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Now that’s why you spend extra money – customer service

Our Delta kitchen faucet has been dripping for, months. Each drip is the resounding echo of money going down the drain. It is also environmentally irresponsible. Our fix was to put a sponge under the drip so the sink would quit imitating a bass drum. I dreaded replacing the washers but finally decided to do it only to find that mineralization had frozen the screw which holds the hand to the faucet so tightly that I thought I’d break the handle getting it off. I soaked it in vinegar for days and, eventually, it broke free. That’s when I discovered you cannot replace the washers. Delta uses a cartridge which you can from Amazon for $20 or HomeDepot for $25ish. When I went to HomeDepot, the kind salesperson suggested that I contact Delta because they warranty these things. Sure enough, I called Delta today and in under 3 minutes a free replacement cartridge is on its way. In 7-10 days, our drip will be repaired. I cannot believe I put this repair off so long!

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Kitchen remodel

I had planned a kitchen remodel for "the future." Mentally, to me, that meant 2016. I figured by then I would have recovered from all our other projects and expenses enough to tackle a DIY kitchen remodel. Then our fridge died. It joined the dead dishwasher. And the dead exhaust fan. And the stove with one dead eye. The time had come, and after a bit of deliberation, we replaced the kitchen appliances. A stainless steel French door refrigerator, dishwasher, electric range, and over the stove microwave appeared in the house. A blackhole appeared in my bank account.

The dishwasher installation required me to replace an electrical run from the kitchen to the breaker box. That was time consuming and not without a few swear words and some blood. After that ordeal, the dishwasher slid easily and nicely into place. But I forgot to cut the discharge hose free so I pulled the dishwasher out. With the hose now neatly run to the disposal, I slid the dishwasher back into place with similar ease. But it wouldn’t level. There was too much of a drop between the flooring and the space under the cabinet. I pulled the dishwasher out and added some wood to the under the cabinet space. But now the dishwasher wouldn’t slide in. I checked the wood. I tape things down. I checked the water line and the electrical line. In the end, the adjusting foot in the back was still extended and snagged then tore the vinyl floor. I can patch it. That installation took all day.

The only piece remaining is the microwave. But we didn’t replace the cabinets. Lingering over the stove is a 42 inch cabinet that once fit perfectly over a 1960s gargantuan electric range suitable for Mrs. Cleaver. Our modern range is 30 inches. We debated centering the range under the existing cabinet then filling the gap between the counter and the range with some handmade shelving for cookie sheets etc. Debated just leaving the range butted up against the counter and hanging the microwave offset instead of centered under the cabinet but that left the question of how to handle the duct work. Plus that would leave the microwave hanging too low to the range. We debated hand making an entire new kitchen’s worth of cabinets but didn’t want to wait 5 years to use our kitchen again. Besides, if I’m going to make my own counters, I’m going to lay down a new tile floor first. In dismay, I pulled up Home Depot’s website. To my surprise, a 30x12x12 wall bridge cabinet in unfinished oak was a mere $48.45 and in stock! This is a no-brainer. I couldn’t build one of that. At $49, it is basically disposable so we can hang it, and when the time comes to remodel, we can replace it.

That said, now I have to debate whether to risk doing this construction over the stove, or moving it and possibly not having a stove for several days while the installation happens.

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HVAC Maintenance

When you go to bed with the house at 82°F and awake with the house at 78°F, your air conditioner is trying to remind you that you should not have skipped the annual maintenance.

We will try to limp by until the weekend by making the house super cold in the morning and avoiding opening doors throughout the day (ha!).

Temperature conversion courtesy of

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I posed a question on Facebook today:

Oh my. Program? Cut the grass? Clean the house? Read a book? Run some new pipe? Build a wall? Upgrade the electrical wiring to 12-2? Install a panic button? Wash the wife’s car? Marinate some steaks? Repair the garage door? Clean the driveway? Finish hole 2 of the minigolf? Built a fort for Evan? Paint? Install flooring in the basement?


Thus far, my day has been:

  • Wake at 5:30 to drive son to work.
  • Wake at 6:30 to drive son to scouting event.
  • 7-8am Help scouts pack van to Shining Rock
  • 8-9am Visit with a friend
  • 9-noon Internet. Some client work. Putz. Pick son up from work. Prepare garage for work on the garage door. And marinate steaks!
  • Noon – 12:40pm Repair garage door.
  • 2-4 errands with wife including Agrifeed for rats, pig ears, and cat toys, Target, and Sears.

Now to see about a garage door repair.
Update: 12:40pm Garage door repair complete.

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What happened this weekend?

The weekend began with a visit to a client’s office where we accomplished none of her goals but an hour later had a plan. Relatives were visiting so family took priority which ultimately meant Chuck E Cheese and sushi with Froyoz for dessert. Then there was massive cleaning, throwing away of things, Goodwilling piles, and room moves. The house is gaining a new sense of order despite the current disarray. I can once again enter my garage! Things are only getting better.

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Weekend Accomplishments

This weekend I juggled for Children’s Hospital at the Zoo. I completed a split rail fence along my driveway’s retaining wall. I provided tech support to old people. I celebrated a friend turning 50. I purchased the most expensive appliances imaginable and they still won’t match my socks or fold my shirts. I performed hours of basement archaeology. And I awoke Monday morning exhausted and tender.

Dead tech