Tag Archives: Ace Hardware

Facing demons with a toolbox

This past weekend I faced another home-repair demon and emerged triumphant.

As I have written in the past, home repair is not my strong suit. When I tackle a job beyond the very simple, my odds of success usually run around 50-50. Sometimes, the damage I inadvertently do creates a larger repair bill than if I had never attempted the task to begin with. As a result, I look at almost any home-repair job as a major challenge and all victories sublime.

Mrs. Poolman is my strongest supporter. You would think that after all the years we have been married, she would have picked up on some of my weaknesses. (Well, she has picked up on many of them, just not this one.)

“Oh, Poolman, we don’t need to call a repairman. You can do it!”

Which brings me to one of Poolman’s Lessons on Life.

Nothing is impossible for someone who doesn’t have to do it.

This weekend’s plumbing story began last week. We have two and a half baths, but with only two people living in our house full time, the master bath and the half-bath off the kitchen get 99% of the use. We keep the door closed to the seldom-used bathroom in the hallway, because one of our cats (Sid the Tail-less) has been known to use it for his functions. (“Hey, if you’re not going to use it, one of us might as well. Meow!”) Unfortunately, Sid has not familiarized himself with the proper use of the bathroom appliances. All of which means that when I stopped into that bathroom last week and found the toilet running, I had no idea how long it had been doing so.

“Oh, boy,” I thought, “what a great opportunity to try my hand at toilet repair.”
Actually, as it turned out, it was a fairly easy repair. I just went down to the handy Ace Hardware store and bought a new valve assembly. Surprisingly, it went together just like it said in the directions. That may not be a first for me, but it seems that it is rare enough that I am always surprised when it happens that way.

I ran into two minor problems, but I was able to think my way through them.

One issue was really stupid. I couldn’t get the hose connector unscrewed from the tank. “Lefty-loosey, right?” In this case, that is true – if you are lying on your back and looking at the connector from the floor, but not if you are kneeling and reaching under the tank to get at it. Duh!

A masterpiece!

Once I had the new valve assembly installed and made sure it was both working and not leaking, I had only one remaining concern. How much water did we waste all that time we didn’t know it was running? Coincidentally, the semi-monthly water bill arrived on Saturday. It was more than twice the normal bill.

Crap!

Pun intended.

The waning weekends of summer

We’ve had a nice weekend, even if the best of goals were not achieved.

I started out on Friday afternoon by accompanying one of our faculty scientists to a talk at a nearby retirement community. The talk went well, but only about 8 of the residents turned out. I need to talk with their activities organizer. If they want us to come back, we need a few more bodies to make it worth the effort. Our break-even target is an audience of at least 20.

Saturday was spent doing household chores and running errands. I did get excited about one purchase. (It doesn’t take much. As Mrs. Poolman says, I’m easily amused.) We have a Goodwill Store nearby.Chair It is in the same strip shopping center as the local Ace Hardware Store. Since I am in Ace at least once every weekend, I usually pop into Goodwill to see what they have. I have purchased books (50 cents for paperbacks), a golf club and putter ($5 each) and other miscellaneous stuff. Well I have been shopping around for a desk-chair to go in my “home office” (work in progress.) Even the less expensive ones of the style I want are $50-100 at Office Max or Staples. But “lo and behold”, there in Goodwill Saturday morning was an almost-new desk-chair for the exorbitant price of $19.99. Sold!

Goodwill rocks!!!

Saturday evening Mrs. Poolman and I went to a fundraiser event at Ft Jackson, a local historic site. One of Writer Princess’s best friend’s husband (who we know) is the site manager and organized the event. We went to show support. It was a nice time. Silent auction, music, beer, wine, barbecue and low country boil. Ft Jackson eventThe evening was capped with a cannon firing (I thought Mrs.Poolman was going to be knocked over by the shock wave.) and fireworks. I was outbid for a James MacPherson Civil War history book. I told the folks who put in the winning big that the book stunk and they wouldn’t like it. They didn’t listen and outbid me anyway. In any case, it was a good time had by all.

The fort overlooks the Savannah River and I did get a couple of shots of sunset. Nothing spectacular, but it was colorful.

Sunset blog

Back to work tomorrow.