Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Genuinely Lovecraftian Stench

I now know where the Eldritch Bard Of Providence found some of his inspiration.

Today was a fine day; Tam and I hit Holliday Park, civilized for lo, this past decade at least and dominated by a vast sculpture/garden folly known as "The Ruins" for a stroll down the serpentine trail through the rock garden, along the river and back up the Trail Of A Thousand Steps for a picnic lunch by the Frictionless Sphere Of Destiny. (So, do any of your city parks have a 4' sphere of polished black and gold marble, floating and rotating on a high pressure water column concealed within a huge boulder? Do they let ya play with it? Thought not). We missed the huge ginkgo, somehow. Next time!

That omen alone should have warned me.

The gutters at Roseholme have been shewing certain Signs indicative of excessive leaf, seed and maple-spinner content. A pair of husky, rough men had cleaned them last Fall for a low, low $40 American but they've not been by since. I got out the ladder and a garden trowel and made my way aloft.

The roof is steep! And the gutters? Full to the brims. Standing water, muck, vegetable matter, Contents Unknown and the wrack and ruin of life's great cycle. All of it impressively malodorous, a genuinely Lovecraftian stench. When dead R'yleh hove above the waves? Could not have been any worse. Pickman's model's brown-bag lunch? He'd'a thrown it out eagerly in favor of the reeking muck I dug, shoveled and hosed from those gutters.

There's even a weak denial of Euclid in the corner by the porch: the skilled craftsbeings who performed the most recent gutter-revision (no doubt to the loathsome pipings of a maltuned flute and irregular thumpings of a flaccid toadskin drum, though I'm just guessin') decided it would be fun to slope the gutter away from the downspout and towards a dead end; by the time it reaches the end, the sag is sufficient to leave it almost full. Fixing that is a job for another day. You don't suppose CERN would loan me a teeny-weensy black hole in the meantime? Or -- and I'm just askin' -- perhaps a dragon?


Anonymous said...

Hot tip of the decade: gutter screens. We put 'em on two summers back as a defense against that sweet gum I mentioned last week and haven't had a lick of prob since. Just checked today, AAMOF. Clean as the proverbial whistle.

Is a wolf whistle clean?


Turk Turon said...

While you were up there on the ladder, did you happen to see any hideous reptilian abnormalities sprouting, bubbling, and baking over a winking bluish-green spectre of dim flame?

'Cause that's what I saw the last time I cleaned MY gutters.

Well, OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, buy it sure smelled bad enough.

Anonymous said...

Gutter screens work great, around certain kinds of trees. We have oaks. Oaks drop Catkins. Catkins clog gutter screens like a banshee.

phlegmfatale said...

You're as handy as a handle on a pig, honey!

Gay_Cynic said...

For the technophiles:

JohnMXL said...

Re: Sphere of Destiny:

Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha NE.

Yes, they let zoo patrons play with least they did the day I was there. Of course, since there were kids from 30 or 40 local schools there that day perhaps the staff were in hiding praying for something safer, like an elephant stampede.

Carteach said...

Park... sounds good. Where are the photos of the sphere? That things sound cool.

Gutters..... probably George Bush's fault. Most things are.

I've known people to go to wild lengths to avoid excavating, what with the genetic manipulation going on today. You never what the awful offal of an escaped tyrano-robin will do in a clogged gutter full of life's building blocks.

One I thought was interesting, if a bit ugly. She had a garden hose quite literally installed in one end of the gutter (high point). Every week or so, in clogging season, she'd hook up the other end of the hose and give 'em a good flushin. She swore it had worked for five years running, and who was I to question her? Especially since she raised the most cuddly, and protective, mastiffs whose jaws invariably came to crotch level on me.

Roberta X said...

Gutter-cleaning robot: made of win! Very cool.

I'm still leabing towards screens, al;ong with some serious rettachment work and possibly an additional downspout at the low point. Still -- muckbots. Oh yeah!

Anonymous said...

Industrial gutters- like the 10" wide square bottomed ones they use on commercial buildings, with 6" square downspouts- do not clog. When I can afford it, I will put them on my house.

Anonymous said...

Roberta you have my sympathies. I have to get up there and clean the gutters one of these days, but as they seem to be working fine, I'm inclined to put it off.

If you would have said something before going up there, I would have pointed you towards the various gutter cleaning wands. most do an okay job, the best ones are used with pressure washers.

And yeah, those gutter screens work wonders, just make sure that they are removable, so you can still clean out the fines every coupla years.

One more thing: Gutter screws. If you have gutter spikes loosening up, they're a great solution.