Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, February 21, 2005

ON TO FAIRFIELD! As part of my Get Things Done Initiative, not only did I decide to strike out for the western hinterlands, I also decided to air up the rear tire on Moby and take him for a jaunt to get his juices flowing again. It’s been a while, witnessed by the fact that it actually took three hits on the ignition before the starter would kick over. Ran fine after that. I made sure the younger kids were gainfully set to their respective room-cleaning tasks, and that the older two girls weren’t ready to kill each other, and that Reba was ready to go on her Excel project (or so I thought), and then I was off.


It’s been a long time since I’d been to Fairfield, although when I was growing up, Western Hills Mall was quite the swinging place. Again, however, that was a long time ago. Got to the Fairfield version of Home Despot and walked over to the flooring department.

Wandered around awhile.


The guy in Trussville told me (admittedly, several months ago) that this store kept my cheapo, 1/4 inch Bruce flooring in stock, but I could not find it anywhere. Finally found some guy who looked to be the flooring guy, and showed him my wonderful sample.

“No, we don’t carry that. And I don’t know who would. Although you might try Mazer’s.”

It’s important that you not cry in a hardware store, so I stifled my sobs, and in a fit of despair asked the guy how much it would cost to have Home Despot come out and install something for me. He wasn’t really very helpful, but as best as I could figure out, to replace the whole floor (which is about four feet wide by six feet long or so) would be about 32 million dollars.

I walked on out to the van and tried to figure out what to do. I didn’t want to do the whole floor myself, because it’s just too much trouble. I thought about another material, but I have even less ability to cut tile and even less inclination. ::sigh:: Well, there is one other possible choice--I figured I’d take the guy’s advice and go to Mazer’s and see what I could find. Surely they’d have something.

For those of you not from Birmingham, Mazer’s is about as close to a Middle Eastern bazaar as you’re going to find. They have building supplies, appliances, salvage, groceries--a little bit of everything, and then some. And it draws all sorts, too--from rich Brookies to truckloads of Mexican day laborers, all fighting for a spot in the tiny, convoluted parking lot.

They don’t have any 1/4 inch Bruce wood flooring, however. And I looked and looked. And even asked. No dice. ::sigh::

Well, poop.

I walked back out and sat there in the van for a minute. Gonna put the derned toilet back down on the floor, and hire someone to put in a floor, and that’s going to be it. Tired of fooling with this mess.

On to home, got there and told wife of plans, who didn’t really care as long as I helped her IMMEDIATELY figure out her Excel homework. The kids had actually made some headway cleaning their rooms, although in the midst of trying to figure out a toggle code in Excel, someone walked in and wanted to know if she could go skating. “When you get your room clean, and when I get the potty stuck back down to the floor.”

I managed to get released from computing duty and went back downstairs to get to work. When I had originally left the crapper out-of-action, lo so many weeks ago, I had decided at the time to purchase a handy no-wax, no-leak Fluidmaster do-hickey to provide the seal to the floor hub. So, I got that out, read the handy instructions, and shoved it into the soil pipe. No muss, no fuss. Bolts were no trouble, either, due to two little plastic discs that held them just-so. Grabbed up the pot/tank combo (yes, I know it would have been easier without the tank on) and caaaaaarefulllllllyyyyyy lowered it down and, success!


It wasn’t quite all the way down. Hmm. There was something holding it up too high. Hmm. I took it off and reset it. Hmm. I sat on it. Hmm. I lifted it back off and thought it might be the little paper spacer getting in the way. Hmm. Nope. I lifted it off and rolled it forward one more time, and then sat down on the floor to see what was wrong.

It seems my handy, no-wax, no-mess sealing kit stood up above the flange ever-so-slightly too much. No amount of pushing or reorienting it would make it go all the way down. Undone by a conflict between the inside and the outside diameter of two stupid hunks of plastic.

Hmph. And Grr. And several choice words that I had to ask forgiveness for.

But, having now set my hand to the plow, there was no turning back. The stupid toilet was GOING to get bolted back down. In amongst a general cacophony of the tools clinking together as I disgustedly gathered them together, “Daddy?”

“What, sugar?”

“Can we go skating now?”


“No, baby--Daddy has to go get something from the store, and he has to fix the potty first. Go finish cleaning your room.”

“Is the potty going to be broken forever?”

“Go clean your room.”

NEXT: Wax on.

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