A Series of Unfortunate Events or How Jonah Got Some Shelves

by Berck

On Friday I decided to do something nice for Jonah. When we moved in, I put shelves over my desk, but none over hers. She claims this is the cause of the absurdly massy accumulation on top of her desk. I’m not kidding about the absurd– the stacks generally were taller than her monitors, with her keyboard and mouse being the only level parts of the desk. She’d stack stuff in front of the keyboard as well, creating a sort of fortress should one peck the keys over. So if I wanted to leave something on her desk, putting it on the keyboard was the only way she’d notice.

So, now that we’re planning on staying in the apartment for the foreseeable future, I decided to rectify the situation. I hopped in Arthur while Jonah was still at work and drove to the Home Despot in search of plywood. I spent a long time surveying the options. Generally, for shelf construction, I go with 19/32 5-ply BC Pine. It’s cheap, thick enough, and I can generally arrange the B face so that it’s the one you see. This time, however, there was no BC pine. There was a bunch of exterior grade stuff, then some really, really, high quality birch and oak plywood. In fact, plywood with a much higher quality than I’ve seen in since I was kid. Usually I buy 5-ply, with 7-ply being available *sometimes*, but rarely. My Dad has oft lamented the demise of decent plywood. I was astounded to find 11-ply birch plywood for the amazingly affordable price of $39/sheet. A bit more expensive than I usually bought, but it was the cheapest that made any sense. And nice-looking. I grabbed a sheet, and hauled it over to the plywood saw, where they were nice enough to rip it into four 1×8 shelves. As he was making the final cut, I realized that I’d completely forgotten my wallet.

I left my cart in the lumber isle, figuring no one would bother with it and returned home to get my wallet. As I put my foot down on the clutch coming up to a stop light, it didn’t feel right. I put the transmission in neutral and took my foot off the clutch. It only came up about halfway. I pulled it back up, but it fell back down. I barely got it into gear, and pulled into a parking lot. By now the clutch was totally non-functional, and I turned the key off in order to come to a stop. I noticed a crack in the clutch linkage that simply wasn’t going to be fixed on the side of the road. I decided that I would try to make it home without a clutch rather than pay someone to tow it preemptively.

I managed to make it home, by starting the car in first gear whenever I wanted to go. Unlike modern transmissions with good syncros, there was no way to shift this one without them. I couldn’t even get it OUT of gear without a clutch. So as I came to a stop, I had to turn the car off, then restart it into a bucking frenzy at each stop light. In between, 20mph was as fast as I dared go in first gear, but I made it home. Eventually. There was a woman who followed me, at 20mph while blabbing on her cell phone, not passing me. I think she was just absolutely clueless.

Since I’ve done it before, I know I can carry 1×8 shelves in the Miata. As I approached the car, I noticed the left rear tire was flat. Absolutely astounding how these things happen all at the same time. Fortunately, I was able to pump it up just fine with my cheap little electric pump and collect my items from home depot.

And that’s how Jonah got some new shelves.

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