Archive for the ‘Mishaps’ Category

Try to Dry

Ah, the old riddle: what gets wetter the more it dries?

Before answering that question, allow me to show you a photo from a hotel at which we stayed during a recent trip.

image of a sign at a hotel pool

Here’s a closer shot so you can read it.

image of a sign at a hotel pool that says to towel dry before leaving pool

It says

Please towel dry before leaving pool.
Thank you.

My wife pointed it out to me, as she correctly knew I would appreciate it.

The sign should have said to towel dry before leaving the pool room or before entering the hallway or courtyard.

To comply with the sign as written would have required over 100,000 towels (according to a topic I saw on Reddit about how many towels it would take to dry a pool. They assumed a larger pool, but they also assumed larger towels so it’s close enough).

Not only would the pool users waste a lot of time drying off while in the pool, they would need a pool-sized space to discard the wet towels.

We did not comply with the letter of the law, but I do believe we followed the spirit of the law.

Now back to the original question. The answer is, of course, a Hampton Inn pool room.

The waters from the sea will dry up, And the river will be parched and dry.

Isaiah 19:5

Customer Service

Our recent trip to Cedar Point was our second trip this year. The first one did not go so well. Let’s back up about 3 weeks before our successful trip…

I had planned a special father-son trip with Alpha, our oldest. He had never been to Cedar Point. I hadn’t been in over a decade. And I had never stayed at the on-site hotel. Since I was planning the trip, I decided to splurge and stay in the hotel. (Tickets are cheaper that way, and you get into the park 1 hour early. That part is key to this story).

Friday afternoon, June 6 – the big day. He gets home from school and I get home from work. We eat dinner, with the rest of the family of course, then load up the car and head out to Cedar Point. A couple hours later, we are there. We check into the hotel, walk along the shore of Lake Erie, and look into the park from the edge. We go back into the room, watch an episode of Treehouse Masters, see what we can of the Luminosity show (i.e. fireworks) from our window, and go to bed.

Everything’s going fine.

In the morning, we wake up, go downstairs for breakfast, and finish around 9:15. The park opened for early entry at 9:00, so we figure we will check out and go into the park. Back up to our room we go. One last potty break before embarking on our amusement park adventure… and the toilet doesn’t flush. And the sink doesn’t work.

I call the front desk, asking if it’s just our room. She replies that it is the whole hotel. So we check out, put our luggage in the car, and go into the park.

The water in the park isn’t working either. Toilets aren’t flushing. Drinking fountains aren’t fountaining.

But we are there, so we walk around.

I show the rides to Alpha, and he ponders them. He is interested in the water rides, but they aren’t going.

We eventually make our way to the Sky Ride. Alpha hasn’t wanted to ride anything up to that point, so I tell him that we are going to ride the Sky Ride.

So we do.

And that takes us to the front gate.

Gas Cleaning

Due to a small mishap, I ended up with gasoline on my hands for a few minutes before I could clean them. Since I didn’t want to handle anything lest I contaminate it, my wife looked up “how to clean gasoline off hands” on her phone while I did whatever steps she read off. Those steps are listed here, in order.

  • Wash with soap and warm water. So that’s what I did. And scrub, it said. So I did. Helped a little, but not much.
  • Lemon juice. And scrub. Not much effect.
  • White vinegar. Just added a slight vinegar smell to my skin, which soon went away (the vinegar smell, not my skin).

That was it for the official suggestions, so we starting ad-libbing it here.

  • More soap and water. Still no effect.
  • Thieves oil, which my wife loves to use for a variety of things. This one had the most noticeable effect. After the thieves oil, my hands smelled like cloves and gasoline for a while.
  • A little while later, I took a shower before going to bed. In the shower, I scrubbed my hands with shampoo. Just in case.
  • Right after my shower, I shaved. So I figured “why not?” and scrubbed my hands with shaving cream.

I forgot to smell my hands before going to sleep. But in the morning, the gasoline smell was gone. So I don’t know which step did it, but if I ever spill gasoline on my hands again I’ll start with shaving cream and work my way backwards through the list.

If I should wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye,

Job 9:30

Fire Exit

image of sign saying the fire exit for the second floor is on the first floor

If there’s a fire on the first floor, too bad. Stay on the second floor.

