So I donned my Seahawks parka, which is the warmest jacket I have in the downstairs closet, and set to work. It didn't take long - maybe half an hour - thanks to having planned this out in my head.
It went like this:
Went upstairs and got the staple gun and box of staples out of the closet, and put those out on the patio floor. Put the two outdoor temp sensors on top of the sill of the patio storage room.
The planters were all on the tarp in the livingroom, but the first thing which needed to be set up on the patio was the tarp. So I moved the smaller planters to the corner of the patio 3 at a time, and then the larger planters went to a staging area (aka a broken recliner which usually lives on the patio but is now just the other side of the sliding glass doors), and from there one by one to the corner of the patio. Then I opened the patio storage room and took out the chicken wire and the plastic end table and the garden fencing, and put those in the other corner of the patio.
Attached the chicken wire to the bottom of the patio wall with my handy staple gun. The patio wall is built on posts, and there's a 6-inch gap between the bottom of the wall and the floor, very easy for cats to go under. The chicken wire helps make the patio cat-proof.
Next came the tarp, which just needed to be unfolded a bit so it was folded lengthwise in half, instead of quarters. The tarp was placed across the top of the patio wall, and held down with the large planters, plus one small planter with azaleas to hold down the L at the corner. With the planters in place, I pushed the garden fencing into the front of the planters, which is the other part of cat-proofing the patio. Domino was able to jump the planters, so I had to add the light-weight garden bordering stuff to raise the bar. I don't really need this when the tarp canopy is up, but come summer, when the tarp comes down, I will.
Now it's time to get out the staple gun again and slap the corners of the tarp up against the patio walls, forming a canopy. It will keep the rain off the area by the wall where the cats like to watch the world through the chicken wire, and it also keeps most of the sequoia droppings off as well.
The final step in the project was to haul the recliner back to its place on the patio.
All during this project, I had to shoo the cats away from the patio door and keep it closed until the tarp was up. But as soon as I was done, they darted out there to investigate. They are both very happy to have their patio back.
That done, I settled into the recliner in the livingroom with a glass of diet cola and the TiVo remote, and caught up on The Daily Show and couple of days of Olympics. I mostly fast-forwarded through that. More on that in a later post.
Finished the evening at the computer, ripping a few tracks from CDs for my next "favorites" disc. Without Roxio on the computer, I used an old standby, AudioGrabber. The only thing I don't like about it is it uses freedb instead of Gracenote, so the Thai titles come out in gobbledygook. Gracenote understands Thai, since it's a UTF language (PCs have a Thai character font built in).
And a funny thing happened. After ripping my favoite three tunes by "Ploy", I put in a CD by "Ann" of her greatest hits, and discovered that I liked every tune on that CD. I'll just keep the whole CD in the car's changer. Tonight I'll go over my other Thai CDs, Tata Young and some compilation discs. The only American CDs I've bought recently I also ripped tracks from - Anna Nalik Remains of the Day and Kelly Clarkson Breakaway. I heard on the radio that Kelly did not mention American Idol in her grammy acceptance thank-yous, and I can see why. It wasn't until her year's committment to them was over that she was allowed to do the kind of music which made her a star. They really wasted her talents.
Also listened to the soundtrack of Wicked and Kristen Chenowith's Let Yourself Go. I didn't find anything worth ripping from either album. In the case of the former, the few memorable tunes were buried inside a lot of dialogue, and in the case of the latter, the songs I want to sing along with are over-arranged.
In the mail from Amazon are CDs by Judy Garland and Blossom Dearie. Tracks from those will replace But Not For Me and Someone To Watch Over Me on my last favorites CD, which is a collection of tunes to sing when I'm depressed. The ones that are on there now are from a Broadway remake which suffers from too much dialogue and not enought talent. Also in the mail is a CD of the Disney TV remake of Music Man with Kristen Chenowith as Marian. That ought to have a couple of rippable tracks. I expect My White Knight and Goodnight My Someone to be super, and if Matthew Broderick has any voice at all, Till There Was You ought to be a keeper as well.