Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ranting is theraputic

The other day, I'm standing there doing the dishes (in a most manly way, of course) when I note that the floor is getting REALLY wet under my feet.  Thought to myself no big deal, the granddaughter spilled something.  Again.  Then, during a break in the action, I could hear the tinkle of running water.  No big deal, these grandkids tinkle anywhere any time.  Finally I had to stop and investigate.  Turns out the metal housing of the garbage disposal was broken, and yucky funkwater was streaming out of it - looking very much like some kind of swamp robot pissing on my floor.

Landlord brought over a new unit and I handled the install.  Old one out and new one in - took only a few minutes.  "You're pretty handy" says the landlord.  "Drove finicky old cars as a teenager" I explained.  "A lot of the time it was either 'be handy' or 'walk home' so I got pretty good at fixing things."  Landlord went on to tell me about a fixer-upper house they'd bought years ago, and they made it a family project for one summer to get it into shape.  He said that he had a son-in-law who was in his 20s at the time, who had NEVER USED A HAMMER.  (I was bending nails in my dad's new deck when I was 3).  OK...  Here's the deal:  if you're 20-something years old and can't use a hammer, you simply aren't worthy of being numbered among my countrymen.  Please, just, just... move far the heck away.  Maybe a country that is tolerant of those who have, um, "expressive wrists" should be at the top of your list.

Anyway.

New disposal unit has half again as much power and is much quieter.  It sounds like one chainsaw instead of a chorus of chainsaws. All is well, right?  The next day I note that the dishwasher has barfed all over the floor.  Upon opening it, I find that is hasn't drained out any if its wastewater.  Chalking it up to a fluke, I ran the cycle again.  More barfage.  Tore into the dishwasher (there I go being 'handy' again) but couldn't find and clogs or mechanical problems.

"Hmmmm..." Thinks I...  "This problem must somehow be related to the new disposal, 'cuz having two appliances crap out on consecutive days is just too weird..."

Both sides of the sink were draining fine, so I couldn't blame it on a downstream clog...  Disconnect the dishwasher drain hose and turn it on for a split second... Funkwater streams out the drain hose normally.  Wow, this is getting strange...  Reconnect the drain hose.  No flow.  Inspect fitting. It is blocked by a knock-out.

"Are you even freaking serious??!?" yells my brain, inwardly.  "Why the bloody hell should that fitting be blocked off?!"  Thought about it briefly, and concluded that the fitting comes blocked for people that don't have dishwashers.  For Reals?  Is there really a caveman out there somewhere who has a disposal but no dishwasher?  He rinses his gristle down the drain and then, what, lugs his dishes down to the river?  Scratches the dried lasagna off with a stick and rinses them in the stream?  WTH??

Alright, whatever.  Now everything works.  OK, not everything.  The bottom shelf in my fridge broke.  Yeah, the one that supports the crisper drawer.  No biggie.  The crisper now just hangs a little lower and interferes with the door closing.  Just close it FIRMLY and all is cool.  Except toddler granddaughter doesn't close it firmly enough.  So the contents of the fridge get warm.  And the fridge tries to keep things cool by running and running and running until an adult eventually notices that things are awry.  So my milk and my coke and my gatorade are warm now, and the ice cream up in the freezer is frozen SO @#(*&^%ing SOLID that I could use it to cut glass and/or chip my teeth.

Hey, inno, are you done yet?  HELZ NO!

The light switch in the hallway bathroom is acting up.  It won't stay off.  Seriously.  As soon as you let it go, it springs back into the 'on' position.  Unless you point it down in the off position and jiggle it just right.  Thankfully, I have many years of experience with the "point it down and jiggle it just right" process.  So I can turn it off.  Seems I'm the only one capable in my household.  Which means most of my free time is spent getting up and turning the light switch off.  I know I can get a new switch for about a buck and a half.  But then I gotta install it, and the wiring in my house is STUPID.  None of the single-pole breakers turn off what they say they do no their labels.  So I gotta systematically flip breakers until I happen upon the right one.  In the meantime, everything else in the house has its power interrupted.  So it's a blinking 12:00 everywhere I look.  Grrrah!  Either that or work on the switch hot.  120V doesn't hurt that bad.  More startling than painful.  But still.

