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September 18th, 2005

Home Improvement Projects

For a long time, I fancied myself a small-time Bob Vila. While I wasn’t doing anything like rebuilding houses from the foundation up, I was able to assemble almost any home-ish item with ease, install basic shelving, and the like.

But then I went on a long dry spell. Blame it on my 50-70 hour-per-week job; blame it on our apartment; blame it on Cain. Whatever. But now that we’re in our new place, I’m starting to think about some more small-time projects and yesterday I took care of one.

Our bathroom had what could only be described as the world’s worst TP holder. It was an Ikea model that matched the towel bars in the room. The design of it, though, was highly questionable. Imagine, if you will, a towel bar the length of a roll of toilet paper. Now, take a roll of toilet paper and put a metal bar in the middle – one that sits on top of the towel bar. There you go. It was easily the dumbest, worst, most insane design for anything I’d seen in a good long time. But there it was, in our apartment, complete with a half-assed install job (ie, the right side of the holder was hanging off the screw which was hanging off the anchor).

So a few days ago we bought a new TP holder from Target – a simple, traditional one that matches the fixtures in the bathroom. And yesterday, thanks in part to our recent purchase of a handy power drill/screwdriver, I took care of it. I installed the new holder with no problem, cleaned up, and was ready to roll (har!) in about 20 minutes. While this wasn’t a huge deal, it made me feel a little better about other upcoming projects.

When it comes to home improvement projects, where do you rank? Do you feel confident with all the tools and construction goodness, or do you leave it to someone else?

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: heather
DATE: Sunday September 18, 2005 -- 5:45:35 pm
My husband is no Mr. Handman. In fact, the tools we own are all mine from before we got married. My family is in the construction business, so my dad taught my siblings and me all sorts of skills. He's been trying to teach my husband and brother-in-law, but it's not been easy...

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Sunday September 18, 2005 -- 6:13:04 pm
I used to be a carpenter and I've designed and built houses. Can't legally call myself an architect because I didn't stay in the architecture program long enough to get the degree. But, let's just say that I'm good enough at home improvement projects that I can do anything. If only I had played dumb with the wife. Let this be a lesson to you Paul, before you get carried away. Once they find out you can turn a screwdriver, you'll be screwing around the rest of your life.

It goes from "Let's move this picture," --Let's meaning you-- to "Let's move the garage," in about eight milliseconds. And of course, it goes to "I don't like it; let's move it back," the picture and the garage, even faster.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Sunday September 18, 2005 -- 10:55:43 pm
I am very experienced with painting things. Especially since I have a landlord that doesn't care :-D Other than that, I've only put in a new toilet seat and some shelves.

DATE: Tuesday September 20, 2005 -- 5:03:23 pm
The secret is to screw up a major project early in marriage. She'll resist asking for the next 30 years.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday September 20, 2005 -- 5:23:58 pm
I'm the go-to man for toilet maintenance in our house, but Huyen is more handy than I am in general. If it involves a hammer or a drill of any kind, she'll be the one using it.

She put together our entire entertainment center on her own. All I did was help lift it up.

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