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Posts tagged ‘diy’

Poetry in motion: wind turbine

In a triumph of DIY, Husband’s homemade wind turbine generates approximately half a watt of electricity:

Ok but SERIOUSLY, here’s an action clip. Unfortunately no sound effects:-

Exploding slimy things

Every morning since Husband departed, I lie in bed and squeeze my eyes shut and think, “I hope the house isn’t broken today.”

When I got up this morning, the water wasn’t working. Not in a sense of under applied industry, but it refused to come out of the taps. Maybe it’s because I forgot to click my heels together three times; it’s a tricky manoeuvre when you’re horizontal and covered by two duvets.

Normally, I would return to the bedroom and pull Husband out of bed by the ankles and moan until he fixed it. That was not an option this morning, due to Husband’s non-existence in the general vicinity of the country.

So I applied my laser sharp logic to the problem. Water not coming out of taps: is tap turned on? Affirmative. Is water tank full? I went outside and hit it with a stick; couldn’t tell. So . . . got to be the water pump then. Since I had no idea where the water pump was located, I went to poke the fuse box with a wooden spoon instead. It always seems to work for Husband.

Having poked the fuse box with no result other than spark warnings, I called our landlord.

“Check the water pump,” he advised.

“Yes, of course. Ok,” I said. “Er. Where is it?”

Having donned wellies and located the water pump, I kicked it a couple of times. Seemed to have no effect. I pulled a lever, screwed a couple of screwy things that were unscrewed, pushed a button.

And I FIXED IT!

I may not actually need a husband after all.

Later, our landlord Darren came around to see that I hadn’t been overly traumatized by the experience. He gave me a tour of the water pump, which I can’t say was as exciting as the field trip to the Guinness Brewery when I was fourteen, but really very nearly.

The water filter was clogged with a viscous goo: six months worth of dead creepy crawly, rotting leaves and mould. Unless some large, brown, slimy thing crawled into the filter and exploded – which, given this is New Zealand, is not entirely improbable

Mad hole drilling man

Our mad nesting frenzy abated about four months into our new home. Before we moved in, we had many plans for the house: parquet floors, wooden bar, Jacuzzi in the garden, slide from the master bedroom into the Jacuzzi. However, we always intended to sell within two-three years and the market has not matured to the extent that modifications will significantly differentiate our property. Nowadays, the only reason Husband airs his builders bum for the neighbours is pure exhibitionism, nothing more.

However, we still keep a lookout for quality furniture that we really like; family heirlooms that our children will fall out over after we’re gone. The reason we have procured little outside of our sofa set and dining table has more to do with the fact that there is not much choice around here. At least, not if you’re looking for furniture that does not feature (a) gilt (b) marble (c) mythological creatures in aggressive bas relief (d) lions snacking delicately on fruit (e) all of the above.

But we continue to look.

Three weeks ago, we bought a plain wooden stereo cabinet to replace the metal and glass table that had previously served duty whilst clashing violently with the rest of the living room.

We were very excited when it was delivered. The cabinet consists of two large drawers flanking an open front slot. We had done minimal measurement (ie none) and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was a perfect fit for the available space. In unnatural light the wood perfectly matches the dining room table. There was only one problem.

Our ‘entertainment system’ features a DVD player, stereo/surround sound amplifier, media disk drive, PSII station and about ten speakers. Husband has also connected one of his computers to the centre†. Together, all this equipment results in a tangle of power cables, leads and wires and our new cabinet did not feature any outlet holes for cables.

“Not a problem,” said my husband, rummaging around in the cupboard under the stairs and emerging with his Black & Decker. “I’ll just drill a few holes.”

“It’s pretty thick wood.”

“No worries,” said Husband, giving his power drill a few experimental blasts. “How many holes d’you think?”

“Two,” I said firmly.

“You think maybe I should bore a few holes in the drawers as well?”

“HEY! Mad Hole Drilling Man! I don’t think so.”

“Just in case we need them in the future?”

“For WHAT? NO!!”

“All right then,” says Me Bucko and, flexing his muscles, starts into the upended cabinet.

I usually keep an eye on Husband when he cracks out the Black & Decker, since he can get a bit carried away by the artistic licence apparently afforded by a power drill. However, in this instance we had discussed and agreed a straightforward plan with a clear final objective, so I settled back into my computer.

Fifteen minutes of frenzied grinding/whirring later:

“I think the drill is melting,” said Husband.

Sure enough, there was smoke coming out of the back of it.

“Bloody hell,” I said, “that’s a bit extreme for a couple of holes.”

But then I looked at the cabinet, and the underside was like Swiss cheese. Put it this way: the bottom of our new stereo cabinet is now more air than wood.

“What the hell’s THIS?!?”

“Ventilation,” muttered Husband guiltily.

I’ve hidden the deeds for the house in case he sells it from under my feet. I can just imagine our grieving children sorting through our effects, and coming across the cabinet:

“Nice cabinet,” one of them might say.

“Yeah, but look: infested with mice. Tell you what, why don’t you take that?”

You know the scene in ‘A Beautiful Mind’ where the wife goes to the garden shed and finds a demented spider’s web of string chronicling her husband’s descent into madness? Well, a couple of weeks ago I clambered over Husband’s toolbox to access the cupboard under the stairs. Hidden behind the door was a whole wall stacked with computers and modems malevolently blinking and beeping. I was chased away by Husband’s army of trained bats, ‘mwa ha ha’ laughter echoing in my ears

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