Look upon the wonders of my world!
So DWE (tweedleDWE etc etc) shot down my strategy for wrapping myself in an impenetrable armour of happy zen scales so as to prevent hurt from being applied to me. Well, Mr. DWE, look at the lyrics from this aria, also from Mary Poppins:

It's the age of men
I'm the lord of my castle
The sov'reign, the liege!
I treat my subjects: servants, children, wife
With a firm but gentle hand
Noblesse oblige!

How could you not be enamoured of this sentiment? So fitting for me is it not as I gaze out from my shoebox and look upon my fiefdom. Eh? Eh? Eh/ 

Noblesse Oblige! Yesh. 

Razor wire is as nothing as to DWE's sharpies
Anyway, it's a lost cause trying to change DWE's mind. He'll carp about the sentiments expressed here, and continue harping away on what would work better, and then like an indelible metaphorical sharpie, he'll make some comment that will pierce my amour and cause great hurt that will never ever be forgot. Yes, he's quite the sharp carp-harp. Even Dr. Shark would have problems getting her sharp teeth around him. I suppose that his latest stint at the Angry Men Camp over the break will have made him even more vicious, harpy, carpy and sharpier. 

In any case, let's stop talking about DWE because after all these little postings are about me. Not the Queen Mum of Yaletown.

Toothpaste is not just for teeth but for all household surfaces
Ever since I moved into the little shoebox with vistas (SBV), I feel like my senses have been renewed, like every emotion has been refreshed, that everything is new - why in a way, almost everything is new - it's like being in love again, almost better than a new phone....and just you wait Henry Higgins (that's Dr. J), I too shall have a new phone before long; 66% of my obligations have been met - and that's ahead of schedule too. Yes, in love again despite all the cleaning of the many new surfaces of foreign material (at least to me), and the conflicting cleaning advice that has been bestowed upon me. Actually, I've solved the cleaning advice - just use water for the most part, and every now and again, some toothpaste with baking soda if slightly more exfoliation of the surface is needed. After all, I'm sure Christie Brinkley's advice for maintaining smooth skin applies to fake marble surfaces - "exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate".

Bubbles don't lie...
I'm pleased to report that humanity has finally triumphed over hard wood shelves and walls that are appear to be straight, but aren't quite that straight. You see, I bought a shelf - not an IKEA one - but one made of hardwood - very hard wood as it turned out, and wood that's heavy too. 

The shelf sat around while I decided where it should go - a palaver of a problem in itself - then while little M and her trigger-happy entourage were around, they helped me put it up in the First Battle of the Bending Brackets, which the shelf won handily.

There were two brackets supplied with the shelf that had been handily screwed in, and holes (not very good holes as it turns out) gouged into the bracket for the screw to sit in. The stud finder came out and studs (2) were found in the wall, and anchor and screws were put in. The brackets were matched to the screws, and the shelf was hung, and it was level. Then the brackets started bending as they weren't strong enough to hold the shelf up. Then the screws and anchors started creaking and coming out. Round one to the shelf. 

Forged in the fires of Mordor...
So I brought the shelf down again, removed the tinny brackets, and hied to Homo Depot bought fresh shiny steel brackets. Dr. J with his blurry eyes came over with his power drill to 'help'. 

We measured distances from the top, the bottom and the two sides numerous times. We fixed the brackets on, we drilled holes - by the way, it helps if you have the switch on 'forward' rather than 'reverse' when you're drilling in. Just saying. Then Dr. J said he'd measure - and I should have said no because of his blurry, rheumy eyes. The brackets were screwed in, the anchors were put in, the shelf was hoisted up and hung on the one wall stud, and the anchors on the right, but despite our best efforts, the brackets didn't quite reach the screws on the left so the shelf hung, relatively solidly but was askew. I looked askance at Dr. J, and he looked back at me blurrily and said, "Have to go!", and he went before I fired drill bits at him with the drill. Shelf - 2; humans with PhDs - 0.

No shelf will be left unhung in the shoebox...
So back to Homo Depot where this very nice employee with much expertise in wood working listened carefully to my problem and my new, third plan of attack. He concurred and approved of my new plan, and said that really that was the only way to do it with exotic hard woods, and made one suggestion to improve on the plan. And this is what I did, I drilled holes through the shelf, used the brackets as washers, screwed the back into the one wall stud (the second turned out to be a chimera) with 3 inch screws, bunged six other screws through the shelf, and into 75lb anchors into the dry-wall to spread the load evenly, and Bob's your Uncle. And so now the shelf is attached rock solid to the wall, and it's level to boot (see the bubbles that don't lie. This was a huge learning experience, and the best lesson learnt? Not measure twice, cut once, but trust your eye, and your own judgement. The nice man in Homo Depot would agree; he said that walls aren't always level and your eye (unless blurry) is often the best judge. 

In the final analysis, I won, and that always pleases me. And now my Ching Dynasty Dragon has a home of its own finally.