Tag Archives: fixing things

8 Simple Rules For Walking On My Hardwood Floors

FloorsTo my family: As we near the completion of the flooring project this would be a good time to point out a thing or two. Brazilian cherry is known for its beauty and durability -indeed it’s renowned as an extremely hard hardwood- but to preserve the quality of this material and honor the tireless work that went into its installation certain steps must be taken:

  1. No high heels. Some of us remember the dimples they left on the floors in Albany and it wasn’t pretty.
  2. No soccer cleats. That may sound like common sense, but you know what they say about common sense.
  3. Do not carry items that are sharp or have angular edges while traversing the Brazilian cherry.
  4. No open flames are allowed in rooms with the new flooring.
  5. It is impractical to keep the dogs off the floors and it would be cruel to have them de-clawed so they must wear Muttluks Hott Doggers Dog Boots or other approved footwear.
  6. Please stay on the runners and area rugs and avoid stepping the exposed wood portion of the floor.
  7. Promptly wipe up standing water.
  8. Immediately report any incidents involving the floor. You are better off fessing up immediately than being caught later.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Tool Time

A lot of paint cans are now made of plastic and if you try prying them open with a screwdriver you butcher the lid. That’s why I picked up one of those little metal tools for popping open the cans that you always see at the paint counter. Works like a charm —and I also discovered what the round end is for: opening beer bottles.

This makes perfect sense. Adding a little beer makes paint go on smoother and contributes to the overall quality of the project. And nobody ever cut off their fingers off while painting.
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There But For The Grace Of God

You don’t see a lot of people out on the street in the early morning before sunrise, so I was a little surprised when I found Dave.

I was heading toward home during my morning run when I spotted him walking unsteadily on the side of the road. With his back to the traffic, weaving slightly, he was an accident waiting to happen. I stopped to ask if he was OK. He wasn’t. He said his name was Dave and he’d walked from Albany and didn’t know where he was or where he was going. I had him sit down on a retaining wall by the sidewalk.

I rang the doorbell of the nearest house. When the unlucky homeowner looked out, sleepy and rumpled, I apologized for waking him and explained the situation. We have to call 9-1-1, I said. Tell them we need EMS.

He went into dick mode and said, “No, I’m calling the cops.”

How about you just let me call, I asked. That’s when he pretty much slammed the door in my face. I went to stand on the sidewalk with my new friend Dave as the guy in the house peered at us through the window. He topped it off by conspicuously latching the door.

Anyway, the cops showed up and I went on my way. I’m pretty sure they took Dave to the hospital. What the hell.

I guess I don’t blame the guy in the house for being rattled, and in the unlikely event that he’s ever wandering around in the dark alone, lost and disoriented, I hope somebody stops to help him.

Mouse Hunt

Trapped MouseThe big question on vacation: what’s a family to do without 21st century entertainment? During our week on Wolfe Island, Ontario we did what people have done for ages: play with the mice.

The first mouse was running back and forth on top of the backsplash of the kitchen counter. Outrageous! Having violated the sanctity of our vacation, this filthy rodent would have to pay. I went to the grocery/hardware/fireworks store to buy traps. I asked about glue traps, because Ann wanted to get the mouse humanely. The woman behind the counter said all she had was the snap traps. Besides, what do you do when you catch one on the glue trap? I explained that vegetable oil dissolves the glue and frees the mouse. This is perfect because once the mouse is coated with oil you can drop it right in the frying pan. She just stared at me, either because she had no sense of humor or eating mice in Canada is not that unusual.

That night the irresistible combination of peanut butter and potato chips did its trick. The trap slammed shut at about 2am.

We enjoyed several days of mouse-free vacation bliss before the baby mice appeared. They were tiny sawed off versions of the first mouse —mouse-lets, if you will. I explained to Zack what was happening. We killed their mom, and now they’re seeking revenge. Having already left them orphans we didn’t have the heart to kill the baby mice, so we trapped them one by one and released them across the road. They’ve probably found their way back by now, just in time for the next folks using the cottage.

Handyman Corner

It’s really important to use the right cut of lumber for the job at hand. We can find an example of using the wrong dimension in this story from WNYT:

AMSTERDAM – Two adults and one juvenile were transported to the hospital Friday night after a large fight, according to Amsterdam police. They say the altercation happened on Green Street and Kimball Street around 6:45 pm. Police say a large group of juveniles and adults were fighting with 2 x 4 boards as weapons.

While a 2 x 4 is imposing, it’s very difficult to get a good grip on it. Why not use a 2 x 2 instead? It’s a lightweight alternative that you can easily wrap your hand around. Don’t forget: take the time to inspect your wood for flaws and knots, especially if you’ll be using it in a visible location —like out on the street in front of your house.

Automobile Repair 101

Nothing’s more satisfying than handing someone a pile of cash to do something you could yourself with the right tools. And a hydraulic lift. And maybe a class at HVCC. But after a $500 brake job, you don’t expect to hear a grating noise when your car is backing up. And I did.

SCRAPE-SCRAPE-SCRAPE! What the f…? That can’t be right. Not after my $500 BRAKE JOB! I pull out of the parking space and there it is again. SCRAPETY-SCRAPETY-SCRAPE. Now I’m furious —and getting ready to drive up (street name deleted) and march right into (repair shop deleted) to give those crooks a piece of my mind. A typical guy reaction at this point is to think, “Hmmmm. Maybe I can fix this myself.” Since ancient times this has been the undoing of many fine men, but I stuck my head under the fender and inspected the place where the wheel is connected to the that other thing. Nothing. I dropped to my belly and edged under the car. Well, that’s your problem right there. I reached way back and yanked out a branch that had stuck to the undercarriage. The rest of the afternoon? I basked in the smug satisfaction of my manly trifecta: smart, handy, and thrifty.

Monkey Business

So the heel starts coming apart on my favorite dress shoes and I get out crear the Gorilla Glue. Twelve-year-old Zack walks in and gapes at me, launching into a rant about my reckless disregard for the earth and its creatures. What are you talking about, I ask. Gorilla Glue dad? Gorilla cheap mlb jerseys Glue! What’s wrong with you —you’re using glue made from gorillas? Aren’t they endangered? I turn the bottle Milchb├╝echli-Rechnung around and show him that “gorillas” cheap mlb jerseys are not listed on the wholesale nba jerseys ingredients. He’s not satisfied, so I go to the internet novembre and find the technical data. Plenty of Diphenylmethane-diisocyanate, but no gorillas. My shoe is fixed, but if I develop foot cheap nfl jerseys cancer someday, of please remember that I documented the use of this hazardous product of on wholesale nfl jerseys my blog. Photo And that I did Flaming my part to save the gorillas.