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DIY rant-a-day 2011 - who's been through it? Answered

There is this featured topic on a challenge to do a DIY project or part of it everyday for the month of February 2011.  Now this is all well and good and an extra kick for those that need the motivation. But what if you already have a list of DIY things that need to be done...like minor repairs on the house or you run into something that needs fixing? I could spend time to document each thing as an instructable but that would at least double the time for each task. My calendar is already filled and it seems like there is always something else to add to the list. No good deed goes unpunished so along with completing each DIY task, there is always trouble, it never goes smooth no matter how well you plan.

So here I plan to add my comments on my DIY rants of the day. I guess a proper blog is the way to do it, but I don't have time to blog. And besides, I know a lot of people here have similar stories to share.

I'll kick it off with one...maybe three...

Please add your own DIY rant-a-day, when you get a chance.  Don't be too mean on big box stores or chains, unless it is Radio Snacks. I hate to admit this will end up sounding like Andy Rooney of 60 minutes, I guess I am getting old. :-( ...but not as old as NachoMahma :-).


Btw, do you know they have armed guards now at IKEA and Home Depot in Brooklyn. These rent-a-cops have been delegated the duty of loss-prevention. They check your receipt like they know what the items in your bag are. Seems like people have been walking out with a couch under their arm and 12 foot sections of premium composite decking.

OMG Sam's Club is freakin' horrible for this. If you can even get in the place; I swear I have no idea how you join, because to be a member you must get in the front door, but to get in the front door, you must be a member. I swear it would have be easier to bust in and out of West Berlin than to get into Sam's Club. If they don't tackle you coming in, they tackle you going out, accusing you of stealing an iPod when really you just got a different color and they rang it up twice and voided once. They will also make you open up your pizza box if you get lunch at the food court, to make sure there's no contraband of course. I've known prison breaks that were easier than getting past the yellow marker and glaring eye of the guard dog making sure that BY GOD EVERY ITEM IN THAT CART IS ACCOUNTED FOR, after they frisk you TSA-style, of course...

It seems to be a paradox, are you on the outside looking in or an insider looking out? Either way, Everyday Low Prices is a privilege, not a right. You must pay for freedom.

Not all those prices are so low....you HAVE to know your prices or you get bilked, royally.

And you have to eat all of those mass quantities before they spoil. I always laugh at the guy with a case of beans in the 10lb cans and a case of toilet paper on his flatbed wagon.

Well, toilet paper and cases of paper towels don't spoil so quickly ;-)

So I've been busy refinishing an apartment so we can rent it out to help pay for the high cost of heating this winter. Good thing we had converted over from oil to gas a while back. The rental unit needed to be "refreshed" from the last tenants so some of the other members of the "family crew" said, oh, we can paint, we can clean, we can do some minor repairs, etc... They started the job without me and did some stuff when I could not be there to supervise.

Well, the moral of this tale is, don't trust anyone who thinks they know what they are doing to do something, supervise, and there is only one creative vision that shouold make the decisions.  I actually spent the last two months and zillions of trips back and forth to the home center to fix their mistakes.

The walls had to be refinished because they used cheap rollers that lint peel off and dried to hard pointy specks on the wall.  Resand all walls and paint.  They wanted to replace the vanity and recessed medicine cabinet.  They bought an expensive vanity that the pipes interfere with the drawers and back opening.  Had to shorten a drawer and custom cut and reinforce opeings in the back panel.  No modern cabinet fits in the old recess in the wall.  Minor surgery and framing to make a bigger opening.  They wanted to do stained wood wainscot in the bathroom.  They stained the panels locked together before they were installed on the wall.  Pine was all blotchy, warped, and painted together.  They took apart the old toilet to replace the flapper mechanism.  Just ended up replacing the entire toilet with a new water-saver model.  Yup, Valspar Woodrow Wilson Putty color looks pretty boring, their choice.   I at least was able to paint Benjamin Moore Lightning Bolt pale yellow in the bedroom to liven it up.  They mixed up using semi-gloss for trim and the flat ceiling white. Then I fired up my old carpet shampoo machine and it the motor would not spray.  Had to rent a carpet machine but it turned out it didn't vacuum and just flooded the carpet with cleaning solution.  We had to use the old machine to suck and the new one to blow.  We had another big room to do so we spent an hour to go trade it in.  The new one worked.  Ah, the tip of the iceberg when you attempt to remodel or do anything with an old house.

Turn signals! Is it too hard to indicate whether a driver is going to turn left or right? Smokers who smoke near a store door because smoking inside is prohibited-I have to hold my breath just to get into the store! People who chew gum in public and talk while they are chewing it. Parents who let their children run around screaming in restaurants- and no I don't mean McDonalds-that's a given. Tradespeople who don't show up when they say they will. Waiting in line while the cashier talks on their cell. O.K I'm done. Thanks :0)

And sometimes that smoke goes into the store ANYWAYS.....I am so glad I gave it up years ago.

Waiting in line while the cashier talks to the bagger :-)

Reminds me of my experience in walmart a few days ago. These 2 workers got off a break, and they simply ignored us while one employee decided to skip us in line to buy an item, even though we were waiting several minutes to checkout.

When they get distracted and scan a single item twice is what steams me :-)

What about the cashier that gets messed up when you put down some spare change you want to get rid of so that you get back whole dollars and it does not compute with the cashier and she hands you back that money. Oops, I already punched it in the register and don't know what to do.

And what about those receipts you get from the store that are so long you have to roll it up to stick in your pocket.  Yeah, those rebate forms on the cash register receipt with the super fine print.

Yes, cashiers that can't add and subtract are a bit of a pain for sure. The receipts are like a small tree per each person, whether you bought one item or 100.

