Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Toilet Troubles

The toilet was broken, and I was the man to fix it.  
I knew I could fix it. I was mostly sure I could fix it.
The plastic pipe letting the water into the cistern had stopped working, and I had already bought the replacement, still flying high from successfully putting up a venetian blind the day before, with minimal errors.
I was surely in the black in man-points, a toilet would be no problem, after all it was only two screws to undo and tighten up again. Then what could I do next? Maybe service the boiler, maybe build a new shed, solve the Middle East peace process? The world, or maybe the flat and garden was my oyster.

But first the job in hand, I had my replacement pipe still sitting in the Homebase bag on the side, my spanner in hand I began, I imagined emerging from the bathroom in a matter of minutes, another man-job completed more man-points on the board.
"Do you think you'll be able to do it though?" asked my girlfriend Kat.
"I'm sure I will be able to, after all if you look at it" I held up the box holding the replacement plastic pipe "There are just two bolts to tighten really, and if I do it we will save money on a plumber"
I was confident I could fix it, I was almost certain I was sure I could do it.

I turned the spanner twice more and the original pipe came off, this was going to be easy.
I took the replacement out of the box.  This DIY stuff was a doddle, what was all the fuss about anyway? 

Two hours later and I was getting nowhere fast, one of the two bolts on the new pipe just didn't fit. I had been upside down, sideways, every which way, but I couldn't get the last bolt on, it just wouldn't go, and then when thought I’d take it out and start again it got completely stuck.
Kat knocked on the door, "Are you okay in there"
"Yes nearly done" I lied, hoping she wouldn't come in to see the truth.

I had been turning it one way and then the other for so long that I could no longer actually remember which way tightened, and which way undid it.
Luckily I could Google that answer on my phone and finish the job.
A soon as I pushed ok on google using the phrase 'how do I screw' I realised the error of my ways, I'm sure none of those websites that were returned in the search would help in this situation.

If I could just undo something else I would remember which way to unscrew and which way did it up again.
Kat opened the bathroom door to see me unscrewing the shower head. "What are you doing? I thought you were mending the toilet?"
"I am, I’m just checking this too"
"OK" She looked concerned "I’ll see you later, remember if you need to we can call out that plumber"
I fumed silently, I didn’t need to call out a plumber, I could do this, really I could fix this, as soon as I undid this bolt so I could start again.
Could I really do this? I thought about having to call out a plumber, and have that feeling of uselessness. Whenever a plumber, builder or tradesman came round I found myself trying sounding what I thought a tradesman would sound, to compensate for my lack of knowledge. I’d end up sounding a lot more cockney to try to sound more 'blokey'.  Last time the window cleaner came round and asked about my guttering I shut the front door and realised I’d been doing some kind of rubbish Danny Dyer impression.
I just couldn't go through that again, I would finish this task.
Maybe if I got the big wrench on it and gave it one big turn it may work? I got it from the shed. 
It turned slightly, so I gave it everything I had, SNAP.
"That didn't sound good." I thought
The new plastic pipe fell in half on the floor, that wasn't supposed to happen, but looking on the bright side at least it wasn't stuck anymore, I knew I'd have to go back to buy another one. 

I did the long walk of shame back to Homebase, and saw the same cashier that had served me earlier, she looked confused like she'd just had Deja vu.
When I got back home Kat asked why the toilet was still broken and I was holding another new inlet pipe under my arm, when it was 'almost done' three hours ago.. 
"Erm, there were technical issues" I spluttered.
I had to go and have a cup of tea, just to have a rest for a moment before I tried again. Maybe I should watch a few more videos on YouTube of how it should be done.

Ten minutes later I prepared myself to start again, but it was done. In the time I’d had a cup of tea Kat had replaced the pipe and turned the water back on, she had finished the job where I had failed.
"It was just two bolts really" she started "and just think of the money we saved in plumbers fees"

"I think that first one was probably faulty" I said, although I know it wasn't.
Better start on fixing that shower head now I thought.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Thumb Wars

Thumb is an app, a way of connecting and discussing topics with people all over the world. 
In their own words - 
'After launching the concept in 2010, we were surprised to find that people wanted to use the Thumb to get and give feedback in virtually every area of life (music, artwork, shopping, hairstyles, relationships, movies, food, etc.). When combining the breadth and speed of these shared opinions, tons of simultaneous conversations were sparked around things that mattered.
And just as quickly, those conversations turned into meaningful connections between like-minded individuals'
Not so. 
As with most forums and discussion groups on the internet people just go there to argue. Sounds like my kind of place.

