Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Leaky Sink

Last weekend, I gained a great deal of appreciation (and a bit of sympathy) for plumbers.
The bathroom faucet was beginning to leak. Since I knew nothing about repairing faucets, combined with the fact that the bathroom was a little outdated, pile-on an 8 year-old son who is ravenous about interior design and renovation, and top it all off with a Sunday morning meltdown by the children and the day's mission was clear: separate the kids by taking the son to Ikea and fix the bathroom.

The Ikea.com website provided all the details we needed for choosing a sink and faucet - right down to the local store's inventory. We headed out and returned with our items.

Shut the water off at the valves under the sink, have a bucket handy, unscrew the connections for the water lines and the drain, remove the plug plunger (which never worked reliably), and lift out.

For the new sink, attach the lines to the faucet and install the faucet onto the new sink (better do it now rather than when it's already installed in the cramped vanity), dry fit the drainage piping and cut them to length.
Once you have everything set, lift out the sink one more time, run a bead of caulk around the vanity top, then lower the sink back on.

Post-Op notes:

Apparently, Europe uses 5/8" water valves. I had 3/8" installed, so I needed an adapter. $5.00 x2 (yes, but it was better than trying to replace my valves - that would've involved blowtorches)

Also, when you're going to Lowes for plastic parts, be sure to bring all the parts you want to fit together.

"Schedule 40" is plumberspeak for really thick PVC plastic parts.

Hose connections use compression to achieve a watertight union.

Be prepared to get a little wet.

Bathroom is dry and leak-free. Mission accomplished (and look at that smile)

The Mother's Day Present

My son and I decided to do something special for mom/wife this year. Of course, I did the usual let-her-sleep-in / breakfast-in-bed thing. But we also had a present in mind.
Rewind a few months back and we decided to get rid of our living room torchiere lamp (a 90's era energy-sucking fire-hazard). We got this. I wanted to customize the lampshade, so I took a tip from eHow.com and shopped for some plastic. Instead of using sharpie markers, we decided on using paint (more on that later). My son idolizes David Bromstad, so his thought process was as follows:
  • Interview mom and find out what her favorite color scheme is. (She likes cool tones)
  • Use a heavy brush with stippling patterns and lots of gradation
  • Use a spray bottle of water to get the desired artistic effect

The tempera paints in the kid's art-center wouldn't hold up to the plastic and the water, so we took another trip to the crafts store and scored some acrylic paints. After some test paintings, we had a working solution.
She was quite surprised and loved the finished product. Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Boys and toys. You know the rest. Here's my latest:

528 MHz, 512MB, 3.2 MPx, WinMo 6.5, GPS, headphone jack, TouchFlo3D, tetherable, etc. I've got music, ringtones, and picture contacts already installed. I was prepared to flash the OS, but this model already came with the update applied.

Improvements desired:
  • Ability to delete mail messages when browsing them - right now, you have to open the message then delete.
  • Ability to mark messages in Inbox-view for mass deletion. As it stands, you have to delete messages one at a time.
  • More integration of contacts data with the other functions of the phone. For example, I should be able to search for a contact, then navigate to their address via the GPS. The Sprint navigation app doesn't even allow pasting in an address - you have to type it in manually.
  • Ability to delete music files from the Sprint Music application. They force you to use a file manager for tune removal.
The love affair continues...
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And to show that I'm not totally heartless, I'm planning to spoil my wife with the following Mother's day presents:

  • A hand-painted lampshade. The artist would be our son.
  • A macro-lens for the DSLR camera (yeah, I want this too)
  • Dinner out or in, her choice
  • Kid-free day, duration dictated by her
  • Upgrade her phone to the HTC Touch Pro 2

The love affair continues...