August 7th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

The other day while my cleaning girl was cleaning (yes, I indulge in hiring out, and am tickled beyond all reason to say that I haven’t cleaned a toilet in over two years…   ..TWO YEARS!!!!   …and no, she doesn’t do as great a job as I would, were I to be doing the cleaning, but I’m okay with that since it’s SO nice that it’s not me wielding the scrubber) I noticed the vacuum cleaner was making a terrible loud noise.  I checked the usual suspects – belt, hose, bag – and came up with nothing.  It was still sucking, so I let it go.

Then, after returning from a fantastic week of vacation during which many small and large bodies filled cracks and crevices in my car with beach sand, twigs, pebbles and all manner of flotsam and jetsam, I decided to [*gasp*] clean the car.  I fired up the vacuum cleaner and the noise was unbearably loud, and after a very short time, a hot smell emerged.  Crap.  Definitely something was wrong with it.  Which completely sidetracked my car-cleaning mojo.

Thanks to the wonder of modern technology (and high speed internet, coupled with a myriad of helpful folks out there who like to post how-to information for various and sundry reasons) I quickly learned that the observed symptoms were likely due to a broken fan.  It’s very easy to confirm — just remove the front piece and take a look.

yep, that's the fan, and yep, it's broken

Voila!  Confirmed (note large black region where fan blades used to be).

The next step was to find a replacement part.  We have the wonder of eBay for that.

one can find anything on eBay

Sometimes eBay is fantastic.  In this case, I got the part I needed plus a bonus spare belt, all shipped directly to my home for under $20.  No schlepping around the city looking for a repair shop that stocks Kirby parts (and sells them at full retail prices, because they can).

Next, with the aforementioned helpful information at my fingertips, I set about the replacement.

gaining access

off with the old

on with the new

good as new

tools of the trade and spoils of war

In the meantime, I still went to Costco and bought another vacuum cleaner.  Just in case.  It’s still in the box.  Oreck pro something or other.  I might do a vacuum comparison and see how well it performs.  Maybe I’ll retire my Kirby.  I was suckered by the door-to-door salesman, oh, fifteen or twenty years ago.  It has held up, until now.  Not that I’d say that makes it worth the king’s ransom that it cost.

Anyway.  Bottom line?  I am woman, hear me roar!  Isn’t there a song that goes something like, “anything he can do I can do better”?  Well, that’s me!  Take that, non-existent male counterpart.  Who needs you anyway?

June 13th, 2010 | 5 Comments »

Oi.  To begin, I had a child free day and the sun was shining brightly.  I busted out my new air compressor, read the manual, followed the instructions, let it make terrible noise for fifteen minutes in the garage while it was doing its initial thing that is supposed to be done upon first use of a new air compressor, and scratched my head trying to figure out the attachments and fittings, as they didn’t come with instructions.  Being intuitively obvious, and all.  Don’t laugh.  I’ve never done it before.  But I figured it out and successfully inflated the tires on my bike. I didn’t follow the shut down procedure, since I decided I’d take the bike for a ride to see if the tires were still good, or if they’d need re-inflating.

It’s been probably three years since I’ve ridden, because I couldn’t ride with LB when he was a baby due to his spine problem.

I was enjoying a nice ride along a nearby trail, when the helmet started giving me trouble, so I reached up to hold it while going too fast around a bend, and biff-boom-bam, this forty five year old woman skidded very unceremoniously across the pavement.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.  My jeans protected my leg for the most part, and I actually road burned and bruised my boob, all the way through the layers of my bra and t-shirt combined.  Good grief.  Who ever road burns their boobs?

you shoulda seen the other guy... should have seen the other guy...

woulda been worse without jeans

...would have been worse without jeans...

Actually, part of the leg burn is from a previous encounter with the pavement when I tripped over BB while carrying LB.  Nice.  I’ve had three glorious spills in a relatively short time, after a nearly lifetime span of no spills.  It makes me wonder…   I *am* glad that I didn’t have LB with me — I’d be horrified to crash with him aboard.  But I wouldn’t have been going fast if I had him aboard.  Even so.  I need to be much more careful.

Truth be told, I *was* a bit traumatized by the wreck.  I still haven’t actually inspected my bike to see what damage it sustained.  I was sitting on the couch, trying to regain my composure, when I heard a very loud bang from the garage.


As I ran to the garage, my first thought was OMG, I didn’t follow the shut down procedure on my air compressor and it’s blown up!  Followed shortly by, you idiot, it couldn’t possibly have blown up, for goodness’ sake.  Followed thereafter by, WTH *was* that?  So, I confirmed that the air compressor was indeed intact.  Check.  Unplugged it.  Check.  Surveyed the garage.  Tried the garage door opener.  Aha.  Something was amiss.  It would try to open, and then give up.  I pulled the dangling cord, which it turns out is a safety/quick release thingy for manual operation, but then didn’t know what to do to re-engage it.  Bah.  Don’t laugh.  I’ve never done this before.  I got the manual out, read it, and learned how to re-engage the safety, and to run the diagnostic.  Only the diagnostic didn’t diagnose anything.  And the thing wouldn’t work.  And my car was inside.  And I was supposed to collect my kids shortly.  So I pulled the cord again and tried to lift the door.  Holy CRAP, that’s a heavy door.  And it wouldn’t catch and stay open, so it was a very hazardous door.  Bah!  I got a step ladder to prop it open, but it wasn’t tall enough for my car to clear, so I had to get my whiz bang extension ladder thingy and adjust it so that it could prop open the door, and maneuver the other ladder out while maneuvering the taller ladder in, all without hurting myself.  Mission accomplished.  Remember, I’m sporting my fresh flesh wounds, so this whole endeavor was strenuous and unpleasant.

Anyhow, after getting my car out, putting the garage door back, and consulting my friend Google, I learned that there are two torsion springs and they have a limited life span and one had just expired.  So the big bang was the spring breaking.  It felt good to have an explanation.  It calmed me down considerably.  Truth be told, though, my first impulse was to call a man.  But I could only think of Gadget and Skills while in that state of mind, and the last person in the world I want to talk to is Gadget, especially after yesterday’s fine turn of events, and seeking help from Skills would have been awkward, though he might possibly have answered had I called, and he might have even helped.  I decided to man up, get over my sexist impulse and see how far I could get on my own.  And I managed.  Afterward, I thought of at least three coworkers who I’m sure would have helped right away, had I had the presence of mind to call them.  But I managed.

So.  There it is.  I would rather not have to trouble my pretty little head with figuring things like this out, and I’d rather not get my pretty little hands all dirty and greasy and grimy, and get myself all sweaty and bruised and cut.  I’d so much rather be a girly girl!

But sometimes a girl does what a girl’s got to do.

Posted in adventures, mundane