Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blast from the Past - Door goes up, door goes down. Door goes up, door goes down.

(Originally published June 2007)
Ah, the joys of summer.  Nothing like trying to fix a garage door in 5000% humidity.  I left for work early today, gung-ho to get a small project done while it was still quiet there.  Sadly, I was dry for a whopping seven minutes this morning before the fun began.  I opened the garage to get the garbage can, only to find my newly-hung fluorescent shop light (they hum like angels!) dangling precariously above Buttercup, one of my new ceiling hooks clattering across the floor.  Crisis averted and light removed from the danger zone (cue Top Gun theme).
Garbage delivered safely to the curb, soda retrieved from the fridge, I was ready to be on my way, and even be to work early today, when I attempted to close the garage door.  Half-way down, I got a 'brzzrt-thud-thud-whirrrrrrr' as the safety switch kicked in and reversed the door.  Hmm.  Interesting.  I hit the button again, only to have the same result.  On further inspection, I noted that one of the two cables (or 50% of them for you math buffs) was no longer an active participant in the spring-and-pulley show, and the door was landing askew.  I wound the cable and tried to slot the end into the pulley, at which time the cable unwound.  About this time I decided wearing gloves MIGHT be a good idea, rather than filling my hands with oily metal shavings.  I slotted the end into the pulley and then wound the cable around, and it unwound.  I finally loosened the pulley, MOVED the slot to where it would actually reach, then wound the cable and tightened the pulley again.

Success!  Almost.

This time instead of half-way down, I got to within a foot of the ground before 'brzzrt-thud-thud-whirrrrrrr'.  I released the safety catch on the opener, re-tightened the cable, then tried closing it again.  I think I got about  30 'brzzrt-thud-thud-whirrrrrrr's before I got within inches of the ground.  One more tightening, one more  'brzzrt-thud-thud-whirrrrrrr'.

I unlocked the side door to the garage, since it only locks from the inside, and opened the big door again, then dropped it to the ground without the opener attached.  One final tighten, and now the door goes up, the door goes down.  Door goes up, door goes down.

And if you've ever been thrown into a pool with all your clothes on, just imagine that pool being bathwater warm and extremely salty.  That's how I felt by the time this was all done.  It should go without saying that I was NOT early for work.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Outstanding in my field

My lawn was starting to look untidy.  I mowed, but instead of a neat, crisp mow, I'd be left with the grassular equivalent of split ends.  I thought perhaps, maybe, it might finally be time to get the blade sharpened.

I got this mower at least four years ago, before we left the great state of Wisconsin.  I mowed my Wisconsin lawn repeatedly with the fine one-pull-starty goodness that was a new mower after spending two seasons fighting with a 30-year-old start-resistant machine.  Since then, Florida 'lawns' have taken their toll on the newness.  I might as well have been mowing repeatedly over the stump of our frost-killed palm tree.  Or a large rock.  The blade was awful.  Never have I seen such a thing.  A co-worker chastised me, telling me that the blade should be sharpened every year.  You should have seen his reaction when I told him that no, I've never changed the mower's oil, either.

I'm a bad lawnmower parent. 

But now, the blade is sharp.  Sharpie McSharperson.  Bladish Von Mowsalot.  And, as if to taunt me, the weather turned Florida-humid yesterday before I picked the blade up, just so I couldn't use it.  Well, I could have, certainly, but I didn't mow my Florida lawn when the weather was like that, no way was I mowing the Ohio lawn. 

And now, the weather's turned mild again between the rain, and I should probably face the task at hand, since Quincy's grazing.  Soon, we'll lose him in the great pampas field of our back yard, and I'll have an entire oak grove in the front thanks to the damn squirrels.  The neighbors are scalping ever further into my yard with each time they mow, and I don't roll like that.  (Why do mowers even come with that lowest setting anymore?  We've all learned it's bad for the grass.)

Ooops, wait, it's raining.  Never mind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bang your head

I am not now, nor have I ever been, the epitome of gracefulness.  At age two, I fell out of the car and broke my collar bone.  Age three, header into the door jamb, leaving a nice scar on my cheek and inside my lower lip.  My first day of third grade?  Basketball to the head.  Eighth grade?  Faceplant into the asphalt track.  There's that giant chunk of chin I took out with a sharp new razor, unaccustomed as I am to shaving said chin.  Matches the chunk I took out of my ankle going over the handlebars of my bike.  MY bike, to be clear.  I merely knocked the wind out of myself the other two times I went over other handlebars.  My hands and arms and legs are all scarred like a five-year-old's.  I have a rather impressive collection.

The other night should have come as no surprise to me then, as I was blotting blood from my forehead following a gardening accident.  I could have put my eye out, so the gash is almost uneventful.  I had a tetanus shot in 2002, so I'm good for another year.  The cut probably won't even scar, good thing since I can't afford any further damage to my mug.  It should heal before my niece's baptism this weekend, though there's always Photoshop to the rescue if not.  But still, I have to smack myself for not paying attention. 

And that might leave a mark.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random Acts of Thursday - No more teachers' dirty looks

I'm not sure about your neck of the woods, but the end of the school year is ripe in the Ohio air.  As such, I thought we'd give one last nod to those hallowed halls of education for the year, before ditching our good clothes in favor of swim trunks and amusing novelty tees.

I remember taking that last week easy, as most kids were done learning.  The big event was always the ceremonial locker cleaning, where items that never made it home during the school year got crammed into book bags or thrown in the trash.  Notebooks, leaky pens, that cool generic Walkman-knockoff cassette player you brought in for a class project, and in the case of one classmate, half the cafeteria's silverware.  Ah, memories.

Consider this a final exam for the Spring term, if you must.  You know I'll continue to get my nerd on year-round, but if it makes you feel better that this might be the last one for a while, so be it.  I'll give you the school, you give me the corresponding film.

Elementary Education:
Horace Green Elementary
Warren G. Harding Elementary
Welton Academy for Boys

Secondary Education:
Hemery High School
Rydell High School
Vince Lombardi High School
Westerurg High School
Shermer High School

Post-Secondary Education:
Faber College
Grand Lakes University
Pacific Tech

Make sure you do your homework on this one, I'd hate to see anyone have to repeat the class this summer.  Show your work, kids!  (And as always, this quiz goes to eleven.)

Extra credit?  One of these films featured my favorite author.  Which of his  books did he write a report on?

Be nice and share!

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