Friday, February 06, 2009

Modern, Cool Nerd

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test ...

Modern, Cool Nerd

74 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 48% Dork

Modern, Cool Nerd
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

Thanks to Jon for the link to the test. Here, take it yourself: The Nerd? Geek? Dork? Test

Toilet Follies

On one of the first days home after the baby arrived, Stacy, Stacy's dad, Neil, and I took a trip to Home Depot to pick up some home improvement materials. Stacy wanted to get the microwave replaced, the basement bathroom painted, a ceiling fan installed in the playroom, a new kitchen light installed, and some other various wiring jobs done while her dad was still out visiting.

Laden with a new fan, a microwave/range hood combo, outlets and light switches, we arrived home ready to start on the kitchen light. We were going to replace the round two-bulb fixture with a 6', four-bulb florescent fixture. I was excited. I've hated the lighting in the kitchen ever since we moved in.

Naturally, Jo, Stacy's step-mom, had news that would change my immediate plans upon our arrival home. It turns out Scarlett had clogged the toilet upstairs. She's a super pooper! We're used to the toilet clogging, though. It gets clogged if you think about flushing more than a couple of squares. I shrugged and headed upstairs to plunge it, and plunge it, and plunge it, and plunge it, well, you get the picture. It wasn't a normal clog, it was plugged in such a way that the water could slowly leak out past the clog.

Next step was the snake we bought for the kitchen sink months ago. It runs off the drill, so I originally thought it would work there. It didn't work on the kitchen sink then and it didn't work on the toilet this time. Like its namesake, it would just coil back on itself. I had the flushing sinking feeling that I would have to disassemble the whole thing, which is never a guaranteed fix.

Ah well, I was already resigned to fixing it, whether that meant replacing the toilet (right, Travis?) or managing to fix it on my own. I shut off the water and set about bailing the remaining water with a 3 oz. bathroom cup.

3 ounces at a time
After the bailing

Next came removing the tank. That was easy. I've done it a couple of times, so I was pretty confident with that step.

Eek! Indecent porcelain exposure!
This is my toilet topless. Don't get any ideas, perv

I was ready to take the bowl off. Well, not really ready. I had never removed the bowl and was worried that I might drop and break it, cause a leak (heh, cause a leak where I take a leak,) or cause some other minor disaster.

No hole in the ground jokes?
Toilet? What toilet?

Thankfully, my father-in-law had to run back to Home Depot for a couple of missing items, so he was able to buy me a new wax ring. With the toilet successfully relocated to the tub, I was ready to work.

The shower felt so dirty and used
The patient awaits...

At first glance, I thought I could make out a valve of some sort from the bottom. That didn't make sense, though. Why would a toilet have a valve? As soon as I touched it with the snake, though, if fell deeper into the pipe. Curious. The snake let me down again, proving thrice-worthless. A straightened coat hanger did the trick, though. I was soon fishing out flushable wipe after flushable wipe.

flushable = put em all in!
Scarlett's contribution to the effort, a stack of wipes at least five high

I fished around until I couldn't feel anything else on the end of the hangar. No "valve" though. Fearing I would be defeated and have to replace the bowl completely, I tried one last thing in desperation. I lifted the bowl and shook it over the tub. Something fell out with a clatter. I looked down in disgust at a filthy, corroded circular piece of metal.

look, but don't touch, please don't touch
Look closely at the culprit, all will soon be revealed

It turns out that the piece of metal was a tin lid to a coin bank, a pink lid at that. The color was significant for a very good reason. None of my girls have ever owned such a bank, so I knew it wasn't one of them. The previous owner was a single mom with a adolescent son, so I was fairly certain it wasn't them. It could only have been deposited by someone that lived here before them, who knows how long ago?

All this time, the bank lid would act as a check valve. If too much was flushed down the toilet at once, it would clog up. Once plunged, the force of the water and debris would swivel the lid sideways and let the detritus flow by. It took Scarlett's stack of wipes to clog it in such a way that we couldn't plunge it.

With the clog finally removed, I painstakingly cleared off the old wax ring. I'm not sure how long it had been there, but I couldn't wash my hands enough to feel clean afterward. I installed the new wax ring, anchored the bowl, replaced the tank, turned the water back on, and stepped back as I flushed, so the geyser of water wouldn't hit me.

Oddly enough, there was no geyser. Not even a trickle of water seemed to leak from the many possible places on the toilet. There was no way I went through all of that and came out with a fully-functioning toilet, was there? And yet, there it was, flushing like it had never flushed before and nary a leak. Don't worry, I'll pay for my good experience later. The Universe lets no positive event go unpunished.

Free at last!
Fully installed and ready to flush!