But wait, there's more!  Now that it's finally warming up around here, the ceiling fans are seeing some use.  Two of them work like champs.  Two of them are more wobbly than a drunken Michael "Our Lady of Guacamole" Moore in-line skating down a tin roof.  On one of 'em, I tried to tape a quarter to the fan blade to help the balance.  No go.  No matter which blade, still wobbles.  And launches quarters when the tape fails.  And now it clicks like a metronome from time to time.  Yay.

By now, I bet you're thinking "Wow, inno, your house sounds like a real dive.  Maybe it should be condemned" and you'd be right.  But I LIKE it that way.  A run-down foreboding house in a state of ill-repute-repair discourages visitors.  I don't like visitors.  I don't like people.  I don't like YOU!  If you drop by, I'll punch you in the gut with an old disposal wrapped in barbed wire!  Bwaaahaahaahaa!

11 comments:

  1. Ok, it's chuckle time. I have a disposal but not a dishwasher. Now before you condemn me as heathen let me explain. See, the house was started in the 40s. Yeah, 1940s. It was added onto in the ensuing decades. Now it is a polyglot of poor construction and WTF. The kitchen was constructed with neither disposal nor washer. It also has non-standard sized cabinets. As in two inches too short to install a dish washer. Sigh. Now in order to keep Lu's hands from attaining that lovely Palmolive texture (Remember Madge? Yeah, we are really getting old) I'm going to have to first replace all the kitchen cabinets.

    So I think I'm directly responsible for that second round of flooding since I think they made that disposal on the off chance I'd be buying it.

    I am really, really sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor construction and WTF? You're soaking in it! (Yes, I remember Madge, too!)

      Delete
    2. Six, that's my first house to a tee: it was built in three stages, ending in the 1950's. I bought a rolling dishwasher with a cutting-board top, so I could use it for food prep and the dishes - you rolled it over to the sink and plugged its hoses into the faucet.

      Those were the days.

      The years were filled with projects.

      Delete
  2. In my experience, it's best to run the outlet line from the disposal at elevation from its outlet, then drop it down into the inlet of the drainline on the other sink. Otherwise, the goopy water from the left sink runs down the line into the disposal in the right sink, with all kinds of amusement resulting. It's also good to do the same on the line running from the dishwasher into the disposal.

    The bottom shelf in the fridge broke? Sounds like the support broke. Not a good idea to let grandkids stand on it while trying to reach the upper shelves....

    Your breaker panel sounds like the one in my first house - nothing was labeled right. It's an interesting project, though time-consuming. I replaced light switches hot in that place, until I got the wiring figured out. Reminded me of the old electrician who was there when I started my job - he tested circuits by touch: "BZZT! Yep, that's hot." Interesting old guy. After he left, nobody knew what circuits went where.

    I bet if you head down to Home Depot you can pick up a couple of brand new ceiling fans for one grandkid....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or I could balance the fan by hanging grandkids off it!

      Delete
    2. Just tell 'em it's a merry-go-round....

      Delete
  3. Yup. Ranting IS therapeutic and it makes for very entertaining reading, too. But it don't fix wobbling ceiling fans, does it?

    ReplyDelete
  4. But on the bright side...the 20 something who has never used a hammer is probably a VERY SENSITIVE metrosexual, in touch with his feelings, nas a shaved chest and women find him sensitive and in touch with their needs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I first moved into this house there was no dishwasher and the disposal had to be turned on and off by plugging and unplugging it
    I'm and expert nail-bender

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Inno, garbage disposals come with knock-outs where the dishwasher hose connects. Just thought I'd let you know. Ain't that a kick in the head?

    ReplyDelete
  7. SIL#1 is 30 and I'm not sure he knows how to use a hammer. Elder Daughter, his wife, hard wired 2 of the light fixtures in their new house, however.

    The kitchen at Moogie's Mansion has a dishwasher, but no disposal. And, no, we have no spot to compost. This ain't Oregon.

    Therapeutic rant read. That'll be 5 cents, please.

    ReplyDelete

Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.

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