Imagine a Great Pun About Door Repair

Greetings Programs!

Well, we’re in Heat Dome mark II here. Temperatures are 30–32 C, which is around 90 F for you Americans. And while that might not sound all that hot to those who suffer worse on a regular basis, remember that the vast majority of homes here in BC don’t have AC. We’ll get through this, but it’s not exactly fun.

But, on to the big question from last week. You do remember the question, don’t you? I asked what relates the movies Arrival and Stranger Than Fiction that is not related to cast or crew.

I got exactly one answer, from Lori, who said:

Both “Arrival” and “Stranger Than Fiction” could just as easily go by the title, “Story of Your Life.” In the case of “Arrival,” that’s actually the title of the story it’s adapted from.

That is an excellent answer, and her Internet Points have (not) been awarded. But it is not the answer I had in mind. That means there is more than one way to fame and Internet fortune in this case.

As there were no other answers, I have to wonder: is the problem that people have either not seen these movies? Or perhaps have only seen one of them? Well, I’m giving you another week to sort that out.

That’s right, you can still get your (non-existent) Internet Points by sending me an answer for what relates Arrival and Stranger Than Fiction. I look forward to hearing from you!

Note that this will be the only delay. Next week I will answer the question!

In “this is less fun” news:

First, the plumber was here, and the leak I mentioned last week has been fixed. There are still issues that need resolution, but none of them appear to involve water getting out of the pipes and into the house.

Here’s what the bathroom in question looks like as I write this:

I cannot explain why the walls look blue in that photo. That’s very odd. They’re white. Something weird must have been going on with the lighting and the camera. Probably induced by the incandescent bulbs above the mirror in the bathroom.

Anyway, that is our dehumidifier, purchased after the great heating system leak of 2020. It is slowly drawing water out of the area behind the vanity, which is visibly drying out. I stick my head in there every couple of days and look around to be sure nothing is leaking, or leaking again.

It turns out that the idiotic repair was done with Polybutylene pipe, which is notorious for leaking unexpectedly. It appears it was in use from 1985 to 1997, and there were lawsuits about it. It really wants to leak. I only just now learned this by googling [ polybutylene pipe ] and finding a website obviously created by a law firm that specialized in this issue. Joy. Maybe I should check the rest of the house. Hang on…

<<Insert bad elevator Muzak here>>

And I’m back. In addition to checking under all the sinks and what not, I washed some fresh blueberries to complete my lunch. Yum.

I see no other evidence of this ridiculous tubing, which means it was done either as a repair or as part of remodelling that bathroom. No way for me to know which.

Anyway, the dehumidifier will be running in there for some time. It is definitely drying out the stuff I can see, which means it is also drying out stuff I cannot see, which is great. And when temperatures drop this fall and we turn on the heat again, there is a hot water heating pipe running directly under that vanity which will also help dry things out if any water remains.

I am fairly sure this problem is resolved enough that I have no real worries other than putting the room back together. I’ll probably slap a coat of paint on it before I do that, just to finish that task before we replace the carpeting in the guest bedroom.

In other news, I am spending a lot of time on the community association website. I’ve been granted the basic approval needed to make the new website happen. As a result I am creating new pages on the production server and making needed changes to get everything working. I still have nothing I can share, but progress is definitely being made.

And finally, I am working on the door to the guest bathroom. The one I removed to make getting into the leaks behind the vanity easier. It’s one of the weird ones that I cannot explain. Who does the kinds of things I found? Really?

Here is the most difficult fix in process:

The first photo shows a clamp holding a block of wood in where the door latch goes. Someone replaced the door knobs in this house and did so in the dumbest way possible. The old knobs all had a plate around the latch where it came out of the side of the door, as most door knobs do. But some of the replacement knobs don’t have a plate there. Some do, but others don’t. Go figure. In those cases where the plate is missing the latch simply comes out of a one inch diameter hole in the wood.

But if the previous door knob had a plate, there was still a recess in the door for it. What did they do to fix that when they replaced the old knob? Oh, nothing.

No, really. Nothing. They just painted the mess, installed the latch, and moved on. The ugly recess around the latch was just left there. Painted, to be sure, but not fixed, not filled, not even flattened out. Just painted over.

To fix that I cut a block of wood and glued it into the recess. That is what you see clamped in place in the first photo. Then I sanded it all down and used drywall mud to patch the crevices I could not perfectly fill, as well as the holes and dents elsewhere in the door. That’s what you see in the second photo.

But before I fixed all of that I had to trim the bottom of the door. Someone who was either drunk or high (or both) had previously tried to trim the door bottom with a circular saw but without a guide. It was so bad. The cut wandered all over.

Once again I forgot to take before and after photos. Sorry. To fix it, I trimmed it using my home made track saw jig. It’s not quite perfect — the damage was too severe and I would have had to shorten the door too much — but it’s much better now:

If you look closely near the middle you can still see some circular saw blade marks. Those are leftover from the previous guy’s botched cut job. To get rid of those I would have had to shorten the door even more, and that was just not in the cards.

Honestly, it was iffy if I should repair and repaint this door or just replace it, but I didn’t want to deal with cutting the hinge insets at the proper locations, and I see no reason to create additional landfill material if I can make it good enough. So I cut it as flat as possible and we’ll see what it looks like when I rehang it.

Anyway, that door has one side fully primed, and the second side is calling to me now to get it done before I publish this.

Finally, in news no one wants to hear, Covid cases are surging once again thanks to the Delta variant. While these cases mostly impact the unvaccinated, there are more breakthrough cases than I like among the vaccinated. Still, the vaccines do provide a lot of protection, and nearly eliminate serious illness and worse. But it seems to be the case that those who catch it can still spread it easily, even if they are vaccinated.

So it’s back to masks while out in public. Those protect you if you’re near someone who is sick, and help protect others if you happen to be the one who gets ill and doesn’t know it.

I hate this — who doesn’t? — but what are you going to do? Safety matters.

Please take care of yourself and your family!

I’ll be back next week.

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