The Day From Hell

It started off okay. Woke up, had a cup of tea (Decaf Earl Grey) with loads of milk and sugar. I never drink tea in the states, and this is God’s way of punishing me for breaking with custom.

Met everyone at OPH for breakfast (everyone: Three Higgi, Three Berners) and the food was fine and the service wasn’t as bad as usual. We finished in about an hour, and had some time to kill so we walked around Game Stop and then Lowes. In Lowes I saw some cool bathroom faucets and I had been contemplating changing mine. We went to the movie (Karen met us).

We saw Ice Age 3D which had been receiving very bad reviews. One of my friends really liked it, so I was hopeful it would be amusing. Sometimes one’s hopes are dashed to Hell on the rocks. There were some very, very funny moments. The animation was spectacular, and the new character Buck stole the show — I’d see a movie about him. Simon Pegg played Buck, he of Star Trek (Scotty) fame. I think I’m beginning to like him as an actor. He’s 2 for 2 with me.

Many of the reviews said “Yawn of the Dinosaurs” and sadly, witty dialogue does not a movie make. While the dialogue was often funny, the movie was a long bore. Sad a 94 minute movie seems really long — and no post-credit surprises either. So, I cannot recommend this film.

Anyway, after the movie it was raining and I started thinking about those faucets. I went into Lowes and bought them and all the necessary hoses and such to do the job — and I bought a new toilet seat too. I figured I’d make my bathroom nicer. I’ve been here almost fifteen years (Nov 2009).

I’m handy with some things and have done light plumbing work before (as well as light electrical, phone, and data cabling). I figured it would be a half-hour job for each one. I emptied out the cupboards under the sinks and made room to work. I even brought up a small bucket and shop towels — working with water after all. Then I shut off the water to the sinks.

I remove the drain stop first, then I remove the bolts — one of which is so rusted it broke meaning I can’t put it back together and give up — holding the fixture to the sink counter. It won’t move. Odd. I explore and remove cover plates. I see the problem, and squirt lots of WD40 on it, and the nut moves a little. Finally, it comes off. Same issue with the second one. Try harder and harder but it won’t move. More WD40. Finally, it turns. And breaks. The people who installed it (Lennar) had apparently broken it and instead of replacing it had tack welded it to the water line. Yeah, I broke it. In half. I stop it up quickly — no damage at all. I am, unfortunately, having to call a real plumber. Which I do. Roto-Rooter to the rescue. I replaced the toilet seat while I waited.

$310 later, the job is done. It took him a long time to fix that spot. Since he was here, he did the other fixture in about 20 minutes. They look nice. And here’s a before and after for you to look at, but I’d never attempt this again. Wow.

Click for larger image

I am too tired to go out. I had agreed to go hang with Karen and do some 4th of July stuff, but I just don’t have the energy now. What a day. So I decided to watch TV and noticed my DirecTV receiver was cycling lights: first all four video resolutions went red (1, then 2, then 3, then 4), then again in yellow, then again in green. And the TV reported “no video signal detected” — lovely. That’s right no TV — so I have an old non-HD receiver so it’s not quite that bad. But a call to DirecTV indicates that after power-cycling, resetting, replacing the access card, etc. that the damn thing is just dead.

The moral of this story: Don’t drink tea when you’re a coffee person.

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