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latticeGood news, everyone!

According to the devil’s website home office, my order of lattice panels for stringing up the jasmine and clematis under teh porch is on its way and should be here within the next two weeks!

Yeah, buying garden supplies from Amazon.  Is there nothing they don’t sell?  Frankly, I don’t much understand the anti-monopolistic bed-wetting I read about their omnipresence.  Almost all of the books I buy from them are “remaindered” stock from local sellers hither and yon.  And when I buy other stuff like, oh, ten-packs of 4 x 8 yellow-pine lattice panels, their ultimate source is some local outfit (in this case, a lumber supplier down around Raleigh).   So Amazon is really more of an aggregator of products than anything else.  Why is this bad?

Aaaanyhoo,  here’s why I post about this.  I ask those of you gathered ’round the decanter:  What is the best method for nailing up lattice?  Should one drive in flat-headed nails in the nooks and crannies at the far corners of  the lathes, spread-eagling them as it were to the foundation, or should one drill directly into the lathes themselves?  I’m guessing the former, but I have no experience in these matters.

Any pro-tips wood, ah, be appreciated.

UPDATE:  Thankee to our commenters.  I was drifting in that direction and am glad of the confirmatory trend.   The panels are 8×4 and made of 3/4″ thick pine, so they’re already pretty hefty in and of themselves.  Toss some (hopefully) thick vine on them and they’re going to need the full-bore anchorage.  Pre-drill and screws it is.  (Also, how far along do you space the mounts?  I’m thinking that with sufficiently deep screws, every two feet would be ample.)

Now my bleg:  I’m really not much of a power tools guy and only have one old, dead Black & Decker electric drill with “so-called” rechargeable battery-packs which, in reality, are nothing of the sort, so I find myself in the market for a new drill.  As I say, I don’t do that much work with such tools, so I don’t think I’m looking for a lifetime relationship.  Also, I’ve no objection to extended electric cords, as opposed to batteries.   Any recommendations of a cheap and sturdy nature?  They’d be greatly appreciated.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

O-fficial Word got about this afternoon that Disney is in the process of putting together a sequel to the Pixar classic, “The Incredibles”.  I haven’t seen any substantive details except that the second installment is being written by Brad Bird, who helmed the first.

To quote a recurring line from another line of films recently acquired by Disney, I’ve got a baaaaad feeling about this.

Why?  Well, two reasons.  First, a general gripe.  Sequels (and their cousins, remakes) signal to me a cynical desire to pull more golden eggs out of the same goose combined with an admission of imaginative defeat.   Hollywood, unable to come up with any really new ideas, hits on the solution of repackaging the old ones.  Yes, you can throw “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “Toy Story 2” at me in refutation of the latter part of the formula.  And you’d be right about them and other individual examples.  But the exception doesn’t disprove the rule, the examples of which I could site being Legion.  However, as this is a more generic grumble, it’s not quite so heartfelt, and if this was my only objection, I’d probably just shrug and say p’ffft.  (Well, I might kick the cat, too.  But that wouldn’t really be going out of my way.)

However, in this specific case I have to ask: Are you kidding me?  “The Incredibles” was an almost pitch-perfect film about the strength of the family bond holding out against the buffets of parental midlife crisis,  the blitzkrieg of adolescence and assault from the outside world.  (Buh-leave me, I know exactly what I’m talking about here.  In re the second element, I get teary at that scene of Violet coming to grips with herself in the cave every time I see it.)  It was also a glorious celebration of individual talent and merit, a refutation of corporate-think  and a take-down of the politicks of envy.

But the movie was made in 2004.  Since then, in case anyone has failed to notice, Syndrome actually won!  I’m not naming any names here, but read the headlines and for ten points spot the fly-weight, delusional narcissist hell-bent on imposing his ersatz vision of teh “super” on the land.  Go ahead.  I can wait.   Under these conditions, aided and abetted by Hollywood itself, how on earth could a sequel maintain the spirit that made the original so great?

In just the ten years since the original came out, the drift of the so-called “Popular Culchah” toward the brink of the the nihilist abyss has accelerated into something equivalent to “Ramming speed!”  While it’s a relatively minor concern in comparison to the broader implications of this headlong plunge, I very much fear that any new story about the Family Parr will get swept over the brink with it.

Better, in my opinion, to leave the original unsullied.


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March 2014