Thursday, May 13, 2021

Friday the 13th fell on Thursday this month

 Thanks, Walt Kelly for that particular witty nugget, and not much else, in retrospect. 

It was 600 days ago when I began running. I have been keeping track of my days and distance, and while I don't go far on a daily basis, I figure I make it up in volume. I have missed 10 days out of those 600, due to injury, illness (I had a cold in late 2019 - in retrospect it must have been the Chinese Creeping Crud) and on at least two of those days we had typhoons. But otherwise I have been out there, pickin' 'em up and puttin' 'em down, rain, shine, gloom of night, etc. It works for me.

I'll tell you what doesn't work for me - my stove. My house was built in 1951 and I think the stove was replaced in the 1970s sometime. It worked fine for years, but I have lived here for 10 years and one by one the burners have given up. Now I am down to one working burner. And while I prepare all my own meals, only rarely do I use two burners at once. So I am getting by for now. But I know it is just a matter of time until the last burner shorts out. 

So this is a simple problem to resolve, right? Go to the store, buy another stove, either install it myself or pay someone to R&R the current unit. That's where the story goes off the rails. The range is a 27" wide drop-in unit. Had I not needed to buy one, like right now, I would never have learned that they are not only not in stock, they may never be in stock again. Sure, at the store they will tell you that in 60 or 90 days the manufacturer may consider making one or shipping one to the retailer, but don't you count on it, bunky! I was even able to get past the nearly $1,600 price tag for this tiny stove, when normal size stoves sell for a third of that. 

So, as someone who has done carpentry his entire life I figured out what it would take to rework the cabinets and countertop in order to make room for a standard size stove. All doable, but given how old and slow I am, I need something to cook on while I am doing the carpentry. So, how about a nice two burner hotplate - that would do the job. 

A bit more thinking and what do you know - since I only need two burners at most, how about a two burner hotplate made a bit more permanent - you know, attached to the range top somehow - that appeals to both the cheap me and the lazy me. Sounds like a plan!

Then when I need to move on, or when a stove becomes available (remind me when the supply chain will get better - I have heard "never" - does that sound about right to you?) then I will deal with it. In the meantime I will still be able to cook, still swim around in my Scrooge McDuck money bin and all will be right with the world. Win/win.

Now for some pictures - it was 42 degrees here last night, yet some of the local irises are hanging in there:

My dog admires the pretty flars.

The evening sky was interesting:

We have had a lot of overcast and it was cold and rainy this morning - it's nice to get some sunshine.

How about some all-singing all-dancing videos:

I never tire of these, and this one is brilliantly done - watch how the lyrics match the dancing.

I remember America, even when the sound track is Aussie.


That young whippersnapper Trooper posted while I was writing this one - sorry about stepping on your post, but there is a certain commonality between the two. Gold, old, cold, so it goes...

Update part deux:

I swear, I can stop any time I want to!

Catherine O'Hara at 1:11 - yeah, no, no theme, not at all...

But wait, there is more:

My dog in the bamboo.


ndspinelli said...

Great clip. I would have put the tango scene from Scent of a Woman in there.

ndspinelli said...

We used to do all sorts of mind altering activities in the dorm. But, having a hot plate was the only thing our floor proctor cared about. A friend had several hot plates confiscated. He would fry Spam. You can smell that 2 blocks away.

Sixty Grit said...

Now that's funny - was he Hawaiian? That is the national foodstuff of that state.

I was talking to a guy about hot plates and dorms - he was saying the same thing, and I get it - one has to pay attention to any potential source of ignition. A dorm has a lot of folks in it and fire is potentially very bad in a place like that.

ndspinelli said...

He was a North Jersey dude. Fried Spam on white bread w/ mayo. And we had practices much more prone to fire starting than hot plates.

ampersand said...

Is it an electric stove or gas? Are your burners fried or the igniters?

Sixty Grit said...

Sorry I skipped that part - it is electric and the three of the four elements are burned out. I spent time working on replacing them in the past, turns out the switches and the wiring are burned out, too. It's very old and when I try to use the first two failed elements there is a spark and the circuit breaker trips. I consider that to be suboptimal, if not as dangerous as a Jersey dude under the influence of Spam.

I suppose I could get the gas company to run a line, swap out the electric for a more direct ignition source and get the conflagration started early, but for now, a hot plate will suffice. I will fix it when we all get back to normal - you know, normal like the back half of an economy sedan being pulled by a horse, Eastern european style.

