minute must be used to do something useful, and I am running out of time. And I perversely waste time even when I know I must not. Its like perversely eating when you are not hungry, but you have some other stupid reason for it like "this will go bad unless I eat it now". Similarly, "I have to reply to my movie club mailing, but lets just see what they have on sale..." and thirty minutes goes by shopping for something I don't need, don't need to spend money on, using time I cannot afford to waste.
Okay, that was a rant!
Now off to something else...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

great news about my aunt

The great news is that none of my aunts lymph nodes were positive for cancer. Zero out of thirteen. That changes everything! Instead of asking the question, "How much time left?" we can ask the questions like, "How long does she have to have chemo for her to be in the clear?" "What does she need to eat to compensate for removal of some bowel, so that she will maintain her bone mass and get enough nutrition for the long-term?"
The whole outlook has changed.
Poor thing, though, I talked to her this morning, and she is still in pain, still nauseous, unable to eat yet, still in the hospital, still anemic and tired, and just plain down in the dumps. Believe me, I know what that is like. But the great news is that it is uphill from here. She will get stronger and she has a very good chance of beating this completely, not just living with it and slowly dying from it.
I have been craving salad, roughage, and healthy foods too! I do not want this happening to me in ten years. What a wake-up call!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I am feeling old

Something about today was making me feel old. Most days, I don't feel that way. Sure, I don't feel young, but I don't usually feel as middle aged as I am. Today, however, wearing my old-lady looking shoes that are very comfortable, shopping for crafts, feeling my back hurt. One of my aunts is visiting my mom as I am this weekend, and she is doing well having had a knee replacement just two months ago. I know my mom will have to undergo another one soon, so I cannot help but think that it will be very likely for me since my knees are my weak link. My other aunt just had surgery to remove colon cancer. She is only 53, so it is quite a shock. We are waiting on the lab reports to know what stage it is and the prognosis. Of course, I wonder if that is my fate in a few decades. Or the fate of more people I am close to. I know it is morbid to think this way, but even halloween skeletons make me think about being a skeleton before too long. I also know it is useless to worry about it, the only thing I can do is stay positive and involved in life, trying to be me at my best.