You know what is bad? You're packed into a crowded subway just wanting to get home after a long day and the train is held in the tunnel due to track signal problems. But you happen to stand next to the guy who is picking his nose or something out of his mouth. And the other dude with the volume cranked to 11 coming out of his ipod earbuds. The guy with the large laptop briefcase poking you in the knees, the idiot that is using a $2000 Macbook to watch movies on the subway, someone with an unlidded cup of coffee and dropping crumbs all over the place from munching on some kind of pastry, the person yakking on the cellphone not realizing you cannot get a signal once you get in the tunnel....don't get me started...and what about the open seat right under your nose that gets taken by the person who slides in from the next seat over just so they can claim a seat for their buddy at the other end of the car, people that will not remove their big bags off the seats taking up a seat...It is getting harder to judge whether to offer a seat to a pregnant lady or risk offending her because she is just a "woman" size...yeah, don't get me started.

Yes, cashiers that can't add and subtract are a bit of a pain for sure. The receipts are like a small tree per each person, whether you bought one item or 100.

Does never getting a rebate from any large retail company count? cough*Staples*cough

I try to avoid purchasing things with rebates. It is a free loan to the seller. Sometimes you end up with a rebate that is a gift card only to be used in their own store. They are betting most people will not go through the trouble of applying or forget that they have sent a rebate in. They have all that info, why fill it out again. Just give me a discount at the cash register, I would be more inclined to come back and buy more.

That reminds me, anything to do with accumulating points like frequent flyer miles or bonus points on your credit card are dubious. You still do that green grocery stamp book thing?

Are there parts of the USA that still have Green Stamps? They went out of business around here eons ago....yeah the "gas cards" from groceries are ok, but they give the discount ONLY after you use your card and let them track you in all your purchases. nice eh?

I had thought so, but wasn't sure after the mention by Caitlinsdad :-)

I think he just got indoor plumbing so I figured he might still use them.

Look at the pretty wall paper I just put up Mable !!!

Sometimes companies delay or do not send the rebate hoping you'll FORGET IT...I have actually had someone that once worked in such a place tell me this. This way, no discount, no loss for the company.

Do you hear that irritating sound in the background? The one that sounds like someone has been blowdrying their hair for hours now? That is my blowdryer. It gets moved ever 10 minutes so as not to catch the oriental carpet it is trying to dry, on fire. Why is it doing that after I have spent many thousands of dollars on roofers only to find they left town after they didn't pull a permit and didn't stop my roof from leaking, and after I hired a well recommended roofer who was happy to take thousands and thousands more to put on a whole new roof but won't stand behind the warranty after after a week and didn't pay his suppliers who have put a lien on my house even though I paid the crooked roofer foolishly in full? Yeah, that noise, it will go on for days and days, I can't move the carpet as too much stuff is on top of it that is too heavy to move. Never buy a house with a flat roof. Ever.

Hmmm, when it rains, it pours. That's interesting that the supplier can put a lien on your house for the materials that should have been sold to the roofer. I guess I would go up on the roof and find a loose 2x4 and go after the roofer.

btw, there is an obscure law in NYC that you cannot beat your rug or carpet outside to clean it.  Some kind of air pollution thing.

I received paperwork that told me that I must check to see if the suppliers had been paid before I paid the roofer, I had no idea that that was more than a legality, meaning I did not actually pay it any attention, the job took over 6 months, I had not a clue that the roofer would have withheld the money from the tile company. I have complained to Tallahassee with reams of paperwork, showing my paid in full contract, photos of my leaking roof - they ruled in the roofers favor. It boggles my mind.

Good luck in dealing with local government bureaucracy.  You should contact the local TV news and put in your story for the consumer advocate personality to git after the city.

I have cc'ed the city everything I sent to the capitol, no response. My house smells like wet sheep. The city signed off on the inspection, they have no responsibility and they keep giving permits to the crooked roofer, that is what makes me so mad.

Today was snow again in NYC. This year I got an electric snowblower. I also got the 100 ft extention cord, a 12 gauge 15 amp heavy duty low temperature plastic covered one. And I picked up the windup cord-reel that says on the package for 100-150 foot cords.

Now I got some things to mod. The snow throwing chute seems to work it's way loose so I will have to make some kind of locking gear. It is tough to consistently aim for your neighbors car. The windup reel is so hard to grab and hold when winding up a heavy extention cord. The inner wheel grab is not really comfortable to hold with gloves. And the reel is just barely big enough to contain the wound up cord. Yeah, yeah, maybe the stand-up reel might have been better but it is bulkier to store.

I've got horrible toothache, been "medicated-out-of-my-brain" all day...


Sounds like you're ready to do some medieval tooth-pulling...

. I replaced the bathroom vanity. Now to go looking for the right plumbing parts to hook up the new faucet drain to the p-trap. Now in an old house, the p-trap is already there coming out of the wall. All the parts at the big box stores are p-trap configurations and pipe fittings to fit something that it stubbed horizontally out of the wall. So I have my measurements and diagram to see what I can find. Wouldn't you know it, you are at the store early to avoid the riffraff, and they close off the aisle you are in  because they need to forklift something two aisles away. I wait around for a while and it takes at least 4 workers to also stand around guarding the gates they put up. I am trying to get parts that they don't have in the first place and no one there knows anything about plumbing. So I get various parts, a 45 degree double-ended slip joint pipe, a wall tube, extra nuts and washers, and a flex connector. Get home, and then figure out I need a reducing fitting to get the 1 1/4 bathroom pipes to fit the 1 1/2 trap from the wall. Dang, still can't get away with only one trip to the hardware store.