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July 4, 2004

Home
Posted by Teresa at 06:36 PM * 74 comments

I’ve just returned from driving Jim Macdonald home. That’s the last of the moving. Now for the unpacking, bestowing, reassembling, and reshelving. My computer, for instance: Patrick got it set up while I was away. Hello, World.

To the list of Hugely Appreciated Helpful Persons add the mighty Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged, who among other things turns out to be startlingly inventive about packing solutions. I thought I was a bodger, but Julia rules.

I go fall over now. Have a nice 4th. Blow up a few for me.

Comments on Home:
#1 ::: The World ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 07:16 PM:

Hello Teresa. Nice to have you back.

The World

#2 ::: claire ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 08:40 PM:

Oh babe, I am so glad you are home. You have been in my thoughts all day today. Sleep/rest the dreams of the righteous...

#3 ::: Nancy Hanger ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 09:39 PM:

Glad you got home okay, and was very glad to see you for the quick caffeine-refill stop you two made on your way north yesterday. It was truly good to see you guys, even if for a quickie coffee break.

Elric and I waved highwaywards today, knowing you'd be "passing" at some point in the afternoon.

#4 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 10:58 PM:

Well, if you need a good laugh, here's a link to an announcement made on the PublishAmerica bulletin board: http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/4796.htm

However, you might want to check out the Publisher's Marketplace announcement. Seems it's not the same Robert Bly as PA claims to have hooked. ;)

In the meantime, glad to hear you're moved in. Take care and enjoy life.

#5 ::: DaveK ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 11:02 PM:

Here's the URL for the Publisher's Marketplace announcement: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/cgi-bin/displayRights.pl?rights_no=663

#6 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 11:03 PM:

Dave - I'm more than a little creeped out by how similar all of the comments seem to be in tone and wording. -twitch-

#7 ::: Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 12:14 AM:

Julia does, in fact, rule.

I'm glad y'all are moved in.

#8 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 01:10 AM:

Gald to hear the actual moving is done. Even if you live surrounded by boxes for the next month, at least you no longer have to move boxes between buildings.

All right, a month may be generous...

#9 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 02:02 AM:

Oh, I'm so glad you're all done and settled. We thought of you tonight when Danny and the girls capered about blowing things up. We dedicated at least a couple to you; perhaps you can smell the gunpowder drifting east?

Small housepresent winging eastward tomorrow.

#10 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 02:07 AM:

Congratulations on surviving the move!

#11 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 02:12 AM:

Congrats on being moved in, computer up and getting home safely.

Kate

#12 ::: Tom Whitmore (comment spam?) ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 03:16 AM:

I'm not checking out Hugh Jorgasm's website or email....

#13 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 03:52 AM:

Ya made it!

#14 ::: Darkhawk ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 06:53 AM:

Does it count as "blowing up a few" that I wrote the last three sections of the WIP and now I'm done done done done DONE with the first draft?

I think I completely fried a few neurons, at least . . .

#15 ::: Chad Orzel ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 08:02 AM:

Dave - I'm more than a little creeped out by how similar all of the comments seem to be in tone and wording. -twitch-

The posters here do a valiant job of trying to find variations, but there are only so many ways to say "Hey, cool news." Which is really the only response to that message, if you're a PublishAmerica partisan.

I mean, really. Let's not get too carried away with the whack-the-vanity-press thing, here.

Oh, and I'm glad to hear that the Giant Move is completed, and everybody's home safe.

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 09:56 AM:

Let evildoers beware.

Meanwhile, the joints in my hands are still so stiff and sore that I can't make a fist, and my right arm and hand keep randomly doing the pins-and-needles numb thing. Breakfast is in doubt -- no utensils, no salt and pepper, no many other elements. On the other hand, it turns out that Nick's, the diner a block away on 4th, is a very tolerable little neighborhood joint in the NYC style: low prices, menu items from five or six different cuisines, and they do a great dish of chilaquiles. We're going down there for breakfast, assuming they're open.

#17 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 10:39 AM:

I watched fireworks last night with Gay Ellen Dennett, Ted Atwood, Tony and Suford Lewis, Rick Katze, Mark Olson, Claire and Dave Anderson, and Joe Ross. We walked over from the home of one of the local fannish abodes one of the Natick Mall parking lots and up onto the roof parking area of it. There were lots of other people there. Fireworks were sporadically visible from elsewhere than the show we'd come to see--one site was probably Wayland with an official display, while the others were probably Amateur Hours, which considered the number of cops around to direct traffic and such, seemed very stupid to me to be lighting off where cops could see and go investigate.

