This week’s Guest in Jest is from TRUTHS, HALF-TRUTHS, AND SEA STORIES  You might recognize the author from his other blog It’s a Dog’s Life


Playing with fire


harder than it looked on YouTube


The one thing that a Navy career, and a subsequent life in an engineering industry, gave me is an appreciation for tools and their uses.  As a result,  I have been able to learn over years, homeowner maintenance skills that I have put to good use.  Sometimes these skills are out of necessity and other times, as a result of being unwilling to hire a “professional” – who probably could do a particular task more efficiently but at a cost to my pride and wallet.

I learned that earlier in the year when my air conditioning system shut down unexpectedly.  I inspected what I knew, but then found – when calling a serviceman – a dog-hair and dust-choked filter had caused a pressure switch to trip.  At considerable expense for that lesson,  I then decided I would research all my home systems for maintenance and repair information that I could reasonably do myself.  Fast forward to this past week.   All our large appliances in the kitchen have failed in turn over a few years.  We were hanging on till we became “empty nesters” (the kids were extremely hard on our kitchen).   We purchased new refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher.  But because the last time I had replaced leaking water valves  I wasn’t thinking what working appliances needed  I had no means for the installation crew to hook up  icemaker or the dishwasher.   And the man the company sent to install my new microwave told my wife the unit had greater dimensions than the old one to be removed.

Of course, this was partially correct and partially, B.S.    In the case of the microwave,  the installer was likely tired, irritated or unmotivated to actually “look” at the unit.  When my wife and I went back to the store – talking with the salesman also – the floor display was a HALF-INCH larger in depth and height than the original.  It would have fit without any modifications!  But the installer took the new unit away with him.   I still need to get him back. As for the line to connect the dishwasher,  apparently the issue was a little more complicated.  Because the stock water line was four feet shorter than required (new kitchen have the dishwasher next to the sink and not adjacent like my  1960’s-design) a new hose about ten feet in length is needed.

I put the new dual-outlet valves on the existing pipes under the sink so I would not totally foul-up Thanksgiving plans my wife had.  The cobbled together work leaked requiring a big roaster pan catch basin, and frequent draining for the past few days.   That is where my love for tools, an engineering sense, and YouTube comes in.   Today while my family was out of the house, I removed a stubborn piece of copper pipe under the sink and then brazed on a new section.   A few technical difficulties resolved by a quick visit to the hardware store – for some advice,  a section of flame-proof cloth for welding;  I also borrowed my son’s fire extinguisher at his insistence – and after a couple tries:  Success.   With full water pressure back on this evening there have been no leaks and no desperate calls for a plumbing contractor on a holiday weekend.

Tools any Bronze-Age craftsman would love

Both dogs, Dexter and Comet – who normally hang around at my elbow ALL the time I am in the kitchen – were NOWHERE to be seen. Maybe they didn’t want to be witnesses to me setting myself on fire?

6 thoughts on “Guest in Jest #78 TRUTHS, HALF-TRUTHS, AND SEA STORIES

  1. Really enjoyed this!

    I also wait until the house is empty before tackling anything technical. Trying to concentrate whilst also trying to keep a panicking spouse calm is beyond me!

    The funny thing is that in my professional life I am highly trusted by my colleagues to do such things as plumb in laboratory gas lines, maintain and use precision engineered million-pound instruments, buy and use poisons etc. My wife seems to believe that on leaving my lab I lose all practical ability and am therefore required to sit around whilst she organises a plumber to fit a tap washer because I am not trusted to do it 🙂 At least it saves me the work.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ha, this made me laugh! I must admit that I do not trust my husband either for this kind of work. The last time, he undid the framing of the kitchen door to get the new refrigerator in the kitchen. 5 years later, the framing of the door is still not repaired! But the refrigerator works well though.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This was great! It’s a Dogs Life is one of my favorite blogs! I think I found another new one As far as setting yourself on fire. Know that anytime your #TeamSnoopervisor gets missing, that “It is about to get real!” and you may need to follow their lead. Seriously!

    Liked by 1 person

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