Getting handy

I had to replace the sink disposal unit after it developed a leak. It also had been making rattling noise for a while, indicating the bearings might be shot. The leak was the clincher, though, so I decided to replace the disposal unit myself after viewing several YouTube videos on the subject.

Old disposal
The old disposal. Note the water stain underneath where it has been leaking
New disposal
New disposal

I opted to use the existing mounting bracket that sits in the bottom of the sink opening and supports the weight of the disposal unit. Since I purchased the same brand I was certain this approach would work — and it did. Sadly, there are differences in the old InSinkErator disposal unit and the new one. First, the height of the unit is slightly different so I had to use a new piece of plastic tubing when connecting it to the waste pipe. No big deal, just cut the provided tubing a few inches shorter and connect it to the exiting pipe. Unfortunately, there is a bigger difference in the diameter of the opening of the unit itself and how the sink baffle attaches to the sink mount. The new unit’s baffle is too large for the sink mount opening and will not fit. Looks like I will have to spend a little more time on this project to replace the sink mount unit, which means a trip to the hardware store to purchase some plumbers’ putty to seal it up correctly.

Overall, I am pleased with my work and feel confident taking on more DIY projects.

Lindsay Loves Animals

Lindsay holds her neighbor's rescue puppy.
Lindsay holds her neighbor’s rescue puppy.

Lindsay’s neighbor rescued a puppy from Craigslist so she has been bringing it to the park in an attempt to find a home for it. I am constantly amazed and inspired by her compassion for animals.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018

I travelled out to San Francisco for the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament. I had a fantastic time at AT&T Park watching the best sevens rugby teams in the world play for the title of World Champion in Sevens Rugby. The New Zealand men and women’s teams both won the title this year.

I also explored the Mission District of San Francisco and some of the local craft breweries, as one would expect me to do.

Has it been thirty years already?

Po-Hi 30 Year Reunion

I traveled back to my home town this weekend for my thirty-year high school class reunion. It was great seeing old friends again even though I had not kept in touch with most of them.

We started with a welcome mixer at an outdoor local bar where even the locals were sweating through their shirts. I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to live in the Denver, Colorado, area where it is rarely over 20% humidity and the temperatures rarely exceed 95 in the hottest part of the summer. I am also happy that we have outlawed smoking in most public places — I had to wash the clothing I was wearing twice when I made it back home to rid them of the nasty smoke odors.

88 cookies
88 cookies

On Saturday night we moved to an indoor venue, the local Country Club, for drinks, appetizers and an 80s tribute band, ostensively for dancing. Two of my favorite teachers from my high school years were also in attendance, and it was great to see them again!

80s Enuf
80s Enuf

I spent a few days with my father as well on this trip, which was wonderful. I am finding that spending time with family becomes more important as I get older.

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place
A Quiet Place

I was not sure what to think about “A Quiet Place” when I first saw trailers for it. It looked okay, if a little derivative. Felt like I had seen something like it before. I started reading good press about it a few weeks ago and HOW DID I NOT KNOW EMILY BLUNT IS IN IT? Apparently the story (as she related it on dozens of PR interviews) is that her husband John Krasinski was directing and staring in it and another actress was cast for the role of “the wife.” After reading the script, Blunt decided to take the role for herself… I guess it’s good to sleep with the boss in this particular case.

I really enjoyed how much (but not all) of the film is nearly silent. The lack of sound adds to the tension in spots while the soundtrack does help to crank up the anxious moments. I really appreciated that there is almost no mention of the backstory of how these creatures came to be on Earth, destroying almost all of society. I love when a film doesn’t have to explain its backstory to the audience.

One warning: the lack of audio in the film will definitely make you notice how awful and noisy the average filmgoer is these days.

Black Panther

Black Panther
Black Panther

As an old, fat Caucasian man I am not qualified to review the social importance of this film beyond the standard platitudes of “finally, a big-budget action film with a mostly black cast.” Sitting in the bar before the showing I overheard a lot of people who were VERY excited about the social importance of this film, though. It was great to see so many people enthused about a film!

I enjoyed the film and look forward to see how Wakanda fits into Marvel’s idealized universe in the future.

I Actually Won Something

Signed DU puck (by Lindsay)

Back in October I attended a University Of Denver hockey game over Homecoming weekend. Outside of the area before the game there was a beer garden, food and musical entertainment for “Hocktoberfest.” I entered to win a signed puck AND I WON! The puck came in the mail today.

Vortex Alley Brewing Company

Vortex Alley Brewing Company
Vortex Alley Brewing Company

Ponca City has a craft brewery!

I stopped in on Wednesday afternoon to check out their beers and was pleasantly surprised. I was also hopeful for their success as at 3:30 PM they were nearly full of patrons. Yes, I understand the brewery had only been open a couple weeks at this point so there was the “new factor” in play, but still optimistic for their long-term success. Their smoked stout was good and the specialty holiday beer, a cranberry gose, was also quite tasty. In fact, I took home a growler to share with the family.

We returned on Saturday night to another packed house and a sure sign of potential success for a new brewery: running out of beer. Several of the varieties were gone by Saturday evening, including the wheat beer that I assumed my father would be able to drink… he thinks most craft beers are “too wangy”.

I don’t envy the owners in gauging the ongoing demand for their product in an area where people will drive 20+ miles to shop at WalMart because they have green beans for a nickel per can cheaper. I also don’t envy their having to navigate Oklahoma’s strange and obscure liquor laws. Nobody under 21 years of age can enter the premises, even just to deliver food; apparently they cannot open on Sunday; closing time is 9 PM; growlers must be sealed with tape (???). I suppose the people of Oklahoma should be happy they can actually consume the product on the premises, something that wasn’t allowed before this year. I also understand there are more taproom-friendly law changes coming in 2018.

Opening over a holiday weekend ensures good crowds but puts the pressure on to keep plenty of beer on-hand. They have also already learned that food trucks often cancel at the last minute, and my question about bringing my dogs in the taproom had not yet been anticipated. Judging from photos online they did allow a small dog inside later. One of my favorite aspects of Colorado breweries is an outdoor patio area but I don’t know where they would put a patio in their limited space.

I wish them nothing but continued success and pan to return over the Christmas holidays.