The fireworks display we'd come to see started late, but was very nice, with lots of "oohs!" and "ahhs!" The finale was impressive and had lots of audio gunfire=-like noises from the barrage of fireworks going up for the end, but a sad corner of my mind was thinking things along the lines of, "Maybe the Vietnam vets' reflexes won't have them diving for cover anymore, but here are still the Gulf War vets, and anyone who's recently back from Iraq. I'm glad that the sounds here are happy ones, of fireworks that are a delight to see and hear--but there are so many other people, that shot fire and bursts in the sky, are terrorism and warfare, not happy celebration."

#18 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 10:57 AM:

Teresa --

Yikes!

Drugstores around here have hot/cold jell packs; microwavable to make them hot. Probably good for your hands. (Since I'm supposing that the new abode isn't provided with a bathtub vastly deep.)

If you can figure out how to lie on a couple that are in contact with your back just up and a little in from the inside bottom corner of your shoulderblades, I've found that very helpful in cases of the consequences of overlifting.

#19 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 11:51 AM:

And the intermittent pins-and-needles is likely to be from anterior muscles (pectoralis major and minor, SCM, etc.) pulling the clavicle down on the big nerve there: stretching shoulders back may help a lot. This is particularly likely if it increases if you raise your hands above your head (strong indicator of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which can be inconvenient if untreated). Consider finding a local hot tub place and sitting and steaming for an hour. Hot is good for stiff muscles, bad for inflammation.

#20 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 12:21 PM:

You would have enjoyed the fireworks at Gary Mattingly and Patty Peters' place: lots of fanzine fans (Rich and Stacy, Lynn Kuehl and Cheryl Cline, David Bratman and Berni Phillips, the Davis/Floyd household, Spike and Tom, and many more). Not many serious pyrophiles, though: few wanted to set off the Evil Devices that were there (I proudly count myself among the pyrophiles, BTW).

#21 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 12:53 PM:

Ditto what Graydon said about the "Yikes!" Do thou go and soak thy hands (and all the rest of thee, too!) in something nice and warm.

And welcome home. I hope that if it isn't already feeling entirely like home, it starts to feel that way soon.

#22 ::: Sarah Prince ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 12:58 PM:

I wish I could have jumped in to be helpful, and then looked up some people in the Green-wood.

#23 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 02:34 PM:

We watched fireworks from the roof of Vonda's garage with Jane, Luke, Jerry, Suzle, Amy, Ed, Katie, Glenn, Kate, Victor, Marci, and Vonda of course. The Lake Union fireworks were among the very best I've ever seen with beautiful renditions of Saturn, weeping willow type things, all sorts of colors and special effects. Oh, and smiley faces. We had sparklers and a few low, ground effect sort of things to set off ourselves. I didn't blow any up myself because that would have involved getting down off the roof and then back up again and my knees wouldn't go for that. But they were fun too and I thought of you.

MKK

#24 ::: Scorpio ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 02:37 PM:

So glad you are off the treadmill and home at last.

#25 ::: yhl ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 03:25 PM:

May unpacking and organizing go well; may the pain subside to a dusty memory.

#26 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 03:31 PM:

I'm glad to know you made it. And encouraged, too: we've been in this flat 9 years, and I'm pretty sure we'll be moving before we hit 10, even though I'm somewhat dreading it: we've simply run out of space for books. It's nice to know that there is life after relocation!

#27 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 04:05 PM:

With luck the house will be in order by the time you leave for ComicCon. :)

#28 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 05:11 PM:

OK fireworks here at Westercon (Litchfield Park, AZ -- Phoenix westside.) Nothing like the Lake Union show of course, but we were very close so we could hear the car alarms applauding each loud explosion.

#29 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 05:35 PM:

During the fireworks there was an IDIOT flying around in a small plane or helicopter, circling around the fireworks display. I saw the flashing beacon moving that indicated air vehicle going west to east behind the fireworks, and snarled, "there is an IDIOT flying around!" Ted Atwood though it was Medevac, saying that that was the flight path for Medevac helicopter flights, and a few minutes before there had been ambulance noises. But then, the vehicle turned south and kept going and turned west and kept going and turned north -- circling the fireworks. IDIOT.

