Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Catwalks for Dummies

attic catwalk
As the Antisocial Network research staffers wander the 'net in search of candidates for our daily award, they often run across posts that -- at first glance -- seem to be written by someone who knows what he or she is talking about. Often, however, closer reading reveals that the writer has merely copied verbiage from somewhere else and, in the process, reveals a glaring hole in his or her knowledge. Such is the case of today's DotD nominee, eHow's Marilla Mulwane who did little more than reword an "online tip" for her post, "How to Make a Catwalk in the Attic" at

Fortunately for Mulwane, the instructions she cribbed were OK -- not great, just OK -- but in her copy-reword-paste job, she ran into some problems. Her lack of familiarity with framing of roofs and ceilings is pretty clear when she says crap like,
"Rest the board so that it crosses perpendicular over the horizontal boards on the attic floor."
and digs herself an ever-deepening hole by "tipping" her readers off with the suggestion that
"If the attic does not have visible horizontal boards, make some by screwing boards between the trusses."
We'd prefer that our instructions for projects like this be written by people who know what "joists" and "rafters" are instead of talking about "trusses" -- but that's the only word some unknown person (probably a freelancer!) used at online tips dot org, so that -- and "horizontal boards" -- are all that Mulwane seems to know about framing.

In reality, the "online tip" suggested using additional 2-by lumber to build up above the insulation, but Marilla didn't understand that. She also didn't have the foggiest clue about the spacing of joists, nor did she have any idea how to lay a path parallel to the joists (or get through something as complicated as a queen truss).

So what do we end up with by reading Mulwane? We figured out pretty quickly that this is someone who's only been in an attic a few times, and that one already had a floor -- in other words, she was talking through her metaphorical hat. We give people like that Dumbass of the Day awards, even if they do have degrees in creative writing.
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