Sunday, November 13, 2005

Solving a mystery

There was recently the mystery of the dropping sand. My sister had been complaining about the mysterious appearance of sand in her room recently, to which I had no idea. The attic where I'm staying is right above her room, separated by timber flooring which has begun to shrink thus forming hairline cracks in between the timbers.

But there is no sand up here in the first place. I thought long and hard, and the worst case scenario was that it was indeed being attacked by termites or some other pest. But then...termites do not usually attack hardwoods, especially since its only been a few months. That didn't make sense.

So I became my own CSI, gathering evidence. That sorta thing. I love that kinda work although I wouldn't work in a crime lab because I'd go bonkers. The dust compounds were sand, and fine sawdust, which I was afraid. But grains of sand? If borers attacked the timber they'd leave behind fine sawdust residue but that doesn't explain the sand which accounted for almost half of the dust.

Then it struck me. When they installed the flooring the lousy bastards filled up the cracks with ...sand and sawdust which was just scattered in heaps here. Now that the boards are beginning to shrink the grains that were used to fill up the grooves begin to fall underneath with no way to stop this process. There's only this much vacuuming you can do.

My theory is that the air-conditioner is cranked up so much so that the temperatures in here dropped so much that the timber started to shrink, thus causing this interesting phenomenon. Looks like I have to let go of my sub-zero sleeping habits until they cover it from the bottom. Mystery solved.