Dad Bones said...

Twenty years ago a customer gave me her stove when she got a $1600 model. It didn't do too well riding in a trailer with no springs on the way to my kitchen and has been a little out of balance ever since. And it lost a leg in the process so one corner is propped up with scrap wood and cardboard giving me a stovetop that never stays level because the cardboard is always getting crushed or slipping out. Four fire breathing burners, though, so it stands a good chance of outliving me.

With all the wood around your place, Sixty, it probably wouldn't take you long to rig up a wood burning stove in case the Russian hackers figure out how to knock out our electrical power.

Some Seppo said...

Sixty could burn flars to cook over. Food'd smell purty.

I had to do the carpentry thing soon after we moved into our 1964 rancher. The kitchen had the damnedest cooking center I had ever seen and I have only seen one other like it since. It consisted of a 4-burner cooktop attached on the left to a wall oven in which attached to its right was an overhead light/fan that also contained all of the cooktop controls embedded in the fan hood.

After removing that C-shaped mess I cut out the base cabinet beneath the cooktop/wall oven in order to accomodate a free standing range. I also had to remake one double door base cabinet into a single door base cabinet along with its drawer. And fill in 12 inches of counter top.

The wall oven part of the "C" wasn't embedded in a cabinet but trimmed with stainless on the sides so I only had to expand (make wider) the upper cabinet that sat where the former wall oven was, plus make a new cabinet door for it. Good thing 1960's cabinet making was rather crude and easily copied by a wood hack like me.

I have a customer whose late 1950's home had the most modern cooktop imaginable, 4 burners and a 42-inch wide surface. I was called out to fix the large front right burner and the control was burned out with none available in CONUS or anywhere else. Considering that was the most used burner, I stole the controller for the least used large left rear and installed it on the front right. Contollers are still available for the small burners. Go figure.

Sixty Grit said...

I did extensive remodeling on my previous house, including the kitchen, and I am kind of over it. But reading these stories has me inspired to renovate my current place and at least get it back to functioning.

I purchased a two burner hot plate so I can continue to prepare my food while I rip out the old stove and cut down the cabinet. None of it is as complicated as the stories presented above - it should just be pulling out the narrow lower cabinet between the stove and the wall, making it even narrower on my table saw, then putting it back in place. I think I might buy my new stove first so that I can be sure that everything fits. I guess after a lifetime of old house rehab I have learned a thing or two. Or not - what am I thinking to even consider such an undertaking, eh? Good news is I have all the tools I need and other than looking out for the reaper (left shoulder, correct?) I don't have any real time pressure.

So I will start making plans, pulling off trim, sizing up the situation and should anything of merit transpire, write a post about it.

Some Seppo said...

You can always buy an apartment size 24 inch range instead of hacking on your carcasses to fit a standard 30" range. You'll have a few inches to fill instead of a few inches to remove. A piece of scrap countertop affixed to the side of the lower would do it.

Sixty Grit said...

I saw those, but since the range hood is 30" wide and has a narrow cabinet next to it I figured it is time to make things line up nicely. Sure, it's more work, but hey, that's what I am here for, right? In fact, just today I was able to get out of doing another job - woman wanted me to make a giant board into a giant swing (don't ask) and I was able to make my estimate so high that she decided to buy the board and have someone else do the work - win/win baby, that board weighs a ton and I would much prefer that someone else wrestle it around the shop.

Next up - how do I get out of driving to Capital City and picking up a cabinet that is allegedly made out of maple? I am just the guy for that job - ask enough questions and the guy will push the thing out to the curb. Less work for me!

Some Seppo said...

I figured it is time to make things line up nicely.

Careful, Sixty. You are near triggering another sumptuary tax payment with your high falutin' kitchen.

I just tell customers I'm not interested in their crazy ideas. I may leave out the word "crazy". Sometimes. I once had a lady ask if I could make new shutters for her. I told her it would be way too expensive for me to fabricate them. On these 60's ranchers shutters are only decorative and every big box store sells them.

The customers who ask me to do yard work or high ladder work just get told to find a younger monkey.

Sixty Grit said...

Diplomacy - yeah, that's something I am very good at!

I used to do more ladder work than I do now, I am not phobic, I just got over it.

And it turns out that my property taxes go up every year, like clockwork. Never down, never stay the same, just a one way ratchet to the moon. At least I get great services for my money!