Thursday, December 17, 2009

The single most unpleasant houshold task

My neighbor and I were having a chat on Thanksgiving day and somehow our wide-ranging conversation turned to the least desirable handy man-type task we have done. He, a liberal, me a conservative; we agree on little--but we were of one mind on this: Changing a kitchen faucet is the least pleasant task.

  • There is no room to work--all the manipulations are in the narrow space between the back of the sink and the wall behind the sink.
  • It is dark and the drain pipes are all in your way.
  • It is wet since you normally only change a faucet once it gets to be a problem.
  • It is messy since your head is below the work and so water and rust fall into your face.
  • It never goes smoothly since the bolts are all rusted into place, or the copper leads kink, or any of many other things go wrong.
  • It is always an emergency--no faucet gets more use, or is more critical to the smooth operation of a household, than the kitchen faucet.

Given all of this, it was with supreme dismay that this evening, at the height of making dinner while my wife was at karate, the faucet sprang a leak. Visions of my last weekend before Christmas spent in miserable frustration danced in my head. Or really, more like clogged on my head. What was especially galling was that I just put the thing in a couple of years ago and if you have ever purchased a faucet you know that they all come with 10, 15, 25 year or lifetime warranties--so it shouldn't be malfunctioning in 2 years! Plus, plus--I just threw away the box after having it sit in the basement all this time. That is where the documentation needed for free replacement would be, so I would pay for a new one and get the fun of putting it in.

Figuring I had little to loose, I set about taking the faucet apart. I got to the very bottom of the thing and found a plastic ring out of position. I adjusted it and then reassembled the thing: Voila, it works now! But I've got my eye on it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Five Goldennn years

Five years ago today, I made my first blog-post. In all that time I still haven't hit the 1,000 mark for posts, but should do so early next year. Well, it is just a hobby--not a job.

I would like to thank each of my five readers too, but really five is a guess--it could be three. Either way, thanks! I hope to write something you will find interesting soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Darn Blurry picture

At the wedding, we thought we had the perfect opportunity to take a Christmas picture: The kids were all dressed-up and we had a good setting.

But no. All the shots came out blurry!

Killin' time.

I just couldn't get anything going today project-wise. I need to make a table for the new study and I have all the materials at hand but don't want to create dust in the basement while my wife is down there wrapping gifts.

After running a few miles (less than normal for a Sunday and slower) I did finally reinforce the stairs to the basement. One of the the angled 2x8's was badly cracked and would flex whenever weight was put on it--like whenever I went up or down the stairs. This has been a problem for all eight years we have lived here. Today, I rummaged-up a 2x4 and nailed it to the inside edge of the weak beam. It is noticeably more solid now and took all of 10 minutes. Why I waited 8 years? Can't say.

It was a day filled with little things: Cleaning dishes, cooking, taking the eldest daughter to CVS for her Christmas shopping etc.