About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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My opinion after 40-odd (and some of them were very odd) years of teaching is that good writing can't be taught, though it can be learned.

John Lawler



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 9/21/2018

Totals
Posts - 2522
Comments - 2582
Hits - 2,081,911

Averages
Entries/day - 0.45
Comments/entry - 1.02
Hits/day - 374

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 12:17 PM Pacific


  03:18 PM

I was talking with my colleague Doug about home improvement, and he noted that last summer he'd spent way more time sprucing up his deck than he'd intended to. This made me go home and cast a critical eye on the porch-deck that's behind my office and bedroom. It's only a year old, but I could see that the areas that get the most sunlight had already started looking quite worn. The worst was the top of the railing, presumably the result of direct sunlight and standing water in the winter.

I got out my sander (an orbital number) and took a pass. It worked, but it was slow going ... the sander wasn't really the right tool. But I knew what was, so I took a little trip to Home Depot to get myself a belt sander. Predictably, there were models ranging from $35 to $250. I took the middle path with a Ryobi, a brand I trust for no particular reason.

Worked great. I sanded off the tops of the railings in 20 minutes, then used the orbital and a touch of hand sanding to get ino the areas I couldn't reach with the belt sander. Then was the real fun. I got out the can of finish and used a sponge brush to put on two coats of finish. Much better.





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