Monday, February 24, 2014

#146 - When Life Happens

For the most part, I guess you could say I lead a relatively low-key life. I’m lucky not to have a lot of drama in my life, and I try – sometimes successfully – not to let the little things get to me. However, like most people, I imagine, there are the little crises that come up from time to time. Such was the case this weekend.

First, the was my son’s crisis of not being able to play Minecraft on his computer. Apparently, this is not all that uncommon due to various upgrades people make to their copy of the game. The problem, though, comes when you try to find solutions. They seem to be as varied as the weather, and they are nearly as widespread on the internet as the number of web addresses in existence.

These solutions also seem to have nothing in common with one another. One “solution” will suggest deleting one file; another will suggest deleting a different file. The videos describing various problems and their solutions provide enough small screen viewing pleasure to fill a couple of days. Needless to say, my son’s issues have yet to be resolved, although I personally am leaning toward just getting rid of the game entirely. I suspect, however, I will not have the final say on that.

The other of life’s little challenges this weekend involved replacing a leaking kitchen faucet. It had developed a slow leak over time, but when the water started pooling on the countertop, we concluded a change was in order.

Deciding to replace the faucet was the easy part. Deciding what to replace it with was a bit more difficult. We went to Home Depot and found a faucet we liked, bought it based on the clerk’s assurance it would work with our PUR water filter, then got home to find it would not work, at least not with the adapter we had.

So we took the faucet back, got a refund, then started the search again only to find that all of the faucets we were willing to consider required the same kind of adapter, the one we no longer had. When all was said and done, we wound up repurchasing the faucet we had just returned, hoping we could get replacement aerator adapters from PUR without having to buy an all-new filter.

After that, it should have been a matter of simply returning home, disconnecting and removing the old faucet, and installing the new one. Perhaps it works that way on Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best. Of course, in the real world or at least in our home, things are not quite so simple.

Turns out the old faucet, in addition to leaking, had rusted at one of the bolts. As a result, the plastic nut holding that side in place would not turn. (Why do they use plastic anyway? If it is to prevent rust, they may need to rethink the design process.) All of my efforts only succeeded in deforming the nut to the point where it looked nothing like what it was.

Next, we tried cutting the nut to see if we could break it apart. No luck. So I got out the drill and drilled a bunch of holes through the plastic nut, always being careful not to drill through the sink, until the plastic was weakened enough to break apart and allowed us to remove the old faucet. When I came out from under the sink, I looked like I had either been out in a snow flurry or had a serious dandruff problem from all of the plastic bits in my hair and on my clothes. But I was determined to show that faucet who was boss.

In the end, a job that should perhaps have taken an hour including travel to and from the hardware store ended up taking in excess of three hours. Fortunately, aside from the lost chunk of my weekend and a sore neck from contorting underneath the sink, the job was accomplished with no real damage or injury. Another victory for the average homeowner.

Of course, my son’s Minecraft computer game issue remains unresolved. I wonder if the drill will help with that. Hmmm . . .

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