Category Archives: Porsche Guy

Cleanliness is next to … impossible

I may have already mentioned this a few million times – though, to be fair, probably not here. Here, it’s probably less than that. It’s actually probably only to PG that the “few million times” applies. And he doesn’t read this blog. So really, there was no reason for me to specify the “few million times” either here or anywhere else – oh. Wait a minute. What was I talking about? Do I even have a point?

Yes. Yes, I do.

The point is that there is no way for me to get to my place of work without going past farms. I live in a fairly urban residential/ commercial area, my school is in a fairly urban residential area, but in between, there are vast expanses of rural lands. Farms. Acreages. Fields. Lack of urbanness (is that a word? Spellcheck doesn’t think so.)

This comes up frequently when PG washes my car. He often says, in an exasperated voice, “Where do you DRIVE? Why is your car always so filthy?”

And I always respond in my usual calm, reasonable voice, “I drive to WORK. I drive past FARMS to get to work. Farms are messy places. The roads past them are messy.”

Then he says, “So take another route! Find a cleaner way to get there!”

And again, in the most soothing tone I can manage, I answer, “I CAN’T! I have TRIED, but there is NO POSSIBLE WAY for me to get to work without going on FARM ROADS!”

At that point, PG sighs and gets back to work scrubbing the mud off my tires.

wash-me-on-dirty-car

But it is true, I absolutely cannot get to work without going through these rural areas. Even if I take a highway or two, they all pass by undeveloped, farm-ish lands, which, as previously noted, are often full of dirt and mud, which gets tracked onto those highways, and then deposited upon my car. From Spring till Fall, I often get stuck behind a slow-moving farm vehicle on my way to or from work, as well. On one of my routes, on my way home, I sometimes have to stop so that the cows can cross the road to get to the barn for milking – so I REALLY understand that old saying “till the cows come home”.

But last week, the traffic gods conspired to make my daily commute just a little bit worse.

Now, on every single road that I can possibly take to get to work, there is construction. On some roads, it’s not a lot, just a few orange cones to indicate where they are working on the gravel shoulders, but it’s enough to slow all the traffic down. On other roads, they have closed a lane in either direction to repair a bumpy surface, which again, slows all the traffic down. On yet more roads, there are large buildings being built, so there are flaggers controlling traffic so that the trucks can safely move in and out of the construction sites … which slows traffic down.

And construction is also pretty grubby, maybe grubbier than farms. So not only am I being slowed down on a daily basis, now my car is getting even grimier on a daily basis. PLUS, the autumn rains have now begun, so even if some of the farm dirt on the roads gets washed away, there always seems to be more mud to replace it.

This could be a very long, very dirty winter … and I may end up having to wash my own car.

Light it up

In DD’s bedroom, there is some track lighting with two halogen lightbulbs. When you flip the light switch upon entering the room, these are the lights that go on. She also has two other lamps, but obviously, this track lighting is her major source of light in the room.

Unfotunately, the two bulbs very quickly became very dim, even before she moved in fully, during the week she and I spent cleaning. We quickly deduced that new light bulbs were necessary.

But when I installed the newly-purchased bulbs, it was so disappointing to see that they too were super-dim and pretty much useless. It looked like there was something wrong with the electrical connection or the actual mechanism. DD sighed and added that track lighting to the list of items that she wanted to discuss with her landlord.

Then i brought PG over to see how we had transformed a dusty, dirty, dark, cluttered basement suite into a clean, well-lit, comfortable place to live. Well, well-lit except for in the bedroom.

“Hey, PG,” I said. “We don’t know what’s going on with that track lighting, but look how dim it is. We’ve replaced the bulbs, and it’s still crappy. Any ideas?”

PG looked from me to DD. He walked over to the light switch. I was thinking, what the hell do you think you can do at the light switch? But he reached over to a very tiny slider beside the switch and slid it up. The lights shone brightly, illuminating the entire room beautifully.

We stared at him silently.

“You didn’t notice the dimmer there?” PG said innocently.

Uh, no. Would you have?

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Mr (finally) Fix-it

It seems that PG had himself a good think about my leaky sink situation, and he decided that there was no effing way that a stupid pipe was going to get the better of him. So yesterday, he cleared everything out from under the sink, took a bunch of photos, and dragged me off to the nearest home improvement store.

Once there, he immediately headed for the kitchen department to have a look at the garburetors. I asked him why. He said that he figured that there was something wrong in the connection between the garburetor and the pipe. No, I insisted, it was the elbow joint between two pipes that wasn’t attached properly. He rolled his eyes at me (Yes, he did! HE had the audacity to roll his eyes at ME! He’ll pay for that!).

Once he’d examined what he wanted to examine, he corralled a clerk. Who was a trainee and didn’t know much (he did listen attentively, though). He went to find another clerk who actually knew something about plumbing. PG explained the situation again. This second clerk nodded wisely and said, “Sounds like the flange isn’t the right size.”

Flange? What is flange?

Well, flange is what I had been calling the “white plastic gasket thingy”. And where was flange? Flange was in the – wait for it – elbow joint between the two pipes. True, one pipe led out of the garburetor, but it definitely had nothing to do with the garburetor connection itself. Which of course I knew.

The clerk led us to where these flanges were kept in the store, and picked out a package that appeared to be the correct size, based upon PG’s photos. He said that he was pretty sure that would do the trick, but he also suggested that we buy some plumber’s putty to slather around the insides and outsides of the edges of the joint in question, just to really seal it up.

We left the store with a small package of two flanges and a small tub of plumber’s putty. The total cost was less than 10$.

As we headed home, PG mused, “I’m really not sure about that. I don’t think that guy knew what he was talking about. I think there’s more to it.”

I suggested that he try what the guy had suggested, and if it didn’t work, putty and all, we could then move on to Plan B. Plan B was call a plumber. Plan B would be much more expensive, at least 100$ just for a plumber to walk through my front door.

“No, I want a second opinion,” PG announced. “Let’s go to another store.”

So we drove to another home improvement store. PG repeated his previous behaviours. He searched out the garburetors, examined them carefully, talked to a clerk … who told him that the flange probably wasn’t the correct size, and if putting in one that was the correct size didn’t stop the leak, add some plumber’s putty to the insides and the outsides of the edges of the joint. PG strode out of the store, now more secure that he had the correct information. “The guys who work in that store are real tradespeople,” he informed me as I trotted to keep up with him. “They know what they’re talking about, because they actually DO the job.”

We went home. Less than five minutes later, so fast that I barely even noticed, PG had the new flange installed in the joint. We ran hot water. We ran cold water. We ran the garburetor. The pipe didn’t leak, not one teeny tiny drop. He didn’t even need the putty.

And I rolled my eyes at PG. “If this was so easy to fix, what took you so long?!?”

photo This is what a flange looks like.

And now you know.