Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Something Random...

How many miles to the galleon did the Spanish Armada get?


I never got a definitive answer to this very real question. I only got invective for my use of a very tasteful pun. Offers to pummel me with pillows and the like.

Does knowbody no the answer? Just make something up, OK?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fourth of July Waterworks Show

Fridays, I get off early during the Summer. I think most of the regulars know this. This is a good thing.

I arrived at home at around one in the afternoon, just as the females in the house were readying themselves for a trip to the movies. I had eaten some sort of food for lunch and was just on the verge of zoning out in the chair. My youngest sat at the fireplace awaiting her ride to the movie. My wife was in our bathroom, making the final preparations for their outing.

As I was nearing the doze-point, I heard some sounds of urgency from the back of the house. “Wabba wabba weeba wabba, wabba water wanh wanh! Help wanh!” As I moved toward the sound, it became clear that something was amiss. I thought that perhaps she was hurt or possibly a roach or other abominable hazard.

I burst into our room and heard her harsh and assiduous tones joined by the sound of spraying water. Rounding the edge of the sink area, I saw my wife leaning over, clutching a towel with it jammed down on the cold water side of our faucet. Water was gushing from under the terry cloth relentlessly. I dove beneath the counter and reached through the waterfall to turn off the supply valve.

That done, the relieved spouse withdrew the towel and sure enough, the cold water faucet handle was just gone. I peered down the hole and sure enough, I saw all the way down the tube to the water treatment plant.

I analyzed the hardware and could see nothing obviously broken. Yet there we were, the countertop swimming in the city water supply. My wife describes the order of events as 1) turning on the hot water valve, 2) cold water valve blasting off like a Saturn V rocket to the ceiling. Or almost.

After they left, I sat in my chair for a while, dreading the trip to the Dome Hepot for a replacement faucet. The trick was going to be the drain stopper mechanism. In case you have never replaced a faucet, the box contains a stopper assembly that necessarily entails the removal of the silver ring that you spit your toothpaste at in the bottom of the sink. Not really hard, just not fun. And the opportunity to over or under-tighten something resulting in a leak. So I made the decision to go with the direct replacement. With the failure of the original after such a short time, the prospect of duplicating the initial mistake was cause for hesitation. But the prospect of replacing the drain was the tipping point.

I dragged myself up from the air-conditioned comfort of the living room and into the blazing heat of the afternoon, on a trek to find an American Standard Cadet faucet set.

I am glad to say that the procurement and installation went without a hitch, save for the one in my back from wadding myself up under the bathroom sink. Let me tell ya, removing a relatively new faucet is much easier than removing one that was twenty or so years in one place.

I think I would have like to seen the liftoff of the handle skyward, followed by the plume of water. And while my wife’s description was vivid, the thought of all that water in the face of such dry heat the last few weeks would have been refreshing, I think. And I guess my job afterward was that of the guys that prepare for the fireworks shows, only in reverse.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Hearty Laugh in the Produce Aisle...

I got a laugh in HEB today. There I was, picking out jalapeño peppers for the salsa I was about to make. Fine, firm, green peppers.

I quickly got flanked by a couple preparing for some sort of wind-ding, shindig or hootenanny for the Fourth of July; the woman on the left with the basket and the man on hunter/gatherer duty bringing in the onions and other produce.

He saw me pawing through the jalapeños and asked his wife, across me, "We're grilling, right?"

She replied in the affirmative and he mentioned that he was going to go for some jalapeños. As he grabbed one or two, he said into the air, "I'm going to smoke up a few of these and see what happens..."

Again, the smart aleck was at the ready, and I said to him, "They're hard to keep lit...", accompanied by the exaggerated cigar-puff-mouth-action and my fingers holding a big, fat mock-stogie.

He chuckled, but as I walked away, I heard him laugh some more.That was when he saw the visual in his head, trying to light a pepper with a grilling lighter, puffing like mad on it, then sitting back in his chair. Then his wife mumbled,"Huh..." from her shopping list , and he repeated it as I disappeared down the aisle. As he related the gag to her, I heard him laugh some more. There was that visual again.

I felt good to have played to a small but apparently appreciative audience. Just about made my Fourth.