Day 329

Monday | January 21st, 2013

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Today was the first real day of vacation for me (Saturday sacrificed for cleaning and drinking, Sunday for family visiting and hangovering). Poor Meow had to go to work and jealous she probably was, kept trying to wake me up. I slept until about 14.30 anyway, vacation affords me that privilege. Besides, “I have three things I must do” and proceeded to tell her what they were in my sleep. Later though, as she was leaving and had no idea what the 3rd thing was, she kept throwing all these vacationisms out like, slept until Friday, ignore Meow, ignore the dogs, yell for no reason, etc.

My list was really simple: do the dishes, put together this shelf I’d been telling Meow I’d put together for like a month, and go feed Cat.

I was doing the dishes when Meow left, still pestering me to tell her what the third thing was (build shelf), but I wanted it to be a surprise. The shelf was put off because putting the first one together was such a monster drag between my perfectionism and a ratcheting screwdriver.

My trusty friend. My solver of all screw problems (save for the ankle) for many, many years. My savior of many a small apartment problems over the years in Korea. My black ratcheting, Snap-on (the brand sold to mechanics stateside, this particular screw driver given to me one birthday by a motorcycle mechanic peep) screwdriver. It cost $45.00. It’s a work of art in its usefulness and its Macgyver-ness.

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For this shelf though, setting aside my friend, to use a power drill with a Philips bit was the way to get it done quickly and straightly, I’d concluded after the horror of seeing another one delivered. I initially demanded money from Meow to put it together (as Meow screwed up her wrist using my buddy and couldn’t do it herself). I figured a power tool would solve the perfectionism of the assembly: getting it all straight and tight. I was done in about 35 minutes (above).

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Time and tools to burn before Meow would come home equaled another item added to the list: fix the plug that the rice cooker clings to (above, left). This plug has a faceplate that doesn’t sit right which has over our 4 months of living in this hanok come lose with each plugging and unplugging (by Meow who, like many Koreans, is convinced that “off” appliances still eat electricity, which is true only if that appliance has a clock, a battery, or a capacitor to run a screen). The whole key to the situation is to get the faceplate to sit in the hole correctly so it can be screwed down tighter (the other path of trying to correct one’s partner’s behavior should be avoided as it will fail and lead to many useless fights).

The faceplate doesn’t sit correctly because a chunk of cement is preventing it from doing so (see hero image, top). This was the discovery made back in December when the whole thing nearly fell off one night about 01.00. It was much to late to take the necessary tools (above, right) and whack it off. But, vacation makes time and power tools make more time on top of time.

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With my chisel and cheer, I took off a blight of cement (above, left), then wondered how long it’d been there in the first place. The house is more than 70 years old, was this piece of cement too, more than 70 years old? Had the previous owners not encountered my same problem? How did they solve it? Then I decided that all this was stupid, of course the cement was from Reno-guy. That bastard! I scrubbed the faceplate clean (dirty electrical faceplates are a pet-peeve of mine as are boring electrical faceplates) and put it on. It still sticks out a little bit, but it screws down tight and now I’ve saved my wife from being inadvertently electrocuted while saving a few won a year by unplugging the rice cooker.

I should get a medal.

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All this work made me really hungry. I enjoyed an awesome plate of rice and lentils smothered in balsamic vinegar and olive oil with water kimchi on the side (above). I could eat like this everyday forever.

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