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 166 - Trying Not To Jump Off the Roof

Daily Kup (How I Spent My Reality Vacation)
I love these productive early fall days. Remember when I had that ridiculous idea about weaning myself from the tyranny of caffeine? Oh, silly woman. Bolstered with the results of three medical studies, I now have a cup of coffee each morning to unglue my eyes and my ambition, smug with the knowledge that energy-in-a-drum may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and cancer.


I Came, I Saw, I Soffit
The first soffit project is almost done. The sun went down before I could complete the last touches but most of the heavy lifting is done ... literally.

The aluminum soffit panels are supported by a J channel strip that is nailed on the wall edge to the bottom of the old soffit. If there weren't an existing wood soffit, an F channel (so-called because it looks like the letter F, only upside down) would be nailed to the wall in the same position. The other edge of the new soffit is nailed up through the old soffit to the board that is inside the fascia. On wide soffits like these 36-inchers, the center is supported by nailing it to the strip of lathe running down the middle.

The soffits come in 12' sections either 12" or 16" wide that need to be cut to the width of the soffit. This can be done with tin snips or a table or circular saw with a plywood blade installed backwards. I cut these with tin snips but, since I can barely move my fingers now, I'd use a saw for a large quantity. One edge of the panel has a flange and the other edge has a channel, so they sort of snap together during installation.

There are special little painted aluminum nails that you pound in with a trim nail punch. Since the nails are put in through the recessed sections of the panels, using the nail punch keeps you from flattening the ridges with the hammer. The aluminum nails aren't very strong, so predrilling helps a lot. Since aluminum cladding needs to be able to expand and contract with the temperature, all the nailing is done loosely -- and the nail punch also makes it easy to avoid smacking the nails flush.

And here's the (nearly) final product. I have a few more places at the roof edge to secure and then some touch-up to do around the nail holes. I kept noticing these weird reddish-brown smudges on the panels and tools and wondering where they came from. Then I looked at my hands and found that I was covered in microcuts from the razor sharp panel edges.
Now that I've figured out the secrets of this job, the remaining expanse of soffit in the backyard should be a snap if two of us work on it.
After that, anyone need some help with your own aluminum installation?

Good To The Last Drop
I was hammering and got this song stuck in my head. I saw Peter, Paul and Mary in about 2004 or 2005. Mary died last November from complications from chemotherapy for treatment of leukemia. Unlike many singers, her voice barely changed as she aged and she sang as clearly in her sixties as her did in this video from early in her career.

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