I know this is not a very sexy topic for a post but it is one that has been on my mind a lot this past week.  I had Dave help me remove the old garage door at my rental house and we installed a new door.  All through this project, I found myself with the wrong tools or missing a darned good screwdriver.  At one time, I went to the local junk store and purchased a matching set of screwdrivers.  Over the past few years, I have purchased many as I lost or threw away damaged ones. In spite of my good efforts, this past week I found that unless I put a new bit in my drill driver, I had crap for tools.  That will be one of my Labor Day tasks and hopefully by Tuesday I'll have a set of them to be proud of.

Today in the paper, a person wrote the advice columnist about a leaky faucet.  He gave them advice about removing the top part and replacing the rubber washer inside.  In my opinion, just go buy a new faucet and replace the old one.  I have never got the screw out of the faucet washer in a manner that didn't lead to another trip to the hardware store to get a new faucet.  On the one time I did get the screw out, the seat for the washer was in such bad shape I had to replace the faucet anyway. 

Once upon a time, my sister called me and said that my Aunt had a new water heater but needed help in putting it in.  I grabbed my bucket of tools and went over to survey the problem.  Sure enough the old heater had a leak and it was beyond anything but replacement.  For me, that was just a snap to swap out the old fittings and put in a new one.  I did have to change one of the copper lines because of the different size heater but again a short trip to the hardware store and no big deal.  When I finished the replacement, I noticed that all around the perimeter of the basement there were small water leaks.  It appears that no one had told my Aunt to shut off the faucets in the winter and almost to a faucet they were leaking.  Back in the old days, they installed a valve about a foot away from the foundation inside the house and you would turn off the water and then go outside and open the valve.  No water in the line and no burst pipes.  Today they have frost free valves that turn the water off deep inside of the house and they don't burst.  Unless, that is, you do something stupid like leaving a water hose attached to the faucet with a sprayer end that keeps water in the pipe.  (Been there did that)  The moral of this story is that it pays to have either the ability to fix you faucets or the money to have a plumber do it.

Have you given much consideration to your retirement?  My advice is to try to figure out how soon you can do it and get out of the rat race.  As soon as you do, try to work in as many trips as you can afford.  As you get older, your health will take a lot of fun out of the trip and that really cuts down on the enjoyment.  I had this dream that as soon as I retired, I would have time to organize my workshop (actually one bay of the garage) and keep it spotless.  With a couple of renovations and a couple of rental houses, I find that I have my junk spread out like a giant rat trap set out to trap me as I try to wade through to find anything.  Add to that, I have a tendency to keep things that I might need for later and presto, I look like a hoarder on steroids.  I keep saying that I'll fix it as soon as it cools down and then it is too cold in the garage.  Oh well, I have good intentions and don't mind parking my car outside because of my poor organization.


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