I hope the idiot got caught and got grounded for a long, long, long time. Flying around in the vicinity of a fireworks display....

#30 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 05:39 PM:

Congratulations, and best wishes for your new home. Feel utterly unabashed about using local diners, takeaways etc until your hands feel better and the utensils turn up.

#31 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 09:48 PM:

Hello, Teresa.

Best wishes with physical recovery and unpacking.

#32 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 11:52 PM:

Arnica. Arnica is my favorite remedy for sore muscles and the like. As an ointment, rubbed into the affected bits, followed by heat.

Feel better, tired wanderer. You're home now!

#33 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 12:41 AM:

May your new home be more than good enough to make the move eventually seem worthwhile.

Was out spending the weekend within the walls of the Chautauqua Institution and would have seen artificial fireworks over L. Chautauqua except that the natural electrical flash and bang show led to the cancellation of the chemical one. Did get to here a nice chorus singing "America the Beautiful" as part of the evening sacred song program in the amphitheater.

#34 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 12:53 AM:

Rich McAllister:

Sorry we never met face-to-face at Westercon 57. I just got home, to Greater Los Angeles, after breaking my 5-hour record for the 360 miles door-to-door. Don't suppose you were at any of my 4 panels, or saw my Making Light note on that same fireworks display (different thread? Maybe Open Thread 24?), or my much earlier posting that any Making Light folks at Westercon track me down?

It was a good con. I look forward to CopperCon to see some of the same fine locals.

See you in cyberspace!

#35 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 07:43 AM:

Paula - one of the fun parts of the New Year's fireworks on Sydney Harbour each year is watching the helicopters. They are there to cover the affair for world (& local) broadcasts.
I'm sure some of the spectators are betting that one year something nasty will happen.

#36 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 12:16 PM:

"startlingly inventive about packing solutions"

Her use of snake skins stuffed with popcorn to cushion collections of glass animals is particularly ingenious.

#37 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 12:41 PM:

...and if your hands and arm keep doing the pins and needle thing, look to your shoulder--it's probably nerve compression up there. Better yet, get your doctor to refer you for PT.

#38 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 12:58 PM:

Or I'd be happy to come over and do some Reiki. (Actually I can do it from home if necessary, but I'm much better hands-on.)

#39 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 02:13 PM:

Thank you all. I was going to have a long hot soak after doing some more unpacking, but the water's coming out brownish, and leaves a deposit of silt in the bottom of the tub. I can't think I should bathe in it. The landlord says he's on his way over.

Aside from that, I rejoice in a house that's susceptible to being kept clean.

Yesterday's activities included reassembling a kitchen counter that hadn't been seen in that configuration since we lived in Staten Island (the legs were being used for my desk, and the top was stashed in the basement). That was relatively minor. The big task was getting the bookshelves set up in the basement. If you imagine the asterisks are a wall and the other characters are bookshelves, it goes like this:


* __||__||__||__||__
***************************

A long board set on top of the bookshelves means I can stack the plastic tubs of yarn on top of the arrangement.

I think I can hear the landlord. Later --

#40 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 03:42 PM:

I had PT Friday, and I expected to get neck traction, as usual, but they had a new infrared device that noticeably softened my muscles in just the 30 seconds per muscle. The PT thinks I'll need all 10 treatments because my muscles are so clenched, but she says a lot of people who can't move limbs get well with just three or four treatments. Apparently this has been available in Europe and elsewhere for decades, but was just approved by the FDA this year. (She also gave me neck exercises and said to continue with gentle home neck traction -- I see her again tomorrow and Friday.)

#41 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 03:57 PM:

Am I the only person who hears TNH's voice in PNH's last post?

---L.

#42 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 05:40 PM:

Yeah, I know DSC wouldn't be thinking about MY plastic tubs of fabric when plotting out bookshelves... JBC

#43 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 08:00 PM:

No, Larry. The yarn was a giveaway.

#44 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 08:55 PM:

I'm still wondering how expensive it would be to install floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, complete with a sliding ladder. I suspect that we'd already overflow them, but they'd be more attractive than the current IKEA specials.

[it also amuses me to think that my first association with "brass rail" was "library" not "strippers"]

#45 ::: els ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2004, 11:51 PM:

Every knitter I have ever known in my entire life (and I've known good many knitters) keeps their yarn in plastic tubs in the basement. Including myself, when I had a basement. What did knitters do before plastic was invented, I wonder?

