Monday, April 28, 2008

MVT Award

"Please don't start forming emotional attachments to your tools..."

More sage counsel from the Blond because the Colonel is, of course, a Moron.
Almost daily, I don't know whether it is to take the edge off the mind-numbingly slow pace of the Bathroom Remodel from Purgatory, or if I am just an idiot, but I have been awarding "Most Valuable Player" awards to my tools.
It's fun watching them vie for the honors.

From the upstart Roto-Zip tm that helps the Colonel cut flawless electrical boxes in newly hung Sheetrock...

To old favorites like the left handed (Yes! Left Handed!) skill saw from Porter-Cable...
They all seem to be working very hard to impress me.
Sometimes, the competition is close. Yesterday, I was literally (and I use the word "literally" incorrectly) torn between the 28 volt Cordless Drill (a Christmas gift from the blond, and 4-time winner) and, this is true, a six foot 2x4.
But by day's end, something happened that changed all that.
The Colonel has a favorite 3 inch putty knife. It is not much to look at, with its beat up red handle & discolored blade. It is held together with electrical tape.
This putty knife has been with me since the beginning. In fact, it was there for the original bathroom remodel 20 years ago, and has taped, mudded and scraped its way through countless projects since then.
Oh, I've tried to replace it. I have an 8 inch taping knife, which, inexplicably, I hate.
But I love the little red guy. May be it's because it has helped me cover so many of my mistakes, or maybe it's because he just works so darn hard.
And that's what led to yesterday's tragedy. The Colonel was using his favorite 3 inch putty knife to mix 3 GALLONS of Thinset Mortar. What was I thinking? I felt the blade on my old friend start to wobble, but thought nothing of it. We had conquered tasks like this before.
Then it happened. There wasn't even a snap. Suddenly, I was holding an empty handle in my hand with the severed blade still embedded in the Thinset.
Tenderly, I pulled the blade out of the mortar and used it to finish the job. (I still hate that 8 inch knife).
Later, while cleaning up, the Blond moved to toss the two pieces of broken putty knife into the trash.
"Don't you dare!" I rasped, choking back the emotion, "don't you dare..."
I am not making this up. The retired putty knife now rests in a hallowed place in the Colonel's Tile & Sheetrock Cupboard. It is my hope that he will regale the younger tools with tales of adventure; stories accumulated over 20 years of service from scraping his first linoleum floor to that amazing summer of '98.
Rest well, little friend...a job well done.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Moron, A Pipe Wrench, and a 2500 year old Theorem

Lately, I have been showering in the kitchen sink, with marginal results. People are beginning to avoid me at work. The only ones who who venture within smelling distance are curiosity seekers, asking questions like, "Why are your hands so dirty?" and "How did you get those nasty gouges in your head?" (Answer to both questions: Overhead Cast Iron Pipe)

Things The Colonel has Learned on this Project:

Wishing for something doesn't make it come true. Also, Cardboard boxes make lousy vanities.
A Corroded Tub Spout will cost you about $4,000.00, if you get the Blond involved.

There is never enough room for your stuff. This used to be Penny's room.

The ONLY way to remove an old Cast Iron Tub is to Beat the Snot out of it with a Big Hammer. (People told me this, but I didn't believe them. Math Geeks: Consult Pythagoras)

Leaving Cryptic Notes won't help once you cover them with Sheetrock.

There is a LOT more Crud in the Ceiling than you think.

The Colonel doesn't even want to discuss how he needed to rescind the Laws of Physics to get a New, LARGER Tub into a space formerly occupied by a SMALLER Tub, a smaller tub we had to DESTROY in order to remove.

Suffice to say, it's in place, relatively undamaged, but still needs major plumbing installation. But for right now, the Colonel is tired, sweaty, and needs a shower.