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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Home Repair FAIL

Shortly after we moved into our last apartment, my mom offered me a chair her office wanted to get rid of.  I wanted an office chair, so I was enthusiastic to get one for free, even though my mom warned me that the chair had an "idiosyncrasy".  I concluded that it was probably one of those chairs that makes fart noises whenever anyone sits on it.  Alas, the idiosyncrasy wasn't nearly that entertaining.

It turned out that the problem was that the chair would no longer stay in an elevated position once anyone sat on it.  This wouldn't necessarily be an inconvenience to everyone, but I'm someone who special orders pants with a 36" inseam.  Raising a chair's seat contributes considerably to my comfort.  Still, it was a nice chair, so we brought it back to our apartment.

It occurred to me to wonder if I could fix the chair.  I did some looking on the internet, and sure enough, a solution presented itself to me.  The problem was in the chair's gas cylinder, and all I needed to do was replace it.

Shortly thereafter, we learned that we would be moving again, so I postponed doing anything with the chair.  After we moved into our new apartment, though, I decided to order a replacement gas cylinder and get cracking.  I'm not super handy (except maybe with jewelry pliers!) but I do enjoy learning how to fix things.  One thing I love about the internet--and I mean this in the most non-perverted way possible--is that you can find instructions and/or videos on how to do almost anything.

When my gas cylinder arrived yesterday, I perused some of these videos.  One of them recommended unscrewing the apparatus under the seat and then using brute force with a hammer to dislodge the old gas cylinder from that and the wheeled base.  Despite our rather sizeable collection of screwdrivers, I couldn't find one that would fit these particular screws.  Finally, I realized that a hex key we got years ago with some Ikea furniture we put together would work!  So I unscrewed the apparatus under the seat of the chair.

I then tried to dislodge the gas cylinder using the hammer.  Not only did this not work, but it made quite a racket, which I felt self-conscious about since I live in an apartment building.  I went back to the videos.

The next video I watched featured someone using a pipe wrench to remove the old gas cylinder.  I surveyed my collection of wrenches.  I tried several that may or may not have been pipe wrenches, but all they did was scrape the metal without moving the gas cylinder at all.

The last video I watched showed someone spraying WD-40 in the places where the gas cylinder connected to the chair, and then dislodging it with a rubber mallet.  I had neither WD-40 nor a rubber mallet, but thought that the latter at least might be useful to have on hand.  So I went to bed with my chair a collapsed mess on the floor, and then went to a hardware store this morning.

I dragged the chair onto our balcony so I could use the WD-40 in a well-ventilated area.  Then, I tried very, very hard to dislodge the gas cylinder using the rubber mallet.  No dice at all.  Scott gave it a try, and did manage to dislodge one of the wheels, but the gas cylinder remained stubbornly in place.

Defeated, I put the chair back together.  I am now the proud owner of a rubber mallet that looks like it came straight out of Looney Tunes and a new gas cylinder that I may or may not ever be able to use.  Maybe the solution is to find a much shorter person whose office chair is stuck in a permanently elevated position and orchestrate a trade.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Moving Milestone

We moved into our new apartment on Saturday, and today marks the first day since then that we've had all three meals in our apartment!  I even made a dessert and some granola to have with breakfast tomorrow.

The unpacking is easier this time than it was for our last apartment, which we moved into not even two months ago.  I already sorted our belongings and got rid of stuff in the last apartment.  Now, I just have to finish figuring out where to put things.  Every apartment layout is a little different, and I decided to order some shelves to keep order in a particularly cavernous closet.

The weirdest idiosyncrasies I've seen in this apartment so far are:
1.  A refrigerator with a missing crisper drawer.
2.  A shower with water pressure so strong that it actually blows the shower curtain around.
3.  A front-loading washing machine whose door won't close, causing us to be unable to do laundry at this time.

With luck, those will be resolved soon, and we'll have a more functional, if perhaps more boring, apartment.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Today's Mystery

Overheard today in Whole Foods:

"What *is* Chapel Hill toffee??"

And...the person who asked the question was holding up a box that looked like this.

Boxes in Pot.jpg

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Bright Spot Amid The Chaos

I'll save the entire story for another post, but Scott and I are moving again.  The story behind this move is a happy one, but...this will be our second move to a new apartment in a span of less than two months.  I had assumed that our current apartment would be only a temporary home, but I hadn't counted on it being quite this temporary.  I ordered checks with our new address and threw out most of our boxes.  I also took a lot of care in organizing and arranging our stuff because I wanted our apartment to be as comfortable and homelike as possible.  So by removing things from their carefully chosen places and boxing them up again, I feel like I'm in a state of regression.

When we first moved in, I spent so much time sorting through our belongings and weeding out stuff we didn't need that I didn't think I'd find any surprises when I started packing again.  But, when I took out a suitcase to start packing out-of-season clothes, I found my camera, which I thought had gone missing when we came back from Kazakhstan!  I can't imagine what sort of brain fart caused me to leave something I use on a fairly regular basis in a suitcase, which I then closed up, and put away in a closet.  I can only conclude that moving makes me really ditzy, which makes it all the more scary that I'm doing it again so soon already.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Yet Another Way To Spend Money!

I was using the Washington, DC metro trip planner the other day to time metro rides to some different places, when I noticed an ad for some DC metro themed merchandise.  I was immediately intrigued.  When I lived in the DC area previously, I was a huge metro fan.  I'll admit that part of my affection for the metro system has to do with my extreme discomfort with driving and the fact that I didn't usually ride metro during rush hour.  But all of that aside, I think most reasonable people could agree that there are times when it is extremely useful.

Getting back to the ad, there is a DC metro gift shop!  And it goes far beyond t-shirts, coffee mugs, and the like.  Check out these awesome items:

A metro cuff bracelet, for those times when your outfit isn't complete without that special statement accessory!

A shower curtain, for those bathrooms whose color schemes include red, orange, yellow, green, and blue!

Best of all, there are costumes for kids!

Get excited for next Christmas, everyone!