Curmudgeon’s Miscellany

1. Somewhere, there is a Hell for cute bouncy little girlie-girls who come back in the free weight room, fully made up and oh-so-earnest, and sequester a whole rank of the smaller dumbbells beside a bench for their EVER SO CAREFULLY PLANNED gym session.

Those are the dumbbells I use for a kata punch warmup, bitch. I grab them, I pound out forty or fifty pumps to the side or overhead and put them back on the rack, then grab a different weight to punch in a different direction, but you are so entranced at the thought that you are using dumbbells like a big girl that you have to have them lined up in a row to yourself, probably like your makeup pots, and get all dithery and ditzy if someone needs to use a pair, because in a moment you’re going to bench press a whole! seven and a half! pounds! in EACH HAND!

I’m doing overhead punches with double that, just to get my blood going.

Go ‘long with you, OK?

2. If you must reproduce, keep the evidence out of Home Depot.

I don’t usually go to buy plumbing supplies, hammers and whatever on Sunday, but it worked out that way today. What the fuck? The place has become a nursery school? Enough I should have to dodge the fork lifts and other hazards piloted by the orange-aproned staff of this American institution, but you expect me to tolerate your squealing, scrambling crotch droppings?

Rope is cheap (Home Depot has lots) and they will not be able to work their way free of the knots before you get back. Just sayin’.

3. Marketing departments need to hire me. I left Home Depot with one Water Hammer Arrestor — what a wonderful concept. Since 2002 I have used European-style front-loading washers to handle the five-six sets of sheets a day oiled up by my massage practice, and these suckers turn the water on, off, on, off, making the clanging and clanking of an old fashioned radiator sound like wind chimes by comparison. I got to worrying that my plumbing could flat out implode and in fact that seems to be a genuine danger.

You can buy this Water Hammer Arrester thing for thirteen bucks. Twenty-six, given you want to put it on both pipes.

Home Depot had one left on the display. We attached it to the hot-water hose in about ten minutes, counting the time it took to pry the thing out of the blister package. The hammering noise subsided to a faint, local clunk.

If I were selling front-loading washers (four figure purchases, most of them) I think I would include these bastards on the hoses for an extra $20, say, and on the sales floor display would be a big banner: “NO NOISY PIPES! SAVE YOUR PLUMBING!”

People seem to have figured it out, anyway, since I will have to wait until the next delivery to fix the cold water hose.

I shouldn’t have had to stumble across a random link on the Internet to find out there was a solution to this problem. Oh well, at least I did.

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11 thoughts on “Curmudgeon’s Miscellany

  1. I remember Samuel Marchbanks saying he was surprised to find that rope is sold by the pound. I wonder if it still is, or if it’s now sold by the foot? Loose nails are still sold by weight, though, as I know from having bought some recently.

  2. I don’t understand the pipe clanging problem. Have never noticed that and have only used front-loading washing machines for the past 20 years (including England).

    • Maybe in countries where they have been in use longer the arrestor is integrated the way I want it to be. I would expect American manufacturers to cut a corner.

  3. There is probably a magazine article somewhere telling young women who want defined arms to assemble progressive weights so as to use them in turn without breaking rhythm. Hopefully it also advises that when the hardcase stomps over to take them, let her have ’em.

    • Probably it has something to do with the temperature going up to 80 Fahrenheit and then back down to freezing, with snow. After I put in my herb plants. But there was not enough snow to drip syrup on, and annoyingly the tree pollen is still making me feel like a dirigible. Instead of maple syrup dripped on snow I am dripping Islay single malt on a generous glass of ice and investigating the result.

  4. 1. I think I am probably the most considerate of free weight users. I always assume I am in someone else’s way, that they have more right to be there than me, and that I’m generally doing it wrong. Which is why I mostly stick to the treadmill, unless I’m actually with my trainer 🙂

    2. I have often advocated the judicious use of cupboards and/or gin in such cases. Look, its what generations of Britain’s Empire was built on, can’t have been all that bad…

    3. I have no idea what an arrestor is, but having been used to silent front-loading washing machines because that was the norm (even for old, crap machines) in the UK where I grew up, I have been putting up with the most ridiculous amount of noise from the pipes of the top-loader I’m now forced to use here in Australia where they are the norm. It just means that I never have the machine running before 9am or after 9pm, to preserve my neighbours’ sanity.

  5. You might look for these things. As cheap and quick as they were to install, it would be worth it.

    From your comments and Az’s I’m starting to suspect that arrestors are commonly integral in Europe with residential pipes that could hammer; one thing I noticed spending time in Britain was that a lot of small practicalities were common. I never saw an apartment in the US, for instance, that allowed you to store electricity at night when power was cheap and ration it out during the day, but my erstwhile fiance’s cruddy flat had that built in. I hear that inline water heat is catching on there too.

    As for gym etiquette, I notice that the more obviously vain a person is, the more likely he or she is to be a jerk about hogging equipment or putting away weights. I just avoid women who come to the gym all dolled up or guys who obviously swagger around projecting the Adonis image.

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