i've never worked with cement before but today i got my chance when i plugged two holes in my exterior basement wall.
i went to the watertown home depot in the late morning trying to find something i could patch the holes with. i read online about hydraulic cement, which expands rather than contracts when it dries. however when i got to the store, i couldn't find anything that would work. all the smaller tubes were for cracks, while anything more came in heavy large dried cement bags. i called my father who told me he had some cement in the belmont garage. i scooped some into a ziploc bag and returned to cambridge.
i dumped the cement powder into a disposable paint tray and started mixing in some water. at first it had the consistency of damp sand and the cement would clump into balls. i added a little more water to get the cement looking like even wet sand. the 2 holes i was filling was 1" and 2" in diameter respectively. because it was a vertical surface, i found it easier just using my hands and pushing clumps of wet cement into the holes. i used the cement trowel as a final leveling tool to flat and smooth out the cement surface. it was a lot like working with spackling paste to patch up holes and cracks in interior walls, something i've done before many times.
hopefully there won't be too much shrinkage and will be dry by the time the painter returns tuesday morning. the holes had been plugged up with a crumbled plastic bag and something that looked like a rubber coffee cup lid. i couldn't be sure, but i think mice came in through the unplugged holes during the wintertime.
today steve and i were supposed to finalize colors for the house, but we didn't get to it until 4:00. i was relieved to find out he loves slate grey as well, so that's going to be the new house color. we still need to figure out the trim, but that will just be a lighter shade of grey slate. i'm going to the paint store monday morning and picking out a few swatches.
i've been doing a lot of bicycle lock research, looking for something with a little more security to replace my combination cable lock. i'm going to buy a u-lock, but i can't decide whether to go with a shorter or longer model. i prefer the shorter just because it's less weight to carry, but i don't want it so short that i'll have a hard time find something to latch it to. i've been watching a neighbor who commutes via bicycle. he locks his bicycle to a post in front of my house, and i've been studying his locking technique. he's got a kryptonite u-lock with a strand of cable that snakes through both wheels. he also has a cable tied to his bike seat.
and was anybody else watching the season premiere of saturday night live? i know, the show hasn't been funny in a long time, but megan fox was the guest host and U2 was the musical guest. anyway, in one of the later sketches, the one about townie girls and their overuse of the word "friggin," one of the new girls accidently dropped the f-bomb. she gave a startled pause immediately afterwards. can't believe they got rid of michaela watkins and casey wilson to hire somebody like that!