She Said

Looking at the shopping list on the chalkboard, she said, “I know it’s my handwriting, but I don’t know what this says. It looks like chickpens.”

Walking by, without looking, he replied, “It’s chickpeas.”

“Oh, chickpeas.” She laughed. “That makes more sense than chickpens.” She laughed again. “Give me a break, I haven’t had my coffee.”

DIY Victory. Huzzah!

I successfully replaced the flange, drain, and stopper in one of the bathroom sinks yesterday. Before details are parsed out, some entities are owed thanks.

  1. The builders who constructed our house seventeen years ago, because they used standard fittings.
  2. The plumbing industry for establishing clever and simple plumbing solutions that even fools like me can fix.
  3. Hardware stores for carrying parts as needed.
  4. Youtubers who put together excellent how-to guidance.

I’d been planning this job for a few months but was intimidated because, plumbing. It’s right up there with wiring and electricity for me. Fed by sitcoms, movies, cartoons, and cliches, my imagination is well-stocked with visions of what could go wrong for someone who isn’t mechanically proficient, like the guy who looks back at me from the mirror.

Nothing did go wrong, though. Yes, it was work. Two hard parts emerged. First, unscrewing the flange in the sink from the drain. Those puppies had been wedded together for seventeen blissful years. Separating them was a stinking challenge. I needed to hold onto the vise grips and keep the flange from turning while somehow reaching beneath the sink and turning the pipe to unscrew the flange. I needed another set of hands.

Enter the partner, my spouse, aka, K, the wife.

I set up a heavy-duty screwdriver in the hole where the popup lever connects the stopper to the plunger. Yeah, these are the technical terms (*snark*). I don’t know the true terms. With that rig in place, I, um, gripped the vise grips and held on tight. Then I had my wife turn the drainpipe below, using the screwdriver as a lever. I felt tremendously satisfied when that worked.

The other aspect was that we have designer stuff in the bathroom. I wanted to use the original plunger because its design matched everything else in the bathroom. But the lever wasn’t compatible, forcing me to find an imaginative solution for a hybrid system that worked. That, brothers and sisters, consumed about forty minutes of my seventy-five minutes sweat soaked endeavor.

When I finished, I went into the other room. My wife was reading on the bed. “Done,” I said. “Come see.”

“Hang on, I’ve almost finished this book.”

“Really? That has priority over my DIY success?”

“See this tear?” She pointed at her eye.

“I’ll see your tear and raise you my sweat-soaked shirt. It was hot in there, and cramped.”

“I’m almost done. I just have a few more pages.”

I went back alone and admired my results. With one down, I’m purchasing more replacement parts and doing the other two sinks this weekend.

Don’t get cocky, I tell myself.

I won’t, I reply.

What can go wrong?


Rendezfloof (floofinition) – An agreed upon meeting place at a specified time between or with animals.

In use: “The meal rendezfloofs were not at the food bowls. No, they preferred to meet her when she selected a can or bag, and then shepherd her to the actual eating site, telling each other that they were providing security that she needed because she was carrying rare and precious stuff: their food.”

Saturday’s Theme Music

When they finally broke through to the other side and the dust cleared, they found a material world with many boulevards of broken dreams. No matter; it was Saturday, August 27, 2022. They had that going for them, if nothing else.

It’s overcast in my swath of the world. Though the day advanced with the sun cresting the eastern mountains at 6:31 AM, the sun’s warmth is remote and oblique. 18 C now, we expect 83 F to be the temperature’s peak. Night will take over at 7:53 this evening, when the sun ‘moves on’ as the world turns.

For music, The Neurons are plying the morning mental music stream with a song from Peter Gabriel. Named “Blood of Eden”, you might expect it to be an energetic, uplifting, hard rocker. Surprisingly, it’s not. (Yes, you correctly detected snark. Good for you. You must have already had coffee.) I’ve always been a Peter Gabiel fan. This 1983 song was another one which prompted me to listen carefully as my brain asked, “Wait, what’s he saying?” The Neurons restored the song to active presence in my mind after overhearing an older man and woman chatting over coffee. He said in response to her reply, “She said that she can’t afford the insurance.” And while my brain remained engaged on its task, The Neurons took up that line and hooked it up with the “Blood of Eden” lyric, “I cannot get insurance anymore. They don’t take credit, only gold.” That’s just how The Neurons play.

My coffee is at hand. I wasn’t always a coffee drinker. Didn’t start that until around fifth, sixth grade, while visiting a friend’s house. We had the same first name, Michael, although he was a Mike. People habitually said, here’s Michael and Mike, or M and M. Mike used to have coffee with a lot of sugar and cream. I only drank it this way a few times, always at his house. When our compasses took us in different directions, I quit drinking coffee and didn’t resume until I was twenty and in the military. Even then, I was only an occasional imbiber of the black brew, usually on midnight shifts. I became a regular drinker when I went off shifts and became the Training NCO. My boss would come in each morning and say, “Let’s go get coffee.” That’s where the habit really developed for me. That was at Kadena on Okinawa, after I’d been there a few years, so I was twenty-seven. My relationship with coffee blossomed. By the time I reached Germany a few years later, I was identified as a hard-core coffee drinker.

BTW, the coffee was bought at an Army & Air Force Exchange Services cafeteria upstairs from the command post where I worked. It cost ninety cents.

Stay positive and test negative. Take care of your family, community, tribe, and self. Here’s the music. Cheers

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