Home Improvement

24 Aug 2004

Had a very long, tiring weekend that only included some poker at the very end.

First off, I readily acknowledge that I am approximately the un-handiest person I know. Need some software written? I’m your man. Need a hand-coded website? Check. Need some plumbing, electrical, gardening, construction, etc. done? Errr, well, I know a good phone book you can use to find someone. Alas, being a homeowner sometimes means taking on some of these smaller projects that would cost much more to hire someone to do.

So the plan was for Bloggs to come out for the weekend and help replace one of our decaying fences. unlike me, he is not afraid of such daunting challenges as a straight, simple, 15 foot fence, and has actually built fences in the past. Incredibly, he also claimed to enjoy the process. When he arrived Saturday morning, I was looking at a leaky sprinkler that had been causing a small pool to form in a corner of the front yard. We started playing with the main valve and sprinkler system, trying to figure out the source of the trouble. That’s when the valve broke while in the off position, leaving my house was completely without water. Oops. Time to head to Home Depot.

We ended up having to replace a big section of the copper pipe from the main water line to the house. This included about 5 or 6 joints that needing soldering, which, of course, neither of us had really ever done. At the Depot, we received some advice from an older man who appeared to know his soldering, got all the necessary parts, and headed home to give it a try.

Needless to say, it took us all day. And this was just to get back to square one, not to actually fix anything! After screwing up the first soldering attempt or two, we finally figured out that the goop they included with the solder was called flux, and had some use. Things suddenly went much smoother and soon the unscheduled plumbing portion of the weekend was complete. Bonus: replacing the main valve seemed to fix the leaking sprinkler!?! I don’t claim to understand, I’m just reporting the facts here.

So Sunday became the fence day, and we were scheduled to play poker at 6pm. Lots of post hole digging and concrete mixing ensued. Posts were posted and a frame took shape. Only one thumb was smashed when time ran out and we gave up for the day. Off to poker…

The game was new. First time host, Keith, was a co-worker of Bloggs, as were the rest of the players, plus 2 wives. 8 total, with only three of us who really practice the game at all. The stakes were very low. We started with a $10 nlhe tourney and I took second for a $10 profit, sort of. I was paying for Bloggs, so his lost $10 buy-in made me even. We then played a mixed side game for another $10 buy in. It was my first time playing live draw, 7-stud and 5-stud. Was fun and a cheap, gentle introduction to playing these games live. I ended up a couple of dollars and Bloggs was down a few. In the end it was fhwrdh: +$12, Bloggs: -$14 for a net of -$2. Throw in free sandwiches, beer and snacks, and it was a good stretch of the entertainment dollar.

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Franklin Henderson