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In the gutter

The weather gods deigned to bestow kindness this week. It’s summer again! Well, until tonight. But hey, three days of beautiful; I’ll take it.

Mostly I used the break to (nearly) complete the last of the pre-rainfall projects. Yesterday — gutters. Okay, one 16-foot span of gutter (with corner) and one downspout, but that took me all day. I’m using Repla-K vinyl DIY gutters* from the lumberyard, which are pretty good. They’re reasonably attractive. They’re affordable. I can install them myself. They do the job (as attested by the other small span of gutter I put up last fall). And after two gutterings I’ve discovered the one vital thing to know about them: to install them properly with minimal cussing IGNORE THE DIRECTIONS.

For a change it’s not a case of the instructions being in indecipherable Engrish. They’re just badly written and frequently ludicrous. I particularly love the one that says connect the entire span of gutter with our quick-setting glue before fastening it to the house.. ‘Cause their quick-setting glue never actually sets, and without four friends you cannot raise any glued-together section of gutter without coating yourself in goop and ending up with the sticky gutter pieces falling in the dirt. And cussing. Did I mention cussing?

Once you figure out which parts of the directions to disregard or creatively re-interpret, it’s a great product. I love not having to hire somebody to help with installation.

Now please don’t tell me about the virtues of continuous metal gutters, installed by an expert. Yeah, I know. But “continuous” is a joke on a house built out of so many disparate pieces and the one guy in the area who does continuous gutters is a scoundrel who’s never, ever getting near my house.

I thought I’d be sore this morning from going up and down the ladder all day in 80-degree sunshine. But I feel great. Ready to tackle … naw. Not ready to tackle anything, but feeling good. And now when the rains return, I won’t have to listen to splat-splat-splat outside the screen porch or watch as mud bounces up and cakes that beautiful new wall.

I need a camera, though!

The one thing I don’t feel good about is not having a real camera. My little Canon PowerShot died this summer. Of “lens error” — the fate of all these little point-and-shoots. It joined my used Nikon CoolPix in the lens-error graveyard. I liked both those cameras a lot, but you’d think somebody could build a more reliable zoom lens. Joel has complained of this, too, and at first I thought the desert dust was killing his cams. But no, it’s just a built-in thing.

I hate taking pix with a cellphone. It’s awkward and the pix it takes are low-quality. Irks me that a cellphone cam is all I’ve got, just when the worst parts of the house are looking like part of a real house.

I checked used cameras on eBay and Amazon, but yikes. Their sellers’ financial reality is not my financial reality.

So. Has anybody got a decent point-and-shoot camera they’re no longer using? I’d love to have it. Extra points if it takes SDHC cards and is at least eight megapixels. But I’m not in a position to be fussy.


*I was going to link to Amazon, which has a lot of the Repla-K bits and pieces. But prices were completely insane — sometimes double the ones at my small-town store. So forget that.


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran September 28, 2017 7:57 am

    We’ve gotten unusually warm weather in WNY for the past week and a half, in the 80s and then the low 90s on Sunday-Tuesday. My peppers loved it and my family and friends reaped the benefits and I was handing out Jalapeños to whoever wanted them. Last evening a cold front moved through and we’ll be lucky to hit the mid 60s.

  2. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 28, 2017 11:06 am

    If I owned a camera it would be headed your way, but I don’t.

    We’re enjoying the Indian summer too.

  3. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 29, 2017 8:41 am

    Just the opposite here, we’re getting rain and 60s when September is usually high 80s into the 90s. NOT complaining, we can always use rain.

    I get hand-me-down cameras from my photojournalist wife, Cannon Rebels, so between us they pretty much get used up before she goes shopping.

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