the world of plumbers
this morning's mission: find an 18" long half inch diameter chrome plated pipe for my showerhead. because there's a window at the far end of my bathtub, the showerhead, instead of coming from that far end wall like in normal bathrooms, actually comes out from the wall on the side of the tub, then angles awkwardly at a 90 degree angle to point inside the tub. it's not a big deal, works just the same as any other showerheads, except the pipe that it's attached to is too short so the showerhead actually sprays in the direction of a tiled wall lining the side of the bathtub instead of the bathtub itself. i guess this has never bothered the previous tenants of my house, none of them ever bothering to fix it, instead, leaving it just the way it is, so when they take showers, they're actually leaning against the wall because that's where it's spraying. however, this showerhead situation does bother me, and getting it fixed will give me the peace of mind that will allow me to sleep at nights.

first stop, a place called watertown supplies. the location of this industrial warehouse store is obvious - it's located in watertown - but what exactly does it supply? turns out this is one of the places plumbers go when they need to buy parts for a job. i explained to the guy behind the counter what i needed. the longest size they had was a 12", not long enough (they could special order it, but it sounded expensive and time consuming). i ended up just getting a 4" chrome plated nipple (just a short piece of pipe threaded at both ends) and a pair of split sketchums (sp.) for the bathroom sink. the counter guy recommended that we go to metropolitan pipe supplies located on binney street in cambridge. hmmm, that sounds familiar. that's because that's the street where my previous job was at. i remember passing by the large metropolitan warehouse many times, but never really noticed what it was they did. well, a small world, now i know. at metropolitan they didn't have the pipe i wanted either, and their longest size was even shorter, only 6". this counter guy told me to go see this other guy sitting by a desk in the back. i guess this guy is their problem solver, i told him my situation, he gave it some though, and said they carried 18" long 3/8" diameter pipes, so i could just get a pair of bushings which are these little adapter pieces that can connect two pipes of different diameters and be able to use that pipe instead. problem solved! i bought the necessary parts and left.

doing the laundry, trust me, it's f-u-n
i was by myself at the house most of the day, waiting for the electrician to come but who never showed up, and waiting for the plumbers to come but they too didn't show up (but at least they called, can't say that about my electrician, but i don't think he's deserted me since i haven't paid him yet for his labor). i spent the day doing more cleaning, unloading all the home accessory items i bought from the middlesex mall yesterday. dish rack, chopping block, soap dish, shower curtains, hooks, etc. i bought a few towels which i threw into the washing machine and then the dryer. what's that called? oh right, doing laundry! having an in-unit washer/dryer totally rocks. i don't have to leave my house to do the laundry, and the best thing is that it's totally free, no quarters, i can wash all day and be engulfed by the warth of fragrant just-out-of-the-dryer clean clothes! first thing i'm doing when i fully move in is to wash all my clothes. i don't care if they're clean or dirty, my entire wardrobe demands a thorough washing! if nothing else, it'll give me the opportunity to play with the washer/dryer some more!

street cleaning
my first encounter with the notorious cambridge street cleaning crew. at around 11am a car drove my street announcing from a set of roof-mounted loudspeakers that today was street cleaning and people should move their cars. i look out the window, and like obedient subjects, one side of the street was entirely free of vehicles. minutes later, the cleaning truck came by, not just once, but twice (i'm assuming the street's must be pretty dirty). here's a reason not to buy a car in cambridge! unless you have private parking of course, but most condos in cambridge don't have that sort of luxury.

paint stripping, it can get dangerous
i did a little paint stripping today and accidently found myself on the business end of a heat gun, burning a dime sized welt on my left wrist. the left side of my body has been suffering a lot of injuries recently! it hurt like crazy when it first happened, even though i couldn't really see anything. the only thing that helped was holding my wrist under cold running water. later, a red welt started to form, with a perimeter of what looked to be faint rashes. the rashes would disappear, but the welt eventually turned into this brownish burnt flesh color and it feels kind of rough to the touch. i think it's only a first degree burn, just the skin. home renovation isn't all fun and games!

beautiful tree, ugly acorns
all day longed i was listening to the sounds of acorns dropping onto my backyard deck. fearing a massive rainfall of acorns, i went outside to do some cleaning, pick up whatever acorns i could find and throw them away. although some fell from the oak tree naturally, most of them were actually caused by hungry squirrels. it's weird, i know squirrels love acorns, and they should probably be all living by that oak tree, but so far i've had very little squirrel sightings, only evidence of their handiwork. maybe if they ate all the acorns i wouldn't have to pick them up, but squirrels are messy eaters, and they don't eat the whole thing, leaving the shells.

i start to paint
i started to paint tonight. if i had a choice, i would probably wait another day or two, do some more preparation, patch some more cracks, make sure the walls were perfectly smooth and all the wood details like the doors and windows and baseboards were clean. but because my friend claudio is coming to visit on wednesday and living here for a few days (he called me today to let me know he's bringing a female guest as well, i hope one of them likes sleeping on the floors, and get use to the fact that i don't have curtains), i wanted to be sure that at least the guest bedroom would be in pretty good shape, a fresh coat of primer to cover up the walls and ceiling. i've painted before, so i have some experience, but it's been a while since the last time i painted, so there was some initial trial and error to get my techniques down. my father and i opened up the 5 gallon bucket worth of primer we got from home depot, stirring the paint until it turned from watery to thick. he left to run some errands while i started the actual painting. i began with the trimming brush (this flat plastic rectangle with a handle on one side and a brush surface on the other side), going around the doors, above the baseboards, below the trims on the ceiling. after i had that done, i used a roller to paint the main sections of the walls. when my father came back, he helped me with some of the painting. he was on roller duty, i used the trimming brush to do the area above the ceiling trims. it took 3 hours and about a gallon worth of paint, but the guest bedroom has been primed, at least the walls (windows, baseboards, trims using a different kind of paint, a glossy primer). i left with my hands stained with paint, which i proudly show off as home renovation battle scars along with my heat gun burn.

oh, by the way, after 3 days of intense e-mail tag, i finally got my server back up. no apologies from my webhost, no "we'll gladly reimburse you for the 3 days of downtime you've experienced." can anyone recommend a good webhost i might want to transfer to?