Saturday, September 13, 2003

Adventures in Home maintenance

Owning stuff is hard. You can't just buy stuff and never maintain it. Stuff is always breaking, and needing fixing up. My shower had been "broken" for a while now. I have been robbed of a pleasant shower experience. I visit hotels and am awed by their shower facilities. Showers account for 20% of all indoor water use, well I am fixing to make up for lost consumption.

I hated my shower. Note the past tense, while I have yet to use my "new" shower, I anticipate loving pleasure.

The Past

The Solution

So I set out to try to solve the problems. Given the popularity of Home Depot, (if you don't own a home you have probably never been to this Mecca of do it yourself housewares), and the overwhelming number of products you would think you could get parts for your shower there. Don't be deceived, they don't carry every brand. I have Kohler shower fixture (I bet you don't even know your shower brand, I didn't prior to taking pictures of it to take with me on my plumbing journey). Home Depot doesn't carry Kohler, so they sent me over to General Plumbing Supply in Walnut Creek.

Prior to this I did learn two interesting facts. First, that the cause of my leak was in the cartridge which is actually behind the shower handle. Secondly, and most importantly to me, was the fact that federal standards by the EPA dictate that showerheads must have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute at 80 psi. AHAAAAA! Well take away my Sierra Club membership and call the federal government, because I was about to break federal regulations. I premeditated my crime, I schemed and I planned. Back to my story though, after driving to General Plumbing Supply I found that they didn't carry Kohler either and I would have to drive to Oakland(!), but they had already closed. This Saturday I made my way to Oakland got the replacement parts ($43) and came home and prepared to dive into plumbing repair. Come to find out my leak was solved by two tiny rubber o-rings. To test out my theory of flow regulation, I took the shower head off, and then turned the shower on, plenty of pressure. So I removed the a large rubber o-ring from the shower nozzle and found the enemy, the pink flow regulator.

I removed it and replace the showerhead, turned on the water.. Ahhhhh the sweet sight of full blown water flow.

I can't wait to take a shower and increase my consumption! Call me evil, restrict my mountain bike usage. But don't try to mess with my shower.

Thoughts on 9/11

Am I a blogger? I "have" one, but I don't publish that often. I still wonder why people blog. I suppose it is like anything in life there are myriad of reasons. But its a strange community, and I don't really consider my self much a part of any of that. In many ways my entire site is my blog. (Interesting some peoples entire site is only a blog).

Regardless I write today some thoughts on Sept 11th. So lets turn the microscope on myself. Why? Well, I guess this time its a means to capture my thoughts, an on-line journal entry. And admittedly, since its on-line, some part of me must want other people to see it. And I am sure there is some ego in there, some hubris. However there are other dimensions to the on-line aspect. I do want to engage a conversation to cause a reaction. Not for drama's sake but for some basic aspect of communication. Additionally, I do so detest scribbling, for that is what I do when I take pen to paper, my writing is so illegible. Not only that but when typing I can actually keep up with the speed of my thought processes much better than when I write.

September 11th the aniversary past yesterday. I worked from home on the 11th. The same as I did on the day itself. These past few days my wife has had pneumonia and I stayed home to help out. I had several con-calls to listen in on. At lunch time I took a longer break than usual and watched a good hour and a half of Ric Burns documentary on the twin towers. What a masterpiece of documentary film making. The film covers the long creation of the towers, their role in the city, their symbol and their demise. At the end of my lunch I had only finished two thirds, up through Philippe Petit's daring highwire walk in 1974 from the top of the towers. I returned to work with the story unfinished and the journey not yet fully re-lived.

In the process of the day I ran across a co-worker's YM status, Wow that brought it all back home. I recall the day, when events unfolded. The shock and horror at the events that unfolded one after another in unseeming care to the fact that not a single one should have happened, let along all of them. And then the settling realization that the experience was much more personal, one of my co-workers, who I did not know extremely well, but like all admired and like immensely, was possibly on Flight 93. I YM'd him to see if he was there, and called his cell phone number and left a voice mail that would never be retrieved. Such sadness at our loss of a great man, and that of his wife's and two daughters.

Then this evening, we all sat down and watched the rest of the documentary, and we watched again as the towers were struck. As the towers burned. As the people trapped in the top floors jumped to their death. And then as the towers fell. And I cried.

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