Glad things are getting set up for you all.

#46 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 12:24 AM:

Before plastic there were the metal container with straps, wooden chests, cardboard boxes, bags....

#47 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 01:22 AM:

But the voice is the voice of . . .

Wait a minute. Are you saying that your landlord has the spell of Calogird's Transcendent Perception of the Polychrome Skein? Because I know lots of people who would swap cochinegra and deodand bile for that.

Oh, it was a segue. Sorry.

#48 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 01:28 AM:

John M. Ford:

nice channeling of Jack Vance. He was, correct me if I'm wrong, the only author to win both a Nebula and an Edgar.

#49 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 01:41 AM:

I'm a crocheter, which must be why I keep my yarn in cardboard boxes in the workroom closet. (Anybody want a thread crochet book on Church Laces?)

BTW, I don't see it here, but Lydy posted on rasff asking for help because the NH's new basement is flooded, including fanzines, financial records, and other papers. I wonder if the brown water in the tub is related to the flood.

We mostly mentioned freeze-drying, but I don't know how practical that will be.

#50 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 01:41 AM:

Jonathan Vos Post: Don't suppose you were at any of my 4 panels, or saw my Making Light note on that same fireworks display (different thread? Maybe Open Thread 24?), or my much earlier posting that any Making Light folks at Westercon track me down?

Didn't see the earlier posts -- we got back from France just in time to turn around to get to Phoenix -- but Linda and I did make one of your panels, the "NASA -- threat or menace?" one on Monday. Linda came up and spoke to you afterwards.

#51 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 01:50 AM:

Well I know Harlan Ellison won an Edgar, but I'm not sure whether he's won a Nebula. And I'm too tired to go look it up. It seems unlikely that he wouldn't have though.

MKK

#52 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 02:29 AM:

Rich McAllister:

By golly, you're right! I do remember Linda speaking to me afterwards. It would be neat if moderator John Hertz typed up and posted his notes of the panel.

In that last panel, which had 2 experts on NASA money (albeit at universities), so devil's advocate, I acted explicitly as a prosecutor. I was arguing that NASA should be disbanded, some of its top officers jailed for negligent homicide, and its assets folded into a new organization with Warren Buffet as CEO. Attorney Hertz counted the audience/jury's votes: by 3-to-1 I'd persuaded them to adopt my radical suggestion!

If you voted for me, I thank you. If not, you still did your duty as pseudojurors.

John was VERY good as a moderator. Of course, I'm biased by his saying things such as "that was so colorful that I decline to rule you out of order." But he did keep order quite well, being both judicial and humorous. Plus, he understood all arguments and summarized them nicely.

#53 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 10:39 AM:

The household knitter here uses canvas bags in the linen closet.

But, now a flood? Oh dear.

---L.

#54 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 10:46 AM:

And Poul Anderson, IIRC, the Edgar for one of the Trygve Yamamura stories. There's probably at least one more.

#55 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 11:05 AM:

Lydy posted on rasff asking for help because the NH's new basement is flooded, including fanzines, financial records, and other papers. I wonder if the brown water in the tub is related to the flood.

Shitohdear. I deeply hope that this is only a minor incident and not blow upon a bruise after the move.

Yes, freeze-drying is one way to handle soaked documentation, but it is not necessarily cheap. The main trick, as I understand it, is to get the paper into a commercial grade deep (0 to -40 F) freezer, or even better, a blast (-100 F) freezer, to stop the damage process. You can then choose the method of drying (vacuum freeeze-drying or dessicant) the materials at your comparative leisure. Here are a couple of links about this, including a UNESCO study : Vacuum freeze-drying, a method used to salvage water-damaged archival and library materials including this portion concerning low-cost options.

#56 ::: ElizabethVomMarlo ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 01:50 PM:

Flood?!?!?!

That's terrible news. Good grief. What next? Locusts?

I work in a library and have some info on disaster response. I can either post some info here or send via email, if you need it.

As mentioned above, freezing is helpful; you can use Tyvec bags to keep wet items separate. There are official disaster recovery firms, but that can be quite pricey. There's also differences between "dirty" water damage and "clean" water damage. And special techniques for glossy pages of bound volumes, etc.