I was browsing Thumb, when the question below appeared next to a picture of a man carrying some kind of large assault rifle.

Travis P – what part of 'shall not be infringed' do anti-gun people not understand?

The idea of owning and using guns is totally alien to me, so I felt i had to answer and start the inevitable 'discussing' with me and Travis P.


Chris – the fact they kill people – I’m glad I live in the UK

Travis P – Swimming pools kill people, Dr's kill people, cars kill people, hammers kill people, lets ban them all!!!!!lets ben hammers

Chris – Ben Hammers?? West ham supporter is he? Yeah they can be a bit violent sometimes.

Travis P – What? What’s west ham? Ban I meant, let's ban hammers

Chris – West Ham are a football team in England. So you want to ban hammers now?????

Travis P – are you a British soccer cunt? No wonder you don’t understand what I’m talking about.

Chris – Wait one moment, please do not use that word, I find it totally offensive and I think you are totally out of order using it. Its football, not soccer.
So why do you want hammers banned and not guns?

Travis P  - Like I said man Swimming pools kill people, Drs kill people, cars kill people, hammers kill people, show me some facts to prove me wrong, you have no argument, you’re pathetic.

Chris – Cars and things can kill people yes, but they were not designed for that purpose, so if they do kill it by chance or an accident, guns were designed primarily to kill.

Travis P – Dr's killed 194,000 people last year, guns around 9000, so your logic is flawed.  y’all outlawed guns, but you still have murder – how is that then? Mystery.

Chris – Yeah we still have murderers, but we don’t give them a head start by making it easy to arm them, that would really be crazy. Our murder rate and gun crime rate is tiny compared to yours – look it up.

Travis P – Bullshit – your home invasion laws are much higher than ours – why is that? Oh yeah you can’t protect yourselves like we can.

Chris – Firstly how did we get onto home break-ins? We were discussing guns, secondly I wouldn’t want to kill someone if they came into my house – two wrongs do not make a right. You’ve heard of Oscar Pistorius yes? Or does your knowledge of current affairs not go beyond the edge of your trailer park? If he did not have a gun his girlfriend might still be alive today.

Travis P - I’ve got a customer’s gun in to test for accuracy today, it sat there and didn’t kill anyone. So let me get this right – criminals committing a crime means I can’t have constitutionally protected right?

Chris - Yes that’s right, that’s the job of the police, you have no right to take the law into your own hands and make the situation worse by killing someone. You’re beginning to get this – we’ll make you civilised yet cowboy.

Travis P – try giving me some actual facts – you cannot win against me – give me yours sources – give me your sources!  the FBI says you’re wrong, congress says you’re wrong, CDC says you’re wrong. Prove them wrong and come back to me.  I DARE YOU!

Chris – OK let’s start with some basics – I think its best we are as basic as possible. You said yourself that 9000 people died because of guns last year – yes? That would be 9000 people still alive without guns then wouldn’t it? Are you with me still?
There are 9000 people with bullet holes in them wishing there were no guns for a start.

Travis P– show me facts man – show me some sources.

Chris  - See Below

Travis P – What the hell? Is everything a joke with you? This is SERIOUS

Chris – To be honest I find when in talking to a clown, sometimes jokes are the only language they can comprehend.

Travis P – I am the clown? I AM THE CLOWN?

Chris – Correct again – it’s wonderful how you are catching onto the truth of things now – well done. Let’s  go basic again to see if you have this. In England we have a much lower gun crime rate than you do – do you understand that?

Travis P – because we have 300,000,00 guns, dig it will be higher

Chris – So you have answered this yourself, you have more gun crime because you have more guns, now follow through on this line of thought – if you had LESS guns would it not therefore work out that you would have less gun crimes? Come on genius – stay with me on this one…

Travis P – NO – You have no proof! No stats, no common sense yet again, No validity – PROVE ME WRONG I DARE YOU!

Chris – Why are you so angry all the time? Wow it’s lucky that someone so angry doesn’t have access to guns and high velocity ammunition…….uh oh…..
The problem here is that you just don’t listen, even when someone presents the other side of the argument you just don’t listen. And laws can change over the years – here are some crazy laws from the US;

In Alabama, it is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle
In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed
In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth

Just because something in law that was ok and worked 100+ years ago doesn’t mean it’s still relevant in society today. We have more information now and we understand now why it is no longer okay. Its the same with owning guns I and most right-minded people think.

Travis P – Fuck you retard.

Chris – Pleasant to the last. Thanks for the reasoned debate, talking to you reminded me of this...