Saturday, September 4, 2010

One step forward, two steps back

The master bathroom is a little more habitable.  It has a floor, and we can use it as a bathroom in a pinch.  This is quite useful, because now that I am working, P and I are getting ready at the same time in the morning.  We try to stagger it so that only one of us is in there at a time, but there's always some point in the morning where we're both jammed in there together.

The bathroom project is a little stalled out right now.  We haven't had much time to work on it this week, and have been too tired to use what time we did have.  (Two working adults is brutal!  I know, welcome to life, right?  And we don't have kids.  Ay yi yi.)

Meanwhile, P tried to fix a nagging vibration issue on his truck.  We've taken it to repair shops, and spent a good bit of money (especially considering that it's a 15 year old vehicle!).  The problem has gotten better, not not completely resolved.  We're balancing wanting this truck to last us at least another few years, with not wanting to pay for repairs that don't actually solve the problem.

In one of those happy coincidences, P struck up a conversation with our neighbor down the block, who sometimes works in his dad's auto repair shop--and who has the same truck as us!  (But his is 23 years old!)  He immediately suggested a plausible explanation for what the problem was and why it occurred when it did.  (Basically, some guys doing a previous repair put it back together backwards.)  Better yet, the solution did not require a lift, so P could do it himself!

P happily went out and bought himself the required wrench, and used half a bottle of my nail polish (?) to mark the current location of the parts.  And then he spent a frustrating evening being completely unable to budge the part he needed to rotate.  So the vibration issue has been recategorized from a "well, it's a problem but we're generally ignoring it" issue to a "this is really gnawing away at me (i.e., him)" issue.

In other news, I read something about how you should stick--hmm, maybe it said poultry bones, ice cubes and nutshells?  don't remember exactly, and that's probably where the problem begins--in your garbage disposal.  Who would have thought?  Apparently grinding them up will scour it clean.

I didn't have any of those, so I substituted peach pits.  They knocked around in there for a few days.  Then, the next time I switched on the garbage disposal, there was only an electric hum--no grinding at all.

Shoot.  P had always been suspicious of that disposal, and scolded me for using it.

I stuck my tail between my legs, and went and reported the problem to him.

Thus began problem number 3: P couldn't find his favorite repair book.  How could he possibly repair the garbage disposal it if he didn't have a schematic of it?

P's favorite repair manual
We searched high and low, and darn if we can't find that book.  Meanwhile, as anyone who has ever had a garbage disposal knows, the situation with the kitchen sink was going downhill fast.  Debris as small as coffee grounds and grains ill clog up a garbage disposal if it's never run.  P was threatening to just remove the disposal, and I was retorting with "This is why I married a mechanical engineer?"

Clearly something needed to happen fast to break this logjam. 

So I walked over to the public library on my lunch break today, and checked out their copy of the book.

To be honest, I think P was slightly scared of working on the garbage disposal--he doesn't like the idea of all the gunk that does in there and presumably spends the rest of its days growing scary bacteria.  But with this his excuse gone, he had to tackle the problem.

He read the section of the trusty book on garbage disposals and studied the schematic.  Then he began by implementing the book's suggestion for how to dislodge a jam.  He stuck a broom handle into the disposal, and used it to manually turn the blades.

Viola!  Worked like a charm!  And, better yet, no one's fingers had to touch icky gunk.

Got to figure out where our copy of that magic book has gone....

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