The Joys of Home Ownership

I know that part of the joy of home ownership is that some part of the house is falling apart at every conceivable moment (and if you have kids or dogs, then whatever isn’t falling apart is being actively destroyed).  Doesn’t mean it’s not annoying, though.

  • A week or so ago we noticed a puddle in our master bathroom.  Turns out the toilet had sprung a leak.  Not an easily detectable leak, though; after some investigation, I found that it was only happening when the toilet was flushed.  Turns out the cap on the refill pipe had sprung a leak, and whenever the toilet was flushed, water splashed up to the underside of the tank lid and would drip down the back of the toilet.  I finally fixed that today, with plenty of cussing and banging of crescent wrenches and swearing at globs of plumbers’ putty.  I had no idea that stuff ever went dry.  But apparently it does.  It was a little on the flaky side when I tried to dig it out of the tub, but not so flaky that a good four or five ounces didn’t stop the last of the drips.
  • While getting my tools together to curse the toilet I plugged in a new pair of desktop speakers that I’d purchased at Best Buy yesterday specifically to use with my MP3 player.  I like having music while I cuss and splash in a quarter inch of water on the bathroom floor.  But the damn speakers didn’t play.  I thought at first that I’d purchased a couple of bum speakers and I’d have to go out to Best Buy and replace them but it turned out it was the outlet that wasn’t delivering any electricity.  In fact, neither outlet next to the sink are working, and neither is the light above the bathtub.  I checked the circuit breakers, but none of them were tripped (I flipped them on and off, thus resetting every clock in the house, apparently), but that did no good.  I also replaced the bulb in the can above the bathtub, just in case there was some weird wiring trick there that made that circuit go out if the light bulb is broken — you know, like a string of Christmas tree lights.  No joy there, either.

I’m guessing that a problem with wiring is not so easily fixed as a problem with a toilet, though.  I imagine there’s some short or something somewhere in our walls or somewhere and I’m not all that anxious to try to figure it out on my own.  Fortunately, I have a brother-in-law who’s an electrical contractor.  Helps to have family in the business.

Holiday Snarkiness

My wife pointed me at this site for a song called “The Cat Carol”. The lyrics of the song go, in part:

When Santa came by near the end of the night,
the reindeer started to cry.
They found the cat lying there in the snow,
and they could see that she had died.

Basically, the song is about a cat who, on a cold snowy night, cries to get into a family home for warmth and comfort. The human family, evil bastards that they are, don’t even hear the cat’s cries, and she’s left in the snow. But then a tiny mouse comes by and the cat, instead of catching and eating the mouse like any sensible predator would do, decides to protect the mouse and keep it warm. When Santa comes by, the cat has died, but the mouse is still alive. And Santa says to the mouse:

“On Christmas Eve she gave you her life,
the greatest gift of them all.”

The entire lyrics of the song can be found on the Cat Carol Website.

Personally, I don’t think the song goes far enough. With just a little tweaking, one could make this the Utterly Perfect Christmas Song, and no one would have to die. We can keep the mouse, but the cat gets to live because a puppy comes along to keep the cat warm.

But this doesn’t end our quest to turn this into the perfect Christmas song. Remembering the true “reason for the season”, we can have a tiny little child come along to keep the puppy warm, who keeps the cat warm, who keeps the mousie warm (and I think the mouse ought to be keeping someone else warm, too, just to keep the Circle of Life going). Can you guess the name of the tiny child who keeps the puppy warm? That’s right, it’s the Baby Jeebus!
And then maybe someone in the house sees the error of their ways and prays to God to keep the tiny baby warm (because in the world of this sort of smarmy glurge, people respond to tragedy not by helping out the unfortunates but rather by praying), and then angels descend to keep the Baby Jeebus warm.

Could be, though, that I’m just a bit more cynical than is healthy this time of year.