And don’t use the elevator if there’s a fire.

You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.

Exodus 35:3

Printing Copies

At work, our printers are set to default to 2-sided printing. This is supposed to save the company money because we will, in theory, use half as much paper and printing costs will decline.

But no one likes the 2-sided printing.

For example, last week I was printing just a 1-page document for review. A coworker was also to review the document, so he asked me for a copy. I, thinking ahead, selected 2 for the number of copies when I clicked print. My coworker and I walked to the printer and were surprised to see only one paper there.

“I thought you printed 2 copies.”
“I did.”

Then we noticed there was printing on the other side.

That’s right – when I asked for 2 copies the default setting of the printer made it 2-sided printing, so my copy was on one side of the paper and my coworkers copy was on the other side.

We thought about holding it up and looking at the opposite sides concurrently, but I just made another copy instead and handed it to him.

So for that example, the paper costs were the same as before, but the ink/toner costs have increased by 50%. The policy has backfired.

And that has happened other times too, and not just to me. I now find it easier just to increase the number of copies when I print multiple copies, rather than click through 3 or 4 options and settings to turn off the default of 2-sided printing.

An Open Letter to Whoever Sets Company Policies for the Printer

Dear Companies:

Setting the printer default to double-sided accomplishes only frustrating your employees and not much cost savings. It’s not worth it.


Your employees

He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.

Joshua 8:32

Bathroom Redecorating

We decided to add some visual flair to the bathroom.

First, some random stucco on the otherwise-flat ceiling:

photo of shaving cream splattered on a white ceiling

Then, to catch people’s attention, some random stucco on the red wall:

photo of shaving cream splattered on a red wall

Finally, to really make it artistic, some random stucco on the mirror, of all places:

photo of shaving cream splattered on a mirror

I’m not quite sure I would have chosen to decorate in that manner, but that’s the problem with working with artists – their visions might not mesh with yours.

Here’s the real story: I was shaving and I heard a loud POP. The can of shaving cream was on the floor on the other side of the bathroom, and there was shaving cream sprayed everywhere. As you may be able to tell from the photo, the can was a bit rusty. It’s probably over a year old – growing a beard during the cold months in Michigan will make a can of shaving cream last for a long time.

photo of an exploded can of shaving cream

Shaving cream should come with a disclaimer: discard within 7-10 months of opening.

But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, And its waters toss up refuse and mud.

Isaiah 57:20

Fitting Fundamentals

It’s a lesson that cost me $8.50, but now I know the difference between GHT and NPT.

I’ll pass the lesson along to you for free.

If you have 3/4″ pipe fittings, know which thread size they are before you buy a connector.

In my case, I had 3/4″ GHT on one side and 3/4″ NPT on the other. I didn’t know there were different thread pitches; I figured I just needed the diameter and I would be good. I got the right diameter, and they fit well enough that I didn’t know they were wrong, but the way water was squirting out I realized something wasn’t right.

GHT is Garden Hose Thread. It is always 3/4″ diameter. Its main use is for garden hoses, but it is also used for washing machines and other things that are not permanent fixtures of the plumbing system.

NPT is National Pipe Thread. It is of various diameters. It is used for permanent fixtures of the plumbing system.

In my case, I was connecting a washing machine spigot to a recirculating pump. The pump used NPT and the washing machine thread size was GHT. To complicate matters, the other side of the pump went to 1/2″ PEX.

Here is how GHT (left) matches with NPT (right):

photo of GHT and NPT threads on a pipe fitting connector, comparison of thread pitch

As you can see, it takes NPT about 5.5 threads where GHT takes 5 threads. It’s annoyingly close because the fittings will screw together for a few turns, enough so that you don’t know something is wrong until you turn on the water.

To make matters even more complicated, they don’t use just the acronyms GHT and NPT. No, they have to use Mips and MHT and FHT and Fips. The Ms and Fs are for male and female. Anything with an ‘H’ is for Hose, and anything with a ‘P’ is for Pipe thread. Match Hs to Hs and Ps to Ps.

There were two tenons for each board, fitted to one another; thus he did for all the boards of the tabernacle.

Exodus 36:22