I’ve never really been a math guy. And I’ve certainly never been one to excel in anything even remotely connected to geometry.
I even disliked the ill-fated fleet of small cars rolled out by General Motors in the 1990s because they were called Geos.
“Get to know Geo” was their ad slogan. Uh, no thanks.
I realize that the Geo Metro had nothing to do with geometry. Well, maybe it did, but if it did, I sure as heck didn’t know why.
Needless to say, I don’t like geometry. I begrudgingly enjoy a game of billiards despite its reliance on the science of geometry.
While my stance on algebra’s gangly, angly cousin has softened, I still get a bit queasy when it comes to anything involving exact symmetry.
There was a reason I was an English major that went into sports journalism. In the newspaper business, there was simple addition and subtraction along with the occasional bout with long division.
But I digress. Sort of.
As you can probably imagine, as I set out to complete the long-overdue task of putting up the baseboard trim in the kitchen and main hallway a couple of weeks ago, I got a little light-headed staring at the corners.
Not only was I going to have to use a tape measure and miter saw, but there were lots and lots of angles involved.
I started in the hallway. Easy enough. A few straight cuts here and there and I had half of my work done.
Then came the end of the hall. A long piece in the middle sandwiched by a pair of 2-inch pieces wedged into the corners.
Now, I’m sure there’s an easy way to do all of this, but I’m angly-challenged. Oh, I knew they had to be 45-degree cuts, but trying to get those right (or is it left?) on the first try? Yeah, right. Or is it left?
Despite this, I was confident with my first try. I made the measurements, made the cuts and made my way back upstairs from the garage.
Not even close.
Next try? Close, but this time they were too short.
OK, I got this. Measure the length on the back to get the right angle on the front. Got it.
Oops, cut too much.
Frustration was setting in. I was burning perfectly good baseboard here.
About 15 to 20 minutes from the start of this small little three-foot stretch and I was done.
Only to turn around and see a good 75 percent of my job staring me right in the face. And the fun corners were yet to come.
It did get a bit easier. Emphasis on the word “bit.” Even though the angle on the miter saw read 45 degrees, it sure as heck didn’t turn out that way every time. Most of the kitchen turned out pretty good. Nothing that a little caulk couldn’t remedy. After all, it’s not like my handy work was right at eye level. You’d have to get down on your hands and knees to really do a thorough inspection.
I certainly won’t win any awards for this work, but I sure as heck could have done worse.
Now, about this new deck railing?