I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 163 - How To Repair a Soffit

Daily Kup (My Life in Work Shoes While Everyone Else Wears High Heels)
Happy Fall! We wave Labor Day good-bye and start the slow march into Minnesota winter. I hate it when the giant rock hurtling through space starts to angle away from the fiery ball in the middle of the ellipse.

We spent an uneventful weekend repairing the soffit that the raccoon tore open. (If you are not familiar with the story of the "Raccoon Who Came to Dinner" and spent the winter tearing up my attic and the spring giving birth and being evicted, please search "raccoon" for more than you ever wanted to know.) I was hoping to report successful completion but we still have a way to go.

Soffit Replacement for Dummies

In our family, we are skilled at many things. We are not fast at home improvement. We often have to do things more than once. We measure twice, cut once and then go to the hardware store three times to replace what we damaged.

Our home has plywood soffits. When this started, I didn't know what the hell a soffit was. I've since learned that it's the bottom surface of where the roof sticks out beyond the house. Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, people hardly ever talk about soffits without fascia. Fascia are those boards at that run around the perimeter of the roof that are perpendicular to the soffits. Soffits horizontal, fascia vertical. When in doubt, mumble.

Where the soffit meets the slope of our garage roof, we had a hole on the underside through the plywood about the size of a fat football or a skinny raccoon. When it's warm, raccoons live in woodpiles or trees or get a place in the Hamptons with their friends. When it starts to get cooler, they pack up and think about moving in with someone and procreating. While this is similar to half my high school graduating class, I prefer that they advertise in Craigslist and stay out of my attic.

On Saturday, we tore off the damaged soffit panel. It was eight feet long. A section of fascia was rotted out and so that was removed also. We had to take out the nails from the trim above the fascia upon which the roof drop edge rests to get the bad fascia out.

Unless you are a fearless roofing wizard, do this job patiently and methodically to avoid doing more damage. This is not the time to release your inner wild person.

Notice the fiberglass insulation and various loose items on the old plywood. These are lots and lots of walnuts and raccoon poop. When we broke the last section of the panel free, this rained down on us. Raccoons carry a type of roundworm that can infect the central nervous system and be fatal to small children and those with compromised immune systems.

When doing this type of clean-up, it would be smart to wear a hat you don't like, a dust mask, safety glasses and waterproof gloves. We didn't have any of that, so we picked it up with plastic bags on our hands and bagged it for trash pick-up that goes to the incinerator. Our brains are pretty well shot anyway.

Here it is with everything ugly removed. Now that we knew what wood we needed, we were on our way to the lumber yard. We were originally going to use the what we could of the old soffit panel and just cut off and replace the bad section, but we'd have to buy a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood anyway, so what the heck. The type of plywood to buy is CDX, an exterior grade with the knots replaced with those football-shaped patches on the "good" (C) side and the knots still there on the "bad" (D) site. The X is for exterior.

I used to be shy about having the lumber yard cut any wood I was buying. Now I have them do as many cuts as they will do for free if it will save me time, saw blades and potentially lost fingers. That's why they are wearing the orange or blue or green vests. The guy ripped the plywood down to the needed 28" width in about 20 seconds and we were good to go.

We strapped the plywood to the top of the bus and started down the highway. This was fine until a perfect storm of a passing semi, bumpy road and a snapping bungee cord threw the plywood into the highway where it was driven over by a lot of snappish people with a limited range of hand gestures. T found a gap in the traffic and ran out onto the highway to retrieve the pieces, but not without a few hand signals of his own. The section that we had cut to fit was unfortunately shortened by the impact so it was back to the lumber yard.

And then it was Sunday. The saga of putting the soffit back in continues tomorrow. Aluminum ain't just for cans!

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