Friday, December 11, 2009

Welcome to The Muzzy; DIY

Muzzy: Unable to think clearly; confused.

Welcome to the first post of The Muzzy, a blog devoted to my kids Zoe (formally and Calder (formally, and to the random and esoteric detritus that passes through my head. It’s no longer just about the children. So to start...

Above our kitchen door is a small window that, when open, provides a comforting breeze on warm days, and is the source of every yellow jacket that makes it into our house. At night, if I leave it open, the kitchen lights attract no less than one hundred thousand insects. After living with this for about five years, I found, on a recent trip to the hardware store, a DIY screen kit for only ten bucks (plus the cost of the screen and the special ‘screen and spline installation tool’, know in the biz as a ‘screen and spline installation tool’ or SSpIT) so decided to finally tackle this project. The instructions listed 4 simple steps:
1. Measure the window.
2. Cut the frame to size.
3. Assemble the frame with the included plastic corner pieces, making sure the frame is square.
4. Attach the screen using the SSpIT to press the spline’s into place.
Here are the 10 simple steps I followed.
1. Measure the window no less than five times.
2. Cut the frame to size using the wrong hacksaw blade to insure that the cheap aluminum frame is ragged at the edges. Be sure to cut on an uneven surface to insure an uneven cut.
3. Build frame, being sure to slip at least once to remove some skin from one knuckle. Do not verify that the frame is square. Do not check its fit into the window frame before the next step.
4. Attach screen. This step should be done on the cluttered living room floor next to the seven-month-old child. All parts should be closer to the child than you think. Remove various parts from child’s mouth. Be sure to press the SSpIT too hard so that it slips at least once, creating a one-inch slit in the screen. Use a dull kitchen knife instead of a box cutter to trim extra screen (because you’re too lazy to make a trip to the tool box). Stand back in amazement when the screen does not look like a pair of ill-fitting stockings.
5. Attempt to place completed screen in window frame. Discover that the screen is 1/8th to big in one direction. Swear.
6. Remove spline’s and screen.
7. Gently attempt to dismember frame, trying not to damage the cheap plastic corner pieces. Do not use a rubber mallet to gently tap the pieces apart, since this requires a trip to the toolbox. Simply brace the frame against the porch and whack with your palm. Break one corner piece in the process. Decide to proceed anyhow.
8. Re-cut frame, being sure not to measure, because 1/8th of an inch is easy to estimate. In the process of reassembling, discover that another corner piece is broken. Decide to proceed anyhow. Using Superglue, reattach frame, being sure to hold the pieces for at least forty of the recommended sixty seconds. Ignore the visible unsquareness of the frame. Do not verify that the frame now fits into the window frame.
9. Move the project to a flat surface, preferably the porch so that random pieces can fall through the cracks.
10. Reattach the screen. Stand back in amazement when the screen still does not look like a pair of ill-fitting stockings. Shake your head in awe and pride when the screen fits perfectly into its designated space.


  1. Awww
    I liked better when it was about Zoe and Calder
    -(Cousin) Sam

  2. Don't worry, Sam. I have plenty of Zoe and Calder stuff in the works. I was just making a statement here.