Archive for the ‘Mishaps’ Category

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

Random Tips for Living, Part 5

  • Parent Tip: If your child has a loose tooth, give him and his brother each sword-type objects. They will naturally start sword fighting, and inevitably a child will get hit in the face and start crying. You have a 50/50 chance of that child being the one with the loose tooth. In our case, they were foam baseball bats and yes, the loose tooth did get knocked out.
  • Church Youth Leader Tip: Don’t close your eyes during the program’s opening or closing prayers. In my case, I’m with the 3rd- through 6th-grade boys. No, as one of the leaders. If all the boys’ leaders closed their eyes during the prayer, when we opened our eyes half the boys would be gone and the other half would have each other in headlocks. Keep at least one eye open.
  • Parent Tip: Do not tickle one child when another child is throwing a ball at him. In this hypothetical example, when one child raised his arms to catch the ball, the parent allegedly tickled him, causing him to bring his arms back down to protect his armpits. The ball was then able to travel unimpeded to the child’s face, theoretically speaking.

Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.

2 Chronicles 7:15

Thanksgiving Recap

What did I have for Thanksgiving?


That’s all my body would take. Two of my sons and I spent Thanksgiving recovering from flu-like symptoms. As far as flu-like symptoms go, it wasn’t too bad in that in each case it lasted for about 18 hours.

From Wednesday night to Thursday afternoon, Alpha and Gamma were eating normally and everyone else was avoiding food. My wife was fine – not sick at all – but she was trying some preventive maintenance by keeping her stomach as empty as possible.

So we missed the big Thanksgiving gathering with my side of the family. We figured people would rather have us not there than have us there but get sick the next day or so.

The main downside to that whole fiasco was the rolls.

For my side of the family, there are about 30 people at Thanksgiving. We were responsible for bringing the rolls for the meal, so we allowed for about 2 rolls per person. My wife made 70 rolls on Wednesday afternoon, a mere hour or so before the first kid went down.

We didn’t go to Thanksgiving so we couldn’t take the rolls.
We couldn’t send them with anyone.
And even if we had, who would want rolls from a sick house?

So if any of you want rolls, let us know – we have a bunch in the freezer right now waiting for a good home.

in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Random Tips for Living, Part 4

Parent Tip: Do not leave a toddler unattended with a banana. Or blueberries. Unless you like cleaning them out of upholstery.

Church Tip: Do not sing the hymn There’s a New Name Written Down in Glory with young boys. They tend to be competitive, so the “And it’s mine” part degrades into an argument about whose it really is.
“No, it’s mine!”
“Is not!”
“I had it first!”

Husband Tip: If you’re unloading the dishwasher and you don’t know where the item goes, it is perfectly acceptable to put it in the drying rack on the sink and move to the next item.

Parent Tip: If your pre-schooler asks for a bowl of Lucky Charms, give him only a dozen pieces at a time. He can get the next dozen pieces after he has eaten all of the current pieces. If you don’t run breakfast this way, he will have eaten a bowl of marshmallows and you will be left with a bowl of plain cereal pieces.

He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:5

Miss Communication

My wife and I don’t always use the same terms to mean the same things. This leads to all sorts of misunderstandings.

  • We disagree on which part of the dishwasher is the “back”.
  • We disagree on which pockets of the diaper bag are the “side” pockets.
  • Subjective terms such as “cold” also lead to confusion.

And that brings me to today’s story: my trip to the grocery store.

I like to take one of the smaller kids to the grocery store in the evening, if needed. It gives the wife a slight break in that there is one less thing she has to do.

The problem comes when she writes something that makes sense to her and it also makes sense to me, but the two senses do not match.

One particular item was a “large bag of sugar”. I look around the shelves, and I grab a large bag. It turns out that it happened to be a 10-pound bag, and the wife was expecting a 5-pound bag. I didn’t even know they made 10-pound bags, so I didn’t bother checking the label – I just tossed it in the cart and went on.

The next time I go to the store and sugar is on the list, she tries to prevent my buying a 10-pound bag of sugar so she writes “small bag of sugar”.

I look around the shelves and find a small bag. All 2 pounds of it. I get home and find out that she wanted the 5-pound bag. I didn’t even know they made 2-pound bags, and neither did she.

It is for those reasons that I call home for clarification during my grocery shopping trips. My goal is not to be the husband who can’t shop for groceries on his own, but I would rather buy the right things than attempt to bolster my pride.

For now though, I go on the easy shopping trips and my wife takes the others.

)You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small.

Deuteronomy 25:13