Do-it-yourself is getting more popular all the time. The really ambitious DIY people take on huge projects with no thought about what kind of help they might need or find.
My daughter lives in the suburbs north of Dallas and works in the banking industry there. The man she married is a great guy but he’s a bit of a good-ole-boy and what I call a tinkerer. He’s very handy at house maintenance and has no fear of failure in any type of construction project.
Recently, he and my daughter found a piece of land just south of the Oklahoma border outside a small town and decided that’s the place to build their getaway cabin. My son-in-law decided he and my grandson were gonna try to do most the work themselves.
Construction has gone well and the cabin is almost finished. Last week the only thing left was some of the final painting. Things slowed down a bit however when my son-in-law brought up a TV to watch March madness and my grandson was busy with school and his day job. The pressure was still on though because my daughter was threatening to come up for a wifely inspection of the work.
That weekend all of the painting supplies were sitting outside ready to get started on the porch. But the basketball games were about to begin. Luckily about that time one of the young kids from the nearby town came by. She said she was looking for a way to earn some extra cash. She saw the painting equipment and asked my son-in-law if there was any painting she could do.
Well, he jumped at the chance to get the painting done and still watch the game. He tells her he’d give her thirty bucks to paint the porch on the side of the house. She says, “Deal” and takes the paint, rollers and brushes around the side of the house while my son-in-law settles down to watch the game.
Before the game gets to halftime there’s a knock at the door. The girl is standing there. “I’m all finished”, she says. My son-in-law is still reaching for his wallet when she continues, “But it’s not a Porsche, its a Lexus”
All my life I’ve worked with technology. This has given me a innate distrust of anything more complicated to operate than piece of paper. It has always been my experience that tech is guaranteed to fail you at the time of most critical need. Of course it doesn’t help that I’ve always been involved in leading edge technology. But even the simplest device seems to spend its time waiting and conniving the best way to inconveniently make up for all the convenience it has supposedly brought into my life.
You have to realize technology can be any non-organic helper of man. This means that 10,000 years ago, a campfire was state-of-the-art technology. Now at this point we are talking about the art of staying warm at night. But the campfire was the first thing other than another cave person (I don’t judge) or animal (I REALLY don’t judge) that kept a caveman warm at night.
Let’s begin with the simple garage door opener. Oh I’m sorry. Today they call them garage door operators. When I found that out a couple of weeks ago I should have known that new ones were not gonna be an improvement. Merely a new set of experiences.
The compound has a detached double garage and the old garage door openers (because thats what they were called back when they were put in) were getting noisy and slow. One had even started spewing lubricant until there is now a dark, oil-colored stripe down the middle of one of the doors. Add to that, daughter-of-Snowball refused to quit using the remote with the sticky button so it was a crap shoot whether the door would remain down in the time it took her to walk to the house.
The nice, new door operators have an web interface so I can sit in my easy chair and know if the doors are up or down and close them if needed. I even get texts when the doors open and close which is an option I’m sure was designed by the father of a teen-aged girl. We don’t have anymore of those but its still a nice thing to know. So far I have only found the door stopped half-way once for no reason (door tech still hates me). With all of this brand new, state-of-the-door tech I still never feel like I can drive or walk away from the garage until I wait and see with my own eyes that the doors are closed.
This week I learned another technology that I can’t trust. I realized this when I walked into the bathroom and stepped on a soaked throw rug. I let out a scream that would have made a longshoreman proud. For no discernible reason, the toilet had surrounded itself with water.
The bowl was clear and at the normal level, the tank had filled and was quiet. So after removing the offending rug and with plunger in hand, I encouraged Snowball to flush the toilet while we both analyzed the proceedings. It worked perfectly – of course.
The only theory we could come up with was that earlier that morning one of us had made an especially fiber-laden deposit and the bowl was temporarily unable to drain at the rate of the tank. This is only a theory because I sure as hell don’t watch the operation of the toilet if I can help it. It’s just another technology that waits for the opportunity to fail me.
Snowball spent Sunday making crystals for a line of jewelry she will be selling soon. While setting up her stuff in the kitchen, she unplugged a carbon-monoxide sensor. It has a battery backup so not a big deal. Until three in the morning when it started that infernal high pitched beeping. The detector never got plugged back in and the battery died. Continue reading I’d Rather Die In My Sleep
The curmudgeon asked me to write something this week since he’s taking some time off to celebrate his birthday. We talked about some possible subjects. I finally came up with my pet peeve (pun intended) which is cat food flavors.
What cat food flavor do you feed your cat? Maybe something like beef or chicken. Really? When was the last time you saw a house cat take down a cow? A chicken maybe, but it would take someone like my roommate Roswell who’s a 20 pound Maine Coon to make the kill. And don’t get me started about tuna. Ya can’t chase tuna! Try goldfish. At least you can chase goldfish, sorta, but you get your paws all wet. And I know from experience how pissed apes get when the aquarium gets knocked over.
Why don’t cat food makers come up with some good flavors? Last week I brought in two mice and a sparrow which I managed to share with Roswell before the apes saw us. Then I finished a full sized rabbit in the back yard. I didn’t bring that one in ’cause I didn’t wanna share it. Get the hint? Do we see minced mice or spiced sparrow in the pet food aisle? No! If ya really wanna go gourmet how ’bout let’s have some rabbit? Just please don’t cook it first.
And another thing! What ape came up with those damn dry nuggets in a bag they call treats. The best treat a cat could get is anything with six legs. Has to be alive though. We love how they scurry across the floor and some even jump up and fly. The biggest advantage is they have more legs to idly pull off during play. Yet there’s usually still something to eat when we’re done.
They accused poor Morris (Bastet rest his soul) of being a finicky eater. That’s total B.S. They just refused to feed him his natural diet. I’ll bet that if they would’ve laid a gerbil out in front of him, he wouldn’t be finicky, He’d jump that morsel in a New York second even if gerbil’s are known as a tough dry meat. The flavor’s still good.
That’s it! I’m gonna go out to change.org and make a petition for more realistic cat food flavors. And I’ll have everyone who reads this blog sign it. Let’s see, if I need ten thousand signers then I’ll only need nine thousand nine hundred and ninety five more signatures.
I love the ocean. Looking out and seeing nothing but blue sky and crashing waves relaxes me more than an afternoon of smooth jazz. Watching the ships coming in and wondering where they’ve been brings on the quintessential lure of the sea. So when Snowball asks me if I wanted to visit a little seaside town in northern California nicknamed the Gateway to the Redwoods, I jumped at the chance. Continue reading From The Seas to The Trees, Pt 1
I know I watch too much television. Sometimes my dreams are just a jumbled continuation of what I was watching earlier. But I seriously don’t know why I should dream of being a prisoner in a Chinese prison camp. All I know is the way we escaped may just be the answer to world peace. Continue reading How I Broke Out of a Chinese Prison Camp
Being sometimes a little over-analytical I’ve noticed how many things in life can be broken down into math equations. This came to me as I was sipping my coffee on a beautiful summer morning last Saturday, trying to decide what really needed to get done that day. I didn’t feel like doing much. Actually I had absolutely no desire to do anything. I knew Snowball would ask later for a reason why nothing was getting done, so I came up with a simple equation for motivation. Too bad she wouldn’t care about the equation and just tell me to get off my butt. Continue reading A Simple Equation For Life
What is the worst smelling thing in your house? If you answered the cat’s litter box you’re probably wrong. And if you went there in the first place you should probably be changing the litter more often. I’ll give you a hint, it’s in your kitchen. (Please tell me your cat’s litter box is not in your kitchen.) Continue reading It Makes Scents