Yesterday I got a call from Bryant’s Hardware. The things I ordered last week had arrived. I couldn’t get them yesterday, so I swung by after work today.

I talked to Bill, the proprietor while I was there. He’s a very friendly guy. I asked him how long the place had been in his family, and he told me that his grandparents had bought it in 1921. He’s hoping he’ll be able to keep it open another nine years to make it up to 100.

Now I’m sure the store has already been there for over 100 years – it was an ongoing operation when his grandparents bought the place. Here’s what I love about the place:

Black bear cub

Black bear cub

He wasn’t sure where this bear had come from. I guess it has been in the store all his life. He said his grandparents were into hunting, and it was possible they had taken this cub – and if so, it would have been after taking its mother. A cub can’t live on its own. On the other hand, it could have been there when his grandparents bought the store.

However it ended up there, it certainly does add character to the store. To the right of the bear is a framed calendar. I zoomed in on the full-res version of the photo, and was able to see some detail.



This uploaded, cropped version is at full resolution, so you can zoom in on it too if you are so inclined. The thing I noticed was that the calendar is dated 1924. It can be used again in 2036 (which is also a leap year).

Who knew you could make a living doing electrical work in 1924? I didn’t. I find it interesting that Mr Forger sold “Marda Lamps and Fixtures and Radio Supplies.” Both Guglielmo Marconi (inventor of the radio) and Thomas Edison (light bulb) were still alive in 1924.

I Googled “Archie+Forger+electrical” and it turned up this story from The Nashua Telegraph. The lesson here is, don’t warm cans of varnish on a stove.

I paid for my order and we chatted for a bit. I wanted to see what kind of rope he had, because I buy a fair amount of rope for the Pathfinders. Jonathan was outside waiting in the car, and then some other customers came in, so I left Bill to his business.

I’ll be back next time I need something.

I’m not a perpetual procrastinator, but sometimes it does seem like I am. Yesterday I wrote about my plans to work on the Eternal Insulation Project. And today I did work on it. I carried a few more things from the attic to the basement, all the time thinking that reversing that process is going to be a lot harder, because then my arms will be full while I’m ascending the stairs.

Once I had some space to work, I realized that I could not find any staples for the staple gun. It is not difficult for me to convince myself that I need to make a trip into town instead of doing an unpleasant task. But I may as well make the most of the trip, right?

I counted the baffle panels I have. Those are necessary to allow air to flow from the eaves up to the ridge vent. You can’t just press insulation up against the underside of the roof. I found that I would need about another 30 or so panels.

I also noticed that I have a bit of mold on the underside of the roof. That is because our “wonderful” builder opted to vent the bathroom fans out the eaves instead of out the roof. I asked about this at the time, but was convinced that it was OK. Later I found out that it can cause problems. As soon as the vent exhausts the steamy air out the soffit, it is immediately drawn back into the attic by the soffit vents on either side of the bathroom vent. And then the underside of the roof molds.

So – a trip to town was in order. I invited Beth, and she accepted my invitation. I prefer to shop at an ancient hardware store in Tilton – Bryant’s Hardware. This place has been in business for well over 100 years, and I really like the guy who runs the place. He is both friendly and helpful. I didn’t think he’d have attic baffles, but I thought I’d check before I headed over to Lowes (which does have them, and probably cheaper).

First I found the staples. The proprietor was busy helping someone else, so as I waited, I browsed around – his store is always filled with fascinating things.

He didn’t think he had baffles, but he could sure order them for me. I knew I would never get around to using all the ones I did have today, so I figured it’d be worth the wait. But then he remembered he did have some. He bought them a few years ago for a project that he never completed. No wonder I like this guy so much. He’s just like me. He disappeared for a few minutes and came back with a box full of baffles. We counted out 30 of them.

Then I asked about a roof vent for the bathroom fan. He didn’t have those either, but again, he was willing to order them for me. So we picked one out, and I ordered two (there are two bathroom vents in the attic). They will arrive sometime next week after New Years Day. But I have no desire to climb up on my roof in the beginning of a New Hampshire January. No thanks! I will wait until spring. That vent has been exhausting bathroom steam into my attic for seven years now. Four more months is not going to make that much difference.

Beth and I then went back home, and she wanted to know if she could help me in the attic. Well… sure! We went up and she handed me baffles as I stapled them to the roof. We didn’t put them all up though, because that would mean moving more boxes. I could have moved them into the empty space I created by shuffling junk to the basement, but then I’d have to move them again to put up the insulation. So instead, I figured I should just insulate while I had the space cleared.

By then Beth was ready to go outside and play with the neighbor girl. That was just as well, because I really didn’t want her handling the fiberglass.

Maybe tomorrow I will make more progress. As we saw today… it could happen!