Also, keep the lights on all the time, as the ultraviolet or whatever kills mold spores.

Hope it's not as bad as it sounds. Many soothing and dry thoughts sent your way.

#57 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 03:45 PM:

Here's hoping it's just the hot water heater failing... that could result in water on the floor as well as sludge running out of the tap... Though I haven't heard weather reports from out east and we've had a train of heavy weather that tends to track eastward.

Keeping my fingers crossed! Fortunately everything in our basement stayed above the level of Lake Poohbegone this winter when we had our sewer failure.

#58 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 04:13 PM:

Oh, no! Not MORE travails! Would the "character building" exercises PLEASE depart from the vicinity of Teresa and Patrick, pleasepleaseplease?!!

#59 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 04:51 PM:

It is generally not worth it to try to save flood-damaged materials (particularly if mildew has set in). The cost to recover is usually less than the cost to replace, unless one is dealing with unique items (letters, only copies of manuscripts, art).

If I can help you replace anything that's lost, either from my collections or from my contacts, just ask. After all, I'm currently trying to lighten my load of Owned Items....

#60 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 07:05 PM:

Elizabeth vM says
Also, keep the lights on all the time, as the ultraviolet or whatever kills mold spores.

How much use are standard lights in preventing mold? Only 7% of their energy makes it out of the IR; if they were any good at UV you should be able to get a tan out of them. Or is mold sensitive to visible light? (I wouldn't think spores would be -- they're ]evolved[ to be tough.)

#61 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 07:22 PM:

*Auugh* I hope the Apex mailings didn't get soaked.

Impetus to get all issues of Hyphen, SFFY, Lighthouse, etc. scanned to CD-ROM. I may have some Izzard and Telos duplicates if your file copies went.

#62 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 07:41 PM:

Paula Murray, You were dead right. It was the water heater failing. Or, more precisely, the water heater's safety failing. There's this pipe that comes out of the top, does this couple of right angle things, and then points straight down at the floor. There's nothing at the end of that pipe.

When I came tearing downstairs in response to various sounds of distress, water was pouring out of that pipe at a rate that would do credit to a bathtub faucet on full. The water was warm, but not hot. I threw a lever, praying that nothing would blow up, and the water stopped. Water ran down the side of the basement where the bookcases were, spreading out to about one-third the width of the basement. Most of the book boxes were stacked down the middle of the basement, so it nailed many boxes on that side of the box stack.

At the far end of the basement, I think the water may have pooled to the depth of two inches. Far fewer boxes than feared were damaged. Since we got to the wet boxes almost as soon as they were flooded, there wasn't any mildew to deal with.

Most of the fanzines were saved. Some have slight water damage around the edges, but remain utterly legible. The worst damage was probably done to the humans. We were already tired when the crisis was upon us. Personally, I'd been at the Empire State building previously that day. When I'd been told to expect long lines, somehow I didn't understand that this meant two and some hours to get to the observation deck, and another half hour to get back down to street level. Standing in line hurts. I did get to finish The Last Unicorn, though. I haven't read it in many years. When I got back, I was dead tired, and my feet and back already hurt, then suddenly I was hurtling about the basement with heavy boxes of books, trying to find dry places for them.

All's well that ends well, I guess. Admittedly, all is not entirely well, but it's good enough. Perhaps tomorrow I'll spend some time wandering around Green-Wood. The company of dead people would be pleasant and restful, I think. I could take along my copy of A Fine and Private Place, and sit under a tree and read for a while.

#63 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 09:19 PM:

Lydy --

I am extremely glad to hear that the damage was not severe, at least as the damage of floods is counted. (We had artesian water in the cellar of the farmhouse; this may have my sense of 'flooded basement' miscalibrated.)

I hope you get excellent weather for tomorrow, and that everyone gets a long stretch of days with only good surprises.

Oh, and a working water heater, very soon, so you can have showers and baths and stuff!

#64 ::: ElizabethVomMarlo ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 09:39 PM:

Glad to hear that everything wasn't as dire as it could be.

CHip, the suggestion is part of our disaster recovery procedures. It's written by a gang of preservation librarians. I could ask them for details and citations, but it might cost me an arm. They can be a cranky lot. But I've found them to be quite accurate at their jobs, so I generally take their word for it. I can ask a friendlier one when she gets back from vacation next week, if you're curious.

