Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Bad and Bloggable!

I have a friend who likes to go by the name, Big Bad. Sometimes he's Big Bad & Dangerous. Other times he's Big Bad and Hungry. It changes all the time. The unpredictability of his name is part of what makes him so fun!

He doesn't look that big or that bad, does he. But he does have red hair, so I like to call him Coppertop, yet he continues to call himself BB.

BB is not as excited about my new plumbing hobby. But he is happy that I got a new circular saw for my birthday this year. His door-to-headboard project relied on my powertools. I'm trying to be generous with my tool time.

BB is virtually an internet virgin. He has never really worked in an office, so he missed the internet explosion. I think that it may have been the virtual home tours on that converted him. Either that or the free porn. A few years ago, we tried to get him using the email, but he'd never reply to it. He'd just pick up the phone and say, I got your email. But now he's an old pro with catchy subject lines and "hello kitty" wallpaper on his emails, and sometimes he even forwards. There are no limits now. He occassionally accuses me of being a witch, when I post photos on the web and other such shenanigans. Oh, but it is all part of his charm!

His hobbies include kayaking,, country drives, craigslist, laundry, and bulking up at the JCC. But sorry fellas, he's not available. He's kinda seeing somebody.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Real Life Project #1: My First In-Home Soldering Attempt

Pictured here is some of the excitement that can be seen in almost any basement. There is an old "saddle valve" from the hot water line (coming out of the hot water tank) to the furnace humidifier. When we bought this house, the previous owner told us that we'd need to hire a plumber to replace this valve, and he suggested that we get them to put in a proper ball valve. So, this will be my first real life plumbing project.

Paul, the Central Tech night school instructor, has told me what needs to be done. I need to buy a 1/2" solder to 1/4" compression brass ball valve. I need to get a soldering torch, some lead free solder, some flux, and lots of nerve. I'm going to borrow the pipe cutters from my friend Matthew. And then, I am going to shut off the water, drain the water from the copper pipes, and then CUT INTO the copper pipe coming out of the hot water heater, and put in a new valve. Seems pretty easy, right? Afterall, I did solder that copper dog, right??

Paul does not seemed fazed by my suggestion of cutting into the hot water supply to my house. But then he told me about the first time he "tried" to solder in a house. It didn't go well, because there was water in the line, and the torch was not hot enough, and the fittings would not solder. I picture this happening to me. And then me calling a plumber to come and fix everything, so that we can have hot water in our house again. And the plumber laughing at me.

Right now I am focusing on getting all the tools and supplies together. I'll look for the courage later.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Plumbing Continued

Is this a copper dog, you may ask. What kind of pet is that?

Proudly pictured here is my first plumbing project. It was fun to spark up that torch and get the solder melting. Best of all, we connected it to the 60psi water source and it did not leak. Is this enough to make me think that I can now spark up a propane torch in my house and attempt to repair the hot water line going to my furnace's humidifier? Paul, our instructor (pictured on the right, in the spider t-shirt), seems confident that I can do it. So, I figure, why not!!

My friend Denise is still on the rollercoaster of Toronto real estate. I bought my first house last year, a 100 year old semi in the west end of Toronto. There is lots of maintenance to be done, so I stand around and watch when all the inspectors and repair guys come in. My boyfriend has one of those really big flashlights that takes 4 D cell batteries. Armed with theses tools & knowledge, I went to see a house with Denise and made all kinds of comments about the joists, age of the furnace, lack of insulation, and stuff like that. If I had a clipboard, I could have checked off a few boxes on a standard form and charged her $400 for my tour. But I did it for fun. (Warped sense of fun, non?) Anyway, I sent a detailed email to her boyfriend who wasn't initially impressed with the house, managing to convince him to put in an offer. Long story short: there were 4 offers in total. The selling agent gave them a chance to improve their bid, so they went up by $2500, but they did not get it. In the end, the winning bid was only $4000 above theirs. BUMMER. But, they are now not stuck with the pink bathroom, and I no longer have to keep my promise to renovate their bathroom, and so I don't have to quickly learn how to install ceramic tile. I guess that I can focus on my own pink bathroom instead.

Tomorrow is the 7th annual SOY bowlathon and my team, Stop, Drop & Roll is in first place. Can we hold onto the lead?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Intro to Plumbing

I am getting old. I know this because I have taken up plumbing as a hobby.Well, it is a practical hobby. I'm doing it because my bathroom is pink. The giant bathtub, the sink, the vanity, the toilet, and all the tiles. The walls used to be pink & white stripped wall paper with a pink floral border. (I will have to post a photo...) I also want to install a dishwasher. I figure that I should learn to do this stuff myself. Tonight is our first school project: soldering some 1/2" copper pipe to create something that looks like one of those balloon animals. We will then pressure test it to make sure that it doesn't leak. If it does, no big deal, but if I do this at my house and it does leak, I could be in big big trouble. But, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

My friend Denise is very pregnant. She and her man are looking for a house. In my best interest, I'd like them close, but they are yet to find the perfect house. Last night I went to see a nice old house with her, and it too has a pink bathroom. Neither she nor her man are enthusiastic about the prospect of having a pink bathroom. The house is a good size but does need some renos. Some hard work will make it a castle in a great family neighbourhood. This proximity may translate into some free babysitting. But, if they cross the ditch (the Don Valley) it is less likely. To make a long real estate story short: I just promised Densie that if they buy this house, I will redo their bathroom. I have been wanting to learn how to install ceramic tiles. I could smash out the old ones and put up some new ones, couldn't I? Afterall, I can solder a copper dog.