Friday, March 20, 2015

the answer, my friend --

"Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it."

It must be Winston Churchill week here at Mexpatriate.  Yesterday, he was talking about shots and exhilaration.  Today, he holds forth on the wind.

I suspect Winston, like all politicians who speak of going against the wind, was trying to turn an unpopular move into a profile in courage.  But I am not interested about wind allegories.  Let's talk about the real thing.

Over the weekend we had quite a storm pass through our portion of the Pacific coast.  I told you about the rain.  But I mentioned the wind only in passing.  It turns out the wind left a mark on my house that will last longer than the floods that have already receded.

The walls of my upper terrace are lined with paintings.  More accurately, they were lined with paintings.

When Ed and Roxanne assisted me in mounting the paintings, we initially hung each on a single screw installed into a plastic wall anchor.  None of the paintings are very heavy.  Between the concrete wall and the screw, we thought all would be well.

When several of the paintings were blown off the wall by small breezes, Ed returned to hang all of the paintings with wire.  The idea was to give some flexibility in the wind.

Our last windstorm proved to be the undoing of that idea.  As a former sailor, I should have seen the potential problem.

During windstorms, the canvas essentially finds its basic nature as a sail.  Without rigging, it would fly off wherever the wind took it.  And that is what the wire and screws are.  Rigging.  Just like on a sailboat.

But that is the problem.  The house is not a boat.  When the canvas of a sail catches the energy of the wind, the energy is transferred and propels the boat across the water.

My paintings have no hope of propelling my house anywhere.  The trapped wind energy then has two options: tear the canvas or undo the rigging.  Fortunately, the rigging tore away -- along with bits of the concrete wall -- before the canvas did.
Each of the eight screw installations has been either bent or pulled from the wall.

That means I need an alternative method of displaying the art.  The easiest would be to reinstall the same system and take down the paintings whenever wind threatens.

But the better alternative would be a steadier mounting system that would concurrently protect the paintings from damage.  I am going to talk with some friends in construction.  They may have some ideas.

And I bet another group of people will be every bit as helpful.

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