New Kitchen Faucet Installed

by Josh on November 10, 2008 · 4 comments

in Projects

If you have followed this blog for a while–or if you’re a new reader who has waded through the archives–you might recall this moment of improvization with the faucet of my kitchen sink.  I ended up replacing the broken lever (and the temporary vice grips) with a replacement handle a little over a year ago. […]


Patched Drain Pipe

by Josh on April 3, 2008 · 7 comments

in Basement,Projects

First thing this morning I picked up some plumber’s epoxy putty at the hardware store to repair the cracked drain pipe I discovered yesterday. This was my first experience with epoxy putty and I found out it is pretty amazing stuff. Straight out of the package, the epoxy looks like an oversized grey tootsie roll […]


Cracked Drain Pipe

by Josh on April 2, 2008 · 6 comments

in Basement,Journal

All I wanted was some clean sheets. It’s a simple task, right? Wash. Dry. Fold. Done. Simple. But in an old house, simple tasks can get complicated. Here’s how: I put the sheets into the washer and finished off a bottle of detergent as I started the load. Then I turned to the utility sink […]


Kitchen Improvization

by Josh on July 13, 2007 · 8 comments

in Uncategorized

Some days you’ve just got to make it up as you go along. Like when the handle on my kitchen faucet finally broke for good after months of gradually increasing weakness and wiggling. Obviously my preferred solutions will be to replace the broken handle or get an entirely new faucet, since it also leaks a […]


Frozen Pipes

by Josh on February 18, 2007 · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

The recent string of days below zero degrees here in Minneapolis have been tough. Even hardy Minnesotans, accustomed to chilly winter temps, have stayed indoors as much as possible in order to avoid the danger and discomfort of the extreme cold. So what’s a person to do when the cold tries to come inside and […]


Replacing A Radiator Valve

by Josh on September 27, 2006 · 31 comments

in Uncategorized

There isn’t much that can go wrong with a hot water radiant heating system. According to reliable Shrewsbury plumbers I know, it is basically a second plumbing network that just circulates water between the boiler where water is heated, and radiators that release that heat into the rooms. When trouble occurs, one common problem is […]


Chicken Boing Boing

by Josh on July 27, 2006 · 0 comments

in Journal

The father of one of my childhood friends used to make a dinner called “Chicken Boing Boing.” Basically it was chicken plus whatever happened to be in the fridge or on the cupboard. This post is like chicken boing boing, but without the chicken. I’ve got a number of small unrelated updates to record, so […]


Learning The Hard Way

by Josh on September 14, 2005 · 0 comments

in Projects

Measure twice; cut once. That’s the kind of wisdom that you come up with after measuring once and getting it wrong. So here’s my latest maxim from the Hard Way School of Home Improvement: “Check it all before you call.” This is my sad, stupid story. My dishwasher was failing to drain the water at […]


Knowing when to fold ‘em

by Josh on September 11, 2005 · 4 comments

in Projects

I have been struggling with a filthy clogged floor drain in my tuckunder garage for a couple weeks now and I’m about ready to call it quits. A friend was kind enough to lend me his drain snake (thanks, Daniel!) but so far I’ve only been able to lower the level of sludge in the […]