In which I lack skills

I’ve been in this weird place for a couple of weeks– months? Hell, who knows, time has no meaning– where I want to get into woodworking. You may have seen the turning videos I’ve posted. That’s what people in the know call it, you see.

I’m not going to get into woodworking. I have nowhere to work wood, no tools for woodworking, and no one to instruct me in woodworkery, and I suspect this is not really something that one teaches oneself from videos on the internet. I have also considered getting into spin painting recently. You may recall a Teach Myself to Draw project a couple of years (?) ago if you’ve been around a while; that fizzled when I realized that while I did want to be good at drawing things, there wasn’t any particular thing I wanted to draw, and that’s … kind of important?

That ukulele is still around, too. Never gonna learn to play it. (I am, and I swear this is a coincidence, listening to Eddie Vedder’s ukulele album right now.)

What creative thing would you be good at if you actually wanted to put in the effort to get there?

I might be dead

This came up when I Googled “dado joint.”  I have no idea.

Sitting very near to me is a pile of paper, about an inch high, that I will need to absorb to some as-yet unclear degree in order to pass an examination on Friday.  The test is going to take two fucking hours, and right now I have not the slightest idea what they think is going to take that long.  I am and always have been a fast test-taker, so I expect this to take no more than twenty minutes.  In theory, I ought to be studying at the moment.

I’m going to save it for tomorrow.  I haven’t had a good old-fashioned cramming session in a few years.  We’ll see if I’m still any good at it.

A shocking admission: despite my exhaustion, this has been a worthwhile trip, and there is nothing happening tomorrow that makes me think it’s likely that I’ll change my mind.  As a lifelong educator the notion that professional development and/or training might not be personally insulting, much less actually useful, is almost unprecedented.  Meeting with vendors is great.  Granted, they’re all salesmen too and thus hucksters to some degree or another, but I’m actually learning shit.

Oh, and there’s HGTV on the hotel room TV, so you know how I’m really spending my evenings, right?

Also, people who live nearby are posting on Facebook that the local weather services are muttering about a foot of snow on Friday.  If the world suddenly ends you know why.  Good luck, thanks for all the fish, and all that.

In which I reveal facts

576c36a3a6f2a.image.jpgAh, screw it.  Furniture.  I sell furniture now.  Maybe that was obvious from the thing about the massage chair the other day; I dunno.  There are not a ton of furniture stores in the area but there are at least as many furniture stores as there are middle schools, and I’ve made it three years without anyone trying to dox me, so screw it.  I suspect talking about my life for the next little while will become very complicated if I’m not even able to reveal what sort of sales I’m involved in.

That said, the training wheels come off on Monday, so if you know me and you’re in the area and in the market for some furniture, come hit me up.  Believe it or not the Fourth of July weekend will feature a sale.  I suspect that detail will not help people pin down what store I work at.  I have spent the week in a crazily intense crash course on basically everything anyone could possibly want to know about furniture, and I am trying hard to resist the urge to tear apart everything in the house to see how it is constructed.  I have learned more about drawer construction in the last four days than I ever imagined it was possible to know.  Drawers are complicated!  Really damn complicated!  I can tell you about like four different types of dovetailing and on Monday I didn’t know what dovetailing was.  And lacquer!  Do you know what catalyzed lacquer is?  Because I do.  Go ahead, point at a piece of wood on a piece of furniture and ask me if it’s solid wood or veneered.  I’ll know.  

Also, I really want all-new furniture.  Like, everywhere in the house.  I expect to spend my first four to six paychecks entirely on furniture.  My wife may have something to say about this, I suppose.  On a couple of different levels.

So that’s what I’ve been doing all week.  I’m at OtherJob tomorrow, then I have Sunday off, and I work on Monday and on my birthday.  Will there be celebrations after that?

I’m turning 40.  Probably.


We hadn’t stopped working; I just decided a few days ago that I wasn’t doing any more updates until shit looked good.

Shit looks good.

IMG_2814Another look at the shower tile (finished over winter break) and the new toilet.  The new toilet is wonderful.  If you shit God, God will be flushed.  As a fat man, I appreciate this.  The new toilet is not leaking.  Did I ever show you the new floor tile?  That’s not leaking either, but tile generally doesn’t do that.

IMG_2819The new vanity and countertop.  This… is a bit more of a problem.  Everything you can see is not leaking, is hooked up, and works beautifully.  Note that I also put new floor trim in, although you can’t see it too well.  It’s just trim; trim’s not actually terribly impressive.  But it’s there!


Closeup of the countertop and the new faucet.  I love this countertop a LOT.  I’m also glad that the vanity is taller than the old one, because it means that the boy’s going to have to grow a bit before he’s tall enough to splash water out of the sink, and hopefully by then he’ll be less likely to wantonly splash stuff around.  Yes, the distance from the faucet to the electrical outlet is within code; yes, I’m also putting safety stops into the outlets when they’re not being used.

IMG_2817This shit right here is not my fault.  And it’s leaking.  (And it’s better than it looks, because that one PVC join that is obviously crooked is not crooked any longer.)  The supply lines to the faucet are working beautifully and appear to be watertight; the rest of it, not so much.

Basically it’s leaking at the one spot that is obviously bad, which does not surprise me, as joining those two pipes in that fashion was basically a kludge involving crossed fingers.  The PVC-galvanized join is strong and so is the join where the trap joins with the pipe coming out of the wall.  I need to talk to some folks who know better than me and come up with something better than the kludge.  I also need to fix a new leak that popped up by the drain that wasn’t there originally, because in all the screwing around with the pipes I accidentally loosened the top (blue) pipe too much and now it’s leaking too.

I will wait a few days, do some research and some thinking, and then take another shot at this, and if I can’t get it right the second time I’ll just suck it up and call a plumber.  I’m not actually upset about this; it’s leaking at a spot that I knew was dodgy and it’s not leaking enough that it renders the sink unusable.  If I need to wash my hands or my face in that sink, it’ll be fine; the pot underneath will catch the small amount of water that comes out.  I just want it perfect.

Later this week, we’ll get into what Phase 3 entails.  Phase 3 is the final phase.


We’ve laid every tile we can lay without standing on any of them.  I’d prefer to have the job done today, but not at the expense of doing it right.

Almost there, kids.