Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiled Stumpy Ball Point Bananas

*We were expecting to hear from the contractor about starting the bathroom on Monday, so I got started on demoing the bathroom Sunday afternoon. Bashing my way into walls proved to be as amusing, deafening, and dusty as I thought it would be. The good news was that in the parts of the wall that I managed to uncover, there was no evidence of water damage, mold, insects, or other types of vermin. That's always a good start. It looked to me like there was already a vent from that bathroom, so I'm hoping that part of the job can be skipped. The sink, toilet, and vanity all came out without major incident, and there was no hidden damage that was discovered. The only issue was some minor troubles getting the right type of pipe caps, and needing to decide if I should reinsulate the walls while I have them open. So, after a couple of hours of tearing down drywall, I decided to leave the rest for the next day.

Monday morning rolled around and I once more donned my safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, and dust mask (quite a sexy ensemble) in preparation for yet more deconstruction. On Sunday, I had worked my way around the walls, leaving the shower enclosure and the space where the medicine cabinet was (since that had the only light in the room), so these were the only things that stood in my way of being done. I was thinking I'd be done before lunch. Now, the contractor had told me to use a Sawz-All to remove the shower enclosure in pieces. I thought I could most likely accomplish the same thing with my RotoZip. I was not quite entirely wrong, but pretty close. While it did indeed penetrate the fiberglass pretty easily, it also threw up a horrendously large cloud of very finely ground fiberglass particles in the process. Since I now value my lung function more highly that I did when I was younger, I decided to discontinue the use of that tool. Next, I opted to use a hammer to basically perforate the fiberglass, which I could then rip off in decent sized hunks. This technique, while satisfying in a very base manner, proved to be as inefficient in destruction as it was inversely inefficient at generating sweat. I finally decided to head for the garage and get my Sawz-All. And go figure, it worked like a fucking charm. Zipped right through that fiberglass like it wasn't even there. Three quick cuts, and the whole back panel was out, and.....holy crap, what is that? Is that a drain line? Glad I missed that with the saw. Shit. That's an electrical line for the kitchen....it's even closer to the shower back than the drain line was...I must have missed that by...shit......That was waaaay too fucking close.

I obviously decided to not share this little detail with the wife. Mostly because I knew she'd freak out, but also partly because I didn't want to think about just how close a call it was. So I didn't. The saw went back into use, and the last wall of the enclosure came down without me sawing into the water pipes in the wall. Then all was left was to remove the floor pan. In another burst of genius, I didn't bother to check and see how it was connected to the drain pipe before I tried to pull it out of place. I got it out. Snapped the drain trap in half, but I got it out. After running to Menard's to get another drain plug, it was time to go after the medicine cabinet. Went to the garage and got a trouble light so I could see what I was doing once I shut the light on the medicine cabinet off. Made sure the switch was off, and then started to take the bolts that held it up out of the wall. Got those out and was left with it hanging from the wall by the electrical line. Sooo. Let's see how this is hooked up here. Gotta stand on the stool, since I can't see back there. Hmmmm. Why are there 4 lines coming in from the wall? Should be 2 and a ground, but there's 3 and a ground. Whatever. I need to get this done. Just undo the wire nuts one at a time and then cap off the lines from the wall. OK, why won't this come down? Oh. Cable clamp. Loosen that, and it should come right down. Damn. That's not gonna go through there all at once, not with the wire nuts on the lines. Is the switch off? OK. Guess I'll just pull them through one at a time. Ground first. Now the green one. Need to change my grip. Think I'll just sandwich it between myself and the wall to help hold it up. white one next. Just that black one and I'm done.

Then it felt like I got punched in the throat. I took a quick step backwards off the stool with the medicine cabinet in my hands. In that split second, I understood what had happened. Four wires going into the fixture means that the power goes to the fixture before going to the switch. Since I hadn't killed the circuit at the panel downstairs, the wire nut must have come off while passing through the back of the cabinet, leaving bare end of the LIVE black wire to come in contact with the metal medicine cabinet, which was snugged up against me between my chin and my waist. Oh, crap.

The wife came running from wherever she was in the house asking what I had done. Gracie started going nuts as she asked in louder and louder volume what I had done and If I was all right. I must have been somewhat stunned as I tried to process what had just happened while trying to convince her I was OK. I didn't do a very good job of it, as she was very quickly hustling me into the car and off to the hospital. A three hour stay in the ED, along with all the stuff that goes along with it, showed that I had suffered no ill effects from the jolt, aside from the sting of stupidity every time I had to relate what had happened to me. I was also forbidden to finish the rest of the demolition.

By the time we got home, I had made several admissions of the rather glaring errors I had made in the interest of getting things done in a hurry. That didn't do a whole lot to convince the wife that I should be allowed to remove the last 7-8 square feet of drywall that was still up. Somewhere in the course of the evening, she relented this position without actually saying so, and when I got up Tuesday morning, I finished what I had started AFTER turning off the power at the circuit box downstairs.

In the end, I somehow managed to survive yet another potentially fatal collision with my own stupidity. All I know is that my stockpile of second chances has got to be getting pretty slim. And, to top it all off, we still haven't heard from the contractor yet.

*Coffee is my friend.

*Even though I have a pretty good idea of what to put on the lists of all the people who are demanding lists, I have not actually gone so far as to actually write them down. I need to do that tonight and tomorrow, lest there be socks, gift cards, and underwear in my future.

*No apparent damage to the house from all the guests this past weekend. Just a couple of pee spots and some misplaced game parts. No biggie.

*BlackWednesday made a brief appearance in a dream the other night. No idea why.

*I know what to get the wife for Giftmas, I just need to figure out where to buy it from. What would that be, you ask? Exactly what she told me to get her. Duh.

*In the midst of more pointless Facebook wanderings, I may have actually discovered something of some value. A posting by someone I know, and have gamed with on occasion, indicated that he had joined a DeKalb area RPG club that was on
meetup.com. So, I wandered over to that site, found the group, and joined it, hoping that I could expand my contact pool of potential gamers in that manner. Figures that if I can't get a group of my own started just yet, I should at least be in contact with a group that's already going. We'll see what happens from here. I will refrain from getting all tingly just yet.

*I guess it's a compliment when another guy tells you that they had no idea that you were as old as you are. Right?


*In my endless quest to endlessly provide myself with an endless stream of things to endlessly do, I have started peeling a new log, thus bringing the total number of tikis in progress to 4. Of course, that does not take into account all the other stuff still hanging around that needs my attention.

*I have had a craving to start playing Roller Coaster Tycoon again.

*Of course I'd love to take Kittyluv to see BMG! Partly because it means I would get to see them again, too!


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