And With Spring Just Around the Corner …

With apologies to the Southern Hemisphere

Let’s face it, gentle reader(s). If you live in the more temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere on the Third Rock from the Sun, it’s been a long, hard winter. We’ve had long stretches where a temperature of zero felt warm. I’m talking in Fahrenheit here!

Even though the Vernal Equinox has come and gone, I still feel like meteorological spring is a long way off. And frankly, I’ve had it! As if that’s going to change anything.

Now I know that those of you who live nearer the equator may be saying “Well rudyblues, you could move.” Really? Move because I couldn’t stand the weather? What, you think I’m a Rockefeller or something?

My house this winter

And there’s probably some of you farther north who are saying “Wimp! You call that cold? Come up here, we’ll show you cold.” And all I have to say to all of you is “Hey, it’s my rant, I’ll cry if I want to.”

But there’s always been something about spring that I enjoy. Like that first really warm day, when everyone climbs out of their winter lairs, all wan-eyed and pasty-faced, and say to each other “Holy crap, that was a long, cold winter, wasn’t it?”

Or like the way the grass in the lawn goes crazy, but it rains so much that the mower sinks up to the gas cap when you try to mow. I hope pin-striped yards are a hit this spring.

Or like when those spring storms sweep in, with hail the size of acorn squash and winds that peel the paint off your car. And then, the next day, it’s warm and sunny, so you can clearly see all the damage.

Or like those “pneumonia fronts.” Not familiar with those? That’s a weather change where the temperature drops more than 18 degrees in an hour. In case you’re math challenged, that’s three degrees every 10 minutes. Try dressing for that change!

And there’s always that spring where it snows three feet of snow in early April. That’s always a joy. Especially since the next day it’s always 65 degrees and sunny and flash flooding. Woot!

Come to think of it, maybe I should just stay inside until July or August. I’ll let everyone else usher in spring. Summer’s more my style anyway. Just saying.

Home Repair with rudyblues

Another reason rudyblues won’t be on This Old House anytime soon

Life threw everything at me this morning, gentle reader(s). Including the kitchen sink.

Old rudyblues, your humble correspondent, woke up this morning at the usually appointed hour for a weekend (somewhere before the crack of noon) with big plans and high hopes. Well, plans anyway. Not really so big, just the usual weekend domestic stuff that I hope to get done every weekend, but usually don’t accomplish. You know the kind, right?

He padded downstairs in his stocking feet and tried to make some coffee. Stepped up to the kitchen sink to fill the water carafe for the coffee maker and stepped square into something cold and wet.

Now stepping into something cold and wet is not altogether unheard of here at Rancho Retardo. After all, my Cat Master Jenna occasionally leaves me little fur origami figures in little puddles of something that resembles weak broth.

Cat Master Jenna

But this was completely different. Hair balls make a wet spot on the bottom of one foot. It’s disconcerting, but you’ve got one foot left you can still dance to when you encounter one. This was both feet, and I swear it was knee deep!

So rather than jump quickly onto the dry foot, since there wasn’t one, I looked down at my feet and discovered that a body of water the size of Lake Erie had collected in the night. Oh joy. And me with no coffee.

I thought I would make some coffee before tackling the cleanup and repair work that had suddenly appeared in my schedule, so I put the carafe below the spout and turned on the water. That’s when I realized the nature and severity of my dilemma. Water ran harder under the sink than in the sink.

The sink has one of those lift-out spouts that doubles as a sprayer. It had developed a leak somewhere in the armored hose, so each time you turned the water on it sprayed water all over the inside of the cabinet below the sink. Woo hoo!

Now I can hear you saying right now “rudyblues, you moron, that had to be going on for a long time to collect a body of water the size of Lake Erie, how could you not have noticed.” Yeah, well, stuff happens, okay? I heard something funny, I just never made the connection.

So my first order of business was pumping down Lake Erie. Well, actually it was a couple of bath towels, but I’m working the body of water angle here. Once the kitchen floor was dry I tackled the cabinet.

I opened the door and saw that the usual array of soaps and cleaners and sprays were all suited up with little life preservers, bobbing about in the bottom of the cabinet. Well, maybe not bobbing. But they were wet. A saturated cardboard box of Brillo scouring pads makes a real mess, ya know?

Unloaded the cabinet, sopped up the water, shut off the water to the faucet and then assessed the damage. Not too bad, and since I had plans to replace the faucet eventually, a trip to the big box home improvement store was indicated. My diagnosis, my treatment.

Now if you’ve ever been to the big box home improvement store with rudyblues, you know that every trip means some repair or improvement is imminent. Well, imminent might be a stretch sometimes, but today it was imminent. And every repair or improvement requires a new tool. It’s how I roll.

But today I was on a Mission from God since I still hadn’t had my coffee. I know, I should have stopped at Starbucks, but I wasn’t thinking straight. Did you know that you can spend the equivalent of the GNP of some developing countries on kitchen faucets? Who buys those things? I actually left the big box home improvement store without a new tool. The manager asked if I was feeling okay. That’s how unusual this was.

So I’m back home, facing the sink, thinking okay let’s get the old faucet off. Replacing a faucet is something akin to playing Twister with drain pipes, water pipes, a double sink and a garbage disposal while lying on your back in a space that’s tight for hobbits, let alone normal, slightly overweight (hah!) middle-aged men. Needless to say, blue words were spoken. Too bad Cat Master Jenna doesn’t have opposable thumbs, I could have used her help.


So, some scraped knuckles, a few colorful phrases I didn’t know I could string together, enough ups and downs to crush my step total for the day, and I’m now into that period of satisfaction that comes after accomplishing something in two plus hours that professionals accomplish in mere minutes. Don’t touch it! It’s just for formal occasions.

And So It Begins. Again.

Dispatches from corporate headquarters

Hello lovely reader(s). Hey, I’ve got great news! Reorgapalooza is back! I know! Woo-hoo! What’s that? What’s Reorgapalooza? Read on.

Some (one?) of you may remember the last time we went through Reorgapalooza. I wrote about it in one of my year end reviews. It was a magical time. There were org charts and SharePoint sites and press releases and all kinds of wonderfulness. And it’s back!

The soulless multi-national conglomerate that I work for has a new CEO. There’s a new sheriff in town. And you know what that means, right? Yes, that’s right, it’s time for the quadrennial corporate reorganization!

This year’s version is starting to look like a real doozy, with plenty of synergies and competencies and outside-the-box thinking. Why it was just four short years ago that we held our last Reorgapalooza, which was supposed to get us lean-and-mean for the year 2020. And we’re already having another one and it’s just 2019! Brilliant!

The way I see it, this can only mean one of two things. Either the last Reorgapalooza was such a roaring success that the business community is loudly clamoring for an encore performance, or we failed abjectly and the new sheriff is riding in tout de suite to put out the flames and save the damsels in distress. In his first week in the saddle he’s already whacked one of the old sheriff’s capos, and abolished the previous reorganization, so methinks it might be the latter case. Just saying.

So it seems we’re just calling a four year do-over. Taking a mulligan. Psych. I meant to do that. And if you think old rudyblues’ life is going to change, can I interest you in some nice ocean-front property? In Arizona?