Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bus Blog 13: Help from Mr. Poops

My wife has threatened castration if I cut Jack's hair.  I think she's serious because every time it comes up, she somehow, magically, has scissors in her hand.  This is an argument, despite logic and functional reasons, I cannot win.

It was time to finish the flooring in the entrance of the bus.  The next step would be to start putting up walls, so it made sense to get it done before I started limiting the space I had to work in.  Because we did a thorough job insulating the rest of the bus and a change in height might mess with access to the pedals, we decided to mimic the original bus floor by installing 5/8" plywood then covering it with rubber flooring.
The ply went in easily, and it was secured with PL and self-tapping screws.  As I worked, a familiar hand grasped the end of my impact driver and pushed down.
Jack insisted on helping and I was glad.  Though it was rather short-lived because when he saw access to the steering wheel, he forgot all about me, climbed on top of the heater and began to drive.
"Hey, what am I paying you for?" I asked.  "We're on a deadline here," I was entirely unheeded.   He began fiddling with the radio and rocking the steering wheel at the same time, "Eyes on the road," I said.  He looked at me briefly as if to say, "Stuff it Daddy," and continued his driving.

My wife corrects people when they compliment us on our precious little girl.  "He's actually a boy," she says flatly.  I generally shrug and do my best blank look, add the comment to my internal tally and hope that maybe, this is the one that breaks her and allows me to get him a damned hair cut.  "It gets in his eyes, face, mouth, needs extra attention...  He's a boy and reckless, let's at least give him the ability to see what he's about to run into," I reason.
Kirstin hears nothing, occasionally dresses him up in joke gifts from her sister, outfits from Egypt or Thailand, too colorful things with animals and odd shapes and sequins (hot climate full body versions of ugly Christmas sweaters), correcting each person who calls him a girl.  Seriously, she's as stubborn as a geriatric mule.

I finished putting in the plywood and it looked, well, like plywood.  I also covered the second step, but decided to leave the first step bare and just cover it with flooring to allow enough clearance for the front doors to open and shut fully.  Everything in place, it was time to apply the rubber.  The beautiful thing about working commercial construction is the access to waste.  I had scored, among a stock-pile shored-up in my in-laws garage, two sheets of hockey-skate flooring (1/4" rubber).   The flooring guys said it was pretty much indestructible.  It was heavy as hell, just like the stuff I had previously removed from the bus, and retailed for $14 a square foot.  I took it.

The rubber cut-up nice and was pretty mindless work, so my thoughts were free to wander.  I was trying to figure out how in the hell I could cut Jack's hair without being murdered.  Hands busy slicing smoothly through the rubber, I started thinking back to the first couple years as a courier.  One of the guys I worked with, Andreas, let his hair grow long, then cut it.  What was that for?  Cancer kids or something...

I dry fit the flooring, took it back, trimmed a little, dry fit again.  Love something...

I emptied my 25th tube of PL on the plywood flooring, spreading it evenly, smearing it with a piece of plastic.

Locks...  Locks of Love!

The flooring went down, I rolled it flat by standing on a pipe and walking it slowly across the floor.  I then secured the loose heater and left the access hatch and steps for later.  The flooring looked good.
Ignore the framing, we'll cover that later.

  The next morning, I laid out my argument, pronouncing "children," and "cancer," a bit slower than the rest of the words for added effect.  After a bit of back and forth, me maintaining a calm countenance, we struck an accord.  When Jack's hair reaches nine inches in length, we're going to donate it so it can be made into a wig for a child who, due to illness or treatment, is unable to grow their own.

Though the impetus for donating Jack's hair is admittedly self based, Locks of Love is a great little charity that makes a difference in the lives of a lot of kids, helping their confidence and self esteem during really tough periods in their lives.  If you're thinking of chopping your mop or know someone who is, check them out.