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I'm swamped, more or less. In over my head, but even so I've done some pretty good kicking. It's also been a Murphy's law kind of week. A lot of things have gone wrong unexpectedly, dragging out some work projects and home projects. There's been frequent need for resorting to Plan B, C or D.

I am a technically-minded individual. I'm just severely lacking in experience in most aspects of home maintenance. I know some folks who could be considered "handy", but have gotten into a getting things done phase and not just in terms of work. The backpack I am constructing with the help of wmtrainguy is coming along and is finally starting to look like a box. It's almost like a wooden cabinet, complete with bifold doors that use hinges previously annotated here. I need to snap some pictures now that it's mostly together. It really is a slow-but-steady success story, given the number of things we've either needed or opted to redo. We had to re-cut all the door pieces, since it turned out the original 1x8 board we used was warped from the start. They did come out much more even on the second pass though. We also had some surprises from the drilling and routing. In assembling the primary box, the 5/32" drill bit BROKE OFF inside the last screw hole that needed to be drilled. Thankfully, it was retrieved (yay wmtrainguy) and the last non-hinge fastener could be used. There's a lot of staining and finishing touches left to do before Katsucon next weekend, but I think we can make it. The only thing that doesn't have a well-defined Plan A is the backpack straps, but we've got some leads. I think I'll need to take the digital camera and snap some pictures, now that it is coming together.

The bigger success story for me is plumbing related. It wasn't smooth sailing, but I installed a new faucet and drain pipe in the main bathroom sink. We had bought it on a previous Home Depot run and I decided it was time to start. I scoped out the project to make sure I had an idea of what I was doing and then shut off the water to that bathroom. Several pieces were different, but that was somewhat expected. After I removed all the existing pieces (and that drain pipe was NASTY) I double-checked my supply valves. They are funny gray PVC when the rest of my house is all copper pipes and fittings. I later determined that they were standard sized valves for TOILETS, not sink supply lines. In amongst a couple of Home Depot runs and a phone call to a plumber as a consultant, I recognized that while I had a grasp of what the difficulty was, I was horribly out of touch with the proper plumber's cant and found myself unable to describe the problem in terms that anyone else could clearly understand.

So Monday night ended with only one functional bathroom and zero functional showers. Bleah. But Tuesday brought some assistance. First that Lowe's rocks Home Depot's socks off, second that connecting water pipes without treating the threads is very prone to being leaky. End result: acquire some funky lines from Lowe's, complete the install Wednesday morning at 2 am, and immediately enjoy a victory shower. Pictures will be posted; they may be dull but illustrate just what I had to work with.

And I got some work done. Including some long-overdue paperwork. And installing Windows 2003 on a development box at my house. It's a 2-3 year old Dell, and the CD-ROM drive is already thoroughly cooked. Thank goodness I had a spare sitting around. I'll let that patch overnight and it should be ready by the end of the week. Good thing, too. Friday nights are always busy, and Saturday will involve some schlepping of stuff. Throw in backpack finishing and I'll be happy that vacation time is coming around.

But speaking of backpacks, I'll need to determine my costume wear for Katsucon. Chrono & backpack will probably be Saturday the 17th, but I'm planning on going at least one other day (if not both). That and hockey (Rangers on the 24th & Caps vs. Panthers on the 27th) are some of my happy thoughts for the moment. That and a good-sounding baby heartbeat from a Doppler test on Monday. =)

- Pookah

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