Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's like making your house into a limo.

Yesterday we continued with operation sunglasses.

One of the items my wife set down at the Home Depot and then repurchased at Lowes was window tinting. It was something called Gila Flim, a thin film that blocks 77% of the harmful heat rays that travel 93 million miles and end up in my bedroom. Ironically, we had learned of Gila Film in a Home Depot advertisement.

We tried it on the overhead skylight first, because in the summer, this thing acts like a giant ray gun that burns a stripe across our room.

That was a fun, balancing up on a ladder with the wet sticky film trying to place it just right on the window over my head.

Last Sunday was what the weather service would call a "partly cloudy" day. Since this is profession that you only need be right 25% of the time, that meant the sun was out. I was sweating like rancid pork at the top of the ladder under the skylight in the broiling sun. I felt like an ant under a magnifying glass with a cruel Boy Scout holding it.

Until I put the magic film on the sky light. Then all the heat dissipated.

We were impressed.

We finished the skylight and moved onto another task, putting up a new fan. We had plenty of film left, but we had higher priorities.

Later that night we discovered an unintended consequence of putting the film on the sky light that is on a angled ceiling directly over our bed. It reflects light when it nighttime.

That's right, we inadvertently put a mirror on the ceiling. Over the bed.

We looked at each other and for a moment the same thought came to mind. That's right - "I wonder how much money we are saving with this stuff".

Yesterday we finished the southern exposure bedroom windows and discovered another side effect. Super privacy from the outside looking in during the day.

It is impossible to see into the window during the day and yet all the hot stuff has been taken out of the sun. It's a win win. No one can see in and we get to see out with the shades up all day long. It's beautiful.

Let's just say she spent a lot of time on Saturday early evening saying "now you are sure no one can see in, right?".

Putting the magic film up meant cleaning the windows, a rare task here. I remember my grandmother washed her windows once every two weeks. She had long double hung windows on the front and back of her south Philadelphia row home and would perform feats of skill unseen outside of the circus to clean them.

This was pretty amazing considering she was a five foot Italian woman with legs the thickness of small tree trunks and that she wore stockings and wedgies.

To clean the outsides of the windows, she would open the bottom and crawl out on to the ledge and sit on it facing the window. She would then proceed to move the tops and bottoms of the window like Bruce Lee all the while washing and scrubbing the window.

From the inside all you could see were her stockinged legs sticking out under the window and shaking as she worked.

It was an amazing piece of choreography to behold.

My exhibition was much less skillful since I only so it once a year.

Later when it got dark we discovered that film loses it's privacy magic when the lights are on in the room. Now, we are going to need a chart of when it's OK and not OK to have the shades open.

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