Mold is very sensitive to sunlight, that much I know from personal experience and testing on my own books. It can kill mold dead, even sometimes pretty heavy and long standing infestations.

#65 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 09:47 PM:

Whew. Thanks Lydy, for keeping us informed. I'm considering which of the deities I don't believe in I could make most useful sacrifices to on their behalf. Perhaps you should try hard to find the martini shaker and the gin....

MKK

#66 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 09:56 PM:

Whew . . .

Well, on the bright side, it may mean you start off at your new place with a new water heater. I'm so glad it wasn't more.

Elizabeth VM --

All the disaster planning advice I was given when I "owned" some corporate data systems agrees with yours -- especially if you are using fluorescents. Every little bit helps during that first 48 hours before all the real damage starts.

#67 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 10:06 PM:

Ah yes, water heaters.

Once upon a time, I worked at a bigbox home improvement store, and because I had once read a book about plumbing, they put me in the plumbing section...

At least four times in any 6 hour shift, I'd get a customer that was panicked about a failing/failed water heater, and I'd manage to sell them a new one + installation.

If you live in an area known for hard water, PLEASE, please, flush your water heater regularly.

#68 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2004, 10:53 PM:

Water heaters are like hard drives, in that even the best of them are still catastrophic failures waiting to happen.

#69 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2004, 12:03 AM:

Often the quick response is very important. I'm convinced that my recent experience with a Serious soft-tissue injury was much, much less serious because I chose immediately to apply appropriate first aid (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) rather than going off to an emergency room. It's not completely better, but I only had one day of complete non-functionality. The emergency room I went to (18 hours after the accident) suggested I might expect about two weeks of serious functional difficulty. I had about 72 hours.

#70 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2004, 03:30 AM:

*snugs* Thank G-d things weren't as bad as they could be, that the new landlord is responsible and I hope that this is the last of things for a while.

I wonder what it is with basements, moving and flooding. I'd been at the new place less than a week when the basement flooded. We managed okay, I didn't lose that much.

#71 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2004, 06:47 AM:

"I'm considering which of the deities I don't believe in I could make most useful sacrifices to on their behalf. Perhaps you should try hard to find the martini shaker and the gin...."

MK, this implies that you believe in neither Cole Porter nor Nora Charles. And, as with all forms of disbelief, there -are- limits. (I'll let you get by without Dino Crocetti, but only by a little.)

And, Lydy, ascending and descending the ESB followed by this establishes perfectly that you have superpowers. (I would go into the notion that the Minneapolis Fantastic Four obviously live on Blaisdell, but the logical analogization thereof would make you Ben Grimm, so let's not go there. It's late anyway, would be past my bedtime if I ever had one.)

#72 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2004, 09:17 AM:

Lights are good; fans too. Keeping the air moving helps reduce the humidity so mold can't grow. And turn on the AC -- get it good and cold down there if possible. May I offer something I wrote back when a small library I worked at suffered a serious mold problem? It won't help with anything really water damaged, but it works for that light haze of mold that forms on books and other surfaces. http://www.archival.com/newsletters/apnewsvol4no1.pdf

#73 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2004, 12:49 PM:

Mike: Well of course I believe in Cole Porter and Nora Charles. (I even know that the Thin Man was not, in fact Nick Charles.) Perhaps I should have paragraphed between my deities remark and the gin and shaker remark. I didn't mean a connection between the two, merely that P&Tcould no doubt use a couple of martinis at this point. Maybe even 3 or 4.

MKK

#74 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2004, 02:04 PM:

ElizabethVomMarlo: I'd definitely be interested in hearing details; sunlight being effective doesn't surprise me, and fluorescents might help, but incandescent light has a much ]lower-energy[ spectrum. I also note that Janet's writeup speaks of open curtains and of taking the books outdoors.
I don't know if the benefit is worth even the trivial energy cost -- and I note the lights will raise the temperature, which is described as a Bad Thing when fighting mold.

One of these years I will try variations Dr. Beer's skunking experiment: two beers (from a "suitcase", so they were known not to be lightstruck beforehand) in green bottles; the one kept in the closet was no worse than the brand usually is, but the instant the one that got ~6 hours of direct sunlight was opened we could smell it from at least 5 feet away (due to blue-green light affecting sulfur bonds in the hop oils). Fluorescent light (such as found in stores) is also said to be damaging, but the experiment wasn't tried with any kind of artificial lighting.

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