Sunday, October 25, 2009

Operation Agua

I began my attempts to install the waterline from my basement to my in-fridge ice and water dispenser about two months ago. By begin, I mean I made my dad hole saw thru the floor and then I randomly purchased accoutrements when I remembered in various trips to the store. Last Thursday, I decided enough is enough and in anticipation of Halloween and potential ice needs, I began anew with a trip to Home Depot. (Normally I am Lowe's but we have a gift card.) Operation Agua commence!

My home has a water manifold system and all I wanted on Thursday was:
1) A plastic connector to make the 1/2" pex pipe ($16) that I bought on one of my previous trips for Halloween supplies in order to attach the pex to the port.
2) A reducer/connector to go from 1/2" pex pipe to 1/4" line on the back of my fridge.

Instead, twenty minutes later, I came home with standard plumbing items of the following:
1) 5/8" compression nut with insert $2.77
2) 1/4" compression nut with insert $1.52
3) 5/8" compression nut x 3/8" compression nut both with inserts $4.70
4) 25' of 1/4" poly pipe $6-something

Now, I blame myself partially for not having rechecked the sizes but when he hands me each package after a detailed discussion of what I needed, I left the store and came home full of vim and vigor. Only 3/8" inserts don't fit in 1/4" tubing.

So, I proceed to spend Sunday with the plumbing apprentice aka BS, my boyfriend and every tool we have in the house. Turns out the standard size 5/8" compression nut doesn't actually screw on to the port when you insert the pex into the compression fitting and as we realized this we proceeded to drop it onto the floor and break the nut so I find myself taking a trip to Home Depot to replace the two headed nut and we take the $2.77 loss plus our time plus more gas from my already low tank.

At Home Depot, I return my 5/8"x 3/8" part for store credit and head back to the plumbing aisle. I stare into the boxes of PEX related parts until the man using the threading station notices my bewilderment and proceeds to come to my rescue. Standing there with hands full of all the appropriate parts, I couldn't figure out how I was going to crimp the pipe back at the house..

And lo and behold, Rich, the Home Depot savior, pulls out the "show me how it works in theory" and with a wink, continues to make the above, a 1/2" PEX compression fitting (the one on the left) crimped copper ring, PEX pipe link, crimped copper ring to 1/2" male adaptor... swipe the bags and grab a bag of Sour Patch Kids for my mental stress and I am out $9.30 less the $4.70 credit but am a solid hour ahead in work.
We chisel out the wood to fit our new reducer onto the manifold and turn the water on... LEAK! Guess who forgot pipe tape?? So out to Sears Hardware for $1.05 and back to re-connect the pipes and turn the water on.... LEAK! Turns out the 1/4" compression fitting has some sort of issue in the nut that is allowing water thru coupled with my shrinking patience and I find myself holding three pieces for what is a two piece component. Off I go again, back to Sears for a new compression nut and nylon sleeve with insert ($2.63).
It is now 4:00. I have missed the Steelers game, I have installed a new compression fitting and we turn the water back on....

Total Spent:
6 hours including driving time and $39.37 not counting gas but I will never need a Brita again.

Nightmare on ELM AVE..

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bike Accident

My friend GB of stolen bag fame has had yet another run in with bad karma...
Yesterday while riding in DC, GB was hit by a woman who the cops referred to as "ancient". He was riding in Washington Circle and thus had the right of way. The ancient (and potentially blind) woman failed to yield and instead hit him, knocking the bike and GB several yards away skipping across the pavement like a stone across a lake.

He emerged unscathed due to proper helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and other bike accessories. The bike, however, did not.

handlebars- check the handlebars..

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is Maggie, not Dana... aka the Mix-up

If you have ever had surgery, you know that they repeatedly ask which body part they are to be cutting and mark it several times with indelible ink. I assume it is to make sure that there are no screw-ups in the surgery process. They also confirm and re-confirm your name and other items about you.
I have come to believe this is common practice among all health related trades.

See my most recent trip to the eye doctor..

Receptionist: "Maggie, Could you come to the window?"
Me: walks to window "Yes?"
Receptionist: "Ok, just making sure. The doctor will be with you shortly."
Me: sits back down
A few minutes elapse..
Doctor: "Maggie?"
Me: looking up hesistantly
Doctor: "Are you Maggie Reed? Ok, come on back."

So on to the topic at hand...

On Monday, I went to work like any other day only to remember at 7AM as I was unlocking the trailer door that I had a dentist appointment at 10AM in the city. So... I was supposed to be in the city today. And it was for a dentist appointment. When I go to the dentist, I make a good show of it. I blame my mom and her tablets..

that show plaque where you missed it when brushing. Having done a poor imitation of brushing that morning, I found myself searching for a drugstore open at 7 AM near my jobsite. I wound up driving to a supermarket I knew was open, purchasing a toothbrush and toothpaste and brushing my teeth in the ACME bathroom.

I then traveled into the city where there was no traffic (IMPOSSIBLE on any other day when I didnt have nearly 3 hours to kill!!) and found myself next to my old apartment listening to my audiobook and creeping out the families taking their kids to school by sitting in my warm car waiting for the next thirty-two minutes. In an effort to avoid raising uneccessary alarm in people, I wandered to a nearby coffeeshop in an effort to waste the remaining 1 hour and 53 minutes left until my appointment.

It took me 57 minutes to drink one cup of tea. I thoroughly creeped out the guy working beside me as I sat listening to Sookie Stackhouse on my ipod and watching the people as they walked on past. It took another 15 minutes to throw my cup away and leave the shop and another 10 to walk back to my car because I took the long way. I sat in my car again for another 20 odd minutes and then walked to the dentist who was a half a block away.

When I arrived, the xray machine was in pieces and standing in the receptionists area. The receptionist looked like people had been bothering her and when she asked if I was Dana upon being given a chance to talk to someone who wasn't the phone, the dentist or the technicians, I told her no. I was Maggie. She commented that I was really early (22 minutes... ) and to have a seat.

Given my ability to wait at this point, I put on my ipod and flipped thru a people magazine. I became aware about 12 minutes later that a technician was trying to get my attention. I stood up, took out my headphones, and followed her back. She would proceed to say nothing to me while I sat in the chair until after she had put the bib on at which point she asked me if I had any health changes. I responded that I was on new medication and that was the last word we would say to each other for the next couple of minutes.

She was a butcher.

Let me say: I like getting my teeth cleaned. I like the scraping and the smooth feeling you have for the next couple of days without really trying. But I do not like feeling like someone has jammed stuff in between your teeth and that someone has done needlepoint on my gums. Normally, also, when you cringe or tighten fists or go tense, people stop and ask if you are ok. Not the "Meat Chopper".... I had to talk with utensils in mouth to get her to notice that I was wildly uncomfortable to which she responded she would floss them and then it would feel better.

At about this point, I became aware of footsteps and the receptionist said to "Miss pokey sticks":

"Just so you know, you are working on Maggie. (audible pause during which I am guessing the butcher made some sort of gesture or face) Dana didn't show. So you are working on Maggie. It's been that kind of a morning."

I would like to know what kind of a morning makes it ok to confuse one patient with another and not figure it out until the cleaning was almost finished. Obviously one worthy of this blog.

Buttonless Remote

Manny spent an awful lot of time sitting under the bed the other night... Here's why...